Kaelen's Story



is 6 years old and is one of the kindest souls you could ever meet. He always had a smile on his face! But not everyone appreciates his heart. This last school year, Kaelen was a target of some bullying and alienation due to having Autism but he didn't understand so it never really bothered him which is what inspired this video explaining some of his experiences from his own perspective.

Kaelen, you make me so proud every single day.

Love, Dad


Lila's Autism Story


SO, with the birth of our Daughter (Lila) everything was “normal” and her milestones were all on track. Sitting up, crawling, walking & talking. Then, all of a sudden around 17-18 I noticed she wasn’t responding to her name when she was called and her speech was completely gone. I went on google and looked it up - one word came up it was Autism. Then I noticed more traits of Autism that I hadn’t clued into with Lila. Her hyper focusing on stacking blocks (not so much lining them up, but stacking) focusing on pouring water from one cup into another repeatedly. I also noticed there was no more interaction with other children - not at the park, at friends houses or even at home. 

I made a doctors appointment right away to talk with my doctor about my concerns. Sitting in the doctors office, and explaining why I thought my daughter has Autism to him - he listened well and instantly put in a referral to a Speech and Language Pathologist for further assessment.  I saw the SLP the following week, and again the week after that. I expressed my concerns regarding a diagnosis for my daughter.

She then agreed with me and my suspicions - that was hard. So freaking hard.


Just so hear a professional confirm what I was thinking. I mean, I already knew in the back of my head - but this was solid. Ya know what I mean? She put us on a wait list to be assessed (this wait list can be up to 2+ years long - publicly funded) but we also had the option to pay out of pocket (so expensive and a trip out of town, time off of work, hotels etc.) When we realized how long the wait was we decided we would do all that we can to get her assessed privately. I got another referral from a pediatrician & family doctor (along with an assessment report from our SLP) and faxed it off to a private clinic. I got an email from the clinic about a week later with 2 appointment dates. One to see another pediatrician and another to see a child psychologist. Our appointments were only 6 weeks away.
We flew to Vancouver (British Columbia) and got to the hotel and prepared for our meeting. At this time, our daughter was 22 months old. 
We had our appointment with the pediatrician the second day we were there.

She confirmed that Lila indeed would be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Woah. We knew. But again, this was all happening NOW. It felt - surreal. 

We then had the weekend to go do fun things, play,shop and whatever until Monday morning. Monday we had our appointment with the child psychologist AND were also flying home that evening. We packed up the stuff in the hotel and drove to the centre. Our appointment with the psychologist wasn’t very long, maybe 2.5 hours?  And she also confirmed Lila’s diagnosis. Again, wow. We flew home, and waited about  3-4 weeks for the Centre to send the official diagnosis in a report. That’s how we got our diagnosis.. if we didn’t choose to go privately we would still be waiting for an additional year and a half. I’m glad we did it, and I’m so glad we “caught” it so early.

Jennifer Zeiler


Cyborg Johnny


I am Johnny

I was diagnosed with autism when I was 6 years old. I got expelled from several elementary schools for running away, being disruptive, and fighting because the big loud schools were to overwhelming for me. When I was 14 my mother found an autism spectrum academy non public school that was much smaller and better for me and I did much better. The school was owned and run by an autism mom who was special education teacher also. Only 14 students at the school. 


They taught me lots of social skills and how to communicate and interact. My academic level was always very high above average so they focused on my social functioning and communication development and within a year they helped me get a job at aquarium shop (my special interest) when I was 15 1/2 years old and I worked at their for 11 years. They also helped me reintegrate into my public high school (in special education class) for my last year of high school which I graduated one semester early.

I love to read and learn about history, science, especially dinosaurs, evolution, and cosmology.

I like to exercise and get stronger and walk my dog. I work full time at Trader Joe's and love my job. The harbor Regional center (developmental services center) helped me get my interview and employment. I live with my mom and grandparents and dog. I have an amazing girlfriend, named Catalina, who is also autistic like me and loves reading about dinosaurs and learning too. 


Thoughts of an Autism Dad


Today starts Autism awareness month. As all of you know, that is 24/7 365 with my family. I know everyone has their own challenges but I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a second to acknowledge the day. I still remember like it was yesterday walking out of the dr's office in a complete fog. I left before the appt was over so I could go to my car and cry alone.

“The sick feeling in my stomach didn't subside for years. Words don’t do justice with the prior sentence.”


I had physical pain for years. That started in 1999 and information wasn't as readily available. No internet! Had to go to the library! I was obsessed with "curing" Nicky. My type A personality had to “fix” my son. I don’t think like that anymore. I see parents taking the time to teach their children on how they can treat people that are "different." This goes for all children and adults with disabilities.

Autism has changed me. It's challenged me mentally and emotionally, personally and professionally. I've had many dark moments alone. Many.
I have guilt. I've been in a 19 year argument with "God". I strive to be a better man for my kids, but my boys have made me better and all those that take the time to get to know them do too. I judge those that don’t and always will(family &friends). I look at things differently through my son's eyes. I'd give my right arm for Nicky to ask me how my day was just once in my life. Take that one in for a minute. I am very protective and empathetic when I see children and adults with disabilities.

Everyone worries about their kids. Parents that have children with autism will plan their entire life out and stress with extreme anxiety what we will do when we can't take care of them anymore. Who will love them? How can I be in the best shape of my life so I can live as long as I can for them? This year there has been a new challenge.

Nicky aged out of school and so far I’m unimpressed with day programs for him. It’s a horrible gap and dynamic happening in society. We are still adjusting. Services stop for our adult kids as we get older and need them most. For today and everyday remember our kids are the real heroes. We are simply along for the ride.

