Remembering school life as a child unknown to be on the Asperger’s / autism spectrum

Remembering school life as a child unknown to be on the Asperger’s / autism spectrum

the silent wave

Two years ago, before the damage to my brain last year, I was a more prolific writer, fueled in no small part by the newness of the discovery that I was almost assuredly on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum, a theory that would be confirmed about 6 weeks later by a licensed professional.

When one is found to be on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum later in life, much water has rushed under the bridge.  The later the discovery, the more “reframing” one finds themself (purposeful spelling) doing, in attempt to make order and sense of their life lived thus far through perception with greater clarity.  Suddenly, with such a discovery, may come the need for everything–one’s entire timeline–to be re-ordered, reassessed against a different measuring stick.  The “why”s and “how”s often emerge out of the woodwork.

And two years ago today, I had written a reflection on having gone through school, especially elementary/primary…

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Society Can Be Everywhere

My Joyous Feature

Society takes in that generous moment. Carrying it through a self-respected lifestyle. A more respectable role model shall take that perfect stand for society. Kind of like leads by example. That perfect thought shall take its toll through society.

Happiness takes it’s dependable moment for society. Finding that loving joy in a peaceable way. Society will take happiness into that wonders of life. Life will cherish it straight forward.

There’s an information for society that shall precede to a controlling start. Knowledge will cherish that power through society. Holding it against that much needed information. An information can guide society to a different level. Through it all, there’s trust in society.

Education will bring the main use in society. Directing in a perfect meaning to it. A learning method for society shall carry it ahead. Making it more like freedom or politics.

An environment for society can overcome that principle…

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Elaine Hall talks about Atypical Season II coaching autistic actors by admin An Art of Autism interview with Elaine Hall, acting coach for the Netflix series Atypical

How did you become involved with the series Atypical?

Casting Directors for the series Atypical called me at The Miracle Project seeking actors with autism to portray actors with autism on Season 2 of the series.

Why did Atypical decide to include autistic actors and actresses?

The creator of Atypical, Robia Roshid and the other writers of Atypical are dedicated to authentic portrayal of individuals with autism. This season they purposely wrote characters with autism to be peers with the lead character Sam. Robia fosters diversity and is committed to changing the way the world perceives disability.

How were the actors and actresses chosen?

The actors and actresses from The Miracle Project interviewed and auditioned among a broad talent search. The casting directors received hundreds of inquiries. The actors and actresses were chosen for the talent, professionalism and wonderful distinct personalities. At The Miracle Project, we work on acting technique, self confidence, self-advocacy, interview and auditioning. They brought their unique personalities to the casting call and their talent rose above the others.

What can we expect this season because of the new actors and actresses?

I feel you can expect to see Sam dealing with many of the very things that our older teens and young adults deal with i.e. leaving home, seeking a career path, getting a job, dealing with money issues, etc.

Can you provide any antecdotes about your experience?

Keir Gilchrist, the actor who portrays Sam, is one of the kindest, warmest, loveliest actors I have had the privilege to work with. The entire cast and crew were kind, respectful, interested, and supportive. Each shot with the Peer Group involves multiple takes. Each character in the Peer Group is filmed in a close up. So they need to repeat their lines many many times and then react many many times to the actor who is getting a close up. All of the actors with autism in the Peer Group stayed focused, their energy was terrific and they were incredibly professional. Keir gave 100% to each take even when he was not being filmed. Keir and truly all of the cast and crew related to our autistic actors just like they would anyone else. It was an authentic representation of diversity. One of the best sets I’ve ever worked on.

Elaine Hall, award winning acting coach, author, and international speaker, is the founder of The Miracle Project, a groundbreaking, evidence-based theatre and film program profiled in the 2 time Emmy winning HBO film Autism: The Musical

DVD Review: SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom

One Movie, Our Views

By John Corrado

A Halloween special done in the same stop-motion style as the delightful Christmas special It’s a SpongeBob Christmas! from a few years back, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom is now available on DVD after making its broadcast premiere last year.

The story centres around SpongeBob (Tom Kenny), who doesn’t want to be spooked on Halloween and takes to heart Patrick’s (Bill Fagerbakke) motto that “scary equals funny,” until an encounter with the Flying Dutchman (Brian Doyle-Murray) that puts his friends in danger proves him wrong.

The stop-motion animation, which is once again overseen by co-directors Mark Caballero and Seamus Walsh, is well done, and gives the episode an appealing tactical feel. For fans of SpongeBob, The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom works as an amusing and offbeat Halloween special that has some fun reimagining the 2D characters in a different way, and for everyone else it’s…

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A Different Point of Design

My Joyous Feature

A designing life can conquer on that building form. Putting that creates form in. Creativity can make a designing moment in that perfect situation. A moment to design something against extreme measures. A quantity in which things beyond that design movement can put a little something in it.

Love puts that joy of happiness through the idea of design. Making it more that just a facial characteristic. Sensing that a part of that designing life can be put into that work of art. Art can put a designing life into the making of it.

A perfect design can be all over. It can be observed around the architect of the buildings. That perfect design can be created by hand. Every design can be worked very differently in a complete manner. It’s like a personality trait.

Somebody in that unique, relevant has their very own design. Feeling like a perfect design…

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Mission of Saint Thorlak Missionary Thought for the Week of September 17, 2018 A Life, In Slices, guest written by Aimee O’Connell

image.jpegIn February of this year, I was asked a simple question: What source material have I seen that sheds light on the life of Saint Thorlak? Fair enough, considering that I oversee the online apostolate in his name and frequently reference his teaching and example in our weekly thoughts. I responded with a list of citations I would recommend to anyone wanting to become familiar with Iceland’s patron saint. I commented that the sources in English are greatly limited, and that, unfortunately, the closest we have to a comprehensive biography is the hagiographical Saga of Bishop Thorlak, preserved from the 12th and 13th centuries and thankfully translated from the original Icelandic. It is a marvelous document, but admittedly not a smooth read.

The discussion might have ended there, had the query not come from a book publisher. His response was one of those astonishing turns we rarely experience. His interest was more than academic. He wondered if I would be interested in writing a contemporary biography of St. Thorlak for his publishing company. Within days, we crafted an ambitious outline and set a rough goal of finishing “by the end of the summer.”

For the next six months I used that outline as my road map, seeking every accessible resource in English that would journey me to twelfth century Iceland. I repeatedly examined the same encyclopedic facts through lenses of geography, economy, family, climate, historical period and politics, hoping that all these slices taken together might produce a precisely computed tomography of the heart and mind of this great saint. I spent the springtime highlighting, referencing, cross-referencing and corroborating. My hand-drawn chronological timeline blossomed with yellow sticky notes as I read article after article on the lives, politics and careers of the Nordic 1100s.

Then, I put it all aside, and began talking.

For two straight months I refrained from writing. Instead, I called everyone in my path my audience and breathed wordly life into the two-dimensional stack of historical data I had gathered. I went full hog: I recited the types of grain which grow in semi-frozen acidic soil with only one season of sunlight, but then I explained why it was relevant to a family of five whose father was very frightened after the fishing season failed. I described the uniqueness of medieval Iceland being a parliamentary commonwealth among European monarchies, and considered how that might impact the development and experience of the Catholic Church. I reflected on how political change can be effected both from the top down and the bottom up. I mused that the paved streets and stone architecture of Europe must have been overwhelming to those who came from a land of low turf houses, unhewn basalt cliffs and stratovolcanic mountainscapes. I talked about the pressure one must feel to please those who invest their hopes, and their money, in their education. I wondered why some people are labeled as difficult when their studies lead them to realize how things might be improved for the greater good, if only their questions did not threaten the status quo.

