Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 8 - Page 50

“Advocating for autistic children on “The Hill” was an unexpected opportunity for me to see what I want to do in life by helping me to overcome my fear of sharing personal problems with strangers. Advertising my disability was difficult, and I was submitting my opinions and experiences for judgment by senators and other autism advocates alike. I’ve tried so hard to blend in with children my age who are “neurotypical,” and so far it has only led to depression. Now that I’ve started to embrace who I am and not who other people expect me to be, I’ve had an opportunity to speak up about the injustice I see in American schools towards other children like me. Now that I live in the Washington DC area, I wish to further advocate for other autistic people in America. I hope to convince politicians to pass legislation to further benefit us.” ~ Thomas “My son tried every sport in school and did not like any of them. He struggled with the motor skills part of the sport and the loud crowds. The pushing and shoving in certain sports he cannot handle. I got books and magazines that highlighted so many other men and their achievements in areas other than sports. School, at least ours, puts so much emphasis on sports that it was tearing him down. We are now finding other avenues that perhaps my son will really enjoy. He is trying computer groups, drama, singing, and even mechanics. What surprised me is that mechanics is what seems to be the best match. He can fix cars and put together models without instructions. He is now excited to go to school, and hopefully soon he will even have friends that he has something in common with. Keep searching and never give up.” ~ Anna, Tucson, AZ “My dysgraphia makes it hard for me to physically write even though I know what I want to write. This made English class terrible for me because I really enjoy the creative portion of writing and have lots of great ideas. After much frustration I was finally given the accommodation to use a computer or any typing device. This meant I had to learn how to type. It was hard at first, but soon I realized that typing was much faster and easier than writing, allowing me to type a paragraph thrice as fast as it would take me to write. Now I get all A’s in English and can type even faster than my mom can, and she is a writer!” ~ Jacob, 15, Virginia “For the last two months, my every thought and effort has been to dig down deeper than ever to finally type with no touch from anyone. To say this is difficult is beyond me as communicating as one not two is against my nature because I know the oneness of all as clearly as I know gravity (typed the heavy autistic in the hard world arena). Why now? Because I am told my new Neurodiversity book will not reach its full fun, healing potential without more validation, and I am here to help fully. Like Quakers who championed the abolition movement, I too sit in silence to discern and now understand that complacency is not part of compassion. One must do what one can. I think for myself but not by myself as I join you in denouncing the injustice of ASD discrimination. Pity free friends! ~ Barb Rentenbach, co-author of the new book, Neuro- “I am a Mother of an autistic daughter, and I am an Aspie. My challenge was, and is, not passing my own feelings, my own needs to my daughter. She is not me. Things I struggle with she does not. Things she is experiencing, I have never. Once I let go of Me and became simply her mother, life got easier for both of us, and we are now learning life together.” ~ Marilyn, Chicago, Ill. 50 ZOOM Autism through Many Lenses diversity: A Humorous and Practical Guide to Living with ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Dyslexia, Homosexuality and Everyone Else ZOOM Autism through Many Lenses 51