— Bobby G


They Call Me Mr. Steve


One thing I have found a dedication to, and wanted to talk about, is the lack of jobs for adults with autism. What we do know is children with autism grow up into adults with autism, and our society does not give them the support that they need to find Employment. Only 14 percent of adults with autism held paid jobs in their communities, according to one May report from Drexel University Autism Institute. Speaking from experience, this makes it very difficult for parents and caregivers to have and keep jobs as well. This is because their time is focused on their adult child receiving gainful employment- which is a full time job in itself. 

I think the number one question I have been asked over the past seven years is if Steven has a job. The answer is still no. For most young people on the autism spectrum, transition after high school can be really tough.Young adults with autism have lower employment rates, and higher rates of complete social isolation, compared to people with other disabilities. It is evident this needs to change now. We need to do better as a society, to help these individuals that are falling through the cracks.

They deserve to have a sense of self worth, just like everyone else.

The transition programs in our schools need to do a much better job helping capable young adults with autism find jobs. Along with that, vocational rehabilitation in every state needs to work with school systems, and put more focus on creating programs and services to help them find jobs as well. If both school systems and voc rehab would come together, and make a joint effort to educate business owners in our communities, I believe their chances of getting a job would go up significantly. These employers need to be taught of the potential people with autism have.

There is also a lack of higher education choices for those on the spectrum.

It would be great if there were more programs in colleges and technical schools that would focus on different skills sets, so that their job opportunities are not as limited. Sometimes the workload in these schools are way too large a task for them to even try- so they don’t. Those on the spectrum have different types of abilities, and they need a type of education that can be modified: so they can reach their full potential. With the lack of services and available jobs, we as parents are left to find our own solutions. This is a very difficult–if not impossible–task, and I have tried to do this for the past seven years. I have contacted more people than I can count to try and help find employment for Steven, with no luck. 

A point that really needs to be made is that one size does not fit all. For some reason, we have become a society that says all people with disabilities have to work in a grocery store. This type of job, while great for some, is not right for everyone. We need to come up with more types of jobs for those with autism, that showcase their strengths and likes. Many individuals with autism have talents with art and math. While my son Steven does not have the motor skills to push heavy carts–or even be safe in the street while doing that– he loves computers and has a phenomenal gift of working with maps and numbers. As a Society– especially employers– we need to look at each person on the spectrum individually and not as one. I have said it before: one person with autism is just that, one person with autism. We have tried to make sure Stevens life has been fulfilled, even though he has not yet been employed. He has enjoyed taking several online classes, and works on his computer skills by writing stories. He also has continued making a lot of charts and graphs of his interests–mainly football–and I am beyond thankful that he is able to do all of these things. 

I will never give up on finding a job for my son, however, in the meantime he is loving his life as Mr. Steve. This is what he told us the kids call him, where he is currently volunteering in a school called Beyond the Spectrum. This is an educational program, which services children with autism and other related diagnosis grades K-12. I am so thankful to them, for giving Steven a chance to show how he can work in a variety of different ways. He has so much pride in volunteering and helping students with their daily activities. The interaction with teachers, therapists and support staff in a work setting gives him a sense of normalcy that he might not otherwise have. In his own words, he loves every single second of it. Although, he has asked to not work too much with the little ones. “

— Kelly

You can read more about their journey by visiting GrowingupSteven.com


Autism Outbursts & Violence


Freddy isn’t violent & he doesn’t self harm. Many children with autism do. & it must be heartbreaking. I’m hoping Freddy will continue to be a big friendly giant, but he does have outbursts occasionally. His outbursts can be destructive behavior. He’ll destroy anything he can get his hands on. He’ll throw & knock anything over that’s in his way.

This is normally because he’s overwhelmed in certain situations, or isn’t getting enough sensory input.

He’ll try to bite down onto something, it’s only been us a few times luckily & that was when he was younger. It’s normally hard surfaces that he’ll prefer to bite.
He’s bitten door handles. kitchen worktops, solid wood tables, a fireplace! Anything solid! He does this when he is frustrated or angry. He doesn’t know how to express himself, he can’t tell us he’s unhappy about something, so he’ll bite something instead. It normally happens when we make demands of him, or instruct him to do something, & he isn’t ready to do it. If something unexpected happens too, such as the battery going on the iPad whilst he’s watching it, or if someone has taken something away from him, he’s going to be annoyed, & find something to bite.


He goes rigid & when does it’s really hard to move him! It’s like he’s made of stone & he’s really strong! He’ll also arch his back, & digs his chin into your shoulder. He’s trying to avoid doing something he doesn’t want to do. He will go rigid & grimace when he doesn’t want to do something, such as getting dressed, or going out of the bath, but he doesn’t normally cry. When he’s doing any of the above but also crying/screaming & can’t be calmed down, he’s in pain, we know he’s in pain or hurting because it’s a different kind go cry & he hardly ever cries. He can’t be comforted easily when he’s like it.

He acts like this because he doesn’t know how to tell us what’s wrong.

This is horrible to watch, & there’s not a lot you can do to help. Normally we can grab him in a bear hug, rock him gently from side to side, & whisper to him until he eventually calms down, & sometimes he doesn’t want to be touched, it’s like it physically hurts him, & will make his outbursts & behavior worse. We just have to sit back & watch. We make sure he’s in a safe place where he can’t hurt himself. We sit & wait, & be there until he’s calmed down, & is ready to come to us.

