Welcome to Steve’s Aspie Adventures

Whether you are reading this as a parent, carer, friend or are on the spectrum yourself, a warm welcome to the blog and I’d welcome your comments. I was diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition as a teenager. Throughout my life this has brought unique challenges, deep lows but also very happy times. I hope with this blog I can share some of my experiences, challenges and successes with you. My hope is that it can help along the way at breaking down some of the fears, misconceptions, stereotypes that come hand in hand with Autism by giving an insight into what it’s like as an individual living with the condition.

At times when I’m affected most by my condition life can grind to a halt, but that has given me a drive to experience all I can when I’m feeling well. Travel brings a new perspective on life and the experiences it brings have made my good days even better and given hope in my bad days. For me it’s a metaphorical middle finger to a life-long condition. In my other blog (Roaming Steve) I share some stories of my travel and adventures.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog. Feel free to share this with your friends if you've found it helpful. I'd love to hear your thoughts, any topics you'd like to read about and own experiences so please comment or message me.

Please note, that in all my blog entries I can only relay my personal experiences and perspective. It is important to remember that every single person on the spectrum is an individual with a different story to mine. I have no medical expertise or training and am writing to share my personal experiences only.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Thoughts This Thanksgiving

Like most of my fellow Brits, Thanksgiving comes and goes each November with barely anyone even being aware of the feasts and celebrations happening over the great Atlantic Ocean. It is just another wet and drizzly November day, like all the others. This year I decided to take part myself, but first I better find out what it’s all about…

My knowledge of Thanksgiving is it involves giving thanks and food, lots of food. Turkey, marshmallows, sweet potatoes, marshmallows, pumpkin pie and more marshmallows. According to a quick check on Google, this appears to be accurate. Food is definitely something that I can definitely get involved in but it was the ‘giving thanks’ part that particularly interested me. This got me thinking about what I’m thankful for, so this week I’ll be dedicating my post to my wonderful parents.

My parents are always there for me and I don’t take the time to thank them for all they do for me anywhere near enough. They have always been my biggest supporters, advocates, inspiration and friends. They are the first on the scene when things go wrong and get the brunt of the worst days. I know what a strain and challenge this must be for them and although at the time it might not seem so, I hope they know how much I really appreciate them for all they do.

The last few months have been particularly difficult. A severe dip in my health and a number of troubling bureaucratic hurdles blocking access to support have resulted in me needing to move home to be able to access better support. Mum and Dad have stepped in and helped the best they can to make the move run smoothly. As I type away Dad is down at the hospital trying to get a follow-up appointment arranged following a rather nasty episode last week. When even getting a hospital appointment is as unnecessarily stressful and complicated as it is, their help has been a lifesaver.

Aside from the support when things aren’t going so well I wanted to mention something that my parents have always done that as a child I never fully appreciated but for which I’m particularly thankful for – encouraging my hobbies and interests. They didn’t just show an interest in what I was into at the time, but they’d get involved themselves. This helped me achieve so much, build my confidence a create so many happy memories.

I’ve talked in previous posts about my interest in fungi. I will always have fond memories of walks in the forest with my dad searching for a rare find together, or crawling through the undergrowth to get the best photo. When I developed an interest in travel there was always an opportunity to travel somewhere new together. I can always say I conquered all of the compass points of the UK with my dad. Travelling all the way to Muckle Flugga, the UK’s northernmost outpost was great fun for me, but to share it with my dad made is so much more special. Mum has an amazing creative side to her and this was always an opportunity for some family bonding too. Growing up there was always something to do, from baking, building dens with sofa cushions to lego towers reaching the ceiling. There was always something creative to get involved in.

So this Thanksgiving I think it is a perfect time to say thank you for being the most caring, generous and wonderful parents anyone could ask for.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I’d love to hear from you about what you are doing for thanksgiving and share your stories.
The day my parents wanted to try on a new pair of shoes...

well I guess it was easier to join in rather than get me to sit normally...
During my 'world domination' phase...
This didn't last long, and I'm not sure Simon Cowell would have been impressed...

I guess building a sandcastle on a pebble beach in February was never going to be a winner... although the red boot / balaclava combo definitely is - bravo on the style choice mum & dad!
Loving life with my spacehopper - the best form of transport ever invented!

So as not to feel left out, here is the whole family with my amazing sisters. (I'm the bald dribbly one in the middle)

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