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FireBird
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20 Feb 2009, 1:01 pm

Yesterday was one of the most amazing days in my life and it just so happened it was my birthday as well. I turned 26 years young. That wasn't the big thing though. It has to do with my art and speaking career. First of all, I got accepted into Princeton University art show which over 500 people were rejected and usually they choose one picture if you are accepted, but they liked my art so much they chose 2! They were pictures of a beluga whale and a moose. And what's weird is it was just colored pencil drawings and those are usually harder to get accepted! On top of that I was accepted into the Manhattan Children's center art show, the John F. Kennedy Center art show, a San Diego art show (this one is huge, celebrities go to it! Imagine if a movie star buys one of my original drawings!), and next year (2010) I am going to be in the Columbia University art show and the Univerisity of California art show. Now that is a lot of art shows! These were all juried, meaning not just anyone could get in, you have to be good. Rosa, my contact in New York got me into all of these and she's continuing to see if there's even more shows or conferences that I can speak at. She is currently checking if I will be able to speak at all of these places. Most of this is taking place April-June. I'm already speaking at 2 conferences in May, one in Shoreline Washington (I live in Washington State) and the other in Yakima WA. They are one day apart, May 29th and May 30th. That's not all folks! I was also accepted into another art book but I don't have the details of that yet. All these shows are about people with disabilities, mainly autism. Same with the book. I was already accepted into another autism book but it got pushed back due to funding issues. I'm getting famous and that is NOT a delusion! This will also bring more credibility when I am trying to apply for more galleries to carry my art, or places to carry my fine art cards. This would make my business go crazy and my value of my art to go sky high! Maybe my art is now worth $100 BILLION!! !! !! !! ! I'll give anyone my autograph for $10,000 without a picture...ok maybe a sketch! It used to be just $1,000. I hope I could speak at these places so it would be all expenses paid and maybe even a speaker's fee! I'll just ask for a billion dollars because my speeches are worth that much, maybe I'll give a speech in front of Bill Gates. The John F Kennedy Center is in Washington DC and what I hope is that Obama chooses his dog so I can send it to him (that would even be cooler if I can give it to him in person!). I have a letter from the Queen of England already because I sent her a picture of her dog which is a Corgi. How did I get to know the Queen you ask? In my Enterprise for Equity class (a business class last year) we met someone that their best friend is the official photographer of the Queen of England. We contacted him and he gave us the personal secretary of the Queen's address so we can send it. It will eventually be on our website along with other speeches I have done (only one is up there so far and it even has my wrong age! It has 25 instead of 26! My dad has to work on the website). The only bad thing that happened yesterday is I hallucinated a lot. But in all, it was an amazing day!



FireBird
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20 Feb 2009, 9:38 pm

Where is everyone elses responses? No nothing?



ARandomPerson
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20 Feb 2009, 9:47 pm

congrats! it's amazing to hear that you have your life in order...
you must of had an amazing night as well, in a pillow room :P



pandd
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20 Feb 2009, 9:59 pm

Happy Birthday FireBird. If you are happy, healthy and hopeful, then I am well-pleased.



pandd
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20 Feb 2009, 10:30 pm

FireBird some people are concerned that public perceptions about autistic spectrum disorders are distorted, in part because there is a failure to differentiate ASD core traits from co-morbid conditions. You have claimed in the past to be effected by at least one comorbid condition, and if someone is concerned about public perceptions being confused by members of the general public conflating potential comorbid conditions with core characteristics of ASDs, they might be concerned about your representation as a person with ASD.

If you choose to worry about such things, then the best you can do is be clear about which comorbids you consider might effect your presentation.

I do not think anyone is necessarily accusing you of lying, just expressing a personally held concern. If you share the concern then it might be important to be clear when giving speeches of other conditions that also impact on you. It's really your choice and a personal decision that others cannot make for or dictate to you.



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20 Feb 2009, 10:32 pm

Birthday Greetings, FireBird, and best wishes for your continued success in the art world!


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21 Feb 2009, 10:09 am

! !! !! :D :D


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DeLoreanDude
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21 Feb 2009, 10:24 am

TL;DR. Make it shorter and I'll read it :P



birdlady5555
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21 Feb 2009, 2:39 pm

I happen to be Firebird's mom and she is an incredible speaker. Yes she is autistic and yes she also happens to have schizophrenia. During her last speech at the Capital for the autism rally she was interrupted several times due to applause. Even though her speech was only around 3 minutes long she put so much into it that it helped to inspire others. We have seen her ups and downs and her struggles all her life. When she was first diagnosed with autism 21 years ago the panel of experts told us that she had moderate high functioning autism. They went on to tell us that she would never go on to college, never make friends, never hold a job, and that she would have to be put away some place when she became an adult. It was only through her courage and inner strength that she beat all those odds. She graduated with honors from college, she has many friends and she owns her own company. According to Times (or Newsweek) 80% of adults with autism also develop stress and anxiety issues and depression. Marcy went through hell when she was in school due to all the attacks including a rape. She has been through more than most people have. This is where her mental health issues all stem from. A friend of ours that is running an autism group thinks that her schizophrenia might just be part of her autism and not true schizophrenia.

Firebird has a lot of issues to deal with and she is dealing with them better than most people could. Despite all her problems she is out there trying to help others by offering them and their families some hope that anything is possible if only you believe in your dreams and that you have a family who loves and supports you. At one point she had almost no language and now she is getting up to talk at all these events. When she spoke at a recent parents meeting she brought many of these parents to tears about her story especially since the bullying incidents mimicked what their kids were going through. She let them know that things do get better and that no matter what the doctors have told them their kids are capable of doing whatever they put their minds to if only they have someone to believe in them. She lets them know that for 10 years she struggled to get her art out there and only in the last year has her dream come true. She tells them that her family never let her give up that dream and that they helped her achieve that dream.

To see her speak is an incredible experience. I am not saying that as her mom, but I am repeating what others have told me. After all of her speeches people come up to her to let her know how much her speech touched them and offered them hope for their own child.

So even though she is also suffering from another mental health issue it doesn't in anyway negate her autism speeches nor does it take anything away from message she gives.



SpongeBobRocksMao
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21 Feb 2009, 3:26 pm

Happy birthday, :) and congratulations on all that news. :D


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MegaAndy
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21 Feb 2009, 3:52 pm

i think what Postperson was trying to say was not that you cannot speak because you have schizoaffective disorder but is it right for you to talk about autism when you will have schizoaffective traits aswell, so some traits may be asd traits as the traits could get mixed up and you may dish out wrong info or whatever

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Make it shorter and I'll read it

yeh i'm like this too i havnt actually read the first post as i was put off by the longyness :lol:



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21 Feb 2009, 4:04 pm

I think it's quite perfect no matter whether a spokesperson for autism has a co-morbid or no co-morbid.

If they raise public awareness for ASDs, they're not going to speak about their co-morbid after all, but about their autism. And if they talk about themselves, then they talk about themselves and all the conditions they have and do not intentionally represent ASDs (any autism besides their own) anyway.

I mean, I also don't like that many spokespeople for autism have anxiety. Or depression. Or are highly verbal. Or are exceptionally clumsy. Or highly intelligent. But they do and it does offer the public to get a diverse picture of individuals with ASDs.


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birdlady5555
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21 Feb 2009, 4:29 pm

When Firebird does her speeches at autism rallies or conferences she talks about what it was like growing up being autistic. She talks about being different and because she was different she was picked on at school. Just because she also happens to be diagnosed with schizophrenia doesn't mean she should stop raising awareness for autism. She keeps these issues separate. She talks about how it feels to be an adult and not have any services being offered to help her deal with her autism issues. Saying she shouldn't be speaking at autism conferences because she is also schizophrenic is like saying someone with diabetes shouldn't talk about their high blood pressure because people could confuse the two.

She is very adamant about autism issues. She talks about how she felt growing up (before any of the other problems surfaced) and the bullying in school. She talks about how she wanted to fit in but just couldn't figure out the right way of doing so. She grew up in a time when there weren't any services available and she had to struggle to figure it out on her own. The schools weren't any help because they always blamed her because she was the one that was different. She wants to let people know that different doesn't mean bad. She wants people to learn more about acceptance and that just because you are autistic doesn't mean that you don't have the same feelings and wants as others do.

So you see that her schizophrenia which is controlled through medications doesn't stop her from informing people about autism and to help those who are also are on spectrum.



Postperson
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21 Feb 2009, 7:47 pm

yeah, a lot of her posts are like that. It's schizophrenic word salad paranoia.

We do have schizophrenics turn up here from time to time but they have mostly been rather pleasant and they leave when they realise they are a fish out of water here, that no-one else here is like them.



millie
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21 Feb 2009, 7:55 pm

hey firebird, some posts from people on WP are so evidently embittered that it is best to get on with the business of a productive life regardless of your "issues."

if anything, you are inspiring.


ignore the detractors and leave them to their petty postings. that's all they have in life. :wink: