RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Autistic Spectrum Disorder By: Nicholas W. Solterra

Autistic Spectrum Disorder is one of the most widespread disorders in the world; having a diagnosis rate of almost 1 in every 50 children in North America alone. I have always had my eyes and ears towards the studies on this disorder, as I have both a professional and personal connection to it. I have the great fortune to live in a country with one of the most dedicated Autism research centers. One of these is The University of British Columbia, with its program CIRCA, researches the psychiatric and psychological traits and aspects of Autism on both sides of the spectrum. I was born with severe High Functioning Autism, having compulsions for almost every subject of histories, sciences and literature.

This disorder is caused by hindered development of the brain, whether by the overproduction of white matter over grey matter or a birth defect caused by medications or pollutants during fetal development.

ASD, though treated by some as such, is not a learning disability (LD) by default. It is a disorder which generates a particularly different way of viewing the world. The baseline symptoms of autism are low or non-existent social skills, obsessive compulsive tendencies, as well as stubborn demeanor.
There are two different sides to the Autistic Spectrum; Autistic Savantism and Aspergers.

Autistic Savantism, given its ridicule and unbelievable effects, used to be considered “Idiot Savantism” or just considered a mental handicap. This form of autism was soon discovered to have profound mental aptitude effects. One such popular case was done on an 8 year old boy who, having never seen a piano before, or been provided with musical sheet to refer to, played several symphony pieces.
Autistic Savantism had been given public awareness with the help of the movie “Rain Man” starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. This movie accurately portrayed the average symptoms and effects of savantism.
Autistic Savants commonly have the following ticks/signs.
-Obsessive compulsive (OCD), is unable or unwilling to adapt routines, may become aggravated or terrified if forced to.
-Has a particular ability/talent which supersedes any peak intellectual comparison. In simple terms, this means they can perform the specialty far beyond the capabilities of any other human being.
-Their speech and social skills may be low; they may be mute or unwilling to speak to anyone apart from a life-long mediator or guardian.

High functioning Autistic or Aspergers, is more balanced along a broad area of talents. Children/Adults with Aspergers may have extremely strong artistic, math, writing or memory skills. The most common strength is memory, where a child with Aspergers will be able to take an event and superimpose it in their mind, almost to unbelievable detail. Unfortunately the level of aptitude is difficult to test, so the talent remains theoretical. Autistic individuals in this area of the spectrum tend to have the capability to develop average social skills.
Common symptoms of Aspergers are:
-Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), may be unwilling to change routines, but may do so if presented with options, not just given a single option of change.
-Has particular fields of interest which they show aptitude in.
-Their speech and social skills may begin as non-existent or low, but can improve to average levels with age and early developmental support.
-May later in life be comparable to a genius, may in fact be such even early in life.
-May act literally to requests/commands, data and interactions may need to be clarified and processed in a literal manner.

Several genius/intellectual individuals have been proven and/or theorized to have had Aspergers in some form or another.
-Albert Einstein (ASD suggested by medical studies to his preserved brain.)
-Steven Hawkings (ASD suggested)
-Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory (ASD exhibited)

Final Note: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) may not be diagnosed in all cases of ASD. They are symptoms or co-disorders.
Further information can be found at the CIRCA program website of the University of British Columbia.


**Editors Note: If you would like to help fund research or want to know more about it please visit or Also, Keep sending in your submissions! <3**


Don’t I Matter? By Arjen

Kick it out, it doesn’t matter

Is that what you said to yourself?

Kick it out, it doesn’t matter

Before you made your decision?

Kick it out, it doesn’t matter

Couldn’t you take it any more?

Kick it out, it doesn’t matter

Did it snap inside your head?

Kick it out, it doesn’t matter

Did the voices made you do it?

Kick it out, it doesn’t matter

You keep on kicking me.


Now I lay before you, dead.

**Editors Note: Bullying is a horrible thing and a problem that really needs to be fixed. So, what can you do? Not bully kids for one thing. Speak up if you see someone being bullied, seriously, it could be a matter of life or death. If  you want to make an even bigger impact you can go to and join “The Bully Project” (take a quiz so they can gather info about bullying). And/or go to and join the goverments campaign against bullying. This amazing poem is by Arjen who also goes by Wiliart on his deviant art page: **

What Should I Write About?

