No Stereotypes Here

Archive for the ‘off topic’ Category

To Yeti

Posted on: August 2, 2011

If you see my twitter and Facebook being flooded with pictures of a little white cat, it is because today Yeti is being put down.

Mom and dad say that she wasn’t feeling well, not eating or drinking. They took her to the vet. Turns out all her organs are shutting down and she’s dying. The vet can only make it happen painlessly and quick.

So afterwards, we’re bringing her back home and laying her to rest amongst the roses she loved so much, by the house.

I remember bring Yeti home for the first time. It was after Lunamus died, we had gotten used to being a two-cat house. And we wanted a cat that would mentally stay young. So mom called all the pet stores and requested to be put on the notification list for simease- cross kittens.

I was walking home from high school, in my kilt and rowing jacket, when mom and Loren pulled up. “we’re picking up Loren’s cat,” they said, and I got in. We were the first to respond, so we had the pick of the litter. And so we got the prettiest, more playful girl there.

She would climb up curtains and furniture, so Loren named her Yeti. Since I had Nibbles, an older cat that didn’t like the young kitten, Yeti stayed in Loren’s room for the night until Nibbles got used to her. At Christmas, she’d climb up the Christmas tree and sit in fake branches. As she got older, she loved to curl up under the tree and in boxes and corners.

Lately, she took to curling up at the foot of my paintings, which I found funny. I had used her temperament as inspiration for my character Kithara, and her colouring for another character, Joshi, both of Amhelaki Misadventures. The painting she liked was of those two characters.

She liked going outside and exploring, constantly getting into places where she shouldn’t be. I’ve caught her sneaking downstairs into the basement, where the cats aren’t allowed because of the sewing machines and because we keep it free of cat hair for guests with allergies. It was also routine to check a couple times a day where she was, especially at night. Once or twice, she did let locked outside for the night, but in the morning, she’ll be on the porch, sitting on the rockers, waiting.

She loved sitting on the patio furniture, or in the flowerbeds by the house when she wasn’t exploring the yard. She hunted birds, catching one last june, and bugs. When the neighborhood cats came by, she’d chase them off, but never got into fights.

She liked people, loved having attention and being petted, although only when she wanted it. She and dad had a routine; he would sit down to put on his shoes for work on the stairs, and she would circle around him, purring and then crawl into his lap. They would sit there for a while until she would jump off and he would go to work.

For everyone else, if she rubbed your leg and purred in the kitchen, you could pick her up and cuddle with her, but she fully expected food afterwards. Elsewhere, she’s walk away and expect you to follow her to where she curled up. There you could pet and comb her, but not pick her up. She would just wiggle out of your grip, and jump down, or else walk down your back and jump.

She liked exploring too, would get into the neighbor’s yards and then run back when she heard our door opening. Couldn’t keep her on a leash or collar; she was double jointed and very flexible, would just slip through it. But we didn’t worry, once we found that she knew the boundaries and didn’t go near the road. She liked to go out the front door, and then circle around the house to the back to be let in.

The two times she stayed on her leash was when we took her for walks. Once, to the lemoint point conservation area. She’d walk for a bit, then stop to check out things off the path. Some times we’d carry her, when it looked like she was tired. Second time, we took her on a walk to the convience store for milk. She was doing the same for that, but the way back she walked the entire way, in the lead.

Even though she’d wander the longer she was outside, she always came home.


>I love buttons, the pin kind that I have a small collection of, and the image kind for links and stuff.  I’ve been busy working on assignments for school, but I do manage to browse a couple of places online, and decided I need a button.  So I made one. 

Feel free to use if you link to here.

And in other news, April is Autism Awareness Month, apparently.  Huh, that time of year again.  I always have fun with this, because I’m in Canada, and usually we have an Autism Awareness week sometime in Fall….

April is a rough month for me, to be honest.  The demands of schoolwork aside, it’s an emotionally rough month.  April 1st is the anniversary of my Grandpa’s death, and that was an event that deeply impacted me.  Each year, when it comes around, I am always struck with great grief.  Some years are better than others, some years I can get by just fine, other years I am struck with depression and anxiety, which shakes me up pretty badly.

Hopefully this year won’t be so bad, but please excuse me if I’m a bit absent a while longer. 

I have written a piece for The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism for April.  I’m not sure when it’ll be up, but I’m pretty sure that it will be, and I highly encourage people to check out all the stories they’ll be posting for this month.

>I got this email sometime after my last post, and was first distracted by jubilant glee, the fact that I have two assignments due Friday, and a complete emotional crash that I’m not going to get into on here. Let’s just say I had my hands full, and bounced around the entire range of human emotions, and almost the entire spectrum of functionality, within less than 12 hours.

Anyways, the email I got is this:

Hi Corina, We at “”, wanted to let you know that we featured your blog in one of our recent articles on our own blog. (50 Best Blogs for Special Needs Teachers), is linked below and could be a fun way to share this announcement with your readers. Either way, I hope you continue putting out great content through your blog. It has been a sincere pleasure to read. Thanks, Kaitlyn cole
I’m number #26, in the Neurodiversity section, where I am described as such: “In spite of its relatively lax update schedule, No Stereotypes Here still provides special education teachers with straightforward talks about the autism spectrum.”
I’m mentally adding “from an autistic adult” onto the description, but am fairly pleased (and laughing; I have an update schedule?).
There are also some other interesting blogs on the list, some which I know, others than are new and which I’m hoping to get to know soon.


This may seem a bit off topic-ish, especially with the news about Wakefield going on. To be perfectly honestly, I’m not entirely surprised that he’s been found to have changed the children’s data and it really hasn’t changed my opinion about him (see The Triggering of Wakefield). So I’m going to continue on and address an issue that affects a lot of people, not just Autistic people.
Poverty and homelessness is an issue that face Autistic people, as well as people with and without other disabilities. A concern for those with disabilities is whether homeless shelters, women’s shelters and other services are supportive of their disabilities, and uncertainty may be a big factor in whether disabled people access such services. Which kinda creates a cycle unless it’s specified that services are accessible to disabled people.
My government has been working to create unique programs and services for people with disabilities specifically. One of these has been the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), a social assistance program that provides the basics: a little over $500 for living costs such as food, telephone, etc, and up to $450 for rent, per month. It’s basically a safety net for people with disabilities if they are between jobs, or recovering from a bad period, and the program even includes an Employment Support services, and will cover some additional medical costs, such as service dogs, diabetes supplies, breathing machines, etc.
For the other services it doesn’t cover, being on ODSP qualifies people to other programs. There’s a lot of paperwork involved, of course, and it requires people to be as productive as possible while describing their worst days. But one of those programs in my city is the centralized housing list for subsidized housing, since $450 doesn’t get you a decent place to live in this area.
The problem is that there’s a lot of people on that wait list. My city does a magazine, profiling restaurants, venues, and highlighting city issues. In the latest issue, it reports that as of July 2010, there are 1,133 applicants currently waiting for access to social housing. With the given rate of vacancies in the city, it can take at least six months for a three- or four-bedroom unit, or up to eight years for a single-room unit.
Obviously, there needs to be more available units and in the magazine article, the issues surrounding making decisions on where to build mixed-income housing is discussed. However, due to various difficulties (such as the city’s own zoning and building restrictions), it can take up to eight years for many housing units to start being built. In the meanwhile, there’s still a lot of people waiting for places to live and call home.
I faintly recall a few years ago a plan to start a portal subsidized housing. The idea is that people on the housing list can find a place to live on their own and get off the housing list a lot quicker.
It’s like this: say I’m on the housing list. I’ve gone through the application process and have been approved for social housing. Instead of spending eight years couch-surfing or hopping between shelters or enduring abusive situations, I can look around for a place that meets my needs.
After some looking, I find a nice apartment that’s easy for me to access the public transit system, a grocery store, as well as other services, or at least to be able to get to other services. I’m on ODSP though, and can only afford $450 a month, and the apartment is $750 a month.
I talk to the landlord/lady/person, and make an agreement with him that he’ll hold the apartment while I apply to the housing list. Then I fill out a form, asking for support for the other $300 for rent from the social housing program. The landlord/lady/person and I fill out the details of the place, sign it, and submit it. If everything checks out, the housing list approves of it, and there you go, I have a place to live and I’m off the housing list a lot quicker.
Of course, I don’t know all the specifics that this would have to be put into place, but I think it’s better than a waiting game where one never knows when they’re going to have a place to live. Also, it gives the people a sense of respect, dignity and control over their own fate.

Edit: minor editing over the difference between rent and ODSP; I really can’t do math in my head.

>Two characters from my webcomic Amhelaki and I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it a lot here, but I also do quite a bit of artwork, and sometimes I let people see my work. For the past month and a half, I’ve had a lot of my work at the Kerry’s Place Autism Services Resource Centre in Belleville, Ontario, as part of the Spectrum Art Show. I kinda started the Show five years ago when I worked for KPAS.

Tomorrow, November 30th, I’ll be at the Resource Centre from 2pm to 6pm for a “Meet the Artist” event. I’m being presented as an Autistic artist and Autism advocate.

If any of my readers are in the area, and have the time, it’ll be awesome to meet some of you!

(yeah, a little last minute, I know. I’m sorry)

Today is Remembrance Day and as I browse through the blog posts and twitter updates, I’ve been thinking.

I come from a Mennonite family, and so am a pacifist. I don’t believe in war or that killing people is the answer to problems. I believe that a peaceful resolution is possible, and will work towards reaching that goal. And so, alongside a poppy, I don a button that reads “To remember is to work for PEACE”.

It’s a reminder that today, we don’t just honor our veterans, but also acknowledge the goals to which our veterans made sacrifices for, the purpose in which they serve. Not only to protect us from potential physical harm, but to defend our rights and freedoms and the rights and freedoms of people all over the world.

Because when we remember war on this day, we remember the horrors of war. The rape, the torture, the mass murders of ethnic groups and the disabled.

We remember them as well, and we say “never again”.

Never again will we silently witness the atrocities that occurred in the past.

But we’re not done yet, are we? There are still wars going on, there is still people being discriminated against, people being abused, tortured, raped and murdered for no good reason. And there’s really no justification for any of it. But as long as there is injustice, as long as there is hate, as long as every man, woman and child of every background and origin (and I mean, EVERY) cannot feel safe everywhere, we’re not done yet.

And so, for the sacrifices of the past, the sake of the present and the hopes of the future, today we remember what has gone on before, in order to work for peace.

(this post was actually a little hard to write. I keep remembering my grandparents, Oma and Opa. They survived WWII in Russia. From what we know, Opa was drafted by gunpoint first by the Russian army, and then the German army before running away and surrendering to the American army. Oma apparently walked across Russia to follow the German army out of the country. They met in a refugee camp. Opa had apparently been engaged to another woman, but couldn’t find her, and so married Oma. They moved to Canada when my Dad was 2 years old. That’s what we know. They wouldn’t say more and records from then are scattered and incomplete. Honestly, from what I do know, I can’t blame them for not talking about it.)


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  • Corina Becker: Hi Anonymous person who apparently doesn't feel like giving me a name to address, and thus hides behind anonymity!!! I never said the federal gov
  • Anonymous: I think that it is about time something is being done federally to help those with ASD to get much needed therapies for their disability and YES I do
  • Corina Becker: Hi Janine! Melody reads here? Awesome. I honestly had no idea she was aware of this blog.And thank you so much, I'm glad both of you like the bl