Tag Archives: Break

Question?: Asperger Syndrome

Laura asks…

Can someone please explain to me what Asperger syndrome is?

I made a new friend and she told me that she had Asperger syndrome I read a little about it online but I still don’t fully understand it 🙁 can someone help me? Please no rude answers!

admin answers:

I have Asperger’s basically I find it hard to make friends (socialize) , I stick to a very fixed routine which I cannot break. People with Asperger’s often have 1 to 3 obsessions (like Astrology, Trains etc) with me it is the Weather & Animals. Not everyone with Asperger’s is the same. They are tend to clumsy and find it very hard/impossible to make eye-contact with someone. I am of average-intelligence like most Asperger’s suffers. They can be ultra-sensitive to sounds, smell or light. They often take things rather literally like “I feel like killing you” the person with Asperger’s may take this literally and get frightened, although I have learnt that is is just a figure of speech. We find is difficult to read other people’s facial expressions and body language. I could name more traits but I’m too tired. One more thing they often have excellent memories especially with date of births, childhood memories etc. I hope you and your friend have an excellent time together forever.
Take care. Good-bye.

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remembering to believe

Ed note: I asked Luau to read the following before I hit publish. He had two comments: 1) People who don’t know you might find the first part a little self-indulgent and 2) You’re getting kinda religious in your old age.

I decided I was fine with both. 


Yesterday, I couldn’t write. I just couldn’t. My heart was too heavy, my soul too damned tired. I was angry. I still am. Because as hard as I try, I don’t get it. I just don’t understand how there can be some cosmic plan that includes taking an eighteen year-old kid from this earth. I just don’t. And I want to tell God that it’s a load of crap. That he can’t need THIS kid. Or at least not right now. That’s it’s not fair. That it’s not right. That it just doesn’t make sense.

Some of you told me not to write. To take a break. And I thought about it. I thought about turning inward for a day or two. And I kind of knew that it wasn’t really going to happen. But I thought, well, maybe.

But then I read THIS . And I got to the part where she said this ..

Whenever I hit a bump in life’s twisty road it makes me feel SO STRONGLY connected to all of you. So GRATEFUL for you. For this community of women, because even though I can’t have you on my couch, I have you. I can feel it.  I know that you face the same things I do, so I don’t feel alone. I love you so MUCH for that.

I stopped breathing for a second because I swear I could have written that and I said Oh My God, YES. I get that. Not even just I Get That but I AM That.

Because you see, I come to THIS place – our place where we all gather together – for you, yes, but so too I come for ME. I come to this place because there’s magic here. There’s understanding and support and strength – Good Lord the strength! – and there’s Me Too! There’s acknowledgement and there’s I Get That and there’s I Am That and there’s Love. There’s pure, unadulterated LOVE.

There’s love for each other, and love for our children, and love for humanity and for this whole messy, spinning ball of people – the ones we know and the ones we don’t know and the ones we agree with and the ones we vehemently, adamantly disagree with – and it’s all okay here because above it all, there’s LOVE.

So I come here to this magical place and I pull the threads apart and I lay them out on the table and marvel at their colors, their textures, and above all – above everything else – the way they all weave together to create this incredible quilt that would never, ever be as beautiful were all its threads the same.

So I come here. For better, for worse, for all the stuff in between, I come here. I come here because it’s here that my spirit finds comfort – with you. So I come. And I pull apart the threads and I tell my silly little stories and my big scary stories and together we muddle through it all and somehow we make sense of all of our stories together.

Today, this is my story …

Today I tell you that my baby girl played that damned clarinet. Remember the clarinet? The one that she picked up when I was busy being afraid? The one that reminded me that faith – in her, in all of us – matters most? That one.

She played that thing, my friends. A note. And then another note. And then Hot Crossed Buns were hot and crossed and she was PROUD of herself. Really, really, truly stinkin’ damned proud of herself.

And she did it because Ms J wouldn’t let her give up. Because she knew – she KNEW what Brooke HAD INSIDE OF HERSELF. Because while I was busy being afraid she was busy believing. And she sprinkled that belief – that FAITH on my girl. And she saw her through her tears (yes, there were tears) and she said, ‘I believe in you.’ And she gave her a break (because she needed a break) and she took her out of the room and she let her get a drink (because she needed control and she needed to stop and she needed to breathe) and then she said, ‘We’re going to try again. Because I believe in you.’

And my girl said ‘I can’t’ and Ms J said ‘I never want to hear ‘I can’t’ again’ and she told her that she BELIEVED in her. And she told her that they knew that this was going to be hard but that was okay because she can do hard things and then she DID. SHE DID. She made a note – a real, live note – and then she made another one and then she crossed those hot damned buns and she was so PROUD of herself because she DID IT. And Ms J said. ‘See? I told you you could. You can do anything.’

And she DID.

And I’m telling you this story because it’s so not about that damned clarinet. It’s not even about Brooke or Ms J. It’s about believing and knowing that it’s okay to try hard things because we can do hard things. It’s about taking breaks and walking away and taking control and coming back to try again. It’s about climbing mountains and standing on top of the world and being proud that we got there. It’s about teaching the RIGHT WAY – with respect and love and empathy and belief that anything is possible.

That’s it, really, isn’t it? It’s really just about remembering to believe.

About remembering that we don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step. About remembering to believe that God’s plan is far bigger than anything we can fathom. About remembering that we are so, so much smaller than we think we are. And He or It or All Of It is so, so much bigger.

And that if we let ourselves believe, anything is possible.

Dont’ believe me?

Jeni posted this on Luck2Tuck last night.


I asked her if I could share it here. She said, “Share away! It made me so happy!”

She said that Aisling saw it and knew that it was her brother, flying around in the night sky.

“Playing the clouds,” I said.

I showed the picture to Katie. I pointed to the shooting star. I told her how happy it had made Jeni. She looked at me sheepishly, her eyes filling with tears. “Mama,” she said, “last night, right before I fell asleep, I wished on the first star I saw. I wished that Mrs. Gowen and Mr. Gowen and Tuck’s siblings could find a way to be happy. Do you think … Do you think that Tuck heard me?”

I smiled at my girl. My sweet, aching girl. “Yes, baby,” I said. “I sure do. And I think he found a way to make it happen.”

It’s amazing what can happen ..

When we remember to believe.

*Ed note: The photo credit should actually be Michael Mastrioanni, not Bob. I’m just going to say “If you’re a Mastrioanni, consider yourself thanked.”

View the original article here

i promise


Yesterday I said the following.

I have a post brewing, my friends. A big one. A really sort of terrifying one. One that – as desperately as I want to write it THISVERYSECOND – demands, and deserves, far more than the eight minutes that I have right now to write it. So it will have to continue to simmer just below the surface for one more day.

I wrote it yesterday. And it was big. It — is — big. In fact, it is too big for Diary. So I sent it off to the Huffington Post.

It was — is — so big that I am at once relieved and terrified that it is now out of my hands.

It was –is– so big that I had to call my parents to tell them what it contains.

I told them both that I thought it best if they not read it. My mom said she had to. I get that. I would too.

But my dad agreed. He wouldn’t. Because he simply couldn’t.

I did what I could to convince him that he didn’t let me down. I promise you didn’t, Daddy. I really, truly promise.

I listened to his voice break as I explained why now – why twenty-three years later. “For your babies, Jessie,” he said. “Talk to them. Katie will read it someday. She’ll need forewarning. But more than that, she’ll need to know the lessons. She’ll need to know …” His voice broke again before he found the words.

I promised I would. I will.

“And Brooke too. I don’t know if she’ll read your blog someday too, Jessie, but she needs to know too. You’ll have to teach her differently, but she needs to know too.”

“Please God,” he said, “let them learn from you and not by experience.”

I promise, Dad. I will do everything I can to teach them both. I promise.

The post took me twenty-three years to write.

It’s time.


Ed note: This is not meant to be a cliffhanger, but unfortunately the post has not been published yet. It should hit HuffPost today. If you’d like to receive notification as soon as it’s up, please click HERE and then follow me by clicking on any of the buttons next to my name.

** Update: The post is now up on HuffPost. please click HERE to read it. Thank you for your patience. **


View the original article here

The Powerful Use of Language and How It Impacts Autistic Children

When looking at the language we use with our autistic children it is useful to break it down into categories.  There are four things on which to focus when you want to use appropriate language with your child.


1. Stay Away from Negatives


One thing to remember is that the subconscious mind does not “hear” negatives.  When you tell a child “not” to do something, that child will actually do it because the negative word is filtered out by the subconscious.  For instance, if you say to a child, “Don’t run,” the child will only hear the word “run.”  It is better to say, “Please walk,” or “I would like you to walk,” or simply, “Walk.”


Depending on how you generally speak to your child, you may have to work hard to change the way you phrase requests.  Just try to focus on the positive and minimize the negative.  This means that when you phrase requests for your child, you must use positive language and state what the child is to do, staying away from saying what the child is not to do.


2. Break Things/Requests Down


Another thing to remember when talking to autistic children is that they do not have the same level of concentration as an adult or even another child does.  For this reason, it is important to break tasks down for them so that they won’t feel overwhelmed.  It is so easy for us to just say, “Clean your room,” but an autistic child wouldn’t know where to begin.  You need to break it down and ask her to clean up only her clothes.  You can even tell her to pick up the clothes according to color.  Tell her to pick up the red clothes, then the blue clothes, then the pink clothes.  Then ask her to clean up her toys.  You will get better results and your child will feel better about it too.


3. Offer Choices


Children of any age need to feel like they are in control of their lives and this need may be even more pronounced in the autistic child.  After all, she is trapped within a mind in which she knows she needs to communicate, but also knows she cannot.  Autistic children also do not like change, which is a part of life.  This must be extremely frustrating.  By giving an autistic child the ability to make choices, you can help alleviate some of the frustration of the child’s situation.


The key to doing this is to ensure that the choices are simple, otherwise you risk overwhelming the autistic child, which will very likely cause undesirable behavior instead of preventing it.  Of course, there are some things that children simply have to do, but you can make it easier for them by offering choices around those things.  For instance, they have to eat, but by offering them a choice of what to eat, they can have what they like and feel good about it.  If your child is non-verbal or not very verbal, then you can still offer choices by using pictures of food and having her point to the picture of what she wants.  This ability to control one’s life is something we all want and we must value that need in our children.


4. Talk to Them and about Them in a Positive Manner


Your child will be whatever you tell them consistently and your positive message can make the difference between your autistic child growing up to be a functioning adult in a career that she enjoys or an adult that has a difficult time functioning in society.  Have you ever met an autistic adult who was happy in her life and career and said that her parents always told her she could do anything she wanted and that she could achieve anything?  Well, guess what?  She did exactly that.  But if those same parents had told that same child that she wasn’t able to do certain things or that something was out of her reach because of her autism, she would very likely not have achieved much of anything.  The adult standing before you would likely have a very different life.


If you complain that your child is slow, then she will be slow.  However, if you tell her she is smart and that she can do anything she wants, she will take that into her life and you will see it in her efforts at school and beyond.  It is important to convey to your child that she is great.  When you do this, the child will be great and they will believe they are great.


The key is that when you use the appropriate language with children it becomes a win-win situation for everyone.



Rachael Mah is a Master Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner and Coach. Rachael’s passion is to help parents and teachers to coach their children and students to succeed in life as individuals. Please visit http://www.motivateschoolkids.com
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The Difference Between Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism

According to the DSM-IV classifications asperger’s syndrome and autism are two separate disorders. There is debate however because aspergers and autism exhibit some of the same symptoms. The argument is that aspergers is a form an autism and should not be listed as a separate entity when diagnosing the disorder or when devising treatment. The argument relies on the idea that since there is no distinct criteria for either disorder and they are both persuasive developmental disorders they should be treated the same.

The argument about name is not just an argument on syntax, but an argument for services and label. The services for an autistic child are far more extended than a child diagnosed with asperger’s syndrome. The group that wants to keep the labels different look at the argument from a research based idea. They want to see both syndromes separate because research and treatment will follow two different paths and the benefits of one path might bleed over to the other. This way is there is a break through in asperger’s syndrome, that break through may help the autistic child.

According to the DSM-IV the diagnosis for both disorders are very similar. The clinicians who diagnosis the patient looks at the severity of the symptoms and diagnose on the severity of certain symptoms and the lack of severity in others. This gives the doctor some leeway in the diagnoses but also leads to the idea that the diagnoses is not a stringent as it appears or needs to be. The DSM-IV proponents argue that there needs to be more criteria in the guidelines for both disorders in order to make a correct diagnosis and a correct treatment plan.

The major distinction that now can be read from the manual is that autism, a communication disorder, does not allow the child to communicate normally. This is different in an asperger’s child because the asperger’s child may not understand the communication that is presented to them. The autistic child understands but is not able to neither respond to the communication nor give the proper response that is socially acceptable. With an entire list of specifications for the disorder, it is sketchy that this one ill defined symptom can be the separating point.

Another sticky difference between the disorders is the patient’s ability to have an average intelligence. Some autistic children are mentally retarded. Though not all, some have met the criteria that their IQ is below the measured rating of mental retardation which is 69. The asperger’s child cannot be diagnosed with the disorder if they have IQ with is 69 points or lower. Most asperger’s children have average to above average intelligences. This is another argument. How many children that have asperger’s syndrome are diagnosed as autistic just because they have a score that labels them as mentally retarded? There is room for a lot of misdiagnosis and because of that there are a lot of children that are in the wrong treatment programs.

If you are a parent of an autistic child that has a below average IQ, you might want to look in to petitioning the diagnosis if the programs for as asperger’s syndrome child is more beneficial for your child. Just because your child has the diagnosis of autism, the case can be reviewed and with time and patience, you can find a team that will make an alternative diagnoses.

To learn about early signs of autism and mild autism, visit Autism Diagnosis.
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