Support Trans & Nonbinary Youth in Stanwood & Camano Island!

Image: Logos of PFLAG Stanwood-Camano, Flora & Fauna, Bean & Brew on 532, Stanwood Cupcakes, Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network and Center of image is a heart with the Progress Pride colors.

The Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library ( is currently compiling materials to create 20 care packages for local trans and nonbinary youth. Thanks to generous donations from several organizations, including PFLAG Stanwood-Camano and Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network, along with private donations and gift card donations from supportive local businesses (Bean & Brew on 532, Stanwood Cupcakes and Flora & Fauna), we are close to our goal of making these care packages a reality!

The packages will contain:

Trans Self Care Workbook by Theo Nicole Lorenz
Trans Affirmations Coloring Book
A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G and JR Zuckerberg
-Coloring pens
-Gift cards to Bean & Brew on 532
-Gift card to Flora & Fauna
-Gift card and stickers from Stanwood Cupcakes
-stickers, buttons and Pride swag
-a personalized note from a supportive community member
-information on local resources and safe spaces in our area

If you are interested in learning more or donating, you can reach out to Lei at or stop into Stanwood Tattoo Company, where the library is located, from noon until 7 pm Wednesday through Sunday and just ask Lei!

Community Conversations With Stanwood-Camano Pride

Image description:
Flyer with diagonal rainbow stripes on bottom portion. Top right of image is the Stanwood & Camano Island Pride logo, a rainbow over rainbow mountains and water with text that reads “Stanwood & Camano Island Pride”
Middle left of image is the logo of, a purple cartoon flappy narwhal with bubbles around them. The logo of the Community Resource Center is under and to the side of that. It is a teal colored door with four windows and a red heart above it. Text reads: “Community Resource Center of Stanwood Camano”
Text on flyer reads:
Join us for a Community Conversation with Michelle Huntley, organizer of Stanwood-Camano Pride 2022
What did we learn at Pride and what comes next?
Do LGBTQIA+ citizens feel safe, valued and supported in Stanwood & Camano Island?
How can others in our community be better allies?
September 6, 2022
6:00 PM
Community Resource Center of Stanwood-Camano
9612 271st ST NW
Stanwood, WA
For more information contact:
Lei Wiley-Mydske
425-791-0869 (Text Only Please)

Disabled Bodies Are Human Bodies by Dom Bryan

Guest post by Dom Bryan, friend of the library and neurodivergent and disabled student at Western Washington University. This essay is shared in their exact words:

Local Institutionalized Oppression is Western Washington University’s form of Operation

TLDR: Western is full of classists, ableists, jerks, and ambiguous policy. Western is a state-assisted institution, receiving $28 million this year in assistance from the state. This means your tax dollars go towards perpetuating a system that harms disabled bodies. Please read it.

Image: Black text reads “Disabled Bodies Are Human Bodies Guest Post by Dom Bryan”. Background is faded image of Old Main Building at Western Washington University Campus in Bellingham, WA.

My name is Dom Bryan. I am 26 years old. Bi-racial. Queer. Disabled. Poor. ADHD. I am a 4.0 first-gen student, who just finished my first year back in the classroom on a full financial ride. However, due to my slow progress in physical therapy, Western would rather grant me a waiver until they deem, I am no longer crippled than facilitating sensible access. My medical team assured me if I were to return to campus without any assistance, I would wind up permanently disabled. No one should have to choose between their body/health and the education they pay for.

The following stories are all true stories. However, the names have been changed to keep people’s identities safe.

“Hello, my name is Cassidy. I dropped out of college due to a heart condition. A heart condition that made traversing campus difficult. One that Western refused to accommodate.”

“Hello, my name is Zach. I have MS and use a wheelchair for my symptoms. I went from being a full time student to one class a quarter because Western banned equitable online access. They also failed to accommodate me. I was told I would be accommodated, then was informed I would not be on the first day of the Spring quarter in March of 2022. In order to get around campus, it was easier for me to ditch my wheelchair and suffer the consequences of that choice. However, dealing with the pain hasn’t been easy. I have yet to decide if I will quit pursuing college and my dream career.”

