Break the Stigma!

All About Autism

mental-health-monthAs we focus on May as Mental Health Awareness Month, we know that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about mental illness. Unfortunately, negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common.  Although 1 in 4 people have some form of a mental health disorder, a recent study found that in Europe and the United States up to 75% of those affected don’t receive the treatment they need.

Too often people are reluctant to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental illness1 in 4 mental illness and are afraid to let anyone know they have an issue. Those most affected by the stigma are young people, those from minority ethnic groups, members of the military and healthcare professionals.

What can you do? Take the pledge to break the stigma.  People across the country are finding innovative ways to start the mental health dialogues in…

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Flash Blog: Autism is Not a Crime

Gretchen Venters

Dear Autism Community,

Considering the recent sad tragedy and the false media stigma that seems to be rising up – I want to ask you to join me in doing a flash blog tomorrow using hashtag #Aspergers & #Autismisnotacrime so we can find each other’s posts.

Although I cannot host everyone’s blog posts on my page, if you email me your blog post I will tweet it out. (Authorleary @ gmail dot com)

I’ve never led one before but I feel compelled to help clarify this false stigma that the media has placed on our community.

Will you join me and write a blog post about the most positive way that ASD has affected you? Please post it tomorrow to show the world that this stigma is wrong and our community is nothing to be afraid of.

Gretchen Leary

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Birds singing at night…

Thirty Days of Autism

I love this time of year when the days are getting longer and I awaken to birdsong in the early morning…

It feels so renewing and full of hope to know that spring has kept its perennial promise and has made the rounds again.

This year – I feel I need that…

And now… as I sit and lose myself in less considered and less tightly contained, controlled and measured words – I feel that I need to get in touch with deep down things that I have been pushing aside with my busyness.

I do that sometimes…

I use busy – wildly busy – as a distraction… a way to make me feel like things are in control and progressing and… in a way – this keeps me from getting too lost or sucked in by my own meanderings.

It is not a bad plan when it is working…

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A Documentary, Two Blogs and A YouTube Video

Emma's Hope Book

The following is a trailer for Spectrum:  A Documentary about Autism and Sensory Perception.  This is the documentary I cannot wait to see when it’s finished!  It features Nick Walker, Martial Artist, writer of the single best description I’ve ever read answering the question  “What is Autism?” and all around amazing guy and Judy Endow, a terrific writer, speaker, talented painter and sculptor and friend.  The third person featured is Tito Mukhopadhyay, eloquent poet, writer and son to the woman I am filled with gratitude for on a daily basis, Soma Mukhopadhyay, who taught me how to communicate with my daughter.


This is the first of two blogs you must know about, if you don’t already.  How to Talk to a Woman Whose Child is Dead the most recent post on Unstrange Mind.  It is so beautifully written by the multi-talented Sparrow Rose Jones, who also sells her fabulous art work in…

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‘Greyhound Therapy’ And America’s Mental Health Crisis

Greyhound therapy, or patient dumping, is nothing new. But never has it been uncovered on such a wide scale. In the first episode of our new documentary series for AXS TV, Dan Rather Presents: One Way Ticket to Nowhere, we get to the bottom of the story with what happened and why. We found former hospital employees who were willing to go on the record for the first time, as well as patients who had the courage to come forward with their personal stories. The Nevada story proved a jumping off point for a greater examination of our system of care. What we found was disheartening: America’s mental health care system is in crisis. [Quote from the story]

Dare to Hope

Many autistics have trouble articulating their thoughts, but it doesn’t mean they don’t have articulate thoughts! Emma demonstrates this in the video below:

Emma's Hope Book

Trigger Warning:  Parental despair

Five years ago I was in a bad, bad place.  Life felt unbearable.  The future loomed ahead shrouded in fear.  I could not imagine a life that was not bleak and filled with pain.  There were times when I could not bear the thought of another day.  There were times when I felt it was all too much.  People would make kind suggestions, but none of their words made sense to me.  I was sinking and saw no light.  I thought it was because of my specific circumstances.  I thought it was because I was the parent of a child who, I was told, couldn’t and didn’t understand most of what was said to her.  I was told she couldn’t comprehend this world.  I was told concepts like less and more, time, currency were beyond her ability to grasp.  I was told she was in her own world.  Despite…

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