In Need of Real Stories by Real Moms for a Play

Cheyenne - posted on 07/07/2013 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Hello Moms!
My name is Cheyenne and I'm a senior in high school. I may be in the wrong place for this, but I have a good feeling this is perfect! I'm in the process of writing a play about autism. Not a cheesy, after-school special kind of play, but one with a story line and developed plot. Being a theatre student, I have the opportunity to direct my own play after having taken 4 years of drama in school, as well as submit items for competition, and I would love this play to be a part of that.
The idea initially came to me in search of something that would have true-to-life meaning and impact on an audience. I accidentally stumbled upon this website and saw how countless women were supporting each other through this site and loved it instantly.
Currently, my play is focusing on a young boy who has autism. I'm writing situations of his actual life, then juxtaposing it with scenes that are in his mind; almost like he has a separate world that he's thought up and becomes his safe reality. I'm showing his progression as a child to a teen and in his childhood, he fully believes he's a superhero. This idea is just the framework that I'm sure will change, but I sure could use some help. I'm researching as much as I can about autism, but I don't think I could get any better information than that of those who live it every day. What I'm looking for, is advice of all kinds. I'm looking for stories, testimonies, quotes, real, heartbreaking emotions, characteristics and mannerisms, and finally, stories of hope. Really, anything you could offer would be greatly appreciated and I'd love to collaborate and share the final product with you. I'm not sure how I'd like to integrate your responses, as that will depend on the kinds I get.
If you've read through all this, I love you for it. Thank you. Please please please help me write this very important play to show the world that autism isn't debilitating, but a superpower to these kids.
You're fabulous.
~Chey

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Toni - posted on 08/04/2013

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What a wonderful way to open the eyes everyone, kids and adults alike, to these disorders. My son is 10 and in a very difficult age. To see a play like this would make him see that others share some of the same emotions he does. Living in a .......rough school district, there is little understanding or compassion amongst the students, so he truly doesn't have many friends. although he is not autistic but has Asperger's, he falls into the ASD category, which is in the same spectrum. He's either sat alone on the bus or next to a child a couple years younger than him for last last couple years. He's aware of his oddities enough to ask why the other kids in his class don't want to be friends, but unaffected enough to not dwell for to long. During class trips, he usually sits with teachers and hangs out with them, because if they don't pair them up with 'partners', he's not chosen. He has Asperger's syndrome, but doesn't follow the same social or emotional patterns as most. He can be excessively weepy, and cant control it. So he'll spend time alone in the bathroom at school, attempting to collect himself before other kids notice. Every single child with a diagnosis is different. They all have different personalities, strengths, weaknesses, breaking points. Try not to make a 'stereotypical' character, but personalize him/her. It will be very helpful and hit home for a lot of people. I wish I would have heard a larger variety of cases when looking into this disorder. Then maybe I would have been able to take more away from posts. Good luck and great job

Christina - posted on 07/09/2013

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There is a dramatic book titled There's a Boy in Here by Sean and Judy Barron (son & mother). While I see it as a clever packaging of social propaganda, I still couldn't put it down. I am certain that it would give you excellent insights. You can probably get a cheap used copy at Amazon.com, or perhaps sit down at Barnes & Noble with a cappuccino on a long Saturday. ;)

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Toni - posted on 11/23/2013

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Cheyenne, my son had recently asked me how your play went. I had told him i'd check in on it. Hope all is went well. Maybe you can let us read a few pages.

Cheyenne - posted on 09/08/2013

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Hey Tiffany! Goodness gracious you have so much going on in your life. How do you keep it together? I hope your family grows and learns from all its experiences and you get a break soon. I'm sorry you've been through so much at a young age but I'm sure things will turn up for you soon. Do you have friends supporting you at least? Blogs are a great place to find that too. As for your son, I was wondering if I could get some input from you for my play described above^. If you could describe him in one word, what would it be? Let me know if you have any stories that need sharing or input you want to add.
Best of luck to you.
Stay strong!
~Cheyenne

Tiffany - posted on 09/07/2013

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Hello, I stumbled upon this site by accident never joined any type of Blog. Feeling the need to now. Four kids! A teen(17) with a baby senior in school honest life long mistake constantly beating herself up.(longing for her imprisoned father), A 15yr experienced practically being raped(therefore want to date girls) mind you she plays volleyball and basketball, 13yr boy with asperger/ODD on probation because the law doesn't support or understand his disorder, 13yr gifted twin who has no understanding of his twins diagnosis(seeks his attention) participates in band tenor sax and bassoon player. The father being a Pastor/bigamist/Con being abscent for 4+ yrs come into their lives as a result of being ill(pancreatic cancer/severe diabetic(remission). A grandmother who favors only her favorite children kids openly. Someone Please explain how do One survive such a life as a single mother who tries in every way possible to succeed having to drop out of grad school to tend to their needs as best as she can! I see and seek success at the age of 35 and completly off track of my goal!!! KEEP IN MIND I LOVE EACH EVERYONE OF THEM AND MY 1yr old GRANDSON!

Cheyenne - posted on 09/02/2013

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Toni, you've already been so helpful and I'm so grateful for it. I'll be using the words in my final scene in which I'll have the actors break the fourth wall almost to say the names and the word they gave me to describe a person they know with autism or a learning disability. My play is due a month from today, so I'll be sending you a copy. From there, if you were interested, I'd have a few more weeks to edit if you had any suggestions. Feel free to post anything else you think of on here. And you can tell your son that he's my newest inspiration. :)

Toni - posted on 09/01/2013

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Also, I had told my son, Giovanni, you were writing a play about a special kid with autism. He said he hopes it becomes famous and they use it to teach kids in school because then they would understand more and not be so mean. He's eager to read a copy of your play. Hope you post it or send me a copy 😊

Toni - posted on 09/01/2013

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Lol, it's ok to use my name. Not so surely saintly quite describes me, but thanks. I have a few other stories I will share and I'm sure my sister in law has quite a few. Her son has several disorders and neurological issues. I will get back to you. Hope your play is coming along well.

Cheyenne - posted on 09/01/2013

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Toni, I realize I never thanked you again for all your insight. You've been wonderful and very helpful in my process. I do wish you and your family the best and the utmost success. If you have any friends with similar stories, can you send them my way? And if you ever think of something else you'd like to share, please feel free to come back. Finally, would it be alright if I use, "Toni Pacheco-saintly", in my play? If not, I understand and I'll leave your name out. Thanks again! :)

Cheyenne - posted on 08/09/2013

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Jennifer, your blog is wonderful! Thank you so much for directing me to it. Reading through it has definitely inspired me to create, as Toni suggested, a character that isn't necessarily a stereotype. (PS. LOVE the names you use for your kids.) I saw a post about Duckie that said he writes a lot of stories; does he illustrate them and share them with other people? Does he ever talk as though they exist further than just imagination? Just out of curiosity, do you plan on homeschooling your children through high school age? And did you choose to do so out of fear of the public school or because you had wanted to all along? Finally, just as I asked Toni, from an artistic standpoint for the play, if you had to describe autism in one word, whether it be from your perspective, each of your children's, how other people see it, does anything come to mind? I'm sorry for all the questions, (feel free to pick and choose what you answer), and I thank you SO MUCH in advance for all your insight.

Toni - posted on 08/04/2013

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I'd love to read it. Thank you. My son is a middle child. He has an older sister (14) and a younger brother (almost 4). He interacts with them very well. They have a great bond, all 3 of them. The school will only help if he's labeled. He gets speech therapy 3 times a week ( he has a profound stutter), and physical therapy we bring him to on our own. Unfortunately, our insurance company doesn't cover much, so its hard to be consistent. The school would take a more active role if he were to be a discipline problem, but he's so quiet and easy. Its hard to choose one word for him without sounding cheesy or like a religious fanatic, but saintly. He truly has the kindest heart of anyone (adult and child) I've ever known. He is an outstanding person. He has given lunch to hungry kids in his class. Donated his own money and time to feed people. Donated toys. Always has a kind word. These kids DO feel, DO love, ARE special

Cheyenne - posted on 08/04/2013

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Toni, I will definitely take everything you've said into consideration. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. As I've researched about autism and the medical side, I've found that personal stories and accounts are what truly describe it. There is no, "common", qualities for something such as this considering that each child is so different and autism is just another characteristic. If you don't mind me asking, has there been much help for you offered by the school or anything therapy wise to help out your family? Does your son have siblings or close family members that he interacts with? Finally, from an artistic standpoint for the play, if you had to describe autism in one word, whether it be from your perspective, your son's, how other people see it, does anything come to mind? Again, thank you. When I'm finished with this play and if you're interested, I'd love to send it to you. :)

Cheyenne - posted on 07/14/2013

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Thank you Christina! I'll definitely look into it. I checked out 5 books from the library this weekend that are really helping me to understand the depths of autism. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

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