Autism Spectrum Australia


  • Posted: 23/12/2014
  • Author: Thomas Kuzma
  • Comments: Loading.. .

Welcome ladies and gentlemens to the last Aspire! Okay the last Aspire of the year. My, this year has been a big one, not just for me but for Aspect too. So let’s get into this!

My year started off quite chilly and I don’t mean the temperature, because we all know it’s more likely for hell to freeze over than it is to snow in Sydney. I am speaking of that movie that has been loved by kids and loathed by parents, Frozen. My good buddy Amanda and I saw the movie and couldn’t stop quoting it for weeks.

Meanwhile at Aspect, we were celebrating the Special Olympics. There was great effort by the 400 athletes but the one man to look out for was Harry Werner who used to go to Aspect Vern Barnett School. He won a bronze medal in Basketball for Australia.

Februarys aren’t really important - usually there is a day about lovey dovey stuff and the Chinese celebrate the New Year 50 days late. This year however I had something to celebrate because I joined Aspect’s family. My first blog was on the DSM 5 and how Aspergers was no longer recognised as a disability.

March gave us some interesting moments -  there was the International Day of Happiness, my annual (or so I thought) trip down to Sanctuary Point and the BLUEPrint project. I was one of the many Aspies that went to Granville to study one of two topics, Writing or Photography (guess which one I chose). We were taught many things like structure, different kinds of writing and, something I loved, 6 word stories. Here is one just for you guys:

“I’ll never speak”, WHAM! SMACK! “Mercy!”

April was a biggy! I don’t mean that to any Aprils out there, I am sure there are many of you who are petite. We started the month with World Autism Awareness Day and a monster scavenger hunt. The big thing for me was appearing on Channel Ten News. My co-worker Iris and I tried the Pokemon Maps challenge, I had a fun 23rd birthday and I met the incredible John Doyle at the Aspect National Recognition Awards Night! Let’s not forget the Gallery Red Opening for BLUEPrint. Talk about a night for a purple person.

I don’t understand May, which is good because nothing happened in May except my older brother’s birthday. Oh and I watched a LOT of Star Wars.

June was musical, but that was mainly because I had my groove on. After some epic work from my friends, myself and mum, I debuted my Emperor Kuzco costume and  was the talk of Supanova.  Looking back on it now, it has to be one of the best days of my life; I have never felt more happy than that day.  I also got Mario Kart which has to be one of the more stressful things I went through this year.

This was the month when Jenna said yes! After two unsuccessful attempts to ask her out, she finally found me attractive. Anyway this was also the same time I gave a thrilling speech at Aspect’s Autism in Education conference.  We had some fantastic guests from all over the world including Judy Brewer and Lisa Ruble. The Conference was a huge success helping many teachers, parents and people on the spectrum learn more about those living with autism. I appeared on SBS television and after that I went on the best date ever, mainly because I was seeing Guardians of the Galaxy in a Gold Class Cinema!

August came around and I found electric love in Bob’s Burgers and Burt Macklin in Parks and Recreation. Craig Smith took a trip over to New Zealand and was a keynote speaker at Autism New Zealand’s annual conference in Nelson. Not much happened in this month, I was just a really good boyfriend.

Like Sydney’s pollution problem, Spring was in the air. It was that time of year when people leave their cloth like cocoons to realise they put on 10 kilos. So it was only fitting that we had the Sports Carnival. It was a day of excitement, racing and guest stars! I got to meet Brenton Lawrence, the teachers behind the schools and BUZZ LIGHTYEAR AND WOODY!

We were truly in the celebrity season; this was also the time of the Aspect Comedy Night. That night was one of excitement; I was helping out with the wine wall, I made sure the comedians were nice and relaxed after they went on stage and I made sure the other guys were doing a-okay too. I met Roy and HG, Mikey Robins, Jeff Green, Divalicious, Em Rusiciano, Kevin Kropinyeri and Fiona O’Loughlin. I have never had such an amazing night; I just wish I didn’t have work the next day. 

We welcomed several people to our office including my friendly desk neighbour Dehanne Grant, and the fabulous Vicky Little who leads Aspect Capable. We also put together the Aspect Practice Advisory Group, which I was going to join, but I had a lot on my plate already. So what did I have on my plate?

 I am glad you asked. I was a part of three big projects as we came towards the end of the year. First up was a different brilliant. The idea was that we on the spectrum may be different, but we are amazing in our own way. You can check out the campaign and video here. I was the runner and professional susher on set for the video shoot.

Next up was in perspective magazine. A highly trained team of adults on the spectrum were summoned together by Vicky Little for one task - to create a lifestyle magazine that focuses on the achievements of those on the spectrum without mentioning we have autism. It was tricky, trying to understand the concept, but once we got what they were looking for, we were right on track! You can check out the magazine here or here for those on an android device. I worked on the front cover and helped out with the overall design.

Lastly we have the ‘piece de resistance’; the third piece of this Triforce of creativity called Game On. This short film was an awesome collaboration project from the writers in the BLUEPrint Project (who ended up in the film itself!), professionals in the industry and the team at Aspect. Together we created a fantastic sci-fi action short that had to do with the world of video games. It was great being in the film and writing it. My friend Andrew Morris and I came up with the original concept. You can see it here.

We premiered these projects on 3 December, which is the International Day of People with Disability.  All the projects were loved and we finally felt recognised for all the work, struggle and effort we put in. I also had to deal with putting together Dad’s surprise birthday for Mum and Mum’s surprise birthday for Dad, and then Jenna broke up with me. Boy I can’t wait for the holidays, I need this!

Before I give thanks, here are my top 5 best films of this year, movies you must watch (the last two may not be suitable for children).

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy
  2. Paddington
  3. The Lego Movie
  4. Edge of Tomorrow
  5. Horrible bosses 2

I would like to thank the following people for making this year special

  1. Jenna for my first relationship. She helped me grow as a person, and now I am wiser for it.
  2. Amanda for showing me I don’t need a relationship to be happy. I really needed that after Jenna broke up with me.
  3. Melissa Wilton and John Kelly for giving me this wonderful job, every day here has wonderful and I can’t wait for next year’s work, I am sure there will be exciting times ahead.
  4. My Family. I know we don’t see eye to eye on “some” things but I love you guys so much. I know it’s not easy having a family member on the spectrum so I am really thankful for everything we have been through.

Now it’s time to finish this final blog with something witty, inspiring and educational to take you out on the end of this year. Butts.

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