Pause for Thoughts


Pause for Thoughts


This week’s True Highlight


For me this week’s true Highlight happened at the local laundromat in conversation with the mother of a 15 year old son who has Autism. Mostly me listening as She detailed her battles with the City, State, Department of Education, and Housing plus having to work full time. Once I told her that my brother Stephen has Autism and I shared a few photos She felt more at ease to unburden herself.

Periodically She had to call her Son via cellphone to make sure that he got on the school bus. She discussed her hopes and dreams for her Son, Daily Challenges and not enough family support. Her parents the boys grandparents do help but they are getting up in age.

I would guess Her to be in Her late 40s and just like any other young woman She occasionally likes to go out after work to relax with coworkers. However despite the fact that she pre cooks meals that can be easily microwaved her family members who Live in the same building don’t heat the boys food for him resulting in the young man calling his Mother all evening meaning No down time or relaxing for Mom.

I could tell that She is Overwhelmed. In terms of trying to care for my brother Stephen I’m overwhelmed but you must disregard your issues and try to figure out what to do and which way to go.

In August the boy stays with his Dad in the Caribbean. Mom’s only break.

.

No self care. Self care is a joke if you have a developmental disabled child or sibling because even if you don’t Live with the person you are on call 24/7/365. That’s why I personally don’t take any long term or far away trips.

This Mom lives in Public Housing and receives Section 8 which is a city program that provides housing vouchers to low income People. Now this is the type of Housing that this Mom and Her Autistic Son endure, falling ceilings, leaks, broken toilets, peeling paint etc… Yes this is how the city treats this hard working Mom. In New York City you can work yet not be able to afford proper housing.

She also has to instruct her son on how to deal with school bullies. Bullying is a big problem in American schools and bullies pick on any child who looks or acts different.

As far as the Department of Education is concerned they are quick to disqualify your child from much needed services and programs.

Even though I am not Stephen Mom as a sibling who has attended numerous meetings over the last 30+ years it’s a constant battle against budget cuts.

Also I’m getting older and you all know what that means. I choose Not to discuss any of my health or medical problems because #1 this Blog is not a pity party and my health issues are nobody’s Business but mine. However obviously as you age there are less and less things you can do meaning that lately I miss more meetings. Not a complaint but a true realistic statement.

For those of you who have been with me for a while you know that I’m constantly on the phone to our Elected officials trying to get programs and services restored. You know that both Stephen and I along with an advocacy group went up to Albany which is the New York State Capitol where Governor Cuomo resides to meet with as many Elected officials as possible. You also remember a few years ago when on a cold March day I joined myself to a demonstration to protest against budget cuts. We protested in front of Governor Cuomo Office in Manhattan.

Oh Yes I can relate so well to this Mother’s struggle for Her Son. The lack of services for both caregivers and family members who have developmental disabilities. For us there is no respite.


We folded our clothes put the laundry into our respective shopping carts. Talked a little more outside in the cold and this Mom looked so sad that we had to part ways. Each to our own block. Each returning to our own individual struggles and hardships but knowing that at least for a little while we were not alone in Our battles.

AweSome AweTism Adventures Art Project


 

 

Stephen's finished Photo Picture Collage
Stephen’s finished Photo Picture Collage

 

Stephen's Collage in Progress
Stephen’s Picture Collage in Progress

 

 

AweSome AweTism Adventures Art Project

 

 

Where I’ve been and Where I’m Going

August 16th after ten years of service I retired from the museum.

I’ve had the privilege to be surrounded by beautiful lovely wonderful art on a daily basis as well as excellent co-workers who are artists. Being around gifted and talented people stimulated me to start creating my own artworks of Mixed Media Collages and eventually acrylic paintings. This gave me the opportunity to participate and exhibit in several exhibitions.

Some of my paintings and collages:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/UbhMM99bxqpJYN5o7

Now that I’m retired I’ve decided to devote even more focus and determination towards my artwork. Back in April I opened my Etsy Shop.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SurrealDealArtworks

I’ve also identified a building on Fulton Street near Rockaway Avenue as a potential Art Gallery.

 

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/J4Sfo4iAJ3QLn7tu8

https://photos.app.goo.gl/J4Sfo4iAJ3QLn7tu8

 

There are many artists in my neighborhood but perhaps they don’t have a place to exhibit and sell their art. I want to change that. Manhattan does not have a monopoly on art galleries.

Brownsville/Bed-Stuy has been classified as working class and of course the neighborhood has it’s share of Homeless Shelters, halfway houses and folks receiving government assistance. Poverty does not have to be an obstacle. If the people here especially the young people have an art center where they can come to create and display their artwork it will not just change the neighborhood but will change their world. Creation gives you a purpose and an element of control over their lives. Here is a clip from the documentary Humble Beauty “Skid Row Artists”

https://youtu.be/k_b5yxP8pYw

Art Activism

In order to make this happen I’m asking for a donation of $125 or whatever you can afford

This will help me build my base. My foundation. So that I may be a credit and a help to my neighborhood and expand my program to Queens. My future plans are to extend my program to Ghana where a young Ghanaian woman operates a Center for Children and Adults with Autism.

 

Art Autism and Activism

I’m especially interested in returning art to adults with Autism because my brother Stephen Palmer has Autism. His training Center AABR located in Jamaica, Queens, NY had to lay off the Art Teacher due to budget cuts. AABR has the space. The classroom is available but no Art Teacher. I want to fix that by giving Adults with developmentally disabilities the opportunity to explore their creative abilities.

Below is an example of some art Stephen has created. Once of his favorite artists and influences is Basquiat. Stephen created the photo picture collage at my house during a home visit. I’m determined that Stephen should and must have art in his life therefore when we spend time together we often got to the Brooklyn Museum as well as other New York City area museums. I keep art supplies in my home so Stephen can create to his hearts content. However Stephen’s friends at AABR may not be fortunate to have family or friends to give them an art opportunity. Therefore I intend to rectify this situation.

 

 

stephenpalmerart
Stephen Palmer painting

 

My desire is that you will be able to make an investment not just in me but in folks who don’t have a voice to give them a voice through art.

Thank you.

DeBorah Ann Palmer

ROAMING URBAN GYPSY

https://roamingurbangypsy.com/

 

You may contribute via PayPal using my email address: deborah.palmer280@gmail.com

 

Twitter

@Dancingpalmtree

http://twitter.com/dancingpalmtree

Pinky: “Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”

The Brain: “The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!”

 

 

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Kind and Caring


 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Kind and Caring

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Kind and Caring

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge

This week the topic is Kind and Caring I find taking photos of kind moments are fun to capture.  Let’s see how creative you can be on for this week’s challenge.  Have fun with this week’s challenge.

My brother Stephen who is the very definition of kindness and caring.  Stephen is the greatest and most Awesome Autism Guy in the world.  He has helped me in many ways and does his best to reach out to others in need including the homeless.  Stephen does not view his Autism as a disability but as a way to channel his generosity, kindness, caring and compassion to others in greater need.  He is always there to assist his friends who live with him at his Group Home Residence and at his Training Center.  Stephen is a Transformer as he transforms every life he touches.  My brother Stephen is Love in Action.  Stephen is more than my brother ~~ Stephen is my best friend.