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Employment and Autism/Asperger's: What's Your Dream?

Walk by Faith

DearDiary By Cathy Jameson

Dear Diary,

I had a scary dream last week. I was being hunted.  It was sunset in a state park and I sensed something near me. I quickly planned a quiet retreat from a medium-sized grizzly bear walking toward a picnic table. At first, I thought I could manage eluding the animal but when he spied me his fierce growl caught the attention of another sizable bear standing by a stream. Panic set in but I remained outwardly calm.  I knew I had only a few minutes before I would either become a light snack or could plan a successful escape.

As I backed up the trail, I realized I was not alone—most of my family was also with me.  Ronan wasn’t there but my husband and other children were. The bears multiplied in number and we now had to escape six hungry, wild bears.  Soft light from the window of a small building shone down the path. My husband led us to an old lodge built on stilts. We hoped that would be a refuge because there was no where else to go but into the bear’s territory.  We tiptoed up the steps and reached for the doorknob. The lodge, whose wallpaper dated back to the 70s era, had wall-to-wall shag rug. It greeted us as we tumbled into what we hoped would be a safe haven.

A woman sat at a metal desk with an IBM Selectric typewriter. She didn’t see us or hear the major sigh of relief we exhaled as we scrambled into her writing nook. Pages of her book, an expose, retold of newly discovered cover-ups in the medical industry.  I barely glanced at this minor character in my dream but thought highly of her accomplishment—her efforts were going to help thousands.

Meanwhile, back at the now darkening state park…six bears watched us and lumbered toward the lodge. Another wave of fear set over me. I couldn’t lock the door. It had been solidly secure prior to our arrival but I had loosened the hinge in my attempt to rush in, find safety and slam the door closed.  I peeked through a sliver in the doorway that couldn’t be latched and saw another family standing at the doorway. Three people gingerly knocked also trying to hide from the doom and gloom that lingered below.  We let them in and stared at each other in fear. Glancing through the sheer curtain-covered windows, I saw silhouettes of another family, and then another. No one spoke but we knew we had to bring them in and stay safe from those hungry bears.

Diary, I was petrified! All the while, the woman at the typewriter continued to type. Her clickity clack was the only noise I heard. Soft light from her lamp and an old television set were her only other pieces of furniture. The TV was on but only static-filled stations were broadcasting with no sound.  The bears grumbled and stumbled below the lodge but never came up the stairs. I had a vision of one of the children getting too close to the smallest bear but physically shook myself to keep from continuing that notion. I began to feel confident as I glanced around the small room at the people in our midst. Again, my thoughts were: save my family, help these people, stay safe. And then, I woke up.

Those six bears, I can only imagine “who” they represent. Could it be those government-run groups that take over the airwaves with falsehood about medicine? Is it the education system that is unable to stay up-to-date with our children’s special needs? Is it the medical community that cynically rejects natural remedies that never have to be recalled? Is it the community we live in that refuses to understand a desperate family’s need for help? Is it a once-solid support system that is too tired to listen to the continuous pleas for help from an over-exhausted family member about to make a grave decision? 

Or, could it be me, as I plunge into a moment of despair with the mounting ____ (Fill in the blank: problems, road blocks, emotions, finances) of taking care of a child with special needs?

As scared as I was, I knew I had a chance to make it out of that bear-infested dream alive. Not only that, but my family would be safe too. We were scared out of minds but we were so confident that we could even offer to help other people who were lost or scared.  Of course the strong survive; it’s what we’re taught from a young age.

I had a relatively easy childhood, a lively and happy teenage experience and quite a successful young adult transition into the real world with a great career. I later eased into parenthood and kept my spirits up as my family grew. Everything seemed to be happening on schedule, and I cherished the thoughts of my future.

When my son started having problems and we were lead to certain groups for assistance, I started to learn how disorganized and draining those support systems were. I kept positive and upbeat as long as I physically could but those high hopes turned into unending stressors. I’ve had to tackle other people’s attitudes to finally get my son’s needs met. I’ve had to make countless phone calls to reach a live human with answers to what started out as a simple question but grew into complicated doubts. I’ve been led, misled and turned around in circles from one agency to another. Faith in myself and in a system, whichever one I was dealing with, was worn around the edges and eventually crumbled.

How does one go on? Why should I even try, try again when I’ve already been there, done that?  Because I have faith in Someone bigger than me, a higher power who created and gives me faith in someone smaller than me, Ronan.

Small feats this week remind me that the temporary pains I feel in managing Ronan’s needs are just that, temporary. Ronan has had fantastic reports from everyone who sees him for instruction and therapy. He tackled his tasks and achieved his goals. Ronan’s demeanor was also smooth and happy. He slept well and ate well. He even had 3 days of formed poops!  I can see again that he’s baby stepping closer to “our world” while leaving parts of “his world” behind.

