Awe-tism Acceptance – Day 23

My brain is about to explode. I need to Google so much. And I have probably forgotten half of what I learned already. Feeling kinda awe-tistic myself right now. Not sensory overload but information overload. Too much to think about and research. Too tired to do any of it right now.

All thanks to #autismfestival17 at Swansea University!

And I do mean thanks. Usually I hate these things. Pardon me but my filters are off here and honest is my mode…autism conferences are usually nothing more than a chance for parents to get together and moan about how tough their lives are. Sorry, but that is NOT what this girl needs. I picked my butt up off the ground and decided that I was going to give my PanKwake the best life possible a long time ago. And quite frankly…I just find that crap…depressing.

But I still sign up for some things…just to get new ideas. Usually that means I sit through several hours for one or two pearls. And come away feeling worse about the general state of things…and thankful for Cookie Monster and PanKwake.

When I went to the information session before hand it was pretty much that…loads of that ‘therapy’ I hate (not getting distracted on that topic again), residential treatment centers/schools and respite stuff. Same old, same old…except for the Swansea program in autism…that one interests me.

Then we went into the theater for the speeches. And wow…just WOW!!! Four speakers…all adults on the spectrum. Each one with so many ideas…only regrets…I did not take notes…oh I wish I had especially since some of the PowerPoints won’t be available.

I am gonna use this blog as a chance to take some now…while it is still fresh and then Google each of them. You are likely to hear more about them over the next few days as I research and digest. So here goes…

Dean Beadle is an autistic comedian…and he likes being referred to that way. His topic was anxiety and he hates spiders and fair rides that PanKwake loves. He taught me the Social Model of Disability…light bulb moment as I have been struggling with the word…disabled for a long while now.

Jamie and Lion is a techie type like Cookie. His presentation was so rich that I cannot even begin to remember most of the slides…I am going to beg and plead…grovel if I have to try and lay my hands on it somehow. And eek (teen girl squeal) I got to meet them afterwards and chat.

Jon Adam is a very talented artist. He was diagnosed late in life. He does not identify as an ‘autistic’ artist…just artist. He prefers the words neurodivergent. He spoke about a movement/organization promoting that model…but I must have gotten the acronym wrong or my Google skills stink…or I am THAT tired.

Robyn Steward was the only female on the panel…and being the mother of a girl on the spectrum I really wanted to hear her thoughts on things. Like Jon she is taking her message and her music mainstream.

Not to forget the wonderful song…A Star with a Drop of Love by Jack Loo. And OMG…Robert Parton brought down the house with his 20 impressions in 4 minutes. Gollum was my favorite…But Cookie preferred Scooby-Doo.

A huge thanks to the Swansea University Medical who organized what for me truly was my first REAL celebration of autism. Now I just have to teach everyone how to spell…



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