“Hello, my name is Mars. I am a faculty member that is under contract NOT an employee with tenure. I am a glorified substitute teacher. My offerings for online classes were removed from the fall registrar because I refused to teach in person. I have severe osteoporosis. They wanted to stick me on the 5 th floor. They’ve revised the buildings, removing phones from all the classrooms, and only leaving one per floor to be utilized. If I am caught on my personal phone, I am facing immediate termination. Regardless of the circumstance.”

“Hello, I am Tiffany. I still have not been offered disabled living spaces within the dorms. I almost dropped out last quarter. The only access to and from campus is a long 4-story flight of stairs or up a steep hill that is strictly for the community transit bus. This area is never de-iced.

Hello, I am Jacob. I was academically dismissed by the dean because I was hospitalized with sepsis in the middle of a quarter. As a result, my financial aid was frozen. It took 3 months after I was released from the hospital to become re-enrolled. I had to pay my tuition out of pocket for the freeze on my account. I still haven’t been reimbursed.”

Can you see a running theme? Western’s disability access committee admits they are not trained medical staff. They do not have anyone on their team with a medical background. Yet just like insurance companies, they decide what accommodations people need for their bodies. Even if those decisions conflict with medical treatments, wellness plans, and quality of life.


This department is ran by able-bodied and neurotypical people. They can not understand a reality where someone’s body, mind, or environment are active constraints. They can not understand a reality where someone didn’t cause injury to themselves. They can not understand that we are all one car accident, slip or fall, or violent situation away from a disabled body. We all end up disabled. So why does the institution that claims to be the most progressive, accepting, and the most diverse campus in Washington operate in this way?

Do you know what the difference is between Western and other colleges in this state? Other colleges do not lie to you about their mission, vision, and values. They are sworn to uphold these statements in order to continue their accreditation status.

What can you do?

  • You can send a letter to the board of trustees, discussing your distress about this information. Providing accommodations under state law, include:
  •  First floor accommodations. (They say it’s too difficult to get faculty to change classrooms.)
  •  ADEQUATE accessible parking. (They currently lottery out their disabled spots. They have more disabled students than spots. For the low price of $99 a quarter, you can sometimes park in disabled parking. If the spots are full you are to park in the nearest empty spot. My particular building? They only have 2 spots. 2.)
  • Equitable remote access. (While they do have some remote classes offered this fall quarter. They have effectively priced out poor folks. They have attached an additional $230.00 per credit fee on top of base tuition. That’s an additional $1,100-$1,800 in fees per class. Fee waivers are not available.) The fact they are still offering access means that they are capable of offering access. However, they are choosing to create the barriers they swear standing against.
  •  ADA access, signage, and bathrooms. (Some bathrooms the ADA stall isn’t large enough to accommodate a wheelchair user. They have to use the bathroom with the stall door open.)


  •  If students have to pay this high permit fee for parking, there should be guaranteed parking for disabled students. Just like an apartment complex. If I pay for the parking spot, I can always park there.
  •  If you can offer online access to the highest bidders? You can offer it to all.
  •  Disabled bodies are human bodies. No one should be forced to use the bathroom with the door open because you refuse to renovate the stalls to provide privacy for those in wheelchairs.
  • They continue to run up the clock and discourage disabled students. Without any options students feel it is necessary to drop out.
  • They give the DAC $1.2 million in funding every year. Of that funding $800,000 is use for salaries. Leaving less than a quarter to provide students with accommodations. These numbers were pulled directly from the year actuals/budget. They claim to be broke yet, they have 32 million sitting in reserves. To qualify as a reserve, fund a business must be able to access the cash asset in 60-90 days. Not to mention, they have large profits.

Caring For Community With the Neurodivergent Narwhals

Vaccines, Covid and Neurodivergent Narwhals! Thank you so much to Tiffany Tuttle Collins, who provided image descriptions for this social story!

The rainbow-colored Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Lending Library logo is at the top. Below that, black text on a white background with blue bubbles reads: “Caring for Community with the Neurodivergent Narwhals.” There is an image of three round, smiling cartoon narwals below the text: a big magenta one, a medium blue one, and a small green one with happy flapping flippers. 

