A Light at the End of the Tunnel

For the first time in a long time things are going in the right direction. I can finally start saving money again. The stress is gone.

This last year has extremely difficult. I was homeless for three months and spent the last month of homelessness out on the street. I spent most of my money on my surgery last year, moving to New York and then after having been kicked out by my roommate, I spent money applying for other rentals and on lodging at hotels and hotels which was more than three to four times more expensive than the rent I was paying then and the rent I am paying now.

I wasn’t sleeping well. My health was deteriorating and I was getting extremely depressed.

But I am renting a room now in a good neighborhood. I am finally back on a steady financial footing. I can start putting money back into my savings instead of constantly taking it out.

Things are looking up. Oh and my birthday is coming up next month on Halloween. I am turning 40 this year so I have a lot to look forward to. Hopefully the worst is over and the best is yet to come.

A Divided America

There are more white nationalist rallies scheduled for this weekend and next. I fear that this will not end soon and will escalate.

The same forces of hate and fear that drove Brexit are now stirring the pot in America. America has all the ingredients ready.

America’s Original Sin was failing to deal with slavery when the US was formed. The land of the free was created on the backs of slaves.

America’s second sin was failing to deal with the Confederates. They were not rebels. They were traitors.

By rebelling against the US, the Confederates committed treason. Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson…etc were traitors.

The Nazis were put on trial at Nuremberg and executive. The same should have happened to the leaders of the Confederacy. The punishment for treason is death.

Instead, after Reconstruction, former Confederate traitors were allowed to go into politics and enacted Jim Crow laws.

Instead of watching Confederate traitors swing from the gallows in the public square, we built statues commentating them as heroes.

Fighting to defend slavery does make Confederate traitors heroes. It makes them evil like the Nazis.

So by demanding that statues be removed we are demanding that monuments to the defenders of hate, injustice and evil be removed.

In my view there is no greater evil than the belief that you have the right to treat human beings as property.

And as I watch these rallies take place I fear the rebirth of the Confederacy and what comes next: a divided America at war with itself.

Thoughts from an old man on journalism

Old man to me at Starbucks: “Are you drowning?” I look up from my phone confused.
The old man had curly white hair that was in need of a comb and a multicolored ascot scarf over a black coat. His hands were clutching a book tightly. Moments before he spoke to me I had witnessed him staring at a group of older women sitting at the end of the long table at which we were all sitting. It looked as if he was drawing in his book.
The old man sat across from me at table.
“You young people are so obsessed with that stuff,” he said motioning to my phone “So what do you for a living?”
I reply I am a journalist.
I say that knowing I have not called myself that in a long time but I felt at that moment it was true. I was still surprised I said it.
“So what do you write?”
I told him I freelance.
“No I mean what do you write for fun?”
I paused to answer the question was as heavily loaded as a Hollenbeck burrito from my favorite Mexican restaurant in LA. He seemed to be asking if writing for journalism was fun or was it work. Maybe he hates journalists I thought. Then I decided to evade his question with an answer that was also true.
“I write poetry,” I said rather sheepishly. For some reason I thought he’d assume I was not credible as a writer if I had said blogger.
Then he mentioned the name of a writer he likes and asked me looking down his long nose at me if I knew who he was. I did not, but I lied and said I did.
“Well I know him and he loves my poetry, ” he said cradling a book in his arms as if to say he wrote it.
I sat in silence for a bit and then finished my drink not knowing what to make of the conversation I had just had and then bid him good evening and left.

Ohio Teacher Drags Autistic Child by Foot

Sadly this type of thing happens all the time to autistic children. When did a business an autistic child become an acceptable standard practice?

There are too many videos of stories like this. It just brakes me heart to watch this video. http://m.wlox.com/wlox/db_383186/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=XgCcqgk2

Living in a state of fear. 

I see what is going on in this country. I look at the photos from the protests in Charlottesville and it has me scared. These white nationalists… Confederates…racists…Nazis have risen up and gained a new confidence since Donald Trump was elected president, are just very scary to me. Trump fomented much of the violence we are seeing with his actions and words at his campaign rallies and by giving white nationalists like Steve Bannon and Steven Miller important positions in his administration. Protests like what happened in Charlottesville are now more common than ever. The number of people killed by white nationalists since Trump was elected has been on the rise. There were those engineers from India that were shot. There was the mosque that was bombed and now this young woman Heather Heyer and two others were killed for protesting against racism and white nationalism by someone I believe is a terrorist. These white nationalists protested carrying Nazi flags and Confederate flags. They share the same beliefs as the Nazis but that is what scares me. The Nazis killed millions of Jews. They also killed Catholics, the Roma, and the disabled. And as a person who is disabled I know that these white supremacists would try and kill me and people like me if they could get away with it. And Trump said in a statement that he condemns the violence but when asked by one of my former colleagues at ABC News if he condemned the hatred espoused by white supremacists at the protests he refused to answer. The normal reaction to such a question is “Yes! I do condemn them!” But he chose not to answer at all. He chose to walk away. And again these white supremacists would kill people like me if they could. I ask you to look at the photos and tell me you see. What historical images are conjured up in your mind when you see these photos? History says that people like this will kill disabled people and anyone who doesn’t fit into their white supremacist worldview like me if they can. Their actions today prove me right.

Source: My fellow white Americans.

