Multiple things to discuss!

I created a new video on a couple things that I felt needed to be addressed:

My facebook page, facebook.com/madebyautistics was hacked. My one other admin and two mods have been removed. Facebook is being useless so I had to rebrand entirely and create a new page over at facebook.com/madebyautisticsgroup.

I was featured on CITR’s ALL ACCESS PASS. You can listen to me here: https://www.citr.ca/radio/all-access-pass/episode/20191030/ My Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture speech is at the 34:00 mark and my interview from the PosAbilities Inclusion Art Show is at the 16:15 mark.

These have been added to my shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/retrophiliac

In addition to the four plaques that have been happened, there’s also all my holiday cards too. These are just a few examples:

Thanks to my Kickstarter backers who made these cards a reality, I was able to pack up all these cards and they will be getting distributed between 3 cat welfare organizations. They will then be able to sell and/or use the cards and keep the profits. I also am thankful that it will be an opportunity for more cat lovers to see my work.

Welllll that was a lot to cover.

Thanks for reading!

It’s a mood, for sure.

Trying to see through the thick cloud of anxiety and depression is no easy task. It’s a huge, huge burden to bare. The flashbacks have become more repetitive, they feel deeper. Each time I fail, I feel those traumatic events seeping back in and filling those gaps where hope once was. It is a situation full of despair.

I’m so lucky to have these cute, silly beings in my life though. They make it all worth it.

I should be happy or at the very least feeling fine. I think part of the disappointment is due to the fact that I really thought the article on The Mighty would perform better. I thought it would drive people to my website and to my shop, but the views and interactions have been fairly dismal.

The hits on my Etsy shop have totally decreased too. I heard there’s something going on with an algorithm to do with the people that don’t have free shipping or don’t offer it on all their listings. It’s making them less visible. I know for me that when i sell original pieces, shipping is included. It’s everything that’s made by a 3rd party that has shipping separately.

I also should be pleased with myself about having my speech coming up later this week and being approved to be a consultant about issues surrounding mental health and Autism–and yes, I am looking forward to creating change, but i’m also the poster child for those issues. So, I guess in a roundabout kind of way, i’m going to really be able to reflect on my experiences and create change. That’s the silver lining.

I wanted to share some images that my customers have shared with me, which is pictures of their purchases from my etsy shop. This helps keep me going, but sales in the last while have been so dismal. I’m also upset because the way advertising works on etsy is that I paid 4.80 American to get one person to click on one item that they didn’t even buy. So frustrating. I’ve heard better things about facebook ads but i’m just not even sure how to go about it. Seems when I talk about business, there’s people that genuinely want to help and then there’s people who poach on my lack of experience and try to manipulate me to pay them. I guess that’s another business strategy–but it’s one that I don’t want anything to do with.

If I can bring joy to others, even though i’m suffering, well.. I think that’s a way to turn something negative in to something positive.

I tried creating a new plaque that says “cats make life purrfect” but the cats I drew look terrible. The two wood signs I was happy about completing, haven’t really seen much traffic either. I thought they’d be a bigger hit.

My holiday cards are also still up for pre-ordering at a reduced rate. Hoping to have my hands on those the 3rd week of October, ready for shipping.

Greta Thunberg, a climate change activist and fellow Autistic has been taking quite a beating online. It really upsets me that people say such horrible things about her. I think politics are a main driving factor for people to be so hateful in this world. I tweeted about the honesty of Autistic people and how we’re fact based and it definitely goes for her too. Actually, this quote of mine says it all:

“…And it’s preying on my mind

…That there’s nothing left in my hands but time
Time don’t really care if I carry on.”

I have a few things on my mind so I figured it would be important to get it all out in the open.

Sometimes people send me an image pertaining to Autism with the best of intentions and yet the imagery is so widespread that the notion of it being offensive fails to cross the mind of the person sharing it. I do my best to write about these things in my blog but not everyone takes the time to read my articles. 

I was sent an image of hands in a handshake position that had one of the hands being disgustingly adorned by a rainbow of interlocking puzzle pieces with words like “awareness” placed over top of the neutral/skin-toned hand. 

Autism Daily Newscast

Immediately, a wave of frustration with a dash of anger washed over me. I thought I had made it very clear how I felt about these words and images used. I had even posted this image a day prior:

I had responded with a numbered list of how generally we (Autistics) don’t like skin to skin contact, that the puzzle piece is offensive and that we do not need awareness. I also linked an article titled “the ableist history of the puzzle piece”. The response I got surprised me. It was not taken well. I had to explain that Autistic people are generally fact based and that my attempt to educate had no malicious intention.

I can not sit idly by and not say anything- that just isn’t in my nature. 

On another note, I am in the process of updating my sales terms on Etsy in as many places as possible.

I am not sure how many people know about print on demand but it is a service that I utilize for the majority of my offerings.

Here’s how it works:

I upload my artwork to their website and I configure it on a number of products. The website creates a very realistic looking digital mock up of said item. I add the price, edit the description and list it on my Etsy store. The item will say “ships out of the United States” or sometimes China, depending on where it is manufactured. 

I would say that 95% of my customers live in the USA. It didn’t occur to me that “ships out of the United States” is not enough information in regards to duty. 