Image:  Black text on a white background reads: “COVID-19 has made the last few years very different for all of us! We wear masks to protect ourselves & each other when we go out or when we are around people who are vulnerable!” Below the text is the image of two narwhals, the large magenta one and the small green one, both wearing surgical masks.
Image: An image of two narwhals talking to each other through a laptop computer screen is at the top of the page. Below this image is black text on a white background with blue bubbles that reads: “We are finding creative and safer ways to stay in touch during the pandemic!” In the image, the small green, flappy narwhal is visible on the laptop screen, with their mouth open and a word bubble that says, “I’m so flappy to see you but I can’t wait until we can hang out in person again!” A smiling, large purple narwhal is in front of the laptop, with a word bubble that says, “The vaccine can make that happen sooner!”
Image: Black text on a white background reads: “Now we have a vaccine to protect us and our community! The more people who get vaccinated, the safer all of us will be!” Near the text is the image of the large, magenta narwhal smiling with a think bubble that shows an image of a hypodermic needle, and a small green covid virus in a red circle with a line through it.
Image: Black text on a white background reads: “The vaccine feels like a little pinch. Some people might feel come more pain. Some people might feel nothing at all! Some people will get one vaccine. Most people will get a vaccine and then wait a few weeks and get another vaccine or a booster several months later.” Near the text is the image of a smiling dark blue narwhal with a band-aid on its flipper. The band-aid has a small heart on it.
Image:  Black text on a white background with blue bubbles reads: “Some people might feel a little tired after their vaccine. Some people might feel a little sick. Some people might have a sore arm for a while afterwards. Some people don’t feel many side effects at all.” Below the text is an image of the large purple narwhal, wearing a heart band-aid on its flipper and with a small frown. Next to the narwhal is a large green covid virus in a red circle with a line through it.
Image: Black text on a white background reads: “Side effects are normal but they sure aren’t fun! That’s your body learning to fight the virus. Luckily, those side effects don’t last very long!” Near the text is the image of a medium-sized lime green narwhal who is frowning.
Image: Black text on a white background reads: “Getting vaccinated doesn’t just protect you — it protects your friends, family and community too!” Near the text is the image of the lime-green narwhal who is smiling with a thought bubble showing seven other smiling narwhals of different colors surrounded by X-es and hearts. 
Image:  Black text on a white background with blue bubbles reads: “When you get vaccinated, you are doing your part to create a safer, heathier community for all of us!” Above the text is an image of the large, magenta narwhal with flappy flippers and a smile and a word bubble that says, “I got my COVID vaccine!”
Black text on a white background with blue bubbles reads: 
“Read more.
COVID plain Language Resources from ASAN:

CDC Vaccine Information:

Washington State information on COVID & Vaccines:

At the bottom of the page is a watermark that reads: There is an image of the small, flappy green narwal with a big smile in the lower right corner of the page.

In Person Library Events!

We will return to in-person hours at the library in September! We will be meeting once regularly on the first Tuesday of the month at the Community Resource Center of Stanwood-Camano. We will be holding all events in the evening with exact times TBA for each event.

We will have library materials available for browsing and lending, along with scheduled speakers each month.

Our first speaker will be Satin-Deseree Arnett, founder of SAFE. Satin will be speaking on the topic of equity & diversity in our community on September 7, 2021 at 6:30 pm at the Resource Center. We hope to see you there!

Image Description:
Blue/green and cream color flyer. In a circular frame on the left is a picture of Satin-Deseree Arnett, she is wearing a red jacket with arms crossed and smiling with long, dark hair.
Cream colored text on the flyer reads:
Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library & Community Resource Center of Stanwood-Camano presents:
Equity & Diversity:
A Community Conversation
Satin-Deseree Arnett
Founder of S.A.F.E.
September 7, 2021
6:30-8:00 PM
Community Resource Center
9612 271st St NW
Stanwood, WA 98292
For more information contact:
Lei Wiley-Mydske
(Text only please)
All attendees are expected to follow any Community Resource Center COVID safety guidelines!
*Library materials will be available for browsing/lending at this event!
Image on lower left is Community Resource Center logo, a teal colored door with a red heart above it and text that reads: Community Resource Center of Stanwood-Camano

Now Taking Appointments & Other News!

