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Showing posts from October, 2008

Visual Stimming - One of the Reasons why your Aspie child is pulling faces

Stimming is a repetitive behaviour performed by aspergers and autistic children because it "feels good" or calms them. I've covered stimming before (see: What is Stimming and what does it feel like ). In today's post, I'm going to cover a very specific type of stimming - visual stimming. Visual stimming can often confuse parents and lead them in the wrong direction - to optometrists for eye examinations or to other specialists to discuss facial tics. Instead, a few well aimed questions at your child may put the record straight. My History When I was a child, I used to engage in visual stimming quite a bit. It wasn't until much later, after I had been doing it increasingly for years, that my mother asked me what was going on. Until that time, I was not aware that when engaging in the activity, I presented anything at all to the outside world. In reality however, my visual Stimming made me look like I had a very bad squint or like my eyesight was very poor.

Article: How Far Should You Chase The "Impossible" Dream?

I was reading this article today; How Far Should You Chase The "Impossible" Dream? By Lynne Soraya on July 22, 2008 in Asperger's Diary It's an interesting article about the problems aspies face when rising through the ranks (at work) to management positions. It questions Temple Grandin's repeated statements that " people with autism or Asperger's should never allow themselves to be promoted into a management role, due to the social demands. " and asks not only whether this is possible but whether or not aspies should actively pursue such careers. The article also mentions John Elder Robison, author of " Look Me In The Eye ". If you've read that book, then you'll know how John Elder had a lot of difficulties in management and that it stifled an otherwise brilliant technical career. I think the article raises two very inter

Article: BitTorrent's Bram Cohen and Aspergers

Here's yet another good aspie tech story which once again demonstrates that while Aspies can make it to CEO positions, they're actually at their best working as techs. In particular, I liked the bit about how he fidgets during meetings (even taking a rubik's cube to them) and how his fellow workers learned not to sugar-coat things with him. Just tell him straight. A worthwhile read. BitTorrent's Bram Cohen Isn't Limited by Asperger's By Susan Berfield Business Week, October 16, 2008.

The Dangers of Over-Interpretation and Over-Analysis

A reader highlighted this problem in a comment on my recent "Letter Writing in Relationships" articles. At the time, the comment was aimed mainly at letters but I feel that it applies in a lot of other areas of aspie communication. Note: As is often the case, my initial writing of this particular blog went off-topic and instead spends most of it's time exploring a completely different aspie trait. I've decided to leave it intact though as I think it provides some interesting reading. Its a well known fact that aspies miss quite a lot of the nuances of non-verbal communication such as tone, expression, body language and innuendo. What is often less documented is that these things can often be determined by aspies with good coping mechanisms, though not without significant delay. Event Recording as a Coping Mechanism One of the most effective coping mechanisms I employ is "conversation recording" where I attempt to remember an event in its entirety for lat

Article: Using Lego Therapy to Help Aspergers Children with their Social Skills

This article appeared in the UK Times Yesterday Here's how to build your hopes Parents of autistic children need not despair. It has been proved that therapies using Lego can be an enormous help The article doesn't say anything particularly new but reaffirms the fact that when a group of children are collaborating on a project which is of interest to them - and when there are firmly set boundaries of responsibility which enforce the need to communicate, then the children will communicate. And of course, practice makes perfect. You could easily adapt the instructions in the article for siblings or very small groups; One child acted as the “engineer” and described the instructions, another as the “supplier” finding the correct pieces, and the “builder” put the pieces together. After a time, they would swap roles. I might try this at home - it could stop the fighting over lego between my childre

Aspergers versus High Functioning Autism Friendships

I was just reading an article on; Social Anxiety in High-functioning Children and Adolescents with Autism and Asperger Syndrome published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.  As of 2020, it seems to be no longer available, probably because Asperger's syndrome has now been dropped from the DSM (V). What I found particularly interesting  I've stated before on this blog that the only difference between Aspergers and High Functioning Autism is a language delay but I've always had this problem with my youngest child, who is diagnosed with HFA but is doing a lot of speech therapy.  You see, he's rapidly gaining language skills to the point where he's now certainly much more able to tell us what went on at preschool than my older (aspie) son did at the same age.  I keep thinking - what happens to the HFA diagnosis when the language delay disappears? My wife correctly surmised that it meant more than a simple "delay" in speech but I still cou

Article: Positive Traits of Asperger's Syndrome

I've been thinking about doing a post on the positive traits of aspergers syndrome for a while now because sometimes it's all too easy to focus on only the negative aspects. So, I did a quick search to see if there was anything I'd missed in my list and I found this article - it's better than what I would have written, so I've linked it below; Positive Traits of Asperger's Syndrome Beneficial Characteristics Associated with “Autism Lite” © Jennifer Copley Aug 15, 2008 I'd like to have seen a bit more detail in the areas of intelligence, special interest and focus but otherwise I don't really have a lot of comments to add on the article since I feel that it's very good.

Letter Writing in Relationships - Communicating in Aspie (Part 3)

In parts 1 & 2 I covered how letter writing is a great leveller which removes non-verbal cues from the communication. I also gave some tips for effectively communicating emotions and affection. I now want to look at how letter writing can be used to solve relationship problems. To do this, I'm going to refer to some training which I received from Marriage Encounters several years back. A Quick Plug for Marriage Encounters Worldwide Marriage Encounters ( ) is an initiative intended to give couples the tools they need to effectively communicate in marriage. It is not merely for marriages which are in trouble - in fact, it works best on marriages which are going well. The cost of an "encounter weekend" is very low there is usually a single low upfront fee with a request for private donation at the end. " However, no couple is denied the opportunity of a weekend because of financial hardship. " The initiative is supported by the Catholic