Archive for December, 2012

Hi people
So I am stuck with figuring out what to name my show
Here are the top candidates so far
Pass the Aspergers; a story of honesty, courage, and Aspergers.
Aspergers am I rights?
On the Autistic Spectrum
Aspergers; a social misfit story.
Mr. Asperger

I am not sure about any of these names.
Please send in genuine sincere ideas.

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It’s been a tense couple of weeks as a result of weeks for the Asperger community. So to remind everyone of how hilarious Aspergers can still be I posted this video.

In my previous post, I discussed how I feared that it would be horrible for the Autism Spectrum community that Adam Lanza was believed to have Aspergers, which had not been diagnosed. The truth is it does not matter, whether he has been diagnosed or even it is true or not. Once the media reported on it, it may as well be true. There are more people out there than I like to think who do not get the whole story but will see one newspaper article, or even only get their news indirectly from a friend and never look at an article themselves. Many people will be happy with this resolution that they can simply “other him” and not have to focus on deeper rooted issues such as gun-laws in America.
I mean after all who needs an assault rifle for anything other than putting lots of holes in human bodies. There is alot of money, however, surrounding gun control and will not be easy to place stricter rules on their purchases. Some people even suggest that the crisis would have been better handled if the principal had her own assault rifle. Yeah, more guns, that’s really the answer (Not). In addition, Americans love their independence and freedom and taking away guns apparently would infringe on “their rights”.
Therefore, people will look for an easier solution such as finding flaws in the gunman, Adam Lanza, which will make it easier to make him look like a single psychopath. What they have been able to come up with is the fact that he has Aspergers. It is easy to blame the mentally ill or people with Aspergers because they are a small minority so chances are many people won’t know an individual with it so will it be easier to demonize.
Not many people know much about Aspergers or the Autism Spectrum and as I have mentioned in my previous post, people with Aspergers are known to throw tantrums when they think life has been unfair to them. They also share many characteristics with psychopathic gunmen, such as the fact that they are socially awkward, eccentric and loners. These characteristics will also make it hard for us to speak up for ourselves and would make a successful PR campaign difficult. Nevermind, that we are more stringent rule followers than most other people because we need rules to guide our behavior and tell us how to act in a new situation.
For those people who think I am blowing this out of proportion and am wrong, think about after 9/11. All Arabs were considered terrorists by a large majority of our society. Nevermind, the fact that they had been living among us for a long time and many of them had been model citizens. In the back of many people’s minds when Arab people boarded a plane, security had to be extra cautious. Yes a few Arabs were responsible for 9/11, but only a tiny portion. Nevertheless, many Arab people suffered because of this. In addition, they had many things going for themselves the Asperger community does not have. The Arab community is larger, more organized and wealthier. In addition, they did not have the social awkwardness that challenges people on the Autistic Spectrum when they try to speak up for themselves.

Adam-Lanza_2429494b
The Connecticut School Shooting if it was not sad enough takes on an extra tragic note for anyone who is on the Autistic Spectrum or cares about someone on the Autistic Spectrum. The shooter, Adam Lanza, turns out that he was believed to be on the autistic spectrum even though it was never officially diagnosed*. If it was, additional steps could have been taken to avert this crisis. Without a diagnosis, however, it is hard for someone who is on the autistic spectrum to get the proper treatment and if you read Life and Ink’s post about her son being prescribed drugs, even than the drugs can still have an adverse effect.
People on the Autistic Spectrum make up approximately 1% of the population so the chances are good that many people will not have had experience with anyone on it. Lack of information, means that other people (NT) who may have seen a person with Autism react badly by throwing an agitation, sensory overload tantrum and made a scene in a public place. Therefore, they may think that a person on the Autism Spectrum is a violent, unbalanced person who needs to be highly medicated.
They may not understand that people on the spectrum love rules, and most of us are huge rule-followers. They make life easier for us because it gives us a guide to act upon in a new situation as we do not generally do “on the fly” well. We don’t always get all the information, because of trouble reading body language and tone, therefore, rely on rules to guide us in new situations. This generally means that we are great citizens, however, anyone not knowing all of this, and not knowing anyone on the spectrum, and are predisposed to making rash judgements and decisions when they find out that the Columbia shooter, is believed to be on the autistic spectrum, from the news may think badly of the rest of us. One terrible incident like this, could undermine lots of hard-work to show people on the spectrum positively.

