• Autisticana and The Beauty Behind Our Team.

    By the Autisticana Team

    We wanted to write a blog to everyone to state our mission to the world. We designed this start up blog and news media company in Barbara Walter’s name.

    She was our coach, Dr. Christine’s’ dear friend and mentor. Christine learned how to be a conscious leader and news reporter through her years working by her side. We are so thrilled that coach Christine has now devoted her life into helping us do the same.

    We wanted everyone to know that we chose the name Autisticana , because we are autistic people and have beautiful minds. We as a team want to lift the stigma that society has placed on us with negative connotations of the name.

    Autisticana in our perspective represents our curious and brilliant minds. A lot of us want to be inclusive because “ We get each other”

    The world is so focused on us being with everyone. They sometimes treat us like we are aliens. We are brilliant , kind , curious and compassionate adults who are proud of who we are ! We enjoy being with like minded people, despite how their brain is wired.

    We picked the name and we love it!

    The Autisticana Team standing in front of a white van with the Autisticana logo on it. The logo consists of a persons face made up of different kinds of circles. The log contains the phrase "Autisticana The Nerd-Divergent News Media Company. Stop Whining, Start Doing"
    Here’s some of the Autisticana team with our van!

    We also love Starbucks ! We love all the details about all their different titles of all their specialty drinks! Details are our thing and creativity. Starbucks has accomplished that for us, and we are thankful.

    So Autisticana and Americana rhyme! We live to rhyme! It is soothing and engages our mind into a steady state of flow.

    We do not want to change!

    Society want’s to change us.

    We thank you coach Christine for letting us be proud of who we are , and for enhancing and launching our creativity.

    As a like minded team of creative friends our mission is to investigate and write good news pieces on grass roots foundations , local stores, events , corporations , art , film and more people that are making a difference in this world.

    Thank you Christine for keeping us thriving during the pandemic with our travel bloggers series.

    Now we as a team are here to write a great news piece on all of you to make your lives , careers and passions be known to the world.

    Covid has brought darkness to this planet. @autisticana we are here to bring back the light!

    Blessings to all!

    From our team at Autisticana.

    FYI. Half of our team is neurotypical and we mentor them.

    We are not aliens but so like a good sci-fi movie.

    “ For it is not how many breaths we take but the moments that take our breath away “

    This collage of photos contains images of the Autisticana team out in the community. These photos contain images of the team having fun out at our local bowling alley.
    Here’s the Autisticana team out in the community learning and having fun!
  • Our Misson to Bring Back Small Businesses @autisticana


    Small businesses in America face numerous challenges due to COVID-19, including price increases, worker competition, and concerns about the Federal Reserve’s response to inflation. According to surveys from organizations like the National Federation of Independent Business, the Small Business Majority, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, small business sentiment has become increasingly pessimistic. This is a concerning trend, given that small businesses account for two-thirds of all jobs created in the past 25 years in the country, which could have negative implications for American growth and prosperity.

    Our mission at Autisticana is to do great news pieces on all small businesses that make our community thrive. We have already completed a dozen pieces on local businesses. Our goal is to feature at least 2 pieces a month to showcase to the community the hard work and dedication individuals put into building their own businesses.

    As the CEO of Autisticana, we want you to understand that we chose our name because we are proud of our neurodivergent creativity and thinking. We work very hard to lift the stigma that this population has put upon us.

    Our news team consists of typical and atypical people because “we are all one and look up to the same sky!”

    FYI, we also love Starbucks and wanted to rhyme after their coffee Americana.

    If you would like to be our next feature, please submit your business to


    CEO, Scott Weisbrot

  • CUNY Neurodiversity Conference And Exhibition

    – Cara Difiore

    I thought I would share this big day with you all

    Let’s just say the day didn’t go as we planned and what I mean by that we left later than we planned it, with a little bit of traffic, and got there at the very end of it. I was also planning on going, calling on the road, and getting to the city and college by 5 at least but plans changed due to someone screwing up. But the good thing is that it ended up working well the way it did.

    Christine and I went to the college while my mom, Danielle, and her mom Lisa waited in the van. When we got to the end we went to the front counter and asked the guys at the front counter where the event is it looks like it was at its ending at least which I was like oh no I missed most of it but it turns out I didn’t miss out as much as I thought

    We got to go to talk to the director and the people who ran it. First, we introduced ourselves, then talked about me being an amazing artist, showed my artwork that I submitted, asked them about the event, talked about Autisticana, asked if we can do an interview with them, then they said sure and my book (that is done and in the works of being printed and published be on the lookout!) they also said they would love to promote it when it’s printed out and published which made me so happy. And we took pictures with me, Christine, my art, and the city in the background. Then we went back to van and meet back up with everyone with seeing Lisa as a surprise then we went out for dinner which the place and food was awesome.

  • The Autisticana Team at the Conference Meeting

    Kevin Harrington from the Original Shark Tank 🦈

    The whole Autisticana team went to the Marriott in Melville to learn about online marketing and expanding their business to other platforms. We learned about stocks and growing a business from good times and hard times but it would help us to learn and grow. They’ll be time when we failed our goals and stepped up to try again. This is the circle of life to understand the facts of making a successful marketing company. We also get to see Kevin Harrington from the original Shark Tank Judges and told everyone about the reality of running a successful company. We also learned about online marketing from radio to the internet from the history of successful advertising. We also discovered that famous companies showed their advertising on global marketing if their products or website became successful in their home country. Partnership is one of the top key terms to run a successful company. There’s also investments and partnerships that can help you run your company and encourage people to have interviews or major tv networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC with other networks to run their show regionally.

    This where we went for Business Marketing

    Cara and I took some notes to learn every information about online marketing and advertising. We also discovered the history of marketing from radio to the internet. It also gives us some information about running a company and improving success in life. We learned about Marketing Software and discovered that we could look at the data and gather information about people checking out the website from which country to go on a specific blog on the website or the main site for in general. We discovered the stocks of marketing to get the idea of making a business so successful. There was some partnership with other companies who wanted to help the other company to become huge as the other company. We learned about TV Commercial of history to discover why people watch streaming platform for other success. We learned about being a successful writer or an author if we wanted to write a book. We discovered about commercial success overseas Incase the original airings of the show or a movie or a new product became a popular hit to the market industry.

    We met and watched different celebrities like the original Shark Tank judges and we interviewed some famous people and get to see Donna Drake from the Celebrity news on CBS.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder As An Adult

    By James Malone.

    I got this submission today and it was beyond moving and brilliant and wanted to share it with all of you out there.

    If you have a story you would like to share, please share it with us.

    Blessings to you and your family James Malone. You are an inspiration to us all.


    Autism Spectrum Disorder As An Adult

    Hello, my name is James and I want to voice my struggles and successes with others that are suffering from mental illness and developmental issues. Ever since I was little I knew something was off. I was always told throughout my life that I seemed like a calm person, however that was far from the truth. The wheels were always turning in my head.

    In recent years I had the feeling that something was very off with me. I would have panic attacks and meltdowns lasting up to several hours. I always knew I had a learning disability, anxiety, and a specific phobia. Sensory Issues such as tastes, smells, textures, certain smells, and sights bothered me but I never mentioned it to a professional. I detest

    staying at someone’s house or at a hotel and even had trouble feeling comfortable in my own home.

    Beautiful photography James and Brilliant Work.
    Beautiful Photography.
    Special Interests and Talents that neurodivergents capture tremendously.

    When I saw the show Atypical it gave me an idea to do a little research. I knew autism was different for everyone but I could see similarities between the main character of the show and myself. Learning more about ASD became a new obsession for me. I then decided to take the plunge and see a specialist. I was told by the doctor that performed the screening that they were pleasantly surprised at how functional I seemed compared to my test results. It was indeed a compliment but it had me thinking a lot about my life in both the past and the present. I was in tears because of the mixed feelings about my life. 

    In school I struggled a lot with my learning disability. I always could remember in second grade when we started doing multiplication assignments. All the other kids seemed to be grasping the numbers but I just sat there with a blank stare. It wasn’t that I was jealous, I just was frustrated with not getting it. I also had a specific fear of tall buildings and high ceilings. My parents sent me to a psychologist for exposure therapy but the fear remained. The phobia has always interfered with travel, leisure, and work opportunities.

    Today, I still struggle with my learning disability, phobias, anxiety, and autism. However, the autism diagnosis has changed how I approach effective treatment. I’m excited to say, with the help from Lexapro, Aripoprazole, and CBD oil, I can live life a little more easily. These treatments have enabled me to enjoy my interests including  photography, writing, historic preservation, video games, roller skating, martial arts and acting. Most people do not understand the frustrations and the struggles someone with high functioning autism goes through on a daily basis. I’m still trying to learn more ways to cope and use my obsessive traits as a strength and not a weakness.

    Even as an adult I made the mistake of not mentioning anything to the psychiatrist, counselors, and therapists that I saw besides my phobia. I put in a lot of hours into cognitive and hypnosis therapy. I mentioned the constant worry and was usually diagnosed with Anxiety or Generalized Anxiety. I would always give medication a try but it would always upset my stomach or I felt It wasn’t working. I even tried herbal remedies and acupuncture.

    James Malone Kirkendall is a Fort Smith resident and joined the Abandoned Arkansas team in 2014. He owns two dogs, parrots, and lives with his wife Ashleigh. Though he struggles with a learning disability and Autism, his talents and persistence have led him to an array of different achievements. Some of the greatest feats have been receiving a black belt in traditional karate and performing overseas in the Fringe Theatre Festival in Edinburgh Scotland. His education includes several computer technology certifications and he has attended the New York Film Academy in LA. His interests include video games, roller skating, and martial arts.

  • We Are Actually All Aliens

    By Cara Difiore and Christine Grimadi

    Today we’ll be talking about why we realize why I think we actually all are aliens and why we also think there is no such thing as typical and the differences between neurodivergence and neurotypicals.

    This category is about Neurotypicals vs Neurodivergents where Autistic people compare to Typical people. Neurodiversity is about Autism and Atypical would get along together like hobbies or interest

    Christine and I are both neurodivergent (though we don’t have the same disorder) and have been most of our lives.

    Most typical people spend their time going on their phones the whole day, spend too much time on Social Media, and go to parties with expensive lifetime experiences like music festivals and spoiling themselves. There always unhappy, and depressed and find ways to get into trouble. There is always talking when there socializing and talking about life and other topics about what’s going on. Some Neurotypicals (not saying all of them) often think it’s cool to use drugs like vapes, cigarettes, and other harmful items, which are very addictive and harm your body. They often talk about the hotter body and good-looking faces which it does sickens people because I would’ve done the same thing. Most of the younger generation like myself don’t even do social activities as they used to. We’re not even typical and I’ve noticed some of this stuff not from every single allistic person but from some of them. I’ve also never done most of these things except being depressed and getting in trouble, not on purpose though. Christine probably has although I can’t speak for her.

    Autistic people (like me) are who have like special talents and focus on special events or hobbies because they would go with one task at a time. Sometimes they have trouble communicating because it could be challenging to keep on track with the conversation. They have a mindset of their own world and focus on a time-set schedule so they can focus on what they want to do or go to places that they want to go to or meet up at a specific time. They tend to get extra support if they need help because sometimes does need some assistant help. Autistic people are gifted people and get to have services to get their needs. Autistic people also get extra support and services that typical people don’t get like free healthcare, special services like Self Direction, Financial Planning, special grants, Medical and Health Products, Free Passes, and Discounts like stare parks and special places that serve them. I know all of these not just from doing research but from experience since I’m also on the autism spectrum and I relate to all of this and have this myself too.

    I hope this helped you understand and learned something new today.

  • What Makes me want to be like Barbara Walters

    Barbra Walters has spoken to a lot of celebrities around the world and she was the first woman to change society and now women can forever be a news reporter. She was also the top 10 fascinating people around the world. Barbara Walters was determined to interview a lot of famous people around the globe even people that wanted to help others and advocated for people with develop disabilities and others with special talents and special needs. . Barbara also interviewed pop stars, princes, dictators, divas, world leaders, and so many other famous people which she was not afraid to speak to on her show. She was the best female interviewer in the world and was not afraid to talk to people from all different backgrounds and generations. She was also the first Co-Host of a U.S. news program. She and Harry Reasoner co-anchored the ABC Evening News from 1976 to 1978, which makes her a historic moment to be the very first U.S. female network news anchor which is something interesting. She was also on The View which made history about women running their own national television show. She also interviewed people at the biggest events around the world. She unique model is that fact that she interviewed people in a special way and she had a very special type of talent that very little amount of people can do but Barbra Walters could. She used to work for ABC News and 20/20. She became a journalist because she always wants to make news stories and every detail.

    She had a sister name Jackie which she was on the Autism Spectrum which back then they used to called “mentally retardation” which it was an old term that Autism wasn’t a thing at the time of that period. She helped Jackie to show her how to have empathy and compassion , this way she could grow and develop her independence. Part of the reason that she looked after Jackie made her realize that she wanted to be in the show business and news reporter in the first place.

    Why do I want to interview people?,Because Christine has taught us through her years with Barbara that she was not afraid to interview anyone even if they sounded strange to the world and people thought that their personality, politics, sexuality, lifestyle, was not accepted. She had respect and saw inside of the thoughts or talked about what was going on in the world. Barbara professed a dream to be a professional journalist. The show 20/20 gave Barbara Walters a whole different kind of platform which she can combined emotional interviews with hard edge news. She has empathy for everyone around the world that very little amount of people on their prospective side. She was able to deal with people that were convicted criminals or admitted to cheat on someone which she was not afraid to talk about, and interviewed and saw them as human beings. She was unafraid to promote every interview in a different light. . She was self coached and didn’t think it realize about all she had done for others. . Barbara Walters used all of her techniques to show the sense of humor, her sense of outrage and her sense of curiosity which people could be aware if they want to study being a therapist or a person who loved to bring up questions.

    What inspired me to be like her is that she is very open minded at people and let them speak from their heart and not push them. want to talk about like some people don’t wanna talk about certain topics like most of the time .Christine does the same with our news group and has taught us the same. I would not mind if something is going through someone’s mind I just want to help. She is a good interviewer and a good listener because she know what’s she’s doing. Barbra Walters worked hard to get ready for the interview so she can get ready for the big interview like the toughest questions or the top headline of the day.

    Our coach Christine taught us to be like and the lessons she learned to pay it forward to all of us to be the best we can be and help others. We have all become investigators and news reporters because of Christine in honor of Barbara and her sister Jackie. Dr. Christine has helped us to to use our voice. if I want to ask someone a question or I am meeting someone at a greet local business like we have done in the past , like going to the dealership or a gym or bakery or local events. This is a good opportunity that we have the chance to go on sn interview and ask them a few questions about the business or history about the place they started and are passionate about. We learned how to talk about our company Autisticana , and see what we can do to raise awareness about the Neurodiversity community that we can show case our amazing special talents.

    The reason why the whole Autisticana Crew should be like her is because she had the inspiration of interviewing people for their entrepreneurial careers and what is like to work for the company, or what brings you the idea of developing the company. This whole team would be interested to meet and greet with people around the country and soon talk to people around the globe. This could be the opportunity to interview, staffs, celebrities or former athletes and possibly local legends that once accomplished their dream and passion during their famous careers. Someday we are going to be local heroes of what we accomplished in helping others. We @autisticana are excited what the future holds and thank coach Christine for pushing us to be are best selves and have a purposeful life just like Barbara Walters taught her.
    We never knew who Barbara was because we are young but Christine always tells us how proud she would have been for all of us and what we are doing as a team. We hope others will join us so we are stronger as a team to help others that are sad and ostracized by society. Barbara paved the path for

    Wonan, we are paving the path for people with disabilities. Thank you Christine and Barbara for helping and caring.

    Scott Weisbrot. CEO of Autisticana

    ” A news media company that is going to sweep the nation.”

    “We are a non profit and hope the right sponsors will come in so Christine who has done everything can have help bringing us to the top. “

  • “A Walk in the Park with Barbara Walters”

    By Your Side…release date February 14th, 2023

    Author Dr. Christine Grimaldi

    Thirty years ago I was honored to be hired as Barbara Walters’ fitness trainer and health coach. It was a day I will always remember. I always had the curious mind to learn about others and what made people tick, what made them happy, and what made them productive.

    My dad would say curiosity killed the cat, which was an idiom used back in the day, for curiosity can be dangerous. I embraced what could be seen as danger and all the positive effects it had on me.

    When I met Barbara she said to me, ” Curiosity is the engine of achievement.” Curiosity is the quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by the observation in humans and other animals. Well that is all I had to hear to sum up the positive aspect of my neurodivergent thinking. At that moment I was silently grown up.

    Who would have thought that the Barbara Walters would be impressed by what everyone else saw as not the typical norm. She encouraged me to channel my curiosity into a life full of critical thinking, conscious leadership, and purpose driven work.

    During our time together, Barbara often spoke to me about her sister Jackie, who she adored beyond words. Jackie was autistic, and was never given the opportunity to create and express her greatness.

    For the next 25 years, Barbara and I walked together in Central Park, mostly the literary walk, which was a beautiful path lined with poets and writers. I believe that this walk inspired both of us. We had wide ranging conversations about everything from fine literature and fiction, to medical abstracts, to topics of life that were rarely discussed openly. Our walks were a source of great inspiration and learning for both of us.

    Over the years, Barbara expressed to me how she wished her sister Jackie had someone like me to help her realize all the value, creativity and purpose that she had to offer. These words meant a lot to me, and I took them to heart.

    Barbara was a true believer in me and my work and was my patron, as I dedicated myself to brightening the lives of and creating a better future for children.

    During one of our walks, Barbara confided in me that she did not have a legacy that truly reflected her inner feelings and desires.

    She said:

    “I am tired of putting my names on buildings and hospital wings that don’t truly express who I am.” I replied with confidence that she had instilled in me, “Someday I will leave you the legacy that you will be proud of.” She then asked, “And how do you plan on doing that?” I replied, ” I do not know yet, but I am sure I will find a way.” She chuckled and we continued our walk.

    Today is a bittersweet moment for me, as I remember Barbara Walters who passed away last week. She was a dear friend, a loving mentor, and a mother figure to me. Barbara purchased an expensive apartment for me in New York so that I can have a safe and comfortable place to rest and recharge, while I pursued my purpose-driven work helping terminally ill children. She believed in the importance of self care in order to be able to take care of others and always encouraged me to take care of myself first. A wise lesson, that is still quite difficult for me, when resources are not readily available as they were when I was by her side. I became the change she wanted to see. I sold the apartment that she bought for me and used the money to purchase an enrichment home in Stony Brook, NY, and a writing retreat center upstate New York, for young adults with disabilities. I also founded a brand called AUTISTICANA, which is a news media center where people of all abilities can come for education, leadership, and respite. It is a place where I can teach the lessons that Barbara taught me to a new generation of wonderful kids.

    In honor of Barbara Walters we have created a neuro-divergent news media company (501c3) that teaches kids of all abilities how to effectively communicate and socialize through interpersonal and writing skills by becoming news reporters for conscious leadership programs. These kids have exceeded all of my expectations and continue to do so every day. As a tribute to my dear friend and mentor Barbara, I hope that this company brings the same joy and fulfillment that she brought to my life.

    Through this program, I hope to launch these kids into the bright future that Barbara always wanted for them.

    Note to self

    Barbara as she always did, would say to me . “Christine is ……….”,

    and I would respond, “Christine is the person who never gives up, because you taught her how not to, and you taught her how to be the change you wish to see in this world”.

    Thank you Barbara, for your legacy has begun…..

    Please stay tuned for her memoir to be released.

    By Your Side’‘ A Walk in The Park With Barabara Walters. “

    Release date: February 14th, 2023 (The Day of Love).


    Barbara always asked if heaven is for real, well Barbara, you and the pope left together…..

  • Help us sell our beautiful van so we can build out a new bigger and luxurious van for our traveling excursions

    All of us @autisticana our selling our beautiful van because we need a bigger one for our foundation, so we can all travel and experience excursions together..,

    You can support us by purchasing this van or donating a 10 person sprinter camper, so our team can have more space for adventures. We are getting ready to produce a documentary called “ Adventures on the Spectrum” and need this sale, so we can put it towards the 10 passenger sprinter camper we need to work on the road , as we show the world, that anyone from all walks of life can build a dream, when you believe and take action and work hard as a team.
    Help us to make our dreams come true. We have all worked very very hard…


  • How having Autism Makes Us Feel Uncomfortable About Traveling, And How The Newsmakers Has The Strategy For Successful Cross Country Experiences.

    By Jackson Beach

    Hope happens when you take action…

    Travel is a very essential part of our lives. It can happen for business trips, visiting family, or even to have fun exploring popular places, people and families they have never seen before. However, autistic people usually have trouble with travel. This is because they feel where they live is a safe space and are worried bad things will happen on the trip like injury or death.

    Some of these individuals don’t feel like going out of irrational fear that it will mess up the weekly routines and schedules full of rigidity they have set for themselves. We set up rituals, as per Dr. Christine’s mentoring full of special interests and job training that engages all of us.

    I have felt this way because of these reasons as well as not knowing what to expect from the unique trips I go on with my family and the long car rides which last from 9 to 11 hours. These behaviors have been very irritating to my family which has spent lots of time planning these trips. This was shown when my family went to North and South Carolina during the early days of the pandemic, which saw many tourist attractions shut down for others’ safety. However, we still managed to make the most of our trip and have fun. This problem regarding autistic people has become more prominent recently due to the world opening up again after two years of suffering under COVID-19.

    However, Autisticana and Newsmakers have a plan to combat this behavior. Recently, we have been reaching out to several RV companies to rent an RV for traveling around several states in the US’s Northeast region, such as Massachusetts and Rhode Island and doing activities on Long Island.

    Christine Grimaldi spent her personal money to buy a van to travel with so she could do a travel documentary to make other people aware of the needs of autistic individuals and traveling. We were so excited to have a travel van but Christine realized that this purchase, costing $92,000, would not satisfy our needs as far as space, comfort, and everyone’s safety.

    We are reaching out to look for a sponsor to show that neuro-divergent people can have the same opportunities with traveling and downtime as their neurotypical counterparts. Dr. Christine is ready to turn in her $92,000 van for a larger, safer, and more comfortable ride.

    When we get the RV we want to travel and make a documentary in this vehicle, to help bring awareness to millions of talented people on the spectrum and their families.

    The Newsmakers’ and my own angst about traveling to other states, should be recognized and addressed. Christine is teaching us the strategies of happy traveling and documenting our wonderful experiences. Without her, we would never have had this rare opportunity. During and after COVID went away we felt safe because we were and are, in a safe space together, with our enrichment center that Christine built for us that has become our home.

    We want opportunities like the ones we are experiencing and now, the ability to travel like our typical peers. We rarely get these opportunities and other autistic and neuro-divergent people feel the same way

    As Dr. Christine Grimaldi says, “We are stronger as a team than we are alone.”

    The Atlas Touring Van, full of safety and comfort for kids with on the Autism Spectrum

    Stay tuned for our new documentary Spectrum Strategies for Traveling

  • God told me we all matter despite our looks, abilities, and disabilities.

    Every so often in my life, I believe that God gives me signs that I am meant to be where I am meant to be. The book Wonder by R.J. Palicio is a book about this kid named August who has a deformed face, and it shows the hardships and judgement a person receives based on what they look like. Now there was something in this book that made me really think about the Principal in the story, and how kind he was to the main character August, no matter his physical deformity.

    Then a few days later after I thought about this, Christine Grimaldi, our mentor, who founded Autisticana, and who runs the Autistic group that I am a part of now, has her brother Mike, a Principal of an elementary school, who “looks great, but there is so much more inside of him to teach the world, ” as Christine expressed, came to visit our group for the first time.

    Then he came to visit our group, whom will also probably become more involved with us. He has a-lot of gifts to share with us.

    The amazing fact is that Mike Grimaldi is a true educator and principal, but when you first see him you see his good looks. There is so much more him than his looks. The way we met him, a principal who makes you think of physical appearance when you look at him, just so recently after I thought about the kindness of the principal in the book Wonder, makes me feel like this was a sign from God telling me something.

    That sign is do not judge a book by it’s cover. Kindness comes in many forms, it is so much more than the physical. We are so appreciative to have another educator mentor all of us.

    Now I think the theme of the book Wonder is kindness can be portrayed by anyone if they choose it. It doesn’t matter on what someone looks like, it comes from the heart. I don’t show favoritism to more good looking people and I don’t overlook people that are what most people call “ugly”. I see everyone as equally beautiful in their own way, and I don’t see anybody as better looking then anybody else. I see everyone as someone who needs to be accepted. I see everyone as important. I see everyone as a valuable jewel who needs unconditional love.

    “Our Mentors”
    “ You can’t blend in , when you were born to stand out”

  • Writers Of Autisticana Interview: Living With Autism – “Your Struggle Is Your Story….”

    By Cara DiFiore, Jackson Beach, Rachel Green, Danielle, Nicole, Scott Weisbrot, Elliot Gavin Keenan, and Ava Gurba, Akilah, and Steven

    Rainbow background

    100th Blog Celebration!

    This topic has been on my mind and I thought this would make a great blog for all to see, and to educate typical people on how neurodivergent people are so creative and bright and need to be heard and seen.

    Dr. Grimaldi and I have decided to interview people at Autisticana and others about being on the spectrum, and what it means to them. We are all so very unique, special and different, so we wanted to explore our feelings and those people similar to us.

    Being on the spectrum usually refers to a specific set of developmental and behavioral problems. The challenges associated with autism means that you can be affected in some way with communication and social, learning and interactive skills. Most articles and research are written and researched by professionals in the field and parents of children with autism. We as adults , living the experience of being on the spectrum, want our voices to be heard. We are the true ” Lived Experiment” and now, it is time for society to hear our voice and how we really feel. We have been told all our lives how to feel and how to be. So now, we have decided to start a monthly article discussing topics and calling our work , ” A Chorus of Autistic Voices”, so that society can really learn our perspective. I’ll share my story first.


    I didn’t realize about my autism, until I got into my teens. I remember noticing my behaviors and traits. I took a quiz to see if I was on the spectrum. Although I was diagnosed at a really young age, so I don’t remember anything from that day. So I just believed in the diagnosis, and have had to live with it most of my life. Throughout my school career from preschool to high school, I was always placed in special education. When I was little I was okay with it , but once I got to my teens I was starting to feel embarrassed because I didn’t want to be in that class, and I felt like I was going to be made fun of for it, which in the end, luckily didn’t happen. Even though I was never bullied by kids, I wanted to fit in and be treated like everyone else. I still do to this day.

    In middle school I was kind of a different person; I was a lot more like an introvert. I also always had a hard time relating to most people. I didn’t have a lot of friends, and didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. I felt awkward everywhere I went.

    I always felt ashamed about my autism and other things about me for a long time. Once I reached high school, I started to come out of my shell a little bit. I started getting more involved in more things and made some more friends, as I was starting to be less shy. I also met another special person in my life who is now my boyfriend.

    However I still was dealing with struggles like poor self esteem, mental health, perfectionism, and ableism. I did my own research and learned what the world ABLEISM means, which is discrimination against people who are disabled invisble or not. I felt like I fit into that category. However those experiences made me the person I am today.

    I now no longer feel ashamed of my autism. I’m grateful to have people in my life who appreciate me and to be apart of something really special like Autisticana, where we are all like minded, support each other and educate others.

    My advice for anyone would be to not be ashamed of who you are, treat yourself the way you would treat others, be who you are meant to be in this world, and go after what you want.


    Being autistic is really great because it has allowed me to learn many different things about the world and has caused me to discover different types of music and interests and make great friends. Growing up, I went to Just Kids which was a preschool for kids with special mental needs and disabilities. However, once I entered public school, I was placed in regular standard classes rather than classes that had special needs kids. This made me feel like an outcast deep down as well as angry at myself whenever I got in trouble with other people, especially my paraprofessionals. I also struggled with issues such as hyperactivity and not paying attention at times. Despite that, I did participate in the SOAR program (Support Our Autistic Rainbow) of my school district from first to eighth grade. However, I was still able to make great friends and had fun in all my classes. My school career with autism changed significantly when on the last day of seventh grade, I was offered the chance to join the ICT two teacher classroom program. I agreed and my school career changed for the better as I made many new friends, even in people I had met before but never truly interacted with. I also saw my grades improve significantly, especially when I reached high school and was able to do extremely well in English and Social Studies. I also joined outside of school activities such as Sangha Education Center and Kidz Helping Kidz, where I bonded with other neurodivergent teens. Upon reaching college, I feel like my autism has helped in making great papers and projects. Throughout my life, I have realized that autism is a gift, not a burden and it has allowed me to make many great friends, whether at school or Newsmakers.


    I never realized I have a disability. I’ve felt left out with family than in school with my peers. Before my mom and stepdad got married, I felt left out because she was paying more attention to him than to me. I was upset and I would read romance novels in my spare time. It gave me a sense of hope that one day that could be me. When It came to school it made me feel bad that I was taking longer to graduate than other kids. I had a lot of friends in school and felt supported and my teachers were helpful as well. I liked to learn about science in school because of its science fair. I never felt disadvantaged compared to my peers. In regards to driving, I wish I could drive and I don’t like I can’t do that. I feel left out because some of my friends can drive and I can’t. I would like to have my own place away from my parents. If I had to say anything to those who feel bad about their disability it would be that we are each different in our own way and don’t feel bad about it.


    Growing up I never thought I had a disability, I always thought everyone else had issues, just not me. I owed this to my parents who never treated me differently, and gave my brother and I chores to do. We were both expected to do our chores. In school I had to deal with difficult kids more troubled than me and I had to learn to wait my turn and figure things out. Sometimes I needed help but I couldn’t get it. I’m now grateful that I found a group of friends in Autisticana who love and accept me for who I am. I always remember the times I had with Pop and remember seeing him through the window while sick. I’ll always have that memory with me.


    Since I was young, I have had a hard time speaking to people and I had a hard time paying attention in class, as well as hearing what the teacher was saying, As I got older I had a hard time trusting people, because I experienced a bad friendship and it made me feel less confident and trusting with others. I think being autistic is something I’m proud of because it shows that I can be intelligent, despite all the emotional and physical issues that have occurred to me.

    Even if you do have a disability you can be whatever you want to be. For instance, I really enjoy using my creativity and imagination to help others by writing meditations and creative visualizations for all to experience. Life gets difficult some times and we need a little break in the day. Practicing meditation and creative visualizations allow us to experience a mini vacation in our mind. This also allows us to breathe deep, to oxygenate our system, and to relax our thoughts that may make us anxious.

    I am happy I learned how to channel my creativity into helping myself and others to launch and just be, for working together we can all enjoy and be who we can be!


    The time when I first noticed my Autism was the time when I was in elementary school. I was placed in a Special Ed group during most of my time. However, I was placed in a mainstream class in specials and some subjects because I thought it would help me learn how to interact with the other kids. I noticed something different was my classmates were having conversations and I only spoke a little amount. I was more interested in interacting with them during PE Class because it was about having fun. I often felt upset because they only wanted to focus on each other and hang out or be with other partners without me. I sometimes had a hard time keeping the conversation going because I wasn’t sure of saying what I wanted to say. I passed my Global History Regents in a mainstream Global History class. I often got upset over not going to a friends party because I felt bad finding out on social media that they were at parties and didn’t invite me. I got better with communication and I passed my road test on my first try during the end of my teenage years. I became more independent after I got my drivers license. I got two major awards at school. I participated in Sports activity like school and Special Olympics. I was on the Varsity Bowling Team, the School Track Team. and also helped out on the Boys Varsity Soccer Team. As I get older, I just realize that having Autism was more of a Gift because It shows my special type of interest and my own sense of view. I’m also grateful that I get to have my friends and everyone at Autisticana.org which makes me feel like its family.


    I was diagnosed with autism when I was six years old and I do remember the moment the doctor in a white coat let me into his office for the first time and I discovered that the dark square in the room I’d been playing in was a one-way mirror, and all of my “playtime” was actually being observed. I was in adaptive gym classes for most of my life and today I am not able to drive a car even though I am 26. Even though these are obstacles for me, autism has always been a gift — a gift that was misunderstood by others. I was able to read before I could speak and I believe my autism is a reason why I was able to complete my PhD at UCLA. However, despite being tested with an IQ score in the upper extreme, I was not invited to partake in the gifted programming at school due to my disability and I was late entering honors classes. I was bullied because I was clumsy and obsessed with Pokémon, and because of bullying and untreated ADHD I often did not want to go to school. I did well on tests, but I could not pay attention during classes and did not turn in homework. Because of my high educational attainment some people doubt I have any serious struggles, but I have been hospitalized in a mental hospital over 20 times. Those that know me best know that autism is a part of who I am (the good and the bad) and plays a role in my personality too, like my sense of humor.


    I didn’t learn I was autistic until I was 15, but I always felt like there was something different about me. In my early adolescence, I was searching for any explanation for why I just never seemed to fit in. At 13, I learned that as an infant I had cerebral palsy. It explained why I physically couldn’t keep up with others, but I still felt like an alien on a distant planet. Everyone seemed to speak a different language than I did, but the words themselves were not different. It was how language and social connection being built. I always felt behind in some abstract global way.

    In high school, the social pressures just became too much for me. I was having meltdowns, and at this age, it was not considered appropriate. It led to my eventual diagnosis with autism. At first, I felt like a completely broken person. Everything you read about autism when you google it talks about our deficits, our inability to be part of the larger social collective. I didn’t feel like I knew how to connect with the friends I had anymore. What I was learning actually made me feel worse about myself.

    It took me several years, but eventually I found strong connections with other autistic adolescents and adults. I found solace in the neurodiversity movement, a social movement for the acceptance of people with different kinds of minds. I was no longer speaking this different language; we spoke the same. I could feel what I knew inside all along: being autistic was always a beautiful part of my identity.


    As someone who has autism, I have never felt bad about my disability because whether or not I have it is something that is out of my control and makes me unique as an individual. You can control as much as you can and you have to let the rest go.

    I have always felt different from other people ever since I was born,. The day I was diagnosed all made sense to me and I was a bit relieved because it allowed me to make strategies to combat any ill feelings and resentment I felt against myself and how society may have viewed me. Instead, I was able to find tools to make positive strategies to make my life the best it could be under my circumstances. I don’t feel bad about not being able to drive because some people with disabilities cannot do so and there is no shame in that.

    At school I was picked on and bullied which made me feel annoyed and isolated, but I took karate classes and defended myself whenever someone bullied me. I turned my isolation into being a great creative artist and I have learned to share my gifts and innate talents with the world. Through all my sacrifices and struggles, I have built up great resiliency and have learned appropriate coping tools while meeting like minded friends.

    With the Newsmakers Club and all my great friends, I don’t ever feel left out because I feel safe and secure with all of them.


    All throughout my life I’ve had a tough time socializing with other people. It is definitely not easy for me to have conversations with strangers. I always get a little bit anxious whenever a person asks me something when I’m out in public. There are times when I’m afraid to say anything because I’m afraid it might not be the right thing to say. There are certain sounds that I am very sensitive to, like the sound of a phone that is on speaker, or loud TVs, or some beeping noises. Also, my brain tends to process some things slower then other people, so if too much information is coming at me at once I can get overwhelmed, especially with all my autistic sensitivities. However, brain processing speed and intelligence are two different things.

    I am an intelligent, honest, open minded young man who just wants people to accept all of me. I appreciate those caring, compassionate neurotypicals who are are willing to understand what it is like for a person to have autism. I appreciate neuro-divergent people like Christine Grimaldi as well.

    Rainbow infinity symbol in pastel colors

    Dr Grimaldi’s Takeaway:

    In my experience, people with autism are beyond amazing. They all have their own unique special interests and priorities that are important to them. Special interests can mean many different things.

    It could be a highly specific topic of conversation they wish to discuss, a tangible item that is particularly important to them, or maybe it’s an activity they wish to engage in without interruption. Examples of this are Pokémon competitions, Marvel, Disney, politics and so much more .

    People who do not have autism that attempt to disregard their special interests are not able to truly reach that individual. It’s the special people who use that individual’s “priorities” to engage with them who receive positive and meaningful interactions.

    A perfect example of this is the TV show Love on the Spectrum, which shows you that the couples on this show truly engage with each other when they have the same interests. I personally disagree with “opposites attract”.

    I actually think that similarities are what engage relationships and keep them sustainable. People with autism are exceptional in that they are fearlessly and authentically themselves. Our societal norms do not affect the individual’s agenda to fully be themselves.

    This can be off-putting for those who do not understand or appreciate this. Unfortunately society discriminates and looks at these wonderful kids as an illness to be fixed, when in reality they are truly a blessing that is ostracized by society which causes them mental health issues.

    There needs to be so much more education and awareness so society can evolve and unite as a team.

    With awareness, one can truly see the beauty of an autistic mind. The uninformed believe these individuals need to bend, adapt, and conform to fit into their society. I have met so many individuals to know that it is not them who needs to bend. Starting this wonderful blog at Autisticana has proven how these kids have worked together to build a bond, and doing so allowed them to really develop their communication skills effortlessly.

    They have dedicated their work to advocating for themselves and have really learned amazing skills, such as sharing their stories, learning to creatively write, learning how to advocate as a team, and to accept everyone for who they are. They have also learned what it is like to be a mentor and a conscious leader.

    Most of all they have learned to express themselves for who they are and to share their gifts with the world.

    I am so proud to be their coach, their teacher, and their friend.

    This is our 100th blog and today we celebrate their greatness. This has been the toughest year for me.

    Through my baby sisters’ terminal cancer diagnosis, the murder of our beloved mascot Molly due to poisoning on a farm and Airbnb’s negligence, and through having my own surgery from this tragedy, we have not skipped a beat!

    I am a resiliency educator and this year has proven the truth strength we all have.

    Out Motto now is ” Teamwork makes the Dream Work”.

    I am so beyond proud of my team at Autisticana.

    We continue to publish our first ten books and tools to empower all to join us. We are also in the process of finishing our ar , yoga and writing retreat center in beautiful upstate NY, where all these like minded young adults can create and transform this world we live in for the better.

    Thank You to my beautiful team at autisticana.org and the Newsmakers in honor of my mentor Barbara Walters, who taught me to critically think, investigate with appropriate evidence, and to keep my heart open while staying resilient at all times.

    This year has been very sweet and sour and yet we all have proven to make lemonade out of lemons.

    We are growing rapidly and hope to be nationwide soon.

    Please come join a team who is going to sweep the nation.

    If just one person shows compassion then just maybe it will cause a chain reaction…that person is me.

    With love and grattitude,

    Dr. Christine Grimaldi


    A group of all of us. Can you tell who has different wiring?
    Stay tuned for our next blog, Neurotypicals vs Neurodivergents: What does it all mean if anything?

  • Why People With Autism Wish They Can Change Gender Identity

    By Anonymous

    I always find myself confusing because I always wanted to act like myself but had trouble figuring out how to identify myself as a male or a female. I also find it interesting to learn how many changes I went through even though I never changed my sexuality. It did help me become a better version of myself though. I also discovered that there are different categories of LGBTQ+ people which caused me to become very curious. I had always wanted to discover different types of people and see if I myself was in the LGBTQ+ Category.

    I always love girls but I had trouble being or acting like them because not every woman is like that or they keep stuff to themselves that they don’t tell men about. Most of the time I like women because I like their sense of fun and bonding. They’re good talkers, caring people, and really helpful with others. I like the fact that everyone gets to be a woman but it could be hard to admit because most might think they are gay. People might have a different side of themselves which is OK because you can be whoever and whatever you want.

    I had trouble keeping up with them because I always ended up in the friend zone or I got dumped, rejected or ended up as an acquaintance because I wasn’t good enough or said the words wrong.

    At some point I will have to decide ” What do I want to act like: a beautiful woman or a handsome guy?” I like roleplaying while playing dress up because it helps me give the idea of that reality and see my own self reflection for what is my true identity.

    (Let the reader think for themselves with these questions)

    Why do I like women with different gender identity?

    Why do I like guys acting like a woman?

    Why do I sometimes imagine myself acting like a pretty woman?

    Do I have to understand about genitals?

    Why do I like women with different body types?

    Why is it so hard to keep my manhood?

    Why do I change interest with sex genders?

    How should I know the understandings of a man and a woman in general?

    What is the point about my sexuality?

    Here’s the links if you’re curious about gender identity on the Autism Spectrum

    Dr. Grimaldi’s Takeaway

    This is not a new subject at all. People once realized this has been happening for decades but they covered it up due to fear (False Expectations Appearing Real). There is not enough evidence based research on gender identity and autism spectrum disorder. This is why I find this subject so interesting and I am becoming very involved in research of this matter. Why?

    Because from my clinical eye and working with tons of kids on the spectrum this has become a big issue for them. I love and respect these kids so much they are so brilliant and talented. That is why this has become a big issue to me.

    I find that a lot of the kids I work with are not concerned with gender at all. In my mind, as my own unique individuality and as a professional in the field, I actually think this is a beautiful thing. Why?

    Most typical kids I’ve worked with my whole life are so caught up in gender identity and if they have the traits to portray the gender they were not born with and develop a lot of unnecessary stress because of this.

    I find it extremely freeing that a lot of kids that I work with on the spectrum do not look at gender and age nor do they look at disability.

    What a lesson to be learned for the typical population to release themselves of this burden that causes stress. Most people I work with on the autism spectrum don’t judge others, rather they are judged for being the person they want to be. Call it neuro-divergent wiring, call it cultivating isolation into positive thinking. There is so much we can talk about on this situation

    What upsets me the most is that people judge and banter the LGBTQ+ community when more than half of the population consists of neuro-divergent people. For those who don’t know what neuro-divergent means, it means people with minds that function differently from the so called “norm” of the human brain. This makes me think that the “norm” of the human brain should be reconsidered like the food pyramid after 50 years.

    It actually infuriates me that ignorance and lack of education on the subject throws our system into fear, aka the public library system shutting down LGBTQ+ education. For if only the public knew that a lot of this is simply neuro-physiology and need to think before they judge. I spend a big portion of my day teaching my Newsmakers how to become critical thinkers. It would be so nice if the rest of the world had that 101 education; if so, we would have less bullying and violence in a society where sexuality and ageism are so prominent. There needs to be more education on the reality of this situation instead of ostracizing kids that are as special as one can be for all of the eye to see.

    Results suggest that autism spectrum disorder presents a unique experience to the formation and consolidation of gender identity, and for some autistic individuals, their sexual orientation relates to their gender experience, which could mean a past experience of bullying, violation, or ostracization, which resulted in isolation. As I mention my Newsmakers, your struggle is your story to help others.

    It is important that clinicians working with autism spectrum disorder are aware of the gender-diversity in this population so that the necessary support for healthy socio-sexual functioning and mental well-being is provided.

    It is more important that parents, teachers, and all other facilitators as well as politicians are educated on this matter. Individuals are getting hurt for being who they want to be. Is this a physiological issue or a psychological issue? Let the reader decide.

