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Celebrating World Autism Awareness Day

April 2, 2020– I’m so excited to share a post with you from a very special guest. This was submitted via Facebook to me by Michelle on behalf of her son Rean, who is 14 years old and has autism. He wrote this himself a couple of weeks ago. This post is a wonderful way for us to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, together. Thank you for this Rean and Michelle!  X LLB

Autism~what makes me, me
Hello, my name is Reán Denis Doherty. I have written this to talk about Autism and how it affects the daily lives of those who have it.
Autism is widely misunderstood in terms of what people are capable of and what they aren’t, what emotions they can feel and what they can’t. I, myself have Autism and I am thankful that it isn’t severe. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a disability in which a persons way of communication or emotions might be hard to understand, there are two main sides to the spectrum, on one side we have those who have less problems with communication and can manage themselves fine in daily life. On the other hand there are those who have more difficulties communicating, whether they are non verbal or aren’t able to control their feelings this doesn’t make them unable to process or understand, but rather makes it harder to do the things others do.
People with Autism aren’t dumb or unable to be as smart as an average person, it’s just that it takes more time for them to achieve that level of maturity and intelligence, it isn’t an impossible task for an Autistic person to do everything that others can do. They just need some support to reach the goals they seek and get past the challenges they face. Autistic people are no different from regular people. They still feel the same emotions you do and even though it may be hard for them to show their happiness for what they have or sadness for what they lack we just need to understand that everyone has different needs in this world and there can be beauty in everything and everyone, you just need to help make it bloom. People don’t seem to realise that when you insult or compliment them they will still feel the sadness and anger from that insult and experience joy and happiness from receiving that compliment. We should never treat somebody badly just because they struggle to communicate or have difficulties keeping their feelings in check and you should never forget that Autism is what shaped those people into who they are now.
If you have Autism you shouldn’t find yourself looking for a cure or feel that you are defective and need fixing, you need to learn not to rid yourself of who you are but to embrace it and control it. Your emotions can be powerful weapons and useful tools and if used correctly may even get you somewhere you never thought you could get to in life, whether it be a college you’ve always wanted to go to or a job you wanted to get, if you can master your emotions you can do anything. If you can turn sadness into confidence, anger into determination and turn fear into pride, the chances are you can give yourself a massive boost on the road to success. Some people with Autism may not be very capable at some things and others may have an extraordinary understanding and sense of sympathy and empathy for those around them.
Some may find peace in animals while others may seek comfort in silence or the company of those that they love such as family or friends. There are many differences between people with and without ASD, but the only thing dividing us from equality is a mere label, Autism itself is labelled as a disadvantage of sorts, seen only for it’s bad qualitys rather than the good it holds within. As such people tend to see those who have it as inferior or unequal in terms of capabilities. Autism is what makes me, me and nobody can take that away from me. I am proud of how much I’ve grown and how far I’ve come. I have accomplished so much in life and I won’t let anyone else say otherwise.
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Neuro-Diversity…

June 19, 2019– It was in the Harvard Business Review magazine where I read that employers are starting to (finally) hire people who are of different abilities. The publication called it Neuro-Diversity and the article featured a young man named John who is on the autism spectrum. Many people with ASD are of higher than average intelligence and possess special skills that relate to exceptional memory and pattern recognition among many other things. (https://hbr.org/2017/05/neurodiversity-as-a-competitive-advantage)

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with a gentleman who is on the Autism Spectrum.  During our meeting, he was witty and super intelligent; his knowledge of a specific topic was staggering. He told me that he had written a book and he wanted me to take a look at it. I happily agreed and now we are working on the publication of his work. His suggestions will change the way that we format books going forward!  I was in awe of his attention to detail and his ability to remember stats and facts; he was a more skilled writer than many I have come across (including myself) with his technique and I admired his ability to write with such flow and ease. He taught me so many things in a matter of minutes and has forever changed the way that my company will create books in the future.

The point is, we need more neuro-diversity in our lines of work. There are gifted people out there who are not given a fair chance to display and use their gifts because perhaps they lack social skills or they don’t make eye contact or they have what some people would call obsessive behaviours. Those with different cognitive abilities have amazing work ethics, they are laser-focused and extremely creative and innovative.  They see the world in a different way, in a way that we may not be able to see. But, if we give them a chance to join us in our line of work and at our workplaces, we’ll have a new perspective on creativity, friendship, abilities, and Neuro-Diversity.

X LLB

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