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Under the Sea

18618642_10155212899245030_1725112754_oWhen visiting friends and family while Chris was growing up my parents needed a distraction; that was either food, or Disney. My dad had friends who worked for a museum in Larnaca and we used to visit them often and eat yummy food. They had a little girl who owned ‘Magic English’ cassettes. For those of you who don’t know, they were an aid to learning English by using Disney characters and movies. He took one look at the opening theme song and that was it: obsession acquired. (Episodes here) I know that my family is probably reading this and remembering the theme song in their heads right now. ‘Magic English, Magic English, have fun with Disney everyday‘.

Naturally, we had ALL OF THEM.

When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to learn both Greek and English and so growing up bilingual. When Chris started speech therapy, he had his Magic English tapes. He watched them non-stop. He didn’t play along, or speak, or use the same words but he paid attention. So, for example, when he saw Flounder he knew he was a fish, when he saw Mickey he knew who that was, what he was doing and why. He just couldn’t express it. You see, the problem with the world today is that we value spoken word over unspoken. We have been programmed to believe that someone who doesn’t ‘like’ your picture on social media thinks you’re ugly. Someone who doesn’t share their feelings is up to no good or doesn’t care. We stopped reading between the lines and somewhere between those lines is my brother.

There is one scene that I remember most of all. It’s using the Little Mermaid, introducing all the characters and ‘Under the Sea’ is playing. Sebastian is singing away, being all Sebastian about life under the sea, I think it was part of the Friends learning cassette. I remember him smiling, dancing, and enjoying that scene. I remember how much of a teenager I was thinking this was silly because it was so basic. I remember it now, and I wish I was back there pushing him to repeat words, to learn them in English, dancing with him and just enjoying his happiness. Hormones are such nasty things. (Magic English – Under the Sea). Before Aladdin and the Lion King, Chris was obsessed with Pinnocchio, the little boy who wished to be real. He loved it when Pinnocchio and Jiminy were under the sea meeting random fish and trying to find Geppetto; and he would hide when the whale was on screen. That scene is also in the cassettes.

Those cassettes were a big part of our childhood and yet another part we owe to Disney.

He loves anything that has to do with water or the sea. You may remember that it was during a Sandy Holiday that we first thought of autism and how he loves swimming on his own. Aquatic treatment is also one of the alternative therapies I mentioned earlier on: We’ve found that water provides a safe and supported environment, which not only supports Chris, but also provides him with hydrostatic pressure that surrounds his body in the water. This pressure actually soothes and calms him, providing him with the necessary sensory input he craves.

What awoke this memory you wonder? Or maybe you don’t but you’ll find out anyway. The Scarborough Sea Life centre introduced an autism-friendly morning last Saturday (13th May). The centre will opened an hour early for an “Autism friendly session”, “with an accessible quiet area, considerate lighting, reduced sound and exclusive use to help families enjoy the aquarium experience in a relaxed and understanding setting.”

If you are in the UK: Max Card is a card you can apply for with your local city council if you are a family with additional needs, not just autism. The scheme is designed to help families save money on great days out at castles, zoos, bowling alleys and more. With local, national and international businesses becoming more autism aware this card might be used more than you think! Autism-Friendly events are expected throughout Merlin Entertainments attractions including Alton Towers and other Sea Life centres in the upcoming months to make sure all children in the UK have the chance at experiencing a magical day out. For more information and booking details are online at www.mymaxcard.co.uk/venues/autism-friendly-day .

I encourage you to use the Magic English aids (^they are all on YouTube, link above^) whether your child is in speech therapy yet or not. Its an entertaining way to spend the afternoon and you may not see immediate results but it does make a difference.

Remember, just because you can’t see progress, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

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Elliot Rodger made Asperger Syndrome famous

I haven’t posted in a while because I’m waiting for two pieces from my parents who will contribute to this blog. 

I hate to have to spoil this dedicated blog with posts like this but my brother is my heart and I am his voice; I will say whatever needs to be said, I will fight anyone I have to to make this world a place he can be safe in, a place he can be understood. We, the family of Autism, will stop at nothing in our path to make our world a place where everyone in the spectrum has a place in.

These are reports from the world media:

“..Peter Rodger’s lawyer, Alan Shifman, said that Mr Rodger’s son had been “diagnosed at an earlier age of being a highly functional Asperger Syndrome child”, had trouble making friends and had been receiving professional help. Asperger syndrome is a form of autism – a condition which affects how people make sense of the world, and interact with other people.” – Thanks for the narrow definition BBC.

“Elliot Rodger had Asperger’s sydrome, reports said.” – Well done on factual reporting Guardian

“Mr Astaire said Rodger, who was believed to have Asperger’s but had not been diagnosed, was “reserved to a daunting degree” and “fundamentally withdrawn”.”

“Yesterday his dad’s attorney, Alan Schifman, said Rodger had been seeing “multiple ­therapists” and had “highly ­functional Asperger’s syndrome”.”

And the Daily Mail online, which reported that Rodgers was diagnosed with Asperger’s when actually he was not.

See a pattern?

