Friday, May 31, 2013

If you Missed my Show Yesterday...

If you missed my interview with artist Frank Louis Allen yesterday, you can tune in by clicking here.  Frank has autism and is from the UK.  He is in America for a few weeks to visit a friend.  Some of the topics discussed on the show were culture shock, differences between the US and the UK.  We also discussed how someone on the autism spectrum might handle those changes.  Tune in and hope you enjoy the show.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

I wanted to take a moment to wish my readers in the United States a happy Memorial Day.  Also, I wanted to say that I have family in the military and I am proud to recognize the sacrifices they have made to serve our country.  God bless all military veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice to serve our country!  :)

Band with Autistic Members to Tour Spain

An all-autistic member band goes on tour to Spain.  Members of AutistiX have overcome many challenges to get where they are today.  Drummer Saul Zur-Szpiro, 20, has lower functioning autism.  He still needs help with nearly every aspect of his life except drumming.  Other members include Luke Steels, 17, who plays electric guitar/base and Jack Deaven-Duggan, 18. who also plays electric guitar.  Also members of the band are Jack's father John, Saul's dad Michael, and non-family member musician Jim Connelly.  The band is based out of the UK.

One cool fact about this band is the members of AutistiX are all about the music.  They have not yet experienced stage fright while performing.  While autism is expected to present some difficulties while on tour, such as adaptability to a constantly changing environment, but they have a plan to deal with that.  They plan to arrive at each town included in their tour during the day, so that members of AutistiX can get familiar with the environment.  They are also viewing the towns on YouTube to get familiar with the area before arriving.

To find out more, click on the following link:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Autism Friendly Screening of "Addams Family"

Autism Speaks and Olympia Entertainment are working together to offer the first autism friendly screening of THE ADDAMS FAMILY.  This show will take place June 14 at 8 pm at the Fox Theatre in Detroit MI.  Tickets (priced $15, $30, $45, $55, $75) are on sale now and can be purchased here or by calling Olympia Entertainment at (313) 471-3099.   While tickets are available to all members of the public, buyers should indicate that they would like to see the Autism Friendly performance.  

Working in conjunction with the producers of THE ADDAMS FAMILY and Autism Speaks, Olympia Entertainment have pledged to create a fun, inviting environment for individuals and families with members who have ASD while providing the opportunity to experience a live Broadway production in its entirety.  This experience will surely brighten many lives and give those on the spectrum an experience that they will remember for a long time.

Accommodations offered include a "run of show" prior to the performance, so parents can be aware of what special effects and other exciting moments during the show might prompt sensory overload in ASD viewers.  There will also be quiet areas set up so that viewers on the spectrum can take a break from the performance, as needed.  

"We had overwhelming support following our first ever Autism-friendly Sesame Street Live Performance at the Fox Theatre," said Tom Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Olympia Entertainment.  "We are thrilled to offer another opportunity for families to again enjoy a wondrous theatre experience in a welcoming and inclusive environment."

This Autism-Friendly performance was reviewed and approved by Autism Speaks.

'We are so pleased to continue our partnership with Olympia Entertainment and to host this performance of THE ADDAMS FAMILY," said Tom Riopelle, Michigan Director of Autism Speaks.  'Being able to provide a world-class theatrical performances that all can enjoy here in Michigan is an incredible gift that we are all so proud of and something we can look forward to doing with Olympia for years to come!"

The partnership between Autism Speaks and Olympia Entertainment, Inc. was created as part of the Michigan is Listening initiative, which is a statewide awareness program that asks the people of Michigan to pledge to tell 10 people about autism.  This will raise awareness to those who would otherwise be ignorant of autism. As part of this campaign destinations around the state who make a commitment to creating a welcoming experience for those with autism receive a designation as a Michigan is Listening Destination.

To find out more about Autism Speaks, click here.  Also, check out Olympia Entertainment on Facebook.  For more information about the Addams Family Tour, click here.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Great Voice for those with Disabilities

If you missed my show the other day, tune into my broadcast of Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk.  My guest during this show was Jerry Wolffe, former reporter at The Oakland Press.  We had a great discussion, not only about autism, but about disabilities in general.

To listen to our discussion, click here: 

An Autism Awareness Podcast

Erik Estabrook, fellow member of Positively Autistic, invited me to come on his show Saturday, May 18.  If you missed the show, you can listen using the link below.

Autism Challenges the Norm

For the past few months, I have been reading the book "Icarus Deception" by marketing guru Seth Godin.  After finishing the book last month on my Kindle, I flipped back to the beginning and started reading it again. The book is that important.

