Saturday, March 31, 2012

Junior Positively Autistic Ryans Spectrum Talk 04/02 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

Join me for Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk for Monday, April 2nd, as I discuss legislation in Michigan Congress that would mandate that insurance companies cover autism treatment in Michigan.  This is a very important topic, as lifting some of the financial burden off of parents of autistic children give parents greater opportunity to give those children the right conditions under which they can make the most of their talents associated with the autism spectrum.  This show will air at 1 pm eastern time, 10 am Pacific Time, and 6 pm UK time.  Remember that you can call into the show by dialing (619) 393-2848 or you call in through Skype.  Tune into what will surely be another insightful and inspirational show!

Junior Positively Autistic Ryans Spectrum Talk 04/02 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

The Miracle Project

In previous blog posts as well as Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk (my weekly online radio program), I have spoken again and again of the importance of creativity.  Recently, I became aware of an organization situated in the Los Angeles area that promotes creativity programs that are very similar to Joey Travolta's film camp, which I witnessed last summer.  "The Miracle Project" offers creative arts programs for individuals on the spectrum in music, acting and many other areas.  After watching a video describing some of the activities/benefits of this program, one child who was on the spectrum said that acting made him feel like he wasn't autistic anymore.  That he could be himself as he truly was.

For more information about The Miracle Project, visit their webpage at:

Autism Insurance in Michigan

For those of you in the Michigan area who do not know, there is currently legislation working its way through state congress that will mandate that insurance companies issue coverage for families affected by autism.  Lt. Governor Brian Calley, who has a child on the autism spectrum, is a strong advocate for this measure which was recently approved in the senate.  In May when I participate in a panel at a symposium on autism and employment, there is a good chance that I will get a chance to meet Brian Calley, which will surely be a great honor.  I have dedicated my life to raising awareness for a condition that has impacted Brian Calley's life, my own life, and the lives of so many others.  I encourage readers who are Michigan residents to show your support for this legislation in any way possible.  While there are many costs associated with autism, always remember that there is hope as well.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Junior Positively Autistic Ryans Spectrum Talk 03/25 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

Join me for Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk as I discuss autism awareness month.  Every April, special consideration is taken to the autism spectrum, so this is the perfect time to put in that extra effort to better understand autism and the special gifts and talents hidden within many autistic individuals.  
The show will air Monday, March 26 at 1 pm EST, 10 am PST, and 6 pm UK time.  Remember that you can call into the show by dialing (629) 393-2848 or you can call in through Skype!

Junior Positively Autistic Ryans Spectrum Talk 03/26 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

An Inspiring Friend

Here is an article written about my friend Jerry Wolffe, who writes for The Oakland Press and advocates for those who are disabled.  Jerry broke through so many barriers growing up to become the journalist and advocate he is today.  He told me at one point that I would go further than he ever did as a disability advocate and a writer.  A tall order, considering how much Jerry, himself, has accomplished.  To read more, click on the following link:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Don't Say it Can't be Done

It has been a dream of mine to become a world renowned fantasy author.  Yesterday, I was informed that a science fiction short story that I had submitted for publication had been accepted for publication in a journal published at the university I attend.  My first, and by no means my last, piece of published fiction.  For those who are struggling with the difficulties associated with autism at present, my message is: don't lose hope.  Never say that it can't be done.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Junior Positively Autistic Ryans Spectrum Talk 03/19 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

Join me for Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum talk for Monday, March 19th, 2012.  During this broadcast, I will be talking about my experiences with autism and bullying.  Remember that you can call into the show by dialing (619) 39-2848 or you can call in through Skype.  I'm looking forward to hearing from you if you have time to tune in!  If not, you can click on this same link to listen to the on-demand version after the show has concluded!

Junior Positively Autistic Ryans Spectrum Talk 03/19 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Autism and Bullying: Part One

In previous blog posts, I have discussed many times about my difficulties that I endured during middle school.  While most of those difficulties were dealt with internally between myself, one of the external difficulties was bullying.  Middle school students can really be the cruelest people imaginable to someone who does not fit the unspoken criteria of what is socially acceptable.  It was really the perfect storm in my case.

To start with, I have a personality type that accounts for only one percent of the population (INFP), which accounts for individuals who are passive in appearance but really hide deep feeling and sensitivity.  In other words, I could take taunts from bullies without a word but feel the pain for years.  Also, I was dealing with mild autism.  Put an idealistic perfectionist in a body/mind that does not operates on a different system from most other people and you get someone like me who will push the limits of my own condition and ridicule myself for any perceived failures. Put that kind of a person (me) in a situation where he feels socially inferior, you get a depression so deep that the shadow of which can still be felt today, amid all my success.

There were a few bully's during this time that went out of their way to make my life miserable.  However, the majority of people considered me to be an outsider.  It was less how people viewed me and more to do with how I thought other people viewed me.  My entire sixth grade year, I ate lunch alone with the exception of another troubled kid who I could not stand but said nothing about it.

Even these days, while I am striving for greatness as a writer, I still have to endure the doubt and intense internal conflict associated with my personality type, all invisible to people who come associate with me on a day to day basis..  All things considered, I am my own worst enemy at times.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Note to my Readers

Hello all,

I wanted to take time in this blog post to ask my readers if you feel that you are benefiting from my words presented in this blog.  I can talk about aspects of living on the spectrum that seem important to me but I don't know if anyone is benefiting from that.  Are there any topics that you would like me to discuss on The Voice from the Spectrum that might help you to better understand your autistic children or any students you might have that are on the autism spectrum?  If you are uncomfortable leaving public comments but would still like your concerns addressed, you can email me your topic ideas or questions at  Also, I am open to any ideas for radio topics that you would like me to speak about on Junior Positively Autistic's: Ryan's Spectrum Talk.  

For the past few months, I have been speaking of what I feel is important regarding autism awareness, but it brings me far greater satisfaction to know that I am helping you to better understand an elusive condition.  I might not have the answers you seek, but I promise that I will try as hard as I can to help you to better understand autism.

-Ryan Comins

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Junior Positively Autistic Ryans Spectrum Talk 03/12 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

Join me for my fifth broadcast of Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk.   This show will air this Monday at 1 pm EST, 10 am PST, and 6 pm UK time on blog talk radio.  During this broadcast, I will discuss my autism success story, emphasizing first the difficulties that I experienced when I was younger.  Remember that if you have any interest in coming on this show to share your own opinions, viewpoints, and experiences, you can call into the show by dialing (619) 393-4828 or you can call in by using Skype.  Tune into what will surely be another outstanding broadcast furthering the cause of autism awareness!

Junior Positively Autistic Ryans Spectrum Talk 03/12 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

Handling Stress

Difficulties in life can by trying for anyone, but for an individual on the spectrum, they can sometimes become incapacitating.  At times, sometimes the knowledge that I had autism clouded my decision making process more than the actual impact of my autism characteristics.  For the longest time, I didn't know what it meant to have autism.  In one instance, I went as far as to say to a friend that those on the spectrum did not have feelings, which cannot be farther from the truth.  It is good for me that the friend in question refused to believe that statement.  Stress is hard for anyone, but I found myself blaming my autism at times, to take some accountability off of my own actions, even when justifying behaviors and choices to others.  Through that, I believe that individuals on the high functioning end of the spectrum should take responsibility for their own actions, and when autism impacts lives in adverse way, try to determine why that is the case.  Try to understand that stress is not easy for anyone, and autism does not exclude someone from the difficulties that those living off the spectrum experience as well.  This message is intended for high functioning adults on the spectrum. Those like me.

My Autism Success Story

For more than half my life, I have considered October 2000 to be the dividing point in my life.  This was when I was taken out of school to attend a day hospital in a neighboring town.  It was during this time when I officially received my autism diagnosis, at age twelve.  While it seemed like a dire point of my life at the time, I began to look at it in a different way as I continued to succeed academically and socially.

Prior to this period of my life, I had found myself in some sort of downward spiral for the two years leading up to that time.  To put it another way, it was like I was in quicksand; the harder I struggled, the more that I lost control of the situation.  There was less struggling involved then inwardly yearning for something more.  I found myself immersed in a chemical imbalance, due to the medications I was on at the time.  Depression was steadily gaining a foothold over the way I viewed myself, eroding my self esteem.  It is very difficult to write about this.  No words seem appropriate for what I was going through.  Always, in my mind, and on the outside as well, it seemed like I was the one to blame.  In reality, I was not accountable for myself, my actions in response to something inside of me that was outside of my control.

To put it mildly, I was the underdog.  No one really expected me to start succeeding in school, not even myself.  To make the A, B honor role, a year and a half after all this came into climax, it was nothing I could have predicted.  Although I tried hard in school, each year I half expected it to end, for things to reverse to what they had been previously.  Even now, as I surge forward with my writing career, basing the foundation around the same difficulties that brought me so much pain and grief at the time; I'm trying to use that time of my life as an example to help others like myself.  At age twelve upon receiving information that I would be leaving school for a day hospital, I was excited.  Just the previous day I had been goaded by classmates and was hard put to restrain myself from attacking my classmates for the pain they were carelessly causing me.  There were so many, I didn't know where to turn first.  Had I not left school to go to that day hospital when I did, I might have given into violence and things would have turned out differently.

