In the Heart of Autism post below, Logan Slaughter, a young adult with Asperger Syndrome, explains why he developed a no-bullying platform that he wants to share with the world. Logan was featured earlier this week on HarrisonDaily.com, his hometown newspaper!
My name is Logan Slaughter I'm from a small town called Harrison, Arkansas - a serious place full of churches, football games and gossip. I'm very proud of my people and town. They really are the colors of my heart and soul. I have Asperger zyndrome which is a form of autism.
All my life I've felt different than others. I didn't find out that difference until I was in 7th grade when a modification paper was sent home. Being the nosy person I am, I read diagnosis Asperger syndrome. So I went home and asked my mom what Aspergers is. She told me and I was kinda sad because I wanted to be normal. It was like I was mad and sad in the same emotion. I just didn't understand! I started researching and studying Aspergers. I then learned more about myself and that I was normal, just in a different kind of way. I felt more comfortable telling my story and people started to understand me in a much clearer way. I've embraced it instead of hiding it. I've accomplished a lot though and I've suffered plenty and built strength within me.
I graduated last May from high school and since then I've reflected on my school days. One thing that stands out in my mind is bullying. It's a tragedy that happens almost every day in America and I'm spreading awareness and hoping for a change. I was fortunate enough to have never been bullied. I do know how it feels to feel empty and friendless. When you don't have anyone to interact with and you feel unloved. Because of my situations I discovered I had a heart for kids at school who were left out or not like everyone else. I became their friend, someone who had their backs. I had no time for cliques, because I truly loved everybody.
I have started a no-bullying platform that I want to share with the world. We all can be better but first we have to do better. I want kids and teens to confide in me and be open with their struggles and hard times in school and in life. So much of the time we keep everything in and it eats at us. Many teenagers have thought about suicide and it's so prevalent in today's society.
I thought about suicide too. It's such a dark and hopeless stage in your life and it was in mine. But, my faith in God and my family made me realize that I was loved and unique. But, not everyone is lucky to have that closure - sometimes it's too late. Nobody understands it unless they have walked through that battle. Everyone has a right to be their own person. I found that I do have a purpose and I'm following that dream.
I want this bullying project to be a real winner and a success it's either go big or go home with me! I found a friend in Dolly Parton. She's a big hero in my life. Her music, wisdom and wit have helped me to carry on. I've been lucky enough to meet Dolly and visit with her. Her song The Coat of Many Colors is perfect for bullying and diversity. My wish is for every child to feel important, to know they have a genuine friend in me - one who has been where they are at and believes in them. I think it helps because when you understand a child, you can make them feel safe and comfortable being themselves without explanation.
I think Autism Speaks is wonderful and hope to get involved in a big way soon! I have big ideas and dreams for them! I encourage others to share their stories with me on my personal blog on Facebook called no other than Logan Slaughter. Hit like first and then share. You can also find me on Instagram Twitter and YouTube. If you want your story to be private, email Timetoendbullyingfirstname.lastname@example.org to contact me.
Keep smiling and shinning you are important."
Love always, Logan
Learn more about bullying resources from Autism Speaks through our Combating Bullying web portal which includes a Special Needs Anti-Bullying Toolkit full of resources and information specifically tailored to parents, educators and students dealing with bullying.
For more Heart of Autism stories, click here! If you have other ideas for this series that highlights individuals with autism giving back to the autism community, we would love to hear from you! Email us at email@example.com.