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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The journey continues, Springfield to Indy

Sorry for the delay in posting today, but we got in really late last night and I had sleep issues and had just a couple hours of sleep before the tee time at the golf course.

Yesterday morning I gave a presentation at the Touch Point office in Springfield. Staff presentations are always more intense for me because our staff are already the leading experts on autism, so I'm always nervous I will say something wrong. I have yet to do so and I didn't yesterday and the staff asked some really great questions.

From there I drove back to Saint Louis and then my dad and I left there to come up to Indianapolis. The rain in Saint Louis was intense, to say the least. It was rather isolated though. On one side of the block it was dry, the other side had rain so heavy that we couldn't see through it.

Today I met Navalhawkeye (real name Ryan) whom I have raced against on Xbox Live for many years. The fact that I am friends with him on Xbox Live is somewhat of a minor miracle as the first time I raced with him he had no idea that Hidden Valley raceway on ToCa Race Driver 2 had a hairpin in turn one and he plowed into my car destroying it. I kicked him out of every room I hosted thereafter until a race league I joined had him in it. That was five years ago and now I can't count the amount of laps and hours we have spent racing and talking.

We played golf today and it was just another day at the beach, which means it didn't go all that well. Meeting him and his dad though was awkward for me to begin with, just like it was when I went to Vancouver to meet Dr Payne (real name Rob). It takes a while for me to feel comfortable even though I have known him for years. For years though he was just a voice, and now here he was teeing off from the tee box right in front of me. It truly is a weird feeling to say the least, but as the holes went by and we ate lunch at Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria I began to talk more.

That's my story so far on this multi-week journey. If you will notice on the right side of my blog I have added speaking dates that I am booked at in the South West part of Missouri. If you want to attend or know someone that should, please call the TouchPoint number listed because we do need a RSVP so we know how many are coming. Also, there are a limited number of respite spots available so please notify the staff when you RSVP if this is needed.

I am now off to Terre Haute, Indiana to go to the USAC Sprint Car race there and this will be my first race in training with USAC. It must be official because I am on the crew list and I must sign in. I can't wait!!!

1 comment:

  1. I have done speaking to experts with regularity because I have done OT conference presentations before. If you are a non-professional speaking to a professional audience, I can imagine it is very hard. But once you do it enough times, it gets easier. You do have the advantage, though, because you are not expected to know as many jargons as someone like myself do.

    As for meeting someone for the first time after knowing someone online, I do this a lot also because that's how I meet some people at OT conferences. Initially, I looked awkward, too, when I met someone I wasn't connected to (or had little interactions) online before. Over time, because I have done a lot of real-life practice, I now have a few go to questions and conversational topics.

    For people with autism, there are a lot of things we have to work harder than our neurotypical counterparts. That said, as I told you in previous comments, they CAN be done. You have to be reflective about what you did and try to do better next time (or keep up if you feel you have done a good job).

    I will give you another example that just happened a few hours ago. I met a girl who listened to my guest lecture at USC a couple weeks ago... as we agreed to meet at a local restaurant for lunch. Since I have met numerous people in my field and I wasn't too familiar with her, I didn't recall too much on what she looks like. Fortunately, she gave me a wave (as I arrived there a bit early) and we had a great lunch together. After we finished the lunch, we chatted for another 2+ hours after we got kicked out of the restaurant (because some people needed our spot after we finished our food). It was not awkward at all. I did a lot of talking because she asked majority of the questions (though I did ask some back). The only shivering I did was because it was a little chilly outside when I was eating.

    But behind the scenes, I probably did at least a dozen or two such sit down meals with others before (which was a lot more than before I was diagnosed). I tried to keep the things I have done well... and learn from things that I didn't do well. Today's lunch was a success that I can build on.

    Success breeds confidence not only in sports, but also social skills, too. If you don't do well, then try again another time in the near future.

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