Article Interview- Cebu Daily News ( Philippines) June 6th 2014

Rising above Autism
From his clumsy stuttering and suicidal tendencies, Fil-Am is now an inspirational speaker
by Ador Vincent S. Mayol REPORTER
Ronaldo Vicente Rubio, Filipino-American, rose from being a battered child with autism to hav- ing successful careers as a professional dancer and teacher, musician, carpenter, martial arts sensei and fitness trainer.
Now crossing two countries to speak for people with autism, Rubio has become a living testament that hav- ing a mental disability is not an obstacle to becoming productive.
Life, however, wasn’t easy for Rubio who was diag- nosed with autism.
He was emotionally bullied and physically beaten up by his father, and ridiculed by his family.
“I was the black sheep of my family, the oddball. They could not figure me out. I was the clumsy, spaced out stuttering child. I seemed to be the wrecking ball in a jewelry store,” Rubio told CDN.
As a result, he said he had very low self-esteem and had very little confidence in himself.
“It did not help that my family made fun of me so often that it only reinforced my cognitive and social de- tachment,” he added.
When he was 16 years old, Rubio left home and de- cided to live on his own. Having an autism spectrum, he was socially awkward and shy.
Rubio was skeptical of finding any job. But needing to support himself, he persisted and got hired for a dish- washing job at nights.
“When I applied for the dishwashing job, it was my ability to speak and understand the English language that secured me my first ‘on the clock’ paying job,” he recounted.
Rubio was born in San Francisco, California in the late 1950s. His father came over from the Philippines by serving in the United States Navy in the mid-1950’s. His mother came over via the United States Navy as well. Rubio’s grandfather was a United States Navy veteran of WW1 and WW2 and was also the first Filipino United States Naval officer.
By joining the US Navy, he said, a Filipino could gain US citizenship.
Despite having a source of income as a dishwasher, Rubio still did not relate well with peers.
“Though I worked and made money for me to sur- vive, I realized it all meant nothing in my world void of validation and companionship, I had very few friends,” Rubio said.
“I was stuttered when I spoke and was very ‘spacey’ in my focus. I felt so useless but it was when I reached pre- teen and my teenage years that I realized how hopeless I was in trying to enjoy social interaction,” he added.
He interacted with women but did not know how to behave well, so he lost his friends. He attempted to end his life when he found himself alone but realized that there is more to life than his disappointments.
Instead of wallowing in misery, he decided to stand up and fight for his life.
Now, he is mentoring young people and is a master teacher of mind/body health fitness and well-being for the last 30 years. He lives in the Hawaiian Islands, have had full careers as a professional dancer and teacher, musician, carpenter, a martial sensei, and fit- ness trainer.
He said he was always interested in helping people and later found out that he was surprisingly good at it. “I think this is because of all the turmoil and abuse I suffered and survived as a young boy allowed me to put
the growing autism population in the Philippines,” he said.
Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said people with mental disabilities should not be consid- ered an eyesore in the community. Mentally challenged individuals are not a burden but God’s gift, he added.
Vidal thanked people who are taking care of mentally challenged individuals.
Leah Quintana, regional information officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Cen- tral Visayas, said the government does its best to provide mentally disabled individuals what they need and to make them realize their worth.
Though there is a need to sharpen the programs for these people, Quintana believes they have the capacity to make the most of the skills they possess.
“Despite their condition, I know they can contribute something for the society. They are trying hard to live against all odds. To us, they are an inspiration. Let us give them a chance. Let’s support them,” Quintana said.
“We may differ from each other. But all of us have a purpose in this world. They are here for a reason,” she added.
I have no regre‘
myself in anyone’s shoes, and relate enough to their situation be an effective teacher or mentor to them,” Rubio said.
He is currently advocat- ing, training and support- ing the autism spectrum population.
“I have no regrets about having an autism. I was born with autism, and did not choose to
have autism. I only express great grati- tude that I survived my childhood and young adulthood, and I realize that I could not be effective in my work as a mentor if I did not go through what I went through,” he said.
Rubio worked with the Independent Living Learning Centre (ILLC) based in Manila and Cebu. He understands that spe- cial kids in the Philippines don’t have as much oppor- tunities for working or ex- panding their abilities.
“This is a big question that most governments are turning a blind eye to. There is very little being planned for the future of thousands of young people with special needs,” he said.
Rubio said he has a mis- sion left unaccomplished in the Philippines.
“I plan to come back to continue my service to
ts about having autism. I was born with autism,
and did not choose to have autism. I only express great gratitude that I survived my childhood and young adult- hood, and I realize that I could not be effective in my work as a mentor if I did not go through what I went through.
—Ronaldo Vicente Rubio

