Archive | January, 2013

Change

25 Jan

Change is bad good. Change is scary exciting. Change is uncomfortable healthy.

Yeah, this ^ is my internal thought process right now; trying to reduce my fear-based aversion to change and ramp up my enthusiasm about new opportunities, growth, and what lies ahead.

After 6  ½ years at my place of work, I have resigned and taken an offer from another ABA agency.

I’m a mixed bag of emotions; sad to say goodbye to people I have grown close to. Eager to start fresh and take on new responsibilities. Nervous to learn new ways of doing things. Happy to get to be around a new set of professionals in my field. Apprehensive to start over somewhere new. Ready to break away. Scared. At peace. And overall, I am hopeful about what’s to come.

These past 3 months have been a big, huge, giant, I’m talkin’ ENORMOUS, transition for me. After my long-time clients terminated services, it left major gaps- in my heart first of all, and in my schedule second of all. It gave me time to think. It gave me perspective. It gave me clarity. It gave me motivation. It gave me a peace about leaving my current job that I wouldn’t have had if they didn’t leave first. You see…I was (am) so attached to those kids that I couldn’t have imagined leaving them. But, that decision was taken out of my hands; it was made for me.

Now, this is not to say I am leaving my current job because my long-time former clients left. No, no. That is certainly not why. Those clients leaving simply gave me the chance to really think about what I want for myself, and to have the guts to make those hard decisions.  Their absence gave me time to reflect; time to examine my life and my goals. Their absence gave me the push I needed to pursue my future.  And after much thought, prayer, and consideration I realized my future in this field lies elsewhere; at another company.

I’m a cynical person by nature, but I always try to find God’s purpose, or the silver lining, in every situation. So…even though I am still very pained by losing my all time favorite clients, I recognize that they have unknowingly helped me face my fear of change.

These last few months have stretched me, and grown me. I’ve halted my trend of just staying with what’s familiar. I’ve been brave and ambitious. And, I’m ready.

So…in a few short days I will start a new adventure. I will go into this new job with a lot of tools in my belt, and wisdom in my head, that I gained from this current job. I will always be grateful for all I learned from my boss, and the chance she gave me to turn a little college job into a lifetime career. I am excited to see what new opportunities await me, and to use my skills to help more and more families. Wish me luck!

caterpillar-to-butterfly

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Autism Tattoos

20 Jan

A few months back my sister surprised everyone when she got a tattoo for her birthday. I never suspected her as ‘the tattoo type’. But what she got, and why she got it, is really heart warming, and shows just how much our brother, and his diagnosis means to her. This is her tattoo, and her story.

Lyss

“I got my Autism tattoo for my little brother Dylan. I decided to get the tattoo after a rough transition he was going through last summer. The tattoo reminds me why I work so hard as an ABA therapist and as a sister. No matter how hard things get, he is still so amazing to me. Dylan and I used to spend every Wednesday together. I would pick him up from school, play, swim, bake, and snuggle on the couch with him. I no longer get those days with him because of work, and that’s another reason I got my tattoo. I still see him frequently and still do my traditions with him like take him to the pumpkin patch, go trick or treating and wake up early with him on Christmas day. I do a lot more than the average sister would, but its all worth it in the end. Today Dylan is doing amazing, he just received his second award from school for reading/ writing. I couldn’t be more proud of him. So even though we will have more hard days to come, I will always look past them and remember it’s all worth it.”- Alyssa

I reached out on my Facebook account to find others who had autism related tattoos, and the response was incredible. So many people made it their mission to decorate their bodies with some symbol of autism. Whether for spreading awareness, or as a personal reminder, parents and siblings show their love in their tattoos. Here is the autism artwork that was sent in. (Click to enlarge)

(EDIT: Click here to see my follow up to this post…Autism Tattoos 2!)

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Miss America

10 Jan

alexis

Alexis Wineman is 18 years old, and will be competing in Saturday’s Miss America pageant, representing her home state of Montana. She’s not only the youngest contestant, but also the first ever autistic contestant.

She is a beautiful young lady, and she has set out to do amazing things. She is already involved with several autism related organizations, speaks at various conventions, and her platform “ Normal is Just a Dryer Setting: Living with Autism” centers on building autism awareness and acceptance.

As she said, “Being on the spectrum is not a death sentence, but a life adventure, and one that I realize has been given to me for a reason.”

Amen sister! I feel the same way, even being on the other side of the coin. I’ve always known my brother’s autism diagnosis was for a reason.

So, count me in as one of the millions of Miss Montana supporters. This girl is going to do great things, and already has.

Way to go Alexis!!

And, don’t forget to tune into the Miss America pageant Saturday January 12, at 9 PM EST.

Links to her story:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2259242/Alexis-Wineman-Miss-America-hopeful-opens-life-autism-makes-bid-national-title.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/01/10/miss-montana-alexis-wineman-to-become-first-autistic-miss-america-contestant/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/alexis-wineman-miss-america-montana-autistic_n_2448848.html

http://thelook.today.com/_news/2013/01/10/16447581-miss-montana-is-first-autistic-contestant-for-miss-america

http://helenair.com/news/local/miss-montana-speaks-at-autism-convention-in-helena/article_b3eae75c-09f8-11e2-bb92-001a4bcf887a.html

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