Tag Archives: autism

My Autism and Poetry speech in Marlboro and The Dirty Dottys win the New England Music Awards show

24 Oct

Me at the Autism and Poetry Summit in Marlboro

Last Saturday, I gave a speech to discuss how autism and poetry allow me to become my own best advocate for the autism community. It was held at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center in Marlboro. I was encouraged to participate in this event by my job coach, Orlando Torres, after seeing an email in my inbox detailing a conference for self-advocates with intellectual or developmental disabilities to participate in and choose the topic of their expertise. Since I have written at least 10 poems in my life, I figured that it would be good for me to join this event since I use my poetry to reach out to others in the autism community and among my neurotypical family and peers as well.

At around 11:30 AM, I gave my speech about autism and poetry entitled “Do It the Write Way!” In the presentation, I mentioned how I use my poems and songs to become a strong advocate for people with autism and how the creative process for my poetry works. I talked about my poetry helps to express my true inner emotions and that I would like my songs to help change people’s perspectives of people with autism. Songwriters like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen have influenced my way of using expressive language to describe my personal feelings about the subjects in which I discuss in the poems. I also mentioned how I like to discuss the rough drafts of my poems with my family and friends to see if I’m going in the right direction with the rhythmic patterns of the poems. In between slides of the presentation, I did a question and answer question to get their reactions of wanting to know how my poetry works. I concluded the session by reciting two poems of mine called “Just a Normal Day” and “Acceptance of Autism” and then asked the audience to try to come up with poems of their own to get a feel of the creative process.

Later on that Saturday, I headed over to Boston to join my brother Brian and his girlfriend Amanda to attend The Dirty Dottys show at the Hard Rock Cafe for the Finals of the New England Music Awards show. The band is fronted by Julie DiOrio, a talented vocalist and guitarist of whom I attended high school with, along with Ellie Foster and Maura McGillicuddy on backing vocals, Austin Arroco on trombone, Jonathan Kessler on the drums, and Danny Teza on the bass. I have previously seen the Dottys at least 5 times, including at Temple Shalom Emeth in Burlington, The Aeronaut Brewery in Somerville for their album release party around Christmas last year, and a few other locations in the Greater Boston area. They had previously won the Semifinals at Hard Rock on September 18th during a battle of the New England bands competition. After winning the Semifinals, I felt obligated to attend the Finals round to continue to show my support the band.

At around 9:30 PM, Brian, Amanda, and I arrived at the Hard Rock Cafe to get ready for the Dottys’ set to commence in the New England Music Awards Finals. We met up with Amanda’s friends Katie Phillips and Allie Miller in the main stage room. After listening to a few of the other runner up bands in the Finals, it was time for the Dottys to take the stage. We were very excited to see them perform and danced and sang along to their catchy soul, rock, and ska infused tunes. The band performed songs such as “Shaky House,” “Not to Call,” and a few other memorable songs. At around midnight, it was announced that the Dottys had won the Last Band Standing prize for bands in Massachusetts. I congratulated them on a job well done and made sure to spread the message to family and friends.

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My poems about autism

15 Jan

Over the past year, I have written about my life as a man on the autism spectrum through poetry. They express how life can be frustrating for a person on the spectrum and how I hope to have a brighter future ahead of me.  I have also written a poem recently about my summer home of Marshfield, where I have been for the past 24 years. My poems have been praised by bloggers, such as Claire LaZebnik, Susan Senator, Jessica Wilson of A Diary of a Mom, John Elder Robison, and Laura Shumaker. I have also been lucky enough to get acclaim on the poems from people such as folk singer Tom Rush, Hollywood cinemaphotographer legend Haskell Wexler, banjoist Eric Weissberg, Pema Chodron, Timothy Shriver, Playboy journalist David Sheff, countercultural satirist Paul Krassner, Youngbloods singer Jesse Colin Young, and record producer Van Dyke Parks. I also get an email letter from President Obama commending on my autism activism. The poems and the list of blogs featuring the poems are listed below. I hope everyone enjoys the poems!