    Note to self: One thing for sure, and I stand tall on this subject (#StandTallFoundation), is that excluding, covering up, or getting rid of information is making it so much worse for these kids as well as the typical population. The decline in mental health has exponentially manifested after the pandemic. You would think one would want more education to help resolve this ever-growing angry culture that we are now living in. Once again, let the reader decide.


    Dr. Christine Grimaldi

  • Why do I Want to Be a Car Photographer

    Inside of a new Toyota RAV4

    Hi my name is Scott and I’m the CEO at Autisticana.org . I wanted to talk about why I love to take pictures of cars.

    I wanted to work at a Dealership just to take pictures of cars and add it on the website. Working as a photographer at a dealer, maybe they would hire me for my great talent and my abilities instead of seeing me through the “disability lense”. I love taking pictures of cars and check the details of the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Sometimes when I see pictures of the person who owns the car and who is going to I want them to see the clear picture, with every detail. I wanted to take pictures of cars at a car sales dealership because I wanted to double check the vehicle, make sure the car is in good condition, mileage and color and specific type of vehicle. If I would know how to sell my own car, I would like to use every detail of the vehicles condition, photo of the car in every angle and talk about the vehicle itself.

    Cars in the Showcase at an Toyota Dealership

    If I work at the dealership, I would take a picture of the car who was last leased, and then check the vehicle itself for mileage and other detail of the vehicle to see if its running well. If I work at a Car Sales, I wanted to work as a Car Photographer because, I wanted to take a picture of the car in every angle of detail, car condition, interior, exterior and upload the pictures on the website, like the website of the car dealership and online Market Website for Car Search. I would also have to learn how to do vin number and use the key to alarm the car to see which is the exact vehicle. I would be very flexible about new vehicles in the fleet

    New and Used Cars for inventory
  • We Need Help Rebuilding Our Summer Experience

    We have been building a beautiful retreat house upstate and our coach Christine bought all of us a beautiful camper van so we could go back and forth and have camping experiences and help build a retreat house to mentor others. Unfortunately, last week, somebody sideswiped our van with four of our service dogs in the van. We have been through a lot this year; luckily our service dogs were not injured. However, the van will take at least two months to get repaired with an extreme amount of damage and is not drivable for the entire summer. What do we do?

    Displaying IMG_0466.heic
    The damage done to our original camper van

    We found a beautiful Thor that would really help us and we feel like that his insurance company should reimburse us for the destruction of our summer mentoring program. We were also planning to use our van to document our first summer trip as a group. We were looking forward to that, especially with the loss of our dog Molly due to negligence on a farm. We really hope that amends are made by repairing our summer schedule as soon as possible.

    Our potential replacement camper the Thor Motor Coach Hurricane 34J

    How are we going to obtain this goal? We would love to rent the Thor through a website known as RV Share, but we don’t know how to raise the money to repair the damages due to this unfortunate incident. Maybe with a wing and a prayer, someone will sponsor us for our summer activities to continue.

    Blessings from the Team at Autisticana

    Update Does anyone live to their truth ?

    Let the readers know…

    We were so excited that American National promised to do the right thing and rent us a summer camper van after their client destroyed ours. Two of their workers Amy and Ryan said we will do everything we can to make up for this, and the loss of your camp and make your autistic kids happy.

    The kids were ecstatic to hear those words and in the end they were empty words.

    Farmers insurance lied and gave the kids nothing! Not a camper not a dime for lost wages, just false promises and the kids have been forever upset.

    Our summer has been destroyed and we still strive to be integral and make lemonade out of lemons.

    We were waiting on farmers insurance in New York to follow through on their word? They get a big ZERO ! They act like they cared about the loss of our summer adventure, and that they cared. The truth IS they cared about nothing!. Let the reader decide:

    Does anyone have integrity anymore?

    Or is everyone out to take advantage of disabled people and just tell them what they want to hear?

    We are here to show the world integrity and stand tall to truth and advocate for ourselves, to get what we need to do to make all our lives happier, and to help others with the same love and compassion that we show each other.

    To Farmers Insurance, you should be ashamed of yourselves. You wasted two months and ruined our camp and ability to get anything because of your false promises from day one.

    We will hopefully turn around to a great group after a few months of tragedy and the right vibration and the real caring people that are really out for the good of the population will come forward and help us rebuild our camp and our camper to have the summer that we deserved, so we could help ourselves and mentor others to do God’s work. American National you should all be ashamed of yourselves and your false promises. Let the readers know…

    Written by the team at Autisticana

    We say what we mean and mean what we say…

    Let it be known that American National let us all down after their countless false promises.

  • PETA and The Fight to Stop Animal Poisoning (In Memoriam of Molly)

    “Molly in the animal hospital in Ventura California”

    In Norfolk, Virginia, there is an organization centered there named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It is an organization that focuses on fighting animal cruelty and abuse in four areas: experimentation, entertainment, eating, and wearing clothing. It also fights against activities involving animal cruelty such as chaining dogs in the backyard and killing animals seen as pests, among other forms.

    However, there is an issue that the organization should focus on more: the mistreatment of animals through poisoning, especially at resorts and rentals that use lots of harmful pesticides and chemicals without any disclosure.

    “The day Dr. Christine fell from dizziness and burning eyes from the exposure to sulphuric acid on the farm, and Molly came running to her rescue”
    “Christine and Molly help their new friend Paul after he had to say goodbye to his dog”

    This is because my good friend Dr. Christine Grimaldi recently lost her dog, Molly, through this form of mistreatment.

    Early on in the year, Christine traveled to California to finish a series of books, as we all are co-authors, and we are using her four dogs as main characters(Molly being the lead) in the books. We also work diligently to develop our blog called Autisticana, which focuses on our group of young adult friends with varied interests. We thank Dr. Christine for being our team captain.

    Molly was an integral part of our team as she served as the team’s mascot, and went with us on adventures and learning excursions that we do on a regular basis before we write about it. For the first few weeks before this tragedy, we were fully focused on writing our empowerment books. We were on a roll.

    Dr. Christine decided to rent a strawberry farm to create with us, owned by California-based Adohr Farms through the popular home rental service Airbnb in Camarillo. We all thought this would be a beautiful place to work and create peacefully. Who would have thought?

    It was there that Molly became ill with pulmonary edema and cancerous cells through a deadly combination of constantly spraying pesticides and sulfuric acid tanks. After one month into their stay, Christine and all the dogs started getting sick, unfortunately, Molly got it the worse. This beautiful dog was never sick a day in her life and was always by everyone’s side. When this happened, Christine rushed everyone to the vet and had friends fly in to drive them all home immediately, with Molly on oxygen.

    Christine with Molly in California

    However, despite this trauma, Dr.Christine kept her hope alive and did everything possible to save her beloved friend Molly, such as making chicken soup with herbal medicine and taking her into her salt cave to help her breathe. This still wasn’t enough to heal her beloved Molly, and she was forced to put her down.

    This made Christine so angry at Airbnb to the point where she is currently trying to sue them for not being accountable to guests, especially for animals’ safety on rentals with land that has been infested with pesticides and other fatally harmful chemicals. Her ultimate goal is to make Airbnb be unable to use farms as a form of rental property because of their lack of safety precautions. The fact that these travel platforms are willing to get people sick for money, is enough of a reason for us to make them accountable for multiple counts of murder and negligence. We even investigated them, and this has happened in the past with Airbnb guests, yet they continue to not have any regulations.

    Christine has even started a petition through change.org to hold Airbnb accountable for murdering Molly and making herself and her other dogs sick and now depressed.

    “Molly’s last day eating healthy chicken soup that the Autisticana crew cooked for her with love”

    By reading this post, I hope PETA will take notice and decide to have its legal team be a part of Christine’s fight to hold Airbnb accountable for animal cruelty via chemical poisoning and avenge the deaths of Molly and countless other pets. PETA’s legal team is no stranger to successful legal victories, from freeing a chimpanzee stuck in a roadside zoo full of dust to terminating Seaworld’s orca attraction. Their success has been bolstered by the Freedom of Information Act, which allows them to gain access to records of illegal animal cruelty activities and has pushed for legal jurisdiction which will allow for animals’ protection after they have won these cases.

    PETA’s work has been successful to the point where they were the first animal-based group to win Corporate Counsel’s Best Legal Department in 2017. With their help, Autisticana and PETA will become widely famous for being part of a battle in the war against animal cruelty: keeping animals safe from chemical poisoning and banning Airbnb from using rentals that help worsen this cruelty against animals.

    Note to Self: This reminded me of Joe Biden’s own advice “for those who have lost loved ones during this pandemic: there is a black hole caused by their loss, but their memory will bring a smile to their lips before a tear to their eyes.”

    “Molly, known as “The Goose” will never be forgotten and loved for eternity. She made thousands of people smile and knew just the right time to approach them. She was so compassionate, funny, fresh, and kind and was always willing to lend a paw or two.”

    We pray for Dr. Christine’s healing during this time and want her to know that as a team, we will help her get through this. As she taught us, “We are stronger as a team than we are alone. I am proud to say, we stand by her words, and am proud to be one of her News Makers @ at Autisticana.org

    With Love.

    Jackson Beach


    Author, Editor, and Friend

    Dr.Grimaldi’s Take Away

    ” I am so blessed to have such a wonderful group of young adults in my life.

    I always try to keep my glass half full, so I can be the change I want to see in the world.

    This tragedy has been the worst tragedy for me and the loss of my Molly has made it hard for me to take a breath.” It is not how many breaths we take but the moments that take our breath away. That was Molly for me.

    The lesson I learned from all of this is to hold onto precious memories. We are all here for a special reason. Molly was my reason for so long and was a jewel to everyone that met her. She knew when someone needed special consoling and would be the first to sit on their lap.

    Through all of this pain, I try to find the blessings in every moment. I am beyond devasted by her loss and the negligence that caused this. I hope in Molly’s honor, her name will live on, and that this tragedy could have been prevented. I hope this brings awareness to @Airbnbtravel

    and platforms like these.

    I am in grieving mode and am so grateful to have this wonderful team at Autisticana around me.

    Blessings to you my sweet Molly Goose, my heart will be forever broken but, I thank you so much for sharing your gifts with the world and caring for so many people.

  • Our Kayaking Tour from Coco Palm Forest to The Abandoned Village in Hoi An

    Our News Virtual Travel Bloggers got the opportunity to take a kayaking trip last Friday with a young man named Huy (You can follow him at his Facebook page Huygo Gang & Kiara Badass). Huy, Kiara and Momo created this group to hold a space for us to grow our connection. We’ll update upcoming tours in Vietnam or in other countries. Exploring hidden spots, telling untold stories, and having fun are what we want to do together!

    It was really nice to see that Huy created this whole trip using his own dog Momo as the main character in his story. My impression is that he named Momo after the winged lemur from the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. The show follows a young boy named Aang as he awakens from a century long slumber in an iceberg and goes on a quest to bring harmony and peace to a world of four warring nations. I think Huy named his dog Momo because Momo from Avatar and Aang have a very close connection with each other as well as his sky bison Appa. I can relate to Huy and Momo’s bond because Momo rarely leaves Huy’s side as he livestreams his journeys for HeyGo.

    Momo, Huy’s dog

    We began our trip on the boat with Huy to an abandoned island as Momo stepped into his role as captain and led the way while Huy started educating us with his wonderful storytelling about the virtual excursion he was taking us on. The boat ride showed us beautiful tunnels of coconut palm trees which stood out in the murky and shallow swamp as we finally ended up at Hoi An.

    Hoi An, Vietnamese for “peaceful meeting place” is one of Vietnam’s most renowned cities that is located within Vietnam’s Quang Nam province. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site because it serves as a renowned example of a 14000s to 1800s Southeast Asian trading port that displays lots of influence, whether it be from other parts of Vietnam or other countries teeming with traders and travelers.

    It was very interesting that people worldwide could come on from around the world and go on a boat ride throughout Vietnam’s river. That meant the Heygo viewers could ask a lot of questions from their own perspectives and I find that intriguing especially as a group of travel bloggers.

    As an investigator, we dug a little bit deeper to find out the name of the island and why it was flooded. From our research, we learned that Quang Nam province was heavily destroyed due to Typhoon Joan in November 1964. Many villages as well as Vietnam’s rice crop supply was destroyed by the raging rivers and heavy rain and many people died as well.

    Eric’s Fun Facts

    1. Vietnam is a nation of rivers
    2. Soccer/football is the most popular sport in Vietnam
    3. Vietnam currency is called dong

    Nicole’s Visualization

    Sit in a comfortable quiet space. Let your body relax, preparing yourself for your mind to relax. Take a deep inhale in, and exhale completely. Once again, take another full breath in and exhale completely. We are going to take an imaginary trip on a kayak through the Vietnam rivers. Gently bring your shoulders to your ears, shrug your shoulders up creating tension, and let them drop. Again, take a deep breath in bringing your shoulders up creating tension and then let them drop. We begin our venture kayaking the the Vietnam rivers to an abandoned village. As we start our voyage we take notice of the sight of palm trees as we keep paddling through the canals. We take a deep breath in as we bring our shoulders up and exhale releasing tension as we continue our kayak journey. We are excited and can feel the sensation of joy as I look at my little dog on the front of the boat playing the captain of our journey and of our visual meditation. I am so grateful I have a small companion to take this trip with. As I exhale completely, I bring the boat up to the shore of the island. I take a deep breath in and smell all the vegetation on the island. I hear “splash splash” as my dog falls off the boat. I laugh as I remind myself that he can swim because I taught him well. As I begin to pick him up and dry him off, I feel the sensation of his wet body and keep drying to make sure he is comfortable. As Momo and I get off the boat, we walk onto the island. I follow my sense of smell as I am led to plush vegetables and fruit gardens. I pick a ripe star fruit off a palm tree. As I taste its sweet yet sour fruit, I then feel the fruit which is in the shape of a 5 point star. Its skin is edible and the meaty part of the fruit tastes sour. I learn that they use star fruit in many dishes in Vietnam. I am full with joy as I take another inhale and exhale deeply. I follow the fruit patch till I see these big beautiful cows. I notice that the cow is starting to come over to me and I feel that he wants me to pet him. I first place out my hand to be very gentle as I feel the sensation of him licking my hand. I see that myself and the cow are really laughing together. I take another deep breath in and out and feel grateful that I have this bond with the animal. I begin to sit under the tree with my dog to relax. I close my eyes, take a breath in and out as I am very grateful that I can return to this amazing trip and create my very own visual meditation and excursion whenever I wish.

    Scott’s Sport Review

    We found out that one of the most popular sports in Vietnam is Da Cau. Da cau or “foot Badminton” is a sport that has been in practice in Vietnam for centuries. The emperors and kings of Vietnam also encouraged their soldiers to play the sport to sharpen their agility for fight. There is incredible acrobatics that the players must utilize when practicing da cau.

    Photos by Danielle

    David’s Rhyme Zone

    There was a guy in cambodia named Huygo

    Who had a puppy named Momo

    They took us on a kayak tour

    And showed us local scenery and more

    And now that’s another country that I know!

    Dr. Christines Positive Take Away

    I am so proud of all my kids consistency with continually sharing their talents with the world . This trip was extremely fun because it show cased the joy and accountability found in the host It is so wonderful to see a young adult be creative and enthusiastic about his work . He captured this virtual experience very well and entertained his global audience with his dog Momo.

    He answered all questions immediately that were asked with calmness and confidence . Some participant asked him ” What am I learning ?” and his response was ” Watching is learning ”. I thought that was confident and a brilliant answer. In this fast paced crazy world we live in, everyone is looking for a quick fix and an answer There is beauty behind curiosity . If we quiet down to pull ourselves into our five senses, we will find our answers So visually watching was so on point. Great job Hoy, and kudos to my newsmakers for sharing their individual gifts with each trip we take. Consistency is the key to success

  • Our travel Bloggers trip to Austrailia

    Our news makers, now taking on the job of being our virtual travel bloggers got the opportunity to take a virtual trip by Amazon Explore. Our trip was to the Featherwood Sanctuary in Australia. We had fun seeing the sanctuary’s different examples of Australia’s greatest creatures such as koalas and kangaroos.

    This virtual tour hosted by Leone was really great for all of us. She was very kind and very experienced about the park and all the animals. We virtually got to experience some great stories about the park, it’s history and all the animals. We saw and learned about the kangaroos, koalas, wombats, Penguins and much more.

    What was fascinating to me was that these penguins that live in tropical temperatures. This was all new to me, I thought Penguins could only survive in the cold. Leone explained to us that these penguins have adapted to the climates in Australia. They have a layer of fat, just like the cold weather penguins, but it is not as thick. This allows them to live on land where it tends to be warmer. However, they are also covered in tightly worn feathers that act like a wet suit. These are all the animals we experienced in Australia.

    We also really loved the kangaroos as they were able to jump up high, like we had learned about in various books and websites. Seeing them do it in real life was amazing!

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_7817.jpg

    Eric’s Fun Facts

    1. Kangaroo Joey’s are the name they call their babies and weigh up to 6 kilograms until they leave the pouch (does anyone know how much 6 kilograms equals? a. 25lbs b. 13lbs c. 3lbs)
    2. Wombats have hard butts used for defense, burrowing, and mating
    3. 14 species of penguins can survive in warm climates
    Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupials that are native to Australia. Anyone know what a marsupial is?

    Baby Joey’s in momma’s pouch!

    When seeing the koalas climb on the trees, it was amazing to see them in action. What we learned was that they use climbing as a powerful tool to get food . They also climb to escape danger. So koala bears are actually super heroes. Imagine if we had those powers? We really do! Dr. Christine has taken all of us out hiking and climbing, so we are on our way to staying fit , reducing stress and being our own super hero!

    Nicole’s Creative Visualization

    A meditation about Featherwood Sanctuary

    Find a calm and comfortable place.

    Close your eyes as we begin our journey to Featherwood Sanctuary in Sydney Australia. Take a deep breath in and exhale completely. Let your body relax and your mind settle down as we begin our journey through the luscious green park. As you are walking through the path, you notice the ‘ lily philly’ which is a beautiful fruit that grows through all of Australia. As you breathe in and out you feel your body beginning to relax deeper as you smell the fresh wooded scent of the bamboo trees that surround you. When you reach out to touch them they are so strong, which makes them so resilient to any environmental condition. Christine teaches us to stand tall and be strong always, and if you fall, it is ok, you then begin to pick yourself up. As you breathe in and out, try to stand tall and confident in your strength like a bamboo tree. Even on our worst days, we can find the time to mimic a bamboo tree and stand tall like the mountain pose in yoga.

    You feel grounded and strong into the earth as we hear the birds chirping and singing amazing songs they create naturally. You take a deep breath in and out and feel very grateful that you have this opportunity to experience this magic as we continue our creative visualization. As you keep walking through the trees you see the rain drops fall off the leaves, you proceed to reach out and touch the leaf, feeling soft and wet from the natural rain. You breathe in and out as you see this beautiful koala smiling at you. You reach out gently to touch the little bear, his fur is so soft. The koala is smiling as you stroke his fur, and that makes you smile as well. You proceed to walk further as you see a bright yellow banana tree. You pick one, close your eyes, and breathe in and out feeling grateful that this banana tree is able to share it’s fruit with you. You peel the banana and take a big bite, it is so fruitfully sweet. You walk to the end of the park looking at all the amazing animals. At the far end of the park, you realize you are at a cliff and am able to see the waves go up and down. As you feel the wind, you breathe in and out and look at the blue ocean. Realizing from the teachings in the News Makers, life is really like an ocean and we are all here to learn how to surf the waves and to stay emotionally steady and physically fit. You proceed to take one more deep breath in and out, knowing that you can come back to this beautiful sanctuary whenever you wish. Dr. Christine has taught us the art of writing creative visualizations, which actually helps us to calm down and center our minds.

    Cara’s Art Corner

    I chose the Koala because I thought it would suit best with the blog. This picture was painted on mixed media paper, fully done with watercolor. I enjoy using all different mediums for my works, but I chose watercolor because it’s efficient, dries quickly, and the colors come out brilliantly.

    David’s Rhymes and Rhythms

    The wildlife sanctuary was like a zoo

    And we even got to see a kangaroo

    The momma kangaroo had a joey in her pouch

    He was so heavy the momma said ouch

    We also saw a koala bear

    He was so close as if we were really there

    We enjoyed the Featherdale Wildlife park

    It had a lot of pairs of animals just like Noah’s Ark

    Scott and Jackson’s Facts about Australia

     Our news makers, now taking on the job of being our virtual travel bloggers got the opportunity to take a virtual trip by Amazon Explore. Our trip  was to the Featherwood Sanctuary in Australia. We had fun seeing the sanctuary’s different examples of Australia’s greatest creatures such as koalas and kangaroos.

    This virtual tour hosted by Leone was really great for all of us. She was very kind and very experienced about the park and all the animals. We virtually got to experience some great stories about the park, it’s history and all the animals. We saw and learned about the kangaroos,, koalas, wombats, Penguins and much more. 

    I really loved the kangaroos as they were able to jump up high, like I had learned about in various books and websites. Seeing them do it in real life was amazing!

    When seeing the koalas climb on the trees it makes me enjoy seeing those creatures in action we learned in the past that they use climbing as a powerful tool to get food and escape danger and then really imagine if they go up high.

    What was fascinating to me was that these penguins lived in tropical temperatures.. This was all new to me, I thought Penguins could only survive in the cold. Leone explained to us that these penguins have adapted to the climates in Australia. They have a layer of fat, just like the cold weather penguins, but it is not as thick. This allows them to live on land where it tends to be warmer. However, they are also covered in tightly worn feathers that act like a wet suit. These are all the animals we experienced in Australia.

    Dr. Christines’ positive take- away

    What is not positive about being so close to beautiful animals, that you feel you can reach out and touch them. Our News Makers were thrilled to see these beautiful creatures in Australia and learn about their characteristics and fun facts. The host was exuberant and lovely and was happy to answer all questions. Animals and nature have a way of lifting every ones’ mood. For the isolated, animals can make you happier than most humans. Getting in nature, even virtually can really help shift your mood. Nature has been researched to be one of the best elements to increase mental attitude. What better way than having the opportunity to do it in Australia. Our News Makers had a wonderful excursion.

  • Our Virtual Tour to Disney World

    By Scott Weisbrot

    A photo of Cinderella's Castle from Magic Kingdom in Disney World. The caste has blue roofing and is made of gray and pink stone. In the background, you can see the blue sky.
    A photo of Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom

    On Wednesday, the Newsmakers completed our very first virtual tour to Disney World in Orlando Florida. We were shown the six parks, which I never heard of before. I was only familiar with a few of them and have visited Magic Kingdom a couple times with my family. As a Disney enthusiast, I would love to visit Blizzard Beach in person because it’s one of the recent water parks to be owned by Disney.

    The host of our journey was named Albani. She was very gracious and very helpful in answering all our questions. It was interesting to hear all about the differences between the different parks. We learned about each of them and two of them are waterparks!

    The 6 Disney Parks in Disney World:

    • Magic Kindgom
    • Animal Kingdom
    • Epcot
    • Hollywood Studios
    • Blizzard Beach
    • Typhoon Lagoon

    A photo from Zoom on our Virtual Tour of Disney World. The photo shows different screen shots from Zoom of different people that attended, including our host for the trip, Albani
    Here’s a photo of some of us on the trip with our tour guide Albani

    The Magic Kingdom is one of the most popular places in Disney World. It’s where the magic begins! Animal Kingdom is the safari park of Disney World. There are so many animals in this park. You can explore all the animals on a safari through the park. Epcot features countries around the world and explores this through rides.There is so much to do to discover the world and explore about these countries while learning and having fun with friends! Hollywood Studios is all about the rides with cool thrills and you can see memorabilia from different films like Toy Story and Star Wars. Lastly, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are Disney World‘s waterparks.

    A photo of Disney's Mickey Mouse and friends including Miney Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Pluto, Chip, and Dale. The characters are all smiling and are holding hands in a circle looking down at you. Behind them, you can see the blue sky with a number of white fluffy clouds.
    A photo of Disney’s Mickey Mouse and friends – featuring Miney Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Pluto, Chip & Dale

    Edited by avanicole23

  • Smithtown Dealership Experience

    By Scott Weisbrot

    We needed 2 vans for the blogging school, one for camping trips and one for the temporary taxi/Uber/Able Ride & Scat Bus [a local disability bus service]. I’ll be the driver to take friends to blogging school or take them for Boys Night Out on Tuesdays but then I’ll drive them home afterwards.

    During the first week we went to the Toyota and Lincoln Dealership to check out the SUVs with 7 to 8 seats. At the Toyota Dealer we checked out the Highlander and it was a interesting SUV which I thought it was too big when I first got in at the showcase room. The whole group went into the SUV and it was wonderful having the whole group there. I always imagine myself taking the wheel when I go to the showroom because I always think of going on the road. As soon as we plan on leaving the dealer, it snowed for a short period of time which ended up in flurries. Then we went to the Lincoln Dealership and saw the beautiful sunset. We went to the Dealership to check out the Navigator, and it was too big, but very comfortable on the other hand. We checked out the showcase room which was a world of giant SUVs. Victoria took a picture of the whole group in the same SUV but it was also nice to see the workers at the dealership to promote advertisements for Autisticana.

    The next week, we went to Smith Haven Jeep Dodge and Ram Dealership to test drive the Dodge Durango. Back then, I always heard it on 106.1 BLI during the commercial breaks. Christine and I each drove around the area which was challenging, but it was worth it driving around the town of Smithtown. Then we went to the office and thanked the guy who helped us on getting the SUV but I also offered the staff about our company. The final decision is that we took the Dodge Durango but it would take time to go get the purchase of the vehicle. Later, during the summer months, we’ll be taking the road with this vehicle while planning on using the camping van to go cross camping around the State.

    Edited by Elliot Gavin Keenan

  • The Signs of Autism and Burnout

    There are various reasons why individuals on the autism spectrum experience burnout, which is defined as being too tired to enjoy your favorite things or losing interest in what is going on in the moment. It can also trigger negative thoughts about regret and other things you wish you could have done in life instead of what actually transpired. There’s always the possibility that it’s altering your appetite, which may affect your social skills, and that it’s causing memory loss or difficulty remembering things. One thing that can make the behavioral effect worse at times is not taking care of themselves or resting your brain while hiding your feelings of depression. Loss of memory can also affect your mood, leading to frequent feelings of sorrow or distress. There is a feeling of emptiness coupled with a reduction in bodily mobility. Both sleep deprivation and fatigue can negatively impact your health and functioning. Excessive routines can also be mentally and physically taxing, which can result in anxiety, insecurity, and sadness, all of which can exacerbate burnout symptoms.

    Extreme weariness may be the cause, in which case you may find it difficult to engage in any activities, complete simple tasks, or interact with people in order to mask your despair. The fight-or-flight response that an autism burnout depicts can be harmful to both your physical and emotional well-being. It is similar to your entire neurological system. It is aggravating when others want to blend in and behave normally like those in their peer group who aren’t autistic. This is because you find it difficult to maintain the conversation or lack motivation. It’s also possible that individuals on the autism spectrum have hyperfocus, which causes them to be more inconsiderate towards other people and more preoccupied with their own demands. Some young adults with autism and ADHD frequently feel that they should have been more involved in the nightlife, like their friends and peers in the mainstream. Certain individuals however, have sensory issues, and others are too preoccupied with saving money rather than going out and spending it on the necessities of life. Regardless, the reality is that they are unable to meet this demand because they are more preoccupied with their personal lives, spending more time at home watching TV, watching movies, or engaging in other activities. Some individuals with neurodivergent characteristics have different needs, making it difficult for them to maintain activities that frequently require extra support. Others have social batteries, making it difficult for these individuals to speak with specific people, while still others will only engage in brief conversations. Many individuals find it difficult to maintain lasting conversations because it would be exhausting, and others are restricted to talking about their interests because they become easily bored when others discuss personal matters or topics that they may find relatable. However, the majority of neurodiverse individuals have a tendency to end conversations when they become boring or find it difficult to continue.

    Sleep is essential for preserving energy for the following day; seek for about eight hours of sleep each night. Burnout and depression can both manifest as altered appetite, excessive daytime tiredness, irregular sleep patterns, feelings of worthlessness, or regretting a significant event that leads to guilt. Sometimes thinking or making decisions can be difficult for you or others. It could also be a sign that you’re not taking care of yourself, which can lead to psychological stress or overthinking. It could also be overwhelming to have too much time on your hands and not enough time to unwind.

