Compiled and Curated by Keri Bowers. See first installment here.
Diagnosed with Autism and Epilepsy at 4, Sanjeev is minimally verbal, good with puzzles, types on the computer, makes beautiful beaded bracelets, paints, maintains a daily journal, helps in the kitchen and has had stints of working in a fast food joint and a bakery. #GoSanjeev
27-year-old Brian was fascinated by colors from an early age. He began to take fine art and photography seriously when he was 23. Relaxed, peaceful, and immersed in dabbling in colors ~ be it crayons or paint ~ he also plays the keyboard and makes gif animation.
Despite challenges, we rise. As people of neurodiversity, we are no stranger to challenges or rising to the occasion, something that is now all the more necessary while we find ways to make social distancing work for us as we create. We’ve seen the evolution of more #ActuallyAutistic Zoom and YouTube videos and content, and others making art, journal-writing, connecting more openly in social media, making music; some of it played on rooftops and balcony’s for others to hear and join in on. Check out all the #ActuallyAutistic artists and bloggers on our site.
We hold our communities, our friends, family, and loved ones closer to our hearts knowing we need #PEACE now more than ever. We hope our Series inspires you smile; to think, to stop and listen louder to others, and to count the blessings of colors, hues, sounds, diversity, and unity for us all.
Read Nick’s past Art of Autism blog, Art Was My Voice.
Peace IS an Action…
At the Art of Autism, we think about peace as being not just an idea, but as process steps; as active giving, sharing, and taking action steps toward being the giver-of-peace in this world. We honor each contributor to this series, thank the parents who helped their child to make submissions, and thank you, our readers, for joining in this expression of love.
Please help us to share this series, that others might also find inspiration to reflect, to stop, and to take action in the way of peace.
At the end of this blog, we offer suggestions ~ some action steps ~ to inspire you to be a mindful activist for peace, so read on, and enjoy the wise words of those who use augmented communication to rise in voice, and those who use vocals to activate a more peaceful society. We also acknowledge those experiencing pain and loss in these times of struggle.
The Written Work
by theodora kali
This isn’t poetry
Poetry doesn’t feel much like me
Pentameter and counts
Every ounce of me just bounces
Beyond that stratosphere
Beyond the rigidity and fear
To freedom and caring,
For each to be authentic,
For each to be loved.
Theodora is a 53 year late-diagnosed (at 51) autistic woman. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her adult son, beloved furry family of dog and cat and leafy family of 15 house plants.
Theodora enjoys producing affirmative sound healing MP3s on Soundcloud (free listening), painting, drumming, singing, drawing, journaling, meditating and many other peaceful (and mostly solo) pursuits. She believes that world peace begins by each individuals striving to be more peaceful and loving and less judgmental and competitive.
Aniruddha Jairam now 24, shares globally inspired works with us for the second year from his home in Mysore, India.
Visions of Life Poem
by Scott Lentine
As I enter my next decade
I aspire to achieve many new goals
Seeking to develop fresh relationships along the way
Before I am old and gray
I hope to have many years of fulfilling work
I would like to assist others in achieving this goal
I am ready to find my purpose in life
And be a key figure in fighting this fight
Acceptance in the community is crucial for us all
Everyone needs to be embraced for who they are
And have resources to help them reach for the stars
And to break down all the walls
It is time to realize that every human wants opportunities and a complete life
We need to give each individual with disabilities the services they need
To make their lives full and independent
And have a life in which they succeed
by Sindhu Saiprasad
As untitled parents we understand
Expressions channel music and art.
@ 13 years young
Self-Determined topics vary
An Image nods to Covid
Others, free in dance
Just one word at a time
@ 19 years young now
Fingers touch keyboard
He is free to play
Adapted from Sindhu’s musings, on her son, Nikhil Saiprasad
by Peter Tran
Q: Which poem by William Blake did you like best?
A: Tiger because it poses the most provocative question, why does God allow bad things to happen to evolve?
Q: Great point; what do you think?
A: Price of freedom
Q: So if you could meet an animal or imaginary creature, what would you ask or want to discuss?
A: Do you hope for mercy..
Q: Who are you directing that question to?
Q: What kinds of questions would you want to ask a gorilla?
A: Are you peaceful – cease grease geese fleece beast, are you like Ivan, caring?
A: Feel good at cool green nest?
A: How do you like the jungle?
A: How do you like locking up your players in a zoo?