Want to submit something but having trouble thinking of ideas? I’m here to help. Here’s a list of a few things I was able to come up with. Remember you can submit literature or art. Also, you don’t have to do something from this list, just suggestions to help get your creative juices flowing. 


  • Hunger (World, Child, America…etc)
  • Poverty
  • Cancer
  • Autism
  • Disabilities (Mental or Physical)
  • Natural Disaster Relief (Joplin, Haiti, Japan etc)
  • Education
  • Arts in Schools 
  • Going Green
  • Homelessness
  • Animal Testing 
  • Importance of No-Kill Animal Shelters 
  • Literacy 
  • Bullying (cyber or otherwise)
  • Teen Pregnancy 
  • Texting and Driving
  • Discrimination
  • Human Rights 


Hope you can find some inspiration! For more inspiration look around the world around you. Look at the posts already on this site. I hope I get a submission from you soon! For those of you under 18, feel free to write and submit. I am working on a way to make sure everything is legal and an easy-no-fuss way to get parental consent. 

Happy creating!


Have You Ever Touched A Dead Body? By Crystal Cannon

   Have you ever touched a dead body? I have. I brushed my hand over the skin of her face and through what little hair she had; her beautiful, soft, salt and peppery hair.

    My hand smoothed out over her scalp, resting atop of her head. It feels empty. It’s a stark contrast from how it had felt just hours before, when she still had life in her. The head feels heavy, yet hollow. It was an eerie reminder how much of a powerhouse the brain is.

   Her skin was clammy, rubbery, and dull from undernourishment, sweat, and the constant pain killers that had been pumped into her. I wrapped my hand around her wrist. It’s much more slender now, from how it used to be, just months ago. She had lost so much weight, so much muscle. You could tell just by looking at her weak arms. 

   Slowly, my hand traced hers, and I entangled our fingers together one last time. That was the last time I’d ever hold her hand.

   The whole time I had slept, I didn’t realize she left me. It had only been a few hours, maybe three. I can’t remember now.

   I remember being hysterical just hours earlier. I knew this was coming. However, no amount of preparation can brace you for the death of your mother. For months I knew, at least in the back of my mind. It didn’t change the fact that I wanted her to fight, encouraged it, even if to just delay the inevitable.

   I remember my dad, fighting to keep his composure, trying to be strong for us both. I, on the other hand, was nothing short of manic. I sobbed, I wept, I cursed, and I begged. I said “I love you,” so many times, that I couldn’t even give you an estimate.

   I actually had to be given a Xanax just to calm down. It only succeeded in making me tired.Before I went to sleep, I pushed the recliner next to that bed and stretched out, facing her. I huddled as close as I could, and held her hands. They were so cold, icy, but even then, I could feel the life in them.

   After the nurses woke us, however, the roles switched. My body tingled and my heart sank. I didn’t dare think, but I knew what was coming. I knew what was going to be said. Before the nurses even confirmed our loss, a wave of relief washed over me. It was calming, almost eerily so.
   They gave their condolences and my dad broke down. Now he was the one sobbing, begging while I stood there. As dad did for me, I wrapped my arms around him, trying to console him, us, as he wrapped his arms around her body.

    I cried, but nothing like I did before hand. I was mostly collected. Maybe I had cried too much. Maybe I was more relieved now than hurt; relieved that she was no longer suffering, that she could rest now. Or it could be that I was in shock. I don’t know. A part of me even feels like it was she that comforted me and gave me that strength, that peace of mind.

   A part of me was glad that she had passed. She was never going to be able to live anymore or enjoy life. Cancer or not, that injury would have kept her in so much unbearable pain, being conscious would had been hell for her. She didn’t deserve that. No one deserves to live like that.

   She didn’t deserve to die like she did either.

    I remember, a few weeks before she passed, she asked me something and it broke my heart.

    You see, every doctor or nurse that she came by, she would ask if she was going to get better. They couldn’t lie to her, but even with their gentle replies, it wasn’t enough. She would continue to ask.

   One day, I was helping her get back into bed. I was having a hard time getting her off the bedside pot. 

 Then she asked me: “I’m not going to get better am I?” 

   You just don’t know how much that killed me inside.

“We’re doing the best we can Mom. We’re doing our best to keep you healthy and comfortable,” I wrapped my arms around her, holding her, petting back her hair. That whole time my heart wrenched in pain and fear.

I’m afraid to even fathom the thoughts that crossed her mind and the emotions that toiled at her heart.

   I was going to lose my world. She was going to lose everything she loved and worked hard for. She was going to leave her family, and that’s something she did not want to do.

   So there I was, clutching at the lifeless body that was once my mom, holding her hand, and leaning over to embrace her one final time.

   I placed a kiss on her cheek and then her forehead.

   I told her I loved her, that I missed her already, that she didn’t deserve this.

   It might not have reached her ears but if there is such a thing as spirits, I hope hers heard it. I hope she can see how much we love her and how much we’re hurt now that she’s gone.

   Letting go of her was hard. I didn’t want to leave. I would have stayed and held her hands, if I was able to.

   Then again, as I think about it, even if I was allowed to, I wouldn’t, not for very long at least. I have a father to support and console. He needs me now, more than she does.

   She’s not the one suffering now. We are and now, I am the calm one. I will be the pillar he needs.

   I can’t leave without another hug, without giving her one last kiss, yet again.

   Once more I caressed her cheeks and smoothed my hand over her hair.
   Despite how empty the body feels, she looks peaceful, relaxed even. That is some comfort.

   Hand in hand my dad and I left, our faces wet with tears and our hearts heavy with the pain of loss.

   Yes, I have touched a dead body.

   The owner of this quivering, yet warm hand may be the next dead body I touch. Right now, I can feel the life within him. To me, that life I feel, that energy, that’s the soul.

   One day, this hand is going to be cold to the touch, his head heavy and hollow feeling.

   It’s only a matter of time. We all suffer this fate. Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier.

   Yes, I have touched a dead body.

   This won’t be the last, nor was it my first. I lost both surviving grandparents from cancer. My Dad’s Mom, and my Mom’s Dad. Now, I have just lost my mother.

   This man I call dad may be next. I hope though, that it won’t be for a very long time.

   Death, it does not discriminate. It can take away the ones you love and the ones you hate, at any given time.

   If you didn’t appreciate what you had before death snatched it away, you will after.

   I am twenty-four and I just lost my mother.

   All my life, I have watched my loved ones grow sick and pass away; however, it’s a different game when it’s your mother. It’s a different kind of pain.

   It doesn’t matter what age you are. Young or old, it still feels tragic, because it is. Losing someone while you’re young just means that you had less time to spend with them than someone who is older.

   Regardless of your age, I suggest you look around you. Remember their faces. Remember how they feel.

   When they’re gone, all of that changes. Everything changes.

   Yes, I have touched a dead body but now I touch a living one. I’ll take care of him, like she took care of us. I told her I would take care of dad, of us.

   I don’t plan on letting her down.

** Editor’s Note: Death is hard. So is watching a loved one suffer from this terrible thing we call cancer. To help find a cure for cancer you can volunteer, help with a Relay for Life or just donate extra money. Anything you can do can help find a cure so that one day, people may not have to go through this. For more information go to** 

Young Hearts By Kailey Martin

Do not let anyone look down on you
because you are young.
Let hope and imagination
guide your actions.
While you are young,
you have dreams of making the world
a better place.
Don’t ever let that go.
You have the power, now.
Young one, you do not have to

When you are grown,
you do not have to stop.
Be always beautiful and young
in your heart.
Be always imaginative and hopeful.
Lack of which will
harden your heart and
destroy your power
to change


**Editor’s Note: There’s no real way to help out a charity with this one. Just my mantra, if you will. Just know that you have the power to change you, your surroundings, your world. Young people do great things, be one of them. And don’t ever let that fire burn out.** 

In The Absence of Meaning by Gary Grimm

Was it a question of reality
Or a deception of time?
Would they cheapen it’s beauty?
Toss away this alluring reality?

A wretched deception of meaning.
Worthless words
Scribbled on the wall.
Life enveloped in this worthless monotony,
Corrupted by idiocy

The deaf follow the blind.
Given up – they fall
And to the sound of their own calloused heartbeats,
They spiral down,
Knowing nothing to come.

Embracing that old adage,
“Ignorance is Bliss.”

**Editors Note** Education is so important! Along with the importance of quality education is the importance of kids being able to participate in school. I found out today that 16 million kids will return to school in the fall without the necessary school supplies. How can you help? and Staples have teamed up to collect supplies to those in need. Staples stores all across the country will have places where you can drop off extra school supplies you’ve either had or just bought for the cause. Go to  for more information. Hint, you can win cool prizes or a scholarship by signing up with them**