I think this version came out much better than the last one, don’t you? Expect a behind the scenes look at part of our production process sometime in September. As always, find peace with yourself, within yourself. Rock on, Spectrumites!
As some of my readers may know by sheer virtue of being involved in my personal life, I’m attending a very special Social Skills training for the Autism At Work Initiative hosted by the Arc of Philadelphia this week. Hopefully, this will lead to meaningful employment with SAP or another high-profile employer interested in hiring individuals on the Autism Spectrum, but this week in particular is more focused on SAP.
One of the instructors at this training is Robert Naseef, Ph.D. Here’s a bit more about him from our information packet…
Robert Naseef, Ph.D. has practiced for over 20 years as a psychologist. He is a graduate of Temple University specializing in families of children with disabilities and has published several articles on the subject, including the book Special Children, Challenged Parents: The Struggles and Rewards of Raising a Child With a Disability (1997) Dr. Naseef co-edited Voices From The Spectrum (2006) with Dr. Ariel.
Dr. Naseef presents locally, nationally, and internationally on issues related to family life with special needs and has a special interest in the psychology of men. In 2008, Variety, The Children’s Charity honored him for his contributions to the autism community. He is a board member of the Philadelphia Society of Clinical Psychologists.
In today’s session, Dr. Naseef had some nifty ideas about ASD and Acceptance that resonated with me, and he has granted me permission to share them with you.
Everybody is becoming aware that ASD exists, nowadays, assuming that they aren’t already. With numbers like 1-in-68, it’s hard not to. I once asked on this blog how our society advances to the next step to true societal integration and equality amongst our peers: Acceptance.
Now, in order for others to accept us for who we are, we must first accept ourselves for who we are. Make sense? Be the change you want to be in the world, so to speak. Show others how it’s done.
But what is Acceptance, in the first place?
In order to understand what it is, we must first understand what it isn’t. Here are a few ground rules:
- You don’t necessarily have to “want” or “like” the fact that you were born with an ASD. (Dirty secret confession time: There are times I view my Asperger’s Syndrome as being blessed with a curse. To be fair, that’s true part of the time… and false at others.)
- You don’t have to change your opinion on your experiences with ASD.
- It’s not resigning yourself to the fact that you’ll always have ASD for the rest of your life and using it as a crutch. (Crutch: noun: a mitigating excuse used to avoid accountability for one’s actions)
- You don’t have to throw in the towel on your life or any opportunities you may have yet to discover are even options in your life.
In short: DON’T GIVE UP!
Now that we know what mindsets to avoid, let’s talk about how to talk to others about Acceptance.
- Acceptance is the acknowledgement of the 5 Moments Everyone Will Experience in Their Lifetimes (First mentioned here.) To refresh your memories, those moments are…
- the Ugly
- the Bad
- the Indifferent
- the Good
- the Beautiful
- We must also acknowledge that for every opportunity, there is an alternative. So, even if you don’t get that job, or your relationship doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to… whatever situation didn’t go your way, there’s always the chance that some other opportunity that you didn’t even know existed may come along that may be an even better fit for you.
- Life is hard. Sometimes, we must face this reality head-on and learn from these experiences, no matter how painful they may be. Remember… The Ugly and the Bad exist for a reason.
There’s an old Beatles song called Let It Be, which I used to listen to when I would become depressed. Maybe you might have heard of it.
When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom: Let it be.
To this, I offer my own song (Because you all knew I would. It’s just what I do. For those of you just tuning in, “Hiya! This is what I’m like.”)
I don’t wanna fight anymore. I just wanna sleep.
Anger takes so much of me. I could just lie here and weep.
Tomorrow’s not guaranteed anymore, and I can’t go back to the past.
But if I just focus on now, there’s no telling how long it’ll last.
I just have to take it slow. One day at a time.
Things just happen with no reason and no rhyme.
Tomorrow will be better. I believe. It’s all I can do.
