Saturday, January 14, 2012

Through the Looking Glass: If You See Me

post submitted by Melissa Stevenson ~ Stevensons Life in Pieces


If you see me spinning in circles, it’s because it feels good to me.  While it might make you feel dizzy, it actually makes me feel more grounded.

If you see me biting or chewing on my clothing it might be because I’m nervous or in a new situation.  It soothes me.

If you see me crying in a restaurant it could be any number of things, the music playing in the background, the people conversing around me, or even the smell of the food.  Sometimes, these things are too much for me to handle.  It even took my parents a long time to understand that these things actually hurt me.

If you see me playing on a playground and I don’t tell you my name or try to play with you, it isn’t because I am mean or don’t like you.  It’s because I am not really sure how to interact with you.  Maybe you can help to teach me how.

If you see me, and I am making noises, or repeating words that make no sense to you, I am either attempting to soothe myself, trying to communicate, or working to understand something.  This is how I process things.

If you see me, don’t just look, please try to really see ME.  I am a person just like you.

The song “Pieces” came to me one day during a time when my son was extremely frustrated and unhappy.  I felt overwhelmed and out of control most of the time.  There was nothing I could do to make him feel better and I just felt helpless.  No one was ever actually meant to hear the song.  My husband recorded it at our home and we liked how it came out.  Still, I did nothing with it for months thinking, “How can I share this with people?” “Do I really want to put myself and my family out there like this?”  Then I thought, “if I don’t do it, who else will”?  People need to know about autism, the struggles and the rewards.  I created a blog to tell a little about autism, my family, and the song. 

We decided to make the song available for download, and we’re giving half the profits to our local chapter of the Autism Society, because it has been such a helpful organization for us.  Please visit my blog to download the song.

Then, a few weeks ago, my husband decided to create a video promoting autism awareness to accompany the song.  Again, I thought, “How can I put this out there?”  It was a very scary thing for me.  But, so far, it has been extremely worth it.  Everyday someone tells me they have either been touched by it, can relate to it, or have learned something from it.  This is what keeps me sharing, and it’s great free therapy, too!  Hope you like it.

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.