Puzzle Pride Climbing

I know I’ve been absent from the blog for a while. Long story short, my father recently broke his hip, slipping on the ice about a month and a half ago. Time to write on the Aspie Epilogue has been scarce.

Perhaps you’ve heard the latest from the CDC, but for those who haven’t, I just learned today that ASD now affects 1 in 68 people. For those of you playing the home game, that’s a dramatic increase in prevalence over the past two short years.

Welcome to the blog where the numbers DO count, and the points DO matter.

This means that instead of 1 in 88 children growing into 1 in 88 adults with ASD, 1 in 68 children with ASD will grow into 1 in 68 adults with ASD. That’s a big difference from the 2012 numbers. A few years ago, it was 1 in 110. Clearly, this is a trend that’s not going to stop any time soon.

What bothers me about this is that now there is potential for another push to “cure” ASD. For many of us, this implies that there is something “wrong” with us. That idea is a myth.

We operate by a different brand of logic from the neurotypicals who create this myth. Even if a brand of logic is flawed — we do have a more literal definition of the world around us — it’s still a brand of logic.

It’s not that we can’t understand the world around us and contribute to it. It’s that our brains are wired to see the world differently than others. That’s not a problem, and it certainly doesn’t require a “cure.”

What it requires is resources to go into helping us use our way of seeing the world to advance it.

That’s enough of that rant for today. I have another important announcement to make today.

I’m still looking for suggestions for the 2014 Puzzle Pride Award recipient! I’ll give you guys all of April to comment and discuss on the blog about it.

If we get to May and nobody’s been nominated yet, I’ll have to call on random people, which is less than ideal for the intent of the blog. I know we don’t it to come down to that, so let’s get the ball rolling.

Until then, Puzzle Pieces…

Hallmark or How I Learned that Commercializing Emotions is Bad

I’ve touched on this before; this is nothing new. Today is Valentine’s Day, or VD to some (and there is a reason for that which is inappropriate for this blog).

Let’s talk about what this holiday has meant in the past: People fortunate enough to be in relationships spend massive amounts of hard-earned money in the hopes of pleasing his or her partner. If you don’t have a partner, you become an outcast.

All this “love” only occurs one ONE PARTICULAR DAY OF THE YEAR. What happens during the rest of the year?

Life goes back to normal, as all these supposed “lovers” wait another 364 or 365 days (leap year) to express their love.

WHY?!

If you truly love somebody, you should want to express that love all year long. Valentine’s Day makes no sense whatsoever when love is thought of in its truest, purest sense.

So what do I recommend for the “singles” out there? Love.

Love those around you. All the time. The Beatles once sang that “the love you take is equal to the love you make.” This is true.

Love even though you are angry, hurt, and heartbroken.

For the rest of you, show the people you love that you care ALL YEAR LONG. Do something nice for them. Don’t cut them out of your life for a day just because of Hallmark. These people need someone to show that they care today the most out of all the days in the year.

If you truly love them, you’ll let them know.

May you find peace with yourself, within yourself.

 

PS – I love all of my readers. Without any of you, The Aspie Epilogue would not be what it is today.

Puzzle Pride 2014 is Coming!

Hi, all!

It’s almost February, and you know what that means! The Puzzle Pride Campaign is coming!

It’s only two more months until Autism Awareness Month, and that means I need your suggestions for the 2014 Puzzle Pride Award recipient.  You can submit suggestions via any method listed on the Contact page (Facebook, Twitter, Email), Google+, or even by commenting on the blog! The winner will be announced in April, so stay tuned.

I’m hoping to also start a new Aspie Epilogue project next month in conjunction with the Puzzle Pride Campaign. So stay tuned in March for that.

How do you like the new look? Do you have anybody you’d like to recognize for the Puzzle Pride Campaign? Have any other feedback about the site? Let me know what you guys think!

Let’s Think Ahead

We all know the statistics on ASD prevalence in America — I’ve even posted about it before here – so I’m not going to retrace my steps on the subject.

What I want to talk about instead is what happens now? Where do we go from here? What do we do with these statistics?

Never send a muppet to do an Aspie's job...
Never send a muppet to do an Aspie’s job…

Now, without getting into polarizing and political opinions, I think the Affordable Care Act has some interesting potential to change the game in America.

Up until now, the bulk of the resources has been invested in our children. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what happens when our children with an ASD grow up into adults with an ASD?

Sadly, not many resources, if any, are available to adults with an ASD. I, myself, was bounced from my therapist and psychiatrist when I was in college simply because I turned 21, and they wanted to focus primarily on the youth.

Some resources like the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Research have started offering services for adults, and I applaud them for it.

I’ve always said to catch the symptoms early and treat them right away for the child’s success. What about those who didn’t get such early intervention? They are now adults with very little resources available. Have they missed their opportunity because nobody acted soon enough? Right now, that answer is yes…

BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE!

Here’s where “Obamacare” comes into play. I’d love to see families leverage the Affordable Care Act to acquire more resources for adults on the Spectrum. Since they can no longer be denied coverage because of their preexisting condition (i.e. Autism Spectrum Disorder), that starts to level out the playing field for adults.

Again, I don’t intend to start any political arguments within my posts. That’s not what I’m here to push. My agenda is simply advocating for Autism Equality. I believe the Affordable Care Act can be leveraged for that goal, though I understand many may not share in that belief.

The end goal for all of us dealing with ASD should be to provide the best possible opportunities for success for our affected loved ones. That includes our adults as well as our children.

I could go into the employment rate for adults on the Spectrum, but I think I’ll save that for another post.

Until then, let’s see how the Affordable Care Act actually affects Autism Awareness in practice.

Ask an Aspie: Fun-Facts for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Hello, Puzzle Pieces!

I figured that since I’ve been gone for a while, I’d return with something fun for this round of Ask an Aspie.

Bear with me on this. It’ll work; I promise.

Just last week, I tried to calculate various statistics about the prevalence of ASD for an Editing class assignment. Ultimately, the numbers were cut from the paper, but it apparently didn’t matter. I realized today that my method for finding these statistics was inaccurate.

I had assumed from the data that 1/54 were boys was the same as 1/54 people with autism were boys. That’s where my numbers fell apart.

Like that, but with more numerals and less symbolism.

 

So what are the actual statistics? Well, here’s what I found out:

US Census Bureau fun-fact: There were an estimated 313,914,040 people living in America in 2012.

I assumed that 1/54 of 1/88 of 313,914,040 was the correct answer for how many males are on the Spectrum in America. I realized today that I was operating under an inaccurate assumption. It’s not 1/54 males with ASD in America; it’s 1/54 boys in America. So I went back to the Census data. What I should have calculated were how many boys there are in America and how many men, then I should have calculated the ASD prevalence from there. Just for inclusivity, I looked up the same numbers for girls and women. Unsurprisingly, the split between male and female in America is just about half. No, really! It’s literally 50.8% female and 49.2% male!

I also discovered in my research that the prevalence is roughly about the same whether we’re talking about adults or children, so I used the same ratios for both groups. That would be 1/54 males and 1/252 females in America.

Please note: All of these numbers are American. Sorry, Kim…

So now, here are the final numbers broken down in various ways.

313,914,040 people lived in America in 2012.

That makes roughly 3,476,516 people with ASD in America in 2012.

Out of that, 2,863,013 were male, 613,503 were female. Furthermore, 2,647,093 were adult, while 829,423 were children under the age of 18.

To break down these numbers still further:

2,179,959 were men; 467,134 were women.

683,054 were boys; 146,369 were girls.

So, there you have it, people!

The next time somebody says you are one in a million, you can give them the correct statistics.

Hey, I never said it’d go over well… Just sayin’.

Eh… What’s Up, Doc?

My goodness, it’s been a long while since I last updated the blog with any substantial… well, updates (redundancy be damned).

The biggest update would have to be that I am a fully accepted graduate student now. No more of that silly provisional status.

I didn’t say I’D stop being silly…

My current GPA is a whopping 3.56 in grad school. I haven’t seen a cumulative number that high since high school!

I am now in the third week of my second semester out of five at SJU, and I could never be happier. Well, actually, that’s a bit of a stretch; I could have a job and my own apartment. Never let it be said that I look gift horses in the mouth.

…Most of the time, anyway.

Now that I know I’ve survived a round of graduate study, I’ve begun to think of what I might concentrate on in practical terms. I’ve always tried my hardest to help others. I am a creative writer. That creativity is my greatest asset, so why not combine my writing with my desire to help others (beside this blog)? What could I possibly have in mind for that?

It’s simple, really. I plan on finding out from my advisor how I would go about getting my Level I teaching certification for English at the Secondary Education level (that would be grades 7-12 for those of you playing the home game). I know I’ve said that many times in the past and haven’t followed through on that plan yet, but I’m gaining focus in my life beyond schooling. For the first time since high school, I have a solid plan for the longer term. My life will not lose its purpose after getting my master’s degree. That MA is merely a stepping stone for me. I’ve done some preliminary research on the Praxis requirements, and I’m fairly certain I can pass the Praxis II for 7th-12th grade English. Apparently, I don’t need to take the Praxis I — or rather its replacement test — because I already have my bachelor’s degree. Here’s hoping the best for 2013!

In other news, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Historically, I’d be depressed by now, but for some odd reason, I’m at peace with myself. I don’t know why, but I have more confidence about this year than in years past. I can’t explain the feeling nor can I explain what I’m thinking, but I’m more optimistic that I will be okay, even if I don’t have anything to do on February 14. I’ve been trying in vain to find a relationship for about eight years. Somehow, that doesn’t matter at the present moment. I just know that it will eventually happen. I have more important worries to focus on right now, worries like graduate school and making my goals a reality.

For the first time in a long time, I feel like I am embodying my catchphrase, “Find peace with yourself, within yourself.” That is the power of a stress-free moment of clarity. In case I don’t see you for another while, have a safe, happy Valentine’s Day!

 

P.S. – I realize I’d be committing a crime by not referencing Bugs Bunny in a post that derives its title from his catchphrase.

Happy New Year!!

This is for the ones who fight the good fight every day so that others won’t have to in the future.

This is for the ones who stop and help,

The ones who stand up for those who don’t have the ability to do so for themselves,

The ones who make the impossible not only possible, but certain.

This is for the ones who do all the hard work with little recognition from peers,

This is for the ones who must live through all the heartaches and joys thrown at them.

For all the people in the world who embody what it means to have Puzzle Pride…

This one’s for you.

 

Please remember someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder this year.  It’s not easy for us, either.

May you find peace with yourself, within yourself.

And have a happy and safe New Year!

 

HAPPY 2013, EVERYBODY!!!

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