Guest post by Tracey Cohen, author of Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome
Socializing and social events are incredibly difficult and 'tricky' for many people on the autism spectrum including myself. We very much want to be included but are overwhelmed quickly - by the social situation itself as well as the very notion of attending. As a result, we often decline invitations and/or make very brief appearances which are often seen as standoffish; some even assume us to be arrogant. But such assumptions could not be further from the truth. In fact, what may appear to be a small 'token' effort is actually monumental and often a huge achievement for many of us on the spectrum.
Living Life to the Fullest with Autism
Guest Blog by Tracey Cohen. Originally published on The Art of Autism
“For as long as I can remember, my greatest loves, which is when I am most at peace, are running, especially outdoors, helping others and just giving back to our world if even in the smallest of ways. It was during my service as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in 2003 that I ‘fell’ into writing, a process that partially occurs during my run. My effort to bring more awareness to the needs of the developing country I served has progressed in ways I never dreamed, including two books, numerous articles and frequent speaking opportunities all of which allow me to help and connect with others in ways never deemed possible. Fueled by the courage I muster on my run, it is my honor and privilege to inspire, educate and entertain in the challenging world we live.” – Tracey Cohen Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome and Six-Word Lessons on the Sport of Running
By Tracey Cohen
Although she wavered between “I got this,” and “No way, what the heck was I thinking?”, and hurt like she had never hurt before, on September 11, 2015, Tracey Cohen, a woman diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at age 39, and author of Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome, ran and finished the Woodstock Hallucination 100 mile ultra marathon at Hell Creek Ranch in Pinckney, Michigan. The race started at 4 p.m. on September 11, 2015 and had a 30 hour time limit. Tracey finished the race in 29 hours, 23 minutes and 57.6 seconds. She finished 85th out of the 91 runners who started. I asked Tracey about how she accomplished this incredible feat.
Running Saved My Soul
by Tracey Cohen
Originally published in Michigan Runner Magazine, July/August 2015.
We met in 1983, Northville, an hour (pre-Interstate 696) by car, a lifetime for my preteen self, removed from the only home I'd ever known, in Oak Park, Michigan.
Institutionalized at age 12 in a psychiatric unit for what proved a neurological disorder, I likely would have lost my marbles if not for the rare intuitive compassion of one staff person among the many providing 24/7 supervision under lock and key.
Inspiration for Life with Autism
This blog has a variety of articles about people living life with autism, and topics and ideas that can help in the journey. Guest bloggers are welcome. Inspired by Trevor, a young adult film critic, photographer and college graduate on the autism spectrum.