Normally it will be because he’s constipated & his stomach is hurting him. This is the main cause. When parents ask me why their child is behaving this was, I always ask is the child has problems with their bowels. It’s worth keeping this in mind & if your child struggles to go to the toilet, this could be a reason for their behavior. Freddie’s outbursts don’t happen half as much now that he’s on medication to help him go to the the toilet. Bowel issues can be painful, affect your eating and sleeping routine, & obviously affect your mood because you’re exhausted, hungry but bloated, getting stomach cramps & feeling rubbish! He normally acts like this when he’s coming down with someone too, if he’s feeling ill & can’t tell me where he’s hurting. He doesn’t know how to rest either. He’s always on the move, so if he’s feeling unwell & doesn’t know how to settle himself, his behavior will be worse. He’ll need to continuous prompting to relax, & deep pressure massage helps, if he’ll let us do it! Tickling his arm & back helps t relax him too. Getting any medication in him is mission impossible, so that doesn’t help either! He’s normally having no pain relief & has no words to tell me where he’s in pain. You feel helpless.

If something has upset him earlier in the day, it can take a while for him to process what’s happened, he can be distraught about it hours later & be inconsolable. He’s sad, scared, & is processing what’s happened to make him feel that way. It’s like he’s tries to act out what’s happened, he can get really emotional. That’s why it’s so important for me to know if there was any incidents at school, & have a communication book, if something happened with another child & Freddy didn’t react at the time, that’s because he’s waiting until he gets home, & then his emotions will explode!! It’s like a delayed reaction, but if I know about it, I can expect his behavior to change at some point when he processes it. If I’m not aware of it, the behavior comes out of no where & I’m trying not to tick off all the things that could be wrong with him! change in routine can also cause outbursts & a change in behavior.

Freddy likes the world to be predictable, because then he feel safe.

We try to keep everything the same everyday. We can’t really prepare him or changes as we don’t know what he understands, but showing him pictures can give him an idea on what’s going to happen. He nearly is 6 & this isn’t something we could do before now, so the earlier years were more difficult to get him to adapt, & even now we aren’t sure if he’s understanding wen we’re trying to prepare him for change.

When were going outside & we know there’s things that can cause his behavior to change, such as crowds of people, different noises & lighting, we always have his major buggy. He can sit in that if he becomes overwhelmed, he feels secure when he’s sat in there, & having the push chair can stop outbursts or uncontrollable behavior. The behavior is a cry for help! But sometimes we can’t help, no matter how hard e try or want too. It’s even harder because Freddy’s development is several delayed & he’s non verbal. It can be heartbreaking. Over time we’ve noticed little signs, like I’ve mentioned above, so sometimes it’s easier to predict outbursts & changes in behavior. It doesn’t make it any easier to deal with though. We just have to try to be there for him, in any way he needs us, & be his safe place when he needs it most.

— Danielle


Marky Marc’s World


My son’s name is Marco Antonio Jr. “Marky”

He is 4 years old and was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old. Our journey began right before he turned 2 years old. The first time I realized his meltdowns were more than just terrible twos approaching, I was 6 months pregnant and we had gone to a baptism party for my niece. I was alone with Marky and my oldest son, we arrived at the party and the moment we walked in Marky screamed his head off till he turned completely red. Everything about the party made him mad. I did not know what to think I sat in a booth by myself with him to see if he would calm down, while my oldest embarrassed by all the starring eyes went to sit with my mom and his cousins at another table. No one could approach us, and no one even dared to try. Marky’s anxiety of strangers and even familiar faces was at an all time high. I was emotional and began to cry and decided to leave. I gathered my things and my boys and ran out the party before anyone could notice my tears falling down my face. I got in the car and like magic Marky was my happy go lucky boy once more. I on the other hand was a frantic mess. I called my husband and told him I how embarrassed and sad ashamed I felt. Everyone eyes were looking at Marky and me in full on judgment, never once did anyone ever ask, how can I help? All I did get is “What’s wrong with him? Why is he screaming? Is he tired?”

From that point on I felt deep in my heart that something was going on but I was not sure exactly what.


 A month after Marky turned 2 years old I gave birth to my daughter, Marky refused to go near her. When my husband brought him to the hospital to meet her he cried and cried pushing her away telling my husband that he wanted to go home. Markys Language at this point consisted of 1-2 word phrases only. We thought maybe once we brought her home he would warm up to her and be more welcoming, but he was not. He would cry and push me out of his room if I dared to bring her in with me. My husband is a police officer for the city of Chicago where we live, his schedule consists of 12-14 hours days so this leaves me to look after the kids on my own. Something that I never thought would bother me because before my husband I was on my own with my oldest for 6 years. 

Markys tantrums became harder to deal with after my daughter was born because we began to have more visitors at home. Marky did not like this at all. We come from a very close knit family who frequents each other very often. My parents were at our house on a daily basis and my in laws were either at our house or we would go to theirs on a weekly basis. It did not seem to matter how close or often we saw people Marky’s reaction was always the same. As soon as the door bell would ring he would bolt to his room in terror and shut the door. He would not come out till everyone was gone, and if we did bring him out he would cling on to us with fear in his eyes and refuse to look at anyone. From this point we began to notice more things, simple tasks such as taking a bath became challenges. Marky was never afraid of baths before the age of  two, now to get him in the bath was challenge and sprint to finish as fast as possible so the screaming could stop.

Marky was very attached to his bottle, we tried multiple cups and nothing seemed to work, especially after he got a sore throat and go sick he completely stopped eating solids. He clung to his bottle for dear life. He was losing weight instead of trying to gain weight because all we could get him to take in was white milk in his bottle. Before he got sick he was eating soups with rice and vegetables almost on a daily basis bananas, and pears. At this point we decided to call early intervention.

He was 2 ½ years old and we were not seeing enough change in him to believe that this was just a phase.

Early intervention came to our house and did an evaluation they believed that he showed definite signs of sensory processing disorder. The sensitivity to loud sounds like toilets flushing and the sensitivity to food textures, only wanting soft foods and to touch, my Marky was not a hugger, he did not like to be held for too long he would pull away from us if we tried to hold him for too long. Early intervention suggested we begin looking into private places since he was a few months away from turning 3 and he would be aging out of their services. 

A friend of mine referred me to North Shore Pediatrics. We began seeing an OT therapist first to help with the sensory component, she then referred us to a Speech therapist because at this point if it wasn’t 1 or 2 words it was mostly screams that he used as communication.  Therapy was going well after a few weeks Marky began to get used to the place but he still cried every time we would take him and it was time for him to go in alone. I took Marky to his 3 year old physical and he had a major melt down at his pediatricians office. I began to cry and told her that I did not see many changes regardless of the therapy he was already receiving. She gave me a referral for a Neurology test to be done. Marky was so overwhelmed that they were not able to test him completely because he was not able to self sooth himself to stop crying. 

The weekend before they delivered us the results I just remember crying my eyes out in fear. Fear of what? I am not sure, the future, the care and responsibility that would entail with Marky, for my other kids and how this would affect them as well.

A million thoughts ran through my head and self-doubt was sinking in like quick sand.

My daughter was barely 1 my husband was gone almost all day everyday, how was I going to keep sane with 3 kids and now this, whatever it is. When they officially told us it was Autism, I cried for days alone, I mourned, I feared, and I was angry, angry with God, the universe and myself. Sometimes on the bad days I am still bitter, but at this point I think God knows my heart enough to know that my mood swings are a lot scarier than my actual bite. We were referred to begin receiving ABA therapy and continue the speech and OT. Marky cried his eyes out and I cried my eyes out behind closed doors listening to him cry, but little by little we began to see major changes.

He was calmer, he was speaking a lot more clearly and for the first time I heard I love you mom.

He began attending school at 3 ½ years old. The first month before receiving ABA he could not tolerate school at all. We switched schools after his IEP meeting and he was put in a blended program classroom. He absolutely loved it. There were no more tears and his aid was a seasoned teacher who had seen it all and embraced Marky with open arms. 

Marky will be 5 years old in March and after almost 2 years of therapy he has blossomed into the most loving, chatter box, adventurous foodie I know. His challenges still consist of social settings but the meltdowns are almost completely no existent. He blends in just fine with his classmates and is exactly where he needs to be academically. He still will not initiate first conversations with others, but he will respond and play and interact with his sibling’s and cousins and classmates when they engage him. He is eager to visit new places and travel.

He no longer fears our doorbell and he fully accepts his sister with love and compassion.

He is a protective big brother who cares for his sister and is quick to come to her rescue when she needs help. He loves saying hello to his aunts and uncles on the phone and birthday parties are his favorite social events to attend now. His food pallet consists of vegetables, fruits, sweets and carbs, he is no longer afraid to try new foods and the bottle is successfully a thing of the past. 

My fears have not disappeared, I still get questions or looks if he happens to flap or pace, or script from his favorite you tube videos, but my skin has gotten thicker and my voice has grown loud enough to speak up for both myself and Marky.  I am and will always be his number 1 fan. I cannot stress enough how important early intervention has been for Markys growth. It might have taken me a little while to accept that I needed to call them, but I will never regret doing it. It helped me set up Marky for a more successful and positive first school experience. I am beyond indebted to our team of therapist, for not only the support they have given Marky, but for the support and understanding they have surrounded our family with. It is definitely a commitment. There are plenty of times I just want to cancel everything and get my life back but when Marky hits a new goal with flying colors it makes sticking to it all the more worth wild. He is a shining star that brightens up the darkest of rooms with his smile and laughter. Marky’s last IEP meeting determined that his social emotional composure was stable enough to not need to see the social worker anymore on a weekly visit. Knowing that Marky is adjusting enough to have services removed from his plan makes me feel amazing. 

This year I made it a personal goal of my own to advocate more on my social media platform and share Marky’s story in hopes to advocate inclusion and understanding to all those who follow me. I have decided to run for Autism Speaks in the Chicago Marathon if you have a chance please check out the link to read more about why I have decided to run.


— Janet


Autisticaplanet's Autism Story


I'm Allison.

I was diagnosed with "autistic features" at age 19. My parents knew something wasn't right before birth. When my mom would play the organ, I would kick so hard that it was visible to my dad.

I've had lifelong sensory problems, mainly auditory.

This prevented me from socializing with others and, as is all too common, opened the door for hellish bullying in junior high and high school. 


I am a multiple suicide survivor. I have generalized anxiety disorder and depression resulting from biological and situational circumstances. 

I am that grown autistic adult who sits in front of the TV watching Netflix. Both my parents are deceased. My sister takes care of me. She works full time, so I spend most of my time alone.

I’ve exhausted all resources in my area. I've blogged and reached out to legislators. 
've done my part. I don't know what the future holds. I pray for a better one.

My blog:


Thank you for giving me a voice.

Allison M. Kramer 


I'm Autistic


I'm Autistic,

which means I may have "social issues" along the way that might seem very weird from other people's perspective. I'm aware that people stare at me, judge me, and even criticize me for being myself out in public if I ever stim or have another meltdown.