Ronaldo Vicente Rubio (Left), who has autism shows off his martial arts skills.

Interview with Liane Holliday-Willey for the 'Autism Spectrum Quarterly' Sept 2014 Issue

Liane Holliday-Willey: Please talk to us about your work with the Mind/Body approach, in particular, how you apply this to those on the autism spectrum?


Vicente Rubio: My mission in life is to advocate for, and to enlighten those on the autism spectrum, and for those whose lives have been touched by trauma, grief, injustice and pain. I believe strongly in a Mind/Body approach to living life, being autistic or not. This I answered by developing a Mind/Body training paradigm for general fitness and health in 1985 called, ‘BodyKi’, and that I have applied to those on the autism spectrum I have mentored since 1990 through my private practice Pathfinder Mentoring. To me any other theraputic approach is just touching the surface. The BodyKi Mind/Body model advocates that we are one complete entity and not in pieces. In this way the positve behavioral changes mentored would be anchored  by their whole being, and not just going in one ear and out the other. The core BodyKi is breathing, and posture and presence is the expression.

 I also believe strongly that my life story, my past as a undiagnosed autistic kid dealing with racism, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, is important to share with others because that interface allows me access others in a uniquely whole way. When my history and my present state of mind work together, I find I am better able to help and mentor others to live their lives liberated and free from the guilt, shame, trauma and the crippling anger/grief of so many past experiences of humiliation, defeats and social disasters.


LHW: Interesting you feel strong enough, and free enough, to embrace your past. I am just learning my past can stand as a very strong root for my growth, rather than become a giant hole I could fall into.  If I am careful to analyze my history with objectivity and a few points of pride that remind me I survived some tough struggles, I find I can turn some of the bad moments into badges of courage and survival. But you take the metaphor farther and use your past to create the Mind/Body way of life.  How did you realize the Mind/Body connection could help you cope with autism?


VR: The revelation that I could exist and function on the physical earth (body) was exhilarating and exciting for me. For so many of my early years my connection to my body – the physical/social world- was illusive and non-existent.  I was out of my body most of the time due to physical and emotional trauma, the marbles in my brain felt all mixed-up from physical beatings, and then there was the fact I was an undetected kid on the autism spectrum. I was always bumping into things, spilling things, unable to throw or catch – play social games, write, tie my shoes… I was awkward and stuttering, and I had anger meltdowns like a Tasmanian devil.  I would stare blankly at a bare wall or into space. I was not grounded at all to earth or its’ inhabitants. When I discovered the world of dance, I finally experienced the connection of who I was in the moment (Mind), and what the physical social world around me was doing and how I needed to (and could) process all that I was experiencing (Body). We now know this as ‘mindfulness’. This mindfulness allowed me to train my mind/body to learn how to swing with the emotional punches-and physical stresses.

Being a trained dancer, I began to learn to move elegantly and powerfully, with a creative vision. This was very different than the clumsy, emotionally fragile and low confident self of my early years. Later, the martial arts helped comprehend that with a clear and directed mind I could express any physical action I desired.  This Mind/Body awareness eventually helped me regulate the many sensory challenges I faced (smell, tactile, sounds and light), manage the social anxiety and stress I would experience around people (the trauma of racism), and understand that the health and fitness of my body helped me with my detrimental cognitive roadblocks. Most importantly, the Mind/Body tools I developed helped me become patient and forgiving of myself.


