Autistic Teenpreneur Small Business

This blog is going to be a little different than my previous blogs. I’m going to be doing a short “interview” with Peyton  in this blog . He’s the star of this blog… And when I say star I mean the star!

First let me give you a little background. Peyton graduated from high school in June of this year. He did extremely well his senior year of high school, his dad and I were very proud of him.

We sat down with him, asked him what he wanted to do this year. We wanted him to be comfortable in whatever he did. We discussed several options.

I knew he wanted to do something with computers… He’s very fascinated with coding, and has taken some amazing coding classes. He wants to learn how to do apps, as well. However; what he wanted to really do with that skill set was really awesome to me.

Rather than me tell you… Here is my short “interview” with Peyton,  you can see it in his words!

1. If you could do anything, what would it be?

Be a Teenpreneur! 

I wanted  to start an online business for teens and adults, who feel like outsiders.

2. What do  you mean by outsiders?

People who don’t feel like they fit in, people who have autism, anxiety, GAD, ADHD, down syndrome and other special needs.

3. What are your goals for Team Awesomism? 

I wanted it  to be a supportive community. Where people can go find friends and support, but most of all where we connect and help each other when we’re going through rough times. The one thing you won’t find in our community is bullies. We won’t tolerate bullies

4.  What was your favorite part about building the website?

That I got to design it the way I wanted, and I learned a lot by actually doing it. I also really like that it talks about the community I’m trying to build.

5.  What do you want people to really know about Team Awesomism?

That it’s a Supportive Community! That we have all kinds of member benefits. We have a private Twitter account where only members can connect, a really awesome Flipboard magazine where your blogs, pictures, write ups and so much more will be highlighted and put out to the world! I’m really excited about the Flipboard  magazine because over 140 million people read Flipboard!

I want people to know that we are a supportive community that will be there when you go through rough times. That we will have all kinds of cool videos and other learning items to help people find their comfort zone’s and/ or help them with their comfort zones.

We are going to have experts like professional fisherman teach you how to fish better, and so so much more, I don’t want to give away too many secrets or people won’t join ha ha!

We decided to only charge the price of a cup of coffee …well maybe 2 cups, but isn’t that worth it to be a part of a supportive community?

Thanks Peyton!  I know how passionate he is about making this community work! And I as his mother and just as passionate to help him make it work.

We’d love your support! Check us out at and if you’re not ready to become a member yet please feel free to sign up for free email list so we can keep in contact now and then. We promise we won’t overload your email box.

As always, thanks for reading her blog and all your support! And Go Team Awesomism https://teamawesomism.com/

 

 

Autism Redefined

We are honored to have an awesome  guest blogger  today! Samuel Moore-Sobel   You can check out his bio at the end of the blog. As always thanks for reading our blog!

 

Autism Redefined

“I want to have a girlfriend, but I don’t know if I can handle it.” 

Stunned, I turn to look at the teenage boy sitting beside me. Even though I have been asking him (let’s call him Dan) all night what was bothering him, he chooses to tell me this bit of news while we are passengers on a bus filled with teenagers, hurtling towards our intended destination. I, acting as one of the chaperones for this summer camp filled with countless adventures, have just spent the last several minutes attempting to ascertain the reason behind Dan’s distressed demeanor. Despite my repeated questions, he refused to utter even one word, choosing instead to continue sulking. His initial refusal to speak gave me cause for concern. Until his unexpected admission left me speechless. 

I have spent much of the past week making feeble attempts to engage Dan in conversation. He remains quiet much of the trip, keeping to himself even when he is standing by my side. I lob dozens of questions his direction throughout the week. Questions about school, his family, even his favorite video games. His response is nearly always the same – typically offering little more than a one-word answer. 

Dan was one of the deciding factors in my decision to spend a week serving as a chaperone for this summer camp. At first, Dan appeared reticent about attending. He acted as if he possessed a strong desire to go, but still retained worries over how the trip might unfold. He never said so, but I suspected his nervousness had something to do with the fact that he had never been away from home. Until he found a way to convince me to come along; which admittedly, didn’t take much convincing. 

