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  • We did it! It was amazing for all of us ! We are intelligent , we are curious , we are the news media team @autisticana.

    We love to investigate and educate. Our coach Dr. Christine wanted us to learn about real film making. We all love to watch movies as we do in our theatre room at our news media station house.

    Christine said , “ This is different then attending a movie theatre. To attend a film at a film festival is to really appreciate the making of a documentary, an original, and a short film, produced by up and coming enthusiasts in the film world.

    As Dr. Christine put it , “ This is a place where academics show up to discuss the makings of a production and the content that goes into it .

    It is a movie forum where the curious minded individuals like us get to enjoy a film and then discuss everything behind it. Almost like a live book club, but on the big screen.

    What exactly is a film festival and how did it all begin ?

    Film festivals are events that are typically staged by universities , private organizations, local communities, art associations and film societies. This is a venue that provides upcoming film makers to get their work in front of live audiences where they can have their films critiqued by professionals.

    Films that get accepted into the film festival open up the opportunity of film maker presentations to be exposed to the press in an opportunity to be picked up by professional agents and buyers in the field. Sometimes a winning film can lead to a cash award.

    Dr. Christine said it was time to go above watching a movie and attend a community event to explore a new forum and learn a bit of education about what goes into making a movie of substance.

    She then reached out to the famous Staller Center of Stony Brook University. To our surprise they called her back within five minutes.

    They were beyond kind , and expressed to us that “ The Autisticana News Team “ will have ten free passes waiting for us at the box seat office.

    Wow! Was our first reaction. We felt like an important team. Did our hard work suddenly pay off ?

    We immediately prepared interviews questions and practiced quickly as Dr.Christine helped us with a Que sheet to interview the panel at the film festival.

    We experienced two films , one a short film leading into a documentary. It reminded us of a warm up band before a concert.

    The films

    Queen Moorea

    The short was a fabulous surprise almost heaven sent. It was called Queen Moorea and was about Neurodiversity ! Who would have expected we would be enjoying a film about us !

    Queen Moorea the short film is about a young lady in her twenties with a rare genetic disability, who refuses to see herself as disabled, as we all say we have more abilities than most.

    Moorea graduated from High School and was awarded homecoming queen. She spent part of her days attending job training programs to transition her into a career. She finally got a job but then lost it due to the Coronavirus-19 pandemic . This was definitely a job for her, not a desired career . We all related so much to how she felt in this job position that did not serve her.

    Her dream was to become a cardiologist, and now she is attending community college . As our coach tells us , we can be everything we wish for if we are consistent with our passion. If you love what you do and do what you love then you will obtain your chosen career despite challenges that are put in front of you.

    Moorea had also won many beauty pageants . She also met the love of her life Jordan and plan on having children together.

    Can we neurodivergent people have it all ? Why not , we work hard and deserve to, so we will. This film inspired all of us that we are on the correct path.

    The next day we had our own panel addressing an issue that hits home. The scene where Moorea was working at her job and asked why she was minimized to just pick weeds in the garden,when she had so much to offer. As disabled ABLED individuals unfortunately we have all experienced the demeaning amongst our “ higher -ups” at work as well as our neurotypical peers. Some of our team had their own feelings they wanted to express .

    “ The public is starting to notice, not only at this festival but everywhere that we aren’t just weird people. We are normal, but it’s a different kind of normal. I, myself, and others too have struggled to be noticed because of our vastly different qualities.

    That push to be noticed, being different and struggling through that difficulty. That film showed us that anything is possible if you pursue it. We all have a place in this world. It’s how we make an impact, is what matters. We are proud newsmakers and hope that if we keep it up , we will have an impact on society. “

    Another team member had this to say ,

    “My opinion on the short film about the autistic woman was that it was very interesting as well as inspiring. Listening to her dreams as well as her family supporting her had a deep impacted on me. It is the courage and inspiration that we hold in our own personal power along with the support from our family and mentors is what keeps us on track to pursue our dreams. We have found another family here at our news desk and are stronger as a team than we are alone.

    The second film educated and left an impression on us as well.

    Radioactive-3 mile island

    This was about the nuclear accident in three mile island near Middletown Pa. Unfortunately another environmental disaster that the government hid, like thousands of other unfortunate stories that lead to decades of illnesses. This power plant disaster was considered to be one of the biggest cover ups that hasn’t been uncovered until recently.

    In 2018, Heidi met a support group about nuclear accidents who lost loved ones at three mile Island in Middletown PA.

    Heidi Hunter didn’t know about anything it, the news didn’t say anything about it, they minimized it until a concerned mother’s group

    knew nothing about the nuclear power plants and the NRC ineligible impact on their health. The officials stated that there was an emergency but that it was not dangerous to the public and that they had it all under control .

    This lie, led to decades of tragic illnesses and unnecessary deaths. Four powerful woman came together to fight for their lives and for their loved ones who was destroyed because of this accident.

    Is it easier to be honest with the public and assist humanity in times of tragedy or brush it under the rug out of greed , only to be brought down decades later ? Let the viewer decide .

    A commentary note from our editor in chief

    Jackson Beach

    “I really thought these two films were a perfect reflection of two common themes in the world. Queen Moore’s represented that neurodivergent kids and disability kids have a place in this world and are capable of achieving great things such as pageants and careers. This reflects autisticana’s goal to prove that neurodivergent people can make great news stories and are capable of working together.

    The film Radioactive shows the viewer how politicians and people of authority in government and community cover up vital information which usually results in tragedy and death such as in three mile island .There will always be those heroes like the four mother’s who were enraged to see so many people die due to radiation sickness and many more that have permanent health defects. They stood tall together to uncover the truth and do what is right for society .

    The film Radioactive reflects our desire to uncover the truth about our world and spin it in our own light. We are that ray of light at The News Makers @ autisticana and hope to shine our light in the thousands of stories we have published and will publish in the years to come.

    We want to thank Paul Newland and his outreach team at The Staller Center for the Arts .

    This Center is an extraordinary place Located on the main campus of Stony Brook University, it consists of two main divisions. One section houses the music and art departments, while the other consists of the theatre, media, and dance departments. The Staller Center contains three black-box theaters, a recital hall, the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery and a professional 1,000-seat performance stage that features a 40-foot movie screen and is the site of the Stony Brook Film Festival. The Staller Center has hosted several nationwide events such as the New York Science Fiction Forum in 1998 and more recently the Live Action Role Playing League’s production of A Link to the Past. The black-box theaters are used by the theater arts department and Pocket Theater Club for stage performances of plays.

    We are so grateful at this center for hosting us and allowing us to interview all of them.

    The Staller Center is the jewel of Stony Brook . The hard work , philanthropy funding and dedication has allowed our community to experience education in the arts of all sorts.

    Our team at autisticana give this event and the Staller Center and it’s dedicated employees five stars. We are excited to have met all of you and hope we can collaborate in the future to inspire, educate and empower all walks of life.

    With gratitude and admiration

    The News Team


    In honor of Catherine Grimaldi Pane our Coach’s beloved sister and The Stand Tall Foundation.


    Catherine was a special education teacher to all the kids that nobody wanted and to all of the kids that were misrepresented. We will shine our light through our stories as she shines her light on us from above ….

  • Joeys eats …

    It’s always a wonderful surprise when cooking with our lead chef Joanna Otto.

    She wanted to try something new and make a delicious dinner for our news team @ autisticana. It is always a challenge with our neurodiversity team and their palettes . Joanna always seems to conquer our taste palettes with her exquisite recipes.

    We always stress on using goods from our pantries so we do not waste.

    She decided to take a big bag of scallops and bring life to it.

    Sautéed scallops in vegan butter with a splash of pink Himalayan salt was delicious.

    After the sauté, Joanna wanted to make a side sauce to go with the scallops , We looked in my pantry and pulled out white cannelli beans and a can of chick peas. As investigators we wanted to test both. So we did .

    We put the beans in the blender with a curry block and a bit of organic coconut cream and a tablespoon of peanut butter.

    After whipping for a few seconds , we put the mixture on top of the scallops.

    It was beyond delicious. The white cannellini beans came out a bit creamier , but most enjoyed the whipped chick peas better.

    This chick pea sauce was perfect on the scallops but would probably be a great side sauce for poultry or a vegan dish.

    For our critical thinking news team who does not enjoy taste change , they are enjoying these new delicacies with our chef Joey.

    You can also cream peas and add as a side. Delicious !!
  • By Jackson Beach

    Over the past few years, I have begun expanding my music palate through Spotify by discovering new artists that have their own styles and influences. Some of these artists are socially conscious, meaning they rap about contemporary issues and those that have occurred over many centuries and are still ongoing to this day. One of these artists is King Iso, who is signed to one of the biggest underground rap labels in the business, Strange Music, founded by legendary rapper Tech N9ne. Even though some of its biggest names like Krizz Kaliko and Stevie Stone have moved on to bigger things in this decade through founding their own labels or going independent, Iso has continued to interest fans with his emotional and resonant songs pertaining to his mental health struggles, depression, and suicidal tendencies and fast raps demonstrating his lyrical prowess. Some of these problems have even occurred as a result of his upbringing and fallouts with his previous label, Brainsick Music and its CEO, underground legendary “chopper” Twisted Insane.

    King Iso

    Currently, Iso is working on his third album, which pertains to struggles he has encountered within his family, such as his kids and his father leaving him. However, for his latest single, “Way You Are”, Iso communicates to the world about his son’s own autism, specifically ASD, and how autistic people are scrutinized by a problematic world. These problems are explained by the lines “Wrong’s what they might’ve been, they like “What he mean?”/ My kid’s three years old and it’s troubling to see them study him like they studied me/ Sensory overload when they missing their homies though and now they gotta do some other things” & “I don’t understand how they can judge a baby, maybe that ain’t it but that is what it seems/ Maybe it’s not the genes, always what we see”. These lines show how autistic people continued to be viewed as “outcasts” to society and frequently bullied. Iso always opens up about his OCD as seen in “They say you got OCD and the logic you need without structure can be hard times/They plead about your sensitivity, can’t be dirty, just clean, blocking out all the screams all night/Need a routine just to ease our mind but we about to go COD offline”.

    This song shows just how important neurodivergent are to society as they can help raise awareness with their abilities and special needs, despite them being “different”. Iso emphasizes this with “All I see is young kings and a bunch of queens who are just different and not battling a disease”. Iso says that autism and other neurodivergent disorders are not diseases and that they should be treated better than they normally are. Iso even has a video where his autistic son makes an appearance:

  • Series 1


    Vietnamese Wings

    We decided to a series on street food and looked up the initial history. Our plan is to one day visit all the areas of the world and do a series on all street food vendors. This is what we found.

    The roots of street food can take us way back into history. It is believed that as the first distribution point of street food, small fried fish were sold on the streets in ancient Greece. Street food was widely consumed by poor urban residents of ancient Rome whose tenement homes did not have ovens or hearths.Aug 4, 2015

    We decided to make Vietnamese wings. I am happy to say they came out delicious and were great for finger food dinners.
    This is how we did it.


    We substituted all with gluten free sauces, so we can be consciously healthy every time.

    • ▢ 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. chicken wings
    • ▢ 8 cloves garlic (coarsely minced)
    • ▢ 1/4 cup fish sauce
    • ▢ 1/4 cup sugar
    • ▢ 3 dashes ground black pepper
    • ▢ 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts
    • ▢ 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

    The best way is to combine all ingredients and marinate the wings for a good hour.

    We broiled our wings , but you can fry or barbecue as well.

    Enjoy !

  • -Cara Difiore

    On June 2nd I went to the Nassau County Of Art Museum in Nassau county with my classmates we’ve been going on trips across long island since the summer started I wanted to blog about this since because of my interest and show you what it’s like. Enjoy my photo gallery

  • -Cara Difiore

    I know I haven’t been blogging as much lately because of the last few busy days I’ve had but your artsy queen is back

    So first of all the writing, the cover, and everything else is done except the manuscript needs to be rewritten in a different format so here is the cover and the first page to avoid spoilers. So here it is

  • What is the legacy you want to leave behind?

    If you’re reading this. You might be wondering what my answer might be, but the truth is… I don’t have one. We all get judged based on how different most of us act, interact, or even speak to people on a daily basis.

    I know that. It hurts heavily inside our hearts, like a drill that’s trying to destroy it. Emotionally, I’ve accepted that my mistakes have become part of who I am and the legacy It may bring in the future.

    I love my friends, co-workers, bosses, and family. Deep down, I understand that they care just as much. Being appreciated and knowing you belong is something to cherish and keep close to you. Sure, others may not always listen, but… that doesn’t mean we don’t care.

    Great responsibility has a cost when it comes to power. Our legacy may not be agreed upon by everyone who sees us for ourselves but… I believe… those who love, understand, cherish, and comfort our circle/group is a winner in my book. So yeah, I’m confident to say my legacy is secure.

    Though, it’s not just my legacy. My children will inherit my intelligence and logic. They may get bullied and mocked, but that won’t stop them or my wife from mentoring them into turning violent confrontations into transforming bullies into critical thinking professionals. My friends believe in a greater good. That promise will follow me and my companions towards a better future.

    I’m ready to embrace that change. Will you be a part of that, too? If so, sharing my intelligence with you is both an honor and privilege. <3

  • How do you feel about cold weather?

    On the one hand, it feels nice and beneficial. However, it doesn’t help if the temperature changes and fluctuates in a very abnormal way. I love cold weather but only in moderation, same with warm weather in the summertime. 🙂

  • ” Life is too short eat desert first “

    What another great recipe for our autisticana recipe book.

    Marmalade cakes were founded in England and was recorded on a shipping inventory from Portugal in 1495. The first English citation of marmalade, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is 1524. Marmalade, its popularity riding on this knobby, yellow fruit’s ability to congeal, and probably also its medicinal promises, began with quince, and for about a thousand years remained only a quince product.

    We found all these health benefits of marmalade which just excited all of us as we made it with gluten free flower.

    This is what we found :

    Marmalade may reduce cholesterol levels and support good heart health. Marmalade has powerful antioxidants and relieves constipation.

    Various Health Benefits

    • Rich in nutrients.
    • Rich in antioxidants.
    • Good for skin.
    • Helps obesity patients.
    • Heals wounds.
    • Supports good heart health.

    As news makers we really try to be as healthy as we can so we can be conscious leaders and produce great work.

    We decided to try a different marmalade and tried lemon pear which was out of this world.

    We ended up using dairy free coconut topping and a splash of marmalade sauce on top.

    As a group we all agreed that this was probably one of the best deserts we ever tasted.

    This is an easy recipe which , we replaced with gluten and dairy free products.

    Amazing recipe for our great recipe book to come !

    Thank you Joanna Otto who has become our autisticana chef !

    We love and appreciate you and we all think you are amazing !

    Blessings from all of us @autisticana


    • 1 medium navel orange ( we used lemon pear , try different flavors it’s so much fun !)
    • 2 tablespoons  water
    • 12cup  sugar


    • Select Navel oranges that have the thinnest peel.( or you can cheat and use different organic flavors that come already made in jars , wink wink )
    • If the orange is large double the amount of water and sugar.
    • Wash the orange thoroughly.
    • Cut off both ends of the orange.
    • Cut the orange in half, cut each half in about eight sections.
    • Place the orange sections in the food processor and pulse until the peel in is tiny pieces.
    • In a medium saucepan place the processed orange, the water and the sugar and bring to a gentle boil.
    • Boil for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
    • Let cool, then place in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
    • Refrigerate to store.
    • When it is cold it is ready to eat.
    • I use 1/2 sugar and 1/2 Stevia( plant based holistic medicine ) and it works well.

    The loaf or cake ( substitute with gluten options )

    1. 1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coarsely chop any extra-large chunks of peel in the marmalade. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
    2. Step 2In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together softened butter, sugar, lime zest and orange zest until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in ⅓ cup marmalade and the orange juice.
    3. Step 3In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Fold dry ingredients into wet until just combined.
    4. Step 4Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until surface of cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack. Cool 10 minutes; turn cake out of pan and place on rack right-side up. Place a rimmed baking sheet under rack to catch the glaze.
    5. Step 5Heat remaining ⅓ cup marmalade in a small pot over low heat until melted; whisk in confectioners’ sugar and ½ tablespoon butter until smooth. Slather warm glaze over top of cake, allowing some to drizzle down the sides. Cool completely before slicing.


    • Measurements for dry ingredients are given by weight for greater accuracy. The equivalent measurements by volume are approx
    amazing Joanna topped with coconut crene and drizzled marmalade. Delicious warm !
    Kudos to our amazing chef Joanna !!
    We are so blessed to have such chef talent in our group!

    Thank you Joanna for being such a conscious leader !!!

  • By Christine Grimaldi

    This past week, the crew at Autisticana visited Spencer’s at the Smithtown Mall. The store is very interesting because it has shirts and clothing based on popular movies, anime, and musicians. It also has paraphernalia relating to weed, occultism, and magic, sex toys, and candy. They even sell manga and cookbooks. We all took pictures relating to our interests there.

    In 1947, Spencer’s started off in Easton, PA, as a mail-order catalog with tons of novelty merch by Max Adler and his brother Harry, the namesake being the former’s middle name Spencer. In 1963, three years after Harry left, Spencer evolved into a brick-and-mortar retail store with its first location in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, at the city’s mall. Since then, Spencer has grown to 650 locations in the US, and Canada within malls, especially on Long Island, such as Hicksville Broadway.

    In 2001, Spencer’s Gifts launched its e-commerce website, allowing customers to shop for its products online. The website has become important to the company’s sales and marketing strategy.

    Today, Spencer’s operates over 600 stores in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, offering a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, home decor, and novelty items. The company is known for its edgy and irreverent products and is known for catering to a younger, more alternative demographic.

    Despite competing with other retailers in the same space, Spencer’s has continued to grow and expand its business. With a focus on innovation, creativity, and customer engagement, the company has stayed relevant and popular with its target audience.

    Spencer’s has been a must for the newest trends, tees, body jewelry, home décor and more that celebrate our slogan “life is a party”and we are making it fun. Known for being a pioneer in sexual wellness, call us what you want, but we are here for all communities to celebrate. We are committed to our guests’ uniqueness and their desire for rebellious, buzzworthy products that represent a unique lifestyle while offering an escape from the ordinary.

    Spencer’s had opened in 2003 under new management, raising the bar and continuing its untraditional retail journey. The stores have changed, but when they set out on the path of becoming an industry leader in a subtle shift from Spencer Gifts to Spencer’s, this will always be true to the roots of their love for the pride of the effort they put.

    They have done a new and better look, but never forgot the history because some of the trends are as old as time. Spencer’s, which continues to lead the market with one of the oldest continually operating stores in North America and nearly 670 locations throughout the United States and Canada, proudly enshrines the brand as cultural staples. Giving back is a key obligation of Spencer’s, and we have been increasing the commitment over the last few years.

    Since 2020, the whole partnership with the ACLU has generated nearly a million dollars to help protect civil rights for individuals. Additionally, since 2008 our associates have been fierce advocates, joining in on the battle against cancer by fundraising on behalf of three organizations focused on fighting youth cancer through the non-profit Boobies Make Me Smile. They’ve raised more than 10,5 million dollars to support the Young Survival Consortium, Stupid Cancer and Fxck Cancer that are working on prevention, education and help for young people with cancer and showing the reality of helping young women that could possibly have breast cancer and knowing the facts of the support they need when their going through tough times.

    Everyone takes on Spencer’s:

    Scott likes that Spencer’s has cool stuff, especially sex products.

    Danielle didn’t care for Spencer’s Costumes

    Jackson loved Spencer’s having been at that location and Hicksville’s multiple times. He loved taking the Stepbrothers photo with Scott: