Friday, September 26, 2014

Autism, Galas, and Celebrities

What a wild and crazy time this year has been! I started the summer off with a bang! A new social and support group for families and individuals with special needs has begun in my area. I called it Living and Thriving to reflect what my dream for all of us who have special needs will achieve. We not only want to LIVE in our communities, attend schools, attend churches, work, play, but we also want to THRIVE. Well, thriving is what I have begun experiencing. Shortly after I kicked off the group (it's been a seemingly slow start, but nonetheless, it is a start), I was invited to attend the Autism Society of Alabama's Network Leader Retreat at Ross Bridge Resort. It was nice. And they certainly don't call it a getaway for nothing. Internet access was no good! In a sense, I called it my practice for Disney World. 

So then I began to receive invitations to attend galas with my mom. The first was formal. Well, I had to go buy a new dress. This is a picture of my outfit for the KultureCity Kulture:Ball which was held at the Westin-Birmingham. Thank you Torrid for making me feel like Marilyn Monroe!

Yes, getting the sun out of my eyes helped!

Practicing my curtsy! Who knows? I meet the queen one day.

Loved how this selfie turned out!

Oh, hey, it is Tiki Barber. All I know about him is that he is a very polite and kind former football player. 

Well, shortly after that, I did this painting to donate for the Autism Society of Alabama's Autism Shiens Gala auction. It was very hot that week at our house as we were without air conditioning but I had set a plan to finish it nontheless! 

Well, here you have the table decor of the Autism Shines Gala at the Ross Bridge Resort! 

And the menu. Of course, I had to make some special requests, but thank goodness the chef at Ross Bridge was able to meet the special needs diets! Like I said, I consider some of this practice for Disney World. By the way, and I am being honest, why do we need so many different forks and knives for one meal? 

While at the Autism Shines Gala, I happened to meet someone who has to be the tallest man on earth-Charles Barkley, former NBA star. Yeah, I don't follow sports. But it was cool. The photographer even got a couple of shots where you can compare how small I am against him. We had an awkward moment where he tried to shake my hand but I offered a high five instead. Maybe it will be the shake five?

And here I am with the Autism Society of Alabama mascots: Jerry and Jackie Frogs. I have to admit though, I was creeped out by them and was a little offended that the Jackie Frog was way different looking than the Jerry Frog, and not just because she was a girl frog. 

By the way, the dress for this was Sunday casual. Think I nailed it okay?

Lastly, I had the opportunity to hear Temple Grandin speak at Athens State University. That was a bit of a drive. I could definitely tell she was on the spectrum. And I might be more excited if I ever meet Carly Fleischmann, but Temple is still on my top ten list. 

Like I said, it has been a wild and crazy time! No joke!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Book Writing Process

It is hard sometimes to get a book off the ground. But I have my topic in mind and just need to flesh it out. I am wondering if a title should be the start or if the title should just come as I am writing it. I do not know. But the book is definitely going to be about autism and what it is like living with autism. And I honestly have no reason to believe that it is a tired subject because honestly there should be more books written from the perspective and the insight of someone who has autism. We have a few and they range from Temple Grandin to Carly Fleischmann (she is my inspiration for wanting to write my own book) to Naoki Higoshida (also an inspiration for me). I want the world to understand what is like being diagnosed later in life and to understand the challenges and even the blessings I have experienced along the way to my diagnosis and after my diagnosis. I want to encourage people to never give up on their dreams and aspirations. I want to make suggestions for people who might be interested in launching special needs ministries and other community based programs. There are a lot of things I want to cover. Anyway, I just wanted to get a few thoughts out.