“Don’t let him take 45 minute showers,” his mother tells me moments before our trip is to commence. She is nervous, really nervous, the kind of nervous only a mother gets when she fears for her child. Unsure of how he is going to react, she keeps shouting instructions even as we depart to board the bus. Playfully, she promises to send daily texts to check on Dan. Her sense of humor has hardly changed since we first met several years before. She was the first person to ever offer me a job, hiring me as a sixteen-year-old to be a counselor at a camp dedicated to serving children with special needs. My experience in this area allowing me to remain largely undaunted by the trip ahead.

For the most part, Dan loved camp. He spent plenty of time at the beach, his feet causing sand to fly high in the air as he ran towards the water. His tall frame helped him stand firm against the waves. Dan strikes an impressive figure at fifteen – broad-shouldered with dark skin, his athletic build gives off the distinct impression that he is ready to run at a moment’s notice. A young man with a curious nature, one look into his eyes reveals a desire to take on the world.

A random bystander would likely be unable to detect any evidence that Dan has autism, except for the nervousness he displays throughout the day.

“What time is dinner?”

“What time do I take my medication?’

I give the same response calmly each time he asks me these  questions, knowing full well the queries will be repeated within the hour. He keeps asking, as if the answer I just gave might change if the question is posed once again. I do not mind the incessant questions. After all, I like to ask a lot of questions, too.

The week unfolds nearly as designed, although a few speed bumps are encountered along the way. He becomes rather uncomfortable over the level of noise generated during certain activities. He shows me his discomfort by bringing his hands up to his ears while letting out a few loud noises of his own. This sign propels me to formulate an action plan, typically comprised of plotting a joint escape. We learn to adapt quickly to this new environment. For example, when students gather in the large hall each night for instruction, we nearly always sit outside the doors. Others advise me to force him to attend. I resolve to allow Dan some level of control over his surroundings, eager to grant him the space to make his own decisions. 

Hence why I allow him the time and space to process whatever it is that is bothering him during that bus ride which has never left my memory. After asking a few questions, I resolve to let him be. Within the blink of an eye, his mood changes. Finally ready to talk after what seems like an eternity, his thoughts and feelings come gushing out like an unexpected avalanche.

                “I like Judy,” he tells me quietly. “I just found out she has a boyfriend.” He proceeds to tell me how much he likes this girl, diving into a long list comprised of the typical qualities teenage boys find attractive about members of the opposite sex. His eyes light up as he talks, brimming with palpable excitement. 

                “Her boyfriend is better looking than me, though,” he tells me. “And, you know, I have autism.”

               Shocked, I quickly avert my eyes. Within a few seconds, I glance back towards him as casually as possible, making an ill-fated attempt to hide my internal struggle to piece together a suitable response. In the more than seven years I have known Dan, he has never offered any indication that he is aware of his diagnosis.

Before I can say a word, he picks up where he left off, articulating his desire to live a normal life. He expresses concern over whether or not he will be able to do his own laundry, or even one day own a home. He worries greatly over what his future holds. Yet most of all, he worries if he will ever find a girl to love.

                “Do you think I will ever get a girlfriend?”

                I pause for a few seconds, glancing around to see if anyone is listening to our conversation. Is there anyone else who can provide an adequate answer to this nearly impossible question? 

            I ponder the implications of the question at hand. Ultimately, no one is fully able to predict the future. Finding someone to love is far from a guarantee for any of us, no matter our socio-economic background, upbringing, physical or emotional makeup. Besides, does autism automatically preclude someone from building a life with a romantic partner?

           “It’s hard out there, even if you do not have autism,” I tell him.  

He asks if I have a girlfriend. “No,” I say, offering a few words concerning my own experience. How I failed to go on a first date before reaching my early twenties; and, how that one, along with each subsequent relationship, proved to be incredibly painful before reaching a predictable end. I tell him how the past makes me feel as if the prospect of ever finding someone to share my life with seemingly slips through my fingers ever more rapidly with each passing day.

I then revisit a story I assume his mother told him long ago. I point to the red facial scars under my nose, chin and across my neck. I tell him how I suffered second and third degree burns when I was his age, as I helped move boxes and furniture for a nearby resident; and, how ever since, a day has not gone by during which I wonder if I will ever find a girl who loves me – scars and all.

                “Wow! I always wondered about your scars! I just never asked…” he says, his voice trailing off as he turns back towards the window. His eyes remain trained on the landscape as the bus drives on, taking us farther into the night. I smile as I watch him, looking for signs of emotional turmoil. He seems calm now, as if my explanation has eased his mind.

            Years before, his mother had expressed a great deal of empathy after hearing my story. She argued it was easier for her son, since he was “expected” to be different. Yet the reality is that I can no more fully understand what it is like to have autism, just like those lacking personal experience with burn injuries cannot fully understand what it is like to suffer burns. Human nature is to compare suffering; but instead, we can choose to use our scars to empathize with those around us. 

For we all have scars, both physical and emotional. We all have things we would like to change about ourselves, alterations that would seemingly improve our chances of living out the future we envision. We can use our past experiences as a way to connect, through empathy and compassion, with the similarities in the ways our deep-seated worries coalesce with those held by fellow travelers.

I close my eyes to catch a few moments of rest. I immediately question whether I proffered the right response. Should I have assured him everything would be ok? Or made clear that his diagnosis did not preclude him from finding the girl of his dreams? Should I have affirmed his inner strength, the growth he has shown just in going on this trip? While I couldn’t guarantee my young friend that life would work out exactly the way he planned, I knew deep down that he is more than strong enough to handle whatever comes his way.

Before I can offer any of these sentiments, my eyes quickly open the moment another question hits my ear.

“What time will we get back?” 

    Samuel Moore-Sobel serves an internship in a congressional office on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University

Samuel Moore-Sobel is a security program manager and freelance writer. He is nearing publication of a memoir focusing on his experiences revolving around both trauma and recovery. He writes a column for the Blue Ridge Leader and has written numerous guest blog posts concerning his experience as a burn survivor. His work has been featured in Burn Support MagazineLoudoun NowRoanoke Star, and Mental Health Talk, among several other publications. Visit his website and blog, www.holdingontohopetoday.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram @holdingontohopetoday.

The Unconditional Love of a shelter dog

Both Mark and I love animals…so when my third child started working at the local animal shelter, I knew we would end up adopting at least one animal! I have always had pets of one kind or another….as a kid I had gerbils, dogs etc….

At one point or another…when my older kids were younger we went from dogs to cats …..we always seemed to have a pet around.

I loved having dogs and cats and that rubbed off on my kids. My third child has a real passion for animals and has the perfect temperament for the career he has chosen.

The first dog that we adopted from the shelter, was Tex. I absolutely loved Tex from the first day I saw him. He’s a Bernese Mountain dog mix, and has the sweetest temperament of any dog I’ve ever had.

Tex was young when we got him, he had been neglected and abused. It broke my heart! I remember seeing him in the cage at the shelter, his eyes looked at me and said “please help me!”

We didn’t take him the first time we saw him. When we went back the next day to get him, someone was adopting him. It broke my heart. 💔

I really didn’t feel like adopting a dog that day, because I really want Tex. So my husband and I decided to go back the next day. Guess who was there?!? Yes, TEX!

The people had returned him, and this was Tex’s  third return so he wasn’t long for the shelter, if you know what I mean. There was no way I was going to allow that to happen.

Needless to say, Tex came home with us that day, and has been a very loved member of our family ever since!

Tex has been with us now for over four years,  I never regret getting him from the shelter! He’s such a good dog and so loving.

When Peyton was young he was scared to death of dogs. He would have a meltdown if a dog came to close to him. It wasn’t until about six and a half, seven years ago that he started to actually not be afraid of dogs.

When we first brought Tex home I could tell he was a little afraid of him, partially because Tex is such a big dog. Thank goodness Tex has such an easy-going disposition.

As the years went by Peyton became more and more attached to Tex……And it’s so cute to see them now such big buddies!

Peyton feeds Tex, walks him and is his basic caregiver. It was so cute when Peyton would be doing his schoolwork, Tex would be laying by him on the floor.

What I love most, seeing how Peyton went from being so scared of dogs, that he would have meltdowns… to him having Tex as his  emotional support  dog.

I’ve so often thought about the day at the shelter, when Tex looked at me almost to say help me… And smile and think how much he helped us. His unconditional love for Peyton, and Peyton’s unconditional love for him is such an awesome thing!

