Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Alien Observes..Anger, Hurt, Love Sex

I have observed a number of things... People that are angry are hurt, in pain. They lash out at everyone, blindly, erroneously, swinging fists with eyes closed. Someone hurt them really bad. (I'm talking about those people who seem angry most of the time)And they can't get a grip on it...can't seem to come to terms with it and release their pain in an alternative way. Angry individuals are hurting.
Frustration seems to be when someone or something fails to meet some expectation that we a dream unfulfilled. Or when we ourselves, fail to reach a goal.
I often Wonder how much I am supposed to allow others to lead their own lives and if and when I am supposed to intervene. Where is the line between being an individual and making ones own choices and allowing someone to do an act which the observer feels is wrong?
What is right and wrong anyway, but a subjective point of view?
Love and sex. I've noticed that some people equate having sex as being in love, wherein sex becomes some sort of tool in which one can "get love". I don't believe that to be true. Many people who are having sex are no where near love and vice versa.
Pain and Love are both HUGE words with a multitude of degrees and meanings, intensities and levels. To say one of them is to whisper into a crowded room...the meaning is only clear to those who can hear a sense, grasp and understand the place in which it is spoken.
Alcohol, drugs, excess, its all a pain-killer, something that is hidden or that we are uncomfortable with. Often I think of addiction as a very strange, warped band-aid that is trying so hard to cover up something that we don't like about ourselves...usually it's false expectations imposed upon someone by another. I find it hard to believe that we could have ever done something so awful that we have to hide from ourselves in shame. Or cover it up and try and bury it.
Why do we consistently find our every little fault and drag out the magnifying glass? Why do we pick on and berate ourselves for being human? I don't get it. Learned behavior, mostly?
The caged bird can sing if it wants

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Loyalty and Aspergers...My Word is My Bond

It wasn't until the past couple of weeks that I realized "loyalty" meant something to this Aspie, and her son, that was much more than the standard definition.
Loyalty-quality, state or instance of being loyal; faithfulness or faithful adherence to a person, goverment, cause, duty, etc...
Loyal-...faithful to those persons, ideals, etc. that one is under obligation to defend
As an example of ferocious loyalty....if I was, say, 17 years old again, and my best friend Maureen asked me to go with her and do something with her...I would do it, probably without question. Legal or not, stupid or not, I would have followed her. If Maureen has gotten thru all the walls and barriers and I call her "friend" then, yes, I would do whatever she asked Without question. That is Aspie loyalty.
Because I trust her enough, to allow her to See me...I become blind to everything else.
Is it because I have such poor definition of self that I so narrowly follow her? Is it because she was the only person willing to hang out with me and go places with me? Was I that desperate and lonely for a friend? Definitely possible.
There is soo much here, bear with me...
People use the term "friend" with different degrees and meanings/ levels of friendship. I have a handful of friends..these are people who i don't hide myself from in Any way. They see the real me even when I am agitated or emotional and we are both comfortable with that. It is probably my biggest criteria. If I feel embarrassed around someone, its a deal breaker. Comfort is key.
Through observation, I have noticed that the word friend can oft times have a much more liberal meaning and encompasses, what I term, acquaintances.
Facebook friend, is nothing more than a slander and degradation of the word as it means, in my book, "someone you know or have had contact with, even very casually".
I could count on two hands how many friends that I have had, okay, maybe two and a half. That is were I differ from the Neuro-Typical.
Friend means loyalty...ferocious, semi-blind, total immersion loyalty. I don't do anything half-way, as I have heard others often remark of me. And yes, it is a very difficult circle to break in to. I am quite selective. I have learned that one is often the company one keeps...and that is sooo true for this Aspie. I am much more careful these days.

Okay, Eldest wasn't so lucky...its a learning curve thing.

My word is my bond. I'm not sure if it is because of the liberal looseness with which NTs spout their words or not, but I have always had, like, this unspoken code of honor where my every word becomes an unbreakable bond. Maybe it is because I take things literally...or I had been let down time after time when people said one thing but really meant another. Maybe its simply a way not to be so confused.

Have you ever watched Crocodile Dundee? Its playing as I write and I can understand the confusion of Mick being tossed into a foreign land and feeling quite the stranger, the alien, if you will. Life for an Aspie is a lot like that...really.

I honor my verbal bonds...actually its more like bondage most of the time. I can see where I have, frequently, beat myself up because I said one little thing,like, I'll be there at 8 and if i arrive at 8:10, I feel like something sacred has been broken. Really, it is time for me to lighten up on this one because it leads to too much self-castigation. Granted, I will never be as loose-lipped as the average NT, but I could give myself a break and find a little leeway in this factor.
Maybe the bonds are that much stronger because we are more selective or just don't find many others that we want to let in. Maybe we have been hurt so much by false friends who were really doing nothing more than feigning friendship in an attempt to later make fun of us.

Ahhh, yeah, the sting...rejection, hurt, embarrassment, those are really big butt bites. Anyone with half a brain would try and avoid them.
They say Aspies lack emotion, but in my reality, it is just the opposite. Aspies feel so much more and with such great depth that we are simply trying to protect ourselves from further pain, by throwing up wall after wall, digging moats and trenches and keeping others at arms length. I think some of my other posts may have touched on the depths of my I don't know how one measures pain, I'm just saying...
Anyway...Thar she blows...okay, I'm done

Positive Characteristic of Aspergers...plagerized from the net

In scouring the internet for info for my next post...I happened to come across the following information. Too often we focus on the challenges of having Aspergers. Let's look at the positives:

A. A qualitative advantage in social interaction, as manifested by a majority of the following:
1. peer relationships characterized by absolute loyalty and impeccable dependability
2. free of sexist, "age-ist", or culturalist biases; ability to regard others at "face value"
3. speaking one’s mind irrespective of social context or adherence to personal beliefs
4. ability to pursue personal theory or perspective despite conflicting evidence
5. seeking an audience or friends capable of: enthusiasm for unique interests and topics;
6. consideration of details; spending time discussing a topic that may not be of primary interest
7. listening without continual judgement or assumption
8. interested primarily in significant contributions to conversation; preferring to avoid ‘ritualistic small talk’ or socially trivial statements and superficial conversation.
9. seeking sincere, positive, genuine friends with an unassuming sense of humour

B. Fluent in "Aspergerese", a social language characterized by at least three of the following:

1. a determination to seek the truth
2. conversation free of hidden meaning or agenda
3. advanced vocabulary and interest in words
4. fascination with word-based humour, such as puns
5. advanced use of pictorial metaphor

C. Cognitive skills characterized by at least four of the following:

1. strong preference for detail over gestalt
2. original, often unique perspective in problem solving
3. exceptional memory and/or recall of details often forgotten or disregarded by others, for example: names, dates, schedules, routines
4. avid perseverance in gathering and cataloguing information on a topic of interest
5. persistence of thought
6. encyclopedic or ‘CD ROM’ knowledge of one or more topics
7. knowledge of routines and a focused desire to maintain order and accuracy
8. clarity of values

D. Additional possible features:
1.acute sensitivity to specific sensory experiences and stimuli, for example: hearing, touch, vision, and/or smell
2. strength in individual sports and games, particularly those involving
3. endurance or visual accuracy, including rowing, swimming, bowling, chess
4. “social unsung hero” with trusting optimism: frequent victim of social
5. weaknesses of others, while steadfast in the belief of the possibility of genuine friendship
6. increased probability over general population of attending university after high school
7. often take care of others outside the range of typical development

Now, on to my original thought/ post.....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bells and Whistles...Idioms

A few times in the past week, the subject of idioms has come up. One fellow blogger even asked for readers favorites. Immediately "Bells and Whistles" came to mind. makes me smile just to think about...and the visual picture is delightful. When someone says "Bells and Whistled" I always see the same thing...a train steam whistle blowing and large, golden church bells ringing. And the makes me feel good inside and always brings a smile to my face and a softness in my chest. It is purity, luxury, deserving, joy...Yeah, I really like Bells and Whistles :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Self-Realization...Aspergers..the Senses

So I walked in to the forest, by myself. I saw a tree fall. I was 85% certain that I heard it fall, even though I was the only one there and had yet to report it to anyone. 85%..thats pretty good for me.
Looking up at the canopy, above the fallen tree, light streams in touching theforest floor.
I am pretty certain that I see the light. I walk closer, somewhat cautiously, to touch it. (I am a big toucher...sometimes, I think, that if I can't touch it, it must not be real)
Words are playthings, variable subjective, with many different meanings depending on tone and inflection....basically, they are difficult to understand. So, I don't believe everything I hear.
Taste is...hmm, taste is difficult to describe because, mostly because of my food allergies. I have to be like a detective with my taste. If I can taste the substances that make my body very sick, then I can avoid the trip to the ER. So, I don't really trust my sense of taste because I have eaten things that I thought were safe, only to end up in the hospital. Hmmm, that would explain my love/ hate relationship with eating and food. Being afraid of getting poisoned kindof puts a damper on eating out and eating in general.
Sight..what I can I rely on sight when I am unable to read emotions in peoples faces? I am very poor at remember faces and have embarrassed myself, more than once, by walking up to total strangers and engaging in conversation only to find out they are not the person that I thought they were.
[Embarrassment is where you try and duck for cover and hide deep within yourself and you cannot quite fit into that closet, for your foot is hanging out. And you keep slamming that door in the attempt to hide and you just continue to bruise your foot.] interesting for it is wideranging covering the most beautiful of odors ever created to bringing the most horrendous stench to your front door. Its the essence of something, but it is fleeting.

Touch...touch is real..its about being real. Because I can touch something, I am real. In touch, others become real. (I guess if you were aware of my extremely dissociative background this would make much more sense to the observer) I communicate, take in information, analyse, figure things out, interact with the world around me, by physical contact. I can bump shoulders or shake hands with someone and get a sense of whether this is someone who would be healthy to be around or someone to be avoided. I trust touch...I can feel such love and beauty with my hands, with my face. Did ya ever notice how rarely your face ever gets touched? How intimate such contact is? It is an extremely intimate gesture.
It is so very easy for me to identify the saddest time in my life. When I ran away from home, at 27, left my entire family and settled in Traverse City. There were months and months were I didn't know anyone or have anyone to touch. I remember how I longed for some type of human contact. It is the one thing that you cannot satisfy within yourself. It was a truly awful time for me.

On another negative note, the body memories of hot wheels tracks on the backs of my legs has been the most challenging memory to heal and erase. (I'll have to work on that one sometime because I was at the toy store, last week, buying presents for little guy and I saw those damn tracks and the sight of them made the backs of my legs hurt. Honestly, if you want to inflict great pain on someone, just grab one of those tracks and whip em. Funny, after a particularly bad whipping, those tracks started disappearing into the incinerator. And I had been hit with a wide variety of objects, but nothing has left such a lasting impression as those damn tracks.) So, even though touch has not always been pleasant, it is the sensation that I am most trusting of and comfortable with.

If I smell something...I experience it. If I taste it, hear it or see, its questionable. If I touch something...I know and believe it.
If I go up to that tree that fell..and I touch it...I know it has fallen. I believe that which I can feel.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Is Love? Definition

Love is a warm, soft, smooth, semi-liquid feeling or sensation. It is the absence of pain, hurt and wanting. Each and every one of us is born full of pure love.
Love is a remembering of that newborn, infantile state of being.
Love is a forgetting...of all the words and actions imposed upon us by others, that we are unworthy, wrong, unlovable. Those who have had their sense of love ripped away by others, will do the same.
Love, we are taught, is something we can only get from others...something to earn and aspire to...something we must constantly seek...for we are not whole and complete unless someone outside of ourselves gives it to us.
I believe that this is very incorrect.
Love is inside of us. It is and always has been at the very center of our being. It is buried deeply beneath all the expectations, shortcomings, mistakes and regrets.
It is something that parents and caregivers unknowingly steal, maim and destroy in young children. When a parent is nothing but an open wound, they will try and often succeed, in sucking the love and joy from anyone around them. And children give it away freely to those who claim to love them.
Love is a birthright, a glorious gift that we are all born with. It is inside of us. We can be whole and complete and completely happy if we can only find it, acknowledge it and allow it to flow freely, once again.
Imagine...if only for a moment...that all the love that you will ever, ever need in your entire within.
Imagine the center of your this warm, soft, glowing pink ball of semi-fluid, brilliant, peaceful, loving energy....and let it flow

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I AM an Emotional Being....Getting Real

Boy, this is a tough one. Wow, I am emotional being. Emotions have been one of those things, one of those very big things that I have tried to keep hidden and checked. Emotions, especially sadness, make me feel so vulnerable.
As a child, holding in those feelings, never letting them see the tears, was a power trip of was my attempt to not let them know that they were hurting me. I tried taking away the perpetrators power by burying all the pain and hurt deep, deep inside.

I have come to realize that the power isn't in hiding emotions, its in accepting that they are a vibrant part of me and I am comfortable expressing how I feel. I validate my own existence by acknowledging that every single part of what makes me, Me is healthy, good and worthy of love.....hiding isn't good for the soul.
Emotions are the elixir of Life. They are what makes everything flow...the color on the canvas...the oars that row the boat....

Well, do you know what happens when you take a lot of pain and just stuff it inside after, oh, decades? It eats you away and can make you very sick. A great, prolific source of autoimmune disorders.
I am an emotional being. To deny my emotions is to deny a part of my self.
Okay, yeah, so I took that damn sledgehammer and busted down the damn. Its so weird how something can feel both enormously sad and so ginormously healing at the same time.
I'm not going top separate myself any more. I'm not going to judge whether this feeling is bad and should be hidden but this other one, well, its okay. It don't work that way.
Emotions are a big part of what makes us REAL. Yes, Pinocchio, you can become a real boy! Yeah, that made of wood, or in my opinion, stone, being made of stone isn't a healthy choice for me anymore.

Boy, if I am capable of feeling this much sadness, I must also be able to feel an equally huge amount of joy. I don't think you can have one without the other.
It feels like I found the missing piece of me.
I am an emotional being...I can accept that

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Darmok...The Children of Tama...Tamarians Aspergians Same Diff

My favorite Star Trek episode, of all times, is Darmok. The story revolves around the Tamarians or Children of Tama alien race that has been visited seven times in 1000 years but formal relations were never established because communication was not possible.
Picard, in his infinite shiny-headed wisdom makes a very profound statement: "Are they truly "incomprehensible"? In my experience, communication is a function of Patience and Imagination. I'd like to think we have both qualities in sufficient measure."
Captain Picard and the Enterprise crew are sent to the planetary system El-Adrel. Upon the viewscreen, the Tamarian Captain, Dathon states: Rai and Jiri at Lungha. Rai of Lowani. Lowani under two moons. Jiri of Ubaya. Ubaya of crossed roads. At Lungha. Lungha. Her sky grey.
My translation: Rai and Jiri are beings/ individuals
Lungha is a location/ Place
Rai is from Lowani
Lowani is a location, possibly a planet, area or town
Lowani under two moons= I would take this to mean "time", possibly the year in which the meeting between Rai and Jiri took place. While "two moons" may mean that Lowani has two physical moons, I highly doubt it as that would be general basic knowledge. When I see "moons", I automatically think of "time" as that is how our ancestors kept track of thing sand it is more specific to the conversation at hand.
Jiri of Ubaya= Jiri is from the location of Ubaya.
Ubaya of crossed roads= If Ubaya is a location..."of crossed roads" implies a more exact location. Or Ubaya may have a major intersection, meeting place between two..planets or races/ cultures.
At Lungha= Rai and Jiri had a memorable meeting at Lungha
Her sky grey= Grey, the shade between black and white...the middle of compromise.
So, these two guys meet, in a, wait..So, these two guys meet at Lungha and somehow they find peace. Although each is from a very different place, they see past their differences and find a common solution, peace, friendship.

Needless to say, the Enterprise crew didn't get the message. So the Tamarians, hungry for a solution, kidnap the good Captain Picard and transport him down to a nearby planet along with their own Captain Dathon.
"Okay, lets settle this Capitan y Capitan" my translation :)
So, down on the planet Dathon, ever patient Dathon, keeps trying to communicate.
"Temba, his arms wide" and Dathon getures with his own arms, opening them wide. I thought this one was way too obvious. "Here take this"
Both parties are genuinely trying to communicate and understand each other. It is quite awhile before the dawn breaks and "Sokath, his eyes uncovered", there is understanding.
Other favorite Tamarian lines along with my own personal translations:
"Shaka, when the walls fell"= I give up or failure
"Darmok of Kanza"= Darmok is from Kanza
"Jalad of the Kituay"= Jalad is from the Kituay, either a race, culture or planet
"Darmok on the ocean"= Darmok is alone or travels somewhere
"Jalad on the ocean"= Jalad, also, shares this with Darmok
"Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra"= Darmok and Jalad hook up, get together, meet at the place called Tanagra. Something major happens there..a meeting of the minds, a cooperation, a sharing.
"The beast at Tanagra"= Darmok and Jalad defeat or overcome either a physical beast or a mental, cultural barrier
"Darmok and Jalad on the ocean"= now together going to the same place
So basically, Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra means lets get together and cooperate, help each other.

Okay, spoiler here, Dathon becomes injured and racked in pain says, "Zinda, his face black, his eyes red"= I took this to mean that Dathon was staring into the face of death whilst I read other translations that thought it meant "anger or conflict, pain or discomfort"

"Kiazis children, their faces wet"= given the situation, Dathon is injured and Picard tries to help but is shooed away...their faces wet is obviously tears.

"The river Temarc in winter" is a beautiful word picture probably meaning silence.

"The Children of Tama"..the name implies innocence, naivety, gentleness, I feel that A Child of Hans has the very same meaning.
The difficulty in communicating....I remember watching this for the first time and feeling so moved, engrossed and transfixed. (Of course it took me about a week to realize that I enjoyed it because of the similarities and correlations to my own life)
As some of my previous posts support, I sometimes think or rather feel, in pictures. I found the Tamarian language along with the sidebar of gestures to be something quite beautiful to watch and melodic to listen to. They speak in metaphors and/ or allusions. I can't say that I have ever seen that on the screen before. And honestly, I don't know if it is just me or if it is a trait, common or uncommon with Aspergians. I can see that my Aspie son speaks this way, but then again, he has hung out with me most of his life.
I've oft read that some Aspies are more visual than others, so it stands to reason that some of us talk in visuals. LOL, and I laugh to think that...okay, hearing my written words is one thing, but you really should pay and see the full show...When I talk, I tend to gesture quite really can be entertaining :) (Yes, the movement of my hands directly contributes to enhancing my verbal skills) OMG, I was teased unrelentingly growing up, that if I sat on my hands I wouldn't be able to say a single thing...go figure
This is truly an episode like no other. If you haven't seen it...Do. If you have seen it again...Sokath, his eyes opened

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Temple Grandin..An Aspie Movie Review

I watched the movie "Temple Grandin" last evening. "Excellent" "This makes perfect sense" and "I love this" were my unfiltered reactions. I very much enjoyed this movie and would recommend it.
The movie tells the story of Temple and how she perceives the world. The special effects allow the viewer to, in a sense, get inside Temples head in an easy-to-understand way.
I loved how the movie brought out all the signs, symptoms and issues associated with having aspergers. Some of my favorite scenes were when she was at school and endured the incessant teasing and taunting of others. This is the first movie, that I have seen, that accurately depicts the painfully problematic school scene and the true, profound discomfort of being at parties and in the social environment.
As Temple navigates the neuro-typical world, all the little things that make our lives challenging, from just getting through a school day, walking through automatic doors, going to the grocery store, navigating a cafeteria line, eating a very limited diet, wearing the right clothes, etc...A vast majority of the Aspie trials and tribulations are accurately spelled out and portrayed for all to see.
I was amazed at Temples sheer strength, perseverance and determination. When she came up against an obstacle in her path, she simply figured out a way to plow through it.
Claire Danes, studied tapes and videos of Temple and portrays her most accurately. I remember Claire from her days back on "My So-Called Life" as a teenager in perpetual angst. She played that part well and she plays Temple even better.
Another large, looming aspect of the movie for me, was how meeting and being befriended by one very special person (a high school teacher) hugely and positively impacted Temples life.
How often have I to say this right...There were many times in my life where one person said or did one little thing that pulled me from the brink of imminent self-destruction. Those very rare occasions where I have met a single individual who showed care, concern and/ or understanding that enriched me so very much that it gave me the strength and the will to continue and to be more comfortable and accepting of who I am.
The most moving and emotional scene for me, and for my partner who was watching with me, was when Temple stood up at a gathering and started talking about her autism. It deeply moved me in that she was able to succinctly say all the things that I wish I front of a group of strangers no less...and the audience wanted to know about her and how she thought and felt. Amazing.
I was quite impressed. This movie explored the inner workings of my easy feat.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Wear & Tear of Everyday Frustrations

One of the many reasons I blog is in an attempt to portray the differences that some of us with Aspergers face on a day-to-day basis. Dang, we look so normal, but under the surface...Well, you get on
Here is an example of a relatively minor annoyance that shoved me into a state of befuddlement lasting the rest of the evening.
I agreed to "Cook" dinner last night and be the I asked my partner what she wanted me to pick up from Taco Bell. She told me a "chalupa". So I drive over to the restaurant drive thru and order, the chalupa.
The disembodied voice speaks crass and cold, "beef, chicken or steak?"
Ohh, this isn't on my list. But I can guess pretty good having been with my partner for 16 years now.
"Supreme, Spicy or..mazaratti?" (okay, I made that last word up because my mind had fallen into that familiar blank state where it refuses to acknowledge or take in any information due to mass neurological firings and misfirings. Yeah, missiles going off in all directions...Now What?) This was so not on my list.
Ummmmm...think Murph, think quick before the guy behind you starts yelling for his double mega burrito supremes...I could call her..I have my phone...and how stupid would That look?
"Ok, ummm, forget about 2 bean burritos?" Score one me, I know she likes those.
So, I got my order and then remember that she asked for nachos.....To turn around and place another order? Or endure the wrath of returning home without the beloved nachos? I'll pick the latter...I know her and her probable reaction.
Thus, I returnth and blurt/ state my case before i am even fully in the door. Of course, all is forgiven. And I mull about in the frustration and try and destress the rest of the evening.
I know, I know, no big deal. The average neuro-typical would have griped for a few minutes and moved on. This Aspie had to replay the dramatic scene over and over and over and try and plan a better strategy to deal with it if it were ever to happen again.
These type of small, disquieting incidents throw me off my game and are quite stressful.
Speaking of stress and the neuro-typical...yeah, its one thing to whine and complain about a problem, the better question is what do I do about it? This Neuro-Typ hell? My answer is to try and stay calm and avoid as much interaction with them as is Aspianly possible. I will continue to interact with my friends, and will attempt to keep the stressors at a minimum. I'll see if that can work. I don't have any other answers or ideas.
At some point, I will regain my quiet, calm, predictable little world where my greatest joys are solitude and hugging my sons. Gone will be the phone calls from lawyers, the struggles at normalacy and appearing functional, the daily verbal interactions and subsequent misunderstandings...I long for some some point

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Me and Blare...Sound, Overstimulation, Ahhh

I have noticed a dramatic increase in the amount of time I spend with Blare. Blare is the affectionate term for music turned up really, really loudly so that windows shake and floors vibrate.
Believe it or not, there is a sound (LOL) reason for this atypical behaviour. I don't remember it exactly, but, at massage school they taught us that one of the reasons massage works when people are in pain is due to the overstimulation of the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system. When the right one gets overloaded, the nervous system automatically calms down. They called it the gateway effect or some such thing.
Its like if a million neurons are going in all different directions and someone stands at the top of the peak and blows a whistle really loud...everyone falls in line and simmers down.
Blare leads to calm...and i like calm..a whole lot. Its a self-soothing mechanism that actually works for this Aspie.
Its me...I'm a certified massage therapist...I know this.
Yeah, Blare and me...we got a thing going on

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Doctor Thinks....

In one of my many...medical journeys this past week, a doctor remarked that it appeared I was coming down with rosacea, a common skin condition in which the forehead and cheeks take on a ruddy, reddish complexion.
At the time I agreed that it was possible and would pursue it further with my family doctor if need be...
Well, it must have taken me 3-4 hours to realize that my forehead was excessively red because I routinely rub the area in question as a self-soothing mannerism when I am stressed. Yeah, its been that kind of week.
I had to smile

More Ways Neuro-Typicals Torture Us

I keep reminding myself that, yes, I know I am an alien in their world...but, they are so darn good at making my life miserable with their circus-like antics and I simply must file yet another report on it.
Some neuro-typicals (nt) have a tendency to talk way too much and they don't know when to stop. At this stage, in my game, I no longer put up with it. I will either a)put my hands in the "time-out" position (its like a T) and walk out of the room. b) I will roll my eyes and throw up my hands and start sputtering. c) I will find a very vague excuse to leave the room. d) I will verbally clue them to move on.
Enough already. My tolerance for incessant chatter has long flown out the window along with my patience.

The other thing, some nts do....they ask vague open-ended questions or try squeezing three questions into one and like, expect me to try and figure it all out.
Clue for the nt...ask one very specific question at a time...not a biggie here, folks.
I try and remember that as a species, the nts tend to throw words around without much regard so is it so much to ask that they put a little bit of thought into their inquiries? I think not
The world of the nt is quite vague and tough to navigate. I like things clear and easy to understand, literally.
As I have to suddenly work with a variety of nts on an almost daily basis, their flaws and my Aspergian thinking seem to clash and misunderstandings are commonplace.
I long for simple clarity and a meeting of the minds. Gosh, I happen to enjoy conversations when they are productive and comprehensible.
The only thing that is clear, these days, is how very different our two species are

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Aloneness...... Aspergers Syndrome and Loneliness

If there is one thing, that I believe a person with aspergers understands much more than the standard neuro-typical it is the intense feeling of aloneness. And maybe, hopefully, I am wrong and some aspies do not experience the brevity and depth of what it feels like to know that no matter where or with whom, you are flying solo.
Eldest and I have discussed this issue at length....we know that we are born alone and have a deep understanding of it.
Aspergers Syndrome is a disassociate state of being...always one step removed from reality
Anyway, this is the beginning of my photo essay album...I miss you

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mozart and the Whale...a movie review Aspegers on film

