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Showing posts from April, 2010

Going back to School: Some things I learned about myself in Recent Adult Education

About a month ago, I attended a Scouts " Basic Leadership 2 " course and last weekend I finished off " Basic Leadership 3 ". The courses are a mix of written and practical work with a lot of group and "bonding" activities thrown in for good measure. It was an interesting exercise for me because I got the chance to "return to school" but this time with full knowledge of my aspie condition. It enabled me to make some rather profound observations about myself. More importantly though, I find myself wondering if this is what my son is going through at school. Group Work Although the course ran from Friday to Sunday, a lot of people didn't turn up until Saturday morning. My group started off with three people and grew to five. I coped really well with three people and I was able to participate in group discussions without feeling left out and without accidentally talking over the top of people. I mostly seemed to know when conversations ended and

Movie Review: Mary and Max

Mary and Max 2009 (80 Minutes Claymation Animated Rated PG) Featuring the voices of; Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Eric Bana, Barry Humphries, Bethany Whitmore, Renée Geyer and Ian 'Molly' Meldrum I'm not quite sure what I was expecting from this claymation adventure when I sat down to watch it with the kids. Somehow I think I was expecting the sort of slapstick associated normally associated with Wallace and Gromit. I certainly didn't expect the serious, emotive and thought-provoking material that was eventually delivered. In fact, the film was so serious in parts that I began my "30 second censorship countdown". The Plot In Short, the story concerns a little girl who lives in Australia and who has domestic issues which affect her circle of friends. She selects an unlikely pen-friend named Max, who lives in New York and who has aspergers with severe anxiety issues. The film deals with how their letters and thoughts affect each other and the right

Cactus Hour and Anti-Meltdown Shopping

Cactus Hour It's school holidays right now in Australia. In theory, the disappearance of the whole mum's taxi "rush-rush" to school and after-school activities should mean a reduction in my wife's stress levels - and consequently, my own. Instead, "cactus hour", that uncomfortable first hour when the husband comes home from work hoping for rest but instead being lumped with all of the day's domestic problems, is worse than usual. Freed from the daily routine of school, my wife and kids instead fill their hours with unstructured "free time" and "surprises" both of which are problematic for the aspie mindset. I'm not criticizing the way they do things. Far from it, after all, they're entitled to a break and they seem to be having fun. I'm simply making an observation. The changes to routine, while providing freedom, also tend to unsettle my kids making domestic and disciplinary problems worse. In my own annoying way,

Getting Empathy (Back) into Your - Relationship - Part 4 (Final)

In my last post on this subject, I talked about getting to the stage where you really feel empathy. This is sometimes quite difficult to achieve - and sometimes, it's just not possible at all. Sadly though, many aspies reach a stage of real empathy but are unable to effectively convey it to the real world. Some Examples of Aspie Expression I was going to start with an example of my own but I've been meaning to talk about Bev's videos for a long time and this seems to be an excellent opportunity. Bev's videos are clear and to the point. They explain in a matter of minutes, things which take me hours to explain. They're also often just a little amusing and are always heartfelt. Have a look at this video on Empathy . ( ) I can see myself in this. When I make a serious social mistake, I just want to get out of there. Sometimes I try to fix it but I usually just end up making things worse. It's common for my "solution

Article: Interview with a Wonderful Nonverbal Autistic Adult

I just wanted to draw your attention to an interview I read this morning. Interview with a Wonderful Nonverbal Autistic Adult by Tammy from Autism Learning Felt If you have non-verbal children, you really need to read this interview. It's a great testament to the fact that non-verbal people can lead very productive lives. Even more interesting, the interviewee talks about what non-verbal children want from their parents and friends. Well worth a read.

Getting Empathy (Back) into Your Relationship: Part 3

Last time I started on a four step process to empathy. The steps were; Receive Explore Feel Respond In my last post, I discussed receiving communications. I was actually quite amazed at how many people responded by telling me that they couldn't feel any empathy and how they couldn't process the data. It's worthwhile covering this a little before I move on. Wrapping up Receiving In my first post of this series, I talked about modern society and the way in which time has been taken away from us. It's clear that unless you can find a clear block of time, you'll never be able to feel empathy properly. It's no good being a listener when you're really thinking about other things. If your mind is preoccupied with making lists or thinking about tasks that you need to be doing, you'll never have time to process the signals which come from an empathy discussion. You need a clear head and a clear timetable. You need to simply "give yourself to the spe