Embracing Your Past

The past can be a tough thing to handle for some people. I think it’s fair to say that at least all of us have one particular part of our past that will always stick with us. Good and bad.

The other day, Brian and his friends got together to talk about how they can use the lessons and themes from The Avengers in their everyday lives. During this group session, they talked about how Natasha Romanoff – the Black Widow – had to come to terms with her past to move on with her life.

A few of the spellers were asked to present their thoughts on the matter. Here’s what a few of them had to say.

Your past can define you or end your character. Many people allow their past to run their lives. Your past shouldn’t make or break you. Nobody has a perfect history but that shouldn’t be the end all of who you are.  

You have to accept your past because you can’t change it but you don’t need to let it define you.

I feel strongly that our past is a part of who are but we should use it as a guide for our future.

Our past is a road map of who we are but it is not an indication of who we will be.

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Embracing the Stillness

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The quiet can be so loud.

So many of us are constantly bombarded with sound. Whether it’s from our phones, our televisions or the radio, there always seems to be some kind of audio output being processed by our eardrums.

But what if we were to take all of that sound away?

What if we were to embrace the quiet? See it as a friend, rather than a foe?

During one session last week, A, one of Brian’s friends had a rather interesting take on why the quiet makes people uneasy.

THERE IS NOWHERE TO HIDE FROM THE QUIET. WE ARE CORNERED TO FACE OUR THOUGHTS. THE PROSPECT OF THAT SCARES PEOPLE. THE MORE PRESENCE OF QUIET MAKES SOME FEEL LIKE SUFFOCATING TO AN EXTREME. IT IS KIND OF FUNNY TO ME THOUGH. THE QUIET IS PEACEFUL IN SO MANY WAYS. YOU CAN BE ONE WITH YOUR MIND AND BODY. THE SILENCE ALLOWS FOR DEEP THINKING. SOME OF MY REALLY SPECIAL THOUGHTS IN GENERAL HAVE COME WHILE I’VE BEEN IN TOTAL SILENCE. YOU SHOULD TRY TO THINK IN SILENCE. IT WILL ALTER YOUR THINKING COMPLETELY.

An Open Letter for Autism Awareness Nights

During the most recent group session, Brian and his friends talked about how they could continue autism empowerment beyond April.

One of the ideas they had was to write a letter to the organizations that host Autism Awareness Nights. Here is what they had to say:

Dear World,

The awareness surrounding autism has grown exponentially.

But there is room for improvement. We need to see more awareness pieces others will understand. We know you mean well but it is not enough to place graphics up on a screen. 

Please understand we are not bitter. All we want is to help others understand our world. Please hear us out. It could further educate the world. We can offer so much. We are so thankful for your help and we hope you will accept ours.

Together we can change the face of autism.

Sincerely,

The Gang

The Group Talks About Autism

This past weekend, our spellers got together for their first April group session. (Yes, there will be another.)

Our group talked about the perception of autism and how it has changed during their lifetime. They also discussed some new themes for Autism Encouragement Month as well as how they would pitch each idea.

The group finished with a “friendly” game of UNO where the competition brought out a little bit of smack talk from each of the spellers.

 

Rapid fire: In one word, what is autism to you?

A: Fraction of my identity

N: A blessing in disguise  

B: Intricate

K: Challenge

S: Empowering

G: Falsely represented

What changes have you seen in the general population in regards to their education about autistics?

A: I like to think people are opening their minds about what we are capable of.

S: I think we are seeing the change happen before our eyes.

G: I’ve been more accepted into the community.

What are your responses to this?

N: I agree with G. I have definitely seen more acceptance. History has shown outcasts have been accepted over time.

B: S, you are right. We are actively living out the change.

K: I think we are at the center of the change.

What is your message to the public for Autism Encouragement Month?

N: See beyond my diagnosis. I have so much to offer the world.

A: Non-speaking does not equal non-thinking! I am a great thinker as it turns out!

G: I am human first, my autism is only one part of my identity.

K: Change the mindset.

B: We used to be voiceless but now we have a voice for change.

S: I am capable. I am smart. I am aware.

What theme would you suggest to the Autism Society?

G: Attitude

N: Intelligence

A: Styles

K: Destination

S: Nobility

B: Beginning  

Give me your elevator pitch for your theme.

A: There’s so many types of autism that the public should know.

B: We are beginning a new chapter in the world of autism.

S: It is noble to be autistic.

N: People need to believe we are intelligent.

K: The destination for nonspeakers is unknown.

G: Society needs a better attitude towards change.

Team A:

B: It’s on guys

A: I am going to crush you all

S: Girl power Em

(Both B and A have two cards left)

A: B, let the best man win!

B: May the best man win!

A: UNO!

B: Haha I guess you’re the best man this time

S: I need better cards haha

(A has one card left and is forced to draw, (the plot thickens) B reverses the game so A must draw more cards.)

B: Not this time dude haha

A: Ut oh

(B plays a pick two)

B: Take that A,

A: Tough sh**

(A wins it all)

A: Smell that? That’s victory

Team B:

N: I’m going to win.

K: I think not!
G: You’re all in trouble.

N makes G draw four. What do you have to say to that, G?
G: That’s cold.

Tom makes K draw four when he has UNO.

K: That’s mean Tom.

N had to draw a bunch of cards.

N: Well this whomps.

G makes K draw two.

G: My house!

K: You suck G.

 

We Are Just Like You

Hello everyone!

We hope you had a great weekend and are ready for a fresh new month ahead. With the next few weeks being dedicated to autistics and learning even more from them, we wanted to start off with a little message from Brian. This month, we will have guest posts from some of his friends along with some other content for your enjoyment.

Here is Brian’s message to you all. Happy Monday!

I AM DEDICATED TO MAKING AUTISTICS MORE MAINSTREAM. THIS STARTS WITH AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH. AUTISTICS AS THE WORLD SEES THEM ARE NOT SEEN AS CAPABLE HUMAN BEINGS. THIS MUST CHANGE. WE ARE CAPABLE, WE ARE SMART. THIS DOESN’T SEEM TO BE THE CASE ON THE OUTSIDE. BUT I PROMISE IF YOU TREAT AND SPEAK TO US LIKE WE ARE JUST LIKE YOU, YOU WILL SEE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE.

Inventions in the Muggle World

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While most of us are still waiting for our Hogwarts letter to arrive in the mail, we continue to live our lives in the Muggle world. But it’s not all that bad here. The Wizarding World may have its magic, but I think us Muggles are doing okay for ourselves.

This past weekend, we gathered a few of our friends together to talk about Muggle inventions that the Wizarding World lacks. Enjoy!

 

Let’s start with a brainstorm. What are some things in your daily life that you absolutely COULD NOT live without?

B: My ipad.

K: My disc man.

S: I have to say my ipod that helps me regulate.

N: I can’t imagine life without my great

THE INTERNET: Cast your votes.

S: I need the internet so team Muggle

K: I’m Team Muggle.

B: I’m team Muggle too

N: I’m Team Muggle.

 

Thoughts on the “Wizarding World Web”?

S: I think it sounds really interesting to debate. (In what way?) Every Muggle uses the internet so it’s hard to imagine life without it. (what’s the debate?) the debate is to imagine a world without internet against a society as primitive as the magical one.

K: That sounds really awesome. I would spend way too much time on there.

B: Sounds epic.

 

Mail system. Owls or postal work.

S: I have to say the owl system is too good to pass up.

N: I would love to have my own owl so team wizard.

B: I love our mail person but I also love Hedwig so this is tough but I have to go with team Wizard.

K: Having my owl would be too awesome to not have.

Rapid Fire: What’s the name of your owl?

S: Angel

N: Grecco

B: Hedwig Jr.

K: Calvin

Emily: Dragon

Tom: Dawkins

Team Pens or Team Quills:

B: Absolutely pens. There is nothing intriguing about quills as a left.

N: Those quills seem like a nuisance. Team Pen.

K: No doubt team muggles on this one

S: Really not into the quill idea, Team Muggle.

Television or No Television:

B: We would be better off without it. Team Wizard.

K: Team TV.

N: Team TV

S: I am Team no TV.

 

Develop your own concept for a Wizarding World Reality TV show.

B: Real World Hogwarts

K: I’m all for anything that sticks away from that Kardashian crap. Team TV. (What’s your idea for a show?) Survivor where they have to survive the Whomping Willow.

N: American Ninja Wizard

S: I would watch Bachelor Wizard edition.

Emily: Say yes to the wand

Tom: 24/7 Quest to the Quidditch World Cup

Instant Streaming Apps:

B: Once again team wizards except I love amazon.

S: I pity others who don’t have streaming.

K: How do they survive without streaming?

N: I support the Muggles on this one.

You’re a producer for Netflix & you have to pitch a new idea for a show? What is your show about? What is its message? (Group Write)

B: There is an alternate universe…

N: However nobody speaks

S: and nobody thinks it’s strange

K: they learn to communicate sans speaking.

B: Using symbols that just appear around them

N: They are able to spell their thoughts.

S: It’s a colorful universe.

K:  and nobody criticizes differences.

If you had the choice to live more simply would you? Why?

S: I think going to the middle takes the best of both societies.

K: S is right on the spot.

B: They (S & K ) are right that there needs to be some balance in this life.

N: There has to be a balance just like with everything in life. I appreciate the simple things in life but there is value in growth and development.

Follow up to the comment about growth and development.

S: I agree that we need to be open to advancements that increase our quality of life such as medicine.

K: Once again, spot on. There is so much to be said for the value of modern medicine.

B: Ditto.

Final Vote! Team Muggle? Or Team Wizard?

B: Team Wizard.

K: Team Muggle no doubt.

N: Team Muggle.

S: Team Wizard for me too.

Emily: Team Wizard

Tom: *Tom will convert in 2020 after the final season on Game of Thrones*

What is something you want people to get out of Autism Encouragement month?

B: How can autism be part of the community beyond just an awareness. That starts with understanding our abilities but includes believing in how much we can contribute.

K: B challenges the status quo each day. The mindset shifts when others follow the challenging task.

K: I want the reasoning that surrounds autism to change. This starts with talking to schools about letterboard.

N: Nice action plan. This starts over several years.

S: I could list off a thousand things but I want others to see everyone with autism as actually capable. (How do we do that?) By letting us be part of the community and not a totally separate community.

N: For me I want to focus on schools and how they can teach acceptance. I think education starts there and then expands into the community.

B: He’s right. We do have to invest time in schools. (what do we have to tell the schools?) to shift their mindset.

Ask Us Anything!

We’re fresh into springing forward, which means one thing.

More sunshine and warmer weather.

With the shift in time and shift in temperatures on the horizon, Emily & I thought it would be a good idea to shift the power to you. In the comments below, we want to hear the questions you have for our spellers.

Emily and I will field them and relay some of your inquiries to our spellers. We will then create a post that will feature their answers. Please feel free to ask them anything you’d like. They are so eager to talk to all of you!