A: Great, fierce strong powerful…
A: Leaves, grieves, deceives, receives, heaves, believes.
This is Peter’s second year submitting vibrational wisdom through poetry and word. Author of My World as a Poem: Perspectives in Poetry, Peter types to communicate. Here, his writing called, “Brainstorm” is derived from an actual writing session with supports. His answers say what they mean ~ yet also offer your personal subjectivity to interpret his subject; he means more than he says on purpose. Check out Exploring the Mind with Peter and Joyce Tran.
Nick loves animals, nature and protecting the environment and that is what most of his artwork and photography is about… Bright, happy, colorful artwork to make people smile…
What is Peace?
by Husna Murad
A dream of mine where
We can live with the glory of God &
Pray with our solitude hearts.
We can talk with smiles, work for humanity
With the inner satisfaction of our souls
With no worries & obstacles on our paths.
Where there are no weapons to make wars
But the gardens of this world be full of flowers.
Where our children are playing without any cry of the hunger for food, shelter &
Other necessities for living a simple happy life.
Where everybody enjoys the light of education free of higher cost
We get opportunities for utilizing
Our wisdom & knowledge for
The wellbeing of this Earth.
Where mothers can enjoy their motherhood from giving birth to make their children grow as the enlightened ones for our society.
Where our women can live with dignity;
Our parents, brothers, sisters and all couples can lead a meaningful life
With respect and divine love.
Where people don’t face injustice because of religious faith, color, race, gender, nationality,
Any illness or other social positions
From their families as well as communities.
Where a person is free from slavery of another
And other creatures are also safe
In their own Kingdom.
Where we can cope with natural disasters
At our best efforts.
Where people don’t die because of
War, starvation, any social disasters
Or lack of money for getting proper treatments.
Where we can handle science, technology & the modernization for our life styles
For making a true blessed world
Free from any destructive competition, misinterpretation and non-civilization.
Where people love trading without polluting foods, medicines, treatments and other deals
For saving our lives.
Where the leaders of nations think good and
Serve good for all with harmony & unity.
The teachers raise the spirit of students how
To be good human beings first,
& the employers and employees
Both are dedicated to each other.
Where we can practice our generosity & humility
With gratitude hearts without
Any unexplainable man-made trauma.
We can stand beside each other that
The core values of humanity deserve.
& we can cherish our friendship with the safety Of our loving minds & hearts.
You can add anything more that is beautiful
To My Dream of Peace
Where I can see One Creator, One Mankind &
One world for us 💝Love
Husna is the mother of Enlightened Muttakin, a Women and Child Activist, Dreamer of World Peace, Lover of Democracy, the daughter of a Freedom Fighter, and founder of the Enlightened Muttakin Foundation in Dhaka, Bangladesh. https://www.facebook.com/enlightened.muttakin
Greta Thunberg is an autistic environmentalist, activist, writer, and an inspiration to the Earth.
What Can You Can Do Towards Creating Peace?
Global pressures are serious and, sadly, only expected to grow. Humankind can come together for democracy and peace. Here are 5 – simple / difficult – things you can do to make a difference in your daily life and in the world.
5 Steps to Creating Peace…
These Ideas can be modified to be accessible and interactive based on personal cognition, ability, language, communication, age, etc. Use creativity with your family to exchange ideas about how these suggestions can make a difference in the world. Turn these conversations into games everyone can play (i.e., “What would you do if?”) These suggestions may not be applicable to everybody, but everybody can practice these ideas in adapted ways.
Note: Presume Competence. Your children “hear” you even when you may think they do not. No matter our assumptions about comprehension, our children “hear” us in their minds, hearts, & souls. We are at the helm of their lives.
1. Look at how and why (I/you/we) blame others.
We can all be quick to judge and blame other people or external circumstances for a problem. How often do we act in one way in a situation that upon more reflection, might really have to do with some trigger present in the situation that reminds us something within ourselves?
When we take a breath and take a moment to think about WHY a person or situation makes us angry, agitated, anxious, or other, we can often defuse a situation, or see it’s not as important as we might think. By stopping and looking at our reactions to things ~ in favor of resolution before fire ~ we can learn new things about ourselves and sometimes others, and enrich our lives.
2. Be a stand for #Inclusion ~ #NoExclusion
In a time when people mistrust government, police, governing bodies, school systems, and our representatives, prospects for a decent life are being lost to the economic and political will of the privileged gatekeepers. Governments everywhere need to stop the neglect, abuse and stigmatization of their own people. Media and others that promote ‘them-and-us’ thinking must be challenged to stop spreading hate.