"People with Aspergers want contact with other people very much. We're just pathetically clueless at it." Donald Morton, Mozart and the Whale quote
I recently tracked down the 2005 movie Mozart and the Whale. Its central characters are two mid-20 people who both have Aspergers Syndrome. It is a fictional movie based on real life.
Josh Harnett plays Donald, a self-sufficient young man who is fascinated with numbers and can visualize formulas and maps in his head. He has a hard time holding down a job and runs a self-help type of drop-in center to alleviate his loneliness.
It is there that he meets Isabelle, a more out going, out spoken wild child who actually has really good eye contact and by most appearances has a subtler form of Aspergers.
Isabelle to Donald, "You can't disappoint me. Because whatever you are is exactly what I want."
I think that is what I liked best about this portrays not just a single autistic individual, but two people with varying symptoms and characteristics.
This movie will fall into that "You really should check this out" section of movies to watch to discover what Aspergers is in its varying degrees.
I highly recommend it.
Personally, this movie was easier for me to watch than Adam. Adam hit much closer to home as it was like i was looking into a mirror for the very first time. It startled and saddened me to get a glimpse of how I sometimes appear to other people. I do recommend Adam as well, its just a tough one for me but highly accurate.
One of the issues that struck me for some odd reason, was that I realized there are definitely times when another persons help is needed. I think I continue to struggle with asking for help, just not so vehemently as say, a couple of years ago. People need people, Aspie or not. (OOuuu, I better sit down...thats tough to admit.)
Anyway, see the movie...tell me what you think...recommend it to your family friends...Nough Said. Thanks

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Love Legos.....WTF???

Okay, will someone please tell me why a half-grown, forty something woman would like nothing more then to clear out an entire room and buy every single Lego kit available?? And spend her days lost in a world of tiny, small plastic red, and yellow bricks, paltry plastic flowers of blue and robotic looking peoples with fake follicles and cheerful little grins?
Why has the latest Lego catalog..the first one I have seen in years...caused me to ponder such irrational thinking as to...hmmm..if I win the Mega Millions I could have a whole house full of every Lego kit every made. I could have a gazillion of the little figures...which are so fricking cute...and definitely I would be able to purchase the 400$ Star Wars Death Star with 24 sweat.
Maybe it is due to my toy-less childhood, my Gemini youthful charisma or it could be my deeply hidden playful nature...who knows? I never saw a Lego until I was in my late 20's after I had Eldest. The first pack I purchased was those fun loving green Forest Peoples and their tree house fortress. Man, was that cool!! They even had one..yes, count little forest wench with the prettiest shade of red lipstick...she really knew how to handle them forest boys!! And I didn't buy it for my then 16 month old son...hack no...he was too young...I bought it strictly for me. Ok, so I did let him play with them. He did display genius qualities even back at 16 months for he took all the little figures..ripped off their heads and made a totem pole completely out of Lego heads. Damn, that thing was so cute!! And even at his age, he never once put a Lego in his mouth. Ahhh, he realized their magic powers back then as well(or how upset momma would be if even one mindless castle minion lost a limb or crossbow):)
So, they do actually have this insanely large and intricate Death Star (over 3,000 and with a video that shows how to put it together...sounds like a fun weekend) with 24 figures..seriously. Now, if I had 400$ sitting around and all the bills were paid and the credit cards too, and the pantry was overflowing...would I buy it? Hell Yes!!
And they have this new "Architectural Series" with mini replicas of the Sears Tower, Hancock Building, Empire State Building, Guggenheim and Frank Lloyd Wrights Falling Water house that are absolutely fascinating. (You can practically feel the frenzy of my obsessive excitement..can't you?...and yes, I am almost drooling)
And, please keep this a secret, I would like to collect all the Toy Story figures (only the adorable figures as the buildings are quite lame)...I mean, a miniature Bullseye that I could put on my dash or above my sink and stare at his loving little cute face all day??? C'mon
Yeah, I must admit that if it were financially possible, I would collect all of the figures and only some of the kits...Yeah, a couple hundred little guys and gals and critters littering my house, hiding in plants, fighting in the fridge, doing...hmmm god knows what under the couch, having parties on my kitchen table, staring at my as they surround my bathtub, hanging from lamps and the chandelier...yeah, I could do it. :)
Okay, so I would pick up the Death Star, all the architectural buildings and definitely, most definitely the entire castle series....Dang. A girl can dream.
So I have enjoyed the Forest Peoples (they seem like such peaceful folk), the Ice Raiders with their blue and orange were fabulous mostly for their color scheme, the Underwater submarines were a novelty, OMG, the Aliens were so Rad!! Dang, I so wish I had stocked up on those at the time...who wouldn't like their very own Real Flying Saucer with anal probing Aliens??? LMAO
I did have a number of Castle pieces with the knights, horses, and queens. OMG, they do have a couple of keychains that I Will purchase. There is a freaky looking jester in red and white who looks psychotic and a noble king with crown and peaceful, yet stern expression. If I could only get one??? You guessed it...the psychotic jester.
I did previously have a Darth Vader keychain...yeah, me and the Dark Side...we go way, way back. But his light saber kept poking me. seems like I might have had one other keychain that was of short duration...hmmm..keychains are the coolest..small, compact, its like carrying a little friend around in your pants...lmao...OMG, definitely goofin tonite
Anyway, I am quite all revved up over this catalog and need to take a sedative and calm down a bit. I can't remember the last time anything excited me soo...hmmm...I really can't
Life is good...Legos Rock!!!!! Be good to your mother...Word

Thursday, July 29, 2010

North Dakota...Street Signs and Turn Signals Optional

I have had a number of moments when I feel that North Dakota should be called Aspieville. For one thing...the natives don't gesture or show affect unless actively engaged. is really hard to get a wave out of some people.
Another Aspiebit...people respect each others space and every single N. Dakotan has a huge personal big and wide as the vistas. They don't pry and if anyone stares at is ever so brief as to be nothing more then a momentary flicker.
I can't read them at all due to the whole lack of affect thing. There is No Drama here, and very little yelling at the kids.
The area, the people, the cows, the animals at the zoo...everyone and everything is sedate, peaceful and I feel like I have swallowed one huge tranquilizer...seriously. Placid would be a great word to describe the overall mood.
Jobs are plentiful with help Wanted signs EVERYWHERE. Reading the local newspaper is a joy..there is scant crime and they write in an intelligable, coherent, no nonsense way. Reading about the local activiteis adn way of reports are really quite a hoot..its easy to get a flavor for this it is definitely the most pleasant place that I have ever had the privilage of vacationing.
The views...omg, to say that the landscapes are beautiful is a serious understament. Its quite dreamy, soft, rolling, carpets of color..lavenders, greens of all shades, and every beige, rust and brown imaginable. I had no idea so beauty could exist in one domain.
I feel happy, content, at home, conected, safe, secure and loved in the plains of the heartland.
People are kind and helpful. At first I thought they might be stand-offish but upon closer examination, they are just Dakotans..its their way of life, who they are, how they feel. Nope, I can't read them at all...can't tell you what they are feeling or what could be going on in their lives...are they happy, sad, confused, disillusioned, over worked, under paid, having a good day or bad...they give nothing away.
There is no litter or graffiti anywhere. They don't put a lot of stock, or work into keeping up their public restrooms...very no nonsense and basic.
Oh yeah, street signs are optional...I stayed overnight in a small town of 1,700, Garrison, and there were dozens of small town intersections with absolutely no Stop or yeild signs at all. Now That drove me nuts because I and to stop at everyone. Oh, and they named their streets rather oddly...believe it or not 1st St SE and 1st NW intersected. As did 2nd and 2nd and so on....not a lot of imagination here. Little signs of flourish save the remarkable Enchanted Highway with half a dozen ginormous, fanciful metal sculptures.
And yup, turn signals aren't used a whole lot either....I think it depends on which way the ever-present winds are blowing.
I am having a wonderful vacation and just wanted to share some of my musings and observations while they are fresh...the ride continues, as does my journey...tomorrow we start heading back for a couple days in Wisconsin to visit the in-laws...i am definitely going to miss the sights and feel of North Dakota :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What About Bob? Movie Review, Bill Murray

Okay, if you like a good comedy and can laugh at your own phobias, and your a fan of the fabulous Bill Murray, check out the 1991 flick "What About Bob?"
Bob is a heavily neurotic being who latches on to psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (and his family) played by Richard Dreyfus. Basically Bob think Dr. Leo can help him so he stalks him to his vacation home, gets acquainted and excepted by Dr. Leos wife and kids and loses most of his major phobias.
The first time I watched this movie, way back when, it was challenging because I suffered from many of the same phobias Bob does...agoraphobia, mysophobia (fear of germs, dirt, contamination),aquaphobia (fear of water or drowning), claustrophobia amongst others, so it was a rather sad state of affairs.
This past year I have had the opportunity to watch it again and liked it so much more. One of my favorite characters is "Gill" the goldfish that is Bobs constant travel companion and bestest friend.
I enjoy watching bob overcome his many challenges with just a little help from some kind, compassionate friends, especially Dr. Leos two teenagers who take Bob under their wing. Bob thrives...the phobias abate and it has a happy ending (my favorite) Check it out sometime.... :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Born On A Blue Day..Daniel Tammet review 2

I have really been enriched by reading Daniels book. My latest discovery is on page 190....
"I like to prepare myself mentally for an upcoming event, to rehearse the different possibilities or permutations in my mind because of the way I become uncomfortable when something happens suddenly or unexpectedly..."
I used to feel that I was being deceptive in some strange way by prethinking given situations. Almost as if I felt apologetic or that I was doing something wrong by playing through various scenarios that may occur. It also causes endles anxiety and many a sleepless night. That could be one of the reasons that the night before a new event keeps me awake...preplanning. Hmmm..thanks Daniel!!!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Born On A Blue Day...Daniel Tammet book review

I am on page 175 of Daniel Tammets book, "Born On a Blue Day". It is the personal story regarding Daniel and his life as an autistic Savant. Daniel was born with Aspergers and he presents his life story, his thinking and views.
At first I had a hard time getting into the book. I can rarely sit still long enough to read a chapter or two. And the recounts of his early life and incredible math skills, and memory, really didn't thrill me.
But then, about half way through the book, when he started writing about his teenage years, I began to gain some insight and knowledge regarding my own Aspie son teenager and was able to find some hope and life strategies.
I was thoroughly amazed that he was able to travel to a completely foreign country on his own and teach English to Lithuanians. The fact that he could travel and live on his own was astounding to me, who gets anxiety driving thirty miles away alone.
The book gave me hope and also opened the door of possibilities for my Eldest. Daniel did feats that I could only dream of. And his sharing of his emotions, feelings and thoughts is helping me to better understand myself and my son.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with Aspergers or to anyone interested in learning more about it....A Fascinating Read

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Larry the King and I...a dream

I had a most vivid, lucid dream today...involving none other than the famous, Mr. Larry King.
Here's the setup...we are in a kitchen with a crowd of people. He is standing by the sink drinking from a shot glass. He is dressed in a bright blue shirt, trademark suspenders and tie.
I mention something about how I wish the divorce wasn't being too rough on him. He throws back the rest of the drink and gently takes my arm. He mumbles something about how it is just something he has to deal with. He doesn't seem real concerned and before I know it we are dancing.
The crowd of people quiets down to watch. I don't hear any music but we are do a smooth slow dance. I can feel his cheek against mine and I can feel his ribcage gently up against me. (Nothing at all sexual here guys)
I don't know how tall he is in real life but in the dream he was about 5' 8". And what a smooth dancer. I remember he let me lead for awhile and then he started doing a few fancier steps. He really seemed like an old pro.
As we are grooving through the kitchen, I feel his leg gently move behind mine, touching my thigh...I knew it was time for a dip. As we slowly dipped, almost touching the floor, the photographer woman had camera ready to take a pic. But Larry thought she should wait.
I thought it was quite fun and hilarious. It was a very pleasant dream. I'm not sure exactly what it all was just a dream....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Terrible Awful Day at Sodor...or what moms do when kids go back to school that first day

A photo essay..expressing my deepest, darkest feelings....

it had been..a very long summer

Eldest thought I had surely lost my mind...but I could see him laughing on the inside...

Younglink was quite dismayed and doth protested much...

The first day the boys were back in school...I was in a giddy, silly mood...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Parenthood...the tv drama

So someone told me about this new show on TV called, "Parenthood" which has a child with Aspergers Syndrome as one of the characters. Its on Tuesday nights, nbc at 10 pm.
The first 5-7 minutes revolves around the family dinner table and everyone is talking at once...this Drama then moves into the kitchen for more of the same. I had a difficult time figuring out anything about anyone those first few minutes and it was all I could do not to change the channel to the Science or History channel. I abhor drama and the confusion and fast talking certainly did not help....So show me this kid with Aspergers Syndrome.
Finally, we get to "Max". He must be about 10 or so. And the tell-tale signs of Aspergers are kinda clear; lack of eye contact, in his own little world, resistance to change, clumsy with physical activities, etc.
His parents responses were typical and well-portrayed. They became quite frustrated at times but really tried to understand and cope as best they could.
In a nutshell, thats really all I can find to say about the show. Maybe I'll feel more loquacious if I catch another episode...Will I make an effort to remember what night its on? I'm not sure....Drama is not my forte.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Benefits...on a lighter, more positive note

Time to focus on the Positive Aspects:
I have had enough of the "heavy" stuff for the moment so I scanned the internet and found some insightful information and quotes.
As author Diane Kennedy states, "They (people with Aspergers) are our visionaries, scientists, diplomats, inventors, chefs, artists, writers and musicians. They are our original thinkers and a driving force in our culture."
Hans Asperger, the German doctor who discovered the syndrome,believed that "for success in science or art, a dash of autism is essential. The essential ingredient may be an ability to turn away from the everyday world, from the simply practical and to rethink a subject with originality so as to create in new untrodden ways with all abilities canalized into the one speciality."
Dr. Temple Grandin, an adult with autism who became a successful engineer, academic and speaker, believes that her disorder is an asset. She once famously called NASA a sheltered workshop for people with autism and Aspergers. She believes that people with autistic spectrum disorders are the great innovators, and "if the world was left to you socialites, nothing would get done and we would still be in caves talking to each other."
Aspies often have advanced vocabularies, recognize patterns that others do not, and pursue ideas despite evidence to the contrary because they are not easily swayed by others opinions.
They also see the world differently than most people and are able to comprehend multiple levels of the meaning of words and can make fabulous punsters. When told they had to "eat and run,' one Aspie said,"Oh, that makes us carnivorous panty hose."
Many experts relate that Aspies make amazingly loyal friends. They are usually free from sexism or racism. They do not manipulate people but speak frankly and honestly. They are sincere truth-tellers, whose naivety and trusting nature makes them incapable of backstabbing. As employees, they are completely dependable and follow the rules of the job.
Psychologist Teresa Bolick writes,"Their deficits are actually assets as they are unfettered by convention or manners. Aspies help us stay grounded by questioning why we do what we do, why we need to get married and other basic societal assumptions."
Life is what you make of it and how you perceive it. Life is good.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Sense of Humor...Surely You Jest

There were a couple of references, in my todays reading literature, that mentioned humor and I thought I'd share.
Aspies have emotional responses as strong as, or perhaps stronger than,most people, though what generates an emotional response might not always be the same.
And, in the same vein, Aspies are notorious for an extreme or different sense of humor.
Here is a ready example of my current obsessive fixation with, what I consider to be, most hilarious profile pictures on my facebook page.
It all started with someone saying, "Post a picture of you and your significant other"...Well I wasn't about to blandly follow such criteria so i proceeded to upload photos of...Batman and Robin kissing (cartoons), Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, Oprah Winfrey and her "friend" Gail, Dr. Evil and Minime from Austin Powers, (can there really be an Aspie out there who does Not love Autisn Powers and Ace Ventura?) 2 Fembots (beautiful, negligee-clad, blonde bombshells that are actually killer robots), Tom and Jerry and Superman holding Lois Lane. OMG LMAO even thinking about it.
So, now that VD day is over I found a Mona Lisa in a StarTrek outfit that is my current picture.
All this from the woman who cried with sadness when she saw "Charlie Brown" at the theater ten years ago. So sad, picked on, depressed Charlie Brown.
If something tickles Really Tickles me and I can break out into a laugh or grin days later when I think about it. Sometimes when I am driving alone in my car or just walking down the street or an aisle at the grocery store. :)
What is really finding the hot button of what makes an Aspie Really Happy. Its a lot like a cork in a bottle, day after day, after day until...POP and all that suppressed emotion comes rolling and bubbling forth at amazing velocity often infecting, affecting everyone around.
I can't count how many times a friend had to put her hands over her ears, literally, because I was squealing with great delight. Ok, I have seriously learned to tone down my responses but it is still fun to see it in my eldest. Just the other day he received a brand new XBox for absolutely no reason and as a total surprize. He jumped up and down, clapping his hands in sheer delight. It is definitely a moving experience.
Passion...for all their lack of everyday emotional display, if you hit an Aspies emotional hot button out.
I remember not that long ago, when I went to one of my monthly school meetings. And, all along I thought I had been presenting my thoughts and feelings on things when a teacher mentioned something about the students need to do portfolios and I felt as if I practically jumped at the opportunity to express my great dismay at this school-issued requirement. And it felt like every eye in the room was suddenly upon me, the crowd fell silent, and finally one of the teachers said something to the effect like, "Wow, Amy actually has an opinion on something!" Had I been amongst strangers, i would have been heartily embarrassed but I wasn't. Whew. And it was interesting because I really thought I had been sharing opinions all along but in truth, it really was my first definitive, very strong opinion. I had bottled up all my deep, passionate dislike for these portfolios and it just kinda burst forth, at the right time.
I don't know...I guess its a lot like looking over a calm, clear sea and only guessing at the depth and churning of the water below.

The Literal

Oh, in perusing the latest Aspergers Internet material, I came across the most perfect example of how an Aspie takes things literally:
When a teacher asks a child with Aspergers, "And did the dog eat your homework?", the child will remain silent if they don't understand the expression, trying to figure out if they need to explain to the teacher that they don't have a dog and besides dogs don't generally like paper. the child doesn't understand what the teacher is asking, cannot infer the teachers meaning or the fact that there is a non-literal meaning from the tone of voice, posture or facial expression, and is faced with a question which made as much sense as "Did the glacier in the library bounce today?" The teacher walks away from the experience frustrated and thinking the child is arrogant, spiteful and insubordinate. The child sits there mutely, feeling frustrated and wronged.
I found this to be a fairly good example of the literal thinking of Aspergers.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Greatest Movie in My World...

I simply adore the movie, "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" and would highly recommend it to all. Not only is it free of violence and cursing, which is why I thought I enjoyed it so much in the first place...but it very accurately portrays Aspergers from four different points of view!
There are four main characters; Eric, the 10 year old boy, who makes friends with squirrels and an occasional adult; Mahoney, the frustrated genius who can't quite tap into her great potential; Henry, the Mutant, the socially awkward adult businessman, who learns how to play and connect; and Mr. Magorium, the aging inventor, comfortable in his own odd, quirky ways and quite prophetic!
Oh, how I adore this movie. From the first time I saw it with the odd, brightly colored, graphics in the opening credits, I knew this was something very special and highly unique. And I was cautiously optimistic, as I watched and somewhat in awe...could this really be? Why haven't I heard of this movie before? Why isn't everyone talking about it?
The first time I watched, I could easily identify with the boy, Eric, as he struggled to make friends and was ostracized at every turn. He could connect with adults who were similarly unique but not children his own age. His mother tries her best to help..but she endlessly worries about his inability to make friends.
And then there is Mahoney, the female character, played by Natalie Portman. She is a frustrated, oh, so frustrated composer, who knows she is destined for greatness, that she is so much more than a store clerk. Her character was rather difficult for me to watch, at first. Because I feel that same frustration of being trapped and unable to express the magic that is within.
On to Henry, affectionately known as "the Mutant" because he is an accountant. He never once balks at being called Mutant...probably because he does feel like an alien. He tries so hard to be helpful and to make his affections known but is stymied at every turn. He is afraid to connect and has no clue how to play. (One of the typical Aspergers dilemmas that I must address at some point. Aspies simply don't know how to play as children or rather, with other children) And Henry tries so very hard. He finds people that he would like to get to know better and finally figures it out!
Ahhh, Mr. Magorium...a stranger, more likable character has never before been seen. Right away, I was drawn to him. He is quirky, dressing in odd, colorful clothes (do you see the appeal, here? :), going against the mainstream, questioning authority or, the social norm and living his own life as he darn well pleases. And he is a kind, gentle, very wise soul.
Oh, the wisdom in this movie...I found quite profound!!!
And it is so pleasant and enjoyable. One of the few times that I have seen aspects of myself and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I have watched this movie a few dozen times and will surely view it a few dozen more.
It is uplifting, makes you feel good inside and actually gives me a little tickle just to think about.
This is my bestest, most favorite movie of all times!!
Zach Helm who wrote and directed it, is a genius and hopefully, probably an Aspie to be proud of!!! Thank you Zach Helm!!!
Rent this movie, buy it, see it...and tell me what you think!!!! :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Clean Your Room

Oh, it sounds so simply...tell your child to go and Clean Your Room..Unfortunately, unless you get specific, very specific, your Aspie child is going to have a really rough time.
From personal experience, I sorely remember being told to clean my room. Honestly, I did not understand what that meant. Yeah, I saw some stuff on the floor and I'd pick it up or hey, I can move those clothes but for an Aspie to clean a room effectively, it must be done very differently than our neurotypical (non-Aspie) brethren.
First, be specific and break it down. Sending a kid to clean your room is confusing and such a broad, undefined phrase and will probably get you nowhere.
With my eldest I start by saying, "bring down all your dirty clothes". Ok, task 1 accomplished. Then it proceeds, one at a time, hang up your clean clothes, pick the toys off the floor, pick the papers off the floor and put them in this container, then we can actually move on to vacuuming.
One task at a time...Be Very Specific....Demonstrate if needed (as with how to use a took a number of demonstrations for him to feel comfortable)..and offer a little help if needed.
Oh the drama of trying to get him to pick up. I ended up breaking things down further by having him pick up only certain items like just Pokemon cards or only magazines. Now things do actually get done.
After a number of times doing this, anywhere from a couple dozen to a couple hundred, depending on the child, he/ she will be able to clean their room with very little help.
Teaching new tasks...OMG, I decided to teach my son to mow the lawn on the riding lawnmower. I did not realize that this was a whole day task. Looking back, I must laugh at My ignorance.
First off, we, my partner had to help because my patience was running thin that day...we tried for about an hour to get him to actually sit upon the machine, (Old Blue, I have named my green craftsman rider).
Next, we showed him how to turn it on and he just sat, stoic and watched.
Then we explained how to put it in first gear, steer and brake...and told him to get to mowing.
Oh what a sight...He sat on that loud, vibrating mower, arms crossed, the most evil of looks on his face and he sat and he sat refusing to move.
After about a half hour of this, I went out and explained the pattern he should go.
45 minutes later, I kid you not, I went back out and threatened him with taking away his gameboy/ DS/ whatever that little gameplayer is...and I went back inside.
10 or 15 minutes later, he decided to overcome his anxiety and actually get mowing. Boy, was he on unhappy camper. But he accomplished it!!!!
Every weekend thereafter, we asked him to mow the lawn. And every week I could see him becoming more and more comfortable until finally, he wouldn't throw a fit and would just fill the tank, start her up and take off. Whew!!
New tasks are very challenging for the Aspie, especially when they involve loud noise and unfamiliarity.
Myself, I actually didn't start using Old Blue until about 5 years after we purchased it. I had the push mower and had figured out the steps, the pattern that I needed to follow to mow the lawn and I wasn't sure about that rider. But, like my son, I overcame my anxiety and figured out all the steps and now, my partner and I fight over who gets to mow the lawn. It really is pretty darn fun to zip around the yard and try and run over squirrels!
Be specific, Demonstrate and be available for questions, support and encouragement!!!

Regarding ADAM the movie and Aspergers

The Truth is a Thing of Horrid, Wretched Beauty

I watched the movie Adam, tonight. It is a story about a man with Aspergers....hmmm, lots of thoughts and feelings on this one.
My first reaction was "this is bad". Do I really look like that much of a doofus? Its one thing to actually be a doofus, it is quite another when you realize others may see you that way.
He seemed like such a simpleton but I can easily remember feeling that way, frequently. Its as if everyone is speaking the same language but you. And you can't even find the dictionary to understand what they are saying.
It feels like being an alien, a foreigner in a very strange land. And you can't pinpoint why, you just know that you are very different.
Embarrassment and humiliation are probably the two worst emotions to feel. They seem to strike the deepest and sharpest. And are the hardest ones to shake and get over.
Yes, a lot of the movie is quite true. The incredible frustration with not being able to go out the door or perform a relatively simple task. I loved the great lengths it took to prepare for the job took days and days and many hours of rehearsal to get ready.
I must admit that I have much, much more in my freezer than mac and cheese and veggies. But don't make me vary from my coffee and peanut butter toast in the morning...that Is my religion.
The trauma of parties and restaurants was portrayed extremely well. And gave my partner a better understanding. She used to be a go-out-to-eat-at-a-restaurant person and had a hard time adjusting to my rebellion against eating away from home.
The loneliness...the self-abuse..unfortunately frustration expresses itself in many forms.
The fits of rage...while I have heard that this is quite common, it is not something I experience.
The inability to share personal experiences...when his father died and no one at the office knew.
Asking for help, or the inability to ask for help...Wow..true too.
Being lied to, betrayed, having the wool pulled over your eyes..YES..big, big no no's. And the subsequent wanting to burn the bridge..yes. Aspies really want no part of deception in any form.
Aspies are people who take words at their literal meaning and are brutally honest..(ok, gotta tell ya...this one time, at band, this one time at a friends house..I brought my Aspie 9 year old son. My friend was showing us the house and when we got to her newly painted bedroom,[she had all her clothing strewn on the bed away from the paint] my son said, "This place is a mess." Brutally honest, fer sure.) I guess we expect that others should be just like us. And it is quite an offense to be deceived.
The movie was upsetting because it struck so close to home.
Seeing his struggle was rather painful. I am not sure that I could actually watch it again. And I definitely do not want to share it with my son.
I was enormously pleased with the ending because it showed how against great odds he was able to overcome and succeed. When you live in your own little, highly controlled, regulated and predictable, safe world and can muster every resource you have to take a giant step is an incredible feat of remarkable courage.