The Puppet

A wooden head, and master’s strings.

Examples of a puppet’s things.

No feelings, and an empty brain.

Do I always have to explain?

Your hurting words, compare me to

a puppet that you think you knew.

Please search your heart. That is not me.

I wish that I can make you see

emotions within, and feelings too.

Intelligence, for years that grew.

So many words with no escape

beneath my hardened puppet shape.

My tethered limbs for many years.

I’ve cried so many bitter tears.

But now I’m free. The strings are cut.

Be glad for me, for this is what

I’ve dreamed for years. A life most free.

But you will never, ever see

beyond a wall, that you have built.

Some future you’ll be filled with guilt.

Your words so cruel, a glancing dart

has pierced my beating puppet heart.

Some people wear their blinders well.

They hide behind an empty shell.

My strings are gone. They do not bind.

While yours are tethered to a hurtful mind.

Being A Puppet

How can we stop people from being such hurtful critics?

For 25 years I couldn’t communicate, and now that I can, a critic who is very vocal in our community described me as a puppet. This woman gave a talk with a slide of a ventriloquist doll which she likened to me! She believes that autistics who use a letterboard are basically spelling the communication partner’s thoughts and not their own. Being described as a puppet is humiliating and makes me so angry. Yes, she wants to portray us like that for one reason only. I believe she feels in a weird way that she is protecting autistics like myself from being exploited. But if that is true, does she even know anything about my life?

Does she realize that my life now is the best that it has ever been? That I am being included in everything from deciding my daily schedule, what I am going to eat, wear, and work on to, to how I want to spend my free time. Being a part of my family like never before. Working at a job that I love. Being able to be independent as I have always wished. Having a way to ask for a Motrin or an extra slice of pizza. Having a way to give my opinion on a book I just read in book club. Having a way to tell my mom that a job coach was being impatient with me. Having a way to write 4 books and over 300 blog posts. Having a way to express how much a critic can hurt me by saying things like that when she doesn’t even know me.

By the way, being a “puppet” is not so bad when you are sitting in the lap of someone like my parents. I could be a critic of you and how you have chosen to parent your own autistic child, but I won’t.

Back about a lifetime ago, God started me on a journey and I am forever grateful. God also gave you your own journey, but it is not to be my protector.

By the way, what are you going to call me now that I can independently type??

My World

A cozy house, with candles bright

that light the windows through the night.

My room inside, with comfy bed.

A fluffy pillow for my head.

A family round the table, who

are always there to see me through.

Good food and drink, to nourish me.

I am as lucky as can be.

A group of friends, who know me well.

Companionship I wouldn’t sell.

A job with purpose that I love.

These gifts, sent surely from above.

My bike, and books, my crafting beads.

My puzzles, music, and CD’s.

My iPod, and computer too.

My Disney movies as I grew.

My life is filled with things I need,

that keep me happy as can be.

A world I’d choose and never stray,

that fills my heart for all my days.

Independent Typing

Recently I have taken a huge step forward with my communication skills. I was able to compose several Facebook posts using my keyboard placed on a stand with my communication partner not holding it at all. For those of you not familiar with Spelling to Communicate, this is an amazing feat and the desired goal!

I am amazed that I can finally do it, but I also want to explain to you how difficult this is for me. It is incredibly frustrating how my body does the opposite of what I am asking it to do. Many times I type the wrong letter and have to keep correcting myself. I wish I was faster, but it is incredibly slow. A small paragraph can take me a half hour or more. This is why I often choose my letterboard over the keyboard. I think apraxia is the most frustrating part of my autism!

To have so much to say and not be able to get it out kills me. I don’t think I will ever be good enough on the keyboard while it is on the stand to have a real time conversation, but I will keep trying because it seems like this is what skeptics need to believe us. I could go on all day about how frustrating THAT is!

I believe communication is a basic human right no matter what method a person chooses. Believe me, autism and I will continue to keep trying to become an independent typer, and believe me it takes some hard work.

I will never give up!

The Nutcracker

Christmas holiday is here, and would not be complete

without a trip to the city for a beautiful treat.

To the Academy of Music, a building most fine

which is fashioned like art from the renaissance time.

How excited I was, as I sat in my seat

while my senses were treated to a musical feat

of an orchestra, harmonious, in unison so.

Hands gliding furiously, holding musical bows.

Oh, the heavenly sounds. It transported me there

to a world filled with angels, and I hadn’t a care.

How the colors they swirled. How the dancers they twirled.

I was lost in a twinkling, most beautiful world

filled with snowflakes that dance, and the flowers do too.

Where the mice go to war, with a nutcracker, who

comes alive, and takes Clara to a glorious land

filled with ginger, and coffee, and candies most grand.

In a world ruled by fairies, and sugar plums too.

Could we live here forever and never be through?

But alas, it has ended, and Christmas has flown.

I am missing the beauty that my senses were shown.

It is back to the winter, which is cold and most dark.

But the Nutcracker holds a warm place in my heart.

Winter

I have my boots and coat and hat.

Now I look so very fat.

Winter is not the season for me.

I like being in shorts and tees,

going for walks in the beautiful sun.

Is this winter almost done?

Oh my God, it’s only December!

I haven’t liked winter since I can remember.

Freezing cold with blinding snow,

having temps of twenty below,

stuck inside with nothing to do.

Having to watch a movie or two.

Glowing fire with family around.

Blanket of white, covering the ground.

Crescent moon, in a clear black sky.

Maybe winter is better than July.

Sleeping in doesn’t make me sad.

Hey! I decided winter isn’t that bad!

Christmas Poem

Christmas lights, twinkling bright

on a snowy, winter night.

Sparkling colors light the way

for a glorious coming day

of family and love. It means so much,

with its warm and loving touch.

Fire crackling in the room.

Pine scent is the sweet perfume,

mixed with cookies, baking now.

Ornaments hanging from a bough

of a mighty tree, adorned with gold.

She is a beauty to behold.

The children wait. They cannot sleep,

although their bed is warm and deep.

For coming day, of love and joy,

for every child, both girl and boy.

The carols play, melodious notes.

They fill the air and upward float

to heavens above our mighty Earth

to celebrate a special birth.

Christmas Eve, I love you so.

I hope it will continue to grow

inside my heart, a special day

a soft and glowing, warm display

of memories dear, inside my soul.

It lifts me up, and makes me whole.

A day that comes, but once a year.

A day of love, and winter cheer.

My Latest Book Is Out Today!

Today “Santa’s Gift” is out on Amazon. It is the second book in my “Autism and I series”. This book is going to make a great Christmas gift. I am happy to donate the proceeds to Inside Voice, so others with autism can be helped.

I hope you like it!

https://www.amazon.com/Santas-Gift-Autism-Gregory-Tino/dp/B0BMSRJRKL/ref=sr_1_1?crid=I5JDDMY348JE&keywords=santa%27s+gift+gregory+c+tino&qid=1669387214&sprefix=santa%27s+gift+gregory+c+tino%2Caps%2C88&sr=8-1

Thankful

Thankful for autumn’s glorious days.

Thankful for sun’s warm glowing rays.

Thankful for home, safe and secure.

Thankful for parents, loving most pure.

Thankful for siblings, constant and true.

Thankful for love that is given to you.

Thankful to gather for a beautiful meal.

Thankful for holiday, and joy that is real.

Thankful to celebrate, with the people I love.

Thankful to God, who is watching above.

Thankful for a world, filled with wonderful gifts.

Thankful for living, where such love exists.

Thankful for holiday, filled with good cheer.

Thankful for Thanksgiving, best day of the year.

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

To me, the best part of the day is spending it with my family, feeling loved, warm, and cozy on a cold autumn day. Turkey cooking in the oven. Even though my autism can make eating Thanksgiving foods challenging, I still love the smell associated with it. Being autistic and having my loving parents, you can be sure there is always a meal tailored just for me. They expect a taste of new foods, but don’t force me. It is why I love them so. They realize I have challenges that are very real, and it is not a behavior to punish. I believe them being like that is why I am doing so well. I wish all autistics could have parents like mine.

This Thanksgiving I am going to watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It has become our Thanksgiving tradition. John Candy and Steve Martin had an amazing chemistry together. Having a laugh with my family is my favorite thing. I don’t believe I can explain how happy it makes me being together and enjoying ourselves. I also love playing games. Uno has become our new favorite.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I am going to. I will be laying on my couch if you need me!