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Showing posts from October, 2010

Book Review: All Cats Have Asperger's Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann

I've referred to this book several times on this blog but I've never actually done a review. This post aims to change that.
When we were initially struggling with the Aspergers diagnosis for my eldest son, we jumped into a whole heap of complicated books. They were generally a good read but most of them were way too clinical.
Then I heard about this book and I decided to buy it off amazon without having even looked inside. I couldn't find it in any Australian bookstores though funnily enough, now that I know what I'm looking for, I've seen it lots of times.

First Impressions I suspect that had I seen inside the book before I bought it, I might have had second thoughts about buying it but then, I would have been wrong. It's not just the covers that you shouldn't use to judge books by - sometimes you really do need to read them first.
At first glance, the book looks quite shallow. It's sort of like the famous "blue day book" except that all of the p…

Article: "Best and Worst Jobs for Aspergers Adults" on My Aspergers Child

I just want to draw your attention to a very good article
The article is called;
Best and Worst Jobs for Aspergers Adults http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2010/10/best-and-worst-jobs-for-aspergers.html
and it was published on the My Aspergers Child blog.
The article gives tips for aspie jobseekers and tips for parents with aspie children in the latter stages of school. It also contains a few good lists of the best and worst types of jobs for aspies.
It's well worth a read.

Get Away from Me with Your "Perfect Kids" - Part 4: School and Sports (Final)

School I can remember taking my wife home from the school in tears because one mother had told us that she was in a panic about her son and thinking of pulling him out because he was only a level 12 reader. Our son was in his class too, but at the time, he was only on level 2.
It's not that the other parent was insensitive. She probably didn't know what level our son was on. The real issue is that parents of children with academic special needs shouldn't discuss their children's progress with other parents. There really is no comparison and it will only get you upset. Given time and resources your child will flourish. In fact, five years later, our son is just finishing up the diary of a wimpy kid - and he enjoyed it!
Unfortunately, academic talk is common at school while waiting to pick your child up. Sometimes it's better to stay in the car. Some parents delight in telling you all about their child's achievements and eagerly ask about your child's work…

Article: My Story of SPD Through Poetry by Jennie Linthorst

I really have to say that I'm not usually a great fan of poetry - especially of poetry which doesn't rhyme. I've got a long history of writing poems though admittedly they've become quite sparse in recent years.
My poetry is usually funny and rhyme tends to help it. Very occasionally, I delve into darker matter but I usually feel constrained by time and linearity. I feel like I want to get my whole point across but also to digress. There's not enough lines to say what I want to say.
I don't read a lot of poetry online either. Usually it's too shallow for me.
THEN
Along comes Jennie Linthorst.... wow. I think this could be the first time a poem has ever brought tears to my eyes.
Jenny has gotten over the limitations by writing a series of eight poems, each one moving deeper into what it's like to be the mother of a child with sensory processing disorder.
I'm stunned. Hartley Steiner's 30 SPD stories in 30 Days series is amazing. It's turnin…

Campaigning against Apathy - The Manchester Bullying

I mentioned this on twitter/facebook a few days back as a gross miscarriage of British justice but now it seems that a National Autistic Society in the UK is beginning a campaign - and I want to encourage as many readers as possible (in all countries), to sign up and voice their opinions.
Last week, it was reported that the three boys who tortured a boy with aspergers - and this is serious torture which will leave him emotionally scarred forever - got off with 80 hours of community service.
A link to the UK Daily Mail article is below - I urge you to read it because it describes the abuse and the ruling in detail;

Evil teenagers who 'tortured' autistic boy, 17, for three days free to roam streets after judge fails to lock them up By JAYA NARAIN http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1319575/3-evil-bullies-tortured-autistic-boy-17-walk-free-Manchester-court.html

The sentence was a 3 month curfew and 80 hours’ unpaid community work.
What happened to the autistic boy was tantamount to …

Article: Feelings Matching and Memory Game

I'm just drawing your attention to a resource that a reader pointed out to me at the "I can teach my child" blog (http://www.icanteachmychild.com/)

The article is called Feelings Matching and Memory Game and it explains how to create flashcards to teach feelings to your child.
Although the article was originally written to teach very young children, it could also be used to teach older children with aspergers the rudiments of facial expression interpretation.
It's well worth a look.

Get Away from Me with Your "Perfect Kids" - Part 3: Family

In part 3 of this series about when our support networks go wrong, we look at family. If you haven't already read them, you might want to read Part 1: Introduction and Part 2: Mother's Groups.