LHW: I note you say, “forgiving myself”. Most people focus on forgiving others, thinking there isn’t a need for self-forgiveness, particularly if they see themselves as a victim. For example, I haven’t sought self-forgiveness because I feel I was preyed upon and not responsible for the many bad things that happened to me. But your books have helped me cue into the fact I do, on some levels, blame myself for a variety of things. This self-blame may lay dormant and be on a subconscious level, but you’re observations are spot on. I’ll bet most of us have a need to realize we may harbor feelings we are in some way to blame for things beyond our control. Thank you for this insight. It is an insight I will be working to unravel immediately. Toward that goal, I’d like to know why you think we need to explore the notion of self-forgiveness?


VR: Self-forgiveness is a virtue I mentor to release shame, guilt, self-ridicule and self-loathing. For the AS teen that has lived a life of social and cognitive confusion, learning then to forgive themselves for their part of painful incidences of their social disasters, will allow them to forgive others (the abusers), and thus is relieved of the emotional baggage that, in most cases, manifests in their bodies in detrimental unhealthy ways. With newfound avenues of self-expression and new social skills tools learned, the autistic individual or not, can move forward void of past negativity that drains lifeforce. Forgiving is good.


LHW: You talk about racism in your book, ‘The Odyssey of Woolly Mammoth Boy.’ I’m always saddened by how few people of color attend conferences on autism.  How can the community help to change this?


VR: Racism is a parasite to the heart and soul of the one who is on the receiving end of its’ toxicity. It is hard to explain racism to someone who never experienced it. It is like trying to explain to someone what an orange tastes like. In the 1980’s when I taught up in Spanish Harlem in New York City, I could have bet a thousand bucks that maybe a quarter of those kids were undiagnosed AS individuals. I knew they would not see any intervention or receive assistance because they lived in an area of New York void of city, state or federal awareness...they were not on the social radar. And why should they be? Racism put them where they are, and racism kept them where they are. The social economical ladder is hard to climb when you are starting with not much to begin with. Today, life is different, but not all that different. How many pictures do you see of AS kids of color on the cover of major magazines advocating for autism? Not many. When I go to the Philippines on autism advocacy and training missions (I have been there four times in two years), I have found a booming autism population, and not one white face. Most of the services for the Filipino autism population are sparse and few. My Filipino friend, Sir Archie David, runs a successful school for young people on the autism spectrum and learning disabilities, that is grass roots in it’s core, and empowers the autism community from within- with not much government assistance. Brilliant!


LHW: I am a strong believer in grass roots communities, but I also believe government resources, when available, should be equally available to all people. I’m sure you would agree…


VR: For the United States to help all people on the autism spectrum, regardless of color, the social/economical playing field needs to quit being the determining factor in who gets timely services. By developing more outreach programs for inner city autistic communities, and offering free early testing and prevention programs, we bring into the fold all those in need. It would be great to see more local autism community-based sponsorship for autism advocacy and training for AS young people and their parents who are less fortunate. Share the wealth, we are in this together!


LHW:  Agreed. Very important points. I’d also add our community needs to continue to work on the public relations of the face of autism. If the world continues to focus most of its attention on the complications of autism rather than the fine points, we face losing people who will be reluctant to admit they have it or have a child or friend with autism. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for someone facing racial or social prejudices to add autism to their list of struggles. It might be less stressful and at times, easier, to ignore the autism. I use the straw on the camel’s back metaphor in this case. How much can a person or a family take before they start to crumble or give in to learned helplessness? 

RV: Most of the AS cases I was involved with since 1991, displayed the following family dynamics surrounding an AS child: there was the non-factor father (not all cases), a overburden mother/single parent, and ‘normal’ siblings that hated being around their troublesome high maintenance AS sibling that took a toll on the whole family, that was also, overburden financially and fighting for the few services available. This may go on for years! There is not one outstanding factor that burdens and breaks the AS family, it is a case of the exponentially growing burdens of a long tough life.