I purchase a lot of things from online American retailers and I also live near the British Columbia / Washington state border. Duty is something I always consider and take in to account. I have even been sent promotional items for review and had duty slapped on.

I will be adding “This item ships out of the USA. I am not responsible for duties, shipping and exchange rate incurred” on each listing. I have nearly gone through two out of five pages of listings so far. My laptop can’t handle it. 

I also need to express that some people have perhaps attempted to reach out to me through various channels and I am not always quick to respond. This is because I am still going through a lot of personal things and I am doing my best to prioritize. However, I am under a significant amount of stress and I am having a very difficult time viewing things accurately because of how clouded my thought process is. Anxiety is not easy to deal with.

I am doing my very best and trying to cope in a way that I am still able to be productive. I just need a bit of room to breathe. 

The Problem With Autism Experts

I never claim to be an expert. I am an Autistic Person who is sharing her experiences. Those are two vastly different approaches when it comes to providing insight as to what Autism is. There are people out there who are passing themselves off as experts and they are getting feedback from those who are taking it all in as fact. Please be careful! Perpetuating untrue stereotypes and misinformation does not help anyone. Do your research. Be skeptical, ask questions.

Sensory Matters PODCAST & Going VIRAL!

Happy New Years Eve everybody. I’ve had a pretty eventful past few days. Firstly, I submitted a WINNING ENTRY to No Frills – which is a budget friendly grocery chain here in Canada owned by Loblaws (Galen Weston). I came up with a catchy, tongue-in-cheek melodic jingle and it’s going viral. It’s nearing 100,000 views. Check it out right here!

Also, Sensory Matters was kind enough to interview me for their podcast and it went live today.

I hope you have an amazing 2019!

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.

 

 

For Us Without Us

Brand New Video!

#AutisticVoicesFirst

Autism Speaks. It's Time to Listen.

When I realized that Autism Speaks slogan was “It’s time to listen”, my heart sank.

I honestly felt like I broke in to a thousand little pieces that no one could pick up. It was the feeling of grief. The more I research, the more I realize how much Autistic voices matter.

The CEO of Autism Speaks is someone who has experience managing different health related foundations. Her name is Angela Geiger. As far as I can tell – She is NOT Autistic.

Autism Speaks Canada is headed up by Jill Farber and she has spent 15 years as a private consultant specializing in ABA. She is NOT Autistic.

It’s important for the verbal portion of the Autism community to speak up for not only us but for our nonverbal brothers and sisters. After all, we know best. This is who we are in every aspect of our being.

Wouldn’t it be nice for Autism Meetup groups and self-advocacy networks to have funding and get provided devices and tools to make life easier? Frustratingly enough, most companies need a “front” to do so. By that I mean a “charitable” organization with whom to “partner” with so it looks like they’re doing a DAMN amazing thing to benefit those who need it most. Why can’t they do it without the publicity or without a partnership? Money- simply put! Advertising is key. Looking good to those who are uneducated on the subject increases profit margins and a veil of “doing good”.

Let’s PUT #AutisticVoicesFirst

 

Fundraisers and Charity Events

I’m not really here to knock the amazing work different foundations do (not all of them).

I just find it quite curious how voices continue to be silenced. I feel like there’s so many Autistic advocates who would be very interested in the opportunity to be heard by a room full of people who can make a change by donating funds.

I am aware that companies do this because, for the most part, it makes THEM look good.

Recently, a local Autism Centre had a lavish winter fundraiser with plenty of large companies and corporations who were quite pleased to contribute monitarily.

I was on twitter when my feed was absolutely bombarded with images of the event. My Boyfriend reminded me this was a BUSINESS FUNCTION and of course they are going to exclude Autistic individuals and that it’s more of a PR event.

I have been doing my very best to get the word out because I believe that people who are Autistic can contribute their voice to these kind of issues. When I found out about this event while it was happening I quickly sprang in to action.

Not only did I write each and every company that contributed, but I also wrote the board of directors for the Autism Centre that hosted the event. I did get one response which said I could BUY A TICKET for the event or I could become an “advocate” for this centre by making a $15 donation. Seems kind of backwards.

Please, Include us. Consider us as very knowledgeable advisors. Listen.

Margaux

 

What i’d like to see implemented

I’ve been thinking a whole lot lately. That’s right, my brain is filled with ideas. It never seems to shut the eff up. EVER.

I would love to see some mandatory laws or rules implemented within the workplace and beyond.

  1. If someone is suffering from mental illness, treatment should come first
  2. If one is to go through treatment, their job should be protected
  3. If they are unable to work, the employer should keep in direct and honest communication with employee
  4. If employee so chooses to disclose treatment and appointments that are in place, they should be accomodated
  5. There COULD be an employee as a ‘backup’ if shifts are unable to be carried out
  6. If a problem is apparent with an employee, such as a mental breakdown or inablity to work, there should be a phone line or company appointed therapist with 100% confidentiality
  7. Pertaining to an employees protected leave, everything should, again, remain confidential
  8. Doctors notes should make absences excused
  9. Excused absences for medical reasons should not be used against employee
  10. There should be a multi-point support system in place, as well as putting wellness as the #1 priority, over profits. A healthy & happy employee can offer SO MUCH.

Would you add anything to my list?