Being Autistic wasn't part of my life plans but I'm just simply born into it.


What I mean by this is sometimes in life we don't get to decide who we are because you can be born into what your meant to be or just deny "Yourself". I haven't had the courage to accept who I truly am for many years because people around me in the past made it seem like what "I am" was a bad thing. Those past years were horrible because I put more effort into pretending to be "Normal" then actually enjoying my childhood...I recall many accounts where I would try very hard to fit in with the other kids by hiding my stimming or burnouts.

Now that I look back it felt like I was "Alone" because despite me being with other kids and having my family..I was enduring all this alone where I've been excluded from people on many occasions, bullied, and even harassed..I been through all this "Alone". Now that I'm grown I still feel alone because not many people would understand what its like to be a "Ghost" in a world filled with people....I may seem hidden but don't worry my "Autism" stands out ;).



Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover


My sons name is Elijah he is autistic ADHD add and has two different types of seizures.


We knew he was autistic at a young age but I fought for years to get someone to actually say it and put it in papers. Elijah is 8 years old has a heart of gold and will put a smile on your face as soon as he starts talkin or he'll want to give you a hug. He don't understand he can't talk to strangers. He don't get stranger danger. He don't understand can't walk in the road he'll get hit. He don't understand he can hurt his brother by pushing him. And when I tell others they say well teach him. It's not lack of tryin to teach him cause I work with him everyday on things he does not understand fully. We have been thru so much. He can have a meltdown at anytime. He is like a switch. We have went out serval times where he would have a meltdown and we have got so many looks and comments.

It hurts me down deep to see how people judge us and say hateful things.

Elijah don't understand if someone says something mean. He just thinks it's funny cause he don't understand meanness. So when I hear it it hurts even more. He is such a sweet boy. I was always told never judge a book by its cover and that's what a lot of people do. They judge how he is acting. He is as big a 12 year old but mind of a 4-5 year old. I can't whoop the autism out of him. I just have to let him ride out the meltdown. I have tried so many different things to help him calm down when he has one but with him getting so big( he is about eye level to me I'm 5'2) it's getting harder to help. He gets very aggressive with them as well. We've tried soooo many different medicines.

But when people walk by and stare with their judging eyes you cant help but want to cry even more because not only do you have people fast to comment rude things or giving you nasty looks but you hurt because you have to watch your baby have a meltdown because they are hurting, overwhelmed, confused, excited but have anxiety and there is absolutely nothing you can do to help but sit in the floor and hold your baby. I wish more people knew about autism and was more understanding.


Sara's Story


This past week, Stella asked us if she had autism. I have been dreading this question for years and stayed awake a million nights puzzling over what words to use to explain something with so many faces. Learning she had autism was no surprise to Beau and I. We searched and fought for years for her diagnosis and knew the words before they even left the psychologist’s mouth... but hearing Stella use the word was enough to suck all the air out of my lungs. Whatever I tell her will shape how she views autism and her own self image. I answered her—yes, she did. It was just one part of her and we loved that part, just like all the rest of her. She asked if Beau had autism, if I had autism, if the boys did. When I told her no, she frowned slightly and said, “I don’t want to have it if Weston and Jamison don’t too.” We looked up people who had/have autism just like her and they made me read every single name and description and with each one, she smiled bigger and bigger. There were inventors and scientists and artists and writers. She looked at me and said, “Maybe everyone should have autism like me.” I expected tears over a confirmation that she is indeed different, like she has always felt, but instead, she just blew. me. away. 
We went for a walk a few days later and she was beaming the whole way, hugging on to me. I asked if it felt good to be outside in the wind, and she looked up at me and said, “It feels good to be me, Mum.”


Autistic Masking


Never hold your breath for one second if it means trying hard to fit into someone else's world.

It’s not fair that Autistic's have to act like someone else completely diffrent. Being "Different" is what makes us more unique in our own way that we're trying to get Neurotypicals to understand.

If Neurotypicals can see the beauty we see in each other then maybe we can actually make things "Crystal Clear" for those Autistic's that want acceptance.


Acceptance is something we strive for because some Autistic's have been hiding for months or even years about their own personal medical issues like anixety, depression, and Autism as well.

Hiding our other half is like asking us to completely "Give Up" on how we look at oursleves in the mirror knowing will always remain Autistic forever.

Many Autistic's have their own outlook on "Living Life with Autism" but most should keep in mind just because the world has information and data about us doesn't mean they know you personally.

The best version of you should be the person who doesn't hide behind a "Mask"...


Jordan's Journey


My 10 yr old son Jordan was diagnosed with moderate Autism at 8 yrs old.

We started noticing things when he was a baby. He loved to spin wheels and in circles, ALL THE TIME..  He started talking at age 3. He drooled until he was 7. But was a bundle of joy & a miracle baby. In kindergarten is when we started noticing behavioral issues. Such as hurting other children and not caring. It scared me to death. Me and my husband immediately took action and sent him to the psychologist. There they decided that putting him on a non-stimulant medication, was best. He was also very destructive and disturbed his classmates on a daily. I literally cried for 2 months. Until I noticed that is behavior and grades started improving tremendously. That year we decided another year in kindergaten was best.

However though home life was a different story. He wouldn't use certain towels and would throw Tantrums and we didn't know why. We got approved for intensive in-home therapy meaning a therapist was at our home for 2 hours after school for a year and a half. That was ALOT! I would personally call in sick so they wouldn't show up that day. WE ALL NEEDED A BREAK!! I thought it was way too much on a 7 year old child, going to school all day then two hours of therapy. When in fact it was not helping. His behavior did not get any better nothing changed.