For the AS individual, the years of disappointment, bullying and failure slowly develops into a scab of intolerance to change because of learned outcomes of failure. The AS individual can be depressed, lethargic, uninspired, shame riddled, given up all hope, and in some cases, spirals down into toxic habits.


LHW: It is never easy to handle the tough stuff that comes with feeling different, particularly if we feel different in more than one way. In your book, The Odyssey of Woolly Mammoth Boy, you discuss the complexity of grief. I suffer from much grief. Sadness puts my heart in a prison. What is your experience with grief and how people on the autism spectrum can learn to deal with grief?


VR: The many experiences, some when I was very young in age, of abandonment, rejection, betrayal and death, the most recent, the passing of my vibrant wife to cancer in 2010, is the grief I carry.


Grief comes in many packages…all of them have the power to destroy the soul.

I mentor my clients to first identify their source of grief and the wounding, then we compassionately develop strategies and behaviors to safely express the long-held grief that can be debilitating and spirit deadening. This is the beginning for any grieving individual to move forward with new emotional strengths and positive visions. We therefore acknowledge that life is constantly in dynamic motion, and what we had experienced- the loss and grief, is part of the whole picture of living that also contains abundance and great joy.


LHW:Your story and insight is extremely enlightening. I am looking forward to learning more from you and very excited to see what the future holds for your work in the autism field. We are blessed to have you among our community. 


R. Vicente Rubio is a first-generation Filipino-American assessed with Asperger’s syndrome. Vicente has enjoyed a full life as a professional dancer and martial artist since 1979. He is an author, a master teacher and Mind/Body specialist. He holds the rank of 5th Dan in Aikido. Vicente mentors, advocates, and conducts training for those on the autism spectrum on successful healthy life skills for independent living.

Contact Vicente at:









Article for the 'Autism Advocate'- October 2014 Issue : The Evolution through Depression and Darkness –The Enlightened Autistic Person


The Evolution through Depression and Darkness –The Enlightened Autistic Person

By R. Vicente Rubio


When I was a young boy the world I found myself in was a strange and confusing place. Family violence of beatings and screaming, social racism and isolation molded my flimsy protective shield and amour. Growing up in the early 1960’s America as a first-generation Filipino American, I had to wade through the stagnant waters of old world values of a very strict Spanish Catholic Filipino culture from across the vast Pacific Ocean, and a racist American environment that was filled with bigotry and smiling faces that masked hatred and lies…very confusing for a young boy.

I was an undiagnosed child on the autism spectrum born in the late 1950’s (I was later found to be on autism spectrum in 2010). Small, sickly, flat-footed, stuttering and beaten into silence, I floated in my autistic mind that had also been damaged by Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) by my father’s physical beatings. Ridiculed by family and strangers alike I fled into a dark depression where I withered on the vine. With my parents finally divorcing after many violent years, my mother’s many suicide attempts taught me incorrectly on how to deal with adversity. It was with this emotional foundation that I grew into my adolescent years without a positive father figure, a mother’s damaged mentorship, and a bewildered mind and banged-up autistic brain, with added early behaviors of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).

            The fact I grew into manhood and successfully survived my childhood of confusion, depression and darkness awed the many autism spectrum and non-autism spectrum students and their parents I had the privilege and honor to mentor for the last 25 years. Their questions and desires to hear my story led me to write my second book, an autobiographical account which was published on March 2014, “The Odyssey of Woolly Mammoth Boy - One Man’s Journey through Autism, Racism, Grief and Surviving the American Dream”. So how did I do it? How did I live to tell my tale and inspire others?

            When I was invited to write an article for this publication, I looked at the social environment and many issues that face today’s youths whom I had mentored to prevail through and to find success and meaning in, regardless of being autistic or not. I did not have to look very far into our current fast paced, over-stimulated culture with a self-absorbed mentality, to see the devastation that it has wrecked and dismantled the many time honored family values, personal health awareness and responsible environmental wisdom.

What disturbed me the most though was the tragic spate of school and college shooting since the 1990’s, and the seemingly tragic lives of the young people who were the shooters. The most recent tragic shooting on the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara, was carried out by a young man who had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning autism, as told by his mother in a newspaper interview. I remember seeing a picture of this young man and easily saw myself. He was of a mixed race marriage, and his fine Asian features and delicate beautiful eyes stared right into my soul. That his tormented story he had told on his Facebook page spoke of social isolation, ridicule, shunned by females that he was interested in, and the pent-up anger and ideas of retribution spoke clearly of my own anger of the injustice I too had felt as a teenager growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s. Though I am not insinuating that individuals on the autism spectrum are prone to play out their anger through acts of violence, I do recognize from my observations of myself, and through the years as a mentor to young people on the autism spectrum, that the language and visions of our anger and violence are present in some of us.  Though fantastical and imaginative in our description of the justice we wish upon our abusers, most of us do not play out our anger rage upon others. We aim our terrible rage upon our selves and our loved ones. Yet, I cannot deny that we on the autism spectrum do lack at times the ability to restrain our actions and curtail our tempers. So, the questions I pondered with UC Santa Barbara Campus shooting were again, like the Virginia Tech and other school shootings, was what were the early signs in these young men to act out their violent behaviors? Why did all the shooters show a history of social isolation, depression, fascination to violent retribution, and a disconnection from their family? And, what was the tipping point that drove them to their tragic and violent end?

Looking into my own behavior though my social life of trying to be accepted by my peers, and the many failed intimate relationships I realized I was painfully confused and misunderstood. I would hurt and destroy the ones I loved the most with the rigid thinking of ‘my way or the highway’, terrible angry and abusive verbal demonstrations of lost of control, and the destruction of objects around me. This was always accompanied by self-abusive behavior, shame, and suicidal thoughts of my own demise. It is said the grief is the flipside of unexpressed anger, and I surely had a abundance of unexpressed anger from a life of being ridiculed, and abused from the ones closest to me, that being my family, and the bigoted and cruel world of the racist society I was forced to live in. And, like all trauma of pain, shame and grief that are buried deep into our hearts and unresolved, the unhealed wounds are scabbed over to fester into thoughts dark depression, sadness and helplessness that are then embedded into our psyche that taint our perspective of our potential strength to heal from such trauma, and to blend with the chaotic social world around us.

Fortunately, I grew up in a time in our history where the access to a world untouched by computers and the unchecked social media madness that came with it, was still prevalent. I was spared the over-stimulation and self-indulgent freedom to hide and disappear behind the falsehood of cyber technology of gaming and social interaction. My teenaged life was defined by independence and self-survival, for I ran away from home at 15, and worked my way through high school and successfully graduated by doing odd jobs, night dishwashing jobs and door-to-door sales. I paid for my own car, car insurance and took care of my financial responsibilities. I did things that most young people today, autistic or not, have no inclination about or desire for. With this said, I had intuitively sought to better myself for my own survival because no one was going to do anything for me. I kept my depression at bay by being proactive in my life in the best way I could through the means I had taught myself and learned the hard way of sweat and toil.

To address all my toxic social behaviors, the dark demons of my soul, and the disabling effects of depression and anger, I began to search for ways to find myself and evolve from the mire and stagnation that held me down. No one was helping me. I wanted to live, and I wanted to love and be loved.

What immediately stood out for me was a lack of connection to my own body and the vital grounding connection to the physical world me. So when depression and darkness appeared in my life, there was no way for me to ground – to peg down- and discharge the energetic chaos that went straight up into my head. Most of the kids on the autism spectrum I have mentored showed this disconnected, spacey, and out-of-touch relationship to the physical world around them. Our violent and angry outbursts came from a place where we felt unsafe and misunderstood, or not getting stimulated and satisfied right there and then. Our autistic brains have been recently been found to have too many synapses that were not naturally ‘pruned’ by our bodies as we grew (NY Times article, ‘Study Finds That Brains With Autism Fail to Trim Synapses as They Develop’- August 21, 2014). We on the autism spectrum are over stimulated by the world around us all the time: the physical world of smells, light, tactile and sounds could be terribly painful and overwhelming. Our ability to take ‘hits’ from the emotional social world confounds us for we lack the tools to play along with others, and also to agree to tell the emperor that he is wearing clothes when he is clearly not!

