Paul Louden

Paul Louden is a radio host with autism who hosts a radio show called “Theories of Mind.”  The show is about how adults go through life with autism.

Find him at KTEK 1110 in Houston, Iradio, or at www.business1110ktek.com.

Bernard Marcus

Bernard Marcus is an American businessman and philanthropist. He co-founded Home Depot and was the company’s first CEO; he served as Chairman of the Board until retiring in 2002.

Marcus has opposed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). He has also suggested that clients send donations to groups and Senate Republicans also against the EFCA. He views the legislation as hindrance to American capitalism, calling it “the demise of a civilization” and suggesting that any retailer who does not fight it “should be shot; should be thrown out of their goddamn jobs.” Marcus has also been an opponent of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2015, Marcus donated $1.5 million to Super PACs supporting Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.

Marcus also funded and founded The Marcus Institute, a center of excellence for the provision of comprehensive services for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. In May 2005, Marcus was awarded the Others Award by the Salvation Army its highest honor. Marcus donated $25 million to Autism Speaks to spearhead its efforts to raise money for research on the causes and cure for autism. He is an active member of the board of directors.

Marcus is currently chairman of the Marcus Foundation, whose focuses include children, medical research, free enterprise, Jewish causes and the community. Marcus is on the Board of Directors and an active volunteer for the Shepherd Center. His main focus is in providing care for war veterans with traumatic brain injuries. He was named a Georgia Trustee in 2009. In 2012, Marcus was awarded the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leader.

Married twice. Two children with his first wife, Fred and Suzanne; and a stepson, Michael, with his second wife, Billi.

First Comic Book Hero with Autism

Michael is a comic book character with autism – a hero with a mathematical mind, artistic gift and an abundance of compassion.

<img class=”img-responsive img_inline” src=”http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2014_35/638851/mike_zephyr_cowl_d5eadc7e0dea98bd7257e2ec965c195f.nbcnews-fp-360-360.jpg” alt=”Face Value Comics” title=”” itemprop=”image”/> Face Value Comics

The creator of the series, Dave Kot, hopes his books can help people on the autism spectrum better understand the world around them. He said, “This is an opportunity for kids to have a hero like themselves.”

Kot and illustrator Sky Owens made sure Michael and the other comic book characters are drawn with vivid facial expressions, in order to provide a kind of playbook for those who struggle with social cues.

<img class=”img-responsive img_inline” src=”http://media3.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2014_35/638846/facialfeatures_1_5265f9f1b995aa04c9e49daaa983652f.nbcnews-fp-360-360.jpg” alt=”Face Value Comics” title=”” itemprop=”image”/> Face Value Comics

“One of [Michael’s] greatest powers and abilities is his own understanding of his emotions,” Kot said.

The comic books are resonating with people in the autistic community everywhere, helping kids like Brian Rasmuson understand they’re not alone.

“I think these comics help people see that autism isn’t just a disability,” Brian said. “It’s not all of who you are, but it’s a special part of who you are. Whenever I read this comic I think of that part of me.”

Julia

There’s a new girl moving to Sesame Street: Julia, who has autism.

Julia will be featured online playing alongside characters like Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and Grover, Sesame Workshop announced Wednesday.

Sesame Workshop has also unveiled an interactive website called Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children, along with resources for families, teachers, and caregivers. These include guides to simplify everyday activities that can pose challenges for children affected by autism, including bedtime routines, going to the grocery store, and brushing teeth.

The website is designed with adaptations for those with autism as well, including larger buttons, audio-off options, and other customizable features. An iPad app is also available on iTunes.

PERSONAL NOTE: I think it’s amazing!

How to Understand People

Sometimes, people with autism have trouble understanding other people.

Tips on how to understand normal people and other people with disabilities (i.e. family member, friend, relative, or stranger):

  • Do not be a heartless, rude, selfish or condescending jerks even if you don’t mean to be.
  • Don’t be a bully online or in person.
  • Don’t be self-centered, dishonest, and greedy.
  • Ask them questions about themselves, not too many. Too many questions would make people uncomfortable.
  • Put yourselves in their  shoes. (Not literally!) It means understand their points of view on certain things or understand what they’re going through. Have empathy. For example, someone’s pet dies. You say “I’m so sorry” and share a similar experience you had.
  • When they’re upset, offer some sympathy. Express condolences. Give them a hug or a pat on the shoulder or ask first. Example: Someone’s pet died. You say, “I’m so sorry. My condolences.”
  • If some people are bossy, take it in stride.
  • Listen to their problems or whatever they talk about.
  • Don’t interrupt them when they’re speaking to you or someone else.
  • Don’t offer unsolicited advice unless they ask.
  • React to certain situations in appropriate ways.
  • Say “hello” or “good morning” back. Don’t worry if you don’t hear them. It’s not your fault. Next time you see them, tell them not to take it personally when you ignore them. For example: “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you say hello. I’ll try again next time.” Explain why you didn’t hear.
  • Don’t say hurtful, offensive things. Keep them to yourself. Be nice or at least, pretend to be. For example, someone wears a weird outfit. Instead of making a mean comment, say “Wow! You look great!” Or to a fat person: “You’re not fat. You’re fine just the way you are.”
  • When you’re anger or upset with them, deal with it nonviolently (or calmly). Talk to someone, hit on a pillow, stop and think of something elselet it go. React in an appropriate way. Do not overreact verbally or physically. That would only make things worse. Do not even lash out physically. Hitting, assaulting, and throwing things at them or anything that is harmful are unacceptable. There’s a law on assault and battery. You could go to jail if you broke that law.
  • Ignore their useless comments or whatever they say that offends you.
  • Understand their boundaries.
  • Don’t force them or pressure them to do anything.
  • Do not be a stalker.
  • Do something nice for them like sending a card, buying them a gift, or something nice.
  • Don’t get too involved in their personal problems or try to fix their problems unless they need your help.
  • Ask them to do things nicely. Don’t be bossy.
  • Open your mind to anything.
  • Be reasonable and compassionate.
  • Don’t get mad when they are unavailable to hang out or decide not to for some reason. Be understanding. Be like “Ok.” In certain situations, say, “Ok, we’ll reschedule it.”
  • Stick up for people when they’re being bullied or something else happens.
  • No name-calling.
  • Be tolerant. Do not make fun of them.
  • Learn how to read social cues better. It’s ok if you missed a few.
  • Offer to help out, sometimes. Don’t worry if they reject you.
  • Do not discriminate against their race, religion, nationality, disability, sexuality, age, gender, etc.
  • Apologize of any wrongdoing or if you don’t know if you did, ask the person.