Put Down Your Rock!

non fiction by James Beardsley

As we go through life, regardless of whether we are disabled or not, sometimes things happen that bother us. It could be something someone said to us, the way someone acted toward us, or maybe it was the way someone made us feel. These things can have a negative effect on us which can be physical, mental or emotional.

I am pretty good about letting things go and moving on. However, there have been a few things that have bothered me and I just couldn’t let them go no matter how hard I tried. Every time I saw a certain person, or if I am in a similar situation where the incident occurred, it brought back memories of a not so nice time or event in my life.

A few years ago, I took a very interesting class. One day our teacher asked us Continue reading

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Different, Not Less

by Julianna Zoccola 

“I have to tell Monet about it!” Matt shouted across the parking lot.  While twisting his fingers, he memorized the license plate number and model of the PT Cruiser as it drove away.  My family and I travel around the country and Matt continues to recognize someone he met in the past: a waitress, a teacher, or a friend.  He has an amazing ability to make connections with complete strangers to their aunt, or their brother’s wife, or their bus driver.  I cannot recount the times my family received “It’s a small world” response from people only Matt knew.  Autism is a neurological condition causing inappropriate social behaviors and an inability to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings.  I often felt pangs of embarrassment from the behavior of his awkward social skills, extreme repetitive behaviors, and blunt offensive statements.  But after seventeen years of being Matt’s younger sister, I recognize the love and support he needs as a maturing adult.  To support a child diagnosed with autism, parents need to create an educational, social, and personal environment designed to help him navigate his way through relationships and life.

Creating an educational environment is helpful in benefitting a child with autism.  One way for parents to create this environment is finding a school program dedicated to assisting and developing a special needs student.   Continue reading