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Showing posts from July, 2009

Marriage Encounters - Part Three

Once again, Part three follows on from Parts One and Two. If you haven't read those two, then this post probably won't make a whole lot of sense.

Saturday Afternoon We were all asked to come inside and sit around in a big semicircle. Yep, I thought, here comes the "alcoholics anonymous" style forum. Funnily enough though, this time I was ready to share my thoughts. I was feeling positive. Perhaps we were going to read out our letters?
Nope.
It was time for the leaders to speak as couples.

Parenting Issues - The Man's Story There were three sets of leader couples, plus one priest. As we sat there, the first and youngest couple started to speak.
They took it in turns to talk, the husband would talk about long hours at work, being tired when he came home and "cactus hour" which started as soon as he walked in the door. He talked about being lumbered with all the children's discipline problems of the day.
He talked about how he felt when he walked in the door, …

Marriage Encounters - Part Two

Obviously part two follows on from part one, so if you haven't started reading from the begining, I'd suggest you do. It probably won't make sense otherwise.
I'll be posting this topic close together because I think that people lose interest when a series is too drawn out. I also want to post in a great deal of detail. The plan is for this series of posts to be something that others could use to build their own "marriage encounter" upon.
The second day of our encounter began quietly. It was a sunny day and we were served a very nice group breakfast. We all chatted together around our tables assuming that we'd probably be great friends by the time the whole encounter weekend was over. When breakfast was finished we helped a little with the cleaning and then went outside.
It was a little foggy but still nice and we noticed that a group of kangaroos had hopped onto the property. We took a quick look around but were soon called back into the workshops. We…

Marriage Encounters - Part One

I've often talked about how I believe that marriage encounters helped save my marriage but I've never really gotten deeply into the mechanics of the thing.
Funnily enough though, the more I talk to aspies in marital crisis, aspies who have survived the crisis and aspies and partners who "crashed and burned", the more I understand exactly what marriage encounters armed me with and why, out of all the various marriage support agencies in existence today, it stands out as the one offering the best chance to couples with at least one aspie partner.
Whether the organisers realise it or not, the marriage encounters programme is particularly tailored for the aspie mind.
Spoilers As part of this series of posts, I'm going to have to "spoil" some of the secrets of Marriage Encounters. For this, I apologise in advance. If you're already booked in on a course, or if you're definitely going on one, you should probably ignore these posts - I think it's bet…

Religion and Me

I'm hoping this won't be an explosive topic but I can never be sure, so please... if you think you may be offended, please don't read this topic.
The main reason for this topic is to lay the groundwork for the next one. I plan to talk about Marriage Encounters, which is run by the Catholic Church but in order to see things from my point of view there, you probably need to understand the relationship I have with religion.
I was born and raised as a Catholic and like many catholics, I had very few problems accepting the Jesus stories (kids love stories) but lots of problems sitting still in church. My father never went to church with us, so it was always only my mother and my sister.
Early Church Behaviour One issue that I was constantly reminded of was when we were sitting in a pew behind a larger woman and I was miming pinching her on the bum. I said "will I?" to my sister who was 2 years older than I, and she enthusiastically replied "Yes!". So of cou…

Patterns Everywhere

Patterns are an aspies best friend. We're fascinated by them and we tend to notice them everywhere, intentional or otherwise.
Patterns for Walking Floor tiles are truly incredible. Whenever I'm out walking, I find myself subconsciously following their patterns on the ground - even when they cause me to take a less direct route to my intended destination.
It doesn't have to be tiles though. Even if there appears to be no pattern, I'll find one. Sometimes, I'll define my own. Often, when walking I'll define a pattern on the pavement; step in the centre of the pavers, step in the top sections only or less often, step only on the cracks. It must make my walking look funny but I really can't help it. I even do it while running - and more than once I've tripped and fallen because of this curious obsession.
Stimming on Walls Wall tiles with illustrations are even more distracting. With these, I'll catch myself squinting to blur the lines and make new shapes, es…

The Miracle of Birth: A male version of the Experience

After the ManWeek initiative which encouraged men to talk more openly about their feelings, we've all been encouraged to write a longer piece which will be collected into a book for father's day. At a bit of a loss as to what to write, I initially decided to tackle Birth and then later the diagnosis of Aspergers because I felt that they were good emotional topics.
I showed my submission to my wife but she thought it wasn't all that good, so I'm going to write something completely different. There was nothing new in the Aspergers section (nothing that I haven't already talked about here anyway) and I've already posted the first bit, so I figured I might as well make part 2 available here.
So here it is, my "rejected" discussion on my emotional reactions to my son's birth. It's not really anything to do with aspergers (because at the time I didn't know about it) but it may interest you to pick the aspie traits.
Fatherhood and Birth I’m not e…

Article: Challenging Popular Myths about Autism

I'd like to draw your attention to an article by the amazing Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg.

Challenging popular myths about autismby Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg
http://www.commonsnews.org/test3/story.php?articleno=694

This appeared in her local paper and is an absolutely brilliant piece of work. I've read quite a few mythbusters articles on autism and aspergers in particular but this one takes the cake.
I had intended to summarise and discuss it here but I really feel that you're better off reading the whole thing and drawing your own conculsions.
Well done Rachel!

Oh, and please visit Rachel's blog - I don't know where she finds the time to do all those updates but I draw a lot of daily inspiration from it; http://www.aspergerjourneys.com

Man Week: Fighting the Stereotypical Aussie Male

Apparently I've just missed "Man Week" (at least locally), and was an initiative intended to get men to talk about how they feel. After reading some of the other entries from Sydney-siders (see links after this post), I thought I should probably join in and put an aspie spin on things, though I won't be talking directly about aspie traits (you'll have to guess which ones they are).

Fighting the Stereotype We're still not sure where aspergers comes from (genetically) in our family but I guess the money is probably on my dad. When I was younger, my dad was so different from me that I'd often wonder if perhaps my parents had picked up the wrong baby. Now that I'm older, I'm able to see the resemblance (I'm starting to look like my dad - and he, like his). I'm also acting like him in some ways, some beneficial, some not.
My father was a perfectionist and a workaholic. When he wasn't working, he was doing things (hobbies) which looked l…

Can Aspies Make Good Parents? (Part 3)

The plan for this post is to round up the topic of Aspie parenting with a look at some of the many benefits that aspie parents can give their children.
Emotional Clarity One unexpected benefit of having difficulty reading and expressing emotions is that you become considerably more verbal in their expression. Aspie parents don't wait for their children to magically read their emotional state - they tell them outright.
This in turn teaches children to express their emotive state verbally. There are no emotional secrets in aspie families - at least, not if you're listening*.
* note that I've often heard people complain about how an aspie partner never lets them know how he's feeling but quite often I find that the "complainers" are looking for an emotive expression rather than a direct statement.

Honesty and Integrity Aspies are usually sticklers for rules and honesty is one of the most important of these. In a world where it is normal, even expected, that people …