Since the shutdowns last year, the library has been on a long hiatus. We’ve continued working to create content and stock new books, but have not had a lending day since March of 2020 and we really miss all of you! While regular lending days may not happen for a while longer, we are now able to take appointments to share lending materials or to answer any questions you have about resources, autism and neurodiversity!

As of April, both of our neurodiversity librarians are fully vaccinated. However, we will continue to wear masks in any indoor meeting space until the mask mandate is lifted STATEWIDE in Washington state. We ask that all patrons do the same when meeting in public, indoor spaces. We do have family members who are either too young or otherwise unable to be vaccinated, and we want to continue to keep everybody safe.

To make an appointment, all you need to do is send us an email at either:


We also hope to start scheduling some local educational events in the near future. What neurodiversity & disability related topics would you like to see discussed in Stanwood? Send us an email and let us know!

Neurodiversity 101

Image is a blue swirly background with three cartoon narwhals. A pink smiling narwhal is on the bottom left and a green flappy narwhal and a blue smiling narwhal are on the right. Text reads:

The Neurodivergent Narwhals ™ Present:
Neurodiversity 101
A purple smiling cartoon narwhal is on the bottom left of a blue swirly background framing a white text box area. There are four lines of images. The top is a row of different kinds of trees, the second line is a row of different kinds of animals, the third line is a row of various types of people and the last is are cartoon brains in rainbow colors. Text reads:

“Diversity is natural.
Neurodiversity* is natural
Plant diversity
Animal diversity
Human diversity
Brain diversity = neurodiversity

*”neurodiversity” is a word coined by autistic scholar Judith Singer”
A green flappy cartoon narwhal is on the lower right corner of a blue swirly background framing a white text box area. In the center of the image is a row of rainbow colored cartoon brains.
Text reads:
“The existence of neurodiversity is a fact.
Your feelings about the value of neurodiversity are your opinions. *
*opinions that are likely influenced by systemic ableism & surviving in a capitalist society.”
A smiling yellow cartoon narwhal is in the middle left of a swirly blue background framing a white text box area. In the center of the image is a group of various kinds of people.
Text reads:
“These people are neurodiverse.
Neurodiverse is a group of people with different kinds of brains.”
A red smiling cartoon narwhal in the lower right corner with a speech bubble that reads: “Who decides what’s normal anyway?” is on a blue swirly background framing a white text box area.
Text reads:
“A “Neurotypical” person is someone whose brain works in ways that society views as normal.
A “neurodivergent”* person is a person whose brain works in ways that differ from what society views as normal
*”neurodivergent” is a word coined by autistic POC & activist Kassiane Asasumasu.”
A group of rainbow colored cartoon narwhals are under a blue umbrella on a swirly blue background that is framing a white text box area.
Text reads:
“Neurodivergence= Developmental, intellectual, psychiatric & Learning disabilities like autism, anxiety, down syndrome, depression, ADHD*, mood Disorders* & a whole lot more!
The big umbrella of neurodivergence includes more than it excludes!
*No brain is actually disordered!, that’s pathology paradigm talk!”
A flappy green narwhal on the lower right corner of the image has a speech bubble that reads: “It doesn’t matter how much. support or help you need or how you communicate or move….. the neurodiversity paradigm includes ALL OF US!” There is a blue swirly background framing a white text box area.
Text reads:
“The Neurodiversity Paradigm is a way of thinking about neurodiversity.
The neurodiversity paradigm says:
disability & neurodivergence are normal & natural
neurodiversity is good & valuable
there is no one right kind of brain
A pink smiling cartoon narwhal is at the top left of image. There is a speech bubble that reads: “Learn more!” The lower left of image is the library logo and name “Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Lending Library” in rainbow colored letters.
Text reads:
This is compiled from a wealth of community knowledge including but certainly not limited to some of these great resources:…/…/…/what-neurodiversity……/clearing-up-some…/

Respecting Autistic Ways of Playing, Interacting & Making Friends

This is a transcript from F’s notes and script for his video presentation and keynote address at Autistics Present Symposium: Essential Youth Voices on October 19, 2019.


Respecting Autistic Ways of Playing, Interacting & Making Friends

My name is F and I’m going to talk about autistic ways of playing, interacting and making friends.

Parents Are Not Our Voices!

My mom is going to be helping me when needed with this presentation, but she’s not speaking for me.  My mom is not my voice. Parents should amplify their kids voices, but never speak for them. Even if they don’t talk.  It’s more accessible for me to talk on video instead of in front of a live audience. So that’s how I will do this presentation.  There are some slides that my mom will describe for you.  

I’ll start this off by telling you a little bit about myself.  as previously mentioned I am F. I’m a student in high school and co-founder of the Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library in Stanwood, Washington.  I enjoy gaming, comic books and cats among a few other things.

When I was young doctors and therapists told my mom I needed to play differently.  When I’m told that I play in the wrong way it makes me feel kind of upset. I liked lining up toys for lots and lots of reasons but no one had ever asked me why.  The pros of lining up toys is some people like to have things in order, some people like to look at patterns and they’ve helped… they helped me see all the parts to rebuild them in different ways and that is creativity more or less. It also made me feel good to look at my collection and it never hurt anybody either. 
narwhals for presentation fallon

Image: This is an image explaining the problems with “inappropriate play” featuring the Neurodivergent Narwhals.  A green cartoon narhwal is lining up toy cars. Two blue and yellow narwhals are playing together on their tablets but not facing each other.  A pink narwhal is flapping and spinning the wheels of a toy truck. Text reads: What is “inappropriate play”? Autistic children do not play in “inappropriate” ways… Autistic children play, learn and engage in uniquely autistic ways.  Don’t pathologize our ways of being and how we understand the world around us! Just because its not your experience, that doesn’t make it wrong!” image is watermarked with the Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library logo and

Sensory & Movement Stuff:

I interact with the world in autistic ways and there is nothing wrong with that.

There is no right way to play but the most important thing is that everyone has fun.  Just because you don’t understand the value of doing things my way, that doesn’t make it wrong. Telling people how they have to play kind of defeats the purpose of playing in the first place.  


Autistic people experience a lot of sensory input.  It’s almost impossible to shut it off. My brain is working really hard to process things that non autistic people don’t even have to think about. 


  • Fluorescent lights
  • Loud noises
  • Too many noises
  • People talk too fast for us to process
  • Certain smells are too strong
  • Crowded
  • People sometimes don’t specify what they really mean
  • People insist on eye contact & standing still
  • Non autistic people think their way of communicating is the only right way


You don’t have to understand any of this in order to respect autistic people.  


My thoughts on “Peer Buddy” programs:


  • In real friendships, both people benefit and both people are equal
  • In peer buddy relationship, it almost feels like you have a parasite
  • Autistic kids have value and have a lot to offer as friends
  • Friends are not there to constantly correct you and teach you to act non-autistic, that is belittling and harmful. 


My friend K was not my peer buddy, he is a real friend who is not autistic who I met in fourth grade.  He never tries to make me act more like him or mentor me to be more typical. He likes me for who I am and we have a lot in common.  He’s much more social than me, but he respects that I am more of an introvert. And I respect that he is not. Because friendship goes both ways and we both have a lot to bring to the table.  

Autistic Mentors & Friends:

My friends who are a little older or younger seem to understand and accept me better than people who are the same age as me. When I was younger, I always had older friends because they were more calm than kids my age.

I met my friend H because our moms were friends.  H is a mentor and friend to me. It felt like a relief when I met H because it’s nice to have someone a little older than me who is autistic and knows what I’m going through and understands me.  We talk about things like gaming and he’s also really funny and makes me laugh. I think every autistic kid should have an autistic mentor and friend. 


Autistic Kids Might Play Differently Than You Expect

One of my favorite things to do with my cousins and friends is to game together.  Some people might think, “oh, those kids are just looking at their electronics and not interacting!”  

