Matthew Bell
May 27, 1994 (age 24)
OxFord Mills, ON, Canada
Algonquin College, Carleton University

Matthew Bell

Hello, and welcome, to The Audacious Aspie. Here, you will discover the many perspectives of what it’s like to be a student on the Autistic spectrum at University. From the ups to the downs, from the deep to the shallow, from the normal…to the extraordinary. And everything, in-between. Be ye on the spectrum, or someone who’s just curious, what you will find on this blog might be of great assistance to whatever task you have in mind! So please, join me, and together, we’ll see just how far down the rabbit hole goes. To help dig the hole and make it wider, deeper and brighter, contact me at if you want your own experience to be posted on the blog.

Specialisterne, what’s it all about

Welcome back to the Audacious Aspie! This week, we will be looking at their mission, vision, focus and values. Is this a continuation of the About us Page? Sorta, more like the About tab. Hey, I gotta fill these posts with something. Plus they are worth getting to know so, win-win. If you're familiar with the Monty python movie the Holy Grail, this will be a bit like the bridge scene (first you must learn these answers 4-3, than the other side you’ll see).


Bridge River Landscape Transition Romantic Hiking

Careful when answering the questions, remember what happened to Sir Robin the brave and Sir Notappearinginthisfilm?   


What, is their mission? It’s been mentioned in the general About Us page previously, but it is to create 25,000 jobs (has to be 25,000. To low, the leader of the Canadian branch gets executed and replaced. To high, than the CAD companies will pose a threat to other world companies, starting a Bond-like string of assassinations and espionage.), “make a significant impact on the Canadian Business landscape” (Mission, Focus, Values and Vision page Paragraph One), and eventual world domination.


What, is their focus? (obvious answer I know but bare with me). Assist Canadian business in hiring people on the spectrum with their “proven recruitment, training, education and management modles” (Paragraph Two). Much like social media, they are selling other companies on people rather than chairs or such. Only difference is, they are marketing people's skills, rather than people's personal data.


Internet Cyber Network Technology Computer Digital

For example: they might say that you are good at “managing” data, or a “computer expert”. But if you want your employer to know that you are good at harvesting people’s personal data (obviously not your employers personal data...yet), you’ll have to tell them.


What, is their vision? Probably 20/20, unless they have glasses like myself. Than it’s 40/20. But anyways, it’s actually much more better than that. The people at specialisterne see a world where everyone, regardless of race, birth origins, condition, gender and all that get an equal crack in the labour market. You can either see this as a pretty neat goal to work towards, the glorious return of communism, or the infamous return of communism. Your choice.   


What, are their values? They’ve summed it up nicely as respect, accommodation, accessibility and clarity. A nice, appropriate group of values concerning the Autistic/Asperger community. Any way, that's it for this weeks post. Next week, we will take a peek at their Dandelion model (why do they call it that? We’ll see.) and what it’s all about. But until then, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.


Nature Dandelion Macro Close Flower Plant Seeds

What do these weird plants that look like they are growing little nose ticklers have to do with jobs and Autism/Aspergers? We’ll see.    

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One Special Stepping Stone

Welcome back to the Audacious Aspie! This week, we will look at an international organization that, will, truly does boldly go where barely anyone has gone before. This is a whole organization of trail blazers, whose job, it seems, is to tap into a source of power often looked over by everyone else. Whose potential is enormous and, thanks to people like them, will rock the world in ways no one thought possible. Please welcome, Specialsterne!


Who are Specialsterne? They are an international leader, recognized as such, “in harnessing the talents of people on the autism spectrum” (About Us page, Paragraph 1). How do they do this? Opportunity. They give those on the spectrum the chance to get, and maintain, meaningful employment. First founded in Denmark by an Thorkil Sonne (probably pronounced Thor kill SONY, as in Thor is hired by the rival company Panasonic to eliminate the competition), it has spread its wings, landing in 14 other countries around the globe. And Canada is it’s most recent nesting area.


Bird Nature Animal Blackbird Nest Feed Hatching

As the baby birds in nature fly from the nest, spreading their species’ influence and power around the world, so to does the many birdlings of the home company, except they don’t defecate every where or make enough noise to wake the dead.   


Over the course of the organizations lifetime, they have: developed hiring and management practices enabling the hiring of people on the spectrum. Removing obstacles that have once barred certain industries and careers from people on the spectrum. Proving that people who are on the spectrum, or “think and communicate differently” (About Us page, Paragraph 2) have a lot to bring to business who will hire them. And finally, “to build capacity for neurodiversity in the labour market” (About Us page, Paragraph 2).


They are a not-for-profit organization who focuses on providing services for employers, employees (the two big Es in the job market), outreach and public education. Closely aligned with their partner, Speciallisterne Foundation, or SPF (what, you thought it was the Bank of Canada?) and all the other affiliates around the globe (they'd seem like an evil organization bent on world domination if not for the activism bit, and that it’s base is in Neutral Denmark), they all share the same, massive goal: global dominance. Sorry, I mean creating one million jobs world wide for those on the autistic spectrum, and those with similar challenges. Their goal in Canada? 25,000 jobs (and overthrow the Federal government).

Caesar Ave Rome Ruler Laurel Wreath Gold

Together we will rule the (job market) world, making all of mankind bow down (to the ideal that the only useless people here on earth are those who are dead)! All hail Autism(s amazing skills and work ethics)!       


They have a mini segment on the page as will, which states WHY DO WE HIRE PEOPLE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM? Which may seem like a Veterinarian clinic say “wanna know why we hire people who like/love animals?” well they have a pretty good reason why. If your Autistic, or know someone who is, than this is like saying the sky is blue: people on the spectrum are often “an underestimated, under-utilized resource in Canada” (About Us page, Paragraph 4) who are “rich in individuals” (About Us page, Paragraph 4) I think they mean rich individuals. Not with money, obviously). With extraordinary skills in (followed by a note of “and unique perspectives of”, they are not wrong. (Paragraph 4) art, science, technology, and you know the rest. Areas of expertise you'd normally associate with people on the spectrum, followed by “And more” (Paragraph 4).


Sowing the seeds of this incredible harvest (people on the spectrum), than reaping it and offering it to those in need (companies who are looking for such people and offering them meaningful work) is both morally right AND provides a boon for Canadian companies, putting, and keeping, them on the cutting edge innovations (the whole farming analogy was used just because they had the word cultivating. And because I live on a hobby farm. Don’t judge).


Ranch Safe Palm Island Spring Sunrise Farm Hill

Hey, right what you know write?


That does it for this weeks post, we’ll explore more of Specialisterne next week, as, after participating in a workshop of theirs, they truly are an Autistic friendly company. If you ever get the chance to participate in one of their activities, I highly suggest you take it. Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.   


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Court Divorce Proceedings

Welcome back to the Audacious Aspie! This week, I’ll voice my own opinion on the Autism and ADHD divorce case (personally, they looked like a lovely couple. Hardly ever fought). As Judge, Jury and Executioner (This won’t be the only case where a divorce ended in an execution, thanks King Henry VIII) I will pass my personal verdict on this case, deciding who lives, and who dies. Hey, if television taught me anything, it’s not entertaining unless someone dies. A lot in some cases.


Doll Creepy Spooky Horror

If this doll does not start killing people at some point in a movie, than it’s just not worth watching #bloodorbust.  


Waaaayyyy back around the start of this year (I typed the post and even I don't know how far back) we saw an article that mentioned some good points on why ADHD and Autism should stay married. Both ADHD and Autism do overlap in some areas, As will as the interesting fact that if your born with one, you have a high chance of having the other as will. But more recently, we saw an article that stated “yeah, except it could be really damaging to the child if they are misdiagnosed, losing out on the help they might need”.


Frankly, I would have to agree with the nay-saying post. ADHD might be very similar to Autism, possibly why, of all my old childhood friends, the only one I generally keep in touch with most of the time these days is the one who has ADHD. It’s almost like we still understand each other, like we both see the world generally through the same, developmentally disabled lense. So yes, there is a bit of a brotherhood between those with ADHD and Autism, we both generally know what the other is going through.


Kids Brothers Baby Family Outdoors Little

Despite our differences, we still see eye to eye on most things. Like how wearing a shirt with black-and-white striped sleeves and a yellow-and-white striped mass section is a fashion no-no.  


However, we must be careful equating them one and the same, as the neigh-saying article claims. Just because ADHD and Autism might be a kind of brothers, a one-size-fits-all kind of support would be a total nightmare, and you don’t need to be ADHD or autism to know that. People with ADHD have a hard time paying attention to any one thing, even a squirrel. People with Autism don't have a hard time focussing on anything (so long as it is there obsession), but we can be accused with focussing on something TO much, rather than not enough.


Think of it this way: One walks around with a magnifying glass strapped to their head, the other with a kind of glasses with an alert system that goes off everytime something moves or makes a noise.


Both need completely different assistance in that regard, a miracle drug for one will completely mess up the other (try giving the same kind of drug to someone with ADHD that helps an Autistic person to look beyond what's strictly in front of them, and let me know how that goes). So, as the Harvard article suggests, yes: get your kid tested to make sure you know what they have, and what proper support is out there. Other wise, you, and them, are going to have a fun time later on.


Not that you still won't, least not if such services are funded privately and not publically, or the stigma surrounding what you or your child has and how to talk about it without the other person thinking that there is something wrong with you and/or your child. Not a fun thing, as my parents already know. Any ways, that does it for this weeks post. Next week, we’ll go looking at a new topic, or a different angle of an old topic. Either way, it’ll be interesting. Until than, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.

Should ADHD divorce Autism? Part 2

Welcome Back to the Audacious Aspie, where this week we will finish looking at the Harvard source on why it is important to tell the difference between ADHD and Autism. Sorry for the long wait (Telling you guys that it would happen, then getting side tracked, than go on hiatus until the end of the month) but we are finally back. And let's have a short refresher on the last post to make sure that everyone is up to speed.


Snail-Shell Snail Shell Mollusk Gastropod Animal

Of course, what would better represent the action of quickly remembering point A so that we can than all discuss point B than a small, slow-as-molasses snail. No, “Turbo” is a Pixar movie, not a National Geographic documentary.  


Last time we met, I first introduced you to the Harvard article “Is It ADHD-or Autism?”, were it discussed: the earlier the child is diagnosed with either one, the better. General pediatricians are not experienced enough to be able to tell the difference between ADHD and Autism. Finally, Children do not usually show problems socializing until school starts, were the parent may not see or get notice of it, therefore not have testing done.        


Any ways, onto the present. What's worse, Autism is not the only diagnosis that can look like ADHD, the article says. Reading like a weird game of “guess what” for doctors, were the stakes are more than the doctor guessing wrong, the list goes: learning disabilities, sleep disorders, hearing loss and more (not suggested your child go catch them all like they are pokemon. True, they all give the child super powers that someone without can only dream of, a learning disabled child with sleep problems and no, or lack of, hearing can make a child, how shall we say, overpowered?) can, and often are, be mistaken for ADHD.


Chess Pawn Gameplan Queen Game Business

The difference between having some power (ADHD and LD, for example) and having all the power, is the difference between your child working to save humanity, or enslaving all life in the solar system.  


So, what should a parent do before making the final decision on what their kid does or does not have? The article suggests that parents should discuss with their doctor on whether more testing should be done for the child. The article warns that it can be a tough, but important, topic to discuss, it could be the difference between the child having a not-so-easy time of it early on (no one said testing would be easy, especially for the child); or the child having a hard rest-of-life without the support they might need.


Will, that does it for this weeks post. Next week will be an opinion piece on the same topic (new formula I’m working on. With any luck, it won't explode and set fire to everything like the volcano project back in preschool). Here's to another successful...part 2 of this year? Semester? Call it what you will, it will be successful. Until than, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.


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