"We think it is fun and neat to say awesome things and know awesome people read about me."
I started Calderism over a year ago. My mission was to share the stories and experiences of life with a non-verbal autistic brother, both the good and the not-so-good. Through the blog, I’ve reflected on some of the challenges of autism and also worked out how to understand those challenges. For example, while Calder’s obsession with food and constantly eating is stressful, through understanding Calder’s strengths and needs, I came to realize that food is one of the few things within his control. So instead of looking at it as an annoying habit, I’ve learned to respect his freedom to snack. Calder is teaching me that many of his stims, like listening to his favorite song Strawberry Swing over and over again, are actually a coping mechanism. He explained to me how happy it makes him as well as how calming it is.
While I talk about Calder in this blog, Calder has also started talking about himself directly to readers. He’s described how favorite authors like Chris Colfer and his novels have impacted him. He’s also shown how important stories are to him because anyone can be a hero. I think it’s really important for Calder to feel like despite the challenges he faces, he can be a hero. I hope through this blog, people realize Calder is a hero. He’s definitely mine!
This blog is also making Calder a little famous! We tease him about not letting fame go to his head. Our local paper ran an article on Calderism and while my dad and I answered most of the reporter’s questions, Calder’s photo was on the front cover. The reporter made sure to incorporate a lot of Calder’s ideas and sayings, which he collected from the blog. People who read the article have reached out to us to share their own stories about life with autism. It feels like we’re building a community and hopefully making an impact. I think it’s vital that autistic families don’t feel isolated and know that we’re all here to support and understand each other. And Calder is ecstatic that so many people are reading the blog and coming to understand him, his emotions, and his actions.
Both of us are really thankful for all the support Calderism has gotten, and we want to say thank you to the readers! We’ll keep writing.
In case you’d like to check out the article, it’s available through this link: