Look How Far We’ve Come Together!

Aspergers101 is dedicated to you. I created this resource through a reflection of my own need to gain daily information on raising my son diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. After yearning to know why our son Sam divided so quickly from his kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and then 3rd grade classmates, we learned of a form of Autism called Asperger Syndrome. Once diagnosed, I quickly immersed myself in learning all I could about how my son functioned. What set him off, why the distance and most importantly, how we as a family could help Sam survive without us as we age.

Aspergers101 saved us really. In providing you with the daily information I craved so many years ago, it’s work kept the attention on you, your need all while working on Sam’s success. He became a strong advocate out of his own desire to shine light on a path less traveled. Sam has now taken the lead in workshops, conferences

and training to describe what it ‘feels’ like to have Autism. He is honest about the challenges but positive about the attributes. He has grown into a young man!

I’ve always said, don’t think of Autism as a weight, but a pair of wings in which to soar! – Sam Allen

It’s a success story yet you know as we fight for our children diagnosed with autism and ascend that steep hill at an exhausting pace, there comes a time, a moment, that we should pause our climb to look how far our child has come! This is one of those times.

L to R Charlie Allen, Samuel Allen and Jennifer Allen

 

Our younger son Charlie and I attended the Corporate Philanthropy & Non Profit Awards luncheon from the San Antonio Business Journal recently to support Sam as he was a finalist in the category of Volunteer of the Year for a Non-Profit. After the finalists were acknowledged and the winner, from a nearby table, was announced we relaxed and enjoyed the dessert before us. It was a total shock when, at the end of the luncheon, the “Spirit of Giving” Award was presented. As they began to describe the person of honor…it became apparent it was Sam! As he made his way to the stage a rousing standing ovation took place for a young man who was once told “you can’t….” by a doctor oh so long ago. They say it takes a village to raise a child with Autism…our village consists of God, a dedicated & selfless father like Herb, a supportive and protective brother with the heaping heart and soul that is Charlie, some very special educators and and handful of family and friends who are not afraid to embrace ‘different’ for all it’s glorious beauty.

Last question (to Sam) in the article: What advice do you have for someone who would like to get involved in a nonprofit? 

Just remember you are doing this for the good of the people. Seeing the smiles on their faces will pay off more than the money ever will. Be prepared to be a better person.” – Sam

There is such an instant bond with any family raising a child with special needs. A look of  “I get it, the challenges, loss and the euphoric highs at achievements deemed ordinary by neurotypicals”. In an instant this bond is acknowledged and suddenly you don’t feel so isolated. I want to reach out across the internet divide to thank you for allowing me to connect with you. You have been a huge part of my family’s journey and Sam’s moment of success!

by: Jennifer Allen

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The article was published on November 16th 2017 and written by Tricia Schwennesen, the Associate Editor of the San Antonio Business Journal.  Here is a link to the full story: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2017/11/16/spirit-of-giving-samuel-allen.html

Join Aspergers101 as we skate for Autism/Asperger Awareness! Let’s all go to a true San Antonio’s landmark…The Rollercade for one more roll around the rink before school sets in. The nostalgic wooden rink will take you back to a day long gone and owner and USA Sports Roller Hall of Famer, Verna Quaranto will keep it a sensory-friendly skate for our 2-hour designated celebration! 100% of entry fee(s) will be donated to the outreach programs offered through Aspergers101…come see us!

 

Date: August 17, 2017
Event: Skate for Autism/Asperger Awareness!
Venue: The Rollercade
(210) 826-6361
Location: 223 Recoleta Rd, San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, Texas 78216
United States
Public: Public

How I Learned to Communicate my Inner Life with Aspergers

Aspergers101 blogger, Alix Generous, is an amazing young woman who happens to be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. In June of 2015, Alix was asked to speak at TEDWomen. Below is a recorded copy of Alix discussing “How I Learned to Communicate my Inner Life with Aspergers”. She offers her wit, personal stories, and vision for tools to help more people communicate their big ideas.

Read some of Alix’s blogs on Aspergers101:

Societal Expectations

23 Truths I learned From Social Skills Training

Feeling With Heightened Senses

Facebook and Social Skills

A Speech on Behalf of Special Education

Samuel Allen, diagnosed with autism, receives the TCASE Texas student success story of the year

Aspergers101’s Samuel Allen receives the TCASE (Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education) 2017 Student Success Story of the Year Award! This annual award precedes the keynote speaker at the largest TCASE Conference in America. It is awarded to a student who has succeeded after graduating High School with the assistance of Special Education.

Sam attended NEISD in San Antonio Texas and graduated Ronald Reagan High School in 2013. In spite of an Autism diagnosis, he is driving, working, and currently attending college toward a degree in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems. Sam says “having Autism/Asperger Syndrome is not a weight…but offers a pair of wings in which to soar.”

Esped.com sponsored the presentation with an award toward his education. It is the contents of his speech that merits posting. Within the allotted 15 minute period, Samuel takes the massive audience (over 1,000 educators/administrators in attendance) through his elementary, middle school, and high school years as a student with special needs. There was not a dry eye in the room when Sam recalled how one teacher’s note made the difference from feeling ‘disabled’ to knowing Autism was a powerful gift.

