Disabled Twitter Users Petition

How many of you use a social networking site? I do. I’m getting very annoyed at the amount of nasty posting towards disabled people especially. Many of the community members of social networks are ok but there’s always a few people that have to spoil it for others.

Disabled social media users are more likely to self harm or want to die because they can not cope with the hurt of words – yes they may just be words but to an Autistic person like me it somehow hurts more because we take every word literally.

This is why I’ve put a petition up to try to get Twitter to listen to the complaints sent to them. They do not seem to understand mental health issues or Autism/Aspergers.

You can sign it here : https://www.change.org/p/disabled-twitterers-twitter-to-look-at-reports-closer-ban-users-deemed-to-be-bullying-a-disabled-person

I don’t know if it’ll help but I would really like to see Twitter look at slander and swearing towards disabled people on their site.

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Music To My Ears

I have been having a busy few months doing lots of things but I didn't want to forget to post about my experience watching a certain male pop star live for the very first time!

I went to see Robbie Williams in Southampton in early June ! What a really great night it was… first we had the supporting act – Erasure – I didn't know much of their songs but there were a few that everyone did know. I liked the shiny suit the lead vocalist wore. It was also raining so we got a little damp, but I was about to see Robbie Williams so did I really worry about it being a bit wet?

We were really quite close to one end of the stage I shed a few tears cos I had been waiting for this moment since November when I booked the tickets! The whole stage setting was really amazing – I knew it would be as I know from TV concert broadcasts etc. In real life it was HUUUUUUUUUGE!

Robbie came on and I sung to every song… he even had his dad on with him and they sung a song together. The Boxing glove that was in the middle became part of the show when he did Love My Life – and that was one of my favourite parts in the show, as it's my favourite song off the latest album. I read that in another show the hand got stuck and he was left stranded on it!

The funniest part was when he had a lady on stage to sing 'Somethin' Stupid' and he had one of them masks that makes you look like a character and not a human with the mouth bit that moves. I was really glad he did songs from all times of his career so far – he even did Freedom to tribute George Michael's career – Robbie had actually done his own cover after leaving Take That.

Robbie was impressed we all knew old songs that weren't even his when he tested to see if we knew words (RW/music fans are of any age so it's not surprising that we knew lots !).

At the end of the show, I cried and cried because it was so so so so so good and I couldn't believe that I'd finally had the time of my life! My dream to see Robbie Williams live had finally happened!

Thank you to my parents that had to be chauffeur (dad) and concert buddy (mum)….
A great big thank you to Mr Robbie Williams and his crew for making such a fantastic evening and I hope that he's well on the mend with his back now.

I still have yet to meet the man – Maybe …… someday!

Music and loud noise can be a scary thing for Autistics. However because it was something I was enjoying and I knew the music well, then I had no problems. It would have been a big shame if I'd had to wear ear defenders on my very special evening at such a local(ish) venue. Robbie doesn't come to the south coast much now he's uuuuuuuber famous, but maybe after the evening that he had with us all he might be back! Let's hope so, eh? #WeWantRW

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A Greek Deja View

Ok, that title suggests something… yup we were in Greece two years ago in May, same time (ish) and certainly the same place ! Plus the views were still incredibly amazing – and we didn’t have too many ‘off’ days either. However we got woken up at 7:30 one morning to an awesomely loud thunderstorm!

Corfu, and the Greek islands are no stranger to a nice dollop of sun. The sea was lovely and clear in many places – I think one of my favourite things to do was walking back along the waters edge after lunch in the little town of Sidari, where we stayed.

I managed to burn myself the first full day we were there – due to me not actually remembering that it was significantly hotter than jolly old England. However, by the end of my holiday you would not have even known I had burned. I seem to brown off so easy when I actually put my cream on!

I did a ton of swimming most days. The first week it was very quiet and the pool is not very big, compared to many others I have ever been in. I felt I had to keep swimming as much as I could as I did not want to return home looking like a potato. I must have swam in excess of almost a thousand lengths on holiday. I was also missing about three sessions of football due to the longevity of holiday and flight days.

Had Greek night twice at the restaurant attached to our hotel and I helped first timers to dance. I had knowledge of how it all happened of an evening (many with Aspergers get scared or frightened if they don’t know what is coming next, so I expect the people that I had spoken to about me having it were probably impressed by my enjoyment of such an evening!!) – Plus I got a chance to dance with one of the men the second week, which was an honour really.

I had pleasure of watching (cue awesome hotel owner) Nikos in his band two nights as well. The music was loud and I enjoyed listening to all (Loud sounds can cause many Autistic people to freak out occasionally but I love a live performance). It is all music that has been done by big names such as Queen, Pink Floyd or such and there was sing-alongs too that we could join in.

We had a bus trip out to Corfu Town on the middle Friday and we managed to pick up an incredible filo pastry cheese pie each, for lunch, which is full of feta and it is totally gorgeous. My dad started feeding the pigeons with crumbs, which made him look like the old bird (wo)man!

I made a few friends plus saw an old one from two years ago. The youngest that I managed to have a conversation with was a boy called George and he was 14. I thought he looked younger, and I guess he would be happy with that but when hes 18 he might still not look his age. Tricky one if you want to buy a pint, that. I had gone over to his parents to tell them who I was – some parents get over protective of their kids in pools with an adult coming up to them to talk. Sad that in this day you can’t trust everyone.

I don’t want to leave this post on a negative so here is what I will do:

This piece was all about my Greek experience this year,
With wonderful yummy food and full of excitement and cheer,
Thanks to my parents that made it possible to holiday here,
Many nights to have fun and to drink a pint of beer!

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Celebrity Obsessions

My life through time has included the more celebrity person orientated obsessional side being outed, as that is a major point in an Aspergian’s life. I wish to tell you how these have affected me.

Firstly the more little of obsessions were over the likes of Anthea Turner, but some didn’t always last that long as others. There is no way to snap us out of an obsession so I’m guessing that is how we are for life! As a young kid, I had no worries of being me and fantasy over such things or people, I found quite acceptable.

My first big obsession was over The Spice Girls. I liked to pretend that they were my imaginary friends and I’d have them in my room. I have pretty much been a fan of them from the beginning. My mum has told me that she thought The Spice Girls were good role models for young girls. My favourite Spice Girl is Emma Bunton, because she is cute and her nickname in the group was Baby. I guess I related to her most because I’m the youngest in my family. Not because of my style: I have none…!

When that had all finished, I found out about Robbie Williams. I didn’t know Take That as I was very young when they were about. I became a Robbie fan around the time I was in a dance group at school and we did a dance to Millennium. So that’s when I decided I would follow him. By the way, he holds the record for the most Brit awards in the world. I have written stories about what I would do if I met him – some I have written late at night and are my best handiwork. I have also had lots of pictures up on my wall of Robbie that I’ve cut from calendars. I’d still like to meet him and I’m off to a concert in June to see him live for the very first time!

My next massive obsessional crush on a celeb is on a TV comedy called ‘Benidorm’ – I didn’t start watching properly till about series 5. One actor in the cast I got attached to is Jake Canuso. He plays Mateo the Spanish barman (although he’s Italian). I had found him on Twitter and then got talking to him on there and told him about my disability, which he found possibly a bit scary at first – the fact I was Tweeting to him a lot and a friend had to step in to re-assure him that I’m harmless. I can get a bit obsessed through Twitter with celebs and most are fine about it which means a lot to me.
In December 2015 my dream to meet him was completed as I went to see him in panto in Bradford (yes my wonderful parents got me tickets for birthday/Christmas) – I was absolutely made up when I finally met him!

I still haven’t quite got over the fact I have met Jake Canuso but I seem to have crushes on men over 40. So my final mention is of an English ex pro footballer turned manager who used to play for Portsmouth in the 90’s and early 00’s… His name is Lee Bradbury (we call him Bradders!), and I think he is gorgeous!
My enjoyment of footy has been since the late 90’s and I earwigged conversations the boys were having when I was in Year 4 – so that’s how I got to know the names of the Pompey legends (never thought I’d ever come face to face with my absolute favourite!!)
I first met Bradders in October 2015 at a charity game, and it was so amazing that I was star struck and I couldn’t talk because I didn’t know what to say to my absolute number one in football. I now meet him most of the year as I follow ‘The Hawks’ (Havant And Waterlooville FC) – he is manager there.
I have met Lee’s family and they’re fully aware that I adore him and they are understanding. Lee is very patient with me, and I do like a quick hug each time I see him which makes me very happy.
Lee is the reason I now play football in a disability group, so it makes a lot of sense to follow his career and get to know him as a person. Playing footy keeps me fit and gets me out meeting other football fans.

So you see that I’ve had a small range of people that I’ve been quite ‘into’ and most are alright that I support them. I just do it in a more keen way than other people might.
Some of the other people in between that I’ve had ‘a thing’ for are: Beverley Knight (singer – met her in 2009 at her concert for my 21st), Adam Woodyatt (Eastenders ‘Ian Beale’ – mostly cos he’s the longest serving cast member and he’s had funny storylines over the years too!)

Where I have these crushes or such, shows that I’m human at the end of the day… we all have someone we like, and as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone then it’s ok. I feel that my support for these guys is good and I like that I can be my own person around them – I will never be able to change who I am so they may as well get to enjoy the support because I’ll always be there if they need it!

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Food and Autism

I think this is one of my favourite subjects because – I love my food!

Being on the Autism Spectrum, you would think I would have problems with foods and how it is on my plate – that’s the stereotype most are familliar with. The science of Autism and how they feel about food is that many will struggle from a very early age. My mum made sure that I ate as much variety as she could find for me to try. That’s why I was eating fillet steak and scallope at 17 months old!

The problems that have been known surrounding food is that:

1) Autistic people will not eat food that has touched another piece of food.
This is the main issue as the information that the person gets when eating food and textures would be mixed up and that they would panic. One of my favourite things to eat is a pasta salad, and as the name suggests (salad) – the food is all mixed together. Many with more severe Autism may not cope at all with that for lunch as they prefer it all seperate so they can manage the tastes at their own pace.

2) The amount of food on their plate may feel like a mountain.
Avoiding giving them a massive roast will not expand their pallate – yes… give them a roast, but have a small amount of everything to try. Even if they spit out a food or they pull a funny face (camera at the ready for silly faces!), tell them that it is ok not to like a food and maybe try the food again the next week or even next day if you wish. Don’t expect them to finish the whole plate of food, but if they do then celebrate that they have done well. Trying new food is essential to diet, so the more they try a range of food, the better. Always encourage eating – When out in a restaurant, ask for a little plate so that you can put a bit of your food on for them to try.

3) ‘My son/daughter will only eat the same thing each dinner time!’
Ok, firstly can that food be prepared in different ways (an egg can be cooked in many different ways – scrambled, hard boiled, fried etc).
Don’t let your child control you. Make mealtimes fun for them by letting them see food being made. Younger aged kids and toddlers may like to first feel food with hands and they may put it in their mouth themselves. Certainly DO NOT stop them from trying new foods and do not make up their minds for them as to what they can and can’t eat. As I said above in the point before, encourage them to try more.

Many parents make the mistake ‘I don’t like (this food) so I’m not giving it to my child!’ That in itself is the wrong way to go about food.

Some foods that I currently don’t like are:
Celery, Radish, Olives, Watercress, (heavy) Vinegar and Pepper seasoning
But who knows, one day my tastebuds may change to like them.

Autistic people aren’t the most inquisitive about things but if you help them from early age then you’ll give them a bright future – you may even have a little chef on your hands one day! Nothing is impossible!

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