* Lanza, Autism and Violence. Columbia Journalism Review. December 12,2012.

Image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9750422/Connecticut-school-shooting-Adam-Lanza-was-assigned-psychologist.html

Growing up I thought that an early diagnosis of Aspergers was a bad thing. That once I had a label that it would define who I was, or, that my Aspergers was so obvious that it was easy to diagnose. Either of these outcomes would be horrible. However, the diagnosis does not define the person, the person defines the person the disability just helps steer the direction that life will take. In addition, I have found that my Aspergers is quite mild compared to many other people. Mild even compared to people who were not diagnosed well into adulthood.
Instead, they had a lifetime of being misunderstood and of being misdiagnosed and treated for symptoms such as the physical tics (which I never had) or the outcomes of being misunderstood such as depression. Therefore, they were are given the wrong treatment and had a life made harder for them. They are considered rude and deviants and are treated badly, by their peers and even their families. Which is a huge shock for me the terrible upbringing some people have, because while I have had my differences with my family, they have always had my best interests at heart. Other people with Aspergers, who have not been diagnosed are considered mentally ill and unstable. No one understood them and they have had difficult, difficult lives.
Having read Rudy Simone’s books Aspergirls, and Aspergers On the Job, in which she spent countless stories conducting interviews for and getting stories about people who were only diagnosed with Aspergers in their adulthood, I am truly grateful that I was able to get a diagnosis early on.

Aspergers on an update

Posted: December 15, 2012 in life, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Hello, everyone so I finally added a picture for my gravatar and my wordpress account. I hope that having a face to match to a name will help people relate and more people will be inclined to comment on my blog.
In other news I got into the fringe festival so the fun can begin. I now have to write the festival a check and deliver it before the 21st, which doesn’t exactly give me much time. Other than that I am done with the formal part for now and my only concern will be writing for the show. Nothing in terms of writing will get formalized until much later as I am just leaving myself room to write and only use the best material using what I already have and what I write from now till, July.
Cheers =)
Ps. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and Chanukah, as Christmas is beginning and Chanukah is coming to a close. This year, I was quite lucky as I got both a jam-buster and latkas.
Jews were ahead of their time celebrating oil before the rest of the world. I am surprised that we never raised Mcdonald’s to an iconic position in our religion, as you can not make food any more oily than the king of fastfood does. Their dominance is quite astounding, in the food court across the street the area around Mcdonalds is packed with a huge line, while the rest of the restaurants usually don’t have a line-up at all. Also everyone in the area around Mcdonald’s is also fifty pounds heavier.

I personally am looking forward to drinking egg-nog.

pss. WordPress is being strange and not letting me add pictures sorry folks.

1 Day until the lottery. That’s one sleep, one and half shifts of work (tomorrow’s and this one) and then I will know whether I get to be in the Fringe Festival this upcoming year.

There are so many fears running through my head. What if my number doesn’t get picked? I already had one bad dream about this. What if it was really an omen? While then it means I will have to wait another year before I can do a show about Aspergers. Why is it so important that I do the show? It will raise awareness, challenge perceptions people have, of people with Aspergers. Maybe seeing the show it will make people view Aspergers and the people with it differently. Hopefully, it will raise my status in the comedy community and people will start booking me more for gigs for people with disabilities. Hopefully it will mean more people will start reading my blog and that will raise the status of the cause as well as my own status as a performer.

What if, however, having watched my show, people are not more conscious and people walk out still indifferent or negative thinking about Aspergers. Will my show have been a failure? Is it too much to expect that one show can make a huge difference? I mean attitudes take a long time to set in and once someone has made up their minds it is hard to change them. Can I really consider my show a success, however? Won’t it be the exact same as all the other shows out there that just entertain? If so, why is it so important to me to do a show? I mean, yes, I imagine it will be fun, but it will also be lots of hard-work and anxiety about whether or not people enjoyed it. Also whether or not people will come to the show and whether or not I will make back my original investment of $700 dollars. There is many other ways I could spend that money, which may give me as much joy.

I could also go on a week-long vacation for the same amount of money which would extremely relaxing.

For $700, I could buy myself a video game and use the rest of the money to invest.

If I was really so concerned with making a big difference, I could donate the money.

I could buy families who need them 14 chickens and 7 goats which would provide support for a family for a long time. These gifts would also be self-sustainable for a whole village.

I could buy 100 ducks.

10 shares of a dairy cow.

2 oxens and a plow, and a pig. 

Send 10 orphans to school for a year.

(courtesy worldvision.org)

A round-ticket to New York City $702 (according to Google).

Or even pay rent for one month, if I moved out of my parents place and found somewhere to go.

Instead I am spending it on a show, which it is possible no one will attend. It is unlikely, since I have paired up with the popular, Chantal Marostica, but it is possible.

In addition, since I have not mentioned it anywhere else, I have always wanted to be in the Fringe after seeing other successful shows and hoping one day it could be me.

I admire people who are able to be themselves and not care what everyone else thinks. I personally have always felt an enormous pressure to conform. Did it first come from the outside world or did it first come within I can’t tell you. When I was younger I used to go to Cub Scouts. At the time our Scout’s master always started and ended every session with a christian prayer. We even were made to watch a movie on Jesus Christ and his life. It made me feel extremely awkward being Jewish. I felt an enormous pressure to fit in and be like everyone else because one of my good friends at the time was part of the group. It felt like brainwashing and a cult. The group was also involved in other events that made me feel awkward such as selling christmas trees.

As well, at all the local malls there were always Santa Claus who handed out candy canes if you went to talk to them. What child is not excited about candy and therefore, I saw Santa Claus as this benevolent figure. There was no Jewish equivalent. No Jewish figure at the malls being generous to all the little children and wanting to know what they wanted for Chanukah. The seduction that this man would try and fulfill your wishes and bring you any toys you want as long as you are good is really hard to resist.

Since I had Aspergers my parents decided that I was going to go into the English immersion program at the local school instead of the Hebrew one. Which makes logical sense, why make it any harder for your child when he already has enough struggles. In my class they taught us christmas songs and everyone was constantly talking about their christmas plans. I remember once talking to my classmate and pretending that I too had a christmas/ Chanukah tree, which only made me feel left out and ashamed.

Having Aspergers and the physical challenges that go with it I often played hockey on a team of younger people. Once when we were getting destroyed by another team the coach told a player don’t worry they are all 12-year-olds on the other team and therefore there was nothing to be upset about. At the time I was 12 and I was probably the weakest player on the team, therefore, I felt tremendous shame.

In addition, whenever we learnt about a person with disability in schools we always learnt about their challenges and if any strengths were mentioned, they were mentioned as an aside in a way that felt less than genuine. This may have been my personal spin on the information what they were trying to convey, nevertheless, a person would come out of those classes and feel sympathy or empathy. Those poor guys, “so brave” and oh so “patient” it made you come out of there glad you were not blind or disabled.

No wonder, I always tried so hard to conform and be like everyone else. Yet, every time I ended up falling short, because I am not like everyone else I have Aspergers and instead of celebrating my differences and what makes me unique I focused on how I fell short of my perception of what it was like to be everyone else which only left me feeling depressed and bitter.

Aspergers on you did it

Posted: December 8, 2012 in life
Tags: , ,

I did it!! and  if you are reading this, you did it too. You got out of warm cozy bed. Which is the hardest part of the day. Compared to that everything is smooth sailing.

Grumpy old man  

Every winter like all bears I become less tolerant and more sensitive. If it was up to me I would hibernate the whole winter away because it makes me grumpy. Now, I am not going to use the changing of seasons to dismiss all of my grumpiness as I am naturally a grump. You would be too if you had Aspergers, says my smart-aleck self. Nevertheless, no matter how you slice it, however, I am much more of a grump during the winter time. The lack of sunlight can make me go chemically insane at the slightest provocation and I can be in a perfectly good mood one minute and become a sullen grump the next. I have tried all remedies from sitting in front of a hot light to exercising. Exercising helps but not if you can’t do it because, you are a complete clutz like me and injure yourself without knowing it. This leaves me in a precarious position, where at some points you are glaring and angry with the world and at other points all you can do is look like a kicked puppy. I am much more tolerant in the summer so that is the time to annoy me in case you are wondering. In the winter, I’ll just snap.

Take last night for example, comedy went great, everyone was super nice to me and did really well on stage. I was even happy with my own set. However, when I got home close to midnight for absolutely no reason I just wanted to fight whoever got in my way. It was as if I wanted to fight my pillow because it was too soft and my blanket was to comfortable.