Wallflowers Unite!


I made this mixed media collage a while back, but I still really like it. Who doesn’t love yummy hot pancakes, and I thought the honeycomb was a nice touch that mixes in nicely with the maple syrup on the pancakes. But my favorite aspects of it are the tiny spider detail and the “wallflower” label. I consider myself quite the wallflower, especially at parties and such (which I normally find a way to avoid anyhow). So, on this lazy Sunday, let us wallflowers unite! And bring us pancakes!


Job hunting with autism in a non-autistic world


I’m currently searching for a part-time job. I do make some money off my writing and art, but let’s face it, it can be hard to make a living off those things alone. I hope someday to do so, but right now we need some extra money. However, hunting for a job isn’t easy for me. First off, I have some health problems. I can’t work long hours, especially if I need to be on my feet for long (due to severe Plantar Fasciitis) and I can’t lift much of anything that is heavy, which has ruled out many jobs. Add to that, the fact that I have Asperger’s Syndrome and the job market is awfully slim.

Although Asperger’s doesn’t make me unable to work, it does cause some real issues. First off, I have social anxiety which can become overwhelming if I work a job with too much forced socialization. Secondly, although I have a great eye for detail (a gift from having high-functioning autism), I am not very good at multitasking. In fact, it can cause a lot of anxiety if I have to do too much at once all the time. I also need a job that is relatively predictable every day. Too much change in environment or job duties can actually induce panic attacks, which isn’t at all uncommon among those with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Then of course you have the problems with job interviews. First off, do I be totally honest about my physical problems and the issues caused by autism? If I do, I know it may ruin my chances of a job. I hate to think someone wouldn’t hire me just because I have health problems and was born a little different than everyone else, but I know it happens all the time. They may not say that is the reason, but they can still choose not to deal with the restrictions I have. Also, interviews are hell for people who feel socially awkward and nervous to begin with. Often, I can’t tell what someone thinks of me when they first meet me unless they directly tell me, so I often sit there the whole time wondering if I am bombing the interview or if I am doing ok. I am naturally bluntly honest, which can be an issue too.

All of this stress and confusion really makes me wish there were job placement services to help people with high-functioning autism. Unfortunately, almost all of the services around here require that you have a low IQ, which I do not have. In fact, my IQ is quite a bit above average, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still struggle with issues from the autism. Overall, job hunting feels like an alien world to me. One I just don’t get and will probably always have to “fake it to make it”. Unfortunately, I’m not good at faking things for long.


“The Clever Hen” picture book review

I have had the pleasure of reading a couple other children’s books by Saragine Francois, so I was excited to get to review yet another of her illustrated books! This particular title is “The Clever Hen”, written by Saragine Francois and illustrated by Yoko Matsuoka.

As the title suggests, “The Clever Hen” is about an intelligent hen…one who has let her intelligence turn her into a snob. Ms. Cleever, as the hen is called, is a bird who likes to spend her time with intellectual pursuits. She has no time to chat with friends or to help out others in their time of need. She feels that her intelligence puts her above all the other barnyard animals, so she doesn’t think she needs any of them in her life.

Luckily, by the end of the story, our clever little hen learns a lesson. In an unexpected twist, Ms. Cleever finds herself thrust into the position of needing assistance from others. Of course, since she has so rudely turned others down when they needed help, no one is anxious to run to her rescue. The story does have a happy ending, but even more importantly, it teaches an important lesson about kindness and treating others the way you wish to be treated. The illustrations really bring the book to life and complement the storyline perfectly.

This story would be a great pick for children ages 3-9, especially for children who may have difficulties relating to their peers in a healthy manner. Kindness is a virtue that is needed at all ages and in all circumstances, so it is never too early to start teaching children this valuable lesson.

For more information about the book, or how to order it, please visit the author’s website, www.saragine.com.