Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Successful Flights With Friends

Conversation with Jake after a successful international flight together where Keys 4 Autism worked with autistic students, families, and school staff in Belize:

Jake: What was different this flight from one year ago? (See previous post from last October)

Kaegan: I think I am different. I have had the worst case flight and survived. I realize I am stronger for it.

Jake: How do you feel you've grown over this past year?

Kaegan: I am facing my fears and overcoming them. I want to take a moment to bask in the fact that I  have flown successfully eight times since my last post.

Jake: What have you practiced this past year to bring you to this point?

Kaegan: Visualization has been key. I see myself succeeding and try to feel the accomplishment within my bones. It really helps. Do you ever do that?

Jake:  Sometimes, but not always as a pro-active tool, so I think I will try to do that more consciously.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Getting Past Hardships

You all know me as a person with no struggles. Nothing could be further from the truth. Today, I want to share a recent experience.

I was traveling and having a wonderful trip when suddenly, I heard it. The loudest, most sudden intrusion invaded my consciousness. The unspeakable, that which shall not be named. The wildest and unfathomable chaos filled my senses.

A baby cried somewhere far in the back of the plane. I thought I would be able to hold myself together until I heard myself screaming.

I was mortified to be an adult man, screaming, and I was trapped 30,000 feet in the sky. You may imagine yourself screaming uncontrollably with no escape and for seemingly no reason. This can be my reality in the blink of an eye -- or in this case, in the cry of a baby.

I am over-empathetic. I simply cannot take the hysterics of others without creating hysterics of my own.  In those moments, I feel completely unlovable. I am aware of my disturbance and of how I must appear. It terrifies me, and you know how helpful fear can the problem is perpetuated.

To make what seemed like a long story, short... I survived. No one got upset with me. With all the trauma of the ordeal, I am stronger and less afraid, having survived the hardship.

Please don't pity me; just understand. That's why I wrote this: To rally some understanding for people like me who struggle with things you can't see.

Gotta go catch a plane....

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Friendship Rules!

Wow! It has been too long since my last post.

What is keeping me from posting when I have so much to share? I think it is the overwhelm of too many thoughts. I want to share my thoughts on too many subjects which makes it hard to choose. Sometimes it is easy to choose, though, like now.

We were so honored to have two families visit us for RPM and Adventure. I think it is my greatest joy to be with other RPM families and to aid in their progression.

First, my friend, Ian, came. I will have to say friendship is so critical. To think back to when RPM made its debut, I don't know how I stayed sane. To have friends was unthought of back then. Riding horses, hiking, and kayaking were made far better by friendship.

Friendship is not confined by age. I loved mentoring my young friend who visited next. We went on an Inspiration Hike my mom and I crafted for him. We kayaked on the most beautiful day!

Stay tuned for a post about a breakthrough story-writing experience!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Strong Foundation

(About the technique used to stack the chairs in the chair stacking game):
I wanted to widen the base to make a really strong foundation. Then I stacked the rest on top. 

(When asked if this could relate to life):
Relationships require a strong foundation. Then they can grow.

Friday, September 8, 2017

My Lifeline Too, by Josha

Kaegan entitled this blog, "RPM is my lifeline," I added the 2. Because RPM is my lifeline too. When I think back on the years before Kaegan could communicate, I'm brought to an acute awareness of how things could be right now.

If I had continued to try to "make" something out of his meaningless (I know now) language, we would be having a one-sided conversation about Thomas the Tank right now, with him telling me to "be quiet," and "go away."

If I had continued to try to make connection with him through jumping alongside him or running back and forth, we would still be miles apart and lonely.

If I had continued to take him literally when he yelled NO about every new activity, we'd still be sitting in a still, silent room.

If I had continued to answer his persistent and repetitive questions, I would need a therapist and he would still be frustrated that I was unknowingly making his questions more persistent, more pervasive.

If I had continued to believe the lie of autism when he refused new tasty foods, he would still be eating only chicken nuggets and waffles.

If I had never discovered RPM, we would be where we were. Stuck.

RPM is my lifeline too.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hello, Blogosphere!

It's back to school time and we have decided that for us, it is back to blogging time!

This is Josha, Kaegan's mom and communication sidekick! Kaegan and I have decided to join forces and share the responsibility of posting because I've been wanting to start blogging, too, and he was feeling like generously sharing! (insert smily face)

That being the case, as well as school starting back.. that includes college courses for our man, Kaegan!!... Here is Kaegan's self-introduction that he made for his online course that just started last week. Way to combine an assignment with autism-advocacy, Kaegan!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Veering from FAQ

This is a letter I wrote to a friend, in case it is helpful to you:

i’m wanting to describe what i felt when i first started RPM and encourage you on your journey. i was kind of crazy in the beginning because i was so excited and i wanted so badly to communicate. all the effort has been worth it. my body fought against RPM by running away acting like i didn’t want it. i had to overcome those  
impulses and my mom had to push through my aggression and now i’m able to communicate and to spell my body into action. what i mean is that i can spell commands to my body and control it. now i can ask for a lesson instead of always fighting and that means i can progress. i’m learning to communicate on the keyboard and verbally. it also means i can take online college courses and have a hopeful future. i want all of that for you too.
your friend,