Just a Normal Day

Never knowing what to say

Never knowing what to do

Always looking for clues

Just a normal day

Feeling unsure

Totally perplexed with everyday life

Always on edge never certain

I wish I could lift this curtain

Needing to constantly satisfy my need for information

Always online searching for new revelations

Going from site to site

Obtaining new insights every night

Trying to connect with people my age

Attempting to reveal my unique vision

But ending up alone and unengaged

Feeling like my life needs a total revision

Just a normal day

Can’t You See

Can’t you see

I just want to have a friend

Can’t you see

I need the same connections in the end

Can’t you see

I want a good job

Can’t you see

I need to have stability and be part of the general mob

Can’t you see

I want to be independent on my own

Can’t you see

I want to be able to have my own home

Can’t you see

I want the same things as everyone else

Can’t you see

I want to be appreciated for myself

The Ode to the Autistic Man

Try to understand the challenges that I face

I would like to be accepted as a human in all places

Where I will end up in life I don’t know

But I hope to be successful wherever I go

I would like to expand my social skills in life

Making new friends would be very nice

Stand proud for the autistic man

For he will find a new fan

I hope to overcome the odds I face today

Increased acceptance will lead me to a brighter day

By the age of 20, I will have made tremendous strides

I know in the future, life will continue to be an interesting ride

I have made new friends by the year

I will be given tremendous respect by my family and peers

I hope to get noted for bringing the issue of autism to the common man

So that autistic people can be accepted in this great land

Stand proud for the autistic man

For he will find a new fan

I hope to overcome the odds I face today
Increased acceptance will lead me to a brighter day

Marshfield Memories poem

Today is a beautiful day on the beach
There are plenty of people and dogs to see
The water is warm and the sky is bright
And seeing some people flying a kite

I am having a fun time with cousins and friends
Hoping that this day will never end
The ocean and sands are comfortable and feel so right
Taking a walk towards Brant Rock in the strong sunlight

Now it is the evening of the third of July
Watching the amazing fireworks from the seawall go by
Talking with family about the latest moments of the day
And meeting some new friends along the way

It was a great time on the beach today
Reading a book and going into the ocean on a bright clear day
These are moments that I will remember for a long time
Being on the beach on a nice warm day is truly sublime

The blogs with the poems- Laura Shumaker’s blog- http://www.laurashumaker.com/scott-lentine-poet-autism-activist-friend/ with subsequent lists of blogs at the end of the post

No Guile- http://noguilelifeandotherstoriesfromautism.blogspot.com/2013/01/poems-by-scott-lentine.html

Janet Amorello’s blog Blending with Autism- http://janetamorello.blogspot.com/2012/12/oh-people-weve-met.html

 Asperger’s Association of New England: http://www.aane.org/blog/2012/10/17/poetry/

A Diary of a Mom http://adiaryofamom.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/scott-lentine/#comments
Asperger’s Association of New England: http://www.aane.org/blog/2012/10/17/poetry/

Claire LaZebnik’s (she is married to Rob LaZebnik, who was written some episodes for the Simpsons and is based in Los Angeles) blog  http://clairelazebnik.com/2012/10/03/a-guest-post/

John Elder Robison’s Look Me in the Eye Blog
http://jerobison.blogspot.com/2012/09/some-poetry-from-scott-lentine.html

Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid blog http://www.shutupabout.com/blog/?p=1701

Love that Max blog http://www.lovethatmax.com/2012/08/wishes-from-man-with-autism.html

Introduction to my autism blog

6 Jan

Hi everyone,

I am Scott Lentine, a 25 year old man with high-functioning autism (PDD-NOS/Asperger’s) from Billerica, MA, outside of Boston and summer resident of Marshfield, MA. I graduated from Merrimack College in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies with a Minor in Biology. I also have written poems in the past year about autism and Marshfield. I love meeting new people, dogs, the beach, hanging out with friends in Boston and elsewhere. Image