Never underestimate the love of a shelter dog! Please visit your local animal shelter,  there are so many animals waiting to be loved, but more importantly to love you unconditionally!

Adopt Don’t Shop!

https://www.aspca.org/

http://www.humanesociety.org/

 

 

Review of the Brain Train by Peyton

The Brain Train company sent me an email of an e-book. I’ve read it, it was interesting and it teaches kids about life skills, nature, history, science and so many other things . I’m going to be briefly reviewing them. 

Even though it’s a kids book, I still really liked  it, and I found  it very interesting because it teaches in an enjoyable way.

The book is about a group of kids going on an adventure to search for the train in the forest. In the beginning of the book, the children went on a trip to see their aunt and uncle. The forest was by their Aunt and Uncle’s House.

The next morning, they decided to go outside hiking, an explored the forest that they’ve never been to before, that’s where they found the brain train. They were very curious about the train, so they went inside of it, and it  looked like a small house.

While they were inside the  brain train, it suddenly drove backwards into the water, the children didn’t know what was going on. They were  stuck in the train underwater, they planned to figure out the way to escape the train in the ocean.

While still stuck in the ocean, they drove down next to the old shipwreck. They were trying to find a way to escape the ocean, either by riding onto the beach shore, or by calling  for help from their family or friends. What should they do? Do they get out?

I don’t want to give away too much, because . I want to encourage you to get that book, and read it yourself! 😁

Though it’s not yet available on the AppStore, they have a mobile app game that teaches kids to explore, solve puzzles and has other fun things to do!

We encourage you to get the app for your kids once it’s released. This book is good for all kids, even autistic kids and teens. It’s a great teaching tool, especially for life skills. It’s challenging but fun!

So we highly recommend it!! The crowdfunding kickstarter will be launched a day before Fourth of July. If you’re really interested in The Brain Train, be sure to follow their account on Twitter, @BrainTrainApp   and here is their website https://www.thinkofmagicstudios.com/subscribe

I hope you enjoy reading my blog! Thanks and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @PeytonAwesomism I’m also on instagram and Flipboard! Peyton

 

A few of my favorite Blogs!

When I sat down to write my “Monday Blog” I honestly had a brain freeze! I couldn’t get motivated…. I hate when I’m like this. Usually I have some sort of idea in my head what I want to write about. I looked at a few things that I use ….that  are my “go to” for inspiration, still I just couldn’t wrap my head around an entire blog idea.

I usually have some sort of idea in my head what I want to write about. I just couldn’t wrap my head around an entire blog idea. So I decided rather than just throw something out there, and write about something that I didn’t really feel from my heart, I would do a best of blogs!

I’m going to  pick five different blogs that I’ve written over the last 2+ years and share them again with you. I have different reasons  why I picked each of these blogs, but I think you’ll get something from each one of them. I wanted it to be varied, I wanted it to be a broad overview of just what AwesomismMom has been about, and how we’ve evolved from when we started till now.

Soon we’re going to be unveiling our new project Team Awesomism…..  I’m so proud of how far we have come. We started with  a “therapeutic blog” and soon we are going to be unveiling some really awesome projects!

Thank you so much for being a loyal reader and for following us on social media!  Your support means more to me than words can express. I hope you continue to follow us and support us!

Please sign up for our newsletter, which will be coming soon.  I promise more details will be coming soon about Team Awesomism,  as well as our newsletter and some other really cool surprise we have planned!

Hope you enjoy these five best of blogs!  I even snuck a blog in the Peyton  wrote! I picked these different blogs for different reasons …when we introduce Team Awesomism,  I think you’ll understand better why!

I loved reading through them because not only does it bring back awesome memories, but I get to see how much we’ve evolved and advanced since we started blogging, and that’s exciting to me.

http://www.awesomismmom.com/bowling-and-life-lessons/

http://www.awesomismmom.com/my-passionate-campaign-for-awesomism/

http://www.awesomismmom.com/my-hero-by-peyton/

http://www.awesomismmom.com/flipboard-and-turning-autism-into-awesomism/

http://www.awesomismmom.com/playing-small/