"We are not puzzles. We are people." ~lastcrazyhorn
I have been off the blog wagon lately. Seems like things have been very busy and I haven’t just had time to sit and blog it out. So, I am having lots of blog fodder swirling around in my brain and I may just have to break it down into some separate blogs. SO much going on!
*Hmm. What to choose, what to choose*
Something cool happened to me last week.
Just as Jacob is working his way through the beginnings of puberty and we are readdressing some challenges that he has experienced in the past, autism awareness month comes along and I am searching cyberspace for some good quotes regarding autism. *POOF* I was led here. This is the blog of lastcrazyhorn. Her blog is titled "Odd One Out: Reality with a refreshing slice of aspie". She is a woman who has Asperger’s. She, and many folks similarly diagnosed, refer to themselves as "Aspies". I kinda like it myself. 😉 She is a graduate student studying music therapy. She is not only a musician, but an artist as well. Be sure and check out her drawing for Autism Awareness Month–very cool. Check out her blog–she has some great things to share. And lots of Asperger’s/autism resources! (Thanks for allowing me to give you a SHOUT OUT, lastcrazyhorn!)
I don’t believe in accidents or coincidence. It is not a coinkydink that I came across her blog. When I commented on her blog and asked for some suggestions with Jacob, she was so gracious to reply. Her insight into some of the things Jacob is dealing with is invaluable–since she has personal experience! She is the real deal.
Here are some of the things she shared with me, after I expressed my concerns about Jacob coming to a place of self-acceptance :
"Acceptance of one’s Aspie qualities truly starts with true acceptance of one’s self. I developed that before I ever discovered the aspie part of the deal.
I worked intensively on this for one summer, and have made it a continued part of my existence ever since (that makes it a time period of about 4 years).
First I established what I things in life I knew to be true–what aspects of the world that I believed in (I went really simple at first, starting with gravity). From there I worked up into who I trusted, what I believed about the world, what I knew to be true of myself.
Next, I followed up by telling myself I loved myself every day, but I didn’t leave it at that; no, I told myself that I loved myself, but I also said why. I gave myself examples to look at, and in turn, I started to see those examples in real time in real life.
I think this might be an aspie thing, because I’ve talked with a few others here and there about it. It’s not enough to say something like "I love you," without explaining why, because so often in life, it is proven to us that people will say one thing, but then do a completely different thing. Not saying that this applies to you personally, but I think that’s just how the thought pattern gets established."
I really, I mean, REALLY, loved this:
"Humans are like pieces of art. Some of us are dull, predictable, standard . . . and then there are aspies. We challenge the standard. We invent new colors. We change the perspectives of our viewers. We highlight the details that you thought were unimportant. Our ideas last from century to century, while the standard pieces get shoved away in the basement. To call an aspie "defective" is like calling Picasso’s cubism style "defective." Sure, it’s different, and not everyone understands it, but it is known far and wide as his style, and while it is often imitated, it is only infrequently mastered."
She also suggested some helpful links, and in the spirit of autism awareness month, I thought I’d pass them along as well.
–The Gray Center for learning and understanding. This is a great article called "The Discovery of Aspie Criteria".
–Top Ten Traits of Autistic People
–Wrong Planet. This is a website, as lastcrazyhorn put it, with a whole bunch of aspies, all experiencing the same sorts of things.
-Lastcrazyhorn is studying music therapy. Here’s what she had to say about it:
"Music therapy is a type of therapy that helps treat the entire person, in a non-invasive way. I think for aspies, music therapy’s main two benefits are the release of otherwise unspeakable/nameable emotions and then also some extra social skills training (they often do this through drum circles; an experience that requires some give and take on the parts of those involved).
Of course, I’m in grad school for music therapy. On one hand, you could say I’m biased towards it; but on the other hand, you could say that I just know what I’m talking about. Also, music therapy has been shown to especially have a good effect (usually–there’s always the exceptions) for people on the autistic spectrum. Besides, music therapy is just fun."
These are just a few things she shared with me. But she has shared even more…more than I think she knows. For me, she has become an unexpected friend, an ally in our journey into the spectrum. Someone who has truly given me "a refreshing slice of aspie"…and I think it is really yummy. Thanks. Here’s to YOU, lastcrazyhorn.