I went to college for marketing rather than writing (my greatest talent).  Why?  Because my dad suggested it. It was better to major in business rather than my passion because it would be easier to find a job with a business degree.

The Icarus Deception speaks of the "connection economy" replacing the "industrial economy."  This is a change that will be difficult, but one that I think will ultimately benefit those with autism and those with other disabilities as well.  Why?  Because the industrial economy thrives on standardization.

In the past 100 years, the industrial economy has standardized many aspects of life including schools.  The industrial economy was not designed to accommodate people on the spectrum because those on the spectrum are outliers.  The industrial economy serves the need of the masses, influencing society to contribute by producing and then buying what was produced.  In order to produce faster and cheaper with higher quality, industrialists have dehumanized many aspects of everyday life.  Wonder bread was mass produced, removing the personal touch that can be found in homemade bread.

Those on the spectrum challenge the industrial machine without really trying, just by being who we are.  Why?  Because people have been trained to accept standardization and norms over the past one hundred years.  To be human is to be unique, make mistakes, and possess qualities that others do not possess.  The standardized school system was not designed to accommodate those on the spectrum; it was designed to accommodate the mass of students that would eventually contribute to an industrial society.  But things are changing.  According to Seth Godwin, marketing guru and author of the Cirrus Deception, the industrial age is dying.

The Internet has leveled the playing field.  This blog is an example of it.  Why?  Without the Internet and connections that I have forged in the past two years, you might not even know my name.  And yet, here you are, reading these words because you and I have been connected somehow.  Through the Internet and the connection economy.  By using the Internet, anyone can create something meaningful and then share it with others.  That is the point of the Icarus Deception: to encourage others to create art.

Many people on the spectrum create art.  Not just art work, but meaningful decisions that are risky at times but are completely human too.  I am creating art right now, as I write this.  I have no idea if you will see what I am trying to say here.  I have no idea who will even read this.  My point is the change will be difficult.  All change is.  But the demise of the industrial economy will ultimately benefit those on the spectrum most of all.  Being human means making mistakes, taking risks, and standing out.  That being said, those on the autism spectrum are far more human than an industrialist who thrives in keeping things predictable, secure, and standardized.

If you would like to find out more about the Icarus Deception, click here:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Great Discussion about Autism and Dating

Take a look at a podcast I hosted a few weeks ago.  During this show, I had a great discussion with Arman Khodai about austism and dating.  Arman is participating in a Documentary about Autism and Dating to educate people about some of the challenges that those with autism might face in the dating scene.  We also heard from  a caller who had another unqiue perspective to offer about the subject.  This is a very important topic as many on the spectrum including myself are looking for companionship and understanding from that special someone who is still out there.

To tune in, click here:

Slipped through the Cracks

Last month, I connected with an adult who is on the autism spectrum.  He self diagnosed himself with autism just a few years ago.  He was wondering how many adults have not received a diagnosis and have slipped through the cracks.  People who could benefit from services but cannot receive them because there is no formal diagnosis.  Together, this man and I are working to start a non profit organization called A4C which will hopefully find a way to address those needs.

A question for my readers: do you know of any individuals who you suspect are on the autism spectrum who have never received a formal diagnosis?  Answer in the comment box below and help us try to find ways to help you!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Singer with Autism goes to England for Autism's Got Talent

I wanted to take a moment to announce that ten year old singer with autism, Colin Brennan, was successfully able to raise the money he needed to fly to England.  Colin will perform tomorrow in Autism's Got Talent.  Thank you to all my readers who donated to help Colin achieve this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  Colin will also participate in a special Positively Autistic podcast this Sunday at 11 am EST.  To listen to this show, click here:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Awareness is only the First Step

Autism awareness month may be over, the lives of those on the spectrum will continue.  For families with people on the spectrum, every day is autism awareness day as they fight for understanding.  The writer of a news article states that his sister is on the autism spectrum.  He is simply asking for others to be aware of autism.  It defines the life of so many people, including myself.  All we ask is that others consider that there are things that we deal with that they do not on a daily basis.  "We are different, not less."

Michigan Autism Plan

Late last year, the state of Michigan released their plan to cope with the growing numbers of people diagnosed with ASD.

For anyone interested in viewing the Michigan ASD State plan, click here:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk 05/06 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

Tune into the next broadcast of Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk.  This show will take place Monday, May 6th at 5 pm EST, 2 pm PST, and 10 pm GMT.
This show will feature autism advocate Erin Clemens.  Individuals with Aspergers Syndrome are still unique individuals that are not defined by their diagnosis.  Albert Einstein and Henry Ford are both believed to have had Aspergers Syndrome. 
Tune into the show to celebrate the special talents of people with Aspergers Syndrome.

Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk 05/06 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio