Friday, April 24, 2020

Handwriting

I want to learn to handwrite. For most people this seems like it is so easy. Learning to write is very hard to do because my body is so apraxic. I mean to move one way but my nerves are all miswired. I mean to make my hand go right but instead it makes a movement to grab. I try to lift my hand but it just keeps going. Learning to get my body to learn new skills takes so much of my energy to accomplish. I get afraid I will never succeed. I get discouraged that all my energy will be wasted. I am worried other people won’t be patient enough to help me when my body gets crazy from the stress of making it do hard things. 

Handwriting is something I want to do so I can write my signature and fill out forms. I think writing is good for wanting to communicate if I don’t have a letter board or keyboard available. Handwriting will allow me to use my hands in another way that is acceptable. I want to be able to control my hands so I don't use them in bad ways like pinching, grabbing, or scratching people. Learning to control my hands is very hard but it will be worth it.




Copyright 2020 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Easter Thoughts During Covid-19 Year

This Easter is going to be very different from other Easters. It is the first time we won’t go to church or eat with family other than my immediate family. I won’t see Lolo and Lola, my Uncle and Aunt, or my cousins. 

I am going to be a lot more focused on Jesus’s resurrection and victory over death. Peace is ours because nothing can defeat Jesus or those who put their faith in Him. I am going to be more careful to be thankful. I have taken so much for granted like school, seeing friends, going out to see a movie or my sister’s meets. We have had a virus take it all away. In a really short time so much has changed. No going out means lots of time to sleep, watch TV, and think about things more deeply. 

I am going to be more mindful of how Jesus beat Satan. Satan thought killing Jesus would be his victory. He would take away the disciples’ leader and throw the believers into doubt, fear, and confusion. Without Jesus the religious hypocrites would stay in power and gag all of Jesus’s teachings. But a greater power won out. God was going to win all along. Nothing could beat God whose love makes every obstacle a good thing in the end. 

Good Friday wasn’t looking good in the beginning. But Easter changed it. Right now things may look bleak. I am anxious that many will get sick and die. I am anxious about me regressing and getting worse at handling myself in society. I want to remind myself and everyone that God will win over coronavirus. Be hopeful when things look bad. In the end God will use our tragedies for good. Remember that Jesus died a cruel death on the cross, but He rose on Easter to show He has power over the greatest tragedy of all, death. 

Happy Easter! 


Painted by a family friend 

A friend's door painted in celebration

Happy Easter!!!
 Copyright 2020 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Quarantine Thoughts

It is a time of self-isolation. We need to do this for protecting others so we don’t get them sick. I am thinking about my time in quarantine. I think it has been good for me. I needed time away from normal life to get a chance to find peace. I have made rest a priority during this time. I have needed to rest for a long time. I want to be able to have energy to be able to do the important things in life. I was so exhausted all the time trying to meet demands of others and improve myself. I could not rest so I broke down. I was on edge all the time and I would get set off by any stress. Soon I was even being angry and aggressive without provocation. I needed to get out of the train that was headed to nowhere good. I am freeing myself to slow down without feeling guilty. Quarantining will save many lives from Covid-19. It may also give some people a much needed break from a too-busy and stress-filled world.
My 17th birthday in quarantine

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Choosing My Path at School

I am really stressed about next school year. I have to plan my school path for transition. I am going to be an adult soon. I won’t be in school much longer. I won’t go to college because I am not getting a diploma. I am going to school for life skills. 

I am preparing for my life. I am going to have a good life doing things I care about and want to do.  I care about advocating for people to have a voice. I want to do this by my writing and by personally speaking at forums. 

At school I am facing decisions about my school program. Some say I should do more vocational training like auto shop. But I am lousy at doing skilled labor. My body is the problem and my mind is my strength. I would just get more anxious having to do things that are hard and not interesting to me.

I would like to keep learning interesting things with my mind.  I have enjoyed my electives, especially Current Events. They teach me good skills for writing and listening. I would like to continue taking electives. I am interested in more literary and social studies classes. I would enjoy those more than making crafts or putting things together. 

I am going to tell my school to please keep me in academic classes. I can always learn skills later on.





Wednesday, January 29, 2020

My Trip to the Philippines

I made lots of memories in the Philippines. My best vacation ever was going to the Philippines this holiday break. I was able to see where my Lolo and Lola are from. I met my relatives on my mom’s side. 

I flew on an airplane for 17 hours straight. Being in the plane was like going in a time machine that added hours to your life. I got my days mixed up. When we landed in Manila it was Sunday morning but it felt like Saturday. 

We were greeted by Tito Randy, Tita Beth, Tito Edgar, Tita Marisa, Auntie Zening, and her driver. We drove in three trucks because there were so many of us. We drove in lots of traffic. There were lots of motorcycles too. They drove in between the cars. It made me scared. I thought they might get hit.

We made our way to a nice resort in Subic Bay. It was beautiful. We went swimming and relaxed by the pool.  We met nice relatives.





Then we drove to Nueva Vizcaya where Lolo and Lola were born. We met lots of relatives. I saw many motorcycles with sidecars. They would carry whole families on them. People were everywhere outside going to market and walking around. 





We celebrated Christmas Eve at 2 parties. At the mayor’s party there were kids playing Christmas carols on their instruments. There was lots of food. Everyone was nice. But I was really beat from meeting so many people. I am glad I did though. I did not mean to get cranky but at times I wanted to hide. 




On Christmas day I went to a big party at the Lopez farm. It was in the mountains. It was beautiful and green. There was lots of food and good singing with the karaoke. We later had halo halo at the restaurant.








The next place we visited was Boracay. It is on a smaller island. We had to take a plane and a boat to get there. It had been hit by a typhoon before we got there. Damage to trees and buildings could be seen as we drove to the hotel. It was also crowded with motorcycles and tricycles. Power went out a lot. The beaches in Boracay were very pretty and blue. I enjoyed the water and sand. I also thought the boat trip to another island was fun. I liked riding on the water and feeling the wind. Action and adventure was really exciting. Boracay was magnificent.






Finally we went to Manila. We stayed in a fancy hotel on a high floor. Manila was big and busy. We ate at nice restaurants. We shopped in the biggest mall in the world. Catching up on sleep was nice because a lot of activity gets me too drained sometimes. Dad and I slept in a few days.





One day we drove to the Taal Volcano. It is a beautiful place. There is a lake formed from an old extinct volcano. Inside the lake is a volcano that is active. It wasn’t erupting the day we visited but I learned it did one week later. 




We had New Years in the hotel. From our room we saw lots of fireworks. It was awesome. Fireworks are pretty but not their sound.


The Philippines is a lovely place to visit. I am so glad I visited and met many relatives. I hope to go back again soon. 









Monday, December 16, 2019

Advocacy Outside My Comfort Zone

I am a shy advocate. Being around people that I don’t know well is hard for me. I have social anxiety because I cannot talk or control my body well. I am dependent on my mom or aide to assist me for everything. I am very aware of how different I am from people around me. Autism is very isolating this way.

I am an advocate mostly through my writing. I don’t have to be face to face to speak for others. I am more comfortable speaking through my writing. No one has to wait while I type one letter at a time. I don’t worry my autistic behaviors will embarrass me in front of others. That’s why blogging and Facebook are so important to me.

Recently I have stepped out of my comfort zone to advocate in person. These opportunities have come by request of others to speak at conferences or at more informal settings. Making myself do these talks has been good for helping people. Seeing people like me type shows I am for real. It gives people hope that even a person with lots of challenges can communicate alternatively.

I still have a hard time with public speaking. Sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me and I have fight or flight reactions. I hate when this happens. As much as I want to get myself to cooperate, I can’t. Fear and anxiety are my biggest problems, but the more I face the fears I want to overcome, the more I will be able to handle them better.

I am proud of myself for being able to present at a couple of autism conferences. I did not make a fool of myself. I actually did pretty well. I was able to overcome my fear somehow. Making myself try to speak on behalf of others so they can have a chance for a better life makes me bolder. I will do my best to help others in any way I can. My autism hinders me in many ways but it also makes me an advocate other autistics can relate to. I am going to keep rising to the challenges and do my best. 

 Presenting at my first conference, Motormorphosis 2018

With my fellow presenters Lisa and Grant

Meeting my mentor/friend and keynote speaker Samuel

In California for the first time Oct 2019- meeting Samuel and Dillan

Getting ready for the Spectrum of Opportunity Conference in California with Rhema

Co-presenting with Rhema and Henry



With Edlyn Peña, our leader and book editor 

Book signing (Communication Alternatives in Autism)

Interacting with new friends and conference goers

Speaking to local college students with Reagan





Tuesday, September 3, 2019

School Goals

I am going into 11th grade. This year I want to work on doing some more work skills. I am at the start of doing internships at school. I want to be able to use my body at skills that help society. I am hopeful that I can really progress in moving with purpose and gain independence. 

I also want to keep learning academics at school. I  will attend English and science with my neurotypical peers. I will also take classes in special ed with many of my long time friends. I hope I can type well with my aides. It makes school so much better if I can type well. 

Learning to be more regulated and handling myself better is my next goal. I think being able to be part of society with everybody included is important. I don’t always manage myself the best. I can get stressed out easily and occasionally have meltdowns or shutdowns. I have been doing exercises and sensory activities to make me more desensitized to stress.  I am continually making progress like being able to shave and better handling the dentist but I want to get even better. I want to avoid my fight or flight reactions when I feel overwhelmed. 

Lastly, I want to get better at writing and advocating. I am excited to promote a book I am in: Communication Alternatives in Autism in October. I will be presenting about supports at school. I am also proud to be a contributor on The Aspergian. It is making an impact on lots of people who don’t understand autism as a neurological condition. I also like the friends I have made with other autistic writers. Making autistic connections has been the best. It helps me feel I am not so alone as I often feel. I want to keep close friends with other autistics in my area and on line. 

I am certain many blessings will come to me this year. May they come to you too.

My sister and me on the first day of school