All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that. And I intend to end up there...Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking. If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison...I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way. Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

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16 January 2015

"I Didn't Always" by Andee Joyce

Triumph over adversity. Self-awareness. Self-advocacy. Creativity. Drive. Honesty. These are all things that put a smile on my face. They're also things that fellow autistic Andee Joyce covers in her awesome new song "I Didn't Always."

Normal Fauna is the vehicle for the songs and songwriting of Andee Joyce, an autistic woman based in the Portland area. Normal Fauna chronicles Andee’s process of writing, singing, and recording, and sharing these songs. Andee loves playing all kinds of percussion and drums and does her recordings using Acoustica Mixcraft software. As for her latest song, "I Didn't Always," Andee labels it as percussive folk-blues.

Click here to listen to "I Didn't Always" (lyrics are provided).

Gooooo Andee!

27 November 2014

Be the Cook, Not the Turkey: A Nurturing Thursday post by Meg Evans

Getting together with family over the holidays reminds us to feel thankful for our many blessings. It's a busy time, though, and people often get stressed out by extra chores and disrupted routines. So, in addition to giving to others, we need to keep in mind the importance of taking good care of ourselves. Then we can enjoy taking part in the delicious feast without feeling as if we've been cooked like the turkey!

Creative Commons image via Flickr (click photo for link)

Busy crowds and holiday music on store loudspeakers may be okay in small doses, but often they leave us needing to rest and recharge. Meditation, reading, and long walks in nature are ideal for relieving stress and getting into a reflective state of mind. This week I've been reading The Way is a River of Stars, in which the author describes walking the pilgrims' route on the Camino de Santiago. The book is a gentle, peaceful narrative with the cozy feel of a handmade quilt; all the details have been carefully arranged and lovingly stitched together.

Keeping up with regular exercise routines during the holidays is important not just to maintain weight, but to feel healthier in general. Familiar routines make our lives more predictable and less stressful; and when we don't let ourselves get too busy for them, we're sending a powerful message to the subconscious mind that things are under control. Exercise also gets the heart rate up and leaves us feeling invigorated and energetic!

And last but not least: Set aside time each day for personal projects such as crafts and writing, even if it's only a few minutes. We live in a culture that often dismisses our creative impulses as nothing more than unimportant hobbies, fantasies, and obsessions. But even if we never make any money following our dreams, they are precious anyway because that's how the authentic self flourishes by coming out to play!

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy. Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

14 November 2014

Poem by Scott Lentine: Just a Normal Day

Never knowing what to say

Never knowing what to do

Always looking for clues

Just a normal day

Feeling unsure

Totally perplexed with everyday life

Always on edge never certain

I wish I could lift this curtain

Needing to constantly satisfy my need for information

Always online searching for new revelations

Going from site to site

Obtaining new insights every night

Trying to connect with people my age

Attempting to reveal my unique vision

But ending up alone and unengaged

Feeling like my life needs a total revision

Just a normal day

If you would like to read more of Scott's poetry, check out his website by clicking here.

01 October 2014

Autism Healthcare Accommodations Tool!

The AASPIRE Healthcare Toolkit is now fully functional, including the Autism Healthcare Accommodations Tool (AHAT)!

Check out AASPIRE's web site to explore information and worksheets intended for adults on the autism spectrum, supporters, and healthcare providers. It focuses on primary healthcare, or healthcare with a regular doctor.

04 September 2014

Conceptions of Autism 4.0 Survey

Flickr/Nicola/Research - IMG_1367

(Image description: Several people in a coffee shop seated at barstools with window views. The main focus is of a person sitting on a sizable brown leather chair, in the middle of the shop, using their computer for research.)

Autistic researcher and neurodiversity advocate, Steven Kapp, along with fellow researchers, has designed an online training on knowledge of autism. The training aims to represent up-to-date "scientific knowledge" about autism, including ideas drawn from the neurodiversity movement. It is rare for training studies on autism to intentionally include Autistic people though this study is open to all adults. The study gives opportunities to critique measures and training, as a major part of the study is to see which aspects of "scientific knowledge" are considered relevant or true.

Check it out by clicking the link below! (The study takes about an hour and must be completed in one sitting.)

Conceptions of Autism 4.0 Survey

Gooooo Steven! Hip hip hooray!


The screen reader-accessible version has been verified.

With images:

Without images: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AutismScreenReader

06 January 2014