Time Together and Painting The TARDIS

TheTARDISStamp.jpgIt has been a laid back Sunday.

There is a tonne of stuff I probably should have been doing… like cleaning, or dusting, or some other kind of household chore…

We threw that off…

We had a laid back Sunday

H and I painted.

I encouraged him to explore with colour and touch and to experience the paint and canvas in a sensory way.

We painted and talked, and painted and talked some more.

And then, when he was done, H abandoned me to build a TARDIS in Minecraft.

He said he was making it for me… which may be trifle suspect because I don’t actually play Minecraft.

Fingerpainting.jpgI love his painting.

TheTARDIS.jpgInspired by H’s picture and the Vincent van Gogh episode, I painted a Doctor Who themed image as well. You can see the TARDIS and a wee bit of a Dalek hidden in there amongst the swirls.

PAinting.jpg

And now we are watching Doctor Who while dinner is in the oven.

I treasure these times because I am very aware that H is perched on the edge of adulthood and I notice that time seems to be zipping by at close to time-warp speed. I expect and understand that soon he’ll be busy with other stuff and that spending the afternoon hanging out with me may become a rare thing indeed.

Sometimes the pace choses me… but not today.

Today was a day to connect – to hang out – to share in and explore H’s current interests.

So the house isn’t as tidy as it could be… and tomorrow I am back to work, but I can’t imagine I will ever regret spending a laid back afternoon doing Doctor Who related things with this wonderful young man.

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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

Posted in Autism, Doctor Who, weekend | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rail Against Stigma: This is not a Radical Act!

Sometimes people think I am kinda’ a radical for speaking against negative stigma and organizations like Autism Speaks that perpetuate the stance that Autistic people are a burden and a tragedy.

However, I don’t believe that speaking up for human rights and social justice is a radical act far from that… it is simply the right thing to do.

Yesterday there was news of the third murder of an Autistic person at the hands of their parent/caregiver in the past month.

We have to rail against stigma…

Taking a stand against the rhetoric that is used to justify murder is far from a radical act…

It is collective responsibility…

Screen shot 2014-02-01 at 2.50.03 PM

Let me say that again:

We have to rail against stigma…

Taking a stand against the rhetoric that is used to justify murder is far from a radical act…

It is collective responsibility…

 
Related Posts:
http://raisingrebelsouls.blogspot.ca/2014/01/the-boycottautismspeaks-movement-is_31.html?spref=fb
http://30daysofautism.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/fear-hate-and-exclusion-its-time-to-silence-autism-speaks/
http://emmashopebook.com/2014/01/14/autism-and-human-rights/
http://amazingadventuresautism.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/autistic-people-have-same-rights-as.html
http://www.squidalicious.com/2013/09/on-autism-murder-apologists.html

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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

Posted in ableism, acceptance, Autism, Boycott Autism Speaks, Collective Responsibility, Rail Against Stigma, reframe tragedy | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Ode to a Book: A Poem by H

On Sunday I helped H complete his poetry project for school. He wrote this fabulous poem and gave permission to share it here.  We did a few cool photos to go with it as well.

Wellspine.jpg

Ode to a Book

Mysteries and adventures trapped inside

A thick body of paper

And leather

Wonders

Waiting for the next reader

To enjoy the magic

Of delight, happiness, sadness and sorrow

Books are filled with imagination

Which the readers shall enjoy

Pages that turn with beauty

And excitement

And curiosity for the next chapter

Story of any kind

You choose

Look through the library

Any shelf

Take your pick

Spine sometimes ripped

Sometimes smooth

It doesn’t matter

Just pick it up

Open it

And enjoy                                 By H, January 19, 2014

BuriedinBooks.jpg

H: “Hey Finnegan, do you want to hear something from my H.G.Wells collection??”

readingtofinn.jpgReading by the digital fireplace on his iPad.  ♥ I love this kid!!

digitalfireplace.jpgAnd… for the final reveal,  here is how we did the cool buried in books photo:

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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

Posted in Autism, poem, poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Fabulous Fringes: A Poem

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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

This post is participating in the T-21 Blog Hop. Here is a bit of information about the intent and focus:

“This month will be about social justice. It will be for calling out, for demanding, for saying “we are *not* going to be silent”. Call it solidarity for the angry. We’ll call it “architects of change”.

Acceptance, fairness, equality: these things are not to be taken lightly. We are not all on the same journey. Some of us have taken different roads; it is at our common intersections that we will now meet.

For three days, add your posts, both old and new. Let’s set the tone for a year of change.”                                            Jen

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Posted in acceptance, connections, diversity, Flexible thinking, listening, perspective of others, poem, poetry | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Who is calmer? A survey by H

This post is by H. We had one of our long drives into the city the other day and had lots of fun discussing various things, some very serious – some silly. H thought it would be great fun to share his ideas and examine the finer points of argument and considerations around the question, ‘Who is calmer?’ He came up with some rather amusing scenarios which he carefully wrote on his iPad.

Please take a second to appreciate his sense of humour and to respond to his survey so he has lots of fabulous data to examine and he can enjoy your perspective as well.

If you have another idea, H invites you to add it in the comments!

Happy New Year!

Leah and H

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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2013/14)

Posted in Autism, calm, Humour, perspective of others, self-directed learning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Doctor Who and St. Nick: What my child needed for Christmas

christmasmouse.jpgH woke up early this morning…“It is Christmas, Mom! C’mon… get up!”

Then quoting Mr. Scrooge he added, “I don’t know what to do! I’m as light as a feather, I’m as happy as an angel, I’m as merry as a school-boy…”

H loves Christmas and even at 15 he desperately wants to believe in Santa. As far as I am concerned – if it gives him joy – go for it buddy! I did meddle with this years ago – when H was in grade three… but I learned my lesson. (There is a link to that story at the end of this post.)

On Christmas Eve, H left out milk and some brownies that he made for Santa and a few carrots for his reindeer. Christmas morning, as is our tradition, he was met with a note of thanks and encouragement from the Jolly Old Soul. H read the note aloud to us:

Dear H,

Thank you, as always, for the thoughtful snacks. You have the true spirit of Christmas in your heart. I see this in so many of the things you do: the money you have raised with your wand project is a perfect example.

You are a craftsman, like me, and an inventor. You are creative and smart and curious, and best of all, you have a fine spirit and a warm heart.

I am proud of the work you are doing to speak to others about what it is like to be Autistic. You are helping to build understanding in the world.

I am pleased that you are learning about self-advocacy, and you are co-presenting with your Mom, and teaching others about what it is like for those who think and experience the world differently. I understand that, my friend. I sometimes find crowds too much, and I like to have time by myself to work in my shop. I guess that is why I like to deliver all of my creations when everyone is sleeping. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Please keep exploring your interests and develop your skills in these areas, and know that these are important. Also please keep doing the work you are doing to teach others about the beauty of diversity. The world needs more understanding, and you are becoming a real leader, H, who is making the world a better place.

I am proud of you, young man!

Love,

St. Nick

ReadingSantasnote.jpgAnd there was a perfectly awesome gift…

SonicScrewdriver.jpgH was thrilled with his sonic screwdriver and proclaimed, “I am the next Doctor… I am the last Time Lord, but my regeneration made me a 15-year-old child…”

Ah…. I love this kid!!

❄ Merry Christmas from our house to yours ❄

Related posts:
The grounding and magic of tradition: Meddlers be advised
The Wing: Tales from an Aspie Childhood
Inventing and visual/spacial thinking: Got Milk??
Silliness and Invention at the End of a Long Week

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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2013)

Posted in Autism, diversity, Doctor Who, family, self-advocacy, St. Nick | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Great Chicago TASH Adventure

I am sitting now in the airport, awaiting my flight home to Vancouver via Portland.

It is a welcomed quiet; an empty space to pull together my thinking and reflect upon the many ways I have been nudged and influenced this week. I have a few hours before I hit the busyness of home and work to consider the impact of my experience.

I was in Chicago for almost a week – presenting at and attending the National TASH Conference. I have had amazing conversations about ableism, inclusion, communication, dissent, advocacy, self-determination, access, neurodiversity, activism, and the disabilities rights movement and more…

I met, hung out, and conversed with people whom I greatly admire: Ibby Anderson Grace (of Tiny Grace Notes (AKA Ask an Autistic) and one of the Chicago based organizers of the TASH Conference), Ariane Zurcher (of Emma’s Hope Book), fabulous Autistic activists like Zach Richter and Emily Titon (contributor at Disability Right Now: About us, not without us), and long-time disabilities rights activist, Corbett O’Toole.

These conversations have impacted me and I now must consider things from different angles; I can see new ways to shift my language, and to continue to take action over issues of social justice! It will be hard to leave behind the camaraderie of being with this community – and the Micro TASH events that grew out of our grassroots connections… but I am grateful for theses people and my passion is kindled anew!

I want to tell the full story of this experience – let it all drip out of my fingers to be captured on my computer – but there is too much to recount – and I don’t want to become immobilized by the impossibility of this task.

I took more taxi rides in this short time that I have probably taken in the last 15 years. I was besotted with Ariane and Ibby for reasons – too many to count – but feel I must share my admiration for their bravery in stepping into the street to hail a cab. Much to their amusement, I watched and snapped photos tourist-style from the safety of the curb.

hailingacab.jpgI was present for Peyton Goddard’s opening address. Here are my visual notes:

PeytonGoddardnotes1.jpgAnd, for those who might be interested, here is a link to Peyton’s site which has the recording of her speech: http://www.peytongoddard.com/2013tashKeynote.html

And… I have doodled a bit more on the long trip home… once again taking in the quotes from Peyton’s address that are embedded in the image. I was also thinking about Zach’s words to me that doodling is a creative and generative stim. I love that!

PeytonGoddoardBW.jpgI attended a presentation by Tracy Thresher, Larry Bissonette and Sue Ruben and was finally – finally -  able to purchase a copy of the film Wretches and Jabberers.

Ibby, Ariane, and I presented in a panel discussion: Autistics, Friends, Family and Educators: An Interactive Panel on Relationships and Multimedia.

Here is a cool view from behind the presentation table as people were still filing in:

behindthepresentorstable.jpgAnd too… there was the hanging out and socializing and late night conversations… and new connections with people I hadn’t expected to meet. I will likely have more to write… but just a little later… Consider this to be Part One!

This post is part of the T-21 blog hop. Please click on the linked image below to visit other participating blogs:

______________________________________________________________ 30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

©Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2013)

Posted in ableism, Activist, Autism, diversity, Neurodiversity, perspective of others, Social Hangover, Visual Notes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wright vs Right: Autism $peaks is Completely Wrong

AS vs Reality 5Please stand with the autistic community and those who love and support them…

Please visit the change.org Petition to the Corporate Sponsors of Autism Speaks.

Please sign and share widely, along with the other the links at the bottom of this post.

Please feel free to share and use the images in this post to support this project, and note I have included a template for the comparison images to help others understand why we are standing against Autism Speaks.

Please, if you haven’t yet, take the time to read this letter written by co-founder of Autism Speaks, Suzanne Wright, Autism Speaks to Washington – A Call for Action. (Trigger warning – I’d suggest you consider of reading this hateful link when young children/teens are away from the screen)

Screen shot 2013-12-04 at 11.11.04 AM Wright is Wrong Screen shot 2013-12-04 at 11.35.02 PM Screen shot 2013-12-04 at 12.34.17 AMScreen shot 2013-12-04 at 10.59.13 AM* Find out more about Boycott Autism Speaks: http://boycottautismspeaks.com/home.html

* Sign the petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/corporate-partners-supporters-of-autism-speaks-terminate-your-financial-support-of-autism-speaks