In short, I told the stories of the elements that formed the life of Saint Thorlak. Not only did it bring the facts into three dimensions, but it revealed their relevance. Perhaps the literal subjects were obscure, but the empathy underneath felt familiar and real, relatable situations outside the bounds of time and place.

When I told why these facts were recorded in the first place, and why any of it might matter to real people, it became real for me, now. When I added in the emotion it evoked in me, it became even more real.

Thus, when I told the story of Saint Thorlak as a man with interests, feelings, struggles and triumphs, the encyclopedic facts became a three-dimensional setting, and the man became real in every way that we face the same variables of the heart and mind within the settings of our own fact sheets.

So many of us on the spectrum possess, and profess, great volumes of encyclopedic knowledge. Why? Perhaps because our bliss is in knowing something slice by slice, from every angle, as thoroughly as possible. Each fact may start out flat, but when we give these facts the breath of our words, they come alive, in three dimensions, through us.

If anyone will listen.

How often we wish others would be this thorough in wanting to know us, especially when so many are content with just the outer slice of our behavior. How we long to be seen in more than one dimension.

Back at my writing desk, the image of Saint Thorlak’s statue from Christ the King Cathedral in Reykjavik meets my eyes in a fixed, two-dimensional gaze. Most everyone knows him in two dimensions: one, the historical man, born 1133, died 1193; two, the bishop known for his clerical reforms and pious habits, canonized in 1984.

What if we took the time to think about him through those other dimensions: family, childhood, politics, geography, physical health, educational experience, tensions, hopes, disappointments, dreams?

He might not seem so flat. He might seem more like a person.

Continued next week.

Pray: Heavenly Father, how many dimensions there are to me, and my life! Help me to see Your presence in each aspect.

Contemplate: How often do I pause to appreciate other dimensions of the person in front of me than merely the first image I record? How often do I give others life through my words?

Relate: How well do we reveal (… or, hide?) a fuller picture ourselves by talking about those dimensions that might help others know us better?

The Village of Love


It’s okay to just be
in this moment of love
acceptance, respect, and friendship

It’s okay to let yourself feel and give
love, acceptance, respect, and friendship

It’s okay to let someone take care of you
Allowing the village of love to reach out
take your hand and welcome you

Rest as the village feeds you
gives you shelter, and protects you
with a reassuring hand and a knowing
that whatever version of you shows up
it is okay; that you are okay.

The world, our village
shines brighter
as we extend our hand
and welcome you
with love.

My daughter evacuated from her apartment in North Carolina ahead of the hurricane that hit this week/weekend. She had just moved there in August to begin school and had no idea what to do or where to go. She grew up with snowstorms and tornado warnings, and preparedness for those kinds…

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Try Everything

My Joyous Feature

[This is inspired by the song “Try Everything” by: Shakira. The song is from the movie Zootopia. It will also contain spoilers from the movie.]

You just want to try everything. There’s things that you want to do no matter what. It can be something that others believe that you cannot do. Others believe that it’s pretty embarrassed or being failed at doing it. You don’t care much about what others think. All you have to do is try your best at all times.

In the movie Zootopia there’s a rabbit named Judy wanted to be a police officer. Ever since she was little she always desired to be a police officer, but no one believes her. At the police academy Judy has to work extra hard and is the first rabbit to graduate. At the police station nobody will ever believe that a bunny will ever going to be…

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How to Cope with Negative Emotions on Your Own Terms

How to Cope with Negative Emotions on Your Own Terms

Dr. Eric Perry

By Dr. Perry, PhD

Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness.” ~ Joel Osteen

I am a mental health professional but I am also human and I like you experience a wide range of emotions. I am not a superhero with an impenetrable shield that causes all negative feelings to bounce off my chest. These emotions do penetrate my inner core but I have learned to set aside my personal hardships in order to properly guide my patients. There is a sanctity in the therapy room and the responsibility of helping others gain insight through what is often, difficult inner exploration must be respected above everything else.

In the therapy room, I cannot allow any personal hardships that I may be experiencing to contaminate the…

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