Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, the wheels of the train mocked me as I tried to play Risk on a mobile device – is it just me or are mobile devices a conspiracy by a secret order of Masonic Ophthamologists trying to destroy the vision of everyone, making them need eyeglasses, contacts and even eye surgery? Time will tell. Leaving Toronto aka The Glorious Chaos as my brother aptly named it, I paused to think of the large, cosmopolitan city – wild, weird, at times, woolly, but wonderful as well. The Glorious Chaos is actually a suitable description of life. Sadly, those with Autism, like my son, experience Toronto and life itself differently. To him, it’s loud, smelly, bright, and crowded. To him, it’s overwhelming, scary, just generally creepy. But he has to live in the real world – whatever that means these days, so when my son is in a ‘good place’ (not The Good Place, a new comedy with Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, funny but hardly seems sustainable), I try to do things with him, a kind of sensory diet.
After a lovely visit with my brilliant and funny family (I’m biased, but they’re actually as I describe), we headed home, watching Summer’s bright promise fade, the quilt of Autumn cover the land, nestling under our chins as we snuggle into Winter. At no time of the year is chaos more clear than Fall, Thanksgiving, and Halloween https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/28/monster-meet-and-greet-mash/ – especially Halloween, the most confusing holiday of all.
Children dress up, ignore their parents’ warnings (with encouragement) not to talk to strangers and instead go out in the dark to the homes of hundreds of strangers, begging for food. Adults also get in on the action, partying hard, many even wearing sexy costumes – angel, devil, nurse, vampire, ninja, cat, ninja cat, Frozen, Harley Quinn, Kylo Ren, Ken Bone, really, any ol’ Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter (oh yes, I borrowed and read J.K. Rowling/Jack Thorne/John Tiffany’s Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, no spoilers, but it had Harry Potter and a cursed child, shhh, you didn’t hear it from me; they did manage to slide Robert Pattinson from Twilight fame in there too – how convenient) and Hunger Games https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/16/you-cant-handle-the-blogging-truth/ I guess they’re hoping for one night of the year, Cialis Doesn’t Live Here Anymore?
And nothing says Halloween (other than mini chocolate bars begging to be eaten) more than strange, spooky viewing, what should it be this year? The Addams Family https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/20/hide-and-shriek-with-the-addams-family/
It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/29/stuff-i-learned-from-its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/ and https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/19/religion-politics-and-the-great-pumpkin/
Twilight Zone, Z Nation, The X-Files https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/20/the-truth-is-still-out-there-2/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/02/26/exs-and-ohs/ The Rocky Horror Picture Show https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/25/the-rocky-horror-picture-show/
The Walking Dead (can you keep your eyes open for ‘it’?), Pet Sematary, The Munsters https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/21/my-fair-munster/
Practical Magic (the true magic is family and friends), Bewitched, Army of Darkness, Goosebumps, The Nightmare Before Christmas https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/19/the-nightmare-before-christmas/
Dracula, Young Frankenstein https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/04/28/young-frankenstein-2/, Halloweentown (was there any need to make more than one?), Simpsons Treehouse of Horror
Arsenic and Old Lace https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/25/arsenic-and-old-lace/, Friday the 13th https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/13/its-friday-the-13th-do-you-know-where-your-serial-killer-is/, The Shining…
Scooby Doo https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/31/the-mysterious-world-of-scooby-doo/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/22/all-the-ways-im-told-im-stupid-everyday/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/09/i-miss-saturday-morning-cartoons/
Beetlejuice https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/25/beetlejuice/, Casper, Edward Scissorhands https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/31/edward-scissorhands/
Buffy the Vampire Slayer https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/29/buffy-the-vampire-slayer/, Lost https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/25/lost/, Halloween – sigh, quit looking back, he’s still there – run! https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/
Aaaah, Thanksgiving (No turkey soup for you!!!), food coma aside (I even tried to avoid those little pushers at the mall – sure, they call themselves Girl Guides or Girl Scouts, they’re cute, but we know what they really are – you try to say no to cookies!), Thanksgiving should be everyday, a time to remember to be thankful – hopefully we know to be thankful for the right things. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/13/thankful-i-know-enough-to-be-thankful/
Still, there are some things I know for certain:
1. Always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder…if you want salt on your floor and shoulder.
2. With everyone texting and driving, for my part I welcome self-driving, computer cars – at least they won’t give me the finger (or will they?).