I don't often think about that anymore.  Not when my life is better than it ever has been.  It is not without difficulty that I relate this in the hope that I might be able to help others to better understand one more viewpoint behind the eyes of the autism spectrum.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Junior Positively Autistic Ryans Spectrum Talk 03/05 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

Join me on Monday, March 5th for my fourth blog radio show, Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk. This show will air on blog talk radio at 1 pm EST, 10 am PST, and 6 pm UK time. In this broadcast, I will discuss the benefits of having autism. Too often are the costs of living on the spectrum given more emphasis than the benefits. Hidden within an individual with autism is a bright mind, sometimes at the mercy of their body, and strong talents, that are waiting for the right conditions in order to shine. It is my hope that by raising autism awareness that those on the spectrum as well as parents, caregivers, and teachers can recognize the wonderful potential of those on the spectrum and make it more than just potential. Remember that you can participate in the chat room that will be ongoing during the broadcast. You can also call into the show to give your input by calling (619) 393-2848 or you can call in through Skype. I'm looking forward to what will surely be a great broadcast!

Junior Positively Autistic Ryans Spectrum Talk 03/05 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

More about Autism and Employment

After my latest blog radio show this past Monday concerning autism and employment, I wanted to take a little more time to talk about this topic.  As discussed in my show, I believe that the biggest key to improving low autism employment rates is to raise awareness to employers about the benefits of finding uses for the strong talents hidden within individuals with autism.  These talents can only be brought out under the right conditions.  By increasing understanding about this issue, employers can overcome any uncertainty or lack of understanding and arrange a way to benefit both the company and the individuals on the spectrum.  To hear more about this topic, click the following link to listen to Monday's radio show.  There were some technical difficulties near the beginning, but overall, it was a great show:

This May, I have invited to speak at a symposium about autism and employment.  It is very important for me to use my talents and the great conditions I have experienced to help others to better understand the autism spectrum.  Also, in the future I hope to use my talents to become a world renowned fantasy novelist like J.R.R. Tolkien and his "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy, or J.K. Rowling and her "Harry Potter series.  My own fantasy series will not be ready for some time still.  In the meantime, I will continue to raise autism awareness through the resources I have available to benefit others, while at the same time getting my name out to the right people in a way that will help my  future career as a fantasy novelist.  I see it as a win-win situation.  

Who knows what blogging and online radio will lead to later this year and beyond?  There will be more information about the symposium when it becomes available.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Create the Right Conditions

Every person is the result of the environment into which they are born, no matter what inherent talents they may possess. This is the same case with autistic individuals and their parents.  And yet, no matter what conditions parents are facing regarding financial stability and what not, is there no action that can be taken to provide the best possible environment for children on the autism spectrum?

For I believe that no matter what situation parents are confronted by, under the right conditions, anyone on the autism spectrum can make the best of those abilities they receive in exchange for whatever sensory issues or other problems they might endure.  Nothing in life comes without some sort of cost.  The greater the talents, the deeper they are within an individual on the spectrum, waiting for certain circumstance.  Under the right conditions, an individual on the spectrum can literally change the world.

The catch is that those individuals on the spectrum cannot create these conditions on their own.  They have no idea what the conditions are themselves, or if they do know, then it is in a form of thought that cannot be translated into language.  It is the responsibility of parents, teachers, caregivers, and therapists to bring out the best in that individual.  The individual on the spectrum did not ask for this, to not have complete control over their own body, to be trapped.  The mind is very active but trapped, waiting for an outlet of some kind.  I have spoken before of an autistic girl named Carly who confounded her parents once she learned that she could communicate her thoughts by typing, as I am right now.

I can guarantee that the words I am saying right now are not something that I could speak of in small talk at work, without great difficulty.  It is not so much as a problem with presenting my message than with my message being received as intended.  I could walk up to someone on the street and try to say all this, with no problem formulating the words and my message would not be received.  Someone might think, what a creeper with the underlying notion that people just do not talk this way, as I am presenting these words.  So this is the best way for me to communicate my insights into autism, through my strong and "eloquent" writing skills.  

The words I am typing right now are a direct result of the right conditions I found myself experiencing.  The skills are mine, but I cannot claim complete credit for what I do.  My parents, teachers, friends, and anyone who believes in my vision have all created the right conditions I need to succeed as a writer.  Without them, I would never come to recognize this part of myself.

Let me give two more examples in recent film of individuals off the spectrum who have succeeded because someone else changed the conditions under which they lived.  One is fictional, the other is not.  Michael Oher, star football player, grew up in the slums outside of Nashville Tennessee.  His strong talent as an athlete would never have been recognized if someone had not changed the conditions under which he lived.  Now he is a star football player, a story worthy of a book and film.  "Blind Side," which tells the story of how Oher's conditions were changed is an excellent film that I definitely recommend.  The other example is fictional.  In the film "Good Will Hunting," a genius worked as a low class janitor at Harvard.  In spite of his intelligence, he would have never been recognized if someone else had not changed his conditions.  This is another great movie to take the time to watch; but not one for children to view.  

Those on the spectrum cannot create the right conditions on their own.  That is up to parents, teachers, caregivers, and therapists.  Time is no issue.  It doesn't have to happen today or tomorrow or in ten years as long as it happens.  It will be worth it.  Thank you for sticking with me to the end of this unusually long blog post.  This is something that I think is really important.