Firm Designs Buildings To Meet Needs Of Kids With Autism

by Bob Shaw, Pioneer Press/TNS | November 30, 2021 ST. PAUL, Minn. — Steve Orfield thinks a building design tailored to kids with autism might be good for everyone. His business, Orfield Laboratories, based in Minneapolis, designs buildings to provide a sense of calm for anyone on the autism spectrum. Through years of consulting, he has… Continue reading Firm Designs Buildings To Meet Needs Of Kids With Autism

Towne Center 2021
COVID-19 Series

Concentrating On COVID: Third Time’s A Charm

By the title of this weeks’ Concentrating On COVID Post, you can determine that I got my COVID booster (third shot). While I had some hesitations about whether or not to get it or having to “bank” time to have symptoms, I know I did the right thing by having extra armor that I need to remain safe around others.

Hutchinson Park Bridge

Adulting: Trying to Stop the Self-Pity Train before it departs

The last few days I have been aboard the self-pity train. I know lately I have been there alot and I have little reason to be. Earlier this month, I was more on a vocalized role with my parents at a time they did not need it because of a handful of deaths of those known to us. Now, my new method is pouting myself to sleep because I think I have such a horrible life when in fact it isn’t that bad.

Independence, Union Station Weekly

Union Station News; Volume 1, Issue 8; November 2021

Note: As part of my Day Program, I contribure to the program's newsletter. In June 2021, that Newsletter transitoned to a monthly basis as much of the elements of the program are back to a in-person status. A Special Meaning Being thankful in the month of November has a special meaning for me. Just around… Continue reading Union Station News; Volume 1, Issue 8; November 2021

A Journal Entry, Healthy Lifestyle, Poetry, Wellness Wedbesday

Wellness Wednesday: Weight Loss Is Tough

On this Thanksgiving Eve I chose to write about the challenges I face about my weight. Being autistic and having a host of Mental Health Challenges along with necessary medications that cause me to want to eat constantly doesn’t help this process and I wanted to share with my community what I feel constantly.

Towne Center 2021

Concentrating On COVID: Fear of A Repeat

As we enter another communal holiday season amongst a global pandemic, I cannot seem to forget that last Thanksgiving was likely the culprit to a semi-shutdown resulting in a Christmas that we have never experienced in modern history. While we have vaccinations and we are nearing target rates, I still fear having a repeat again this year due to the inaction of many to take the proper precaution.

Communication Keypad

How to Ask for Help

Mitchell's Life with Autism

As a non-speaker, it is difficult to ask for help. I almost always fear it. We have limited options in how we do it. For me, I have my letter board, sign language, and behavior, if necessary, to get my point across. On my board, it’s hard to initiate conversation unless I am asked directly if I need something or if something is wrong. With sign language, not everyone understands or people may think it’s a loop. Behavior can be a last ditch effort or a cry for help. If I act out, I hope someone will notice I need help.

This is a real safety issue for non-speakers. We have caregivers who know what to look out for, but even the best will miss things. There needs to be a solution. My iPad has a help button and emergency information page, but non-speakers shouldn’t have to wait until they’re…

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Horseshoe Curve Green
Dignity & Respect, Equality, Independence, Open Topic

Sometimes Enough is Enough

There are times when you have just had enough. You cannot be the solver to everyone’s problems nor can you be the supporter for them whenever you are unable to hold your own mental health grounding. I must realize that I need to take care of my mental health and accept the fact that I need to be assertive and fight for what I need to do to take care of myself.

Looking from Dunbar's Knob
Healthy Lifestyle, Wellness Wedbesday

Wellness Wednesday: Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the hot term we have been hearing in relation to mental wellness in recent years. According to the Oxford Dictionary, its meaning is two-fold. One is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. The other, which I have been focusing on, defines it as  a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

First Rite Aid
COVID-19 Series

Concentrating On COVID: Vaccine Effectiveness/Resurgency

Just spending today reading the 72-hour case count of COVID cases in my county in the 400s has me being extra careful. I have been very precocious over the past week due to those not in close contact but those I know being “breakthrough” cases. As when the vaccines first came out we were uncertain of its effectiveness in the long term, we are learning new things everyday and is likely the reason why the FDA has approved booster doses for certain populations and the elderly.

Adulting, Independence

Adulting: Our Inner Voice

One of the things that helps me when combating some issues related to my autism is to talk things through. It helps me solve issues that I may not have the direct answer for or what I need to solve something that may be difficult in my eyes. It is one of those qualities that many autistics know is intact but don’t use it in the same way as typically developing people do.

Inter-County Bridge
Dignity & Respect, Open Topic

Foundation of Supports and Getting What You Need

Sometimes as an autisitc person, I just want to not try to put an effort towards what I am doing. I have to say that if I didn’t have a multitude of support in my world, I probably would have ended in a long-term placement. While supports are good to have, they are not the answer to all your solutions and you must do the work too to your ability to show you can be a part of the solution.

West Yough Bride July 2021
Healthy Lifestyle, Independence, Wellness Wedbesday

Wellness Wednesday: Realizing Needs

In a change of recent events, my routine of accountability for most of the month of November has been uprooted. In a way it is a true blessing for me to test the waters if I can really hold myself accountable for managing the food I put in my body and being active to some degree. I know I have to hold up and work on being well for multiple reasons. I cannot make excuses for not doing something because it may be uncomfortable or easier to not think about it.

Paradise Church from the Road
Acceptance and Awareness, COVID-19 Series

Concentrating On COVID: Time to Learn

For what COVID has took and caused with its wrath, it has brought many joys to the table. In the past 20 months, we have seen the evolution of technology as much as a love-hate relationship. Everyone in the world has a relationship with it, it connects me to communities that I would have not otherwise have had access to.

Memorial Bridge Panorama 2019
Adulting, Independence

Adulting: Battling Self-Pity

was sulking in self-pity over the simplest of things for no reason at all. As November is a great month to be thankful, of which I have many things to be thankful for. I wanted those close to me to draw attention to me and feel bad for me and I wanted to feel pity on myself because things don’t go to my plan.