If you want a background tune, I just saw Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F last night, so the end credit song, Pledge of Z is still fresh in my head as a basis for this song. It may not fit exactly, but you get the idea.
The point I’m trying to make with all of this is we can all talk a good game about Autism Awareness and Acceptance, but how do we truly achieve this? I hope I’ve given you plenty to think about on this.
As always, may you find peace with yourself, within yourself.
PS — Go see Resurrection F if you’re able to. It’s so worth it. Not really relevant to anything on the blog; I just wanted to share that with you. I found it very enjoyable. Aren’t these little side conversations nice to have once in a while?
I’ve been so busy with the Aspie Dialogues and getting into the Autism at Work Initiative, that I realize I’ve been neglecting the Aspie Epilogue something awful, lately.
I actually meant to post this a couple months ago, but I think we all know my dirty, little secret with this site:
I get distracted from it very easily.
Never mind that, though. I’m here, now, and boy, do I have something awesome for you all! (And it’s not the gratuitous amount of commas in that last sentence.)
Back in May (This is that late, I know. Other projects. What can I do; I can only spread myself so thin…), I attended Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia with some friends of mine.
Oh, yeah! I also met a Power Ranger. Go figure!
You may ask yourselves, “What does any of this have to do with the Aspie Epilogue, Jon?”
I’m getting to that…
You see, I also met Charles Martinet. He’s better known as the voice of Nintendo’s Mario. Hey! That goes back to the title of the post! How about that!
Yes, I met Mario Mario’s voice actor in the flesh. I was also extremely lucky enough to have received this very special message from the Mushroom Kingdom’s favorite plumber, himself:
I happen to know from my prior experience working with the Kinney Center that Nintendo’s games were a giant hit with the teens with ASD whom I had the distinct pleasure of working with. For whatever reason, Mario always resonated with these teens, and they could not wait to go home and play some Nintendo when they got home. So much so, that the Kinney Center eventually bought a Wii to use on location as positive reinforcement.
I, for one, would like to echo Mario’s words above. You guys make the Aspie Epilogue and the Aspie Dialogues what they are. Without you, we are nothing.
So, it is with this, that I would like to award Charles Martinet with the HONORARY PUZZLE PRIDE AWARD 2015.
You guys are more Super than the Super Mario Bros! You’re #1!
Sorry, I’m a little late with this one. I had a scratched cornea just as I was getting ready to edit this, which pushed my ability to edit this back a week. Better late than never, right? I’m trying some new things with this one, so please leave any feedback you may have for it in the comments section. Thank you!
Hi, everybody! I wanted to check back in while it’s still Autism Awareness Month with an exciting cross-collaboration between the Aspie Epilogue and my other website, CGE Studios. I call it…
THE ASPIE DIALOGUES! *cue trumpets*
What is it?
Why, it’s a monthly companion video to the Aspie Epilogue, of course! I wanted to bring CGE Studios and the Aspie Epilogue together to create something truly unique to the discussion of Autism Awareness and the next steps it needs to take. I’ve been working hard to bring this particular episode out while it’s still Autism Awareness Month.
*Psst… There’s still 75 minutes left. That still counts, right?*
Why create a video series in conjunction with the blog? The blog’s not ending, is it?
Chillax! The blog’s not going anywhere! I just wanted to expand the conversation about Autism Awareness to more audiences. The blog will still continue as planned. In fact, viewers can even suggest new topics for the video series to discuss. In May, we’re going to discuss a topic that’s hitting hard and close to home for many people, right now. More on that when I post it.
Where can I watch this fabled video series of legend? I must see it!
Easy there! I love the enthusiasm, but let’s keep the excitement manageable. You will be able to view all the episodes of The Aspie Dialogues right here on The Aspie Epilogue! See how easy that is? In fact, here’s the pilot episode below. Enjoy!
I hope this was a happy Autism Awareness Month for everyone! I’m looking forward to next year! Peace out.