3. Talk with and engage your children and family in conversations about equality between women and men, all races, nueurotypicals/disabled and typicals (non-disabled).
Societies’ gaps in virtuous equality ~ both in law and deed ~ give rise to higher escalations of violent conflict; rising and ever-intensifying tensions between the establishment and the average person are inevitable result of these inequities. Speak actively with your children about “differences” & “sames”, and about the gifts of diversity in our world. When in the car (an especially great place to have regular Car-Chat-Time) engage your children ~ let them share with and teach you ~ about respect, open-ended communication, listening, community, giving to those less fortunate, and seeing that diversity is a beautiful thing. Give your children the gift to carry peace in their hearts, deeds, and futures.
4. Assume responsibility and Teach Our Children Well…
When we accept responsibility for our thoughts, actions, emotions and behaviors, as well as our current external circumstances, we’ll be more empowered to take thoughtful, positive actions toward inner and outer-peace for ourselves, our children and loved ones.
– Be mindful how you act toward others.
– Ask yourself if you want to be happy or right, and why is this?
– If you are quick to temper, seek support over passing this trait on to your kids.
– Take time to nurture yourself – even if for 5-10 minutes. The table can be cleaned later.
– Always be investigating your positive purposes, your needs & wants, and take small action step to those ends – even if just for 10 minutes a day…
5. Actively practice accepting people for who they are…
Of course everyone is different. We know this; but how do we judge and treat others, consciously or unconsciously, when people behave or look exactly the way we think they should?
When we make a conscious decision to accept people as they are, even if we don’t agree with every decision they make, we feel less stressed and happier in our personal relationships.
Idea: Role play with your kids about the things you disagree on. In this “game” we don’t tell or show, we listen, and teach our kids to listen.
Lastly, Here’s an idea…
Begin an initial daily routine of “waking up the brain” to help you stop, and remember to count how many times you judge someone harshly; get mad at the driver in front of you; make someone wrong and then act out hostility ~ etc., etc., etc. ~ fill in the blanks…
To “wake up your brain”, put a bright rubber band on your wrist to lightly snap when you pass judgment on people, places, and things. Set an alarm for every 15-30 minutes with a note to self: “whom have I judged (etc,) this past hour”? Jot these judgments down for greater clarity on the situations. Or, use another “trigger” you think will help you to stop and wake up your brain. Pay attention to your actions and thoughts in meaningful ways..
After time, and with practice, this effort will likely become an automatic reflex (cellular memory). As you learn to stop, breathe, and consider your habits without prompts to remind you. No doubt, you will begin to see yourself and others in completely new ways when you learn to see and adjust your own actions to work towards greater inner and outer peace and your attitudes towards others.
Did you. Know?
This year, the United Nations (UN) celebrates the 70th anniversary of UN peacekeeping, a unique and dynamic instrument to help countries torn by conflict transition to lasting peace.
The first UN peacekeeping mission was established in May 1948, when the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of a small number of UN military observers to the Middle East to form the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Over the past 70 years, more than 1 million men and women have served under the UN flag in more than 70 UN peacekeeping operations. More than 100,000 military, police and civilian personnel from 125 countries currently serve in 14 peacekeeping operations.
What Peacekeeping Does
UN Peacekeeping helps countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace. We have unique strengths, including legitimacy, burden sharing, and an ability to deploy troops and police from around the world, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to address a range of mandates set by the UN Security Council and General Assembly
We invite you to join the Art of Autism and our art-filled friends in creating a more peace-filled, beautiful world. Please reach out to the artists & poets who supported and shared their works in this month-long Poems & Art for Peace Initiative. We all thrive on your feedback and love.
All Peace, Keri Bowers and The Art of Autism
Header image: kade klein
WOW! These are all so beautiful and full of grace. Awesome job!!!
Wen, thank you for saying so! It’s not too late for us to sneak a piece of your peace . You art would be a blessing. Email me? email@example.com
What can I say!! no words to express the inside out beauty and the soul searching enigma of the work displayed in all forms of art,poetry painting and the thought behind each one of them. I wonder where the rest of us got lost in the world ??? Existing surviving,but definitely not living .!! THANK YOU ALL FOR THE LOVELY CONTRIBUTION .KEEP UP THE GREAT JOB .
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