As a mother, I will never give up on my child. As a mother of a child who has autism, I will never give up hope.
I look into his eyes and I see all the potential that he has to offer to this beautiful world and I just know that one day the world can see what I see.

Follow my blog as I share my life and my experiences as a person who loves someone with autism.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

It’s too hot for hair!

Vancouver is known for rain, but the last couple of days we have had our share of summer with temperatures of 30-32 degrees Celsius (for those of you laughing right now, that’s very hot for us!)

With hot weather comes sweat and with sweat comes sweaty hair. You know what that means? Yup, it was time for Bryce to get a haircut!

I loved his last hair cut that we got from Chatters, but I just wanted to buzz it all off because it’s too hot for hair and I can do that at home.

Doesn’t he look impressed? At least he’s not sweating anymore!

The aftermath...

And here’s the final results! Not too bad if I do say so myself!

Do you get your hair cut just for summer? Share it on our Facebook page!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tips for a Successful Birthday Party at the Movies

Bryce’s 12th birthday party today at the movie theatre watching Monsters University was a complete success so I figured I’d share everything we did and give some tips for having a birthday party at the movies.

Invitations – Since we were going to the movies I made the invitations look like movie tickets. You can download and customize the template to go with any movie you are going to see.

Name tags – Name tags are a must for me at any event. In Monsters University they are going to school and have their own Monsters University Student Identification Cards, so I made student identification cards for all of our guests and used monsters from the movie as their photo identification. It’s perfect for name tags, table place cards, or labeling your party favour loot bags!

Birthday cake – We ended up ordering our cake at our local Safeway grocery store. Unfortunately Safeway didn’t carry any Monsters Inc. or Monsters University trademark cake designs and apparently you’re not allowed to just give them a design that is protected to print onto the cake due to copyright laws. Their is a loop around it though! If you create your own design using images that aren’t in the book of cake designs at your bakery, and they won’t let you just give them a design due to copyright laws, then you can get that design developed into a photo. When it’s developed into a photo it’s technically your property. Weird way to have to go about it, but it’s legal!

Decorations and Party favours – One big piece of advice: If you are having a party at the movies and the movie hasn’t been out for awhile, or it’s not a big named movie, you may have difficulty finding decorations or party favours to match it at your local retail stores. I called everywhere I could think of twice with no luck. I ended up finding a Canadian website called Open A Party that had everything I was looking for and more! The prices were perfect! The only problem was that we’d have to pay extra in shipping (almost the same cost as our purchase) to ensure it arrived in time for the party. After contacting Open A Party, they offered to help pay for the extra shipping fees, and we got our decorations on time and in our budget! If you are buying your decorations online, make sure you buy them 2-3 weeks in advance.

Thank you cards – We were thankful for all of our guests taking a day out of their summer break and Canada Day long weekend to celebrate Bryce’s birthday with us! Always remember your P’s and Q’s!

Ok, so all of that is done and it’s time for the party.

Tip #1: The movie theatre birthday party coordinator recommended that our guests arrive 30 minutes before the movie showtime to have time to order popcorn and drinks and decide where everyone was going to sit in our reserved section in the theatre to watch the movie.

Reality: We arrived 45 minutes early so we could meet our hostess, decorate the party room, and get settled in. Then we waited for our guests to arrive, and waited, and waited some more. After everyone was accounted for, we placed our order for popcorn and drinks and headed to the theatre and didn’t have time to arrange who was sitting where. Turns out somehow we were 5 minutes late and the movie pre-shows had already started which meant we were walking into a dark theatre and couldn’t really talk to set up seating. It ended up working out, but it just would of been nice to go in earlier and feel a little less rushed and a lot more organized.

Suggestion: Make sure you are in the theatre 5-10 minutes before showtime so you can get organized. If possible, ask your host to direct any late guests to the theatre, and make sure you make room for them too!

Tip #2: Make sure you and your movie theatre birthday party coordinator are on the same page. They may be hosting the party, but you’re paying for it to go the way you want it to go. I must of called them a dozen times with questions and confirming things. I made sure we could tape up decorations. I confirmed what they provided as far as food and utensils went. I even asked at one point if they provided a knife to cut the birthday cake and what size their tables were for table covers. I was thorough. They probably thought I was nuts. Anyways, when I started to order the decorations and party favours I wanted to order these cute Monsters University keepsake cups but Daniel insisted that the Kids Tray Combos came with a collectors cup and topper themed from major movies that were playing. I called and asked if the Popcorn Parties Kids Tray Combo came with collectors cups and it was confirmed that they did. You could only imagine how thrilled I was when she told me what kind: Monsters University Collectors Cups! It was going to save us money and it went with our theme!

Reality: Each guest got a Kids Tray Combo which included a popcorn, a drink, and a treat. What they didn’t get, which I was so very disappointed and angry about since I did call and ask about it... yup, you guessed it, there was no Monsters University collectors cup and topper that I was assured came with the Popcorn Parties Kids Tray Combo order. Next time I’m getting these minor, yet meaningful things in writing.

Tip #3: Your party package comes with a host. Take advantage of this so you can enjoy the party too!

Reality: I cut the cake and my friend handed it out to our guests. Our hostess helped serve it too. I started picking up empty cups and plates to throw into the garbage. Our hostess helped clean too. She was doing a great job. It was me that didn’t let her do it. I just kept playing the mom role.

Suggestion: You really have to sit back and enjoy the party and assume this ain’t your hostess’s first rodeo!

The only thing I didn’t like about having a birthday party at the movies is that you didn’t know what the exact time of your party starts until the Tuesday before the weekend of your party. This made it very difficult to give your guests a time. Instead, you had to give them a time frame, give or take an hour. So you’d have to contact all your guests who were coming and let them know the exact time. If that doesn’t bother you, then you should start planning your next birthday party at the movies now because it’s great!

After all said and done, Bryce had a great time, and that’s all that matters.

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

P.S. Monsters University was pretty good for a prequel. :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Monsters University thank you cards

Bryce’s 12th birthday party is this weekend and we’re going to the movies to watch Disney Pixar’s Monsters University. Our invitations were made and sent out, name tags were made, birthday cake was ordered, decorations and party favours were ordered, so the last thing to do was make Monsters University thank you cards.

Not only is it the first weekend of summer break but it’s also Canada Day long weekend, so we are definitely thankful for our guests for joining us to celebrate Bryce’s birthday.

Going along with the Monsters University theme, I found a graphic online of all the monsters in the movie and printed it onto the paper and then folded the card like a tent.

Then Bryce and I sat down together as I wrote a little thank you message and Bryce signed the card. (He’s very into writing letters in cursive lately.)

Stay tuned this weekend to see how Bryce’s Monsters University birthday party went!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Monsters University decorations and party favours from OpenAParty.com

Bryce’s 12th birthday party is this weekend and we’re going to the movies to watch Disney Pixar’s Monsters University. Our invitations were made and sent out, name tags were made, birthday cake was ordered, so the next thing to do was get Monsters University themed decorations and party favours.

Last year Bryce’s birthday theme was World Wresting Entertainment and our only option for WWE decorations was purchasing them online but we couldn’t afford it so I ended up making my own.

This year turned out to be just as much of a challenge finding anything remotely Monsters University party supplies-ish. I tried every local store, twice! Nothing in stock! I knew my options. Bust out the felt paints to create my own decorations again or cross our fingers to find affordable products online with affordable, reasonable, extremely cheap shipping to Canada.

Open A Party: Great Party's Start Here! Canada's #1 Birthday & Party Supplies Store!

That’s when I discovered Open A Party: Great Parties Start Here! Canada’s #1 Birthday & Party Supplies Store!

Open A Party had everything I was looking for and more! The prices were perfect! To put it in perspective, five party favour items for 8 people (including the cost of the loot bag itself) was $2.56 per person including tax! Crazy awesome, right?

Each loot bag contains:

  • a sheet of Monsters University stickers
  • a Monsters University party mask
  • a Monsters University eraser
  • a Monsters University note pad
  • and of course, the loot bag

We also got 8 party hats and 8 blowouts, and a scene setter to use as a backdrop for pictures ($16.77 CDN total including tax). Like I said, perfect!

One problem. If I placed my order that day (Monday, June 24th, 2013) then I wouldn’t get it in the mail until Thursday, July 4th, 2013 (6 days too late.) We couldn’t afford to pay for faster shipping (it was almost as much as are purchase).

I was about to give up on the idea of buying decorations when I was browsing around their website and read that they encourage you to put the date you require your package by when you place your order. That way, if for whatever reason, they can’t get it to you by then, they can contact you to either arrange for faster delivery or to refund your purchase. Maybe they could rush my order!?

I decided to place my order anyways and in the comments section, I wrote this:

To whom it may concern,
My son has autism and is currently into Monsters University so we are celebrating his 12th birthday this upcoming weekend at the movie theatre watching Monsters University. I figured I’d make it a theme party and find decorations to match and have been looking all over my community for anyone selling anything and even party supply stores aren’t carrying the products despite the movie coming out last Friday. So I turned to the Internet, and for a week comparing prices and costs and what someone had in stock and such and just discovered yours this weekend. I wanted to speak with a Live Agent that you mention on your website information pages, however I don’t see any where to click to talk to one, so I’m sending this message along with my order and my fingers crossed instead as I don’t have time to wait for email conversations back and forth.

Here’s my story. I really would like these products no later than Friday, June 28th, 2013 without having to pay the $40-$50 extra in shipping (almost the same as what’s in my shopping cart.) I’m not able to afford it. On your website you write, “Our party specialists will be able to tell you if it is possible to ship your party sooner then the estimated delivery date given by Canada Post. Often we can prioritize your party and ship it faster if your party is soon,” and I hope that means you work with your customers. Is their anyway I can pay the $11.95 and get it here no later than Friday? I know I’m a little late on ordering things online for a party that’s in 5 days, but I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to afford this party as is, and I just want my son to be happy and his friends to go home with memories created by your products. My husband and I write a blog where we share our lives and experiences as people who love someone with autism if you’d like to know more about our story: http://www.BubblesMakeHimSmile.com and we hope we can share his birthday party memories their too! THANKS SO MUCH! Hope to work with you.

The next day I didn’t hear back from anyone so I followed up, and an Open A Party representative quickly replied:

Hi Tanaya,
Yes your order is packed and ready to ship today. It will arrive on July 3rd using the shipping method you choose at checkout. I have spoken to my supervisor and we can upgrade your shipping to FedEx Economy to arrive on the Friday the 28th, the cost of this is $38. We will pay part of it but will still require an additional payment of $6.00. Please let me know if you want to proceed with the order or not today. I will invoice you now for the $6 and it can be paid by credit or PayPal. If payment is received by 3pm today your order will ship out.

Kind regards,
Cindy

Wow! I was not expecting that at all! I figured they were going to either ask for the full cost of priority shipping or refund my money to cancel my order. But to help pay for it? It’s just so amazing! We’re so appreciative! I’m still at a loss for words even as I write this.

We’d like to give a huge shout out and big thanks to Open A Party – Canada’s #1 Birthday and Party Supplies Store, for graciously helping us cover the costs of priority shipping so we could receive Bryce’s decorations on time without breaking the bank.

If you haven’t guessed it already, our order came in the mail today (two days before Bryce’s birthday party, and a day earlier than expected) and everything is perfect! So this is our loot bag! We added our Monsters University name tags to add a personal touch, and that’s that!

We’re probably going to get a couple dollar store table covers and balloons to match the colour scheme, but I think we’re pretty much ready for this party!

Stay tuned all this week for more Monsters University birthday party updates and ideas!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

PS I realize this is a long blog post just to show the decorations and party favours we got from Open A Party, but I wanted to share how great people can be! Thanks again, Open A Party!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Monsters University birthday cake

Bryce’s 12th birthday party is this weekend and we’re going to the movies to watch Disney Pixar’s Monsters University. Our invitations were made and sent out, name tags were made, so the next thing to do was get a Monsters University birthday cake.

We’ve been getting Bryce’s birthday cake from the same bakery for as long as I can remember. This year their prices went up and trying to stay on budget, we ended up ordering our cake at our local Safeway grocery store. Unfortunately Safeway didn’t carry any Monsters Inc. or Monsters University trademark cake designs and apparently you’re not allowed to just give them a design that is protected to print onto the cake due to copyright laws.

Their is a loop around it though!

If you create your own design using images that aren’t in the book of cake designs at your bakery, and they won’t let you just give them a design due to copyright laws, then you can get that design developed into a photo. When it’s developed into a photo it’s technically your property. Weird way to have to go about it, but it’s legal!

The cake won’t be ready until Saturday, but I’ll update this post with a picture so you can see what it looks like.

Stay tuned all this week for more Monsters University birthday party updates and ideas!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Update: Here’s our Monsters University birthday cake.

A piece of advice, be careful if you get coloured icing... the blue icing stained everyone’s lips, teeth, and tongue!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monsters University name tags

Bryce’s 12th birthday party is this weekend and we’re going to the movies to watch Disney Pixar’s Monsters University. Our invitations were made and sent out, so the next thing to do was make Monsters University name tags because their were a lot of people are coming!

Seeing as some people may not know each other, I wanted to make name tags for our guests to wear. Since I’ve made everything about this party Monsters University themed, I immediately thought of making Monsters University student identification cards! Cute idea, right?

Bryce's Monsters University Student Identification Card

Well, this isn’t my idea, as a lot of other people seemed to have shared my thought too, but I ended up downloading an identification card graphic online and making my own customizable template. It turns out that you can create your own Monsters University Student and Faculty Identification Cards online using Pixar Place’s MU ID Maker! It’s perfect for name tags, table place cards, or labeling your party favour loot bags!

I made faculty identifications cards for me and Daniel to wear and student identification cards for all of our guests and used monsters from the movie as their photo identification.

Dean Hardscrabble Monsters University Faculty Identification Card
Dean Hardscrabble, Faculty

Professor Knight Monsters University Faculty Identification Card
Professor Knight, Faculty

Here’s the student identification cards I made for Bryce’s guests. There are way more monsters to choose from for the photo identification, but I just used the ones most people are familiar with and also members from the Python Nu Kappa (PNK) sorority.

I seriously had too much fun with this...

James P. Sullivan (Sulley) Monsters University Student Identification Card
James P. Sullivan (Sulley), Student

Mike Wazowski Monsters University Student Identification Card
Mike Wazowski, Student

Randall (Randy) Bogg Monsters University Student Identification Card
Randall (Randy) Boggs, Student

Scott (Squishy) Squibbles Monsters University Student Identification Card
Scott (Squishy) Squibbles, Student

Don Carlton's Monsters University Student Identification Card
Don Carlton, Student

Terri Perry Monsters University Student Identification Card
Terri Perry, Student

Terry Perry Monsters University Student Identification Card
Terry Perry, Student

Art Monsters University Student Identification Card
Art, Student

Naomi Jackson Monsters University Student Identification Card
Naomi Jackson, Student

Carrie Williams Monsters University Student Identification Card
Carrie Williams, Student

Heather Olson Monsters University Student Identification Card
Heather Olson, Student

Crystal Du Bois Monsters University Student Identification Card
Crystal Du Bois, Student

Britney Davis Monsters University Student Identification Card
Britney Davis, Student

Taylor Holbrook Monsters University Student Identification Card
Taylor Holbrook, Student

If you click on a graphic it will open into the actual size so feel free to save it and edit it, or just save it and print it, and write in the name by hand!

Stay tuned all this week for more Monsters University birthday party updates and ideas!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monsters University birthday party invitations

Bryce’s 12th birthday party is this weekend and we’re going to the movies to watch Disney Pixar’s Monsters University. I just wanted to share our movie ticket inspired invitations that I made for his party!

Bryce's Monsters University invitation

If you are having a party at the movies, feel free to grab our birthday party invitation template (.xcf file) and change everything to go along with the movie you are going to see!

Stay tuned all this week for more Monsters University birthday party updates and ideas!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

PS If you’re having a Monsters University themed party, be sure the grab the Monsters AG font here!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dictionary changes definition of autism

May I have your attention please... Because of YOU, WE have made a difference. (At least I hope it ends up making a difference.) Bare with me, this is going to be a long post, but I think it’s worth the read.

A little back story.

In another post I mentioned how I typed “autism” in my iPhone’s Notes App and hit the ‘define’ button (it’s one of the options that pops up when you highlight a word) and the definition was a little, distasteful, to say the least?

Oxford Dictionary definition of autism

“A mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. A mental condition in which fantasy dominates over reality, as a symptom of schizophrenia and other disorders.”

So I called Apple who told me that their Notes App dictionary definition comes from Oxford Dictionary - ‘The worlds most trusted dictionary’. The Apple representative gave me the number for Oxford Dictionary and then I called them and explained my concerns. They gave me their email address to put my concern in writing. So I did.

Then the Oxford Dictionary representative replied:

“The way that the word autism is used has undergone changes through the years as medical understanding of the disease has increased. The definition you raised concerns about is not a comment on the main, modern sense of autism, but a less important, secondary meaning of the word. It represents an earlier understanding of the term, which regarded autism as a symptom of various psychological disorders, rather than as a distinct condition in itself.”

Isn’t saying it’s a ‘less important, secondary meaning of the word’, just another way of saying that it’s an outdated definition of the word?

Then I replied:

“It should be removed as it is NOT a definition of autism, even if it was at some point. Continuing to propagate ignorance and confusion on the condition doesn’t seem like what a dictionary should do when it should try to provide knowledge and understanding.”

This is a dictionary, not an encyclopedia or Wikipedia. Just give us the definition, not the history behind the word, or ‘less important, secondary meanings’. A definition in a dictionary should be the most up to date and spot on way to define a word.

Ok, end of back story.

So a couple days passed and I hadn’t heard back from anyone at Oxford Dictionary. I just assumed they brushed me under the table in hopes that I’d let it go. But I wouldn’t. This bothered me a lot. I kept sharing it on Facebook and Twitter and getting as many people as I could involved. I think it worked...

Oxford Dictionary replied:

Dear Tanaya Dutchyn,

Thank you for your continued feedback on the entry for autism in Oxford Dictionaries. We’ve investigated the entry and we agree that a change is needed to the entry to make it clearer.

We are working to revise it so that the historical use of the word is given the proper context, and is clearly distinguished from the usual contemporary definition. We are also taking specialist medical advice on how use of the word has evolved over time. The revised version of the entry will appear as soon as our editorial processes allow.

We are extremely grateful to you for bringing this matter to our attention. We welcome and appreciate feedback on our dictionaries, and our entry will be improved as a result of your comments.

Kind regards,
The Oxford Dictionaries Team

Oxford University Press (UK) Disclaimer

This message is confidential. You should not copy it or disclose its contents to anyone. You may use and apply the information for the intended purpose only. OUP does not accept legal responsibility for the contents of this message. Any views or opinions presented are those of the author only and not of OUP. If this email has come to you in error, please delete it, along with any attachments. Please note that OUP may intercept incoming and outgoing email communications.

Are you smiling? I’m smiling. Thank you Oxford Dictionaries Team!

In my opinion, they just need to remove the second part of the definition so I don’t know what this ‘change is needed to the entry to make it clearer’ is all about. But it’s a start and it’s thanks to you!

I’d like to thank everyone who helped me get Oxford Dictionary to change their definition of autism. You have no idea how thrilled I am right now! I just hope Oxford Dictionaries gets it right this time so we don’t have to send them anymore emails on this subject! But seriously, Oxford Dictionaries, thank you for listening.

Thank you again everyone! Really, sincerely, thank you!

I’ll keep you posted with any updates!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Monday, June 17, 2013

“To Dad, Thank you for all that you do for me!”

This is a little late because we spent yesterday taking back the streets of Vancouver at Car Free Day Vancouver blowing bubbles, but better late than never... Happy Father’s Day to my husband and to all the dad’s out there!

“To Dad,
Thank you for all that you do for me.
Love Bryce”

To a great husband,
We’re parents.
We’re partners.
We’re husband and wife.
We’re “in this together.”
We’re best friends for life.

We’re not always found
in complete harmony.
(Now come on, who really
expects us to be?)
Yet I still expect what
I’ve known from the start...
I’ll love you forever
with all of my heart!

Happy Father’s Day, Daniel! xox

Made by Autiepoet's Inspirations and Creations

“When a man has a child he becomes a Father
When he loves and nurtures that child he becomes a Daddy
Which in turn he becomes that child’s hero.”
Made by Autiepoet’s Inspirations and Creations

Happy Father’s Day to Dad’s everywhere!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya, Daniel, and Bryce

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Taking back the streets of Vancouver

Today we took back the streets of Vancouver at Car Free Day Vancouver... and blew bubbles!

Car Free Day is a family-friendly, fun, and safe event with entertainment, activities, and an opportunity to engage with your local community, and of course, lots of bubbles! Car Free Vancouver’s Mission: Less Cars = More Community.

We were invited to blow bubbles at the Autism Speaks Canada booth and raise some autism awareness!

Special thanks to Leah for inviting us! Was our pleasure!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

P.S. A big thank you to everyone who came and played in our bubbles! We had a ton of fun! If you took pictures of our bubbles please feel free to share them on our Facebook page or tag us on Twitter! We’d love to see them!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Car Free Day Vancouver 2013

Join us for Car Free Day Vancouver on Sunday, June 16th, 2013 (Father’s Day) as we take back the streets of Vancouver!

Car Free Day

Car Free Day is a family-friendly, fun, and safe event with entertainment, activities, and an opportunity to engage with your local community. Car Free Vancouver’s Mission: Less Cars = More Community.

Car Free Day Vancouver

This years festival is spread out to four different parts of Vancouver:

  • Commercial Drive
    Where: Venables Street to North Grandview Highway/Central Valley Greenway Bike Lane
    When: Sunday, June 16th, 2013 from noon to 7pm
  • Kitsilano
    Where: Various block parties throughout Kitsilano
    When: Saturday, June 15th, 2013 and Sunday, June 16th, 2013
  • Main Street
    Where: Broadway to 30th Avenue
    When: Sunday, June 16th, 2013 from noon to 7pm
  • West End
    Where: Denman Street between Davie Street and Robson Street
    When: Sunday, June 16th, 2013 from noon to 6pm

Come join us at the Commercial Drive festival as we celebrate a day that’s all about the community! We’ll be blowing bubbles at the Autism Speaks Canada booth by the Kid Zone in front of Grandview Park! Their will be tons of fun for everyone!

Hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

PS Thank you Leah for inviting us to join you!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Worst Definition of Autism

In my previous blog post I mentioned how I typed “autism” in my iPhone’s Notes App and hit the ‘define’ button (it’s one of the options that pops up when you highlight a word). This is what the app defines as autism. It turns out it comes from ‘Oxford Dictionary: The world’s most trusted dictionaries.’

Oxford Dictionary definition of autism

“A mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. A mental condition in which fantasy dominates over reality, as a symptom of schizophrenia and other disorders.”

I sent an email to Oxford Dictionary voicing my concerns with the second part of their definition and asking that it be removed. A representative from Oxford Dictionary wrote back:

Dear Tanaya Dutchyn,

Thank you for sharing your concerns about the definition of autism in Oxford Dictionaries. The way that the word autism is used has undergone changes through the years as medical understanding of the disease has increased. The definition you raised concerns about is not a comment on the main, modern sense of autism, but a less important, secondary meaning of the word. It represents an earlier understanding of the term, which regarded autism as a symptom of various psychological disorders, rather than as a distinct condition in itself.

We regret if this was unclear in the entry as presented. We always welcome feedback about material in Oxford Dictionaries, and will take your concerns into account as part of our ongoing revision process.

best wishes,
Simon Thomas
Oxford Dictionaries

Oxford University Press (UK) Disclaimer

This message is confidential. You should not copy it or disclose its contents to anyone. You may use and apply the information for the intended purpose only. OUP does not accept legal responsibility for the contents of this message. Any views or opinions presented are those of the author only and not of OUP. If this email has come to you in error, please delete it, along with any attachments. Please note that OUP may intercept incoming and outgoing email communications.

I responded:

Dear Simon,

It should be removed as it is NOT a definition of autism, even if it was at some point. Continuing to propagate ignorance and confusion on the condition doesn’t seem like what a dictionary should do when it should try to provide knowledge and understanding.

Best wishes,
Tanaya Dutchyn

I am not giving up on this. This is the worst definition of autism I have ever seen.

If their definition of autism bothers you too, please send an email to oxfordonline@oup.com voicing your concern and it’ll be sent to the editorial department for review. Please help me get the definition of autism changed!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Update: Oxford Dictionary changes definition of autism!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fantasy dominates over reality.

So I typed “autism” in my iPhone’s Notes App and hit the ‘define’ button (it’s one of the options that pops up when you highlight a word). This is what the app defines as autism.

Oxford Dictionary definition of autism

The beginning of the definition is spot on.

“A mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.”

Then it continues to read.

“A mental condition in which fantasy dominates over reality, as a symptom of schizophrenia and other disorders.”

I’m sorry, what?! ‘...fantasy dominates over reality...?!’ ‘Schizophrenia??!’ ... Really?

So I shared the picture with our Facebook friends, and I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a little, umm, distasteful, to say the least.

I then decided to find out which dictionary the Notes App used for defining words. I called up Apple and spoke with a man named Shawn who was very helpful and understanding. No one ever asked him which dictionary was used for the Notes App before, so he had to do some digging but soon discovered it was from Oxford Dictionary. ‘Oxford Dictionary: The world’s most trusted dictionaries.’ Mhmm. Shawn was kind enough to give me the phone number for Oxford Dictionary. Thanks, Shawn!

So then I called Oxford Dictionary and spoke with a woman named Tavie who was also very helpful and understanding. She agreed that it wasn’t right and gave me an email address to Oxford Dictionary and assured me that my message would be forwarded off to the editorial team.

I immediately sent them an email:

“No two children with autism are alike. There are many, many different definitions of autism, and every single one of them have their own personal reasons behind them, but it is very safe to say that autism is NOT ‘a mental condition in which fantasy dominates over reality, as a symptom of schizophrenia and other disorders.’ I am writing to you to please remove this portion from your dictionary definition of autism as it definitely is not the definition of autism.”

If their definition of autism bothers you too, please send an email to oxfordonline@oup.com voicing your concern and it’ll be sent to the editorial department for review. Please help me get the definition of autism changed!

Maybe they will listen to us. I hope that something gets done.

Thank you,
Tanaya

Update: An Oxford Dictionary representative replied: The Worst Definition of Autism

Sunday, June 9, 2013

We sold out of our bubble blowers in 2 hours!

Today we blew bubbles and sold our bubble blowers at Sapperton Day Street Festival!

The Sapperton Day Street Festival is a non-profit community event put together by the Sapperton Business Association with some help from both the McBride Sapperton Business Association and Wesgroup Properties. This year was the the events 11th consecutive year after returning from a short hiatus. Sapperton Days has been around since the early 1970’s.

This was our first year participating at Sapperton Day Street Festival where we were blowing bubbles and selling our bubble blowers! Partial proceeds of our bubble blower sales benefited the Royal Columbian Hospital for critically needed equipment, research, and innovation to ensure the best medical standards for the future.

We sold out 2 hours into the event which brought in $135 dollars to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation! Oh, and if you left your name and number with us to get a bubble blower from our next order, partial proceeds from those sales will go to the RCH foundation too! Thank you everyone for your support!

Meanwhile, Daniel and Bryce were at the 6th Annual Vancouver Walk Now for Autism Speaks Kick Off event at Playland blowing bubbles and showing their support. However, the rain prevented them from going on any rides, so they were given one-day passes to go another day.

We’d like to thank our friends, Allie and Gilles, for helping us out today! Our booth was always busy and we couldn’t of done it without you guys! So thanks so much!

We’d also like to thank the Sapperton Day Street Festival and Sapperton community for welcoming us! We had a great time participating at this event and already looking forward to next year!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya