Harvest Glow 2018

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I would like to thank the fine folks at Harvest Glow in Langley BC for suppling us with some tickets to check out the event.

So much was going on when we stepped in – and we didn’t know where to start!

Live entertainment, dressed up characters, mini golf, a train, a pumpkin patch and glow swings were just a handful of activities that were offered.

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My Niece and Nephew were happy to join us! This is an extremely family-friendly event, just be prepared for large crowds.

This event goes until November 3rd and then Christmas Glow starts on November 22nd. We will be attending that event as well and I will provide coverage on my blog.

For more information, please visit: https://www.glowgardens.com

Niantic, Pokemon GO & Autism Speaks

Niantic, the makers of Pokemon GO have decided that it would be in their best interest to support Autism Speaks in Arizona. They are promoting this on their social media channels and will have a kids zone with various activities at the walk.  I have a strong hunch that it is their PR Company, TriplePoint behind the tweets and support.

We are trying to let them know that they are, essentially, ignoring autistic voices–the very same autistic voices that benefit from, you guessed it, POKEMON GO!

They are ignoring us. They refuse and fail to respond to our valid criticism. As a whole, the #actuallyautistic community is outraged with very good reason. The big question looming is “How have they failed to do research?”. They, of all people/companies should know how to use google before they make a failed attempt at educating themselves on causes they choose to support.

If you agree with me and my peers and would like to support us, I would urge you to take some of the following actions:

Sign the petition

-Tweet to:

Engage in this thread on Reddit

Read this document

UPDATE:

Please let Niantic know that even though @SARRC_tweet is who they are supporting, it’s still benefitting autism speaks.

 

 

Why “Sensory Friendly” Isn’t always what it seems.

man wearing black headphones beside train rail

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I posed this question on twitter:

The response was overwhelming. It seems a lot of people tend to agree with me.

A number of venues will offer, what they consider to be “sensory friendly” events which they believe caters to those who are Autistic and yes -it does cater to some, but certainly not all.

According to AMC (who works with Autism Speaks) this is how they define their sensory friendly film program:

AMC Theatres in 2007 started the AMC Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with the Autism Society to bring a unique movie experience to our community! As part of the program the film showings have their lights turned up and the sound turned down.

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My thoughts on something where the lights are on and the sound is down: Terrible. Just awful. For me, not being able to hear dialogue and having bright lights in my face would not be sensory friendly. I function best when the lights are off or there is natural lighting.  Each and every person on the spectrum is different and their ways of mentally processing incoming sensations are all unique to each person. You can’t simply say something is Sensory Friendly and use it as a blanket statement. I believe a better term would be Sensory Aware and a disclaimer that would say something like “this isn’t sensory friendly for every autistic person or person with sensory processing difficulties” would be highly beneficial. It’s just another step towards inclusion or at least a better understanding of what Neurodiversity is.

photo of head bust print artwork

Photo by meo on Pexels.com

Passing Judgment

Throughout my life, people have passed judgment on me based on the way I look, act or quite frankly who I am.

I think the way I present myself has a lot to do with my sensory sensitivities. For instance: I don’t “dress my age” and I prefer wearing comfortable clothing such as shirts that are a men’s size small, jeans, and slip on shoes. I rarely wear makeup and I usually just brush my hair and head out the door. It’s already so mentally trying to go out in to the world that the energy I would use to make myself presentable gets used up so fast. By that time, i’m already beyond drained and I start feeling physically ill.

 

Sometimes I dress very casually and sometimes I look fancy.


My intellectual capacity is clearly questioned because some people, whether it’s conscious or not, believe that the way someone looks has to do with the way they think.

I was treated very poorly at a restaurant and I can’t say for certain that it had anything to do with the way I looked, but I wouldn’t be surprised. It seemed like I was stereotyped as dumb and trashy because of my use of coupons and was spoken down to – which i’m still feeling anxious and upset about.

The English idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover” is a metaphorical phrase which means “you shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something by its outward appearance alone”. For example “That man may look very small and insignificant, but don’t judge a book by its cover – he’s a very powerful man in his circle”. —Wikipedia

We all deserve a little kindness and compassion, no matter what we look like.

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Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com

 

Links of interest:

 

Too Bothered…

…By what happened at a local restaurant on Friday.

For Us Without Us

Brand New Video!

Interested in supporting me?

art sale

Are you interested in buying art? Do you know someone who is?

Please share! Price reflected in image is for shipping within the USA through USPS.

If you’re local to Vancouver/Surrey/Langley I have some lower priced options and I will meet up with you. Payment would be in Canadian dollars.

