Everytime I go to a store that has shopping carts, I get so frustrated. Too many people just don’t take the time to push the carts into the outside corrals. They shove the cart and wherever and however it lands…so be it! I always try to at least somewhat fix them, or I have to admit, stand there until I have them completely organized. I do this for several reasons. One is to try to make the job easier for the poor guys and girls who have to do this in heat, cold, rain, sleet, snow etc…. Also, because I am always hoping someone is watching and realizes that they too can do a good deed by just helping arrange the carts better! Being out in the elements can be tough and by organizing them, it allows them to get back inside quicker. I know in the scope of all the bad things happening in the world, this may seem so insignificant, but I am firm believer in if we take care the little things….tackling the bigger ones become easier!
I often think about the quote by Aesop ” No Act of Kindness, however small, is ever Wasted” if we really live by this, imagine how much of a kinder world we would have! You never know who may be touched or helped by “a small act of kindness” If someone is having a bad day, offering an encouraging word, may just be the thing they need. Being kind doesn’t cost anything, but being mean can and may have many negative consequences. I decided years ago one of my “small acts of kindness” was going to be, organizing shopping carts. It’s almost become an obsession of mine : ) I especially am driven in tough weather conditions, as I see it as my little way to help the cart people, not have to be in the elements as long.
It’s almost ironic in some ways to me that years ago I picked this as one of my “acts of kindness” Now that I am an autism campaigner…..I know some of the people who work the carts at stores, are those with special needs, including autism. Several large grocery chains are awesome about hiring autistic teens and adults, and this is one of the jobs they give them. I have actually over the years been “fixing” the cart corrals when the person has come outside and seen me. Most often they thank me and that makes my day. I realize there are times and situations that may not allow someone to put their cart in the corral properly, but more times than not we can.
My purpose for writing this blog isn’t to lecture you about how to bring your shopping cart back to the corral….but to have us all stop and think how our everyday activities allow us an opportunity to do an act of kindness. As an autism campaigner I am especially passionate about doing whatever I can to help make life easier for autistic kids and adults, especially those who are working at retail stores. Next time you are at your big box store, grocery store etc….and you see a grocery cart in the middle of the lot…look at it as an act of kindness. After all if start with the little stuff, the big stuff becomes easier!
The last 10 days I have been very sick, just now starting to somewhat get back on my feet. I will spare you the details, but let’s just say don’t ignore a bad tooth. When I am sick I really love to watch classic TV, although I am always a big fan of classic TV. I even wrote a blog in February about classic TV http://www.awesomismmom.com/the-awesomism-of-classic-tv/ When I am sick it’s the ONLY thing I want to watch. There is a comfort that they provide to me. Right before I got sick Peyton told us about a new channel to Direct TV, FETV, it’s all classic TV. It even shows Hazel, my favorite show of all time! Trying to take my mind off of how awful I felt, I watched it almost nonstop, when I wasn’t sleeping. I tend to get very introspective, analytical and overly emotional when I am sick. So needless to say, I was thinking about my mission to turn Autism into Awesomism.
One of the themes that I find through so many of the classic TV shows, all the way from a comedy like Hazel, to a drama like Perry Mason is….they support the underdog! It seems the themes of these “classic shows” is to not only give lip service to helping others, but to actually help them in any way you can. People rallied together to make sure negative situations were turned into positive endings! As I expressed in my earlier blog I realize this is somewhat of a ” starry eyed view” but there are true lessons to be learned by this. Too often we express our support and our wanting a solution for problems we see, but we also too often just give “lip service” I am a firm believer that if everyone dedicated 30 minutes a week to working an issue they feel passionate about, we’d have a better world. Having been basically bed ridden for over a week, I have had a lot of time to think. I feel even more determined to take our Awesomism Mission on the road! I am deeply passionate about sharing the high unemployment rate for Autistic teens and adults and helping find solutions! I also realize not everyone can “take to the road” to change things, but there are MANY ways we can support others. I say all the time “TOGETHER we can and will make a DIFFERENCE” Mark, Peyton and I are committed to making this work, but we can’t without your help and support! I have written several blogs about how others can help, I’d deeply appreciate your checking them out! Clearly the most important ways for others to help is by being a sponsor! You can do this professionally as well as personally. Also, by retweeting, sharing and following us on social media is a big help. We want to connect with as many people as we can. We will sharing videos and more as well as a Flipboard magazine dedicated just to the trip!
Classic TV shows were my “comfort” during my illness, in their own way they made me feel better. Supporting the underdog and giving more than lip service is my “comfort” in making a positive difference for autistic teens and adults! By having those who read my blog, join in helping us, in anyway they can also reinforces my believe that while “classic TV” may be somewhat “starry eyed” they stil have very relevant life lessons in them!
As many of you may or may not know, Mark, Peyton and I are getting ready to head out on a year long adventure! We are really getting excited! My previous two blogs have been a basic outline preview to what we are planning to do. This blog will be a more in depth look at not only what we are planning on, but how you can help us. We really want to be able to make a difference, and realize in order to do that we need to work with others. This journey is not only about raising awareness of the high unemployment rate among autistic people, but to help offer some solutions. I am a big believer that problems only stay problems, when we don’t address them head on.
I am calling this adventure “The Awesomism Quilt” my goal is to take everyone’s Awesomism stories both good and bad,and weave them together to form a beautiful “masterpiece”. Some of my favorite quilts are those that have pieces of fabrics that have a story attached to them. I had a family member who handmade quilts, she would use pieces of fabric that came from baby blankets, clothes, pillows etc..when I would look at the finished product,I felt an attachment to the quilt, as it became a “fabric picture” of special moments to me. Just like those quilts, I want this adventure to be filled with special moments that others can look at and feel an attachment. This is bigger than any one entity or group can handle. This is about helping so many others create a positive future for themselves and others.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
There are many ways but these are the most important:
•We are looking for Sponsors..We would love to work with small businesses as well as National brands. If you are interested, or know someone who would be, please reach out and I will send you our sponsorship information, as well as a specific plan on how we can work together.
•If you are an individual and support our cause and want to be a sponsor, you can support us through PayPal….Lynne@AwesomismMom.com if you don’t have paypal, please reach out and we can work it out.
•We are looking for Awesomism stories, if you know of someone who has an awesome story to share, please reach out. We are interested in both positive and negative employment stories, as well as stories from those struggling to find work.
•We are looking for both individuals and businesses that are looking to sponsor both round tables and ‘meet and greets’. When we come together and discuss issues, we can come to solutions. If you are interested, please reach out.
•We are looking for venues to connect with others and spread our mission..such as groups, businesses, organizations where we can share.
•We are looking for businesses, that are either already hiring autistic adults or are interested in hiring.
•We are looking for ways to help spread our mission, such as podcast, radio spots, Social media etc…please reach out if you would be interested in doing an interview.
•We are looking for suggestions on towns and cities to head to also!
We would really love your support, and we look forward to connecting!
Together we can turn Autism into Awesomism!
In the middle of September Peyton will turn 18! As with all my kids this birthday is a big deal. The 18th birthday is a beginning in many ways, of a new chapter in our lives. In most states you are considered an adult. I remember when each of my older kids turned 18 , I was happy and sad at the same time. I knew they were “grown up”, at least in the eyes of society. At the same time, I was sad that they were soon going to be on their own! I turned 18 while I was in college and remember thinking it was so awesome! While I am excited for Peyton, it also very much stresses me. I know he is aware that 18 means becoming “an adult” but he also realizes that he is limited somewhat as to what he will be doing, after he is 18.
Peyton like many autistic teens faces many obstacles, as he faces adulthood. According to a study conducted by Washington University in St. Louis in 2012,unemployment and underemployment rates for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ASD, that is, they show up somewhere on the Autism spectrum) is at 90%. It is estimated that 1.5 million people in the US have ASD and about 80% of them are under age 22. Moneyish ran an article April 10, 2017 stating “There will be 500,000 adults on the autism spectrum aging into adulthood over the next 10 years. Yet a whopping 85% of college grads affected by autism are unemployed, compared to the national unemployment rate of 4.5%” These are staggering numbers and to be honest, are very upsetting to me.
I started blogging almost two years ago and have come to realized so many issues that need to be addressed within the autism community. This one by far has me the most upset. As someone said to me other day, this is beyond comprehension that this issue isn’t given more attention. Many times these types of issues, when brought to others attention can find solutions or at least help try to find solutions. As someone who worked in grassroots for many years, I always like to try to connect directly with people. That’s exactly what we are planning to do starting in August! Mark, Peyton and I are going to go on an “Awesome Autism Adventure to turn Autism into Awesomism” we are going to put faces to stories..raising awareness to the unemployment rate that so many are dealing with….but don’t be mistaken, our journey is also to try to find solutions. We will be Travelling the Country, meeting people, talking about the issues and letting others know! We will be weaving together others’ life stories and building a beautiful “quilt” We will be blogging, periscoping , video taping and more as we travel and meet so many awesome people along the way! We would LOVE to have you get involved! I am a firm believer in a unified team approach. Together we can do awesome things! Please reach out and connect with us on how we can support each other on this Awesomism Journey. We would love to connect with you as we take our Awesomism to the Road!
THE AWESOMISM QUILT!
Weaving Awesomism life stories together!
Follow us on our Journey to turn Autism into Awesomism!
Now that Peyton is 18 we want to show him America and meet so many Awesomism people along the way!
“Sharing a Coffee, Tea or Water can help take people from strangers to Friends! “
Lynne has branded herself as ‘AwesomismMom’ with a website, social media accounts and even a book available on Amazon (Mom On An Awesomism Mission). She comes from an entrepreneurial family in Chicago which she leveraged into 25+ years of working in grassroots politics in Florida, while at the same time homeschooling all 4 of her kids, the oldest of which is 31, the youngest is 17 and autistic. Together with her husband, Mark, AwesomismMom is a family on a mission to help autism families. From this setting, she realizes that every person she comes in contact with has a story to be heard. Our primary focus is to help those who are teens and adults adapt better into the world that doesn’t always understand exactly what autism is.
Lynne has been featured by Flipboard both in print as well as was invited to speak to the company in Palo Alto, was a speaker at HECOA ( Home Education Council of America) , participated in several different autism fundraising campaigns, guest writer for Autism Parenting magazine, Woodlands Kiwanis Club, Underdogkids Foundation (of which she is now a board member) as well as several other groups ….for her work in the autism community. With an 85% adult unemployment rate among autistic adults, jobs and job skills are foremost to her Awesomism campaign.
Mark, Lynne and Peyton are taking to the road to meet, connect, help and tell the stories of Awesomism teens and adults. Human connection is very important to be able to truly understand others challenges. We will be sharing these stories and experiences through Blogs, social Media, flipboard magazine, newsletter, periscope and more!
How can you help?
There are many ways you can be a part of our mission!
We are looking for Sponsors.. if you are interested please reach out and I will send you our sponsorship information.
We are looking for Awesomism stories, if you know of someone who has an awesome story to share please reach out.
We are looking for venues to connect with others such as groups where we can share our Mission!
We are looking for suggestions on towns and cities to head to as well!
Check out my book. “Mom on an Awesomsim Mission” available at:
LinkedIn: Lynne AwesomismMom