Friday, May 27, 2016

Stuart Duncan is a hero of the Autism Community

Stuart Duncan AKA AutismFather
Creator of Autcraft
The worlds first Minecraft
Server for autistic people
and their families. 

I wanted to take a moment to talk about one of my autistic heroes, Stuart Duncan. Stuart Duncan is the creator of the worlds first Minecraft server specifically for autistic kids and their families called Autcraft. 3 years ago when Duncan signed his children up to play Minecraft they were being bullied. Being autistic himself, he knew how being different could make you a target of bullying and harassment. So Duncan decided to take action against the bullying by creating a server for his sons so that they could enjoy the game without fear of being bullied. 

When Duncan first started server it wasn't long before his in-box was flooded with people requesting to join the server because they were being bullied as well, and from that moment on Duncan dedicated his life to giving these children a place where they can fit in and play minecraft together. 

There was a dark side to running autcraft as Duncan would soon find out. a couple weeks after he opened the server he started getting emails from trolls who were targeting the server because they thought it was funny. Duncan continued to run the server, because the constant harassment from the trolls strengthened his resolve and made him realize just how important his work was.

He managed to keep the trolls at bay for years, but earlier this year they launched an attack on the server and they managed to redirect the server traffic to their own server where they trapped the players and told them awful things. The attack lasted for an hour before they were able to get control of the server back, but during that time players as young as 6 years old were told to kill themselves and that they were freaks. When they no longer had control of the server they launched a distributed denial of service attack that lasted for over 2 weeks. 

Duncan spends all of his free time on autcraft and relies on donations to be able to keep the server free for everyone. The anti DDoS measures they had to implement to protect the server after the attack raised the price of hosting significantly and Autcraft needs your help to continue to offer a safe place for autistic kids to play minecraft. If you want to help support Stuart Duncans project please consider making a donation. Stuart Duncan is a champion of autistic acceptance and he has touched the lives of thousands of children with his message of kindness and acceptance.

To make a donation please visit his patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/autismfather?ty=h





Friday, May 20, 2016

Buy a Neurodiversity t-Shirt and help support the family of an Autistic college student

I am an Autistic scholar and my partner and I are raising 2 special needs children on one income of 740 dollars a month. I started a t-shirt fund raiser to help supplement our limited income so that we can afford to go out and do things to enrich our children's lives. We have just enough money to get by so we end up getting stuck at home a lot, and I feel bad because we rarely get to take our kids out to do anything fun. By buying a t-shirt you will help us to be able to afford to do more things for our children.



 Design by Chelsea Yarger of Forest Grove Photography

  https://www.facebook.com/forestgrovephotography/

[Image: Illustration of a brain full of green, blue, yellow and pink gears that says no matter how it works celebrate you]

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Autcraft, the Minecraft server for Autistic People, Needs Your Help

Hi everyone,

It's been an eventful month at Autcraft. I wanted to share a recap of the big things that happened, and an appeal:

In brief, these are the highlights:
  • April 2nd - AutismFather's 24-hour live stream for World Autism Awareness Day
  • April 2nd - Opened up the Autcraft Cube server for everyone to explore
  • April 6th - Hack attempt: "for the fun of it" hackers hijacked our IP and redirected traffic to their own server for less than an hour
  • April 6th (overnight) - the Autcraft server was moved to a new hosting company, upon which the hackers DDoS'ed our server for two solid weeks, and AF and our new hosting company implemented Anti-DDos measures
  • April 20th - Autcraft raising funds for AutConUK - https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/AutcraftUK
  • April 23rd - AutismFather writes about the hackers (the post garnered 96 shares and more than 14,000 views on Facebook alone) http://www.stuartduncan.name/autism/the-day-hackers-told-6-year-autistic-children-that-they-should-kill-yourself/
  • April 25th - Autcraft upgrades to 1.9.2 - Opens new spawn
  • April 24th - Autcraft is contacted by Microsoft and Anonymous, offering to help
  • April 30th - Autcraft appeared in New Scientist Magazine
My appeal:

I want to let you all in on a little secret.

June 5th (one month away) is AutismFather's 40th birthday.

As crazy as April has been, this is what AF's life has been like every month since starting Autcraft. He devotes far more time and energy into Autcraft than anyone ever could at a "day job." He is there for your children and mine at all hours of the day, being a father figure, a person to talk to and a protector. This month was especially long and emotionally draining but even more than that, with the added server costs and the strength of the Canadian dollar, despite having more patrons than ever, AF will actually be making less this month, not more.

I would like to see us all band together and help AF reach his goal for his 40th birthday this year.

If each person on our Facebook page alone was to contribute just $1 each, that would be $4,100, which is more than double than what he's asking for. So I know we can reach $2,000/month.

AF doesn't ask to get rich, only to be able to provide for his family. He's never charged any of us so much as a dollar for his time. But it's easy to forget that he has children of his own, one of whom is a child with autism and carries all of the same struggles that the rest of us carry. On top of that, he himself has Aspergers as well. For many people, that's reason enough to offer our support but on top of all of this, he does so much for each of our families as well.

He's not just running a Minecraft server and he's not just giving our children a safe place, it's not even about being a role model for our kids and impacting our lives, he's literally changing the world for all autistics as researchers and scientists take notes and learn from his example. For a man who's helped so many people realize their own potential and reach their goals, I can think of no greater 40th birthday present than for us to help him reach his goal and in doing so, help make Autcraft an even better place at the same time.

We can each help AF reach his monthly goal by being a patreon: https://www.patreon.com/autismfather?ty=h

Or by subscribing for points on the server: http://autcraft.com/shop#points-subscription-988690 

On behalf of all the families and children who play on Autcraft, thank you!

-MathChamp
Be Kind and Brave!