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Stuart Duncan (AutismFather)

Stuart Duncan (AutismFather) 

aka AutismFather - Upgrading Autism Awareness to Autism Understanding and Acceptance

Occupation: Founder/Owner of Autcraft

Followers: 2,690

Added to CircleCount.com: 07/21/2011That's the date, where Stuart Duncan (AutismFather) has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
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Stuart Duncan (AutismFather) has been at 1 events

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Robert Scoble7,720,968@104987932455782713675 and I are talking about how the filters work on Facebook and why they aren't as nice to photographers as Google+ is.  Which got me a ton of questions about my feed, and what I'm seeing/learning about how the filters work and how to "game" them to get things through to more people's feeds on Facebook. I'm linking to here from Facebook, so there. This one is for the Facebook fans (or haters)2014-08-07 01:11:30136  

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Most comments: 2

2016-10-02 02:36:39 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

I just realized that I haven't even loaded up Google+ in several months... like, at all. I have no idea why. I like Google+, love following so many people, and sharing and.... I just up and forgot it ever even existed!

I don't even know how that happened. Sorry! 

Most reshares: 2

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2016-04-28 13:44:34 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

Minecraft is helping children with autism make new friends: http://ow.ly/4nc9hO

Most plusones: 7

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2016-11-01 01:42:26 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

Happy Halloween from my powered up Dragon Ball Super kids, Vegeta and Goku!

Latest 50 posts

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2017-02-20 15:16:45 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

One of the children on the Autcraft server just said "I think I'm retarded"... when the rest of the server assured him that he is not, he replied "i feel it true because its been said so long."

THIS is the problem with bullying.

Bullying doesn't toughen you up. It doesn't make you stronger. Mistakes do that. Mistakes happen and then you move on and you learn from them.

Bullying isn't a mistake. Bullying lasts. It persists. It does not stop. And even if you do get away from the bullies, that feeling stays with you. It wears you down.
When you're different, as children with autism clearly are, you become a target for these bullies. Not just for a single bully but for multiple bullies. For many many people. Sometimes even their parents.

When you have to endure that for so long... you start to believe it. You start think... more »

One of the children on the Autcraft server just said "I think I'm retarded"... when the rest of the server assured him that he is not, he replied "i feel it true because its been said so long."

THIS is the problem with bullying.

Bullying doesn't toughen you up. It doesn't make you stronger. Mistakes do that. Mistakes happen and then you move on and you learn from them.

Bullying isn't a mistake. Bullying lasts. It persists. It does not stop. And even if you do get away from the bullies, that feeling stays with you. It wears you down.
When you're different, as children with autism clearly are, you become a target for these bullies. Not just for a single bully but for multiple bullies. For many many people. Sometimes even their parents.

When you have to endure that for so long... you start to believe it. You start think you don't deserve to be happy. You don't deserve to be proud of yourself. You don't deserve to live.

It takes a lot to bring a person back from that, especially a young child with autism. But that's why Autcraft is here. A community can do what one person can not. A community can support you more than a single person ever could.

I wish you could see all the others telling this child "I care" and reassuring him of what he's worth.

This is why I need Autcraft to continue and to do well. Not for my sake but for his sake and the sake of everyone that needs it.

It's no exaggeration... the Autcraft community is saving lives.

If you'd like to support the server, or read more on what we're doing, check out https://www.patreon.com/autismfather___

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2017-02-07 14:22:25 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

So my son says to me "Dad, I think I broke my lip bone" and I was all like...

So my son says to me "Dad, I think I broke my lip bone" and I was all like...___

2017-02-06 00:14:07 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

Tonight one of our newest admins on +Autcraft crashed the server and we all celebrated. Why? We believe that crashing the server is the last right of passage, the last step of initiation before truly being considered a full fledged admin.

It's not that we want it to happen, we are just very much aware that it's going to. We're all human and we all makes mistakes. The people who have the most power in a certain place have the potential to make the biggest mistakes in that place.

You can choose to feel bad about it, or guilty, or angry or even freak out about it but I choose to celebrate it.

We're all human. We all make mistakes. We restart the server and move on.

Enjoy your mistakes while you're alive to make them.

It's a right of passage.



Tonight one of our newest admins on +Autcraft crashed the server and we all celebrated. Why? We believe that crashing the server is the last right of passage, the last step of initiation before truly being considered a full fledged admin.

It's not that we want it to happen, we are just very much aware that it's going to. We're all human and we all makes mistakes. The people who have the most power in a certain place have the potential to make the biggest mistakes in that place.

You can choose to feel bad about it, or guilty, or angry or even freak out about it but I choose to celebrate it.

We're all human. We all make mistakes. We restart the server and move on.

Enjoy your mistakes while you're alive to make them.

It's a right of passage.

___

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2017-01-28 18:06:43 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

"Trust me, I'm a Doctor."

"Trust me, I'm a Doctor."___

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2017-01-26 01:53:09 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

___

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2017-01-15 04:32:56 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

Wow... after 146 years, Ringling Bros. Circus to end in May.

Wow... after 146 years, Ringling Bros. Circus to end in May.___

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2017-01-13 16:07:23 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

"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... more »

"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.___

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2017-01-05 16:05:26 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 0 +1s; )Open 

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.

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.___

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2016-12-29 23:21:04 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

Did 2016 also kill #autism blogs? Why? And what's next?

Did 2016 also kill #autism blogs? Why? And what's next?___

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2016-12-19 04:37:50 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

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.

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.___

2016-12-06 23:30:00 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

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... more »

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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2016-12-06 15:45:46 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

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... more »

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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2016-11-29 12:40:13 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

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... more »

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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2016-11-27 15:32:23 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

It's pretty cold out lately for my walks but the snow does make for some very nice photos.

It's pretty cold out lately for my walks but the snow does make for some very nice photos.___

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2016-11-22 15:23:07 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

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... more »

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?___

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2016-11-21 18:31:45 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

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 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.___

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2016-11-20 04:11:37 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 0 +1s; )Open 

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... more »

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.___

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2016-11-15 16:08:31 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 0 +1s; )Open 

Will the Java and C++ versions continue in parallel, or will C++ eventually win out?

From that perspective, it looks like down the line that C++ will eventually be the main engine and also the main game version. At the same time, we have such a huge following on the Java edition.

Will the Java and C++ versions continue in parallel, or will C++ eventually win out?

From that perspective, it looks like down the line that C++ will eventually be the main engine and also the main game version. At the same time, we have such a huge following on the Java edition.___

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2016-11-14 15:57:41 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

The Minecraft 1.11 Exploration Update is out today

Yes, the Minecraft 1.11 Exploration Update is out today and no, Autcraft has not updated to it yet.

Also, no, we don't know when the server will update. We will as soon as we can but first we must make sure that the server itself and all of it's plugins will work, which may take a little time.

Because of this update, you may find that you're no longer able to connect to the server. That's because your launcher has updated to 1.11 and the server is still 1.10.2.

To fix this, when you load up Minecraft, before clicking on the big grey "Play" button, first go to the left where it says "Profile" and click on the button that says "Edit Profile".

A small box will appear and there, you will find an option that says "Use version:" with a box beside... more »

The Minecraft 1.11 Exploration Update is out today

Yes, the Minecraft 1.11 Exploration Update is out today and no, Autcraft has not updated to it yet.

Also, no, we don't know when the server will update. We will as soon as we can but first we must make sure that the server itself and all of it's plugins will work, which may take a little time.

Because of this update, you may find that you're no longer able to connect to the server. That's because your launcher has updated to 1.11 and the server is still 1.10.2.

To fix this, when you load up Minecraft, before clicking on the big grey "Play" button, first go to the left where it says "Profile" and click on the button that says "Edit Profile".

A small box will appear and there, you will find an option that says "Use version:" with a box beside it. Click on the box and a long list of Minecraft versions will appear.

Select "release 1.10.2" and then click on the "Save Profile" button.
Now when you click the big grey "Play" button, it will load Minecraft in the same version as our server and you can join in again.

You can still try 1.11 in single player, just follow the steps all over again and select 1.11 in the list of versions instead before loading your game.___

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2016-11-06 00:41:18 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

Took my kids to see Doctor Strange. Absolutely loved it!

Took my kids to see Doctor Strange. Absolutely loved it!___

2016-11-02 18:08:46 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

This morning I processed a few dozen whitelist applications for the +Autcraft server... among them were 2 trolls. I had a bad feeling about them just from looking at their applications but couldn't find anything particularly bad about them in Google or anything, so I approved them.

A little while later, I saw them both sign on and message each other immediately. I let the other admins know to keep an eye on them and kept an eye on them myself as well.

Player after player welcomed them to the server and showered them with welcoming gifts. To my dismay, one of them messaged the other "Wow, I'm having second thoughts now!"

They actually ended up playing nicely for some time and started building a base and everything. Unfortunately, trolls being trolls, Autcraft wasn't for them. They didn't have autism and they had a nasty streak that would have caused... more »

This morning I processed a few dozen whitelist applications for the +Autcraft server... among them were 2 trolls. I had a bad feeling about them just from looking at their applications but couldn't find anything particularly bad about them in Google or anything, so I approved them.

A little while later, I saw them both sign on and message each other immediately. I let the other admins know to keep an eye on them and kept an eye on them myself as well.

Player after player welcomed them to the server and showered them with welcoming gifts. To my dismay, one of them messaged the other "Wow, I'm having second thoughts now!"

They actually ended up playing nicely for some time and started building a base and everything. Unfortunately, trolls being trolls, Autcraft wasn't for them. They didn't have autism and they had a nasty streak that would have caused trouble eventually.

They're gone now, not coming back but the best part is that none of the players even know what could have happened, or that they were ever even there.

But to think... their intention was to find a way onto the server solely to troll the people on it and the warmth and kindness of everyone the moment they signed on made them reconsider.

Imagine a world where that happened all the time.___

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2016-11-01 18:12:58 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

Defying expectations, people with autism are participating and excelling in sports

Defying expectations, people with autism are participating and excelling in sports___

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2016-11-01 01:42:26 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

Happy Halloween from my powered up Dragon Ball Super kids, Vegeta and Goku!

Happy Halloween from my powered up Dragon Ball Super kids, Vegeta and Goku!___

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2016-10-31 01:45:38 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

Happy Halloween from everyone on the +Autcraft server!

Happy Halloween from everyone on the +Autcraft server!___

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2016-10-30 14:32:08 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 0 +1s; )Open 

I would like to offer a big congratulations to Kate Ringland and her co-authors for winning the ASSETS 2016 Best Paper Award for her work here on the +Autcraft server.

It's a pretty big deal because this was at a conference specifically focused on using technology to better assist those with special needs, in this case, autism. There were a lot of great submissions about a lot of other great systems and services.

If you'd like to read her paper to discover for yourself just what it is that makes Autcraft a truly unique and productive community, follow the link below and click on the "PDF" link on the page.

"The ASSETS series of conferences explores the potential of Computer and Information Technologies to support and include individuals with disabilities, and those around them."

I would like to offer a big congratulations to Kate Ringland and her co-authors for winning the ASSETS 2016 Best Paper Award for her work here on the +Autcraft server.

It's a pretty big deal because this was at a conference specifically focused on using technology to better assist those with special needs, in this case, autism. There were a lot of great submissions about a lot of other great systems and services.

If you'd like to read her paper to discover for yourself just what it is that makes Autcraft a truly unique and productive community, follow the link below and click on the "PDF" link on the page.

"The ASSETS series of conferences explores the potential of Computer and Information Technologies to support and include individuals with disabilities, and those around them."___

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2016-10-28 15:51:57 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

Please Monitor Your Child's YouTube Viewing Habits!

We all know that YouTube can be a scary place, from the hateful comments to the bizarre twists and turns that the "recommended videos" section can take you on.

What you may not know is that there are a handful of YouTube channels that we see brought up in chat repeatedly, over and over again. And these channels are directly responsible for the increase in rudeness, anger, vulgarity and disrespect that we see in the players who watch them.

These channels thrive on shocking their viewers, using what ever they can to stir up drama. They hate on other people, they attack other channels, they troll people in their videos and the just outright bully everyone they can, all to shock people, increase drama and to make people laugh at the misfortune of others.

These channels go so far as to troll and... more »

Please Monitor Your Child's YouTube Viewing Habits!

We all know that YouTube can be a scary place, from the hateful comments to the bizarre twists and turns that the "recommended videos" section can take you on.

What you may not know is that there are a handful of YouTube channels that we see brought up in chat repeatedly, over and over again. And these channels are directly responsible for the increase in rudeness, anger, vulgarity and disrespect that we see in the players who watch them.

These channels thrive on shocking their viewers, using what ever they can to stir up drama. They hate on other people, they attack other channels, they troll people in their videos and the just outright bully everyone they can, all to shock people, increase drama and to make people laugh at the misfortune of others.

These channels go so far as to troll and hate autistic people for being autistic and yet over and over again, we see autistic children on the server watching those very same channels. They come back to the server outraged and start upsetting everyone else with what they've just seen.

We've seen so many young players spiral into deep, hateful depressions and it can be traced back directly to YouTube channels like these.

They start to pick up and learn from the people in these videos, even if they hate them. They start to think that being vulgar and obscene makes them sound mature and funny, they think that being rude and harsh makes them "real." They think that being really mean to people makes them strong.

The more they do this, the more the other players become uncomfortable, even upset with them. They take the animosity that grows against them as if it's fuel for their fire, they start to think that the other players are too immature for them, like no one understands them. They just become more angry, more rude. They start insulting the other players using the same insults that they hear in those terrible YouTube channels because they think it works... they think it makes them better than everyone else.

So please, please take an interest and see what they're up to. These channels are really huge, as shock material often is, so it's really easy for your children to stumble upon them. And once they do, they become hooked.
In YouTube, you can check their viewing history. There are even ways to set up secondary accounts to tie into your own account, giving you alerts and access to their viewing habits directly.

Do the work. Put in the time. Otherwise your child could be the next one to become more and more angry until eventually we're removing them from the whitelist for the protection of everyone else.

And I really hate having to do that.

- AF___

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2016-10-25 19:07:44 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

Minecraft Add-Ons have arrived for the Windows 10 and Pocket Editions of the blocky building sim, letting players tweak parameters until their heart is content. Want a 50ft tall creeper with red skin? Go for it. Want massive, exploding pigs or chicken-riding witches? Fire away. It's like modding, only built into the game and accessible to all. 

Minecraft Add-Ons have arrived for the Windows 10 and Pocket Editions of the blocky building sim, letting players tweak parameters until their heart is content. Want a 50ft tall creeper with red skin? Go for it. Want massive, exploding pigs or chicken-riding witches? Fire away. It's like modding, only built into the game and accessible to all. ___

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2016-10-25 01:03:16 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 0 +1s; )Open 

Clearly, yes, of course autistic people can be extroverts.
But do most people know that?

Clearly, yes, of course autistic people can be extroverts.
But do most people know that?___

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2016-10-24 15:44:38 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

When a 6 year old sounds much wiser than many adults...

When a 6 year old sounds much wiser than many adults...___

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2016-10-24 02:56:00 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 0 +1s; )Open 

This is a little long, but important.

Autcraft is now 3.5 years old and it's been the roughest years of my life. Not for the reasons you might think. Until now, I've kept this private but now that the final decision has been made, I'd like to share with you what I've been going through.

In June 2012, I was diagnosed with Aspergers. Then in July, Natalie (my wife at the time, now ex) stopped coming home at all except to sleep, leaving me with the kids 24/7 and no car. In her words, I quote: "I never signed up to be married to someone with autism."

In October 2012, I told her that I had no more money to buy groceries to make school lunches for the kids to which she replied that her money is her money and not for groceries. After I promised to repay it, she finally helped purchase groceries. Then in November 2012, she left me. Two weeks later she was... more »

This is a little long, but important.

Autcraft is now 3.5 years old and it's been the roughest years of my life. Not for the reasons you might think. Until now, I've kept this private but now that the final decision has been made, I'd like to share with you what I've been going through.

In June 2012, I was diagnosed with Aspergers. Then in July, Natalie (my wife at the time, now ex) stopped coming home at all except to sleep, leaving me with the kids 24/7 and no car. In her words, I quote: "I never signed up to be married to someone with autism."

In October 2012, I told her that I had no more money to buy groceries to make school lunches for the kids to which she replied that her money is her money and not for groceries. After I promised to repay it, she finally helped purchase groceries. Then in November 2012, she left me. Two weeks later she was seeing another guy. Then she bought a brand new car, purchased a house and paid off $16,000 in credit cards. Meanwhile for me, in 2013 I started Autcraft, lost my job and struggled. Then in November 2013, I was served court papers. Natalie wanted full custody of the children and $750/m in child support payments. Her reasoning being that I wasn't paying my share through the year, which was true... because I had no money.

She applied for legal aide, claiming both children as dependents. So when I attempted to do the same, I was told that I can't claim them as they've already been claimed and since I had an income, I wasn't approved. This was all despite the fact that I lived in the family residence where the children had grown up, technically making their primary residence as my house, making them my dependents. So in addition to having very little money, I was now having to pay super high legal fees. I had to borrow money for the retainer.

Over the next year and a half, I signed up for and racked up two credit cards and took out several small loans to pay for legal fees. I was awarded split custody of the children, 50/50 each but Natalie continued to press for child support. In January 2015, I was advised by my lawyer to sign a temporary court order to pay $163/m until I could get my taxes done and financial information in. Natalie suggested that amount as it would be what I'd get for child benefits from the government. But what I wasn't told is that the moment you sign a court order in Canada, to pay child support, you lose all child benefits. They were gone. So I got hit for $163/m twice... I lost that coming in and now had to pay it out too. I couldn't do it. Half a year later, I lost my driver's license because I couldn't pay the child support. So for the last 12 months now, I've had no car and no child benefits.

Particularly rough was 2015 where I struggled at my work, completely unable to juggle the demands of two children, an extremely busy server and a full time job on top of that. So I made the decision to quit my job and make a strong push to raise the amount of donations Autcraft was receiving so that I could streamline my focus between my children and Autcraft. It may seem foolish to some but the alternative was closing Autcraft to focus on work, or jeopardizing both. It worked but I did take an income hit. Combine that with the absurd amount of debt that I had accumulated over two years in legal fees, I had to claim bankruptcy in November 2015.

Back to the child support case, I was now without a lawyer and had to represent myself because without any credit, I could no longer afford to pay for one.

I was forced to provide the court with all of my tax returns from 2012 to 2015 and also had to print out all of my bank statements to prove what my income was because they didn't believe my income taxes. Natalie needed to provide nothing. For the record, I submitted affidavits requesting that information. Which makes her legally obligated to provide it. No one cared. The final case conference file listed our 2015 incomes at $32,000/y for her and $16,000/y for me. I provided my income tax statement as proof, she did not.

The court awarded her $183/m in child support payments.
Let me repeat that... we each have the children 50% of the time, she makes twice as much money as I do and she was awarded child support from me. She makes $32k/y, I make $16k/y and the court forced me to pay her $183/m. That's $2,196 per year. From my $16k, that's 1/8th my income. Natalie makes more than $2,169 each month.

I have to be honest with you, throughout the entire process, I felt like a criminal. I felt like I was less than human. The judge behaved as though Natalie wasn't even there. There was no interest in her income, her life, her situation... there was only me and my duty to pay. The judge explained that I had the potential to make more money and therefore must pay. But if I did make more, then I'd have to pay more. That's a lose/lose situation. There's no alternatives there. There's no other options. I pay and that's it, period. And to argue that, to refuse, to question it... is to be seen as a deadbeat, an unfit father and a criminal.

My income is public record. You can see it here: https://www.patreon.com/autismfather

While that may seem like a lot to some, I remind you that I am a parent of 2 children, one of which has autism. I myself have autism. And I run Autcraft full time. I dedicate my time to both my children and to thousands of other children around the world, having some of the toughest conversations with children that I could have ever imagined at all hours of the day. I dedicate myself to helping children with autism feel safe, feel happy and to feel self-confident.

I hate to admit it, but I've struggled all the way through this, for four years now, I've struggled. Borrowing money, abusing credit until bankrupt, barely keeping my head above water... but my kids have new clothes, I bought their Halloween costumes, I bought their school backpacks, the shoes on their feet and I keep them well fed. But now... now I just don't know. I just don't know if I can take a hit like this. I don't know how to overcome this challenge.

This is what the "justice system" does to fathers. Not to sound sexist... but this is sexism. Yes, 99% of the time it's against women, but in family court... dads are guilty. Not until proven innocent... just guilty, period. You can be certain that if Natalie made double the income that I do, the judge would not have told her to pay me because she has the potential to make more.

This weekend my children told me that I don't have to get them anything for Christmas... that "It's OK"... and that is not OK.

None of this is OK.

In a system that is supposed to be there to protect the children, my children end up suffering the most.

I've been told to shut down Autcraft and "get a real job" to make more to pay for child support. The judge told me that.
I've also been told to start charging for access to Autcraft. But that won't work.

I've been told to make Autcraft a non-profit, but not only does that cost thousands but it doesn't do what you think it does. To give out tax receipts, you need to be a registered charity and that costs thousands more on top of becoming a non-profit.

I don't want to have to close Autcraft. But I just don't know what to do now.

Nothing much makes you feel more alone than being hurt like this by the person you thought loved you and the entire system that you thought was supposed to be fair, impartial and protect you.

I guess the old saying is true, and appropriately sexist... nice guys do finish last.___

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2016-10-09 23:48:17 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

The best part about Thanksgiving dinner.

The best part about Thanksgiving dinner.___

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2016-10-02 05:54:19 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

A 100 year old game that can still be relevant? I suppose Minecraft would be the game to do it.

A 100 year old game that can still be relevant? I suppose Minecraft would be the game to do it.___

2016-10-02 02:36:39 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

I just realized that I haven't even loaded up Google+ in several months... like, at all. I have no idea why. I like Google+, love following so many people, and sharing and.... I just up and forgot it ever even existed!

I don't even know how that happened. Sorry! 

I just realized that I haven't even loaded up Google+ in several months... like, at all. I have no idea why. I like Google+, love following so many people, and sharing and.... I just up and forgot it ever even existed!

I don't even know how that happened. Sorry! ___

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2016-05-13 17:50:06 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

Happy Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th___

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2016-05-07 01:22:17 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

Me to my son: "Go to sleep."
My son: "I can't. I have too much... eyebrows."

I was like...


Me to my son: "Go to sleep."
My son: "I can't. I have too much... eyebrows."

I was like...
___

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2016-04-30 02:15:00 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

Feel Good Fridays from Inside Gaming talking about Autcraft!

Feel Good Fridays from Inside Gaming talking about Autcraft!___

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2016-04-28 13:44:34 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

I am very honoured to be included in the latest issue of New Scientist magazine. It's really wonderful of them to tell +Autcraft's story.

Minecraft is helping children with autism make new friends: http://ow.ly/4nc9hO___I am very honoured to be included in the latest issue of New Scientist magazine. It's really wonderful of them to tell +Autcraft's story.

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2016-04-23 13:15:40 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

___

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2016-04-11 13:13:39 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 0 +1s; )Open 

On Wednesday night it looked like Autcraft was hacked and all the data destroyed. The kids were quite upset, naturally.

It turns out that they had only hijacked the IP address somehow to direct everyone to one of their servers and made it look like they had hacked us.

They demanded that we pay $1000 or they'd keep doing it. They told kids that autistics didn't deserve to live, that they should kill themselves. They told me that I'd never figure out what they did and could never stop them. 45 minutes later, we stopped them.

Being sore losers, they've been DDOS attacking the server ever since. Today I went to a charity marathon server to offer my support... those trolls followed me and DDOS attacked the charity server too. No one was able to play there frown emoticon

The guys as EZP.net have been beyond amazing at getting Autcraft secured, moved and... more »

On Wednesday night it looked like Autcraft was hacked and all the data destroyed. The kids were quite upset, naturally.

It turns out that they had only hijacked the IP address somehow to direct everyone to one of their servers and made it look like they had hacked us.

They demanded that we pay $1000 or they'd keep doing it. They told kids that autistics didn't deserve to live, that they should kill themselves. They told me that I'd never figure out what they did and could never stop them. 45 minutes later, we stopped them.

Being sore losers, they've been DDOS attacking the server ever since. Today I went to a charity marathon server to offer my support... those trolls followed me and DDOS attacked the charity server too. No one was able to play there frown emoticon

The guys as EZP.net have been beyond amazing at getting Autcraft secured, moved and then even more secured in record time.

Still though, in a world where politicians are passing laws to prevent gay people from having any sense of being equal to anyone else, here we can see total monsters out there who see autistics as a blemish on humanity that needs to be removed.

This is why Autcraft exists. This is why I work so hard at this.
Unfortunately this hurts more than just what's been done because moving forward it means that I'm going to have to pay more for anti-ddos services, more extensive setups and more. This is going to cost me more than just the time I've had to put into it.

All that said, I am exhausted. Tired, stressed and exhausted.

PS: http://donate.autcraft.com___

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2016-03-27 03:43:16 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

This April 2nd, I will be hosting a 24 hour live stream to make a plea challenge to the Minecraft community to stand up to bullies.

My server was created as a result of how much autistic children are bullied on the servers that they try to play on... I can't just stand by and let it happen.

Gameband has sponsored this year's live stream and will be allowing me to give away 2 of their devices during the stream.

Please spread the word, please join along. I'd love to see you there!

This April 2nd, I will be hosting a 24 hour live stream to make a plea challenge to the Minecraft community to stand up to bullies.

My server was created as a result of how much autistic children are bullied on the servers that they try to play on... I can't just stand by and let it happen.

Gameband has sponsored this year's live stream and will be allowing me to give away 2 of their devices during the stream.

Please spread the word, please join along. I'd love to see you there!___

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2016-03-08 00:31:03 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

You all know that April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day but did you know that since I started Autcraft, I've been reaching out to the Minecraft community each year to get them to help me stop the bullying of autistic children?

See, I started my server to give them a safe place to play but that's not good enough. Children, with or without autism, should be allowed to play their favourite games anywhere that any other child can.
This year, I'll be hosting a 24 hour live stream from midnight to midnight, April 2nd.

While others attempt to raise awareness in general, I choose to focus on autism, bullying and the Minecraft community.

Please join me and pledge your support by visiting
http://www.autcraft.com/live


You all know that April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day but did you know that since I started Autcraft, I've been reaching out to the Minecraft community each year to get them to help me stop the bullying of autistic children?

See, I started my server to give them a safe place to play but that's not good enough. Children, with or without autism, should be allowed to play their favourite games anywhere that any other child can.
This year, I'll be hosting a 24 hour live stream from midnight to midnight, April 2nd.

While others attempt to raise awareness in general, I choose to focus on autism, bullying and the Minecraft community.

Please join me and pledge your support by visiting
http://www.autcraft.com/live
___

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2016-03-05 16:04:11 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

This year, April 2nd, will be the 3rd annual "Plea to the Minecraft Community" where I ask them to be more aware of autistics in the community and to help put a stop to the bullying that lead to the creation of my server, Autcraft.

I'm immensely proud of Autcraft and all that we've done but the truth is, I wish it was never needed in the first place.

So each since starting it, I've reached out for help from Minecrafters to help put a stop to the bullying that happens on servers and let kids play the game they love anywhere they want to.

This April 2nd, I'll be doing a 24 hour live stream and maybe even have some special guests.

This year, April 2nd, will be the 3rd annual "Plea to the Minecraft Community" where I ask them to be more aware of autistics in the community and to help put a stop to the bullying that lead to the creation of my server, Autcraft.

I'm immensely proud of Autcraft and all that we've done but the truth is, I wish it was never needed in the first place.

So each since starting it, I've reached out for help from Minecrafters to help put a stop to the bullying that happens on servers and let kids play the game they love anywhere they want to.

This April 2nd, I'll be doing a 24 hour live stream and maybe even have some special guests.___

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2016-03-02 04:56:19 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

I don't like to get into politics, especially when not even in my own country but this felt like something I had to say. It's an important message.

I don't like to get into politics, especially when not even in my own country but this felt like something I had to say. It's an important message.___

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2016-02-13 00:39:41 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

It was a nice day for a walk.

It was a nice day for a walk.___

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2016-02-12 16:57:39 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

___

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2016-02-12 04:22:31 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

___

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2016-02-10 18:06:26 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

I was recently interviewed in the Your Autism Magazine out of the UK talking about my server Autcraft and how it benefits people with autism.

Read all about Autcraft and the benefits that it provides children with autism in this month's Your Autism Magazine.___I was recently interviewed in the Your Autism Magazine out of the UK talking about my server Autcraft and how it benefits people with autism.

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2016-02-10 13:07:18 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 0 +1s; )Open 

Flying Nimbus!!

Flying Nimbus!!___

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2016-02-05 17:36:36 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

Autcraft is featured in this month's Your Autism Magazine published by the National Autistic Society out of the UK!

#autism #minecraft

Autcraft is featured in this month's Your Autism Magazine published by the National Autistic Society out of the UK!

#autism #minecraft___

2016-01-22 00:03:22 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

We have one young player on the Autcraft server that insists that I say "hi" and "bye" to him each and every time he comes and goes. It's pretty awesome actually. It's always great to see him and I'm glad he takes the time to let me say "bye" before he signs off.

He is a player that's never spammed or caused any trouble in chat, however recently he's been starting to spam a bit. Nothing excessive but at least once or twice each day, he'd repeat a bunch of characters across the screen, such as ">"s or "-"s.

It seemed rather odd and we basically all agreed that we'd have to start muting him in chat if it becomes a problem (starts to annoy other players).
I had the opportunity to talk to his mother recently and discovered that this player is blind in one eye and appears to be losing vision in his other... more »

We have one young player on the Autcraft server that insists that I say "hi" and "bye" to him each and every time he comes and goes. It's pretty awesome actually. It's always great to see him and I'm glad he takes the time to let me say "bye" before he signs off.

He is a player that's never spammed or caused any trouble in chat, however recently he's been starting to spam a bit. Nothing excessive but at least once or twice each day, he'd repeat a bunch of characters across the screen, such as ">"s or "-"s.

It seemed rather odd and we basically all agreed that we'd have to start muting him in chat if it becomes a problem (starts to annoy other players).
I had the opportunity to talk to his mother recently and discovered that this player is blind in one eye and appears to be losing vision in his other eye which means... he may be blind soon.

This explained a lot and helped me to understand why those repeating characters were happening more and more... he was dividing up the chat and making it easier to see.

A quick message to the other admins and helpers on the server and now we're all aware of this and going to support him with his needs even if it means explaining to the other players that in his case, it's OK to do what he's doing.

This is just one of the many ways that Autcraft is different from all other servers.
- AF

PS. Also... if you think you have problems, just imagine being an autistic child that's going blind. It's terrible. frown emoticon

Support Autcraft: https://www.patreon.com/autismfather?ty=h___

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