I started doing research for myself and all signs pointed to AUTISM.

I told a psychologist and he told me no. I told his therapist they told me no. And this went on for months!! At this point I was practically in tears and felt like the worst mom in the whole world. I just didn't know what to do for my son anymore. We finally stopped intensive and home and didn't have therapy for a year and a half, because they couldn't find someone or just gave up on us. After a year-and-a-half a therapist call me and set up an appointment. I sat in her office and looked straight into her eyes and burst into tears.

I said "Look this is what we have gone through and nothing is helping and no one is listening. We are at our wits end. So if you are not going to listen to me then I'm going to get up and walk out of this office right now." She asked me what my concerns were and I told her. She said "Oh I am actually an Autism specialist." I could have kissed her.

6 weeks later, he was improving. She was doing autism therapy with him only as much as our insurance would a lot without having a diagnosis. She then told me that she would quit her job if he was not autistic. She then referred us to TEEACH. This is a top Institution for autism and they're testing is one of the best. After a year on the waitlist we finally got in, after 2 days and 8 hours a testing and about 15 people involved they gave us the diagnosis.

Me and my husband honestly thought he was going to be diagnosed with high functioning but he was diagnosed with moderate functioning.

OK!!!! We felt like we were on top of the world. And ohhhh how things were gonna change for the better! His Therapist got a promotion and left without a min notice or a referral. Just up and left.. Welp, nope nothing changed and we we're more confused then ever. Okay he has a diagnosis? Now what the heck do we do from here! Since then we have had two therapists, one was a male mentor and I had to let him go. He didn't show up on time wasn't doing much of anything and it was absolutely ridiculous! He had a father he did not need a male mentor. His behaviors and Tantrums we're getting worse. He was being bullied at school and on the bus, he was in 3 EC classes, tutoring and a small Counseling Group. The meltdowns and the Tantrums kept coming but they were getting worse.

Some nights we would be up until 3am. We were at the school three times a week. I didn't know what to do anymore. Me and my husband's hands were tied. After a whole year of all this garbage, the counselor told us the last 6 weeks of school, They had a therapist on the school grounds.

My thoughts? "Are you got to be f---ing kidding me!!"

So now he has a new therapist and she does work with autistic kids but she is not specialize in autism. He has been suspended from school and the bus. We have had to pick him numerous times due to meltdowns.

One staff member said "His behavior is a refelction of y'alls parenting." Another said "You need to have him committed for a mental evaluation."  "HE HAS AUTISM!!!"

After all that crap, he told a Teacher he wanted to commit suicide. Ohhhhhhhhh NOW THEY ARE LISTENING? Now we actually get help?  He still sees a psychiatrist but only once every two months for about 5 minutes. We try to explain that he still has meltdowns ect and all she says his "Wow he getting better, I see so much improvement." HUH?? YOU WHAT? She doesn't specialize in autism either. Needless to say the school systems are NOT educated.

Me and my husband will continue to fight and advac for Jordan. Why? Because we love him. He is so sweet and loving.

Jordan loves to play guitar, and sing. He loand sing. He loves to draw and do puzzles. He adores animals and has a leopard gecko named Henry and a goldfish named Penelope. Jordan loves tall laundry baskets where he can get in with his stuff amimals & blankets and rock for hours. His stuff animals are very real to him. They all have names and he speaks to them and loves and kisses them and tucks them into bed. Jordan loves to snuggle with me, his daddy and his Grama.

We just want Jordan to have a fare chance at school and education.

We believe schools should be more educated and realize my son is not bad he is Autistic. Jordan is very smart and intelligent and our goal is to have him homeschooled within the next 2 yrs. So, this is our story and I will for sure share more stories about Jordan. About his cute tics and Tic attacks, sensory issues and Aniexty, and the things that come out of his mouth that have made us want to run & hide. But all we can do is laugh.. if you are a parent with an autistic child you must have a sense of humor!"

-- Amy


How I Finally Got to Go to Summer Camp


"Every once in a while, I read an article that says something like “One of the things the unites Jewish Americans is going to Jewish summer camp!” This statement is then followed by some quotes about the good times people had at those camps.

Statements like this, however, make me extremely angry and upset. Yes, I’m Jewish, but not only wasn’t I allowed to go to sleep=away camp, at the camp I was allowed to go to – day camp – I had a miserable time.

You see,  as a child, I had a double whammy – serious asthma and autism (today, what I had would probably be called Asperger’s).

Before the age of 2, I was taken twice to the emergency room with asthmatic attacks. It seems like from the age of around 8 to 12, I spent a third of my time hunched over, wheezing, coughing and inhaling steam from my old-fashioned steam inhaler. At the age of 8, a doctor told me I shouldn’t take part in strenuous sports like basketball, should have only limited gym at school, and should spend a few months at a convalescent home.

While my parents, happily, didn’t do the last, they told me constantly that I was too damaged to do most physical activities. As late as age 15, when some kids invited my to play football, I foolishly told my mother, who angrily told me she’d make a special trip and stand outside the playground just to make sure I didn’t play.

As far as my autsm is concerned, at the age of 4 or so, my nursery school teacher told my parents that I was acting withdrawn and not interacting with the other kids. They recommended a nursery school, just established, for “emotionally disturbed” children with a psychoanalytic orientation. I ended up going there for three years. The psychiatrist there (whom I was told was a “play doctor”) diagnosed me as having “infantile autistic psychosis.” In time, I became more outgoing, formed friendships with the other kids and even led them in games. This continued the first year I was in “regular school,” meaning public school. Then, however, my mother had a breakdown and had to go to a psychiatric ward for six weeks.