My journey towards personal enlightenment to living on this planet safely and harmoniously began from my study of myself from the inside out and from the ground up. In my early twenties, as a starving student of dance in the 1980’s in New York City and no way to pay for medical assistance or care, I immersed in the reading of books on acupuncture/ acupressure, body alignment and kinesiology for the healing of my numerous dance injuries; the realigning and healing of my body’s energy with the color spectrum and sound; the studying positive visualization, and the power of language and positive affirmations through the study of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). I needed to take care of myself and be self-sufficient. It was the beginning for me to comprehend the power of how to controll my mind to heal myself, and guide me to afford myself the moment to pause, rather than to respond with my normally damaging knee-jerk reactions to my every moment stresses from the over-stimulations from the crazy world of New York City in which I lived in at the time. New York City was the perfect training ground to learn or die. This self-initiated training of health was the basis of my mind/body model I developed called BodyKi, or BodyBreath, in 1985. In the process of becoming a professionally trained dancer, I had learned how to stand on my own two feet from a strong physical core/center, and to use the earth to leap from and to stay connected to in order to execute multiply turns or pirouettes. For a spinning top will lose balance as it loses connection or adherence to the surface in which it spins upon. I had learned how to present myself with confidence while performing on stage. I was trained to enter a room full of strangers with such pronounced body awareness and presence to where I would be able to, ‘own the whole room’. I took to my dance studies in the true autistic characteristic of complete absorbed obsession and single-minded focus that could not be deterred by the frivolous chore of the essential act of eating and sustaining myself. My social skills were enhanced by understanding the body language and facial masks that were presented in my theater studies, role-playing exercises, and the studying and mimicking my peers in their attempts in their relationships. Though pasted on and robotically practiced, I refined these social skills through the years.

Later, my deep study and training in the martial art aikido married my body to a vibrant spirit of focused intention to my every physical action, and honoring the preciousness of the each moment in which I lived. For the martial arts taught me, for I had also studied boxing, capoeria and close combat training; that the essence of the present moment resides in the moment of taking breath. An insightful martial art teaching mantra goes something like this: “One breath, one sword cut, one moment to live or die.”  This mantra implies that the moment to live is in the present and not the past or the future. In my mentoring young people the first lesson I offer is this concept. For our fears, defeats, traumas, sadness, shame, guilt, grief, what we could have done or could have said, all lies in our past and not in our present moments. If we project these detrimental past thoughts into our future, by the language we use and the visions we see in our minds, we are then surely doomed to fail. And, as challenging it is to detach and release such emotional and physical thinking luggage, the act of accepting this positive and purifying notion of living in the present moment of our lives and not in our past, is a key to enlightenment and healing. For it is only in the present moment, the joyous moment of the now, that we can change. Not tomorrow nor yesterday…only in the present moment can we truly make life affirming change.

That we will always be autistic, or might outgrow some autistic behaviors through positive consistent cognitive and behavioral training, the reality I have observed in myself, and those I have mentored, is that the beginning of the path towards enlightenment begins with the idea we all have the power to change and not be what we once were. This concept also gives rise to a sense of spiritual connection to something greater than our ‘chattering fearful minds’ of our past defeats and traumas. For it is our undisciplined minds that can lead us to repeat the toxic behaviors that in the past destroyed the harmony to ourselves and to those in our lives.

