FAR FROM THE TREE
I recommend you read, “Far From the Tree.” It will put things in a better perspective for you. It will motivate and educate you. This book will give you insight and help you know you are not alone. Andrew Solomon is The National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of fourteen national awards, including the 2001 National Book Award. “Far From the Tree” is National Book Critic Circle Award Winner and 10 Best Books on the New York Times Book Review (2012). Mr. Solomon, I thank you and Autism thanks you.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Back in December, 2015, I went to New York to see the play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” at the Ethel Barrymore theater on Broadway. After the show, I was waiting for my ride outside the theater, when I spotted Tyler Lea, who starred in and played the main character of the story. I handed him a copy of my song, “Autism” and told him he did a great job portraying his character with autism. I explained to him, I was writing a book with original music to educate society and fellow autists about my life experiences with autism. I told him his performance connected with me as I watched the play. I fought back tears, because I started having flashbacks of my own life, which had laid dormant in my subconscious memory. I was caught offguard by his performance. I was quite shaken and felt insecure, but I reassured Tyler, that it was a good thing. I reconnected with some of my past and it gave me closure to look at myself with more educated eyes and widen my perspective and understanding of what I went through in my life. Tyler Lea was simply brilliant, along the rest of the cast and stage design. A great collaborative effort, you hit one out of the park. I thank you and autism thanks you.
AGAINST EMPATHY by Paul Bloom
On the flip side of empathy, here’s another book worth reading called “Against Empathy,” the Case for Rational Compassion by Paul Bloom. This book makes you question empathy and compassion and see it in a different light. It might rattle your cage, but knowledge expands one’s perspective. When l have a strong belief in something and someone offers a different opinion on the same subject, l am intrigued to hear what that person has to say, especially if it is an educated opinion. Bloom really delved into his research and presented a pro and con view to empathy. There is a lot of food for thought in his reasoning. It was a really eye-opening read. Initially, l felt outraged and annoyed and was in total opposition to what Bloom surmised about empathy, but there were times l was in total agreement with him. After absorbing what l read, l felt there was some strong merit in his argument about empathy. He made me question and re-evaluate my thoughts on the subject. It would make for a great debate. The art of conversation with a cold libation in hand. Thanks for the read and expanding my thinking process, Mr. Bloom.
STYX IN CONCERT
On November 10 2015, I went to see STYX in concert, at the Music Center in Strathmore, North Bethesda, MD. It was a concert benefiting Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC). I have been to many concerts over the years and STYX was one of the best sounding concerts I have experienced. STYX communicated with the audience and the crowd responded. Their performance was stellar. The band was tight and balanced and they moved on stage effortlessly, while looking cool, relaxed and having fun, as they performed. Their performance was as good as it gets. They have befriended time, not given in to it. It’s amazing that STYX continues to perform at the top of their game. The icing on the cake is this concert benefited Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC) and their long-standing partner, The Insurance Exchange and UnitedHealthcare for their support of this spectacular event. I thank you and Autism thanks you.
AUTISM CONFERENCE IN PHILADELPHIA. (April 12, 2019)
I went to the Autism Conference held at the Convention Center in Philadelphia on April 12, 2019. The speakers were Temple Grandin, Anita Lesko and Dr. Raun Melmed, MD.
As they shared their words of wisdom, educating a grateful audience, a question and answer format was conducted after each speaker was finished. I could personally connect with some of their stories, experiences and appreciated their valued opinions pertaining to autism and all it entails.
They validated my own thoughts and opinions, which encourages me in my continuing journey in life with autism. I met and talked briefly to each speaker about coming from an autistic family. I mentioned the music that l am writing and recording to help illustrate the book about my own journey through life with autism. I gifted each speaker with two of my CDs, “Autism” and “Bullies Beware.” I am trying to reach out to people in the field and let them know what other people on the spectrum (Aspergers in my case, although we do not officially exist anymore) are doing to elevate the awareness of autism and how we can educate and change the indifference and ignorance that is prevalent in society today.
Think of it this way….. If autism had a team, Temple Grandin would be its superstar, not just for her team, but for the entire league. She was diagnosed as a child and went on to pursue work in psychology (Bachelor’s degree) and animal science (Doctoral degrees). Dr. GRANDIN is a leading advocate for autistic communities. She is an inventor, a professor (Colorado State University), best-selling author and is a consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. She was one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to publicly share insights from her personal experience with autism. When l read “Thinking in pictures”, l realized l thought in pictures as well. It made me aware that l was thinking in pictures my entire life and gave me more understanding of how my thinking process worked.
With a unique perspective on life, through her gifted observations and experiences, Temple Grandin unlocked, kicked in and opened the door of autism, educating and opening the eyes of the world to autism.
ANITA LESKO is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, specializing in anesthesia for neurosurgery, organ transplants and orthopedic joint replacement surgery. Anita is an internationally recognized autism activist and member of Autism Society of America’s Panel of Autistic Advisors. She was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at age 50. She is a best-selling author and national speaker.
DR. RAUN MELMED is a Developmental and Behavioral pediatrician and Director of the Melmed Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is co-founder and Medical Director of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. Dr. Melmed strives to integrate various approaches in the evaluation and treatment of children and adults. Both traditional and new interventions are utilized. In this way, the whole child, adult and family can be treated in a respectful and individualized context.