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, I❤radio, or at www.business1110ktek.com.
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.
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.
A message to ignorant people:
Do not discriminate against us: people with autism.
Autism is not contagious. It’s a developmental disability, not a disease or a mental illness. See the difference.
We are just people like you, not animals, robots, or objects.
We have names. Call us by them, not mean names.
Be extremely tolerant. Put up with our quirks.
Be nice, don’t bully.
Shame on you, bullies!
We are part of society. Let us in.
Do not make fun of us.
Do not make us feel like outcasts or outsiders.
All we want is respect and dignity.
Put yourselves in our shoes. What it’s like to be us?
If you can’t accept us, that’s your problem, not ours.
Elvis Presley’s words, “Don’t be cruel.”
In these cases:
What I wrote on GMA link above:
I agree with the comments made for that post (I’m referring to the Broadway star’s compassion post). Those close-minded people were idiots. They should’ve been more tolerant instead of being cruel to the mother and her kid. As a high-functioning autistic adult myself, I’ve been to a few plays and none bothered me. Before I saw To Kill a Mockingbird play, my mother told me not to get upset at the scene where Atticus Finch shot the dog. During that scene, I didn’t react. I remained calm. Sometimes, a pre-show heads-up for people with autism would be helpful.
Another case, a bunch of kids made fun of Paige Morgan’s autistic brother, Adam. So, she wrote a book about autism to educate the kids.
Examples of kindness:
Another case: a teen with Asperger’s in the UK used a selfie stick to document daily bullying for the PSA. http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/national/spotlight-aspergers-syndrome-anti-bullying-psa/npZCr/
Jamie Lee Curtis’s advice to autstic students: http://www.thewrap.com/jamie-lee-curtis-gives-advice-to-graduating-students-with-autism-aim-high/
Disney Pixar Movie: “Inside Out” helps families with autism: https://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/disney039s-quotinside-outquot-helping-families-autism-look-feelings
An Autism Diagnosis Script for Doctors: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-lovy/an-autism-diagnosis-script-for-doctors_b_7472168.html
Seven-Year-Old Autistic Piano Prodigy Plays Taylor Swift’s 1989 Album From Memory:
People who called autism a disease for decades were wrong: http://www.vox.com/2015/8/31/9233295/autism-rights-kanner-asperger
Autism and Vaccination Day: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shanell-mouland/autism-and-vaccination-da_b_8182074.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
Non-Verbal Boy Pens Must Read Article on Autism: http://news.yahoo.com/nonverbal-boy-pens-must-read-1319322970873910.html
Mother whose child is both autistic and diabetic: https://www.families.com/blog/my-son-has-juvenile-diabetes-and-autism-a-mothers-interview
Autistic lawyer: http://www.fosterwebmarketing.com/blog/lawyer-with-autism-devotes-career-to-special-education-law.cfm
High School Graduate Walks with Autistic Brother: https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2015/05/27/sibling-walks-alongside-twin-brother-autism-graduation
Dalmatians Help 8-Year-Old Child With Autism Read:
Firefighters Deliver Birthday Surprise to an 11-year-old Boy With Autism:
Twins with Autism run marathon: https://youtu.be/hVGyOgomHD0
*The twins survived the Boston Marathon terror attack in 2013.