    Additionally, people’s senses of what they see or the texture of the food they eat can cause sensitivity in some people. It might be that particular thing that makes you like one brand over another instead of other brands because you feel like their products are too dissimilar from your own. It might also successfully lead to greater lack of energy, mood swings, or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. People occasionally feel meaningless or ashamed about being productivity-obsessed, wishing they could have enjoyed something instead of feeling dejected about something. You might also be angry about significant changes to the internet, marketing materials on websites you frequent or that you use primarily in your spare time, new technology, or noteworthy changes in the company that would alter the present status quo. There are also moments when you feel bad because you could have done something to improve the world, but you can’t do anything about it and end up making regrets that will only make your situation worse. Despite the fact that executive thinking can have a major impact on depressive episodes and emotional exhaustion, it can also cause mental fog, short-term memory loss, or an abundance of emotion. You suddenly lack the desire to take care of yourself, and life becomes harder to navigate. Being overwhelmed all of the time can be stressful and increase your level of stress in an assortment of ways, while acting like every change is a big deal regardless of how big or small the change is in life.

    The two facts about Depression and Burnout


    Autistic individuals are four times more probable than neurotypical people to struggle with depression in their lifetime.Autism spectrum disorder as well as depressive disorders can overlap. Individuals, clinicians, and health care providers encounter some unique challenges. The signs and symptoms of depression may be more difficult to detect among individuals who additionally exhibit autism symptoms. essentially treatments for depression are similar in people with and without autism, little study has been conducted on how the combination of autism and depression can impact treatment outcomes. A enacting feeling of sadness is not exactly the same as a diagnosis of major depressive disorder or other clinically diagnosed instances of depression. Depression is an emotional disorder that lasts at least two weeks particularly may be severe. An individual suffering from depression might also show signs of anxiety. Both of these disorders share symptoms with autism spectrum disorder. Because of the similarities in symptoms, identifying depression in an autistic person requires careful evaluation by a knowledgeable professional.


    An individual who is experiencing depression may also exhibit signs of anxiety symptoms.These conditions share symptoms with autism spectrum disorder. Due to the similarities in signs and symptoms, discovering mood swings in an autistic person requires careful evaluation by an experienced professionals. Autistic burnout refers to the intense mental, physical, or emotional breakdown that many adults with autism experience, which somewhat is often accompanied by a gradual degradation of skills. Many autistic people believe it is caused primarily by the combined effect of being able to navigate an environment designed for neurotypical people. Burnout is more probable to affect autistic adults who have strong intellectual and language abilities who have jobs or attend school with neurotypical peers. We describe the emerging picture of this phenomenon, including the way autistic adults may be able to recover from burnout, and offer suggestions they can prevent it. Burnout, like several elements of autism, varies significantly from individuals to individual. Some autistic people describe it as a feeling of physical exhaustion. They might experience greater challenges regulating their emotions and be susceptible to tempers in feelings of sadness or rage. Burnout may bring about anxiety disorders or contribute to depression or thoughts of suicide. It could include an increase in autism traits like recurrent behaviors, hypersensitivity to sensory input, or a difficult time with change.

    Here are more effective ways to handle the situation at hand, such as creating a sensory balance, allowing yourself space, or cuddling up with a plush toy that makes you feel pleasant. You’re free to unwind, unwind, and become at ease in the world. There are techniques for healing from burnout, such as speaking to a trusted adult who can support you with comprehending your feelings and exercising the practice of meditation. You can take delight in an aspect that has excellent appeal to your senses and guarantee the right level of assistance when required. When your body needs it, you can take a nap or spend time doing things like hanging out with friends and reaching out about how you really feel. This means that you can begin setting boundaries by deciding when you need time alone, finding a secure space to stim, or seeking basic support.

    It process may take months or up to two years but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can slowly recover from the burnout and depression if you get some help from friends, family or a therapist that can help you with your issues.

    Here are some of the articles that would help for specific topics of Autism Burnout and Depression

  • Ben Rhodes as NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Cup Championship Final of 2023

    The race was held at Phoenix Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona on the 4th of November 2023. In addition to being the season’s last race, it celebrated NASCAR Racing’s 75th anniversary. The remaining four drivers who made it to the finals were Ben Rhodes #99, who also won the 2021 Truck Series Championship, Corey Hiem #11, Grant Enfinger #23, and Carson Hocevar #42. Anyone who is willing to use the trophy could be the winner.

    During Stage 1, The Race was all lined up with trucks in a row of 2 before starting the race. When the pit crew truck got off the racetrack, the person at the white checker flag waved the green flag to start the race for one last time of the 2023 Season. When the action began, there was already some contact from Rajah Caruth to Jack Wood at turn one while the first 7 trucks are willing to get the early lead before the next lap around the track. Ty Majeski took the lead at Stage 2 followed by Corey Heim #11, Ben Rhodes #99, Zane Smith #38, Nick Sanchez #2, Taylor Gray #17, Christian Eckes #19, Chase Prudy #4, and Jesse Love #1 which the trucks had a major switch at the 3 and 4 wide. At the 4th Lap, Grant Enfinger had his dashboard on and saw Derek Kraus #77 contact Stewart Friesen #52 and spanned at turn 3 on. 90 degree angle.which Halie Deegan #13 slowed down her truck along with Colby Howard #9 behind her which Stewart Friesen #52 locked all 4 tires to avoid a collision. Once they restart the race. Majeski resumed the lead which Heim is currently the winning driver of the final 4. The race was clean and smooth until the final lap of the first stage which Majeski and Heim battled to win the first stage but it was close at the 3rd turn but Ty Majeski would win the first stage of the race. Along side with Zane Smith and Ben Rhodes included Nick Sanchez in the top 5 position.

    During Stage 2, it all began with Corey Heim regaining the lead but a little contact from Carson Hocevar. On the other side, Matt Crafton #88 went far out and almost hit the guardrail but managed to successfully stay in the race. After the first 2 laps, Chris Hacker #30 crashed his truck into the wall which his rear right tire was blown out. Marco Andretti on the #7 truck also got some damage on the front Side of the truck. The AMR Safety Crew came in to help Hacker walk out of his truck safely into the ambulance. On the other view of the crash, Marco Andretti truck contacted Chris Hacker’s truck and then the 30 truck landed and hit the wall but he was lucky that he wasn’t hurt. As soon as the green flag was on, Corey Heim continued his lead with Ty Majeski, Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger and Taylor Gray took charge which Heim resumed his lead until stage 2 was over and which the other 4 drivers took the top 5 of the 2nd stage. While Corey Heim went to pit stop it took a while for his pit crew to check his truck but he was let go but the crew wasn’t happy about the longer wait of getting his truck ready.

    During Stage 3 as the final round, the race started off with Ekces taking the lead follow by Prudy and Gracia but some contact from Prudy and Sanchez at the wide turn of turn 1 while all of the trucks were finding a solution to fight for the top 10 but Carson Hocevar has been taking the winning position of the final drivers to begin the 3rd stage but the other 3 trucks were in the top 20 which had to gain more speed to go back to the top 10. After a couple of laps to resume the race, another caution came out from Conner Jones #66 who pushed Jake Drew #61 which Hallie Deegan slide at a 90 degree angle so avoid the crash. As the green flag resume, Nick Sanchez took the lead along side with Eckes. Carson Hocevar had squeeze his truck to stay in the top 5 for a tight battle of the race. With 37 laps to go, Ben Rhodes was finding a way to get back to the top 10 but made some contact with Tanner Gray #15 but didnt avoid an accident which nothing bad happen. In the meantime, Carson Hocevar took the lead of the champions of the final 4 along side with Corey Heim which Hocevar refuse to let Heim pass his truck but made contact after Corey Heim passed Carson Hocevar. After another lap was passed, Hocevar took a wide turn and took Corey Heim out of the crash and Stewart Friesen crash which the caution was on by turn 2. Carson Hocevar got really upset and frustrated that he didn’t wanna push Corey Heim but was gonna contact him instead of pushing him out of the race. As the race resume, 25 laps to go and Nick Sanchez has taken the lead but Hocevar decide to pull back into the top 20 which it was a poor restart. Ben Rhodes has decided to get closer in the top 5 and release the 6th caution by 25 41 43. Dye on the 41 pushed Matt Dibenedetto #25 and Daniel Dye #43 pushed Bailey Currey #41 and all of them crash into the wall. With 15 laps to go, Christian Eckes and Zane Smith are battling for the lead while Rhodes and Enfinger were taking the battle for the championship. Jesse Love was doing outstanding heading to the top 5 which it has been approving well with race. Before the final couple of laps, Zane Smith and Eckes was battling for the lead which Ben Rhodes and Grant Enfinger has been battling for the championship in the last 10 laps until another caution was out and disrupted their clean battle. Carson Hocevar had destroyed his truck which Corey Heim’s truck had his right side damage which Corey Heim give revenge on Carson Hocevar along side with Tanner Gray who spinned out in turn 2 along side with the other 2 playoff drivers that were involve of the accident.

    Once overtime has taken over, the top 4 drivers are willing to taker the lead, by turn 2, Enfinger made contact with Sanchez and slip a little but manage to stay alive which Prudy moved to the top 4. Zane Smith and Ben Rhodes were about to battle for the win until caution was out before the white checkered flag was up. Derek Kraus #77 crashed into the wall between turn 3 and 4. Ben Rhodes saw the white flag being switch to the yellow flag before the final was on while trying to take the lap. It didn’t last when Grant Enfinger went back to pitstop and downgrade to the outside of the top 20 to restart the race. The 2nd round of overtime took off with Zane Smith taking the lead but Ben Rhodes made a careless mistake by holding traffic and pushed Zane Smith which he spud around and crash into Jack Wood #51 to release another caution. There was some damage from Ben Rhodes and got right into Zane Smith, but missed the shift, which his crew chief has to take a look at his to make sure it’s fine to resume which nothing serious happen. The 4th try of overtime alert started off with contact from Eckes to Prudy and pushed Ty Majeski to the side and then the 98 truck got hit by Jesse Love #1 which spun Majeski out along with the trucks being too close which Matt Crafton #88 also spun a 360 angle to crash Tyler Hill #56, Colby Howard #9 and plow into Sean Hingorani #75. During the 5th and final restart of overtime, Eckes on the outside and Purdy on the inside which Ben Rhodes has determine to take the Championship spot. After turn one, Grant Enfinger made a major move to get close to Ben Rhodes which Garcia was getting close to Eckes and Tyler Ankrum hit himself in the wall of turn 3 which this time the caution will not be out this time and release the white checkered flag for final lap. The Championship spot was close for Rhodes that won before in 2021 and Enfinger wanted to get his first Truck Series Championship which it was tight battle until Enfinger jumped to the outside but not enough to get close to Rhodes. The race finished with Eckes taking the winner of the race but Ben Rhodes has officially won the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship. Ben Rhodes’ Crew Cheif celebrated their moment of victory lane. Even though Ben Rhodes got one victory race at Charlotte Speedway before claiming the victory of the truck series title. Both truck drivers had a clean race without being spun out and refused to give up their positions of the championship.

    Ben Rhodes is officially the Championship of the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for first time since his first one in 2021. He kept it calm and steady until the very end to hold his excitement which his crew was happy for the victory which Enfinger’s crew was disappointed that couldn’t capitalize the victory. Rich Lushes who was the crew chief of Ben Rhodes had an interview with Fox Sports which he quoted “Were like a baseball team and we had a starting pitcher and Jared Prince said got the deal going and take the win.” He was proud that his crew kept their toes up and banged to survive the championship and also thanked Enfinger the he kept it clean instead crashing and burning like everyone else. Throughout the celebration, Ben Rhodes did the donut while raised the NACSAR Championship Flag. The truck had some damage from shifting gears from contact in overtime but managed to survive the race by the great encouragement while having issues with the restarts. It was battle born of surviving the championship. While Eckes drove away with the checker flag, Ben Rhodes swing the Championship flag and the fans cheered for his tremendous victory. When Rhodes started his interview, he shout out “LET’S GO! Man I hate when people do that on tv I’m so sorry but dang this was so awesome.” He was thrilled to see all of the people who came to support him. Ben Rhodes was born and raised in Louisville, Kentuck that he always wanted to be a nascar driver which started off as local basvar league in his hometown and then promoted to 4th Division which is known as the ARCA Racing Series in 2014. A Year later, he joined the NASCAR Truck Series and enjoyed working for the truck league since then. He also pointed out that he thought that 25 laps into overtime which he fought he was loose a tire or get pushed by Enfinger which give him full respect. He also shout out to all of his fans and crew member for dedicated support and also thanked ThorSport Racing, kubota USA and Ford for the support. While switching to Grant Enfinger’s interview, Ben Rhodes was speechless of joy excitedly gone wild. Enfinger told the reporter that we was gonna take the win for the original green flag before the final until the caution disrupted his moment but after that, there was nothing that he could do about with the results. He also thought that he would’ve take the win if Ben Rhodes didn’t extend his speed until the very end. While Corey Heim gets his interview with Amanda Busick, he told her that the race was not planned on what thought with crash by Carson Hocevar, which he did lost control of his truck while he did had a terrific season even Hocevar’s truck before the final race of the season. Overall he had great truck but crash into the wall and destroy his right side while hoping stay in playoff for next season. Lastly, Carson Hocevar wanted to have his interview at the AMR Care Center because he was too embarrassed react on live tv so he rather have it at a safe place with little amount of people as possible. He told the reporter that he thought Corey Heim was a gonna do some contact but didn’t wanna push him out for a caution which he felt guilty for the accident which got him distress about the situation. He wanted to block the other trucks to let Heim get a win or top 5 finish but there so much trucks in the way for heavy traffic parts if the time which caused the accident. He didn’t wanna finished the race in the final few laps into overtime for the second time that crashed with Corey Heim and his truck was totaled which he surrender and be away from the race to get some space to avoid media attention. He wanted to do better has a truck driver and didn’t wanna cause any accidents for the 2024 Season. Last but not least, Christan Eckes won the race who was a non playoff winner and told the sports reporter that it was good to have victory for the winner but it wasn’t unfortunate to not stay in the playoffs which he would’ve been the Truck Series Championship. Finally, Ben Rhodes has lifted the trophy and makes him the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series Champion. He was happy and patted all of his crew members for a celebration and a good job for the dedicated work.

    The Top 5 Drivers of the Race

    • #19 Christian Eckes
    • #35 Jake Garcia
    • #4 Chase Purdy
    • #1 Jesse Love
    • #99 Ben Rhodes
  • Little Man – Dash , “A story of resilience and hope “ loved by so many @ autisticana

    As autistic kids the one thing we have in common is most of us suffer from stomach issues. As babies , our parents spent many restless nights going back and forth to the doctors and hospitals for our “ Belly” issues.

