• a picture of an acorn: a new autism symbol
    Autism Advocacy

    Through My Eyes: behavioral meltdowns

    Hi, everyone. I appreciate the great response to my last post about autism symbols and how I would prefer to be seen as an acorn with great tree-like potential rather than a random piece of an unsolved puzzle.   Today, I want to focus some attention on an uncomfortable topic for me:  behavioral meltdowns. These are dreaded by teachers, principals, therapists, and parents, I’m sure, but maybe you are not aware of how much those of us actually having the meltdown dread them, too.    Behavioral meltdowns are hard, and they take a toll on everyone involved. For me, they are uncomfortable physically because of the stress on my body and chance…

  • a picture of an acorn: a new autism symbol
    Autism Advocacy

    Through My Eyes: the autism symbol

    Hi everyone. I am going to start a new series of blog posts about what my life is like as a young man living with autism. Understand that what I say is just my experience and may be very different than how others affected by this disorder might feel.  But I imagine that I will have many common points of view with others who are experiencing life through this lens, and I would love it if others with autism would respond with comments so that I can appreciate how you have chosen to navigate your challenges.    Today, I want to talk about the popular autism symbol, the blue or…

  • Autism Advocacy

    A new year with new purpose

    Hi everyone, As the new year approaches, I have spent some time thinking about the year that is ending and what I want for 2023.  I am a goal-oriented person because it gives my mind something to focus on.  Without a target, it is too easy for me to feel like I am stagnating and then I get depressed.   2022 was a good year but not a great one.  I accomplished my biggest goal, which was to finish my first novel, called I Never Get Lost in the Woods.   It will be published and available very soon.  The protagonist of the story, Sandra, is a young adult like me who…

  • Spirituality

    Finding Christ in Nature #7

    This week, I chose a picture that we took on a hike in Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah. I like it because of the pine trees that parallel the rock hoodoos. I love Bryce Canyon because of all the interesting rock formations formed by thousands of years of erosion from water and wind. These harsh elements of nature wore down the softer sandstone and left a huge basin of these majestic pillars. It is also cool because the whole scene suddenly emerges from what seems like a typical pine forest as you approach. The views are particularly incredible at sunrise or sunset when the oranges, reds, and yellows…

  • Spirituality

    Finding Christ in Nature #6

    This is a picture of a stream that cuts its way through a peaceful meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park near Grand Lake.  Actually, it is not just any random stream. It is the Colorado River, fairly near to its headwaters. Here, the water isn’t deep and is not fast  moving.  It would not sweep you off your feet or cause more of a problem to you than wet ankles. You could traverse it in a few carefully chosen steps.  And yet, the water from this river is the same water that carved the Grand Canyon with its power.   Christ’s gospel of living water is like that too. If you…

  • Autism Advocacy

    My mom is the best! Happy Birthday, Mom!

    Hi everyone.  Today is my mom’s birthday and I want to celebrate her publicly in a way that I know she won’t be happy with.  Sorry, Mom, but I want the world to know what you mean to me.  I can’t imagine what it is like to find out as a young mother that your child is going to have a lifelong disability. I’m sure that my mom’s first reaction and desire was for God to give it to her instead.  But, that wasn’t His plan.   Her second reaction, I know, was to fix it, to find the cure.   She dove into that effort head first and full-time.   The hours…

  • Spirituality

    Finding Christ in Nature #5

    The picture I chose today is from Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.  I like it because it shows a big rock wall cut from a mountain.   As I pondered it further, it reminded me of the prophesy in Daniel about the gospel covering the earth as a stone cut without hands.   This mountain wall was also cut without hands and left this beautiful solid face in its place.   As the gospel spreads across the earth, the solid rock from which it was cut is the Savior Jesus Christ.   We can look to Him with confidence and know that He is our foundation. Aaron

  • Spirituality

    Finding Christ in nature #4

    My thought for this week was once again inspired by a beautiful hike that we did in Rocky Mountain National Forest last week. On the hike, we came across this old barn in the middle of a beautiful meadow with the snow-capped mountains in the background.   We didn’t see another human on the entire several-hour hike, and it felt like how it must have been for the homesteaders who built that barn. I think I would have thrived in that world.  When I am away from “civilization,” I feel the spirit all around me.  I think that is why I like the mountains so much.  I have a running commentary…

  • Spirituality

    Finding Christ in nature #3

    Yesterday, my dad and I went on a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park and came across this bridge.  It was on a trail that we have not been on before but was very beautiful.  I think we were about the only people hiking in the whole Grand Lake side of the park, so it was really peaceful and quiet.  It had snowed over the weekend and ours were the only footprints.  I love being in the mountains after a fresh snow.  It makes everything feel cleaner and cushions the sounds. As we approached the bridge, I could see and hear the sound of the babbling brook that made its…

  • Spirituality

    Finding Christ in nature #2

    I love reflection pictures. This one is from the East Inlet trail of Rocky Mountain National Park.  When I see the reflection of the mountain in the stream, it makes me think of Ezekiel’s prophecy about the water flowing from the foundations of the temple and healing the Dead Sea. I learned on Sunday that this is why all of the temples have reflecting pools.  Christ is referred to as The Living Water, and water is used a lot in the scriptures as a symbol of Christ’s atonement.  Mountains are often used also as a symbol of the temple.  The mountains definitely are a place where I can feel close…