Thursday, May 25, 2017

SAIL Transition Program - Graduation Speech 2017

I was in the SAIL transition program from 2010 - 2012, and was invited to speak at the graduation breakfast for students graduating May 24th, 2017.

I had a great time and enjoyed meeting new students and the staff!

[ Transcription Below]

The SAIL (Students Attaining Independent Living) transition program is a community-based, life-skills program for students ages 18-22. The goal of the program is to prepare students for the transition from public education to adult living at age 22. The program uses supported real-life experiences to facilitate the development of independent adult skills. As appropriate, students practice their independent skills in community settings. Program components include daily living skills, personal social and social language skills, vocational training, money management, consumer foods, communication skills, community and career exploration, recreation and leisure, and volunteerism.

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[ SPEECH TRANSCRIPT ]
(Written by Alyssa Huber)

"How do you define success? What does it mean to you?

Maybe it's becoming famous, inventing something, getting a job, or learning to drive.

Maybe it's making friends, or just getting out of bed in the morning to push through one more difficult day.

I think that success is an ongoing journey that looks different for everyone.

For me, my story is inseparable from my success.

I decided from a young age that I really wanted to make movies. I wrote a script--a pretty bad one, honestly--I was only 10 yrs old. I never did make it into a film, but that it did spark my interest in making movies.

After I started going to Middle School, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. The teachers noticed I was a bit... different. Like, when they called on me in class, I would reply with *meow* since I was obsessed with cats at the time.

School was so overwhelming for me that I had meltdowns when I got home, and a few times I even kicked holes in the walls. I was just so exhausted from trying to put up a brave front every day.

When I was a teenager: I was socially awkward and had trouble making and keeping friends. I was very anxious and depressed a lot, and I felt lost and alone.
I mention these dark times because success can't happen without 2 things:
1. Failure
2. Struggle
...and I had a lot of both.

In spite all of that, I did make some friends. I finally got to know enough people to have a small cast for a movie. So I teamed up with friends to produce an amateur film called "Cursed Waters," a comedy adventure about pirates. It's not my best work, but it was a lot of fun, and a good filmmaking experience.

When I got to the SAIL program, I made friends more easily. I learned how to be a good friend and an example of good student--though I did cause trouble sometimes!

My favorite day was cooking day, because we got to eat the food we made!

I loved the SAIL program and my friends, so much that I made a short video series about our shenanigans. (It's up on YouTube)

I started college at Judson University in 2012 and recently graduated with a B.A. in Media Creation & Production.

And I’m currently in the process of finding a suitable job in my field.

While I was still in college, I produced a documentary on Asperger's Syndrome and autism, titled "Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger's." I would say that my documentary is one of my greatest accomplishments, because it's helped a lot of people who have watched it. In fact, it's received almost 500,000 views since I've posted it on YouTube in 2015.

A lot of people equate success with happiness, but something I learned is that the traditional idea of success--like getting lots of views on YouTube--is not the key to happiness. My documentary did help my confidence, but there's more to it.

I wanted to share what I've learned in my journey so far.

My first step to success was taking care of myself (physically and mentally). If I'm not feeling well, it's really hard to do well. I've worked hard to establish healthy habits like getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, exercising, advocating for my special needs, and addressing underlying health problems so I can feel my best.

Another thing I learned is... do not underestimate your value. Like any other person, you deserve to live, and to be loved and supported. You deserve to be hired for jobs, and to make a living. To have friends, and to have fun.

It doesn't matter if you have a disability, a health condition, or other limitations; you are just as awesome as anyone else!

Also, always do your best. Not my best, not Anne's best, not someone else's best, YOUR best. Don't compare yourself to other people.

If your best means getting out of bed in the morning, or getting out the door on time, or being brave when you have to make a phone call, or go to the doctor, your Best is just as good as anyone else's Best.

Wherever you are in life, always look for the positives. I guarantee that if you look, you will always find something good ; even in the darkest places. Whenever you feel upset, or unmotivated, or if you get stuck in your journey to success, take a deep breath and look at the beautiful world around you.

Also, always believe you can be better. The best thing about being imperfect, is that you can always improve. Like, if I've been skipping my daily workout, I make myself do it next time. Or, If I've being hurtful with my words, I try to be better by thinking before I speak. Or if I feel alone and don't know what to do, I see my therapist who can help me get back on track.

The last important lesson I learned is... don't be afraid to lead your own life. You are an adult now, and your own person, and you can make your own decisions. It's good to ask for help; though you ultimately decide what advice to take. You are in control your life.

As you graduate from the SAIL program and head towards your future, Be proud of who you are and what you've done in your life. Reflect on your happy memories, accomplishments, and friends you've had. Take what you've learned and use it to reach your dreams."

Sunday, September 18, 2016

AliveDocFest - Asperger's Doc "Through Our Eyes" 50min Screening


The extended version of my film will be shown in an online film festival September 23-25th, 2016!
Enter the screening room when it's showing if you haven't already seen it!

> Enter the Screening Room

Note: This is the EXTENDED VERSION of my film, 50 minutes long.
The official date/time for my film will be posted by Wed 9/21.
If it's not posted by then, you can contact me at alyssahuberfilms@gmail.com.
(I'm also pretty sure this event is free. It doesn't specify on their website.)

> More Information

> Join the event on Facebook

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Autism Acceptance Month & Asperger's Documentary FREE Showing

Don't forget! The showing of my documentary "Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger's" (the extended version) at the Arcada Theater is coming up April 19th!


RSVP Here ➤ http://mvse.org/through-our-eyes-living-aspergers-syndrome 
Join the Facebook event ➤ https://www.facebook.com/events/1753851368179173/
Share my doc on YouTube for Autism Awareness/Acceptance ➤ https://youtu.be/2TSlti5bioQ

Hi, I'm Alyssa, and I have Aspergers Syndrome. I don't like putting myself in front of the camera so heres some footage of me I happen to have.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Though me and many other aspies would prefer to call it World Autism Acceptance Day, because there's plenty of awareness already. It's one thing to recognize someone with autism. It's another thing to accept who they are and help them feel like they belong.

To help spread acceptance of Asperger's and autism, I produced "Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger's," a documentary from the perspectives of people like me.

And I wanted to announce that there will be a FREE showing of the film coming up this month! This will be an extended version of the film, not the 32 minute version on YouTube.

The event will be April 19th at the Arcada in St. Charles IL. It is free to attend, but there will be limited seating, so each person needs to reserve their seat ahead of time. So please register soon via the link in the description if you are going!

Feel free to invite your friends, family, teachers, parents, employers, or anyone else who may benefit from seeing the film, including individuals on the autism spectrum. The theater will be autism friendly.

Also I will be at this event and I'll be available for a Q&A, so if any of you who have seen my film already want to meet me, I will be there. See ya!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My Recent Videos

I've been making more videos recently! Like I mentioned in my previous update, my channel had been undergoing some changes--I wanted to focus more on Asperger's Syndrome and autism. I also changed the title of my channel to "Alyssa Huber - The Life of an Aspie" to match my blog title, as well as the logo.

Here are some of my recent uploads:

The Mask of Normality - Hiding my True Self (An Asperger's Conundrum)
An Asperger's conundrum: being accepted only if I act "normal." I am not neurotypical, even if I can look like it. It's draining trying to be something I'm not. Sadly, a lot of the more harmless Asperger's traits are shunned due to being misunderstood, while the more harmful ones may be covered up without addressing the root problem.

Aspies in Love - Alyssa and Matt (A Neurodiverse Valentine's Day)
This video is my public declaration that says "Hey, this love pug is mine and I wanna show him off."... Even though I'm sorta shy about it. xD It's also to show that everyone is lovable. You just need the right kind of person.



My goal is to upload at least two videos per month. I wish I could do more, but I manage several channels and have a wide range of hobbies! :) If you want to see more content from me in general, feel free to check out my other channels and pages, as listed here:

                                                   YouTube Letsplays                      Twitch Streams








Thursday, January 21, 2016

IMPORTANT YOUTUBE UPDATE

My YouTube channel, AlyssaHuberFilms, will be undergoing some changes. Originally it was dedicated to my film projects, both big and small. But now I've decided to go in a different direction. Check out my latest update for more details!


I want to focus more on the topic of Asperger's Syndrome since my documentary has become fairly popular (my biggest accomplishment yet! Wooot!! :D ). I want to document my personal experiences of being on the spectrum, as well as others.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Update: #AutismBigGive Event



The Big Give for Autism is September 17th! The Autism Society is raising money to support services for children and young adults on the autism spectrum. I plan to make a donation since I want to help other aspies like myself, and I've posted a video to get the word out about the #AutismBigGive.

➤ Click here or below to watch my Big Give for Autism video.


➤ Support the Big Give for Autism

You can still get the extended version of my Asperger's Documentary ("Through Our Eyes") on DVD for a discount! Lasts until the end of September 2015. I'm also working on getting English subtitles on the YouTube version, and there's a slight chance of me adding Spanish subtitles if I can find someone to translate!

Also, please comment below if you would prefer to rent the extended version of "Through Our Eyes" digitally from YouTube, iTunes, or possibly Netflix. I'll work on it if there's enough demand. :)

In other news, I recently posted a new short film to show a glimpse into my inner world. ➤ Watch "Two Worlds" here.

In terms of free stock footage, I haven't been posting much lately because I'm trying to capture new footage that meets the requirements of the site I'm uploading too. I also need them to be reviewed and put on the site so I can provide a download link once they're done.

Thanks for watching! :)

~Alyssa

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Inside my Brain... ''Two Worlds'' Digital Effects Short



One of my favorite projects in my Digital Film Effects class was this one. The goal was to showcase some greenscreen and particle effects, along with faux environments with pieces of videos and images. I call mine "Two Worlds" to show the contrast between the real world and the one in my head. The effects aren't perfect, but I love that I got to metaphorically place myself in a representation of Vael.

Special thanks to my friend Mason for filming me on the greenscreen!

(Note: Some of these shots were used in my documentary "Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger's")

Software: Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro

Music: CDK - Silence Await

Click here to see more of my student films!