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Showing posts from November, 2009

Book Review: 600 Hours of Edward

I've just finished reading the novel "600 hours of Edward" by Craig Lancaster. I loved it. It was unexpectedly good (because normally I read in a different genre). It was really engaging and very difficult to put down. My only complaint is that there weren't 700 or 800 hours. I was enjoying it so much that I was sad when it ended.
Craig... I think we need a sequel.

600 Hours of Edward features an Aspie protagonist (Edward). It's the first novel I've read which does so. At first, I wasn't sure exactly how well I'd be able to identify with Edward. After all, he's a fiercely OCD aspie with a fixation on weather and Dragnet. His social issues are also so severe that he's generally unemployable. Since I've never been unemployed, I didn't think that I'd relate all that well.
I was surprised. It's true that in the beginning, I didn't identify with him much at all but as I got further and further into his character, I fou…

Movie Review: The Black Balloon

I'm branching out a little. I've covered a couple of books about Autism/Aspergers (with more to come) and now I'll be adding the occasional "spectrum" movie review. The movie reviews won't be "remembering" films I've seen, I'll be re-watching things and re-evaluating in the light of my present moods/feelings and also current political/social trends.

Today's review is The Black Balloon, which I watched for the first time last night.
The Black Balloon (2008) Director: Elissa Down Writer: Elissa Down, Jimmy Jack Starring: Rhys Wakefield, Luke Ford, Toni Collette, Erik Thomson, Gemma Ward, Sarah Woods Rotten Tomatoes Rating:90%
The Black Balloon is an Australian film about a family with a late-teen severely autistic child. The story is told mostly from the point of view of his "normal" brother and covers the problems with fitting into a new area and acceptance both within the family and within the community.
The Good It's very obvious t…

Article: Marijuana as a Treatment for Autism?

Here's an interesting article which could spark some debate.
Marijuana as a Treatment for Autism? by Lisa Jo Rudy http://autism.about.com/b/2009/11/19/marijuana-as-a-treatment-for-autism.htm
I don't think that there's any doubt that "social lubricants" such as drugs and alcohol can make it easier for aspies to temporarily overcome their social problems. It's also true that sometimes these can help them to relax or function better outside of social situations.
Ritalin itself is a stimulant, as is caffeine and nicotine, marijuana (cannabis) isn't clearly defined as either a stimulant or depressant - it has both qualities.
In fact, it's quite common for children to be given ritalin and/or coffee and coke. Less common I think for parents to actually encourage smoking. Marijuana has been shown to have positive effects on depression.
Both Alcohol and Smoking have greater addicition and provide greater physical harm than marijuana but does that actually sugge…

Sleeplessness and Achieving Mental "Quiet"

Sleeplessness used to be the bane of my existence. People apparently need more than four hours of quality sleep per night but somehow my aspie brain didn't seem to care.

These days, the problem is mostly "licked". I usually feel tired enough to go to bed somewhere between 11 and 12pm and I wake for work at around 5.15am. I get around 5 and a half hours sleep per night. I'm still tired but it's a good deal better than my previous average of 3-4 hours sleep.

It's the pressures of work and family that get me exhausted enough to get my 5 hours per night. I thought I was "cured" but after being on holidays this week, I know that I'm not.

I've just had three days holiday without the kids. Its the first time since they were born (9 years ago) that my wife and I have had more than one night without them. Furthermore, there was no computer, just the blackberry and no calls from work - although admittedly, I did work through a few emails.

On the first…

eBook A Perfect Gift for a Man - Now FREE!!

I just thought that I'd provide you with an update on "The Perfect Gift for a Man: 30 Stories about reinventing Manhood".


It has now been released in paperback, which means that the book is considerably cheaper. In addition, the Ebook is now free!!!
Since the book is mainly short stories and recollections, it's a very easy read and I encourage everyone to download it and have a look. The only aspergers link is my own set of stories but the book still provides a fascinating and hopeful glimpse into the mind of today's man.
If you decide to purchase a hard copy, all profits are going to the inspire foundation, an organisation which aims to help young people help themselves. We're aiming to reduce the suicide rate amongst men.
You might find some of the facts about suicide in Australia to be rather shocking - here is a factsheet which admittedly is a little out of date. Amongst it's claims are; 2,683 people took their own lives in Australia during 1998This …

Why do Aspies Suddenly Back Off in Relationships (Part 3)

Continuing the series, part three deals with people who just don't know how to "behave" in relationships. I'm not talking about misbehaviour. I'm talking about communications problems, misreading the signs, missing the cues and not knowing those things which should come naturally.

This time, instead of trying to cover the topic in a clinical way, I'm going to speak straight from experience.

Communications Problems
I remember in 1984 when the movie "The Woman in Red" came out. I was pretty excited to see it, not only because it had one of my (then) favourite actors in it (Gene Wilder) and a great song "I just called, to say I love you" but also because the critics described it as; "Teddy Pierce has just wooed the woman of his dreams - and now that he's got her, he doesn't know what to do with her". At the time, that seemed to describe my life. I'd just managed to win the love of the girl who would oneday become my wif…

Why do Aspies Suddenly Back Off in Relationships (Part 2)

In part one, we looked at the role that Change Resistance plays in causing aspies to suddenly go "cold" in otherwise good relationships. This time, I want to look at self esteem and depression;
Self Esteem The aspie relationship with themselves is tedious at best. People with Asperger's commonly suffer from low self esteem. As discussed in earlier posts, this low self esteem often results from years of emotional turmoil resulting from their poor social skills.
Aspies are often their own worst enemy. They can over analyze situations and responses in an effort to capture lost nonverbal communication. This often causes them to invent problems and to imagine replies. Everything made up by aspies will tend to be tainted with their own self image.
This is one of reasons that people with Asperger's will sometimes decide that they are not good enough for their partner and that they must let them go. Sometimes, the aspie will develop a notion of chivalry or self-sacrifice a…

Article: A New Novel "600 hours of Edward" by Craig Lancaster

It seems only a few years ago that the word "Aspergers" was virtually unknown outside of universities, schools and special education classrooms.
These days though, we seem to have aspie characters on primetime TV and in movies. In fact, recently we've started to see a movies like "Adam" and "Mary and Max" which are completely centred around their aspie characters.

I'm pleased to announce that Craig Lancaster's new novel "600 hours of Edward", released today is another such work and one that I'm particularly looking forward to because after all, there's only so much you can do in a film or TV series. Novels can get right inside the character's head.
Craig has released an article on the development of his aspie character, Edward along with an excerpt from his book.
The web site states that everyone who leaves a comment before November 6, 2009 will go into the draw to win a copy of the book, so please visit the site, read …