    We came across a mini horse named “ Dash “ at 13 hands equine rescue .

    We all resonated with “Baby Dash”, because of our parallel lives combatting health issues.

    We wrote a story about our little Dash , and starting reading it to our younger group at the newsmakers group to inspire them to, “ fight the good fight ,”and never give up.

    This is what we wrote :

    Our little man Dash , a story of hope and inspiration.

    Once upon a time, tucked away in a cozy green pasture on the edge of a small town, lived an extraordinary little mini horse named Dash, known for his ability to take off on a dime.

    Dash was born with a condition that made his stomach very delicate. Since his birth, he had suffered stomach pains, making his life much harder than the other horses in the pasture. But Dash was no ordinary mini horse. Despite his condition, he held an aspiration to live joyfully, always full of energy and love, his sparkling eyes reflecting his tenacity. He was the horse of hope to all of us that suffer from similar disabilities.

    Though he was smaller, and his pain often kept him from frolicking as freely as the other horses, he refused to let it dampen his spirit.

    Dash was a fighter, overcoming challenge after challenge with his unwavering resilience. His will to triumph over adversity was amazing, and that was what made him so special.

    Word of Dash’s incredible determination and his story of resilience spread across the town, and soon school children began to visit the pasture. They were drawn to Dash, and he to them. Despite his discomfort, Dash was always excited to see them. He greeted them with a cheerful nae, his eyes glistening with warmth and excitement.

    Very quickly, Dash and the school children became great friends. To them, Dash was not just a mini horse, but an embodiment of determination, love, and indeed, hope. They found inspiration in him, a reminder that no matter how immense the pain, how great the struggle, one can always find joy and love in life.

    Over the year, Dash faced life-threatening situations because of his condition. But with every grave prognosis, his resilient spirit and will to survive surprised everyone. Each time his life was in balance, it was like he was telling the world – “As long as I’m loved, I will fight. I will survive.”

    Teachers started arranging field trips for students to Dash’s pasture. They made it into educational trips, teaching them life skills using Hope’s example – that life will have its struggles and challenges, but it’s all about standing strong and facing them with courage and determination.

    The kids loved Dash and he loved them back. They would bring him apples and carrots, but realized he could not eat them, because of his delicate stomach ; so the kids would enjoy the healthy snacks themselves while they would all just sit beside him when his pain was high. The comfort and love exchanged between the mini horse and the kids was pure and far from the complexities of the world. Each time they left, they couldn’t wait for the next visit to see their ‘Hero Dash.”

    In a world that often felt big and confusing, Dash, the resilient mini horse, became a symbol of love, endurance, and indeed, ‘hope’. His spirit and life became a testament to the saying, “It’s not about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about how many times you get back up.”

    And so, Dash, with his unyielding spirit, tiny stature and enormous heart, touched the lives of everyone in the small town. The mini horse named Dash became a living lesson of resilience, love and hope, changing the lives of generations of school children who learned the most profound life lessons in the green pasture, right beside their beloved, mini friend.

    Our team at autisticana just heard that our mini is in serious trouble again and requires immediate surgery. We are all gathering together to ask all of you to help sponsor his surgery by having a friend- raiser and donating asap to our cause.

    Save our Dash –

    @13handsequinerescue and got the donate now button.

  • Our investigation of the Polar Express!

    Now that the holiday season is amongst us we are going to dive deep into the creation of the polar express and investigate all through the NY region who is hosting one, and where can go to experience all these like minded events.

    Our team of investigators @ autisticana begin by researching the history of this fabulous holiday theme event. This is where we start :

    The journey of “The Polar Express” began as a beloved children’s book, penned by renowned American author Chris Van Allsburg in 1985. The compelling premise, spellbinding illustrations, and heartwarming themes of faith and Christmas spirit helped the book to secure a Caldecott Medal for its remarkable illustrations the following year and steadily gained a devoted readership worldwide.

    “The Polar Express” tells the story of a young boy who, harboring doubts about Santa Claus’s existence, awakens on Christmas Eve to find a mysterious train—the Polar Express—waiting to whisk him off to the North Pole. Along with other children, the boy embarks on a magical journey, filled with hot chocolate, fantastical landscapes, and a personal encounter with Santa himself.

    A testament to its immense popularity, “The Polar Express” was adapted into a feature film in 2004. Famous American filmmaker Robert Zemeckis directed the animated film with Tom Hanks in multiple roles, including the train conductor, the boy’s father, and Santa Claus. The film utilized motion-capture animation technology, a novelty at the time, which caused a stir due to its somewhat unusual and realistic human animations. Despite its mixed critical reception, the film was successful at the box office and has since become a staple Christmas film for many families. Notably, the film received a nomination for Best Original Song at the 77th Academy Awards for the song “Believe” performed by Josh Groban.

    In addition to the film adaptation, “The Polar Express” has become a central theme in various holiday events across the United States. A popular event is the Polar Express Train Ride, where children and adults board specially decorated trains, journey to “the North Pole,” and experience highlights from the story such as hot chocolate service, a reading of the story over the speaker system, and a visit from Santa Claus. This event is typically held annually during the holiday season in multiple locations nationwide.

    Moreover, “The Polar Express” has also been adapted into a video game, released in tandem with the feature film in 2004. The game allows players to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of “The Polar Express,” providing another avenue for fans to connect with the story.

    Through the decades, “The Polar Express” has proven to be a timeless, magical tale that captures the Christmas spirit. From book to film, from events to video games, “The Polar Express” continues to inspire, entertaining generations with its endearing story and bringing joy to festive celebrations worldwide. The journey of “The Polar Express” so far clearly defines how a beautifully crafted narrative can translate across different media formats and continue to captivate audiences.

    Happy Holiday season from our News Making Team @ Autisticana !

  • What is a sandwich ?

    The Delicious Inception: The Story of How the Sandwich Came to Be”

    Our team got together tonight to investigate sandwich making and the concept of how it came to be ?

    We made and tried all types of sandwiches from pesto chicken cutlet to smoked turkey and brie to chicken parmesan, we made them all. It was a lot of group tasting and fun. We then got to work on our investigations and this is what we explored:

    Our Interpretation

    From informal picnics to elegant high tea affairs, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a culinary scenario where a good old sandwich doesn’t fit. This delightful food item, known for its versatility and convenience, enjoys worldwide popularity. But where did the sandwich concept originate? Who dreamed up this brilliant food innovation?

    Well, the story is as intriguing as it is appetizing.

    The Birth of the Sandwich

    If we yank back the curtains of time and visit 18th-century England, we’d find our sandwich benefactor in John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. All stories point towards this infamous gambling enthusiast, whose love for card games inspired the concept. The Earl was reputed to have asked his servants for meat tucked between two pieces of bread during his long gaming sessions to avoid interruptions. This convenient meal allowed Montagu to continue playing while eating, without getting the cards greasy.

    Word of this novel idea soon traveled beyond the shadowy gambling dens. The aristocrats started to order “the same as Sandwich,” and thus, the sandwich was christened.

    An Ancient Concept

    While John Montagu popularized the term “sandwich,” the idea of placing ingredients between bread-like items was far from new. Historical records reveal that various cultures had their versions of the modern sandwich long before the Earl adopted his marker.

    Ancient Jewish leader Hillel the Elder was known to place lamb, nuts, and herbs between two pieces of matzah during Passover. Across the globe in the 1st Century B.C., the Romans enjoyed “Buccellatum,” a sort of sandwich with meat and other fillings sandwiched between bread or biscuit.

    The Sandwich Spreads Across the World

    In the 19th and early 20th century, the sandwich began to gain popularity in the United States. As industrialization picked up, the need for quick, convenient meals became apparent. The sandwich, easy to make and portable, fit the bill perfectly.

    In America, the sandwich culture took on a life of its own, from the simple yet hearty peanut butter and jelly sandwich to the extravagant club sandwich. The sandwich was recorded in an American cookbook for the first time in 1816, in “The American Home Cook Book.” By the end of the 20th century, the sandwich was a staple in the American diet.

    In the United Kingdom, egg sandwiches started off by Street Vendors in East London during the early 19th century. The idea was to earn money and feed to the Hungary villagers while others been working in the factories. The idea of the sandwich was fried eggs, meat, cheese which the additional ingredients was bacon, tomato, avocado, pork, chicken and watercress. The bread was called a bap at the time. It became a major success in the cafe culture around the globe after the it hit the United States during the Industrial Revolution.

    Modern-Day Sandwiches

    Today, the sandwich is a universally beloved food item and has evolved into countless variants across the world. From the Vietnamese Bánh mì to the Italian Panini, from India’s Vada Pav to the Turkish Doner Kebab, every part of the world seems to have adopted and innovated upon the Earl’s ingenious creation.

    Wrapping it Up

    Seemingly simple fare at first glance, the sandwich embodies a tale of culinary convenience and creativity. The Earl of Sandwich may have put his name to it, but it is the world’s adaptation and elevation of this humble food item that truly makes the sandwich a testament to global culinary culture. So, the next time you enjoy a sandwich, take a moment to remember its dynamic history, a tale as full of flavor as the sandwich itself!

    Another fun night @autsisticana

    “We learn by doing”….

  • “Experiences”,now opening at 13 Hands Equine Rescue

    13 Hands Equine Rescue’s mission has always been to rescue unwanted, abused and abandoned horses and rehabilitate them in order to find them the perfect ‘forever home’.

    We partner with some of our rescue horses to assist in our Equine Therapy program helping veterans and others who suffer from PTSD, anxiety, depression and many other issues.

    With the increase of loneliness, depression and anxiety since the pandemic , we at 13 hands equine rescue are gathering together to make positive change in the community, our school systems and out patient clinics.

    Mary Lou Torterello , founder of 13 hands has announced a statement that she is opening 13 hands private VIP ranch house to host educational and healing workshops to assist in the communities emotional well-being and overall health.

    In the past, the house has been used for high end celebrities in need of seclusion to lodge around the beauty that surrounds the rescue. Nature and Animals have a way of healing that traditional forms of supportive care can not conquer.

    MaryLou gave a heart felt statement saying ,” That everyone is a celebrity in my eye, and it is time to open up our home to the public so that all will benefit from wonderful experiences that we host.

    The beautiful ranch home that sits on the rescues lower tier will now be used by our professionals and guest hosts to share they’re gifts to all.

    Our educational programs will be catered to our youth, community members and tourists by offering a schedule of weekly classes, workshops, events and inclusive retreats.

    Marylou continued to say , “ People always find us when they are in need of nature and equine to help them when they are going through some kind of life trauma .

    The rise of these personal visits have become two-fold from the late effects of covid. So we have decided to take a pro- active approach to supporting everyone out there who may need a little, “Love and Rescue.”

    We understand your emotional well-being contributes to your overall health. At the launch of our new classes, you will find excellent support and compassionate care with our experienced specialists that have been chosen by our board of trustees.

    The goal of 13 hands equine rescue is to get you get back to feeling like you again, and even better than before.

    Our Calender beginning with the kick-off of a community Thanksgiving will then lead into a host of workshops, lectures, and educational programs for learners of all ages. It will also be the center for events for our rescue and provide an indoor option in case of inclement weather.

    Stay tuned for our upcoming events to get you through the holiday with the happiness and peace you deserve.

    We look forward to meeting all our new friends and invite you to learn, love and laugh again with the help of our team and our beautiful rescue animals.

  • Op ED Piece about Barbara Walters Auction

    Barbara Walters Can You Hear Me? Is Heaven For Real?

    Barbara Walters was closer to me than my own family or any of my friends. Our relationship deepened from the day we met, and for almost thirty years we spent hours together talking on our daily walks through Central Park.

    Barbara became my mentor and my closest friend, far beyond my original role as her exercise coach. We talked about so many subjects, from babies being born to the question of life after death – the question, “Is heaven for real?”

    I promised her that I would tell the true, inspiring story of “My Barbara”, so I am now writing a memoir of my time with her, to fulfill that promise. Barbara died last year after a long illness, at age 93.

    My memoir, to be titled “By Your Side: A Walk In The Park with Barbara Walters”, is the beautiful inner story known by only one person. A person in whom she confided for so many days and hours for nearly three decades. That person was me.

    Even today, as I walk in the park alone, I reflect on all the stories and lessons I learned from her, one of the world’s most legendary journalists, someone with enough courage and talent to blaze a path to the top for other women.

    One question she and I returned to again and again was: “Is heaven for real?” And, if we believe in this idea, how can we truly believe in it?

    Barbara was fascinated by the question. She even explored the idea during an interview with his holiness the Dali Lama. And while she created a beautiful TV special with the Tibetan spiritual leader, in truth, she didn’t budge in her beliefs about the whether heaven is real.

    In our frequent, private debates, I always answered YES and she answered, NO! So we agreed on a collaborative plan: ”Whoever first passed through the pearly gates would show a relevant sign by helping the other with their purpose-driven work.”

    Barbara admired and, I say humbly, loved the fact that I was her young mentee full of hope and belief. And she often told me to not let aging and disappointments stop me from being my best self, or from serving humanity. She openly showed her pride in me and in my work as a therapist in a child cancer ward. Once, she was interviewed by NY1 for a story about my integrative therapy work with child cancer patients at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

    “Christine Grimaldi is a saint. She is always the one there to help out others in need without asking for anything in return,” Barbara said in the TV news segment.

    “She works with these children who have cancer, giving them quality to their lives, making their limbs move, hugging them, talking to them, reading to them,” she said.

    “That’s so important. These children, many of them dying, she’s the one who’s there consoling them. She’s just an amazing person.”

    Now, we’re only weeks from Barbara’s first anniversary. In heaven — this, I believe. And the holiday season is near; a season when Barbara was always ready with her “gift closet”, stuffed with delightful presents for the kids in the cancer ward. The children could choose what they wanted.

    Barbara also used to ask me to deliver a different variety of gifts — gold-laced chocolates — to her celebrity friends. “I know what you’re thinking, Christine… in fact, I could feed the homeless in New York City for the holidays.“ And I would always answer her, “Correct.”

    And then she’d give me a handful of cash to feed the patients in the hospital, where I would spend the holidays.

    Afterward, when I joined her for our private holiday dinner at her Fifth Avenue residence, she’d ask me as soon as I walked through the door, “How did all the patients do?” I always replied, “Great, thanks to you and The Gift Room.”