* The Autism Women’s Network (Amy Sequenzia):  http://autismwomensnetwork.org/article/corporate-supporters-autism-speaks

*ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network): http://autisticadvocacy.org/2013/11/2013-joint-letter-to-the-sponsors-of-autism-speaks/

*Paula C Durbin-Westby: http://paulacdurbinwestbyautisticblog.blogspot.ca/2013/12/boycott-autism-speaks-sponsors-and.html

*Emma’s Hope Book: Ariane Zurcher http://emmashopebook.com/2013/12/06/autism-speaks-and-signal-boosting/

And on a final note, my daughter Nika recently asked me: “Mom, which Autism Organizations should I support?” Here is the list for those of you who might be wondering the same… Let’s encourage the corporate sponsors of AS to shift their funding to  one of these:

______________________________________________________________ 30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

©Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2013)

Posted in ableism, acceptance, advocate, Ari Ne'eman, Autism, autism stigma, Boycott Autism Speaks, diversity, Money Speaks, reframe tragedy, self-advocacy | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Inclusion and Autism… leaning in

Leah Kelley:

This post has been republished as a part of the is a part of the Blog Symposium hosted by DSU in the support of:

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities

 photo DSUbannersmall2_zpsfa60ecbb.jpg

 

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Originally posted on Thirty Days of Autism:

AdvanceProgram-Web-1Today at the Inclusion BC Conference, I had the opportunity to meet Paula Kluth, and hear her keynote address about inclusive practices in education.

Her message is powerful and one that I embrace: Inclusive education is the foundation upon which an inclusive life is built. She nudged her audience toward seeing inclusion as a process and to get away from seeing inclusion as a place, ie: the inclusion room (and the irony here made everybody laugh). She talked about the constant adjustment and unending work to support inclusion, and get it balanced, and raise the bar, and presume competency.

“Over, under, around, or through – find a way or make a way! Inclusion is not about a place – it is about the choices we make – it is about what we do… ” (Paula Kluth)

So these powerful messages were resonating with me as I headed up…

View original 1,550 more words

Posted in Autism | 1 Comment

My Money $peaks: A Post Script to ‘Silencing Autism Speaks’

My Money $peaks is a call to action follow-up to  Fear, Hate, and Exclusion: It’s time to silence Autism Speaks!

There is a growing movement to inform and pressure the corporate sponsors of Autism Speaks to withdraw their support from this organization. An important part of this action is ASAN’s Joint Letter to the Sponsors of Autism Speaks. Another important part to this is the move to mobilize our voices to contact the sponsors and ultimately to boycott businesses that continue to support the destructive and stigmatizing organization that is Autism Speaks.

Through ending their sponsorship, businesses would be taking a stand for social justice and supporting a massive and much-needed shift in the conversation. You can read more about this action and contact the corporate sponsors of Autism Speaks through the beautifully organized links provided on the Boycott Autism Speaks site.

Here is an excerpt from the eloquent joint letter ASAN has written to inform the sponsors of the concerns around supporting Autism Speaks:

“…We applaud you for your interest in supporting the autism and developmental disability, yet firmly believe that your support would have a more positive impact were it invested elsewhere. As a result, we the undersigned members of the disability community stand together in urging you to end your support of Autism Speaks and re-allocate your donations to a recipient who can better represent the needs and desires of autistic people and our families.” (from ASAN’s Joint Letter to the Corporate Sponsors of Autism Speaks)

We have a powerful opportunity to let these sponsors know that we want them to shift their funding to organizations that support Autistic people and their families, rather than one that excludes the voices and perspectives of Autistic people, and focuses on spreading fear and shame through the use of negative stigma.

Boycott Autism Speaks! http://boycottautismspeaks.com

My Money $peaks______________________________________________________________ 30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

©Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2013)   

Posted in acceptance, ASAN, Autism, autism stigma, Boycott Autism Speaks, Money Speaks, reframe tragedy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments