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Showing posts from April, 2019

Why Autistic People need to be Encouraged to "Give things a Go"

If you're the parent of a child with autism or if you work with an autistic individual, you'll often find that they're very resistant to trying new things, even if they seem to be very safe or "easy" to you.  In this post, I want to look at why people with autism are so resistant to trying new things and why it's important to keep trying to push the barriers. The strategies that you use to push the barriers are important too and it's critical that you know when to back off and when to add a little push.  Fear of Failure We all have a fear of failure. Sometimes it's a very real fear of injury or embarrassment but sometimes it's just the fear of failure itself. Many people on the autism spectrum try very hard to achieve "perfection" in their lives and what might seem a simple failure to most people can become a very big deal to them. Some people with autism torture will themselves for decades with thoughts and regrets of "fai

Are we "all a little bit Autistic"?

It's a phrase which seems to really infuriate a lot of members of the autism community, "we're all a little bit autistic" and yet, there's perhaps some truth to it.  In this post, we look at what it really means, where the dividing lines are and why it can be considered offensive.  The Autism Diagnosis Autism is diagnosed based on a specific set of criteria from the DSM, currently version 5. You can read this criteria in its correct form all over the web and you really should follow this. In fact, you should be diagnosed by an expert. In a "nutshell" though, autism is defined by the following; A Communications issues; Reductions in; back & forth conversation, eye contact, emotional communication, non-verbal communication, understanding of relationships, capability to make friends. B Behavioural issues; Stimming movements, echolia, resistance to change, fixed all-consuming special interests, sensory issues. C Removing Misdiagnosis To

Asperger's and Bullying - Running Away isn't the Answer

Like many bloggers I have a stash of topics that I keep for later because they're too raw, too "popular" or too difficult to think about at the time. I often look back at these to see if they gel with my experiences of the week. In this case, I looked back over an article about the bullying and savage attack of a boy with Asperger's Syndrome in Melbourne, Australia. This struck a chord with me because this week, I responded to a post from a mother who was talking about moving to a different city because her son was being bullied.  I've talked about bullying quite a bit on this blog before but this time I want to talk about why running from the problem is counter-productive and go over some options for dealing with bullies in their own environment. Why Running is Futile Short term running is fine. If your life actually is in danger, or if you're about to be physically assaulted, then by all means, run away from that current situation. The best pla

Pressuring people with Autism outside their Comfort Space can lead to Issues

A few months ago, my youngest (15) went on a school camp. There was an incident at the camp which occurred because of his differences. It wasn't handled very well and it spiralled out of control. We finally got a resolution this week and I feel that now is the time to look at the bigger picture and talk about how things could have been handled better.  I would expect this post to be useful for all teachers who have kids on the spectrum in their classes, camp "controllers" and parents in general.  What Happened As a boy with autism, my son is always nervous about trying new things. New places and disruptions to his normal routine, such as camps can really mess with his head. He works hard to push himself to try things, even if he's a little afraid of them. This particular camp had a high ropes experience and he was quite nervous about it but once he saw the ropes he decided that he would be able to do it. He did very well on the course until he reached a par