I’ve been reflecting on how difficult parts of life are this week to only be reminded daily that wow, Ronan ____ (Fill in the blank: learned a new sign language sign, said a new word, achieved a difficult goal)!  Every time I felt myself lose a bit of faith, a small triumph or hopeful gesture crossed my mind to get me out of that funk.  I’ve been praying specific prayers to help us survive everything needed to take care of and enjoy Ronan’s life. I’ve received unexpected blessings this week that remind me that while I think it’s tough one minute, another faith-filled person extends a hand to touch me in a way that brings grateful relief. What a great chance to be given! 

Even with a beat that is constantly changing, I’m marching through the attacks, the delays, the worries and the changes. Some of those changes are out of my control but the beat forces me to march on.  Even with an untimely sickness, a lag in development, an attitude that will not change or my own fears to push through, I walk with my chin up. I will find resources and those people who believe and then share that with others.

My Dear Diary, I am again in awe of where I am in life and how I ever got here. I’ve always been an avid dreamer, not just with my going-to-sleep dreams, but with the aspirations I have for myself and for Ronan.  I hated that nightmare with those bears. I woke up in the pitch dark so scared but so relieved. As big, mean and scary as they were, they ended up keeping their distance. My brain was in over-drive, as it usually is when I need to solve a problem but I kept my family safe. We were together, we were forever hopeful, and we met people along the way to help and be helped by.  I’m finding that when I stay focused, when I keep faith in God and in Ronan, and when I find the right people, or when they find me, I get to see how walking in faith means walking in blessings, too.

xoxo, Cat

Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.




When my darkest days are upon me, I am sent people to help. When I think it cannot possibly get any worse and when I should throw in the towel, toss him in sucky school all day, cancel the private therapies, let him eat sour patch kids for every meal- it is then there is a spark. Sometimes it's a new word or skill. But usually it is in the form of another person and I know in my heart it is divine. I have met the best people because of autism. (That's not to say that I wouldn't trade them for never having met autism- and they would understand)

RN Mommy

Because we walk in the light of the truth, let us fear no evil. God is on our side.


Powerful. Thank you.


Thank you for sharing this dream. It really strikes a chord for me. I hope it means that one of my dreams won't recur, or perhaps take a better direction in real life.

Usually my unsettling dreams have my children and my husband missing with this nagging feeling of "where are they--I should know" throughout the dream, but the last time I had a dream that included my daughter on the spectrum, I was at my parents' house, the house I grew up in. Somehow I became aware that the house was on fire up in an obscure spot on the roof. I'm carrying my daughter and trying to warn family of the fire, trying to get them to call the fire department, trying to get people out of the house, and trying to use a less-than-up-to-the-task garden hose to get water on the roof. No one seemed concerned or would take the fire seriously.

I hope we don't become greater in number through personal experience, but I hope we're soon joined by more who are aware of the threat and will act to "put out the fire" and protect our families from "the bears" out there.


Thank you, Cat. You dream up such great analogies. I like the image of the person documenting the horror also providing shelter and protection. How true.

It's odd-- I always use a sort of bear analogy for the vaccine injury debacle, and in general for situations where people are genuinely traumatized but, because there's political suppression of the circumstances (like discrimination or subjugation of any kind, like autism), the natural responses of victims are taken out of context.

Imagine taking a short video of someone running away from a bear, but then doing some fancy cutting and excising the actual bear from the clip. All you see is a person responding hysterically to nothing whatsoever-- just a nut. It's a secondary victimization-- first the literal trauma, then the denial that it really happened in the way that it did, and then the framing of the person being subjected to it as "insane" or "imbalanced" for merely having an understandable response to a genuine threat.

Which is autism families in a nutshell. First there's the injured child: the injuries themselves are taken out of context. Rather than the "behavior" of autism being understood as a response to poisoning (injured by a slashing claw), it's turned into a voodoo disorder, a kind of clinical/genetic and psychiatric "demon posssession"-- a "mystery". This brings on improper, unhelpful, even cruel interventions both from mainstream medicine (drugs) and schools (abuse). For the families, not only is it unendurable to watch your children sink into illness, those of us who own up to how it happened suffer secondary stress of losing faith in our medical system, our government. Not only that, but the threat of having the reexposure to the source of injury via mandated vaccinations or court ordered drugging is a huge fear of many families.

But where's the understanding for any of it? The injury was "genetic", so therefore the children themselves don't represent "lost potential". No one mourns them. No one mourns the institutional abuse of them. For the families, there was no "loss", since the child was "born that way". And we should have taken our lumps for having begotten "defective" children and for daring to breed in the first place. And why the fear of reinjury if these products are "perfectly safe" and only ever "life saving"?

The concept reduces public sympathy, therefore reducing public pressure to cover the medical costs of recovering our children, etc. And there was no industrial perpetrator, so our anger and despair at the betrayal is a figment. The bear is cut out of the clip, and it's a maneater, definitely.

Theresa Cedillo

Thank you Cathy. Very beautifully written and very inspirational.

Autism Grandma

"A woman sat at a metal desk with an IBM Selectric typewriter. She didn’t see us or hear the major sigh of relief we exhaled as we scrambled into her writing nook. Pages of her book, an expose, retold of newly discovered cover-ups in the medical industry. I barely glanced at this minor character in my dream but thought highly of her accomplishment—her efforts were going to help thousands."

Cathy, YOU are this woman, and also KIM and every woman or man or writes to expose the truth about the dangers of Bears [Vaccines]...

The brain stores our emotional memory and trauma which is always with us on a subconscious level. Memories and feelings are stored in the part of the brain called the Amygdala and this is documented by scientific research.

I just looked this up online and read about this here but a lot of this information is really complicated, so I am just copying the introduction and the paragraph regarding emotional memory.

"The amygdaloid region of the brain (i.e. the amygdala) is a complex structure involved in a wide range of normal behavioral functions and psychiatric conditions. Not so long ago it was an obscure region of the brain that attracted relatively little scientific interest. Today it is one of the most heavily studied brain areas, and practically a household word. This article will summarize the anatomical organization of the amygdala and its functions."

"Because the amygdala learns and stores information about emotional events, it is said to participate in emotional memory. Emotional memory is viewed as an implicit or unconscious form of memory and contrasts with explicit or declarative memory mediated by the hippocampus.
In addition to its role in emotion and unconscious emotional memory, the amygdala is also involved in the regulation or modulation of a variety of cognitive functions, such as attention, perception, and explicit memory. It is generally thought that these cognitive functions are modulated by the amygdala's processing of the emotional significance of external stimuli."

According to psychology, the memories producing the most intense emotional reactions are those which are the most traumatic. However, since various emotional traumas are interconnected with each other, a trigger to one specific memory can also create the "domino effect" of feelings related to other emotional memories.

In other words, stored feelings are associated with stored memories in this part of the brain, which can then be "triggered" or released by "external stimuli"... and although not discussed here, the subconscious mind releases our emotional feelings, fears and traumatic experiences through our dreams...

In fact, it seems that we are all Living in a Nightmare and trying to wake up from it....

Angela Warner

Having always been one with a sense of adventure, I've often wondered what it would feel like to meet up with a bear? What would the adrenline rush feel like? As I look back over the past 6 years since Nathan regressed and fast forward through his recovery, I realize how many bears I've encountered who have tried to stand in my way in my fight to help my son. They have all gone down and that's what happens when you live by faith... God damns them and down they go. You may not see them go down when you think they should, but when you live with faith and belief in your heart and soul, they eventually do.

Thanks for sharing this Cat, and thanks for being a soul sister. I'll take bears down with you anytime :) Love ya! xx oo


Thank Cathy.. I find my self having strange scary dreams these days too.

Okay here's my amature interpretation of what your dream means:

Hungry Bears: corrupt corporate shadow government currently running the show

Typewriter lady: Our ineffective (see, hear, speak no evil) US Government

TV: feeling of paranoia brought on by corporations or propaganda machine hypnotizing the masses

House on stilts: feeling insecurity/vulnerability within the current system

Family: corporate prey

Other families: you're not alone..we all feeling very vulnerable/scared these days

I think dreams are very powerful and reflct real life issues facing us.. if we can raise the consciousness of society then we'll have accomplished something.


Thank you Cathy. I was just telling my friend Vicky about a horrible dream I had the other night. Riley was on the swing in the back yard and for some stupid reason (which would never happen in the real world, we don't have a fenced yard yet). I looked out the window to see this black mass come out of the woods. It had no shape, no fur. It had defined edges to it and I couldn't see through it. It came and grabbed Riley from the swing and when it grabbed him, he went completely limp like death. I ran. I ran out of the door, down my steps, tripped on the cement and slid across the cement on my knees. I jumped up and ran into the woods, feeling the briar bushes and the rocks cutting my feet, legs and arms. I searched and searched. I screamed and cried and Riley never made a sound to tell me where he was. I knew it was still there. I could feel it staring at me, daring me to find it. I was out of breath, I ran until I had cramps in my side and in my legs. Screaming for Riley.
At this point, I jerked myself awake and realized I almost fell out of bed. Something occurred to knees hurt like they had been cut, burning.
Vicky said it was a dream that showed my fear of the unknown. The black mass was my fear of what the unknown can do to Riley and I feel powerless to stop it.
I'm sort of glad I'm not the only one having these types of dreams. The kind that scare you to the core of your being.
I'm sorry you had to have this type of dream. I think I would look at the bears as the hungry lie. It's still feeding.
Thanks again for sharing.


Thanks Cathy.

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