It took me a large part of my life to discover the direction I was meant to take but that was mostly due to the fact that I had more questions than I had answers. My life changed and set me on this journey I am now on when I learned a new word, Aspergers. My son was diagnosed at the age of eight and as I researched to find answers for him, my own personal questions about my life were quickly becoming answers also. I am an autistic single mother of now adult twins both diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. We have had an interesting life of laughter, trials and successes as I raised them in our little Aspie house.
In 2008, I began sharing my experiences and knowledge with audiences and readers. I express the everyday non-clinical understanding of what it is like to be a person that perceives and interacts differently within society due to social and communication differences. I belong to the “Autism Culture” and I enjoy being able to share an understanding of our language, history, perception, humour and most importantly, who we are as individuals.
Children are a wealth of curiosity and have a resilience that when guided with compassion and caring can become our best teachers and amazing students. I have been fortunate to have presented to audiences across Canada and over international borders and the one constant I have seen is that, there are absolutely amazing people in a variety of different organizations that are reaching out to assist the children. Altruism, is a powerful word but acting on having a selfless concern for the well-being of others is a gift to humanity.
I have risen from a life of uncertainty to become an international speaker, published author and a friend to myself; a person that no longer feels quite so foreign, in an environment where I struggled to belong.
"If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be." — Maya Angelou
Many industries are directed to assist children and families but in my travels, I can honestly say, the CYC services and their dedicated workers are some of the most driven, open-minded and dedicated audiences that I have ever had the pleasure to serve and assist; that is not just a lot of smoke, as the saying goes, they are on fire to find the best resources, opportunities and direction for the children they have in their care.
Choosing Civility by P.M Forni
World Child and Youth Conference 2013 St. John’s Newfoundland. I have had the privilege of speaking at many different venues, but my two most memorable are both CYC related. The first was in Newfoundland in 2013 where I met an audience of caring and dedicated people that were very receptive and open to learning and understanding the Autism Culture. There I also met with representatives from Allambi Care in NSW Australia and not long after I made the long trip to Australia where I was welcomed with enthusiasm and spoke with an organization, several time zones away who share in the passion and dedication to improving the lives of children and youth. These experiences fueled my dedication and belief that one person can make a difference but many are a driving force.
For those starting out, I would like to share with you one of my writings:
Be a Catcher
At any moment in life you may have an opportunity
The chance to be different, make a difference
A teenager on a spiritual quest, once said
He had a dream
His job in life was one of responsibility
He was to stand at the edge of a cliff
As someone ran towards him
He was to catch them before they fell
He was the catcher in the rye
To possess altruism
The unselfish interest in the welfare of others
To want to use yourself for the goodness of others
Let yourself be guided to be a catcher
Allow yourself to trust your instincts
Have the awareness to know beyond what may seem obvious
See the moments, step forward and hold out your hand
Never doubt that you can change a life
Lives may depend on your compassion, courage and strength
Be a catcher
www.johnrobison.com John is not only a voice for the Autism Culture, he also shares how being socially different can be an attribute within society.
Page 70, Fostering the Diversity and Innocence of the Child
http://www.cyc-net.org/journals/rcycp/rcycp-26-4.html Page 47, Asperger Syndrome and Diversity
My children were the first influence on my work. Having my now adult twins receive a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum and also myself being on the Autism Spectrum, the path to share, educate and to motivate seemed to come naturally to me. I wanted to share the trials, tribulations, strengths and capabilities of perceiving and interacting within society as a person and parent that lives a different existence in a social environment that can be confusing, chaotic and overstimulating.
People I have met and walk beside me along the most frightening and enlightening journey I am on, are a strong influence on assisting me to challenge myself and open new doors. They give me strength to test my own courage in facing my personal fears and anxieties so I can continue forward to assist the children, families and adults that have yet to find their voices and be heard.
The children that look to society to lift them back onto their feet and show them what they can do; along with the amazing passionate people I have met that work in the field and are there to help them do so. I am but one voice, one person but every time I have the opportunity to share my message, I know the people hearing my message will reach further to make a positive change for so many more people as they interact and become part of their lives and their future. One voice can be heard but a choir can resonate over a vast distance.
I could go on and on about so many things such as, “Why do they not have mouse flavored cat food?”
Instead I would like to say that I hope we have the opportunity to meet again. It would be my pleasure to take you on a journey into the Autism Culture...we could have cookies and chat for a while.
Last updated October 2016