The Amazing Arizona TASH Adventure: A Roadtrip with H – Part 1

After a long day of traveling from Vancouver, Canada, H and I are now settled into our hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. We had some great conversations – and discussed the not knowing all of the details – and how that is a part of the adventure. I wanted to give him the framework to be comfortable with all of the unknowns.

We met some cool people: Dan who has some kind of institute in California that does underwater exploration with robotics, and even hunts for treasure (and he took the time to listen to H’s book – see below), and Francie, a retired teacher (yes – angels were looking out for us) who sat with us on our second plane of the day. She chatted with me about inclusion and autism and good books. She was patient, sweet and generous with her time as well. Francie was so moved by H’s work that she suggested he send it to scholastic for publication. These were great opportunities for him to practice sharing his ideas.

Now it is late and H is asleep. I am putting the last-minute bits together for my presentation and H’s tomorrow at the Arizona TASH 2012 Summer Conference.

My topic: “Inclusive Practices and Strategies for the Regular Education Classroom.” This is a new workshop – and it has taken hours and hours to prepare. I feel a little nervous and excited about its debut tomorrow. I always love presenting. C’mon – who wouldn’t love speaking for a couple of hours about their special interest to an audience that shares their fascination on a topic. (Yup – definite autistic shadow traits here!!)

However, tonight those feelings are almost entirely eclipsed by my excitement about my boy. H was generously granted a scholarship to attend this conference as a self-advocate!! (Thank you SM)

All day we were both so excited we could hardly keep our socks on!!!

H is showing his video:

And he has a spectacular book that he has written to share his experience as a student with autism and what it is he needs from a teacher: Dear Teacher: A letter from H

This is the final page of the book. It is absolutely fabulous…

He also has this amazing wand project that he has been working on for almost a year… I’ll have to write a separate post about that!

But just know that it is a pretty special project and he is learning so much. He is using part of the money he will make selling his handcrafted wands to set up a bursary for parents and educators with ACT (Autism Community Training) so that they can learn more about autism. The rest (after expenses) is going to his New York project fund, which you can read about here: Resiliency and the Big Apple.

I can hardly sort out all the big wonderful things that are happening.

Tomorrow we will also hang out with the Magical Susan Marks and that Amazing Laura Nagle!

OK… socks are officially off!!


30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2012)

About Leah Kelley, Ed.D.

Leah Kelley, M.Ed, Ed.D., Writer, Consultant, Activist, Speaker, and Educator, working with Teacher Candidates at UBC. Authors blog: 30 Days of Autism. Projects support social understanding, Neurodiversity paradigm, Disability Justice, and connecting Disability Studies in Education(DSE)to Educational Practice. Twitter: @leah_kelley Facebook: 30 Days of Autism: Leah Kelley
This entry was posted in Arizona, Arizona TASH, ASD, Aspergers, Autism, Autistic Shadow Traits, inclusion, Laura Nagle, self-advocacy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Amazing Arizona TASH Adventure: A Roadtrip with H – Part 1

  1. what fun to go on an adventure with your guy at all and then to be going to do the work you are doing I can imagine you must just be bubbling over with the joy of it all 🙂


  2. I am so excited to read about your trip and about H’s take on all of it! Hi, H! Hope your tomorrow is fabulous…


  3. Pingback: Disclosing Autism at Work: Strategies and Supports from Karla’s ASD Page | Thirty Days of Autism

  4. Sue says:

    So proud of both of you. Hope one day I get to meet you and H. face to face.


  5. Pingback: TASH Conference Keynote and a fortress of chips: H Rocks his Advocacy | Thirty Days of Autism

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