Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Great Day!

Yesterday I decided to stop by Makes Sense, the autism supply store I've been talking about. I've been there once before this, and had the privilege of meeting and talking to the owner, who would like me to come in to speak to parents of kids on the spectrum! We talked about the weather, and how we're ready for it to warm up. She told me that the social groups are in the process of starting, and that someone will be emailing me about my opportunity as a guest speaker. I really can't wait for this. She also mentioned that there is someone who is a speaker and has written a book, that is interested in coming there one day as well. She said that she could actually lend me his book to read. When she brought it to me, I recognized the author right away: Kerry Magro! He has done a LOT in the area of advocacy. How awesome is that? I'll definitely be stopping back again soon :)

After that, I decided to stop by Clayton's Toys as it is right up the street, and a place I absolutely love. Upon walking through the door, there was a very excited little boy who accidentally knocked a sock monkey off a shelf, which I picked up. I immediately spotted a little stuffed kitty that I decided was to have a home with me. I browsed the many areas that contained arrays of stuffed animals. I then looked through some bracelets, and couldn't resist an amethyst one, and other little trinkets at the front of the store. The same little boy, his sister and their mother were checking out, and I overheard their mother say she was looking for things for her sensory box, as she was a teacher. She said something like "what can we get for our fidgety friend?" I piped in and said that I'm always on the lookout for fidgety toys. She then told me it was in her son's IEP to have some fidget time. I told her I was on the spectrum, and then she said, "so is he!." Imagine that, this little boy who reminded me so much of myself when I was little, was a fellow spectrumite :)  Their mother said that she often takes him to Clayton's as a reward for good behavior, as he thinks it's the best place in the world. I agreed that it's an awesome store! I then checked out and headed on my way. It was a great day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Submission for a friend's project...

I am a 31-year-old girl who lives for helping others. I have my Bachelor's in Social Work, and I work with individuals who have mental illnesses and developmental disabilities. I love animals, and can't imagine my life without them. I have a passion for video games, especially Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as the Android operating system. What makes me unique is the fact that I've always followed my heart despite what others think. I'm not afraid to be a little weird. I'm also asexual and aromantic. I have Asperger's, ADHD, OCD and anxiety.

Autistic pride means embracing who you are and appreciating your own special operating system. It means capitalizing on your gifts, and using your challenges to become stronger. I am connected to autistic culture simply because I am autistic myself, and I regularly advocate for the community I am proud to say I belong to. People can be more accepting of autistic people just by welcoming them as they are. They can choose to see them as people who have great things to contribute to society, and who have the ability to see things in a different light. Neurodiversity is important because we are all unique, and reside in our own place on the neurological spectrum. This is something to be celebrated!

Monday, February 9, 2015


In light of the recent measles outbreak and the buzzing of media and fellow autistics alike, I'm going to give my two cents on the topic of vaccinations. I realize that there are two sides of the fence, and it's rather obvious which side I stand on...

Do vaccines cause autism? No, they don't. It's been scientifically proven. In fact, the doctor who claimed to have proven this has had his license revoked.

That said, why is autism being used as a scare tactic? Are people really trying to insinuate that being born with a unique operating system is worse than contracting a deadly disease? Whatever the "cause" of my autism, I was born this way for a reason. I'm personally glad to be just who I am. If I wasn't autistic, then I'd be someone else besides me, which would be fine, were I to be someone else who was born someone else. However, I was born me, complete with all the side dishes that come with the package. I wouldn't want to be any other way :)

I'm not telling anyone what to do here; that's your call. What I am doing is encouraging you to think. Of one is deciding not to vaccinate based in the misconception they vaccines cause autism, are they thinking of how that makes autistic people feel? Say the same were to be said about blue eyes? Tall stature? Certain skills? Would they think of it the same way? Autism has been given a bad rap, and needs to be seen in a different light. The best we can do is advocate and educate, and show people that it's not something to fear, but rather just a difference to embrace!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


If there's one thing that has helped keep my moods at bay, it's medications. When you think of it, all the brain is is one big vat of chemicals, passing through neurons and synapses; so many chemical combinations are possible. It really is an amazing thing.

It all started when I was about 25, and I noticed that my moods started to swing from my usually upbeat tone to anxious or down, all for no apparent reason. Mind you, I've always struggled with anxiety, but this seemed different. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. I remember being at work, which was ironically enough the first mental health agency I worked at, and not feeling myself. I would call my mom and explain to her how I was feeling.

Coupled with friendship-related stressors that were going on in my life at the time (which I later learned were also due to mental health issues and not the fault of anyone), things came to a head. I finally decided it was time to seek help. Armed with my brother for emotional support, I went to my doctor's office. As soon as I started to explain my situation to the nurse practitioner, tears starts flowing. She expressed understanding, and wrote me a prescription for the little pill that would lead me down the right path: Zoloft.

I seemed to notice a difference almost instantly. Granted, the full effects don't kick in until about two weeks after starting a medication, however within the first few days, I started to feel better. I had this stability about me; a feeling of calm.

It was around this time that I also sought answers for my suspicions of ADHD. I had had the last straw of being forgetful, sidetracked, and getting tasks mixed up at work. I went for an evaluation and it turned out I was right (I know I've touched on this in my earlier blogs)! I was prescribed Concerta, which did little more than give me a whopper of a headache when I would start to come off it at night, so I switched to Adderall, which has been a godsend for me. I am able to stay focused and in the zone at work.

Later came Wellbutrin when I started to notice feeling down in the wintertime about 5 years ago. This was a two-fer, as it also acts as a stimulant! Finally after changing psychiatrists after the whole Asperger's dispute, my new psychiatrist prescribed Abilify after I told her I still struggle with anxiety at times and was a compulsive skin-picker. I noticed a much calmer feeling after starting that as well, and a year later, I hardly pick at all anymore! :)

I know this is getting rather lengthy, so I'll cut it short. In a nutshell, medications have been very helpful to me. I understand that not everyone has the same experience, and this is just a snapshot of my experience. Luckily, I've had no side effects!