My strongest teachings I mentor lie in two fundamental premises. First, Breath is the foundation of life as the human mortals we are. To not breathe is to succumb to death. It is hard to live in an anaerobic environment (without oxygen) for the oxygen-based organisms that we are. One would be surprised how many people do not breathe when under stress or in deep thought. And secondly, movement disrupts stagnation. Stagnation of the mind, body or spirit leads to darkness and depression. For without movement all turns to muck and mud in the mind and body. It is said that the only things that are stagnant are things that are dead and without life. To move is to create positive energy, generate healing heat, and to raise the vibration in ourselves, and those around us. It is a known fact that cancer cells cannot live in an aerobic environment, where high vibration is present and heat. That is why laughter is one powerful medicine in battling cancer.

My path to spiritual and mindful enlightenment also included me finally facing the physical toxicity that held my brain/body hostage to the devastating anger rages, a deadly destructive polarized thinking, sleep depravation, gastro-intestinal challenges, intense skin rashes and eczema, crippling compound headaches (women suffer migraine headaches), and muscle weakness. I slowly, and with difficulty, detached myself from heavy sugar and salt intake, dairy, glutens, and foods the created an acidic intestinal environment. I got myself tested for heavy metals (I was found to be high in cadmium and aluminum). I drank more clean water, and added leafy greens and fresh fruits to alkaline my system. I had early on in my life flushed toxicity my skin by taking hot showers and finishing with a ice coldwater rinse…brrrr! Yet, refreshing, detoxifying and invigorating! In time, many of my detrimental physical symptoms disappeared, and my devastating mood swings, my spacey head, and black and white thinking became more manageable.

In conclusion, we on the autism spectrum, those who suffer from PTSD and TBI, and all humans who contend with depression and darkness, are best served to remember that we are not alone in our lives and our despair, and that we are not the first to ever experience such dilemmas. We have the power to change for the better when we are courageous and brave to face the demons that have power only in our past and not in our present moments. Change is never easy and life constantly swings from highs to lows…it is the nature of all life around us. To learn ways to find moderation in our lives is most beneficial, and to release the polarized thinking of our past behaviors. I am not immune to depression and darkness...I am not perfect in my enlightenment. It is said in the world of biology that there does not exist the ‘all and perfect’ world. In the biological world there is that ‘most things are…’ and not, ‘all things are’. This allows me to be compassionate to myself when I am ‘not perfect’, for we all know that we on the autism spectrum sometimes love to be perfect and always right! I know now healthy and safe tools, and proactive strategies to help me and support me while I get over my everyday bumpy and hard times. For, when we continue to see who we are as the whole and complete entities we were born as, regardless of what is said of us by the diagnoses and evaluations of what we may lack, we remain the whole complete living entity. And this leads us to a place where we are allowed to be open to creatively discover healthy, long lasting, and safe approaches to living a vibrant life that fulfills us, and those in our lives. 

So, please breathe deeply, take the time to pause before action, be compassionate to yourself so you can be compassionate to others, and fill yourself with light, power, joy and laughter!

R. Vicente Rubio is a mentor, author, inspirational speaker and advocate for those on the autism spectrum and young people in need. Having enjoyed a full career as a professional dancer, Vicente a martial artist for 30 years is a 5th Dan in Aikido. He is the director of Pathfinder Mentoring. He can be reached at:

For more information please go to:



Article from the Autism Research Institute, April 2010, San Diego, CA

Martial Arts Expert Vicente Rubio's new book offers tips for improving body awareness, coordination, and balance. What do you get if you cross martial arts with Zen philosophy with elements of dance training? Odds are your first guess wouldn't be "a novel form of therapy for Asperger's Syndrome." Yet these unlikely ingredients are exactly what Vicente Rubio combines in his approach to mentoring individuals with Asperger's.

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Pride and Power

Ron Rubio's work with young people in ASPIE program breaks through barriers

Five boys raise wooden swords over their heads, then sweep the swords down in front of their bodies. "Look forward, gentlemen! Extend your energy out your body!" calls Ron Rubio, teacher of physical education and the Japanese martial art of aikido. "Use your breathing! Jake, more energy in your body! Elijah, you're looking good this morning!" These seventh- and eighth-graders are students at the ASPIE School.

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