If there's one group of people who you can always rely on for support and acceptance, it's family - right?
Right... Except when they don't.

One nice thing about family is that they'll usually stick up for you in battles against non-family, like school. They generally won't come out and support you but they'll at least make the appropriate empathetic "umms" and "aahhs" when you talk about the problems.

The problem is that families generally aren't shy about coming forward with ideas of their own. If those ideas lead to conflict with other family members then the old "favourites" games come into play and the rest of them take sides. You could find yourself on the receiving end of abuse and even "excommunication".

The Genetic Li…

Article: The Bollard Family by Gavin Bollard

I'm just drawing your attention to an article I wrote for Hartley's 30 Families in 30 Days SPD Fundraiser.
It's simply titled; The Bollard Family and it's available on Hartley's Life with 3 Boys. The URL is: http://www.hartleysboys.com/2010/10/bonus-bollard-family.html
I figured that since the series was about sensory issues, I'd just pick one of the groups of sensory issues in our family to talk about. In this case, it's oral.

Get Away from Me with Your "Perfect" Kids - Part 2: Mother's Group

It's obvious that parents of special needs children need support and that often they will turn to support groups, relatives, friends and acquaintances for that support. In this series, we're looking at how these support groups can sometimes turn into your worst nightmare.
This time, it's the turn of the "Mother's Group"

So, What are Mother's Groups Anyway? I'd better clarify this because I'm sure that the support structures probably differ from one country to another. In Australia, Mother's groups are usually local groups of mothers who have all had babies at around about the same time. Hospitals and Neighborhood centers often put new mothers in touch with them.
I'll agree that mother's groups have their place. They provide a sounding board for mothers with questions about babyhood and motherhood. They provide much needed social contact for otherwise housebound mothers during that critical first year and they provide a great early warni…

Article: The Struggle for Acceptance by Gavin Bollard

Just drawing your attention to an article I have written on the Static Vox blog.
It's called The Struggle for Acceptance and it's part of a series aimed at increasing understanding of what it is like to navigate the world as an adult with autism.

You can also see an earlier post on the subject by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg.
To Be the Change, Respect is Critical By Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg

Thanks Stat Mama for creating this series. Please check out her blog as it's very insightful.

Get Away from Me with Your "Perfect" Kids - Part 1: Introduction

No, this post isn't a rant - at least, I hope it isn't. Like most of my posts, it's simply designed to raise awareness. In this case, I'm kicking off a series about the sorts of negative comments that parents of children with special needs face.
Being the parent of one or more special needs children is a difficult and often thankless job. Other parents, get praise, excitement and love from their kids - and so do we - but sometimes our kids don't react quite the way we expect. Sometimes they seem less grateful for expensive gifts, less receptive of our hugs and less expressive of positive feelings for us. It's tough for our kids but it's also tough on us as parents.
Sometimes we feel burned by the whole experience - and we don't need someone else to come along and tell us what we're doing wrong - or how much better their child is than ours.
It's a sad fact that sometimes special needs parents express a sort of "evil glee" when they he…

FTF: Post 9: "Finding My Inner-Self" By Diane M. Renna

This month's "First things First" post is by Diane M. Renna, a Reiki Master Teacher and the author of "Meghan's World: The Story of One Girl's Triumph over Sensory Processing Disorder".
You can find a lot more information at http://www.meghanstriumphoverspd.com/.
The post is available on Diane's site (bottom of the page) and also at Asperger Ninja and I urge you to read it.

The Drug Bandwagon - Ritalin

This was meant to be a companion post to "the drug bandwagon" but I've been so sidetracked lately that it's slipped a little.
I've talked quite extensively about Ritalin in the past but I was answering some questions for someone recently and I figured that the information was worth sharing - even if it covers some old ground...
Disclaimer As per usual, when I do a drug-style post, I just want to start with a quick disclaimer. I'm not a doctor, so any advice I give should be treated as lay-person's advice which should be checked by a professional.

The Question The question I was asked was about Metadate CD however Metadate CD is just another name for "day-strength Ritalin" - as is Concerta. Ritalin and Concerta are brand names while Metadate CD is the generic (cheaper version).
Everything you read about Ritalin and Concerta holds true for Metadate CD. (but of course, not everything you read online is true).

The Horror Stories about Ritalin... It's tr…