That is not true.  

Sometimes, we are playing a game together like Terraria or Roblox.

Sometimes, we are playing our own game but still being together.  

Sometimes, we are showing each other interesting things in the game or one of us is gaming and one isn’t. 

Some autistic people really enjoy parallel play because you don’t have to be doing the same thing together all the time to enjoy each other’s company.  It’s a more relaxing way to be together. 
Technology & Screen Time: Not an Abomination!



Image is the lady yelling at a cat meme.  A split image shows a blonde woman pointing and yelling while a darker haired woman stands next to her comforting her on the left. The  right image is a white cat with a calm look on its face sitting in front of a table with a plate full of food and drinking glasses. Text above the women reads: “AUTISTIC KIDS ARE ON THEIR SCREENS TOO MUCH!!!!”   Text above the cat reads: Me: just trying to communicate with friends.” Meme made by F!


I think people worry too much about screen time, but it’s actually really ableist.  Screens help a lot of autistic people to communicate and socialize in ways that work with their brains.  

Technology provides access for lots of people with disabilities.  Don’t be afraid to let your kids use technology if that’s what helps them communicate and make friends.  Parents & kids should talk about internet safety & try to make sure that your kid can be honest and communicate openly with you about friends they make online. Set limits on screen time together, because kids deserve to have a voice in that.


Don’t shame kids for liking screen time just because you think a different way is better. 


Image:  A black and white picture of people from about the 1940’s or 1950’s showing a bus full of people looking down and reading newspapers and not talking to each other.  Text reads: “All this technology is making us antisocial.” Image found online.


Online Friends:


  • Typing is easier to express my feelings than talking
  • When you go online, you can find people who share common interests with you
  • A lot of autistic people have direct communication styles and the words you type don’t have a “tone” or a hidden meaning (or at least they don’t for me!)
  • Don’t have to worry about hidden social rules that cause anxiety
  • Don’t be afraid of technology, but always be safe online!

I have friends at school too but I have made friends online who share interests with me.  I’m really into Geometry Dash, which is a computer game. I followed some youtubers who make videos about gaming.  Sometimes, we talk about gaming. I ended up chatting with some people and befriended another gamer named P. We have lots in common, he’s also an autistic gamer.  But he lives all the way in the UK and we never could have met if it were not for the internet. I’ve actually chatted with people all over the world who enjoy the same things as me.  That’s friendship and it makes me feel good to know I can make friends in my own way in different situations. 
Advice to Parents & Professionals:

This is my comparison chart of the effects of acceptance versus rejection of autistic ways of being.  In my experience, I feel more accepted by my parents. Obviously, they are not perfect because nobody is but I think they gave me more opportunities to find my own way.   This has made me feel good about myself and proud of being autistic.  
Supporting Autistic Kids in the way that works For Them (1)

Image is a split comparison chart on a pastel colored gradient background. The left side of the chart is labeled:

Supporting Autistic Kids To Do Things In The Way That Works For Them:



  • Encourages self advocacy
  • Empowering
  • Makes them feel good about who they are
  • Lessens anxiety
  • Helps them learn their way
  • Will have a better relationship with their parents
  • Will feel loved & accepted 



The right side of the chart is labeled: 


Making Autistic Kids Do Things Like Neuroptyicals Do:



  • Creates more anxiety
  • Feelings of shame
  • Tells them that their comfort & feelings don’t matter
  • Will have a lot of self doubt
  • Will think they have to earn love by pretending to be someone they are not
  • Might not have very healthy self esteem
  • More vulnerable to abuse



Chart created by F

My advice to parents and professionals is to be more accepting when you talk and converse with your child.  You can be more accepting by not forcing speech because communication is lots of things. Don’t force your ways of life upon them because it might not make sense for them.  If it doesn’t, don’t belittle them for it. You don’t have to understand why autistic people do certain things in order to respect it and respect your kids. Don’t teach your kids to be ashamed of disability and let them know that you’re always proud of them.  


Thank you.  If you have any questions about my presentation, you can send an e-mail to