Meowbox Unboxing // Art Pictures!

Figured i’d put these together in one post!

Thank you MEOWBOX, you made Buddy & Ruby so happy.

 

 

Here’s some of my art, each and every piece is up for sale so feel free to contact me if you’re interested:

Public Transportation

woman standing in bus

Photo by Darcy Lawrey on Pexels.com

Taking transit requires me to mask, even if I don’t think about it.

I am forced to take on traits that are seemingly exclusive for those who are classified as neurotypical. I have to be confident, organized and seemingly comfortable with everything around me.

The crowds, the chatter, the uneven lighting, the sound of the skytrain screeching along the tracks, the announcements, rude bus drivers, the varying smells and sometimes putrid odors. It may very well seem like i am complaining but I am constantly reminded that the world  is not built for me. I am left handed and i’m autistic – which can feel like a double whammy.

Often times, when i am exposed to many different sensory inputs, I must decompress. I have to sleep a whole lot and often times I don’t feel like talking. My attention span suffers too, i can’t even sit through a 22 minute episode of a television show that I usually enjoy. I have to commend myself through the carsickness that seems to overcome me a whole lot recently.

I am constantly reminded of how hard merely existing is. It makes me incredibly fatigued.

 

My SSRI Story

SSRI stands for Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Simply put: Antidepressants.

joshua-coleman-623113-unsplash.jpgJOSHUA COLEMAN

The last week or two of September were exceptionally cruel to me and even still the withdrawal symptoms linger. I have been strongly against taking these pills ever since I was a child. My childhood Psychologist would constantly mention these as an option to help curb my mood disorders and I was always hesitant and frustrated. I would put up a fight till my eyes were read and tears were streaming down my face.

This was not something I wanted to do. I did not want to partake in taking pharmaceuticals to help me. I didn’t even like taking Tylenol for any generalized pain.

I felt like being alive was bad enough;

I might as well suffer.

Fast forward to now and I still feel like a shell of myself. I’m always worried about the actions of other people and how they create a lasting impression on me. If someone says something rude, I dwell on it. I ask myself repeatedly why they did that and I start to feel unwell about it. I negatively obsess.

My activism, coupled with the horrible emails I receive from companies, corporations and wealth management companies make my mood worsen. I try to focus on the bigger picture and the hopes of creating a positive impact through my own pain and the pain and misunderstanding associated with my peers in the #actuallyautistic community.

I just can’t deal with anything very well.

I have tried three types of pills: Escitalopram (Cipralex/Lexapro), Sertraline (Zoloft) & Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) with absolutely no positive experiences.

The Cipralex left me feeling very hollow, very distracted and very much like I was just dragging myself to do anything – although, out of the three I tried, it worked the best.

The Zoloft didn’t seem to do much at all.

The Effexor XR just made me feel really unwell and my mood was worsened so, I decided to just stop without tapering off. The withdrawal effects were worse than what I expected. Sweats, vomiting, car sickness, the worst nausea I have felt in what seems like forever and a “shaky brain” feeling. There was also a strong need for a whole lot of sleep.

I went to another appointment to my Psychiatrist and it didn’t go particularly well.  He is incredibly dismissive and has me in and out of his office in 5 minutes or less.

He asks me questions completely unrelated to my suffering:

“How are your parents?”, he asked.

“Well, I don’t REALLY talk to my Dad… so.. yeah. My Mom is fine though.. but why didn’t you just increase my dose of Cipralex?”

“Oh, If it wasn’t working at that dose then it’s unlikely it will work at a higher dose.” He then followed that statement up with another unrelated comment.

The sense of defeat and the dark cloud over me seemed to take on more rain at that instant.  It’s apparent, This person, this professional, this DOCTOR who is supposed to help me just wants me out of his office as fast as possible. I like to call them “Fast Food Doctors” because you’re in and you are out very quickly so the Doctor can see more patients and make more money in a shorter amount of time.

My depression and anxiety make my already intense light sensitivity and poor balance much worse. I often feel like I’m going to faint or fall over and my heart starts beating a mile a minute.

What now?

Well, I can’t even work. How am I supposed to get anything done when I just am running out of viable options? I can’t afford to get any kind of mental health assistance where I can talk to a psychologist. That’s not in the cards for me.

 

 

Disclaimer: Please don’t take my article for professional advice. If these medications worked for you then I wholeheartedly commend you on your successful wellness journey. These are my own personal experiences and do not necessarily reflect my readers mental health/wellness plan.