(Note: This video includes the introductions, Sam’s speech begins at the 4:11 mark)

We congratulate Sam and all students enrolled in Special Education, their parents, and most certainly the educators who all work together toward a student’s graduation. The road is often rocky met with trials of testing programs that remove the obstacles often found with a special needs child. However, if all factions are working together, Sam is proof that special needs can mean success, and sometimes that success is found in graduation.

By Jennifer Allen

Celebrating the Uniqueness of Autism!

New Year...New Initiative

Happy New Year! As Aspergers101 begins the year 2016…we go in with a bang for our Autism/Asperger Community. Celebrating the Uniqueness of Autism is a campaign designed to do just that…celebrate the quirks and perks of Aspergers Syndrome. One way Aspergers101 will reach out is through a collaborative effort with the Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s TV Station in San Antonio Texas, WOAI-TV.

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General Manager John Seabers and  Creative Services Director Terry McFarlane graciously agreed to partner with Aspergers101 in bringing the message of Celebrating the Uniqueness of Autism to the viewers through a series of PSAs (Public Service Announcements) to air on WOAI, News 4 San Antonio, and digital Channel 4.2 Antenna TV as well as a worldwide reach on Aspergers101.org.

Agreeing to host the PSA series is senior veteran anchor Randy Beamer with the initial ads featuring the talents of Dr. Temple Grandin, Samuel Allen and Houston Eco-Artist Grant Manier. Each posses unique talents that could have been overlooked if not for someone standing up for them and guiding them toward their area of expertise.

We want to share these initial PSAs with you here:

Spotlight on: Inventor, Autism Activist and Author Dr. Temple Grandin

Autism Coming-Of-Age Documentary

Disablity Scoop
October 8, 2015
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“How to Dance in Ohio” follows three young women with autism leading up to a spring formal. (Laela Kilbourn)

A film following a group of young women on the spectrum as they prepare for the social challenges of attending a dance is set to air on HBO later this month.

The documentary “How to Dance in Ohio” focuses on three Columbus, Ohio women with autism who work with a psychologist for 12 weeks leading up to a spring formal.

Marideth, 16, Caroline, 19, and Jessica, 22, open up in therapy sessions, work on their social skills and learn to dance ahead of the big day. Detailed preparations include reviewing the layout of the venue, understanding how to accept an invitation to dance and learning to touch another person.

Meet JB Lynch: College Graduate and 3-D Printer Visionary

Occasionally inspiration hits. Not in the form of a ‘big idea’ but embodied in a young person with promise. Such is the case with James B. Lynch. James (or J.B. as his family calls him) recently graduated with his Bachelor of Arts Business Degree from John Marshall University in Huntington West Virginia. His success was due, in large part, to the program created to support the needs of college students on the autism spectrum.

JB is quick to offer advice to those sending their ASD child to college and it has everything to do with “letting go”…


James is diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome allowing him to hyper focus on any given topic. This intense absorption in one subject has gone from video games, computers and 3-D printers scattered thoughout the span of his young life. Supportive parenting is obvious, as JB immersion into 3-D printing is fully supported by seeing his creations/inventions throughout the family home. It was exhilarating to hear about his passion and what started it all….

From seeing that first coffee cup print JB knew he was hooked.

His Challenge Became his Triumph! An Encouraging Story of Autism.

This is a re-posting, by request, of an amazing young man with a jaw-dropping talent that otherwise would have gone unnoticed if not for his supportive Mother. Be sure and ‘vote’ for Grant Manier in a on-line Wells Fargo contest that would allow Grant the funding to continue his Eco-Art! It just takes less than a minute: Vote Here

by: Jennifer Allen/Aspergers101.org

Grant Manier’s (pronounced maun-yay) life began as an unsolved puzzle. With his mother and father divorcing school life was a challenge as his elementary teachers and fellow classmates quickly grew tired of his ‘unusual’ behaviors. To cope with the school room triggers, Grant retreated to his own world of art which included tearing paper. The steady long ripping of the paper soothed him and lessened the stressors of loud sounds however teachers soon became tired of the interruption of outbursts and deemed Grant a distraction that was unsuitable for the mainstream classroom.

Grant's Eco Art

 

Enter someone who completely changed the direction of this young mans life. Grant has an amazing Mom that turned this story (and her son’s future) around with some  aggressive moves. She knew something was different with her son and definitely wasn’t working in the neuro-typical world she grew up in so she removed Grant from the school setting, decided to home-school her son and began the path of learning who he is and how they together could find a way to put this puzzle together once and for all. She knew her son had a form of High-Functioning Autism called Aspergers Syndrome.

I first met Julie Coy Manier through a mutual friend and upon talking with her over the phone, I quickly learned this quicksilver of a mom first loved her son and second held nothing back on his behalf!

How does it feel to have Autism? Sam Allen gave his best answer!

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How does it feel to have Autism? Sam Allen did his best to explain during the live interview lead by veteran WOAI-TV Anchor Randy Beamer.

Sinclair Broadcast Group (WOAI-TV/San Antonio, TX) has teamed up with Aspergers101 in Celebrating the Uniqueness of Autism!

Reference to the Asperger Documentary- Coping to Excelling: Solutions for school-age children diagnosed with High Functioning Autism and Aspergers Syndrome.