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Showing posts from February, 2011

The Primary School Bully

Bullies are everywhere!
If you've been bullied, then chances are that you met your first bully in primary (elementary) school.
The Tools of the Primary School Bully The nature of bullying changes as the bullies get older. The first level bullies tend to be much more physical than older children. Bullying is done by pushing, pinching, punching and tripping other children.
Bullying by stealing tends to be more "out in the open", with younger bullies often taking things in plain sight of the owners - in fact, often snatching them from their hands.
Lies are also one of the main weapons in the primary school bully's arsenal. Young bullies can often lie so convincingly that they are instantly believed by teachers.
Verbal bullying is minimal in the early years but as bullies develop their vocabulary, they become adept at hurling insults and abuse at children. It only takes a few choice words from a bully to crumble a child's fragile self esteem and leave a lifetime scar that …

Bullies and Bullying - An Introduction

This post marks the start of a series on bullies and bullying. I'm hoping to cover bullying in primary/elementary school all the way through to the workplace. Along the way, I'll try to provide some handy hints for reducing the impact of bullying and I'll point out some of the ways in which we could be considered bullies ourselves.
Bullying can become quite a problem for people with Asperger's Syndrome. In fact, a child who suffers intense bullying at school can develop into an adult with major life issues. It is a serious problem which won't go away by itself.

What are Bullies? At it's simplest, bullying is a "dislike of the unlike" carried out in the form of a regular "campaign" against minority groups and/or individuals.
It usually takes a powerful kind of "hate" to be a bully which means that there are usually (fortunately) far fewer bullies than "normal people". Unfortunately however bullies exert their own influence o…

Movie Review: Adam 2009

Links: IMDB / Rotten Tomatoes 65% out of 119 reviews.
I'd been wanting to see Adam for a long time but somehow I missed it at the movies. Last night, I finally got to sit down and watch it with my wife.
Adam is a romantic drama about a couple in which the male, Adam has aspergers syndrome. Aspergers is specifically mentioned and described in the screenplay and the film makes a very good attempt to show what life could be like for a person with aspergers.
Adam's special interest topic; space, is up there front and centre but his other obsessive behaviour, while hinted at, is generally given a back seat in the story. It's clear that he eats the same meals every day and that he likes to have things lined up but the film doesn't dwell on it. The film also shows some literal interpretations and communications difficulties but again it doesn't dwell. Finally, there's a meltdown shown - again, the film doesn't dwell but moves on with the story.
I think that the fac…

The 'Drag to School' Morning Routine

This is a "Best of the Best" Post.

School is a drag. Literally.

I'm lucky because being a father, I only have to cope with the school morning routine on my days off. In those instances, I'm a novelty and the kids behave (a little) for me. My wife however has to deal with it every day - and it's not unusual for me to get an early morning phone call asking me to "tell my children something" or clarify "did you say that they could wear [insert ridiculous article of clothing here] to school today?".

I'm sure that getting ready for school is difficult with neurotypical kids but for children on the spectrum, it's enough to make you give up the "rat race" and home school instead.


Waking Up and Getting Dressed
Unless it was a late night the night before, we usually don't have too much trouble getting the boys to wake up. Insomnia is however, commonly associated with Aspergers, so depending upon your particular child, they may wake u…

The Best of the Best Series

I want to briefly talk about the best of the best series because up to this point, I haven't introduced it properly.
The Best of the Best series was devised by Danette Schott of Help! S-O-S for Parents. It's a great site, so if you haven't visited, please do.
The idea behind the Best of the Best series is for a group of bloggers to all post different viewpoints on a shared topic at the same time. This is great because if you don't find that my particular view suits your situation, you may find that someone else's does.
You'll find Danette's rules for the Best of the Best here.
You'll find a list of the bloggers who are officially part of the best of the best series here.
Note: This is not some kind of secret club. If you're a blogger and if these topics seem to be in your area, then please get in touch with Danette and join in. The more, the merrier - and the better the chances that we'll provide well-rounded and balanced information.
So far there…

EBooks and Compulsive Collecting

I was reading an article on author Tobias Buckell's views on eBook piracy a couple of days ago and was struck by a couple of key paragraphs where he refers to compulsive collectors who have the urge to collect but not necessarily read.
"Consider hoarders. These are pirates who literally attempt to find every single book online that they can. These pirates are well documented. They’re obsessive collectors, list makers, compelled by something other than a love of literature."
I could really relate to that paragraph and I started to think about how some aspies with OCD comorbids like myself and people with general obsessive compulsive disorders could get themselves into a lot of trouble over internet piracy - for the wrong reasons.
Some time ago I bought a CD from Corel. It was called World's Greatest Classic Books and it had "over 3,500" books in Envoy (.EVY) format which was at one time being positioned as a competitor to PDF.
I never actually read any of those…

Book Review: "How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger's" by Jennifer McIlwee Myers

"How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger's" is a very practical book which will have you itching to try out a whole bunch of new techniques and strategies with your children before you're even a quarter of the way through.
I was really looking forward to reading this book because although there are lots of "autism stories" and "what is autism?" books, there are comparatively few practical guides - and even then, most of those focus on coping as a neurotypical parent or on "problem solving" rather than teaching practical skills that you can use in everyday situations.
The first few chapters are all background material about the author. They're mostly necessary because you need to know where she's coming from. After that however it's "all go" on advice you can really use.
Layout and Style I was expecting a book full of headings, tables, cute little diagrams, separate (boxed) examples and lists but surpri…