Little by little, I became withdrawn again.

This was augmented by the fact that I couldn’t adjust to the sports-oriented, rough-and-tumble play of the other boys—not only was I very awkward, but I froze up when they threw the ball to me. I also had no idea how to take part in their rapid, back-and-forth teasing style of humor and was easily hurt by their jokes. By third grade, I was one of the least popular kids in the class. I went to a Freudian-type psychiatrist once a week, then once a months, but that didn’t help me.

Anyway, I went to day camp for three years, each year to a different day camp. My main memory is walking in a trance, trying to follow the other boys and girls wherever they were going, but basically being ignored. One time, in a vain effort to make friends, I bought some sort of Tinker Toy in to camp and showed it to one of the other kids.

“Can I have it for keeps?” asked this kid, who was a bit of a wise guy. “Yeah,” I said. Even though I wanted to keep the toy, I hoped this would make me more accepted. I didn’t.

The second year, I did make a friend—another kid who didn’t really fit in. His name was Eddie, and he was always making up stories and fantasies involving imaginary characters. Since I was doing the same thing at home with my brother, I fit right in with Eddie. He called his characters the “Moo-Moos.” One day, we all went on a field trip to a school that had a swimming pool. Most of the kids, especially the boys, ran into the pool enthusiastically. I was scared—actually TERRIFIED—of the water, especially deep water. Eddie wanted to know why I wasn’t going into the pool. “Moo-Moos don’t swim,” I answered weakly. He went in anyway. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-20s that I conquered my fears and, at long last, took and passed a swimming class.

The third year, my mother told me that she had a problem with the day camp, and that the counselor wasn’t very nice. Therefore, she decreed, I wouldn’t be going to day camp anymore. My younger brother, on the other hand, still went to day camp during the summers, and even learned how to swim. Interestingly, around the same time I was in the Cub Scouts and I fit in fairly well. I believe the difference is that in the Cub Scouts, the “den mothers” actually planned activities, got the kids involved and were constantly interacting with them, whereas in day camp, the counselors took us to and from our destinations, but otherwise left us to their own devices. I remember when I was 12, my mother took me for a walk somewhere, pointed to a settlement house, and said, “They’re getting ready for the summer day camp.” I said nothing, but inwardly I was very jealous and EXTREMELY angry because I still wanted to go.

In a few years, my parents started sending my brother to sleep-away camp, one of the very same Jewish summer camps I mentioned earlier. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go because of my health, even though my asthma had begun to get better by that point. When it came to my asthma, there was no arguing with my mother.

I needed her to be in my corner, but instead she constantly said things like “You have to play with the cards you’re dealt with,” “You have many handicaps,” and, simply, “You’re handicapped!”

There were some special camps for asthmatic children, I later learned, and maybe if the doctor had told my mother about them things would have been different, but information was hard to come by in those pre-internet days.

When I was 15, I thought I found an way out—looking at a local summer job board for kids,  I saw a position advertised for a waiter at a summer camp. I called them, but made the mistake of telling them that I had asthma. “Well, we don’t know,” said the person on the other end. “We’ve had to send several of our campers home in the past because of asthmatic conditions.” I was so miffed that, for spite, I didn’t register for a “Teen Day Trips” program in our neighborhood – something that my parents WOULD have approved of.

In college, the summer camp issue came up again when many of the kids talked about working as counselors in summer camps. It seemed like 90 percent of them had been counselors. Since I hadn’t had camping experience no one would have hired me as a counselor. “Yeah, most summers I’ve work as a counselor at one of the summer camps upstate,” one of the kids said, as casually as if he’d said, “I went to the store to get a gallon of milk yesterday.” I could have killed him.

Fast-forward 20 years later. I was working as an assistant editor at a trade magazine when I noticed a small ad in the Village Voice for the “National Guitar Summer Workshop,” a music camp and intensive workshop in Connecticut for both kids and adults. I signed up for two weeks. I had a great time—most of the day we took courses, like playing our instruments in different styles (I played keyboard and bass), songwriting, composition, music theory and so on. At nights, we played in several ensembles—I was in both a rock group and a country group. The kids and the adults lived in different dorms, but we were all housed on the grounds of a fancy private school that was out for the summer. On lunch in the cafeteria, the “cafeteria lady” greeted us all with, “Hello, campers!”

I’d finally gotten to go to a sleep-away camp, 20 years late."

By: Ron G.


Ever's Story


My daughter is almost 5.  She loves being outside. Her favorite color is blue. She loves nursery rhymes. She hates bees, flies, lizards and things that buzz around your head. She only eats pancakes, chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, chips and hummus. She says the damndest things but doesn’t realize she is funny so yells at us for laughing.


She wears rain boots daily. She hates washing and brushing her hair, but loves playing in the pool and in the rain. She picks 3 books to read every night. She can memorize songs after hearing them one time. She is the tallest kid in her class. She LOVES roller coasters. When she is excited, upset, over stimulated, tired, happy she sways back and forth and spins her hands. Her favorite movie changes each month, but when she likes something, it’s all we do. She likes unicorns, whales, horses and “only wants one black kitty”.
She is the strong willed, headstrong, opinionated and brave. 


Life isn’t perfect, she isn’t perfect, I’m not perfect.  She is my best friend and she makes me whole. She is Autistic."

