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

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Prejudice, Slavery, My Thoughts

I remember the first time I heard about slavery, 10 years old, history, Mrs. Puchala. My first reaction was to strongly question whether the text book was real or fake. I was majorly confused because even at my tender age this seemed like a very sick joke.
I mean why would someone enslave another human being because their skin color was darker or different? It made no sense in my head. Who was the first person that said, "oh, let's put shackles on them and make them work for us?" and then, who are the ingrates who agreed with this deranged, misguided idea? And then like, everyone else agreed that this was okay?
How can one human being do that to another?
And for non-slave owners...fir the average white man on the street, to see another human in chains...and to think that was right? And not do anything to stop it?
It still hurts me to think of the inhumanity and suffering of anyone who was enslaved.
Maybe I am just color blind because I see all peoples as equal...always have...always will.
One big problem in my little whitebread town with an estimate of 90% white, 5% Hispanic, 3% Native American and 1% each of Asian and African American is prejudice.
Mostly certain people think it's okay and acceptable to make fun of and put down other races. They degrade the Mexican migrant workers who do the jobs that are way beneath them. Yeah, those people that help put food on our table. And the Native Americans because they run a casino and are for some reason, engaged in a cold war with the rest of us.
I don't get and I refuse to partake in any demeaning talk.
We are all equal..all the same..under our skin. Why can't people understand that?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Horseback Riding, Aspergers and Overcoming Fear

OMG, I simply must write about my riding session today.
When I was riding my horse, Rebel, on the first time round the arena...halfway round I started feeling panic. So I'm thinking, but I'm not afraid. Rebel took two, maybe three more steps and he spooked. There was an animal in the woods, sounded like a turkey that got startled and Reb jumped and went off to the side. I held on just fine and I'm pretty sure I was feeling Rebels anxiety as he heard the critter in the woods before me...And I was able to feel what he was feeling.
My instructor remarked how well I did to stay on the horse, and honestly, I never felt that I was in any danger of falling off. As a matter of fact, I recovered very quickly, took the incident for what it was (some minor thingy that just happens sometimes) and moved on.
Yay for me!! Just writing that makes me realize how atypical of a reaction that is for me....very positive!
So we continued on.
Shortly thereafter, my instructor, ever so calmly just Suggested that if I ever wanted to learn how to trot....she was giving me pointers.
At first, my automatic reaction is oh, no, I don't Think so.....but she kept talking...gently, casually it got me thinking. I really trust this woman and if She thinks I am capable of trotting...we'll...maybe. So she and I discussed it and I decided to give it a go.
For the very first trot, I had Mary walk/run alongside with a lead rope. Okay. Then I needed more information and she demonstrated for me, which was very cool. Then I decided to attempt it on my own. I could feel myself tense up, so I kept calming myself down and mustered up some courage....and Trot! OMG, when I brought Reb to a halt....I laughed! What a liberating, fascinating, involved experience! I loved it!
I continued throughout our hour and a half session to trot here and there. Fascinating.
It was like.....a roller coaster ride...scary good fun. Liberating. I loved the sound of the horses hooves thundering on the ground. It is a wondrous, grounding sound of completion and connection...and it was like it wa my feet thundering, connecting on the ground....very cool and soothing. In addition (there was a whole lot going on in those few seconds) the sight of Rebels mane blowing in the wind, so natural and carefree. I felt completely safe. Then there is this whole bouncing thingy...which I'm not sure how to take. I'm learning to relax and trust more as I sit in the saddle and the bouncing was okay...sometimes smoother, sometimes not. Interesting sound of the leather saddle squishing:) the wind blowing past my I had a fabulous time. I am still replaying it. I continue to smile and laugh inside about it. It...tickles me.
It's like, I walked into the arena, carrying an egg of fear. You know, like a fragile chicken egg in my right hand. And I had to be ever so careful not to break my little friend who "kept me safe" by prohibiting me from experience fun and thrilling things. And after my first solo trot, the egg broke and I broke into laughter because laughter is often a sign of dispelling fear and the two, fear and laughter, cannot exist simultaneously. It is one or the other:)
And I love the smell of the barn...I have for the past few weeks, because I have such a pleasant association with that smell...horses!
Oh and I was privileged to work with one of the horses that I had never had contact with before. K had some terrible mane tangles and I wanted to brush them out. So it was my first time brushing/ being next to K. My, she is a pretty girl! She has such a young (she is 7) personality...very wary of people and new things. Impatient and unsure. It was so very easy to see and feel her insecurity and trepidation, so I moved a lot slower, talked a bit calmer and quieter and she settled down. Fascinating that I can really feel the difference, that she is so very feminine and light. She has the most beautiful long lower eyelashes and she requires a much gentler touch than the Reb. And her mane looked so beautiful with all the tangles out. Her coat is full of colors, spacklings of brown on white, dark grey almost black leggings, sides of varying shades of grey and a beautiful tail of treys and browns. It was so cute, after we released her into the pasture, instead of running off, she followed us around.
I always enjoy going out to the horse farm, but today, it was exhilarating! Yup, I am still smiling! I had a fabulous time!