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It’s all fake, and all I want is for it to be real

It’s rare that I have a genuine, real human connection. To me, 99% of the time, it seems fake. People ask how are you, but they don’t actually want to know. They are afraid of expressing their actual humanity, and push you down when you try to express yours.

They ask “Hows the weather” when we both know that no one can give a shit about how the weather actually is. I long for a real, genuine human connection, but with everyone playing the game, there’s no room left for being real & genuine. You have to put on the mask to play the game, or so the story goes. Hide who you really are and adapt to the monoculture, or you’ll be shamed, you’ll be yelled at, you’ll be jailed. Act how society wants or you don’t get human connection at all. But when we all act without being out authentic selves, we die a little bit inside each time.

So its no wonder you have a bar on every street corner. People need to numb themselves to not feel the immense pain of not connecting to who they are and expressing their true humanity. Or, in a rare burst of courage… they do. And then, as I like to say, they get “regulated” back into submission & compliance.

I yearn for real, authentic, genuine & consistent human connection. I don’t need a flashy car, or an Amazon Alexa. I just need a campfire & authentic people. To be honest, even while writing this I am questioning if I should hit “Publish”. It’s rare that I am this vulnerable and real. And when I am, there’s a fair number of people who can’t handle it.

They have too much invested in the game of being fake. Years upon years upon years of blood, sweat and tears trying to prop up, what is, at the end of the day, a pure contrivance.

But I also know that the best way to overcome fears is to make them known. To make them valid. To hear & express them. And ultimately, to give them some space & acceptance.

To all the people externally, and all the fears internally that say “You can’t be who you are” I simply say this: You have no power here anymore.

About The Author

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Danny Raede is the CEO & Co-Founder of Asperger Experts, the world's largest community & training platform for parents & people on the autistic spectrum, with a global reach of over half a million people each day. Having been diagnosed with Asperger's himself at age 12, Danny inspires, educates and provides much needed guidance to those struggling to live in a world that is, quite literally, painful to them. He serves as Director on the board of Acceptance, guiding the ultimate vision and helping create a place where people can finally feel truly accepted, connected and at peace. In his free time he enjoys walking in nature, researching the intersection of architecture & psychology, and eating tacos. Lots of tacos.

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Help Us Build Permanent Facilities

During the summer of 2017, we held camping & volunteer weekends at a location provided free-of-charge to Acceptance.  Over 100 individuals, primarily families, participated in those weekends, and the results that came to the participants were often profound.

We heard kids say things like "When I'm out here, I don't feel like I have Autism".

This year, we're continuing to offer camping activities at our temporary location in Centralia, WA, while we work to raise money to purchase a 20 acre parcel literally next to our current location so we can start building our permanent facilities. 

One of the big things we think that is missing in the current conversation around people that don't fit into the world (such as those on the autistic spectrum) is how the physical environment and space can affect them. I'm sure you've heard how restaurants and other public places are designed to maximize certain objectives (McDonalds uses bright colors to encourage you not to linger, Jazz music in bars increases tips, etc).

We're using those same principles, but optimizing for healing, space & relaxation. For example, according to the book "Welcome To Your World: How The Built Environment Shapes Our Lives", "One recent study of the learning progress of 751 pupils in classrooms in thirty-four different British schools identified six design parameters - color, choice, complexity, flexibility, light and connectivity - that significantly affect learning, and demonstrated that on average, built environmental factors impact a students learning by an astonishing 25%. The difference in learning between a student in the best designed classroom and one in the worst designed classroom was equal to the progress that a typical student makes over an entire academic year." 

We need your help to raise the $250,000 necessary to purchase the land and start to build our permanent facilities. Having permanent facilities will allow us to start conducting programs for children, teenagers & young adults, as well as weekend and week long programs for families. It will also allow for longer term stays, which means that we can start to offer internship programs to young adults & others that are looking to find their place in the world, as well as those that need a bit more time to relax, recharge and reconnect.

We'll also be able to offer employment, housing & a built-in sense of community to the people we serve. They'll work in the various parts of the retreat center, learning valuable skills, making friends, and contributing to the growth, relaxation and healing of our weekly participants.

Land Campaign

$4,680 of $250,000 raised
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Acceptance: A Transformational Place is a Washington State 501(c)(3) pending non-profit. Please consult with a tax professional if you have any questions about deducting your donation.