Back at it

So it looks like I haven’t updated this blog in a while. Well dare I say shame on me for that? Well a lot has changed since I last posted in here. I now live in New York and moving to this city has been a lifelong dream of mine. I am actually happier than I have ever been in life. This city is absolutely amazing but it is also very different from Los Angeles where I grew up. Well I am going to try and write more regularly in my blog now, so I will be back.
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Asperger’s and Employment

The ability to hold a job gives a person’s life meaning. A job gives a person a sense of direction and a routine. Yet, for people with disabilities discrimination often exists in the workplace. It cannot be avoided as human beings we are discriminatory creatures. We label each other based upon where we live, our religions, our gender and various other things. Should it happen? No. Sadly it is something we all have to deal with at some point.  It is how we make decisions. It is how we estimate what people are capable of in life.

One of the most tragic and unjust things about dealing with Autism the shared notion that if you have a disability you are somehow less able to do something.

When it comes to people with autism it is different. Employers don’t have to offer anyone a job.  If they do it is because they believe you can do the work, but that does not mean their are not mean people that work some place. Having to deal with mean inconsiderate people is pretty much a fact of life for most people. Still, the way you deal with such situations and the attitude you have about your job are important. If you approach your work with a good attitude people will have less of a reason to be intolerant towards you.

There are a lot of misconceptions about autism and many people you may meet while in the working world may not know anyone who has autism except for you. It is important to remember that as you go about your job.

Autism: My Cross to Bear

Being an advocate is something all autistics must do. We must all come out. You can’t defeat ignorance if you’re hiding in the shadows.

I have decided to take a hiatus from autism advocacy but I will be back at it soon enough.Sometimes I get tired of being an autistic advocate. It’s not a responsibility I want, but it’s something I must do. Being an advocate is something all autistics must do. We must all come out. You can’t defeat ignorance if you’re hiding in the shadows. The decision to come out of the closet is not always an easy one. The first time I came out about being autistic was not by choice. I was outed by someone else. It really was not something that I was comfortable talking about. Even to this day I don’t like talking about it. To me its a just a necessary evil. I am certain most autistic advocates would rather talk about anything else at times, but it is something we do because we must even if we don’t always want to do so.

Often times we don’t come out for fear of how other people will react or fear of reprisals. Also some are afraid it may effect their job prospects.  That is because that for as much information that is out there there is still a lot of stigma placed on autism, some of it is self-induced stigma.

Even after being outed the first time I did not discuss it very much for years afterwards until I had  moved to a new town and a new school where I made the decision to come out and I ended up coming out to 32,000 people at the same time when I wrote what I believe was the first newspaper columns in my student newspaper the Daily Titan about life with autism I believe it was also the first weekly column in any newspaper anywhere. Now I talk about it more often. In fact, I do it almost every day. I am proud to be out and am not in any way worried how people may react to me. Their opinion does not really matter. People can think what they want, but I know I am and those who care about me know who I am and that is all that matters to me.

The fight does get tiring especially when you do it reluctantly. As my friend told me I have a responsibility to keep fighting, but I am tired and need to recharge my emotional and mental and physical batteries so I can pick up this cross again. Its  cross that only those of us who are autistics or are the parents of autistics must can and must carry.

When the time is ready I will, pick up my cross but at least I know I am not alone and I am not the only one carrying it.   

We Are Like Your Child: A checklist for identifying sources of aggression

I just came across this list and thought I would share http://wearelikeyourchild.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-checklist-for-identifying-sources-of.html?m=1

A Response to Stuart Duncan’s Deconstructing the self-righteous – when parents try to kill their children

Kelly Green wrote this response to Stuart Duncan’s blog which I had reposted here.
Since I am more interested in sharing all sides of conversation to help the conversation along. We cannot discuss issues such as this if all sides are not represented. If we don’t it’s not a conversation it’s a lecture. Ideas need to be exchanged for problems to be solved.

This is from Kelly Green:

When we try and get into the mind of a killer we are merely being morbid. Just look at all of the TV shows and films fascinated with murder and the reasons why people do it. It’s big dollar business. I sure don’t see anyone understanding and preventing murder much, do you? These shows will never run out of subject matter.

We are upset with the underlying hidden belief systems, that favor abled lives over disabled lives Robert and Stuart. The argument is just that simple. When a man shakes his newborn baby to death, do other parents and society “understand” and feel sorry he suffered from sleep deprivation? No. They don’t.
So we wonder why disabled VICTIMS are spoken of as after facts…”something objective” that needed services to correct the murderer and/or abuser’s perception of them? We don’t wonder why the person harmed was communicating in a violent fashion? Why is that? That is what everyone should be focusing on. Adjusting the factors that cause a person to lash out violently through pain, anguish and frustration. Not how stressed out, tired and in need of services, a drink OR bacon the parent is because of it!

A parent that will go to the proverbial end of THEIR rope and throw their child under the “hibachi” bus is selfish and in need of self examination. Not pity, sympathy and understanding. Humanizing and honoring an aggressive person’s dilemma is where the healing starts, not documenting it while begging for dollars to “service it away.” You absolutely will never resolve the person in pain’s problem by exploiting and/or killing them. Until parent’s of Autistic people see the world through the souls of their children and their personhood…we will NEVER UNDERSTAND this.

We will never even try to understand it. Why would we?

You can check out Kelly’s blog here and her website Autism Hwy here.

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