Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 8 - Page 12

WANTED turned around. You’re not a monster, and you’re not invisible. You’re just imperfect. And now, you’ll also find that you are very, very sick. Self-harm isn’t about attention-seeking. It’s about control. The reality is that there are a lot more things in life we can’t control than those we can. You can’t engineer every conversation or job or date or class. But you can be one-hundredpercent in charge of how you respond to your triggers. Lastly, do not say “I’m fine” when you’re not. No matter how alone you feel — no matter how to-blame you believe you are — you aren’t. I’m telling you this from personal experience, my friend. You deserve — you need — real people in your life who aren’t afraid of sadness. Real people — parents, siblings, counselors, teachers — who will come closer when you cry. Who will put a hand softly on your shoulder or wrap you in a hug and say, “No, you’re not. And I’m still not leaving.” SUZANNE “BEANE” CHANESMAN FOR CREATIVE & DETAIL-ORIENTED DESIGN TM www.beanedesign.com info@beanedesign.com 12 ZOOM Autism through Many Lenses Jennifer O’Toole is the creator of Asperkids LLC, and author of the internationally-bestselling Asperkids book series (2012-15). Jennifer has been appointed to the Autism Society of America’s Advisory Panel, recognized as one of the “World’s Top Aspie Mentors,” and is the winner of the Temple Grandin Global Contribution Award. She’s been featured in Scientific American, advised the President’s Council at the White House and collaborated with Sesame Street on their first autistic character. Jennifer is the mom of three (awesome) Asperkids, and proudly, is an Aspie, herself. ZOOM Autism through Many Lenses 13