Tag Archives: Headphones

Question?: Adhd Lyrics

George asks…

Anyone have study tips for a high-school junior?

I feel so embarrassed asking this, but I don’t know where else to go. How do you study when you’re distracted by everything, but can’t have things completely quiet? Also, what about when your family is zero help (everything I do, good or bad, gets questions from them)? I really need some advice because I’m on my own here. Thanks.

Also, not that I’m making an excuse, but I have ADHD, if that’ll help more with giving advice.

admin answers:

Do a little bit at a time. Break big tasks into small chunks and reward yourself at the end of each with a chocolate or a drink or whatever you’re into. Make checklists each day and tick items off because it helps you to feel a sense of accomplishment even if it’s just to read one page. Study for 10 or 20 minutes and then give yourself a break but study solidly during this time. Know what times of day your brain is at it’s best depending on whether you’re a morning or night person. Use headphones with music that doesn’t have lyrics so you don’t get distracted if it helps. Reward yourself with internet time too if you find yourself distracted by it and keep it shut down while studying. Get into a routine using schedules, checklists and rewards so that you’re training your body and mind.

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Question?: Pdd Symptoms

Chris asks…

Do you have or have you known someone who has Autism?

I have the disorder known as Atypical Autism. The symptoms that I notice the most in myself are that I seem to lack the ability to empathize with others and I am on the negative end of the spectrum when it comes to socializing.

If you have autism, what parts of it effect you the most…
What part of Autism do you find to be the most debilitating..

admin answers:

Atypical autism is another name for PDD-NOS or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. I have high functioning autism, and I am a sophomore in college majoring in microbiology and neurobiology. What effects me the most is reading social cues and sensory sensitivity. I can’t easily detect whether or not a person is being sincere or sarcastic and I have been taken advantage of because of that. I also have extreme sensitivity to sound. I cannot focus if someone is tapping, I process all sounds at once and cannot ignore any of it. It can lead to a meltdown occasionally. For that reason I have accommodations that allow me to take exams in quiet rooms with white noise headphones. I love pressure and use the squeeze machine invented by Temple Grandin a lot. If you haven’t tried it, you have to. It is Ecstasy to feel the squeeze and it calms me down a lot. For some reason my parents didn’t tell me about my autism until I was 16. I wish they would have done so earlier, up until then. I just assumed I was a bad person. Now I use my insight on autism to improve standards at an autistic school I work at part time

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Question?: Treatment For Autism In Babies

Chris asks…

What are the first signs of Autism / Developmental Delay that you start to see when they are a baby?

admin answers:

I second everything that Robin wrote. My son was just like that too. He would even break down if someone cleared their throat. Today we use headphones for the auditory. After I taught him to read and write he was able to use a Dynavox which has brought much fewer meltdowns. He is 8 this year and he just pointed for the first time last month. We don’t do any kind of treatments or special diets. We just love and accept him for who he is. Give him patience to learn at his own pace and style even if it means coming up with 50 different ways to teach the same thing until you find one that clicks for him.

I once read a t-shirt that said “Autism isn’t a processing error, it’s a different operating system.” If you can remember that and learn the different system they run you can better understand how they experience the world. My feeling is that autism isn’t a tragedy but an adventure. Simply by experiencing the world differently an autistic person has greater potential to become an innovator. The intense focus that some see as obsessiveness I see as beneficial for reaching a level of expertise in a chosen field. After all a jack of all trades is usually a master of none.

If your child is autistic figure out their triggers and motivators first and the rest will fall into place. Stay positive and best of luck to you.

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the emilies



People constantly ask why I do this. Why I drag my butt out of bed at this ungodly hour every morning and write my little stories.

I do it selfishly, of course. I do it because I know that if I do, I will have a record of all the moments – good and bad – that would otherwise fade from memory. I will have a running marker of progress – a reminder of how far we’ve come. And a gift to my girls when someday we’re all ready to tackle it together. A chronicle of their childhoods.

I do it for the sense of community. I do it because when I tell you that you’re not alone, it’s undeniable that I’m not either.

I do it for the conversation. For the support. For the love that flows here for my girls, for each other, and for all of our children. For the ideas and suggestions, the fervent prayers and the raucous celebrations.

And those would be reasons enough.

But there’s something else.

There’s the possibility, no matter how slim, that my little stories might reach the Emilies.

The following is a note from a woman I’ve never met in person, but whom, thanks to years of online dialogue, I’d be quick to call a friend.

Her name is Emily.




I just wanted to tell you thank you for teaching me…and since I don’t know the rest of your community, I will tell you. I was at Trader Joes today. There were huge lines at the checkout and I saw a mom with a boy about 13-14 who was wearing headphones and who after reading so many stories I knew was as you say “one of ours” but I felt like he was one of mine and so was his momma.

At any rate, all that you write and say and all that your friends write and say gave me (a shy person by nature) the ability to go up to her and offer to let her get in front of me if it would be easier for her to get out of the hectic store quickly. She thanked me and said sometimes it would be but right now we are in a good place so no thank you.

I wouldn’t have done it before you. I would have thought about it, but wouldn’t have wanted to intrude. So thank you for that.





And now I’m crying. Thank YOU.



Please don’t feel pressured — TRULY — but would you be willing to allow me to share this?




if it makes one other person step out of their comfort zone to try and help someone else by all means…ripples right?



oh for heaven’s sake, now you’re just showing off.


love you girl.


I write because I am convinced that the world is full of Emilies. Of people who — if they knew, if they recognized what they saw — would ask the question.

So I get up.

Every morning.

And write.

Knowing that they’re out there.

Knowing that the more we talk, the more Emilies we will reach.

And the more the world will change for our kids.

One grocery line at a time.


Thank you, Em. 

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A Short Story About the Difference Between Alex and Me

This weekend, we were sitting in a Chinese food restaurant (as we do now), and Alex saw some guy he recognized who was seated across the restaurant.

“Oh, hey, Jim!” he called.

I asked him who the guy was and he said, “Some guy I met on the bus.” Then he told me where the guy worked.

My brain almost literally could not understand those words.

Making enough small talk on a bus to find out someone’s name and where they work is incomprehensible to me. Especially in the amount of time that Alex spends on the bus on the rare days he rides it. He only goes about four blocks to the Metro station.

I would have to be on a bus for a long damn time before I made eye contact, much less a friend.

It’s almost like he doesn’t own sunglasses and headphones.

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