    The whole event became an ongoing funny conversation for the two of us, each and every holiday. This is the kind of shared memory – between me and Barbara – that is at the heart of the memoir I’m writing about her. And I decided to bring Barbara’s tradition into the wider world, so I decided to create a small charity, giftroomfoundation.org.

    As the years passed, she often confided in me, “I am worried about who is going to be your patron when I am gone, for all your good deeds.”

    I would answer, “ Well if heaven is for real, then you will lead them to me.” I added, “I just need a few of your rare books and that mummy in the hallway [upon which I always hung my hat, to get a sneer and a chuckle from her] to support my future purpose-driven endeavors.”

    Barbara’s true dedication was to help children find their way, to help animals in need and to foster women’s leadership.

    These days, as I recall those years with Barbara, I walk in a park upstate as the leaves change color, and I remember all our seasons together, all the changes we went through to serve people in need.

    I remember a conversation Barbara and I once had, as I brushed her hair one day. I told her, “I will leave you the legacy you truly deserve by writing a true memoir about your kindness that people do not see.”

    I went on to creat centers dedicated to her causes. I’ve even created gift rooms “in honor of Barbara Walters” to buy items, then donate money to people in need of services.

    The memoir I’m writing, titled By Your Side, is based on a promise I made years ago when she was hospitalized. As I cared for her, she talked to me about her fear of dying and her worries about how she would be remembered. Then she’d say, “I could care less about my name being on another hospital wing.”

    I told her my memoir would be “the one interview about you that the audience has yet to hear.” She laughed and replied, “ Well that would certainly be something great to read while I am in heaven, as you always told me I should believe in.”

    It’s been a rough year since Barbara passed away. And since my baby sister, Cat, also passed away unexpectedly from cancer at age 40, leaving behind four children. Though I had so much professional experience of the mortal impact of cancer, I still found myself thinking, “How could this happen?”

    Amid my losses, of my sister and my mentor, I have been looking for a new patron to take on her role with me and support me in my projects of love and devotion, for which I’m using every resource I have.

    I’m working hard to sustain Autisticana, an online media site inspired by Barbara’s love for her sister, Jackie, who was born with an intellectual disability, and who always wanted to be seen as a whole person in an often-uncaring society.

    And I’m working to create a new program, “Project Younicorn”, also to help out mental illness in our youth, and to promote empowerment programs using equine, nature and purpose driven work. It’s to be based at 13 Hands Equine Rescue, in upstate Clinton Corners. This project is dedicated to Barbara, and to my sister Cat.

    One day recently, I began to feel Barbara’s presence by my side – she always wanted me to keep track of current events. I decided to read the news. And I learned that Barbara’s estate would soon go up for auction. Her art, jewelry and other possessions.

    I began to have an insight – now is the time for a sign that heaven is real. The words came to me. “Can you show me, Barbara Walters? I need to ask you for that sign now to keep my great work going.”

    So, today is the day I ask Barbara, “ Is heaven for real and can this auction help out my charity in your name?

    “I know you are proud of me and have seen the struggle over the past couple of years. I also know you have seen my continual open heart and commitment to helping animals and humans.

    “So I ask you now in heaven, Miss Barbara, Can you help me through this auction with ‘My gift room project’, to help our youth today launch into a better life?” So many children are suffering from the devastation of grief, loss and this ever changing uncertain world.

    “Please hear me, Barbara, and show me that heaven is indeed for real, and that you are watching over me as always promised.

    “Please hold my baby sister Cat for me, as I know she will be in your good hands as I was always in yours. I know the reality and the truth of where you want your inheritance and gifts to go.

    “I’m shouting it out loud and clear to you my dear friend Barbara , and to you Jacqueline Dena Guber to hear my wishes as Barbara always did.”

    With love and blessings, in faith and godspeed, you will now show me.

    Dr. Christine Grimaldi

  • Barbara Walters Can You Hear Me ? Is Heaven For Real ?

    An Op Ed for The New York Times

    Barbara Walters was closer to me than my own family and my friends. We spent almost thirty years together walking and talking as we hiked through Central Park almost on a daily basis.

    We discussed everything for almost three decades. Our conversations included everything from babies being born to “Is heaven for real”, when you die?

    Today’s article is devoted to as I like to call her “ My Barbara”, as I promised her that I would tell her true inspiring story which is being released by her one year anniversary in heaven, December 30 th 2024.

    By Your Side, A Walk In The Park with Barbara Walters is the beautiful inner story that only the person would know who walked in the park with her almost daily for thirty years. That person was me.

    As I walk in the park today by myself, I reflect back on all the stories and lessons I learned from the world’s most legendary journalist.

    The one story that was reiterated over and over again by the two of us was the question, “ Is heaven for real”, and how do we really believe in this theory.

    Barbara was eager to do a special with his holiness the Dali Lama to explore this theory.

    It was a beautiful TV special , but the truth is it did not budge her belief in heaven at all.

    We always debated back and forth as I was always the YES in her NO!

    So here was our collaborative theory,” Who was ever to pass the pearly gates first would show a sign of relevance by helping the other one left behind with their purpose driven work. “

    Barbara admired and humbly speaking , loved the fact that I was her young mentee full of hope and belief. As she always said to me, “ Do not let aging and disappointments stop you from being your best self and stop you from serving humanity.”

    As Barbara stated in her news piece about me and my work , “ Christine Grimaldi is a saint. She is always the one there to help out others in need without asking for anything in return.”

    We are approaching the holiday season and Barbara always had what she called, “ Her gift closet” items ready for me to bring to the hospital for all the kids suffering from the devastating effects of cancer. It was always a beautiful box of gifts they could choose from.

    It became an ongoing funny conversation for the two of us each and every holiday. As you read her memoir you will see her inner story like the one I am telling you today.

    Barbara had so many gifts always ready for me to give to children in need. This continuous gift giving lasted three decades.

    To the point where I took the name the giftroomfoundation.org in honor of Barbara Walters.

    Barbara always said, “I know what your thinking Christine , I am having you deliver gold laced chocolates to all my celebrity friends , when in fact I could feed the homeless in New York City for the holidays.”

    I would always respond , CORRECT, and then she would proceed to give me a handful of cash to go buy delicious food to feed the patients in the hospital. I would then spend the holidays with these families which lasted for over two decades. These purposeful days would be followed typically by holiday dinner at Barbara’s private residence on fifth ave. As I walked through the door, I would receive her warm greeting by hearing her say ,”How did all the patients do today?”

    My response was always the same , “Great owed to you and The Gift Room.”

    She always said , “I am worried who is going to be your patron when I am gone to support you and your good deeds.”

    My reply, “Well if heaven is for real then you will lead them to me.”

    Barbara’s true dedication was helping children find their way, animals in need, and woman’s leadership programs, as well as journalists as the world already expected.

    Barbara was my mentor, my closest friend as I actually started out over thirty years ago being her exercise coach.

    Well for almost a decade now I have opened centers dedicated to her causes. I even had gift rooms with the sign , “In honor of Barbara Walters .” to purchase items in our gift room to donate the proceeds to people in need of services.

    So here I am today , walking in the park upstate looking at the leaves change as I am remembering all our seasons together, and all the changes we went through over the years with one goal, to serve humanity.

    My purpose for writing her memoir, “By Your Side”, was because of a promise I made to her years ago when she was hospitalized. As I cared for her, she expressed to me about her fear of dying and what she would be remembered for.

    Followed by her saying “ I could care less about my name being on another hospital wing. I proceeded to say I am going to write the best memoir that will be, the one story about you that the audience has yet to hear. “

    She laughed and replied , “ Well that would certainly be something great to read while I am in heaven as you always told me to believe in.”

    Its been a rough year since Barbara passed away, as my baby sister Cat 40 , passed away unexpectedly to cancer this April. How could this happen ? As I always dedicated my life with your help Barbara to the oncology field.

    My baby sister Cat, also left four children behind in this uncertain world of depression and youth suicide.

    As I was walking today, I felt her presence by my side, telling me to catch up on current events. That was always her beef with me.

    So I sat at a bench and I reviewed the papers for a half hour.

    Then a sign hit me as you will see below.

    This was a sure sign to now answer the question , “ Is Heaven for real and can you show me Barbara Walters ? I need to ask you for that sign now to keep my great work going. I would always respond to her , after she asked who would patron my work after she was gone, I would say to het , “ All I need is a few of your rare books , or even that mummy I used to hang my hat on to make you chuckle.? As I am presently chuckling thinking of that mummy as I write this now.

    I have worked so diligently hard to help out an autistic news team in your sister Jackie’s name. As you always wanted your sister to be heard as a whole person in the tough society.

    I have been working diligently to start a new program at 13 hands equine rescue called , ‘Project Younicorn’ in your name and my baby sisters. Our mission at 13 hands rescue in clinton corners is to develop this beautiful program for our youth at risk ,( which presently is all of them !) using rescue animals ( as Barbara was the head of the animal medical center in New York City. ) and her daughter Jackie and I always said ,” Our animals raised us !’

    These rescue grounds full of as I say ,” Love and Rescue “ is a magical healing center that heals abused and unwanted animals and then we heal humans at risk with these animals.

    It is a win win.

    Since Barbara died, I have been looking for a new patron to take on her role with me and support me in doing these unbelievable projects of love and devotion using every cent and resource I have.

    As I brushed Barbaras hair in the hospital when she was sick ,I told her,” I will leave you the legacy you truly deserve by writing a true memoir about your kindness that people do not see.”

    Today is the day Barbara , “ Is heaven for real and can this auction help my charity in your name .

    I know you are proud of me and have seen the struggle over the past couple of years. I also know you have seen my continual open heart and commitment to helping animals and humans.

    So I ask you now in heaven miss Barbara , “ Can you help me through this auction with ‘My gift room project’, to help our youth today launch into a better life?

    They are all suffering from the tragedies of the pandemic as well from the devastation of grief, loss and this ever changing uncertain world.

    “ Please hear me Barbara and show me that heaven is indeed for real and that you are watching over me as always promised. “

    Please hold my baby sister Cat for me , as I know she will be in your good hands as I was always in yours. “

    I know the reality and the truth of where you want you inheritance and gifts to go.

    I m shouting it out loud and clear to you my dear friend Barbara , and to you Jacqueline Dena Guber to hear my wishes as Barbara always did !

    With love and blessings.

    Dr. Christine Grimaldi



    In faith and godspeed you will now show me. !

  • Circus Italia: A Unique Aquatic Spectacle”

    We decided last minute to go to a new kind of circus that was being held in Lake Grove.

    I have not had a night out since my baby sister passed away, and thought it would be a great idea to invite my news team out with me to write a special entertainment report on something I new would be enjoyable to all.

    I called Circus Italia immediately and told them we wanted to get in to do a news piece by autisticana and they immediately set us up !

    It was more than fabulous and here is our review !

    Circus Italia is not your typical circus. Touting itself as the ‘water circus’, this one-of-a-kind touring show blends classical circus acts with the element of water, elevating the traditional circus experience to a new and thrilling level.

    Featuring a custom-designed water stage that holds 35,000 gallons of water, Circus Italia combines the dynamic excitement of top-level acrobatic and aerial feats with the mesmerising beauty of a daring water show. The performance involves the stage transforming into a dazzling water fountain while artists perform their breathtaking routines.

    What sets Circus Italia apart, even more, is its ethos. Despite bearing the word ‘circus’ in its name, the show has taken a conscientious decision against involving animals in its acts. By adhering to this principle, Circus Italia is an example of forward-thinking entertainment that respects animal rights.

    The artists of Circus Italia come from all around the world and are masters of their craft. From elegant aerial acts to daring balancing feats and juggling, the performers merge strength, talent, precision, and risk with grace and style, resulting in a spectacle that captivates all senses.

    The immersive experience is accentuated with light and sound design, highlighting the rhythm and flow of every performance, and amplifying the atmosphere. It’s like stepping into an alternate universe where the impossible seems possible.

    Circus Italia isn’t just about the acrobatics or the water spectacle. It’s also about evoking emotions, witness the courage, and exhilaration of human capabilities. It’s a modern and evolved interpretation of the circus, one that appeals to both the thrill-seeker and the art lover. A night at Circus Italia promises an unforgettable experience of boundless creativity and awe-inspiring performances. A spectacle that truly pushes the boundaries of what you might expect from a circus.

    It was exciting to me as their coach , because I taught aerial yoga ,and also to these kids. When I was young I was a trainer for Cirque de ole. So this brought back great memories for me.

    We at autisticana gave this show 5 out of 5 stars !

    A great night at with my News Makers.
    I wish I could fly like the good ole days !
  • A Person of Action: Vincent’s online petition helps bring Spongebob-shaped Kraft Mac & Cheese back to the shelves!

    A dedication in honor of Vincent Pepe

    One of our news-makers was honored for filing a petition to bring back the previously discontinued SpongeBob mac & cheese.

    We asked Vincent why he started this petition. His response was because he thought the taste of Spongebob mac & cheese tasted the best out of all of the different kinds.

    We asked him if it was because he liked the Spongebob visual, and if he thought that was the reason for the enhanced taste. He said it could be, but he literally thought the taste was the reason.

    We asked him how he got so many people to sign the petition. He responded saying it was consistency each and every day.

    He told us he texted, called, and used social media to get the job done- becoming one of the most popular petitions to bring back the Kraft product.

    His hard work paid off and his petition titled, “Bring back Spongebob Mac & Cheese shapes” (change.org) was written up in different media platforms, including ‘Today.’

    Due to his hard work, Kraft has begun the production of the original Spongebob mac & cheese and we are all happily awaiting our box so we can have a celebration in honor of Vince.

    Vincent told us it took four months from start of the petition to finish, with over 1000 signatures.

    The lesson is that if you channel your passion and advocate for change, then maybe it just maybe happen.

    Congratulations Vincent for a job well done !!!

    Form the tribe @ autisticana

    Below is the original picture.

    We are proud of our team member and the lesson is loud and clear.

    If your preservers for you advocacy then change can happen !


    Vincent, “ A person of action “

    Vincent began working on his next petition! He is spreading the word about bringing back the classic Wizard101 game!

    sign here: https://www.change.org/p/kingsisle-bring-back-the-classic-wizard101?cs_tk=Aj9GbD5o9hM2S7pOMGUAAXicyyvNyQEABF8BvJCsqGeWizBvmqK4Gbaj5nY%3D&utm_campaign=b3901a136c3147e3a1bacf1d5d896c63&utm_content=initial_v0_3_0&utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_signer_receipt&utm_term=cs