In times of crisis, in the aftermath of great loss and inexplicable behaviour the masses become blind. You become sheep without free will. You are the mindless zombies who look for anything, any reason to blame someone or something for actions you can’t understand. You become part of the majority who put imbeciles like Nigel Farage in power. 

Thanks to Rodgers’ lawyer, the world was led to believe that Asperger’s was the killer. Hooray! The misogynist wasn’t a real murderer he was Autistic.

Elliot’s chilling manifesto, 140 pages detailing most of his life, brings to light that Elliot was frequently in treatment with various counselors and therapists. Just by reading his narrative, it is clear that he had trouble with social skills an inability to connect with peers; it doesn’t mean he had Asperger’s, and even of he did, it doesn’t mean it made him a murderer.

Statements that Elliot had Asperger’s have yet to be backed up with a diagnosis, except for the comment by the family’s lawyer.

WHAT WE DO KNOW is that there is and never has been a correlation between Asperger’s syndrome and violent behavior. It is enraging that the sheep that make up our society in the 21st century have already started making pseudo-connections between Asperger’s and murder.

Asperger’s is not a mental illness but a developmental disorder.

For those with Asperger’s, their families, the people raising kids with Autism, this is an important distinction; in this case its the MOST important distinction.

When Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, politicians and lobbyists were quick to blame the mental health system. Of course! Blame the trained professionals who dedicate their resources to helping the people YOU outcast, for your mistakes instead of dedicating funds to the integration of Autism into society, or teaching people about Autism. Lanza’s mother had told people that he suffered from Asperger’s syndrome and sensory processing disorder, but it’s unclear whether he ever received adequate treatment for these or other conditions that may have not been diagnosed.

I’ve repeatedly stressed how important is to get your kid diagnosed as early as possible but would things have been different if a professional had intervened as Lanza or Elliot withdrew from society and descended into a confused psychological hell?

As terrifying as it is, the answer is simply no. Because trained professionals cannot be held accountable for their patients actions. Reports also have mentioned that Elliot became the “virgin killer” (whoever thought of this should be stoned) because he came from a broken home. His parents were aware of his conditions, his uniqueness, his mental health that’s why Elliot was seeing counselors, that’s why he received help. So, every child in the world who comes from a broken home, a child of divorce, will grow up to be a killer; sound like a rational, educated assumption to you?

If you meet somebody with Asperger’s, you’ve only met ONE person with Asperger’s. That person is one of the million puzzle pieces that make up the far-reaching Autism spectrum and no two cases are the same

Elliot was – without a shadow of doubt – a troubled young man who shot six U.C. Santa Barbara students and injured 13 bystanders shortly before killing himself. 

Elliot killed those people, made those videos, wrote that manifesto because of YOU Society. The society YOU have created. A world where being “different” means being marginalised, it means being bullied, it means being lonely. Elliot’s actions woke up a world that has been asleep. A world that is being ruled by people who don’t accept change. A world that creates and breads killers. YOU, the ones that hate just because of sex, race, religion; the ones that vote to abort children with Downs syndrome. 

The horrifying truth is that Elliot Rodger, who was 22, filled his Youtube page with hateful and vengeful videos of his feelings towards women. Why? Because that’s the world our children are growing up in. Where sex is made ultimate.  

Elliot killed because he hated women. Because he grew up in a world where a woman denying man sex is branded as emasculation. PUA and MRA (Pick-Up Artist and Men’s Rights Activist communities) websites promote similar ideas to his manifesto. No, Men’s Rights Activists did not make Elliot commit murder, but given the content of their sites they reinforced hatred and solidified reasons as to why he may have been ostracized. The sites he visited portray the world as gynocentric – which means that women, holders of sex of course, have all the power and men are victimised. 

FYI: PUA tells men that they should have ‘Game’ and deserve sex, women are the gatekeepers of sex, and women can be psychologically out-maneuvered. You’d think that as holders of all sex and its gatekeepers we’d be smart enough to not be out-maneuvered; silly women. MRA is formed by older PUA’s – old and bitter but more entitled and severely sexist.

These groups’ reactions have been deeply disturbing to say the least. You can read the whole article here, by Roosh. I will only quote one thing: “It’s important to state that Elliot Rodger was undoubtedly mentally unstable and required professional supervision. Diagnosed with Asperger’s, he clearly exhibited narcissistic and sociopathic traits that no doubt prevented him from empathizing with others… Until you give men like Rodger a way to have sex, either by encouraging them to learn game, seek out a Thai wife, or engage in legalized prostitution—three things that the American media and cultural elite venomously attack, it’s inevitable for another massacre to occur. Even game itself, as useful as it is on an individual level, is a band-aid fix upon a culture which has stopped rewarding nice guys while encouraging female whoring to benefit only the top 10% of alpha males, all in the name of societal progress. Game is a tiny release valve on a cultural pressure cooker where meaningful relationships have become sick, fractured, and unfulfilling compared to the time of our grandparents when traditional sex roles existed. Game may not have led Rodger to find his dream girl and live happily ever after, but it would have given enough results to stop him from killing six innocent individuals and himself. Until you allow and encourage all men to get sex by some means, these massacres will be more commonplace as America’s cultural decline continues.”

He is a product of the misogynistic society he was raised in.

You know who you are; so don’t you dare blame this on Autism.