-- Through the Eyes and Ears of Ever


Kathy's Story

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Typically when one thinks of getting a hair cut, stress and anxiety is probably the furthest thing on your mind. When living on the spectrum sometimes things that come easy to others, aren't as east for other. Whether it be fear of scissors, inability to sit still, or struggling with the process of a hair cut due to sensory issues, the struggle is real. Getting hair cuts is a common struggle among those on the spectrum.

In this heart warming story, Jonathan who is on the spectrum struggles with hair cuts.

It's never been an easy task, and at times would feel like a nightmare. But all of that changed when Kathy and her son went to the local barber shop and met Denny, the proud owner for over 40 years. After just a few visits Jonathan was very comfortable. Jonathan has limited communication skills, but that doesn't stop him from expressing himself or limit his keen sense of good in people. Not mentioned in the news clipping below, is how Denny is a recently is a survivor arterial bypass operation after surviving from severe injuries from a car accident, yet continues to cut Jonathan's hair- without issues. His time and compassion has done more than he'll probably give himself credit for. I love uplifting stories like these. 


An Anonymous Story


My cousin is high on the autism scale. He was bullied mercifully and when ever I would hang out with him I would protect him. Being 6’4 he didn’t have a problem. I believe my mother was there. Like her I would rock to music and I had impulse control problems.

Grade school was fine. I had my friends and obviously my symptoms weren’t a problem because we were all crazy kids back then.

Middle school sucked. I was bullied like crazy, taken advantage of.

I met my only friend there which turned out to be the worst thing I could have done.

I got into high school with him and drugs and alcohol took over.

I could function with the booze. I had no anxiety or awkwardness but I’ve done the stupidest things on it. I have a son who doesn’t even know me because of a one night stand I had while drunk.

I’m a convicted felon. Stuff I wouldn’t EVER do sober.

Fast forward to today, I realized that the bullying made me a better person. I have more empathy then most people. I know how it feels to be down and I would do anything to help.

But I believe it’s more of my autism. I’m too much of a people pleaser than anything.



Bullying is never 'just having fun' or 'just joking around'. Bullying is long lasting, much more lasting than any bruise or scrape. I say this because it effects of being belittled and ostracized, stay with you. I literally think back to middle school, feeling insecure and gross. I mainly felt alone. I've always had a few but meaningful friends. I'm sure you're thinking that we ALL were all weird and awkward in our own way. And that is true. It's easy to pass it off and not think twice about it. Especially being on the other side of bullying. But for some this meant they dreading walking down the halls, or hating lunch time because they always sat at the end of the table by therselves, always avoiding the locker rooms and having to be exposed to people who make your life hell on the regular, or having people make fun of your clothes. Something a person truly has no control over. 

Kids taunt or point out anything different from themselves. I can say I've been on both sides of bullying. It's embarrassing to look back at now. Regardless of what it stems from it's always uncalled for to make someone feel small. Which is why it's so important to teach your children young to understand and accept those whose are different. Teach your children the beauty of standing out and lifting other's. Preach acceptance and inclusion. Every person deserves to feel welcome, accepted, and respected. 


Sean's Story


I think of my autism as a gift and blessing!

The reason why I say that is because autism has given me an incentive and an extra reason to work hard and to earn success! And when I  do earn success it will be more rewarding compared to if I did not have a disability and things were easier for me than they are for me!!


1 of my beliefs  is that the grass is green where ever you water it!
If you want to become a successful person and if you want to achieve your goals the way to do that is simple never ever give up, embrace and welcome challenges and work towards your goals 24/7!!"-- Sean 


Samantha's Story


Of all my tattoos this is my absolute favorite! Anna wrote the I Love You and drew the puzzle piece! Many hours of OT and practice went into this, so proud of my girl. Keep moving mountains angel, you will always be my hero 💙


Lei's Story


D is a very amazing boy. His mother is our daughter 26yr old, but sadly expresses that by yelling and screaming and belting him sending him to his room when he's not doing as she wants ect.

She has tried to kill him way before he we was 3 and told he had autism.

This is why my hubby and myself think he wasn’t born with it. She used to hold pillows over his face at 2 weeks old and throw him across the room onto the bed. He has had an rotten life with his parents, who thought being stoned or drunk was the first thing that mattered. We had at one point taken them to court. We took over and we have been the primary carers, even though he lives with his mother more now that prep has started. She's embarresed by his behavior. His parents split up a few times, drugs and fighting. D was not looked after at all.

At this point in time were in the middle of family court to stop his father from seeing him after 3 years of sexual abuse. 

We're so proud of him, as he has had such a life you would never wish on the worst person in the world. With everything with us, he hates going to his mothers. But on the other hand, loves her and still wants to go but not for too long. We hated it when he started school as that ment more time with his mother and new boyfriend.

In all of his life which was with us, it's so sad and were doing the best we can.

D does not have meltdowns with us, but he plays up so much for his mother and we believe he has them with her daily. He has also born with clubbed feet not too bad, but parents never really looked after them. He's now suffering with for this. He cant jump nor run to far walk for too long. His parents love the attention when medical people are around, fake tears. A lot of it is sad, when hes had to been under a general anesthesia and crying on.

Waking as he hates bandaids his mother would smack him and the staff sister told her, "He's just coming around. He's just upset.", mother would say, "Well he knows its gotta stay on his hand, so he can just get over it."  

Ok, thats his short story, you can see now why we love him even more than as much. We have been fighting all his life with our daughter and his father since he was 45 mins old, after he was born. From the moment a beautiful baby boy came into this world he has suffered at the hands of our daughter and his father.