Friday, March 15, 2013

Friendship, Communication and Inclusion in being a Friend of someone with Autism.

One I must say Friendship is an Important part of being human Especially when you live with Autism and have had a life were you have wanted Friendship but had a hard time in the past making and keeping friends and knowing how to make new Friends. 

 I love the friends I have and am grateful for each and everyone of you but this note comes out of the fact that many people on the Spectrum needs to be able to have Stable ability to be involved in the community and be able to do things with Friend and communicate with Friends

  First off most people I know on the Spectrum have been Excluded and bullied for being different  to me people being Excluded from events and things cause they have Autism is wrong, Especially when the Exclusion isn't by Accident but a planned out decision done on the basis that the person with Autism might not be able to do something or may not be interested in something.  I know Exclusion happens because of forgetfulness sometimes and sometimes because of miscalculation but a lot of the time  Exclusion happens because people don't get to know the person with Autism and think they will not want to do something or can do something and those are two wrong assumption to make when dealing with a Person living with Autism (ASD) please talk to us before you assume we are not Interested in doing something or that we can't do something  Cause as you know there have been a lot people who said  I couldn't do things only to be proven wrong over time. 

Secondarily, communication is Important in any Friendship with anyone but more so when dealing  with someone with ASD cause they need to be keep in the loop when events or things are coming up that you might want them involved with, the communication needs to be very Specific so that the person can Figure out what is going on, Make plans to figure out how they are getting too and From a Event and what is expected of them at said event and what they need to bring or what  part they are expected to play at that event.  

One of the things I have found is that people with Autism want to be involved with Friends and be at events with  but often don't tell there Friends or Family so because they don't drive, Don't have Real good Transportation options or think they will be burden of Friends, Now no one wants to be a Burden on there Friends but you won't know that tell you ask if you are being one.

Number one I know if your a Friend of someone with Autism you should help them find ways to get them to hang out sessions   and events and activities if they don't drive and have a hard time getting to events, Carpooling when buses don't run or if there is no bus system is one way of  being able  to help a person with ASD to be inovled.  

 Second that is Important tell a person with Autism well in Advance when things are coming up if it is possible so that they can plan there schedule  so they can be involved in the event and tell them when and where the thing is and tell them what is coming up so they can think about weather or not they want  to be involved with an Event. 

Third off even when an event isn't planned in advance but it is a spur of the moment thing see if you can find a way to Involve the person with ASD, Give them a call figure out if they have a way or you can make a way to get them to the event so they don't feel like they are being left out. 

 Always be willing to tell a Person with ASD that you enjoy being around them and that you want them to be around to enjoy times with you and have fun with you, don't ever Assume that someone with ASD Knows you like having them around cause non Verbal Ques that others might get that would tell them this many people I know who live on the Spectrum would not get, at all even I  have to at times Guess how someone feels around me even when I might have a Suspicion  that they are enjoying there time with me because I can't read Body language as well as others can.

Fourth if you the person with ASD please Tell you people you with how much they mean to you or show it, I know that words and Actions count for a lot  for those of us on the Autism Spectrum but just as we might need to be told how much we enjoy being around them.    I have found that many people we deal with who are our Friends would like it if we communicated more not less with them about how we feel and what our dreams and goals are and yes even communicate when we are frustrated and Confused cause they want to help us to be the best people we can be.  

 Fifth if you make a Friend who has Autism and they like you, you most likey will have the Friend for a long time because I have found that People with Autism are very loyal friends and are willing to go the Extra mile to help there friends out when they need it and willing to do what is needed to help there friends  be the best people they can be but none of this is possible without having a chance to build Friendships and take chances and live life. 

Star Trek and my Autism

Ok, Just so you know I Do love Star Trek, Every Incarnation of Star Trek, Star Trek has been a Special Interest of mine for a while but maybe for once in my life I will tell you how a Special Interest of mine helped me to learn about the World around me and helped me to accept who I am and has had the next Biggest Effect on my life to having Faith in God and having Great Family and Friends who I can't forget about as well but I have some of those Friends cause of my love of Star Trek not In spite of it.      This WILL be a longer note then one I have Written before but it is good one and if you have no Idea what I am talking about it's OK maybe this just isn't your thing.

I will tell you Star Trek did start out as one of my Special Interests as a young kid with AS/ASD, IT was one of those things I found early in my Childhood with Autism and Seem to latch on too because it was Different just like I was Different But then something Amazing happened that Special Interest along with learning from it helped me to get a better grip on the  world around me, Helped me to get a grip on my life with Being Different, and Yes it helped me to grow as a person it wasn't the only Resource that helped me grow but one of many.   

I have to say the First Star Trek I had a Real good look at was Star Trek the Next Generation at the start of its first run, Yes I am that OLD!    I loved the Characters and the Ship and Story Telling, Then I went back and Fell in love with The original Series, and all the movies Associated with it and feel in love with those too, then came Deep Space Nine ( The Theme Music from that show is actually playing in my head as I write this)  and I feel started liking  with those Characters, Then Came Voyager and those Characters and I came to like those Characters, and then who can forget about Enterprise even at the end of it old TV run and I know it will be back on TV someday with new shows I liked those Characters. 

Now I am going to do this in the Order of the shows When I started liking them and tell you which Characters  I can Identity with:
The Fist Show I deal with is The Next Generation which turned 25 years old this year. 
I have to say the First Character I liked and could Relate to and he helped me to first start to understand what it was like to be a Loyal Friend  was Wiliam T Riker, Yes I know he is the First Officer but  he was the First person I could relate too in Star Trek the Next Generation, He seemed to be the kinda of guy I could get along with Willing to help others yet was confidant at most times and willing to help Solve Problems and always willing to help his Friends  and Step up when the Challenge came and face down  a Threat no one else thought he could, oh I so love what he did in Best of Both Worlds.    The Second Character I liked from TNG  that liked and could Relate to was Lt. Commander Gerodi La Forge, Friend to Date ( I talk about him in a Moment) and all around Miracle worker actually love it when he and Scott get together in Relics,   Gerodi Being diffrent was what Frist Attracted me to him, the Fact that he was Blind but yet had this VISOR that let him see the world in different way  from everyone else who had Normal eyes, He became my link to the fact that with my Autism I didn't see the world  quite the same as everyone else.  He was quite a role model for me as well as was Data for me living with Autism.

The Third Character I liked and helped me to understand the world around me was Lt. Commander Data, Best Friend to Gerodi and the Android who had no Emotions or a least he didn't think he did, and he wanted to understand the Human condition and the world around him,  He knew fact and Figures, he knew how to get the Enterprise out of Jam, He helped me to see the Importance of having Friends who understand you, Who  are willing to Accept you for who you are even when you have Challenges.

The Forth Character  I like and Related too in TNG was Wesley Crusher, He was so much like me in my youth I asked one time to myself was Gene Roddenberry in my head when he Created this Character?   I love him for being young, Bright and willing to try new things, Also was very sad when he didn't join Starfleet but came to understand his Dission to go with the Traveler.    

The Fifith Charcters I liked and Related to in TNG were Picard,Worf and Gunian all very different people but all three were Friends, First off Picard is a man I like, he knows what he wants to do in life but is unsure of himself or his Command when he starts out but as he grew he came to grow his Supports and became more Comfortable in his role as Captain, Also His crew became his Second Family.  Then there is Gunian the El Aurian, the Bar Tender who Listens and Give out Advice and at times seems to know more about what is going on then meets at fist Glance, MyFavoirte line of hers is I Tend Bar and Listen, I as someone with Autism could often times Felt like Gunian and have meet wonderful people who are almost Exactly like Gunian.   Lt. Worf Cheifof Security and Quite the Klingon, First of his kind in Starfleet who wasn't Always head of Security but always on the Bridge, he actually started out at Navigation, worked his way up, He was one of my Favorite Character to watch, Once again him being an outsider but allways willing to stand for what is Honrable and right and always willing to help his Friends and Protect them, I love the Charcter he grew into over the years, not just on TNG but on Deep Space Nine as well.  

Also there was another side Character if you count him as that because I don't after what he did for Voyager at the end of its run Lt. Reginald Barclay what can I say about that man but he is my Proof that Aspeger's Exists in the 24th Cetnery and Yes you can make it in Starfleet even with AS. He has all the Traits for ASD/AS  in a Human Being on Star Trek, the man was really and eye opener on my world and is one of the ways I Expanle AS/ASD.

Then there is my Favorite Adversary of the TNG Crew and Sometiems Friend though you couldn't Always tell which it was, and by the way I like it when he showed up in Deep Space nine andVoayger and how his Character Fleshed out, Yes I am talking about the one, the Only, Q,  What can I say about Q but that he is the big Outsider mind you he can do things most others can't and when you first meet him he isn't that nice at all but he grow on you.  WE first meet him in Encounter at Far Point Puts the Crew of the Enterpise on Trail, then we meet him over time hetryed to Make riker a Q, Yes the Q are a community, then he did the Unthinkable he cause Picardand Enterpirse to meet the borg he though Picard and Federation was too big for there Britches and that is a nice way of putting it and tryed to teach them a lesson that would come back to hunt all other Treks tell JJ Trek.    then he is thrown out of the Q community and made human and  trys to Scarface himself for the Enterpsie Crew and become a Q again, he helped a young woman find out who she was, and even let Picard and Crew play Robin Hood, in the end Q helpsPicard save the Mulitverse and Even kinda calls him a Friend but I don't think Picard ever quite sees him that way, then Q Appers on DS9 and gets punched in the face by Sisko, He appears on Voyager, first to deal with another Q who wants to be mortal then he get Voyager involved in a Q civil war over wanting to have a family and then ended up dropping off his son on Voyager to teach him Humility, it is a long and winding Journey of Q but it is an Interesting one.   
I love how the Movies Fleshed out these Characters and I have to say I Cried at the end of Nemsis  cause Data Sacrficed himself for his Family, of course there is still B4 but for now he isn' t the same person as Data.

Now to the Orgonal Seris:    

the First Characters I could Connect with were Kirk, Spock and McCoy, all for there own Reasons, Kirk cause he was an Iowa man and a Good leader, Spock cause he was Logical and outsider, and MacCoy well really there are no downsides to MaCcoy,  Kirk I like cuase he is willing to do what he must to fullfill his mission, Help his Freinds and even from time to time bend rules to make life better off,  I like Spock, He is like my AS, has a hard time with Emotions first because he is Vulcan-Human  and then grows into them much like I did, I love DoctorMaCcoy the man who like experssing his Emotions and never holding back too often on his Opinions even when they are of his Friend Spock, those three I get were not always Friends and that is so even in the new JJ Abarms Moves which I like but grow into that Friendship at least in the Prime Universe, we will have to see in JJ one.   the Second character I liked and Could Relate to was Uhura, Always Communicating and always willing to keep and open mind, I love her in Bread and Circus
Third Character I like are Sulu and Chekov, Best Freinds and Really poplar Opposites at times, I love how those two get along they taught me a lot about Friendship as well with me having ASD.   

Then Came Deep Space Nine a Darker Trek but still a good one and it had its Great Moments and Characters going to kinda Ignore Worf here for a bit cause he was a cary over from Next Gen, Yes I know O'brian was a crossover too but I didn't really noticed him on TNG tell I started to watch DS9 don't know how that happened also like him from Deep Space nine. 

First Character I could Relate too  on Deep Space Nine for some reason was the Man himself,Benjaman Sisko Father, Spirtual Leader, Mentor, Freind, Wariror and Commanding Offcer of Deep space nine, A man who had to Balance his Beliefs and the role they played for him and his Job in Starfleet and I feel over time he got a good Balance, He was always a good Friend willing to go the extra Mile for Freinds, Also he has a good singing voice look up the Best is yet to come with Vic Fontane and Sisko.    Sisko starts out as a man who loses his faith because of Wolf 359 and the Borg, who finds it on Deep Space Nine and finds a new Family and GreatFreinds. Second Characters I feel in love with were Julian  Bashir and  Cheif O'Brian, First of  he Started out as a Navagator on the Enterpise-E then became Transporter Chef, yest he is a Chef Petty Offcer actually the first and only one we have ever seen in Star Trek,He gets marreid, has a daugter on the Big E in TNG then get Transfered to Deep Space Nine and become Cheif Enegerthough he isn't even a Commisend offcer but in the end knows how to make that Station and later on the Defiant, he is a good Mentor to Nog, he is best Friend of Julian Bashir, Julian is an outsider lets just say that from the get go, he is a  good Doctor and someone who is willing toBefreind just about everyone, Also later on you find out he has had Gentic Modficatoins that are Illegal cause of Khan and could have become like Khan if not for his heart and how he was Raised. he and O'brian showed me a lot about reaching out to others, having an open mind and that yes it isn't just how you are born but  what you do with your life that is Important.    

Third Characters I like are Dax and Kira,  What can I say about those two they both rock, Kira cause she in the begging doesn't like Starfleet cause her people just got Independence from another power but comes to love her Crew mates and grows to become part of the Starfleetfamily even if she is only an offcer for a time, Then there is Dax What Person, and yes I know she is played by a Female but she is of a Speices that transfers Memories and lives though a Symbiotic lifeforms, even when the life form that has those memories  and part of Dax always Survives into the next host, this was the most interesting Character cause she had Hidden Talents and things that you didn't know about much like people with ASD. 

Fourt and Finally I like Worf and Vic Fontane, Worf came over from TNG when it ended it wasAkwarad but it grew on me, Worf on DS9  was abke to flesh out more of his Klingon Side the side of which you saw only Glimps of in TNG, you also saw him fall in love for the second time, Get Married, lose his love but still learn to uphold her Memory and even be willing to Accpeet a growing Family never forgeting his family on Enterpise but growing it with his new Family on DS9.

I have to say DS9 had a lot of good things to deal with Among them the Dominion and all theProblms that came with that and the Bajorians, the Wormhole, the Wormhole Allen's  and even the Defiant.   Also have to say I love Vic Fontane the Singing Hologram who became more then his Programing. Then came Voyager:  

First Chacters I like from Voayger are Captian Janeway and Commander Chakotay, First Rivals, then Captian and First Offcer, then best Friends, These two are forced together by the fact there opposing ships were thrown to far side of the Galaxy, at first they have little in common and have to learn to deal with Each other, then they grow to understand each other as Captain and First Officer and as they Journey home back to Starfleet and Earth they grow into  a un stoppable Team and in the end Help a woman who has lost her Humanity cause of the Borg re-gain it and become part of the human family again, these two made me understand that sometimes people don't start out as Friends but can grow into it, not that I didn't learn that in life but it these two do work as good example for people with AS/ASD to show how you grow into a Friendship.

I like all the Seondary Charcters on Voyager for there own reasons too, B'elana cause she is strong willed and she grows into Freindships and Relationships and eventually become as good mother,  Tom Paris cause he is a Rebel without a Cause at first then becomes someone with Direction in his life and really becones best Friends with Hary Kim and then becomes a cool Husband and Dad, Hary Kim, the Kid fresh out of school never really been away from home who misses his family but finds that he has a Second one in the Voyager family also as an Aisdecouldn't someone have given him a Promotion even thoguh his Character grows  his Rank doesn't he Remains Except for in a few Episodes as an Engsin.  Then there is the Doctor, Yes he doesn't have a name he is Hologram annoying at first and doesn't know how to deal with people, he was made only for Emergencies but becomes a better Person and Doctor over time, also he had a wicked Sence of humor I know they programmed this Hologram off of MaCcoy even when he didn't have his  Emitter that let him leave the ship he was vital and he has a life that many people with ASD even me can understand, then there is Lieutenant Commander Tuvok the First Vulcan we have seen sence Spock and he is one of my Favorite  Characters because he is soMulitfasted, he is more then Just an Ordanary Vulcan, he is the Best Freind at the Beging and longest Freind and still possibly next to  Chakotay the Captians most Trusted friend even in the end.     then there the Nelix and Kes they are actualy qite Cool and have some very ASD Traits yet they grow on you over time as people and they are the first to give you the outsiders view.    Then there is the last add ons to the Crew of Voyager E'cheb and Seven of Nine, two people Saved from the Borg, The First being Seven of Nine first Introduced to us when Captian Janewaytries to be Freinds with the borg and that doesn't work out so well, but in the end she is able to sever Seven's link to the Borg who have contorled her almost all of her life, at first she isn't happy abou the Situations she is in but over time she regain the Humanity she has so been Isolated from over time, she finds ways to deal with things that people with Autism would findFamilar, in the end she becomes a good freind to the hole crew, a Mentor a Teacher and she saves some Borg Children who in there own way got cut off from the Borg Collective,  E'chebbeing one of them, he Also has a hard time dealing with become more then the Borg he was for years and years and he has to come to terms with the fact that his family didn't Treat him the best and he has to learn to trust others like people with ASD have to sometime.   

then came Enterpise at the end of the Current run of Trek on TV I am sure it will come back to TV and I will be there to Watch

First off Enterprise Grew on me over time, I like Aracher Espcally form that show, he is someone who has to do things litterlay that no one has done before he has to be the First Starship Captian, the first person to become a good friend with a Vulcan, he has to help Humanity grow into the Federation.    T'pol grew on me as well a Vulcan who didn't Belive in Humantiy at first but comes to Relize that Humanity is at it's best when allowed to grow and she finds that she has to grow as well and in the end she helps Reform Vulcan and helps Start the Federation.   Trip and Malcom Reed two very cool people another Example of two people who grow into a Friendship and then the loss of Trip  in the end,  then there is Hosi Sato once again a good woman who loves Communicating and learning new things she is so cool for so many reaons, she is the one who helps Bridge the gap in between the Human Crew of the Nx-01 and the Species they meet along the way and she grows on you  a lot.

Also have to say I kinda like Mayweather a guys who grew up Diffrently but grows into his role asNavagtor and a good person who knows who he is after wondering for a while. 

And then there is JJ Trek, I love it, its new take on the TOS Characters and the spin on how they Get togher and I am looking foward to Star Trek into Darkness to see how they grow and learn to become more then they are now just like people living wiht ASD every day.

Star Trek Started out as my Special Interest but now I have many more Special Interests I have grown into, I will always have my love for Star Trek but now I use as more then just a way to Escape from the world but a way to teach others with ASD about the World around them, and show them that they can be more then what other say they are and I use it to show and tell other people how it feels to grow up with a ASD infact besides talking about growing up and living with Autism myself and knowing others who have lived with it Star Trek is a Good Point ofRefrance for me to tell others though those Character and show how people with ASD/AS feel.

Thanks for Reading this long note it is a good one I have wanted to write for a while, Part of me hopes this note gets to JJ Abrams, Robert Orci, some of the Stars of the Start Trek shows I like so much so they do know they are having an Impact.   I am Partially a Self-Advcoate and someone who speaks about Autism because of Star Trek, IT isn't the only reason I am a Self-Advocate but it is one of the many.