3. You don’t have the right to touch anyone without their permission…ever, did I mention ever?
4. Crossing paths with a black cat is dangerous…unless they’re doing something adorable, which is likely.
5. Pumpkin Spice it if you got it.
6. Make friends with the truth – it might be your best friend when no one else is.
7. Make decisions about people on their words and actions not their race, religion, country, political affiliations, sexual orientation, size, etc.
8. Comfortable shoes and chocolate are human rights, right?
9. Non-orange pumpkins used to seem weird, but lately orange things are scaring me.
10. Adam Lindsay Gordon got it right: “Life is mostly froth and bubble, Two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.”
11. Kiss my grits is making more sense to me every single day…
12. Fear is more contagious than any disease and stronger than any army.
13. Remembering, looking back, glamorizing the past – it seems better, more fun, easier, but maybe, just maybe, complicated and different doesn’t have to mean bad – exercise your brain, it’ll look better in yoga pants.
Oh and of course, show love whenever you can. Enjoy The Glorious Chaos.
Seeing is believing,
or is it believing is seeing?
Or not seeing is believing?
There are things we can’t see that we believe in, and things we can’t see we don’t believe in. How do we choose? I can’t see atoms, air, sunshine, germs, Wi-Fi, magic, ghosts, hope, despair, Santa, love, hate, vampires, cancer, pain, mental illness, God, aliens, pain, good, evil, a cat’s purr, microwaves, pollution, carbon monoxide, autism, a baby’s breath…
Should we assume none of these are real?
I can feel the sunshine on my skin, hear a cat’s purr, use the internet, witness the horror of cancer…Geez, at this point, I’m held together with the duct tape of atoms and hope.
If those things are real without being seen, why not the others?
It’s not the same in blogging, we have to be seen. But how?
1. You know those little bubbles in carbonated drinks, all fizzy, tickling the nose, and expanding the stomach? That’s blogging. It can be effervescent, pleasing, irritating, confounding, overwhelming, addictive. And while most of us don’t want to expand our stomachs, we do want to expand our readership. If you’re just doing it for yourself, that’s great, but then why do it online, why not in a journal or diary?
2. Don’t fixate on number of views. Blog as often as you and your readers enjoy. Do it for the fun of it, for money (stupid question, money is a necessary evil), fame, a book deal, movie deal (I just had an image of who might portray me in the movie of my life, Helena Bonham Carter? No, probably Mindy Cohn).
3. The internet is a giant virtual haystack and yes, in this analogy, you are the needle, I am the needle, more specifically, our blogs are the needles. Shift around the haystack – you can’t expect to just ‘be found’, or find others.
Look for blog parties/linky parties/blog shares…
Jason – https://aopinionatedman.com/
Janice – http://mostlyblogging.com/
Danny – http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Elena – http://www.livingwithbatman.com/
Vicky – http://www.singlemotherahoy.com/
April – https://diapersandtutus.wordpress.com/
Read, share, like, comment. And blog engagement groups/boards are rampant on Facebook and Pinterest. Twitter is overflowing with hashtag days (Suzie https://suzie81speaks.com/ gets us trending every Sunday with #SundayBlogShare – the lovely ladies at http://honeyquill.com/ give us #LinkYourLife – there’s also #MondayBlogs #TuesdayShares #wwwblogs #BeWoW #bluskyfriday #ArchiveDay #WeekendBlogShare).
Don’t just attend, participate.
4. Spread your blogging wings! Search out other bloggers, not just on their blogs, but follow them into the depths of the social media catacombs…
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Where I’m baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The dark hole where I lose hours of my life: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google (seriously, not nearly as fun as it sounds): https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
Yet another place to bloglove: https://www.bloglovin.com/people/donnaparker10-6312637
5. Your readers won’t always ‘get’ what you’re blogging about or agree. Some will be disinterested, some downright rude…Keep wandering through the blogging desert (or dessert) and you’ll find the awesome ones, astounding ones, generous ones, hopeful ones, ones that inspire, ignite, and make you overjoyed you ever heard the term, blogging.
6. Blogging is about being part of something, otherwise you’d just sit alone typing…and we’ve seen the movies – that can either lead to a bestseller…or murder.
7. Pay no attention to all blogging advice behind the curtain…Blog your way today. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/16/you-cant-handle-the-blogging-truth/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/05/12/i-cant-make-you-love-me/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/26/the-phantom-of-the-blogging-tips/
As a young child I believed many things, if I watched a movie again the ending might change, or the money I put in the bank would be the exact same money I’d get out…my Mom, who worked at the credit union at the time had the delightful task of teaching me this life lesson when I wanted my ‘lucky’ quarter from my account. Oops.
Now, older, wiser, I may not believe what I used to believe, or have to see to believe; I may not always know what to believe, but I still want to believe. What about you?
In the dusty sanctuaries of erudition (cooler word than knowledge, which is sooo five centuries ago)… black and white, truth and lies live comfortably, side by side, lined up…we, elbow to elbow, heads bent, allow worlds to cascade around us. ‘Take us home,’ they whisper seductively, promising to reveal all their secrets.
Within the walls of a bookstore or library it’s clear what’s fiction and what’s non-fiction.
In the real world, not so much.
Some of you, dear readers might be aware it’s Autism Awareness Month. You may have Autism; know those who live with it; love those who live with it who you can’t live without; or know those you don’t even know are on the Autism Spectrum. Still with me? Good. Reading Me Being Me Is Exactly As Insane As You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy (Simon Pulse) – we’ll get to the title in a minute – had me thinking of Autism’s infinite variety, as well as the still surprising amount of intolerance in the world.
12 things I thought about while reading this novel:
2. The title is too long…oops, I’m one to talk.
3. The main character, a teen named Darren seems to be on the Autism Spectrum.
4. Part way through the book, I realized I had read other works by this author and felt a ‘doh’ moment. It passed.
5. The writing was accessible, appealing, and made me want to read more, yet around page 400 I found it was dragging and even I was growing tired of lists (is that even possible?).
6. Made me remember high school…Actually, I might be thinking of Glee, I don’t remember my high school having that much singing (luckily, this book doesn’t either).
7. Parents should care about themselves by caring for their children.
8. I wanted to buy Darren some ice cream and tell him, ‘O-o-h child things are gonna get easier. O-o-h child things’ll get brighter.’ I have this Five Stairsteps song in my head, I blame Guardians of the Galaxy.
10. Different can be bad or good, so much depends on intention and perception.
11. It might be comforting to tell someone things will get easier, brighter, or better, but it’s not always true. One of the best things to say is, ‘things are ok right now’. If that’s not true either, then, yes, by all means, say things are going to get easier, brighter, or better.12. I love books. I love free books in a different way. Refer to #10 and in this case, different is good.
What motivates us?
I’m sure the answer is different for everyone.
Praise. Power. People. Passion. Puzzles.
Possessions. Prestige. Punishment.
Pleasure. Position. Politics. Possibilities.
I know what my motivation is to eat Benedict Cumberbatch, that is, the life-size chocolate statute of Benedict Cumberbatch. Seriously, there’s now a 40kg Belgian chocolate replica of most everyone’s favourite Aspergian detective, because he was chosen as #1 dishiest UK actor in a survey. David Tennant was the runner-up. Oh I don’t know, that would be a tough call. Can I have both? Er, in chocolate?
Today is Autism Awareness Day worldwide, and those on the Autism Spectrum have often been called, differently motivated. Too many people don’t (or choose not to) understand this. Their theory seems to be if you aren’t motivated by something they can understand then you must be: stupid, lazy, defective, foolish, or a loser. Intolerance shows itself in varied ugly forms.
We’re still in the beginning stages of a long journey to try to get people to understand Autism. It’s a neurological difference. Things changed, doesn’t mean it’s terrible or catastrophic.
Some things we used to believe:
Some thought the Earth was flat (those are called pancakes).
If an elevator is falling, jump up (you’ll just hit the ceiling).
Putting sugar in a gas tank ruins the car (still not a good idea).
Spontaneous generation from inanimate objects (er, no, just no).
The human body is made up of four humors – black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood (some days I wonder).
A duck’s quack doesn’t echo (it does, it does, it does).
Dropping a penny off a high building could kill someone (how about a quarter?).
Quicksand sucks you under (only in the movies).
Earth revolves around the Sun (you’re not our only friend, Sun).
we’re the center of the Universe (actually, a lot of people still believe that they’re the center of the Universe).
My son, who is the center of my Universe has Asperger’s. He’s differently motivated, but that’s not always a bad thing. He doesn’t succumb to peer pressure. He doesn’t believe everything he reads or sees – he questions. He doesn’t worship at the altar of consumerism. He thinks outside the box, actually, I’m not even sure he knows there is a box.
So whether you celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, and/or Easter – all the best!
Viva la difference!
Last night, as I checked on my beautiful boy, now so grown up, I noted again that time has raced by yet he still looks like my baby when he’s asleep.
Having a child with Autism, those sleep times give you some much-needed downtime and perhaps, a curious understanding of time and dimension, hmm, or maybe that’s too many years of Doctor Who.
In this frenzied world, we need more compassion, appreciation, and hope; less rushing, lies, and bullying. Maybe we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, but I hope we can at least notice the roses are there.
The best time to take a deep breath is when there’s no time. At the end of your life, I doubt you’ll look back and think, thank goodness I spent my life like a hamster on a wheel, that was sooo fulfilling.
Stop flogging yourself for mistakes. They happen. Learn from them. So you write or say the wrong thing. Fall in love with the wrong person. Press the wrong button and start a nuclear war, ok, that example is pretty much the worst mistake ever, try not to do that one. Time moves forward for a reason, so should you.
Don’t reject someone because you’ve had a bad experience either. That experience taught you something, it had a purpose.
Fall apart once in a while. You’re not always “fine”. Sometimes it’s fine not to be fine.
Trying to be someone you’re not is like trying to hide a dinosaur in your bedroom, it’s too big, smelly, messy, and extinct. Why be someone else, they’re already doing it.
If we have time to shop, play games, check the internet, go on vacation, go out to dinner, we can spare 5 minutes to vote. An hour to volunteer or help someone. We can’t make a difference if we don’t at least try.
Instead of thinking about what you don’t want to happen, think about what you do want to happen.
Depending on where you are, this week is:
Spring Break, March Break, March Madness, Spring Equinox, St. Patrick’s Day or maybe it’s just March.
So for our own form of March Madness, a Spring Fling to get us in the mood, let’s have a Blog Party!!!
Please use the comment box below to tell other bloggers about your blog –
don’t forget to include your blog link!
Tell us something about yourself and/or your blog
and share it so other bloggers will find out about you and everyone else!
I started this blog for relaxation (although sometimes, especially when WordPress makes changes, relaxation is not the word I use), but now, over 500 posts later, I look at my followers and views with wonder.
As a single mom with Fibromyalgia, raising a child with Autism and other health concerns, relaxation is important because most days I feel like Wile E. Coyote with his tiny umbrella.
I’ve learned a lot, but the best part has been my dear readers.
You make it all worth while.
Finding each other in this giant virtual haystack is astonishing and awesome.
I’d hoped it would also lead to fame and fortune; that part hasn’t panned out, but who knows?
Till then, still broke and just a tad less obscure.I’m thankful for all the awards I’ve received, but narrowing down other nominees has become too challenging as I find more and more astonishing bloggers whose insights thrill, stories chill, make me cry, laugh, smile, remember, make me think, wonder, and dream.
I love that you think of me, but my time and energy are limited so I’ll use them by responding to your comments and leaving some on your blogs, Tweeting, Retweeting, and sharing your posts.
I’d like to thank some of my most stalwart supporters, those of you who follow, take the time to press the Like button; who humble me by reblogging; Tweet and Retweet, share on Facebook, Google+, Reddit, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and more. I find myself looking forward to your posts, comments, insights, loving your stories, glowing…
I just want to soak them all up.
So join me here, it’s easy to Follow via email or WordPress
and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
Twitter @yadadarcyyada for some Hashtag parties:
Sundays: #SundayBlogShare @suzie81blog
Mondays: #MondayBlogs @MondayBlogs
Wednesdays: #wwwblogs (Women Writer Wednesdays),
and #BeWoW (Be Wonderful posts on Wednesdays @RonovanWrites)
Any day with compassion: #1000Speak @1000Speak
Weekends: #WeekendBlogHop @WeekendBlogHop
Excellent ways to find posts and bloggers.
So thank you all for a memorable time here on this big bouncy web.
Please don’t leave without sharing your blog link and info below,
so other bloggers can find you
and you can find other bloggers.
Keep checking back, who knows how long this party will last?
That was my Dad’s way of letting us know, it was Spring.
On this beautiful Spring-like day, I’m settling for the sin of cleaning.
Cleaning, sinful? For someone with Asperger’s, who like things a certain way and don’t like changes, it’s a terrible transgression.
It’s all how we see things – making things fresh and clean or adding lots of weird smells and moving things, possibly moving them out of order?
I clean less than Martha Stewart, but my son, the Aspie thinks I clean way too much. Which got me thinking about balance.
Overcoming Anxiety and Depression on the Autism Spectrum by Lee A, Wilkinson, PhD (Jessica Kingsley Publishers), was a timely book to read today when I borrowed the digital copy from Netgalley.com for an honest review.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy can help people restore balance, whether they’re on the Autism Spectrum or not.
It’s about changing your way of thinking.
Taking a bad, sad, mad, or scary thought and changing how you look at it.
It’s like taking a old, clean sock, soaking it in equal parts water and vinegar and using it to clean your blinds and windows so you can see more clearly.
Don’t forget to use the other sock to dry them.
There’s nothing wrong with being sad, mad, or scared, but how we handle those thoughts can be like washing a cast iron pan with soap and water instead of coarse salt and water. We want it to last and reach its full potential, so don’t forget TLC (for the pan, some oil).
CBT helps manage and overcome difficulties, in a straightforward way, making a complicated situation less so.
Like when you use your blender, helpful, but now it’s messy. Instead of taking it apart to clean, or trying to clean around the blades, potentially causing more harm, pour in hot water and dish soap, lid on, then blend. Just rinse, dry and store.
Wilkinson is excellent at explaining the anxiety, depression, and isolation caused by social skills deficits and cognitive issues, and how they can be alleviated and managed through CBT.
Too often people with anxiety or depression are told to: just stop, grow up, smarten up, man up, or they’re defective or attention-seeking, etc.
Trying to clean a cutting board used for cutting raw chicken with only soap and water or bleach. Think that fixes the problem?
No, but a lemon cut in half with salt on it would do the trick.
So there are worse things I can do than Spring cleaning…if we find the right balance, there’s little or no anxiety for my son and our home is sparkling.
My own little teen Spock has been ill with a cold for the last few days.
Then the news today, Spock/Leonard Nimoy (most famous for Star Trek, but also a fascinating director/writer/photographer/singer, etc.) has passed away. It’s illogical to be so sad at the passing of an actor, but as a Trekker, Nimoy was in my life since I was very young.
Spock was also an early example of a character with qualities of Asperger’s Syndrome on TV. Asperger’s didn’t even have a name when Nimoy started playing Spock, but he showed that being different was cool.
I hope Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future, where there will be less or no distinction between differences, comes true someday.
I think the biggest tragedy of our time is that people still have so many prejudices, especially about things they don’t understand.
They don’t know what they’re missing.
Most of us have known someone with:
Stroke, migraines, CP, ALS, MS, Parkinson’s Disease,
Alzheimer’s, Tetanus, Pinched nerve, meningitis,
Huntington’s Disease, Migraines, Epilepsy, Polio,
or some other neurological disorder.
Imagine telling someone who’d suffered a stroke to just talk properly?
Don’t think so.
Telling someone with ALS to stop being so lazy?
Suggesting to someone with Alzheimer’s they could remember if they just tried harder.
Or someone with Parkinson’s to stop shaking, that they were just trying to get attention?
Yet people with Autism are constantly told to:
grow up, smarten up, man up, stop being so lazy.
People scoff, blame, bully, abuse, mock, make jokes, call names, etc.
Autism is a neurological condition just like any other.
They have as much control over how their brain works as any other neurological disorder.
If we could all just accept each other, we’d see the amazing.
And I see my teen Spock is awake again…
Goodbye Mr. Nimoy, you came into our hearts through our TVs; you made it cool to be different.
“That is the exploration that awaits you! Not mapping stars and studying nebula, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.” ~Leonard Nimoy
We used to believe:
- Sharks don’t get cancer (they do, anyone volunteering to put on their sunscreen?)
- Bananas grow on trees (no, they’re berries that grow on the world’s largest perennial herb plant).
- We only have 5 senses.
- Need 8 glasses of water a day.
- Ulcers were caused by stress or eating acidy foods. Nope, a nasty bacteria, Helicobacter pylori.
- Tomatoes are veggies, actually, fruit.
- Chastity belts were for chastity, actually, puritans wanted people to be Masters of their Domain (yeah, I had a Seinfeld flashback).
- Humans use 10% of our brain. My son worried his brain couldn’t hold too much information. I explained his brain is like the TARDIS from Doctor Who (looks like an old blue police box, but inside is unlimited space and astonishing things). Now my son fills his head with as much information as possible.
- Salted water boils faster.
- Lemmings run off cliffs to kill themselves, actually they go into the sea to swim to mating area – come on, there’s no one you’d jump and swim for?
- Poinsettias are poison, no, but why is anyone eating Poinsettias anyway?
- Milk increases mucus.
- Shouldn’t swim after you eat.
- Humans and dinosaurs existed during the same time period (except in Jurassic Park, of course).
- Dieting myths, endless dieting myths.
- People with Epilepsy were possessed by demons.
Just because you believe something doesn’t mean you have to keep believing it.
Free speech is important, too bad it can also be hurtful or deadly.
The news pumps out stories of measles and other outbreaks; the anti-vaccine and pro-vaccine contingents battle on.
Vaccinated and unvaccinated children get Autism.
Millions get vaccinated and don’t have Autism.
What about genetics? Environmental agents? Epigenetics? Infectious processes? Autoimmume? I don’t know the answer, maybe it’s the Perfect Storm etiology, a predisposition in conjunction with various components.
Or maybe they’re just different or a vanguard of human evolution.
Calling other parents names and berating them for vaccinating their children isn’t going to find a cause or a cure or help them live good lives. Autism was once known as Childhood Schizophrenia. Now we know better and have broader definitions, better awareness, resources, and statistics. Jenny McCarthy said her son was a Crystal Child, then had Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a seizure disorder with symptoms similar to Autism). That didn’t sell, so she jumped on the Autism train and rode it all the way to stardom, sort of. Mass hysteria that would make the Salem Witch Trials blush has swept the world, based on one discredited study. McCarthy has since backed off, having made a fortune, but the damage is done.
The myth has outgrown its origins.
If you want me to believe something, don’t use insults, anecdotal evidence, anger, flawed logic, catastrophic hyperbole, and endless drama. If your point is valid you could debate or even argue it, in a rational and respectful manner. I also don’t understand having a mock funeral when your child is diagnosed with Autism. If only people could unite to help our children, use all that energy, time, money, and passion to promote tolerance, acceptance, support, love, and hope, imagine how much better the world would be.
If you believe, you don’t have to belittle.
“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.” -Edward R. Murrow
There are so many things we want to teach our children.
Love. Hope. Caring. Compassion. Empathy. Life skills. Listening. Learning. Reciprocity. Understanding. Manners.
With a child with Asperger’s Syndrome you have a few others life lessons to the list, the strangest one is lying. I’ve tried to teach my son to lie, with really no success. Why would I teach my child to lie? Because society demands it. I’m sure we can all think of hundreds of examples of social lying. I’m sure you’ve lied today, probably multiple times. Imagine your life if you didn’t know how to lie. You boss asks if you like your job. Someone asks if their dress makes them look fat. Society is a hotbed of lies. Some lies are harmless and others are horrible. But what if you couldn’t lie? What if you told the truth no matter how detrimental it was to you?
People say they want the truth, but that’s the biggest lie of all. They would rather lies than uncomfortable truths.
So how do you teach someone social lying while telling them it’s wrong to lie? A confusing message, to say the least.
I think the human race is evolving, and I believe a time is coming when there will less or no distinction between those who are neurotypical and those who allegedly ‘not’.
Asperger’s or High-Functioning Autism are now on our regular viewing schedules, in our books, in our workplaces, as friends, family members, bosses, employees, etc.
Once known as Nerd Syndrome, or for much of the 20th century diagnosed as Childhood Schizophrenia, before that insanity or demonic possession is now seen as essentially benign.
We’re just starting to realize having Autism isn’t necessarily terrible, or catastrophic, it’s a neurological difference. We need to understand and offer proper resources.
The book, Been There. Done That. Try This! An Aspie’s Guide To Life On Earth (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) is a unique, comprehensive, effective, fascinating treasure trove of Aspie knowledge, mined by Tony Attwood (Editor, doctor, author, and Aussie Aspie expert), Craig R. Evans (Editor, doctor, author, and Aspie expert), Anita Lesko (Aspie, author, BSN,RN,MS,CRNA). This book may be written for those with Asperger’s by those with Asperger’s, but I think some of the advice can help neurotypicals as well.
It offers advice from true experts, Aspies sharing their knowledge on how to manage anxiety, depressions, meltdowns, sensory issues, bullying, careers, dating, sex, marriage, friendships, transitions, and so much more. Mentors include: Temple Grandin, Liane Holliday Willey, Bob Castleman, Anita Lesko, Dr. Patrick Suglia, Debbie Denenburg, Lisa Morgan, Mitch Christian, Gary Burge, James Buzon, Charli Devnet, and more.
The more I read about modern life being so challenging for people with Asperger’s the more I thought, is it perhaps too challenging for everyone? Is that why anxiety rates are so high, use of prescription drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, sleep disorders, eating disorders, bullying, fighting, so much more prevalent? Maybe people with Asperger’s are just more obvious because their brains are always honest and don’t try to hide the problems.
If we could all just accept Neurodiversity we’d see that we all need help in different ways and can be amazing, in different ways.
This book is wonderful for Aspies so they know they’re not alone and it gets better; for parents to remember there’s hope; and for others to understand that different isn’t less.
I think it’s tragic that people have so many prejudices, especially about things they don’t understand. They don’t know what they’re missing.
Have you even known someone with: ALS, MS, Parkinson’s Disease, CP, Alzheimer’s, Tetanus, Pinched nerve, meningitis, Huntington’s Disease, Migraines, Epilepsy, Polio, stroke, or any of the other neurological disorder?
Would you tell someone who’d suffered a stroke to just talk properly? Unlikely.
Would you tell someone with ALS to stop being so lazy? No way.
Tell someone with Alzheimer’s they could remember if they just tried harder? Doubtful.
Someone with Parkinson’s to stop shaking, that they were just trying to get attention? Improbable.
Yet people with Autism are constantly told to grow up, smarten up, man up, stop being so lazy. People scoff, blame, bully, abuse, mock, make jokes, call names, etc.
Autism is a neurological condition just like any other. They have as much control over how their brain works as any other neurological disorder.
Hopefully someday Asperger’s won’t even be a diagnosis, people will start to respect Neurodiversity.
Until then, they need help and one of the best places to start is OASIS (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support), http://www.aspergersyndrome.org/ where I admit I’m somewhat of a lurker, as I am on most Asperger’s and Autism sites. There to find information and resources for my son, I don’t always feel like plunging into the fray myself. At least OASIS is a respectful site, not prone to the relentless bickering, squabbling, arguing, and bullying to which some Autism sites fall prey.
I wish more of the Autism community could pull together, avoid the infighting, and work toward a common goal of helping those with Autism live better lives.
I was lucky enough to borrow an ARC copy from Netgalley.com of Asperger Syndrome: The OASIS Guide by Patricia Romanowski Bashe, 3rd Edition, published by Harmony Books/Crown Publishing available October 14, 2014.
When my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s years ago there was little information, now there’s a lot of misinformation, but thankfully there are sites and books like OASIS. Full of incredible, insightful inspiration, advice, and more, this comprehensive guide can help put things into perspective when your head is swirling.
A refuge on those days when you just feel like crying.
It seems lately stated or unstated Asperger’s characters are all over TV, in movies, and in books, with varying degrees of success and respect:
Community, House, Star Trek, Doctor Who, The Big Bang Theory, Sherlock, Elementary,
Boston Legal, Bones, The Bridge, Skins, ReGenesis, Grey’s Anatomy, Silicon Valley,
curious incident of the dog in the night-time, Edward Scissorhands,
Adam, Monk, Hannibal, Temple Grandin, 24, Triggers, Mercury Rising, Parenthood,
Fringe, Alphas, Doc Martin, Dear John, House Rules, Criminal Minds, P.S. I Love You,
Rain Man, Salmon Fishing in Yemen, CSI, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,
Mozart and the Whale, My Name is Khan, Snow Cake, Touch, Somersault,
Most often showcased as charming, eccentric, funny, cute, and usually brilliant Nerds or Geeks who have great jobs, loyal and caring family and friends, etc.
Unfortunately the prognosis is not often that optimistic.
I can’t emphasize enough that this is a debilitating disorder, not entertainment.
Not functioning is not charming.
Not being able to keep a job or friends isn’t cute.
Getting into difficulties or danger because you can’t comprehend situations is not brilliant.
Being left out, mocked, teased, bullied, or hurt is not funny.
Being medicated or hospitalized or jailed is not eccentric.
Struggling all day, every day to even grasp some of the world around them isn’t amazing.
It may make for good entertainment, but in real life, people have to live with the consequences.
Sometimes simple and straightforward are best.
All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) explains Asperger’s Syndrome perfectly. And it has adorable pictures of cats being adorable.
This delightful and deceptively minimal book is the first book you should read if someone you love is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (also called Aspergers Syndrome, or Asperger Syndrome, or Asperger’s, or Aspergers).
The only downside? Like Sheldon Cooper (played so brilliantly by Jim Parsons) on The Big Bang Theory, it makes it sound much cuter than it usually is; for those who have it and those who love them. Or Sherlock Holmes (take your pick, the most recent, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller) which makes it seem exciting…Or all the other examples of Aspergian or High-Functioning Autism on TV, in movies or books.
The truth, it’s difficult, frustrating, wonderful, sad, amazing, and confusing…for all concerned.
There are many great books I would recommend, but these are quite helpful, informative and above all, accessible.
Borrow them from a friend, library, or Autism association; or purchase them in store or online.
The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome – Dr. Tony Attwood; Inside Asperger’s Looking Out – Kathy Hoopmann; An Asperger Dictionary of Everyday Expressions – Ian Stuart-Hamilton; Kids in the Syndrome Mix – Martin L Kutscher, MD; The Oasis Guide to Asperger Syndrome – Patricia Romanowski Bashe & Barbara L. Kirby (Harmony Books); The Autism Discussion Page on the Core Challenges of Autism – Bill Nason (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)The Everything Parent’s Guide to Children with Asperger’s Syndrome – William Stillman (Adams Media)
The Asperger’s Answer Book – Susan Ashley, Ph.D. (Sourcebooks, Inc.)
Empowered Autism Parenting – William Stillman (Jossey-Bass)
The Fabric of Autism – Judith Bluestone (Sapphire Enterprises, LLC)
How To Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger’s – Jennifer McIlwee Myers (Future Horizons)
Quirky, Yes Hopeless, No – Cynthia La Brie Norall, Ph.D w/ Beth Wagner Brust (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Thank goodness for Jessica Kingsley Publishers, I don’t know what I would have done without them.
If your child, spouse, friend, or yourself is diagnosed – don’t panic!
Media, doom and gloomers, people holding mock funerals for their children when they’re diagnosed, etc., even those who wish to help can intentionally or unintentionally scare you.
Don’t get caught up in the conflict people, people that love to make everything a drama.
Don’t hyper-focus on people ‘understanding’, including your family or friends, how could they understand? Just hope they’re supportive.
Focus on helping the person you love.
They’re still the same person, you just have a diagnosis that will aid you and others, to help them.
Helping the person you love find the skills and resources is taxing enough without adding fuss.
It’s also important to remember Autism isn’t a straight road, there are many, many twists and turns, ups and downs.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ~Confusius
My son has Asperger’s and several medical conditions, but is doing better than anyone would have predicted.
Yet when a setback comes along, a medical procedure; other anxiety-provoking situations, people, challenges; illness, or something that is overwhelming I have to remember, it may seem like one step forward, two back, but he still took that one step forward.
But it’s still been a long few days.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~Mary Anne Radmacher
1. April is Autism Awareness Month.
2. April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day.
3. Today and all through April there will be more talk, more posts, more ads, more stuff sold, more people arguing about what caused Autism and still the numbers of children with Autism will rise.
4. For me everyday is Autism day. My son is brilliant, funny, clever, handsome, and amazing; he also happens to have Autism.
5. Children are being diagnosed with Autism in record numbers. Businesses, charities, celebrities, etc. are making record profits off the fears and vulnerabilities of parents.
6. Governments may say they’re aware and are doing a lot, but in truth, they just aren’t doing nearly enough.
7. Some parents hold mock funerals when their child is diagnosed with Autism. Is it just me or is that super creepy?
8. There are open doubters, closet doubters, haters, blamers, whiners, name-callers, bullies, accusers…the list goes on. None of that makes my child better.
9. The many voices for Autism, from whispers of hope to screams of anger to cries of despair can be heard throughout the world, not just today, but everyday.
10. There are plenty of theories and things people blame for Autism, yet to date, no single cause has been proven.
11. My child has Asperger’s Syndrome, he’s on the Autism Spectrum. He doesn’t need saving. He needs to be happy. Live up to his amazing potential. In that way, he’s the same as every other child.
12. Finding out my son had Autism didn’t change anything, I loved him just as much as ever.
13. Some people see my son as someone to be pitied, or mocked, or bullied, or judged, or labelled, or ignored. If some people took off their intolerance goggles they’d see who people really are.
14. Autism used to terrify me, now I see that’s it’s different, not bad or scary or less, just different. Who ever said different was awful? Neurodiversity Now!!!
15. When something or someone is hurting our children we could easily be angry, sad, frustrated, depressed, look for reasons, excuses or someone to blame. Instead we need to focus on helping our children and finding the real cause.
So on this day and others, remember, Autism is just a word, the real story is in each child and who they really are.