Collin Butler From Autism Wishes

Nov 21, 2019

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Guest Interviews — 7 Minutes

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Collin Butler From Autism Wishes

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Collin Butler From Autism Wishes

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Joshua finds out about Collin’s autism nonprofit.

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Collin Butler is the founder of Autism Wishes, an organization helping fulfill the dreams of children with autism. You can connect with Autism Wishes by emailing Collin at collinbutler@aol.com.

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Joshua Miller: My name is Joshua Miller and I’m here with the Autism News Network and I’m sitting here with Collin Butler [Collin Butler: Yes], and he’s with Autism Wishes. How you doing today, Collin?

Collin Butler: Very well, thank you.

Joshua Miller: That’s good. What made — how did you come up with the idea for Autism Wishes?

Collin Butler: Well, there were — there were just organizations that were dedicated to fulfilling wishes for terminally ill children but none for autistic children. So —

Joshua Miller: So would you say that this, um, that this organization — would you say that it is similar to the Make-a-Wish Foundation?

Collin Butler: Oh absolutely, but for autistic children.

Joshua Miller: And it’s cool. And what made you want to s– er alright, I already asked that. That was dumb. Guess we’ll have to edit that one out. [Collin Butler: You’re fine.] So, you also have autism don’t you?

Collin Butler: Yes.

Joshua Miller: Alright so what was it like growing up with autism?

Collin Butler: Well it was tough at first because I couldn’t speak and I did things that normal people couldn’t understand.

Joshua Miller: But what — like, what kind of stuff did you do differently or that people didn’t understand?

Collin Butler: Like, I don’t know how — how to explain this, um, like maybe throw — throw tantrums or —

Joshua Miller: Like meltdowns?

Collin Butler: Oh yes.

Joshua Miller: Because I know for me, you know I had meltdowns, and you know I’d, like, when I used to play with my Hotwheel cars, I don’t know if you did this, but I used to line them up in straight lines —

Collin Butler: Yeah.

Joshua Miller: I was very neat and ordered on how I did things — did you do similar stuff or?

Collin Butler: Mmm, kind of. Like, for example, alpha– alphabetizing DVDs —

Joshua Miller: Yes [JM laughter], I did that too but with my books.

Collin Butler: Right.

Joshua Miller: So, um, did you — I mean I don’t know if I asked you this or not but did you experience bullying when you were in school?

Collin Butler: Mmm, I wouldn’t say so because I got treatment early and —

Joshua Miller: That was good. So, um, let’s see. Alright so, in the — um, so you went to — what college did you go to?

Collin Butler: University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Joshua Miller: So what was it like, um, going to USC knowing that since you have autism?

Collin Butler: I mean, I mean I could get by okay. I mean, I had the help with disability services but —

Joshua Miller: Like, well I mean I guess what I’m trying to ask this is, um, I mean what were the services that the — that the college gave you that — that helped you be able to get get, um, get through college, I guess.

Collin Butler: Like maybe say, maybe say counseling or [Joshua Miller: Okay] tutoring sometimes.

Joshua Miller: Well that’s good. How did you, um, go about obtaining the, um, funding for making this, for making Autism Wishes happen?

Collin Butler: Well we’re going to, we’re talking about doing fundraisers, like public fundraisers.

Joshua Miller: Like Go Fund Me Pages and –?

Collin Butler: Poss– possibly or maybe like in-person fundraisers, you know [Joshua Miller: Ah, cool.] like events.

Joshua Miller: Let’s see. And, um, how, um, how do you go about the, um, the selection process?

Collin Butler: Well — well, we wouldn’t grant violent wishes obviously [JM laughter] but —

Joshua Miller: No, that would — that would be bad, wouldn’t it?

Collin Butler: I mean, of course we’ll — we’ll try to make everyone happy [Joshua Miller: Right.] if possible.

Joshua Miller: And that’s the important thing. And, um, who do you have as, um, who do you have as a — as a support? Like, you know, to help you with this organization?

Collin Butler: Oh, my mother.

Joshua Miller: That’s cool, and you got anybody else or?

Collin Butler: Mmm, not yet but we’re hoping.

Joshua Miller: Because this just started back in, when, January you said?

Collin Butler: Right and it’s only just getting started because of events — but

Joshua Miller: Alright and, um, where did you get the, um — (Let me see, where was I? Okay.) where did you get this fabulous gear and accessories? Like, um, what is that, um — a beach towel?

OFFSCREEN: Can you show it up?

Joshua Miller: Can you, um —

Collin Butler: Well, I’m not sure where, exactly, [JM laughter] this comes from but —

Joshua Miller: That is really cool. And can we, um, is there way that people can buy it or —

Collin Butler: Well, of course I’ll have to talk to my mom [JM laughter] and see what she thinks but —

Joshua Miller: And, um, if you had a crystal ball and you could see into the future, where would you see yourself and Autism Wishes in five years?

Collin Butler: Hopefully na-, hopefully national nationally respected, helping to bring — gain greater acceptance, making people happy.

Joshua Miller: That’s all that anyone can wish for really, right?

Collin Butler: Oh, of course.

Joshua Miller: Does anyone else have any questions? Oh?

OFFSCREEN: I have one. [Joshua Miller: Dr. Gwynette.] Was there a particular child that you saw who inspired you to make Autism Wishes? Um, or was there a certain experience you had on watching another, uh, Make A Wish or something like that that made you say I want to do that too?

Collin Butler: No one.

Joshua Miller: And what was the spark that gave you the idea to, you know, just say I want to do this.

Collin Butler: Well, I just came up with it on my own. There was, like, no significant spark. I mean, I think a lot so —

Joshua Miller: Right. Yeah, I know I think a lot — I do it quite too much. [Laughter] It gets me into trouble sometimes. Does anyone else have any questions? Well this is, um, like I said my — this is — I’m Joshua Miller and I’ve been sitting here with Collin, um, [Collin Butler: Butler.] Butler. I’m sorry I’m [Collin Butler: You’re fine!] terrible with names [Collin Butler: You’re fine, you’ll learn.] and we were talking about, um, his organization Autism Wishes. Um, thank you.

OFFSCREEN: And cut.

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Joshua Miller: My name is Joshua Miller and I’m here with the Autism News Network and I’m sitting here with Collin Butler [Collin Butler: Yes], and he’s with Autism Wishes. How you doing today, Collin?

Collin Butler: Very well, thank you.

Joshua Miller: That’s good. What made — how did you come up with the idea for Autism Wishes?

Collin Butler: Well, there were — there were just organizations that were dedicated to fulfilling wishes for terminally ill children but none for autistic children. So —

Joshua Miller: So would you say that this, um, that this organization — would you say that it is similar to the Make-a-Wish Foundation?

Collin Butler: Oh absolutely, but for autistic children.

Joshua Miller: And it’s cool. And what made you want to s– er alright, I already asked that. That was dumb. Guess we’ll have to edit that one out. [Collin Butler: You’re fine.] So, you also have autism don’t you?

Collin Butler: Yes.

Joshua Miller: Alright so what was it like growing up with autism?

Collin Butler: Well it was tough at first because I couldn’t speak and I did things that normal people couldn’t understand.

Joshua Miller: But what — like, what kind of stuff did you do differently or that people didn’t understand?

Collin Butler: Like, I don’t know how — how to explain this, um, like maybe throw — throw tantrums or —

Joshua Miller: Like meltdowns?

Collin Butler: Oh yes.

Joshua Miller: Because I know for me, you know I had meltdowns, and you know I’d, like, when I used to play with my Hotwheel cars, I don’t know if you did this, but I used to line them up in straight lines —

Collin Butler: Yeah.

Joshua Miller: I was very neat and ordered on how I did things — did you do similar stuff or?

Collin Butler: Mmm, kind of. Like, for example, alpha– alphabetizing DVDs —

Joshua Miller: Yes [JM laughter], I did that too but with my books.

Collin Butler: Right.

Joshua Miller: So, um, did you — I mean I don’t know if I asked you this or not but did you experience bullying when you were in school?

Collin Butler: Mmm, I wouldn’t say so because I got treatment early and —

Joshua Miller: That was good. So, um, let’s see. Alright so, in the — um, so you went to — what college did you go to?

Collin Butler: University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Joshua Miller: So what was it like, um, going to USC knowing that since you have autism?

Collin Butler: I mean, I mean I could get by okay. I mean, I had the help with disability services but —

Joshua Miller: Like, well I mean I guess what I’m trying to ask this is, um, I mean what were the services that the — that the college gave you that — that helped you be able to get get, um, get through college, I guess.

Collin Butler: Like maybe say, maybe say counseling or [Joshua Miller: Okay] tutoring sometimes.

Joshua Miller: Well that’s good. How did you, um, go about obtaining the, um, funding for making this, for making Autism Wishes happen?

Collin Butler: Well we’re going to, we’re talking about doing fundraisers, like public fundraisers.

Joshua Miller: Like Go Fund Me Pages and –?

Collin Butler: Poss– possibly or maybe like in-person fundraisers, you know [Joshua Miller: Ah, cool.] like events.

Joshua Miller: Let’s see. And, um, how, um, how do you go about the, um, the selection process?

Collin Butler: Well — well, we wouldn’t grant violent wishes obviously [JM laughter] but —

Joshua Miller: No, that would — that would be bad, wouldn’t it?

Collin Butler: I mean, of course we’ll — we’ll try to make everyone happy [Joshua Miller: Right.] if possible.

Joshua Miller: And that’s the important thing. And, um, who do you have as, um, who do you have as a — as a support? Like, you know, to help you with this organization?

Collin Butler: Oh, my mother.

Joshua Miller: That’s cool, and you got anybody else or?

Collin Butler: Mmm, not yet but we’re hoping.

Joshua Miller: Because this just started back in, when, January you said?

Collin Butler: Right and it’s only just getting started because of events — but

Joshua Miller: Alright and, um, where did you get the, um — (Let me see, where was I? Okay.) where did you get this fabulous gear and accessories? Like, um, what is that, um — a beach towel?

OFFSCREEN: Can you show it up?

Joshua Miller: Can you, um —

Collin Butler: Well, I’m not sure where, exactly, [JM laughter] this comes from but —

Joshua Miller: That is really cool. And can we, um, is there way that people can buy it or —

Collin Butler: Well, of course I’ll have to talk to my mom [JM laughter] and see what she thinks but —

Joshua Miller: And, um, if you had a crystal ball and you could see into the future, where would you see yourself and Autism Wishes in five years?

Collin Butler: Hopefully na-, hopefully national nationally respected, helping to bring — gain greater acceptance, making people happy.

Joshua Miller: That’s all that anyone can wish for really, right?

Collin Butler: Oh, of course.

Joshua Miller: Does anyone else have any questions? Oh?

OFFSCREEN: I have one. [Joshua Miller: Dr. Gwynette.] Was there a particular child that you saw who inspired you to make Autism Wishes? Um, or was there a certain experience you had on watching another, uh, Make A Wish or something like that that made you say I want to do that too?

Collin Butler: No one.

Joshua Miller: And what was the spark that gave you the idea to, you know, just say I want to do this.

Collin Butler: Well, I just came up with it on my own. There was, like, no significant spark. I mean, I think a lot so —

Joshua Miller: Right. Yeah, I know I think a lot — I do it quite too much. [Laughter] It gets me into trouble sometimes. Does anyone else have any questions? Well this is, um, like I said my — this is — I’m Joshua Miller and I’ve been sitting here with Collin, um, [Collin Butler: Butler.] Butler. I’m sorry I’m [Collin Butler: You’re fine!] terrible with names [Collin Butler: You’re fine, you’ll learn.] and we were talking about, um, his organization Autism Wishes. Um, thank you.

OFFSCREEN: And cut.

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