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Stuart Duncan (AutismFather)
Works at Autcraft
Lives in Timmins
2,695 followers|927,885 views
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Wow... after 146 years, Ringling Bros. Circus to end in May.
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You know, we like to think that we've become this great society, so advanced, so far from our barbaric, primitive ancestry... but nope. We might have super computers in our pockets but as a species, we still have so very far to go.

I know, not all humans are like this. But honestly, with the school shootings, wars, mass murders, blatant racism and monsters like the four people who did this?

Faith in humanity is fleeting.
The young man cowers in the corner of a room, tied up with his mouth bound in plastic. His eyes exude fear as his attackers get ready for their next act.
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Patrick H's profile photo
 
I saw this too and I wonder about my children in school... It's scary
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I just got an email from a player on the Autcraft server with a screenshot of 9 double chests at his base.

In the email was the offer/ultimatum that I must trade him the rarest item on my server for what he has in those 9 double chests or else he may leave the server forever.

So basically what he's saying is, if I give him that item, I get his stuff and if I don't, he leaves and I get his stuff.
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Giving Tuesday

For a long time, people told me that I should charge for access to Autcraft but I never believed that was the way to go. I've always believed that no one should be excluded from having a safe place to play and that those who need a place like Autcraft most are those who probably don't have the extra money to pay for it.

Looking around today, talking to people, I realize now that it was probably a wise decision. Times are tough. Most people don't have any extra money to spare for things like video games, even if Autcraft is far more than just a game.

The people who donate either monthly via Patreon or through our online shop or just making one time donations do so because they believe in Autcraft but also because they have a little extra to spare.

Each person that supports Autcraft is literally giving thousands of children with autism a place where they can make friends, feel safe and be themselves without fear of judgement, embarrassment or bullying.

Today, Giving Tuesday, we encourage you to support Autcraft or any other good cause that you believe in. For all those people who don't have the extra money to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, for all the people who sacrifice things in their life only because it costs money that they don't have, you can be the one to make sure they still have a place to go that will never turn them away.

To support Autcraft
monthly: https://www.patreon.com/autismfather
one time: https://www.paypal.me/autcraft

Thank you!
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While I certainly don't use Minecraft for educational purposes, much less the actual Education Edition, I can say that it is most definitely not a gimmick.
Is that to say that you can't teach children the same things in other ways? Of course not. But that's the point. You can teach the same old lessons in new ways and Minecraft is one of those ways.

My experience with Autcraft has shown me that a happy child, a child having fun and doing what they enjoy doing is far more inclined to learn new things freely and willingly just by doing... rather than being force fed information or told to sit down and read.

It's more about engagement and involvement than it is about the tools you use. Is the child happy and absorbing the information easily, possibly without even realizing it? Or are they fighting you every step of the way and learning nothing because it's simply no fun?
Department for Education advisor Tom Bennett is 'not a fan' of using the game in lessons.
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Pentrose Son of John's profile photo
 
I really don't understand why some people think learning and fun should be mutually exclusive. If it works, and helps people learn useful things, then I'm all in favour.
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The bullies aren't always other kids.

This teacher can be seen getting prepared ahead of time, knowing the boy with autism was coming to say his line and she snatched the microphone off the stand in an aggressive way to make sure he didn't get that chance.

You can hear laughter in the crowd from other parents.

The school, in their attempt to down play the event, not only played the part of the bully but showed other kids that it's quite alright to be that bully.
It's situations like this that can leave a life long impression on a child, especially a child with autism who can replay this moment over and over and over again in his mind forever and also on those around them who sees something like this and finds it funny.

Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe there was no "malice" intended. But there are still dozens of ways this could have been handled better. And addressed. And apologies given.

Oh and by the way, there's no way anyone can watch this and still try to tell me that it's autistics that lack empathy.
A six-year-old boy in West Virginia was brought to tears at school when a teacher grabbed the microphone he was about to speak into while on stage during a Thanksgiving show. Caleb's parents posted video of the incident on social media and the clip has gone viral.
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"Children who believe they are transgender 'could have autism', says controversial expert"

Ok so... it's not that this guy is wrong that it angers me, it's that he has it backwards. Here is what it should say:

"Children who have autism are more likely to believe they are transgender."

Do you see the difference?

Let me explain. Keep in mind that these will be generalizations so when I say "children with autism", in your head, think "many people," not "all."

Disconnect from Societal "Norms"

Children with autism are already largely disconnected from the rest of society. That is to say, they tend to feel like an outsider. But this isn't just isolated to small talk and social situations. For many people with autism, "norms" are anything but normal. We understand that My Little Pony is geared towards girls but don't really get why boys should be embarrassed or teased about liking them.

So with this disconnect, children with autism are already resistant to the programming or brainwashing that comes at them from all directions since birth. The "little princess" comments for girls, the "boys will be boys" comments for boys and so forth. When you really think about it, boys are programmed to be boys and girls are programmed to be girls from birth onward... they're not encouraged to think as just a child so much as a specifically gendered child. Autistic children don't generally think this way no matter how much outside sources try to force them to.

This means that they grow up feeling more like how they truly feel rather than how they think they are supposed to feel based on societal input.

Disconnect between mind and body

Secondly, having autism causes a disconnect within oneself just as much as a disconnect with everyone else. That is to say, our minds don't have the same relationship with our body as most other people might. Hygiene doesn't hold the same priority. What we look like to others doesn't hold the same importance.
You don't generally hear autistic people say is "I know it like the back of my hand" because we typically don't have a clue what the back of our hand looks like. It's not important to us, it serves no purpose knowing and so it takes up no space in our memory. We look in the mirror less, we look our own bodies less. We spend less time worrying about it.

This disconnect does serve one great purpose... when our mind is separate from our body, we're more free to recognize that our body isn't the right body. When we think and feel in the way a specific gender thinks and feels, and we look down and see we are not that gender, we recognize the problem.

Generations

All of this is actually remarkable to think about because if you look back 20, 50, 100 or more years... this just didn't happen. Even so little as 20 years ago, most people weren't even being diagnosed with autism simply because there wasn't enough experts that could recognize it much less diagnose it.

To think about being gay or gender fluid or gender neutral... it wasn't very many years ago where, if you weren't straight... then... tough! You basically never told anyone because no one else ever did and even if you did, there was nothing you could do about it. There certainly weren't any sex change operations to speak of.

But today, anyone not feeling they truly belong in their own skin can see other people that are famous or friends or even family who are embracing who they are even if it means going through a sex change procedure. They see those people and then look at themselves and finally understand what they've been feeling! They look at those people who are doing something about it and they realize that they can do something about it too! That's powerful.

Back to that opening statement

So this guy in this article, he has it backwards. But even my own adjustment to his statement isn't entirely accurate. You see, I believe a lot of people, whether autistic or not, are gay, or gender fluid, or gender neutral or transgender... it's just that autistic people could be more likely to recognize that, or at least recognize it sooner, simply due to their mind/body disconnect and the fact that they're less likely to be programmed into social norms.

It's not that autistic people are more likely to be LGBTQ, it's that they're more likely to recognize it and believe it and admit it.

When you think of it in those terms, this is a good thing. A very good thing. Because now is the time when the technology and the information and the freedom is available to truly be who they were meant to be.
Children diagnosed as transgender could be autistic, a controversial psychologist believes.
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Pentrose Son of John's profile photo
 
Well said.
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Did 2016 also kill #autism blogs? Why? And what's next?
What happened to autism blogs? Why did they fade away? What’s next?
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Last night I went out for a little quiet time, just by myself. It lasted 30 minutes before a parent was messaging the Autcraft fan page about something her daughter needed help with. So I came home.

This Friday I will be pulling an all nighter to update the server to the latest version, add some new features and make sure that all goes well.

These are little things but they're the things I do and have been doing for almost 3.5 years without ever losing the drive or determination to give it everything I've got consistently.

I've never felt like that about anything before. No job has ever held my interest or made me feel so committed as this server does.

But it's not just that it's a server. It's not just that it's my server.

There are very real lives of autistic children, adults and their families that play there. They don't just play though, they come to depend on it.

I've been reflecting on many of the people, children mostly, that have opened up to me about their sexuality, their gender identity confusions, bullying, their abusive parents and so much more... these are things that they've never spoken to anyone else about before.

It's not because I have any answers or that I'm any better than anyone else... it's simply that I live my life in such a way that they know that I won't judge them, I won't think any less of them and I certainly will never hate them. I live my life and I show it as much as possible that no matter who you are... I will care for you. I will care about you.

That is what drives me to keep Autcraft going strong. That is what keeps me where I'm needed every single day.

It's not that I am a good person, it's that there aren't enough other people who do the same, who these kids can turn to and feel safe with.

I encourage you live your own life in such a way that no matter what anyone thinks, feels or is going through right now... that they'd never be afraid to talk to you about it.

Be there for them.

Sometimes that's all anyone really needs.
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Autcraft 1.11 Is Coming Saturday, December 10, 2016!

Friday night, when the server restarts (at midnight EST, New York time), the server will remain unavailable approximately 6 hours as we do all the final work for the 1.11 update.

The reason that it will take so long is that we must migrate some older plugins that are no longer under development and move to newer plugins which still receive frequent updates. We've done a lot of testing on this and know that nothing will be lost, everything will keep running as it always has and that the process does take several hours.

In addition to moving old plugins to new plugins, we'll also be adding in some extra new features for Autcraft players along with this new update! But we're not telling what those are just yet!

We apologize for the downtime that'll happen on the weekend but it's the best time for us as that's when we'll have the most admins and helpers around to answer questions and make sure everything is working properly after the update.

So again, Friday night after the restart, the server will be unavailable to players for approximately 6 hours while we move to the new 1.11 update and add in new features.

Questions

Will the build worlds reset? No.
Will the build world borders expand? Yes.
Can you tell us what the new features are? No.
Will we have to update our MC clients to 1.11? You should, but you won't have to.
Will our inventories be reset? No.
Now can you tell us what the new features will be? Still no.
Are you sure it will take the whole 6 hours? No. Could be less, could be more.
Can I make a mansion my base? If you are the first to find one in the expanded areas of a build world, yes.
New features? Still not telling.
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It's pretty cold out lately for my walks but the snow does make for some very nice photos.
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Ford Motor Co. plans next year to hire an additional 12 to 24 adults with autism, expanding a program with the Autism Alliance of Michigan that has more than 30 other local companies signed on.
Ford plans next year to hire an additional 12 to 24 adults with autism, expanding a program with the Autism Alliance of Michigan that has more than 30 other local companies signed on. The programs are growing quickly. For the companies, people with autism represent untapped talent.
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Stuart's Collections
Story
Tagline
aka AutismFather - Upgrading Autism Awareness to Autism Understanding and Acceptance
Introduction
I am the creator of Autcraft, the first Minecraft server for children with autism and their families.

It is my mission to keep these children safe from bullies but also to encourage, support and empower these children to feel confident, to make friends and build relationships.

Autcraft is the first of it's kind and has reached over 7500 member in 3 years, from all around the world.
Bragging rights
Worked with several autism charities around the world to promote autism understanding and acceptance.
Places
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Currently
Timmins
Previously
Acton - Oakville - Vancouver
Work
Occupation
Founder/Owner of Autcraft
Skills
PHP, MySQL, Autism, Minecraft
Employment
  • Autcraft
    Founder, 2013 - present
    The first Minecraft server for children with autism and their families.
  • EZP.net
    Programmer, 2011 - 2012
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Single
Other names
AutismFather
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Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
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