Tag Archives: Human Beings

Parenting (Autistic) Kids is Hard

“Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a hard battle.”

Being a parent is hard. Really hard. When I say that, I don’t mean that I wish that I hadn’t had children or that I wish they were easier kids. I mean that raising other human beings that you love more than you love yourself is breathtakingly difficult.

Your child’s struggles—his anxiety, her aching desire to fit in, their stumbles and bumps as they travel their roads to become adults responsible for themselves—can be inspiring, heartbreaking, hilarious, scary, remarkable, stressful, unexpected, delightful, worrisome…add your descriptor here.

Sometimes it is many things at once.

It is impossible to know what it is like to be a parent until you are one.

Ever since I started blogging about my kids, which has been five and a half years now, I have consistently gotten emails, messages, tweets, personal hugs, and all other manner of communication thanking me for my honesty in writing about just how damn hard it is to raise kids. People tell me that they thought they were the only one. They tell me that they thought they were alone. They tell me how much it matters to them to know that they are not the only ones who are struggling.

Sharing that bond over the difficulty of parenting and acknowledging that it is so hard and even that sometimes our kids are assholes, well, that acts as a safety valve that releases pressure. Knowing that we are not in it alone, especially if the act of raising our children isolates us from each other, sometimes helps us make it through a heartbreakingly scary day until we can get to a delightful one.

Raising a child with autism or another disability often imposes even more isolation upon parents. In addition to the joys and problems that parents of typical kids face, we have a whole other set of hurdles (and, yes, a whole other set of joys as well). Yes, we get to experience the unique point of view that our special needs kids bring to life and we get the amazement every day of seeing what our beautiful autistic kids are capable of. I wouldn’t change the neurodiverse makeup of my family even if I could.

But we also face great challenges. We have to decide how best to help our children with their extra struggles in the face of confusing and conflicting information. We have to learn to advocate for our children, something that isn’t always easy, and is often extremely difficult. We have to help them navigate the social difficulties of the world, even if doing so is hard for us ourselves. Often we end up losing friends and family members because they don’t understand what we are going through, because our stresses are too much for them, because they want us to fix our children when all we want to do is accept and teach them. We lose the ability to socialize on the school playground because we have to keep track of our kids to keep them from “eloping” or having problems with other kids because of social difficulties. Some of us can’t leave our children alone ever, even in our own homes, and still count on them remaining safe. Most of us worry about making sure not only that we safely usher our kids to adulthood, but that we are prepared to keep them safe and cared for once they are adults and even once we are gone.

We aren’t underestimating our kids. We aren’t feeling sorry for ourselves. We believe in our children’s genius and their good and their capacity to learn and contribute and be happy. We are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. When you have a child, when you are a parent, that is what you do.

I’m not saying it is harder for us than it is for our kids. And I am not saying that people should pay attention to our needs more than those of autistic children and adults, but I am saying that our road is valid and important as well. I am saying that watching your child struggle in the way that autistic children do can break your heart. I am saying that parenting autistic children is hard.

This is not to say that I wish Jack—or any of my children—were different, were typical. This is not to say that I do not accept my child exactly as he is. This is not saying that I want pity or kudos for my parenting. This is only to say that parenting is sometimes hard.

Just as it helps parents of typical kids to hear that they are not alone, the same goes double for parents of autistic kids. When a struggling parent hears, “Yes. It’s hard,” “You’re not alone,” “This is what my family tried,” “It gets easier”? That can be life-saving.

I know a lot of parents of autistic kids and a lot of them feel like they can’t say publicly that it is hard to raise their children. They feel that if they break down and say that they wish they could have one easy day that they will be accused of not truly accepting and loving their own kids. Valid or not, they feel that they are criticized and judged whenever they say something negative about raising their children.

I know that there are are parents who don’t accept their children’s autism. I know that there are parents who want to “fix,” who want to cure. I know there are parents who do not speak respectfully about their children. However, most of the parents I know would fight lions with their bare hands for their children—exactly as they are. I know many, many parents who do accept their children as autistic—really, truly do—but who sometimes have days when they just can’t hack it. They know they will be able to pull it together tomorrow, but they need someone to tell them, “It’s okay. Yes, it’s hard. You’re not alone. You can do this.”

I believe that it is vital to hear autistic voices. I know that the number one thing that brought me to my place of acceptance and embrace of Jack and his autism soon after I first started learning about the spectrum was reading things written by autistic adults. Without question, I believe that their voices are the ones that we should follow. I know that just as you cannot know what it is like to parent an autistic child unless you parent an autistic child, you also cannot know what it is like to be autistic unless you are autistic.

Likewise, none of us can truly know anyone else’s experience. Your experience growing up autistic is not the same as my experience growing up autistic and neither of us had the same experience that Jack has growing up autistic. But we can all learn from each other, as long as we are willing to listen. I believe that conflict drives conversations forward and that dissenting opinions make everybody think harder.

But most parents really know their kids. And most parents really try hard. And most parents love and embrace their children for who they are. And even if everyone doesn’t, we can’t assume that just because someone says it is hard to parent their child that it means that they don’t accept everything about him. And just as it is vital to respect and amplify autistic voices, it is vital to let parents have hard days without judging them.

I know that autistic adults often feel disrespected by parents. I understand that, because I hear some things spoken by parents that bother me terribly (and vice versa), but many of us want nothing more than to respect both parents and autistic individuals. Sometimes we have to take a chance and lead with respect in hopes that we will be met with the same.

I have three beautiful children. They are amazing gifts to me. Some days, however, I want to sell them all to the highest bidder. When I write about feeling that way, I hope that I do it with humor and respect, and I also hope that some other parent out there reads it and is stronger for knowing that she is not alone.

Quinn, Sam, and Jack They are everything to me. But sometimes “everything” is overwhelming.

*****

I tell my kids all the time to “lead by example.” Head over to White Knuckle Parenting to find out how I actually led my kids by example last weekend.

*****

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The Easy Way to Tell A Child They Have Autism

Parents of children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder often fret about when to tell their child they have Autism and how.

What if we didn’t have to tell our children they have Autism?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world without disclosure?

Ah, yes, it would but that might be a bit unrealistic.

But what if I told you there was an easy way to tell your child?

What if I told you that you can create a positive experience for telling your child he or she has Autism?

Do you think this is possible? I say yes and here is why.

Let’s face it we are all different. We all relate to the world uniquely and teaching that to our children is the most important thing any parent can begin to do at an early age. When a parent can matter-of-factly point out the similarities and differences among themselves as a family and beyond then being different becomes less of an issue. Honoring and celebrating each of our differences in a valued fashion rather than waiting for it to be pointed out and discussed when it becomes obvious gives any label less emphasis and is more likely to be seen as a positive.

So how does one put a positive spin on telling their child they are on the Autism spectrum? By developing mindsets and environments that not only expect differences but value and respect them as well.

Allow me to paint a picture of how this might occur.

Be proactive. Begin early on to establish an environment that discusses similarities and differences in a positive light. Identify each person’s learning style, temperament, personality, sensory issues and idiosyncrasies and focus on the positive aspects of them. As attention is paid to the benefits of each it is only natural for human beings to gravitate and create more of the same thus minimizing the negative. Don’t wait for Autism to become noticeable to your child or others. Doing so risks negatively altering your child’s perception of self. Avoid this by developing a positive and authentic self-image of who she is early on, one that does not have to be changed or explained later on.

Acquire a vocabulary without labels. Be mindful to use language that emphasizes strengths in relation to challenges. When someone does something well, name it as an asset and celebrate it. Point to the fact that everyone is good at something that might be a bit more difficult for someone else in the family or elsewhere to accomplish. This will encourage non-judgmental comparison and can even promote a mentoring atmosphere, where individuals use their strengths to help other family members who are challenged in that same area. The ability to objectively see the strengths each family member, relative, friend and others have normalizes the fact that we are ALL good at something. The trick is to do this uniformly and acknowledge the strengths of everyone in the family, including us adults.

Balance every challenge with a strength. Discuss ways to use your strengths to compensate for your challenges. Occasionally sit down with everyone and discuss how each of you utilize your strengths to make accommodations for the things that you may struggle with. For example, sitting in class listening to the teacher doesn’t work well because you are not an auditory learner. You struggle to take notes because your penmanship is poor. So you augment your note-taking with your talent for art. Over the years you have developed a type of artistic shorthand that you use to take unique notes adding pictures and symbols. This appeals to your visual learning style and helps you remember the lesson better.

Normalize everyone’s challenges. If your child’s differences came in the form of diabetes, epilepsy, poor eyesight or food allergies would you wait to address it? No, you would describe it as “this is the way your body works and this is what it needs to function at it’s best.” Why are we so much more sensitive and touchy when it comes to something that affects the mind? Why can’t we be just as matter-of-fact about the way a child’s brain or nervous system works? Explaining to a child, “This is how your nervous system works” or “This is how your brain is wired” helps to paint a realistic picture of how their body functions. This is powerful information for children to have in order to self advocate, keep themselves safe and in control of what they need to maximize their potential.

Describing Autism without using the word Autism can definitely be accomplished but only to a point. Following the recommendations above can delay or may even prevent the asking of the awkward question most parents fear, “What is wrong with me?” or “Why am I different?” Unfortunately the day may still come when your child wants to have a name for his differences whether he sees them as positive or negative.

Should the time come when your child really wants to know what her brain style is called then you need to let her know the label society gives it. But if you began early in her life to lay the affirmative groundwork discussed above then the label is apt to be just another piece of factual information rather than a devastating blow to your child’s sense of self. Always remember that the most important message will be in the descriptors you use rather than the label itself.

Connie Hammer, MSW, parent educator, consultant and coach, guides parents of young children recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder to uncover abilities and change possibilities. Visit her website http://www.parentcoachingforautism.com/ to get your FREE resources – a parenting e-course, Parenting a Child with Autism – 3 Secrets to Thrive and a weekly parenting tip newsletter, The Spectrum.

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The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism

The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism
Posted on Wednesday, March 21 @ 20:50:33 EDT by Social Skills Nanna, Autism Advocate I met Nanna Juul Lanng while speaking at the conference in Denmark. This is her first column:

Human beings are per definition flock animals. There is no real way around this fact. Our success as a species is partially based on our superior communication skills which allow us to share our knowledge and experiences in a much more efficient way than any other animal on Earth. We have no natural physical weapons; no claws, no fangs, no spikes. Even our most incredible athletes are, in comparison to most animals our size, quite slow and not particularly strong. We’re so soft, fragile and vulnerable and to top all of this off we’re also naturally naked. Our physical features are, all in all, not very impressive.

But by learning, adapting, sharing and creating we have spread throughout this planet, and we have created a lot of the world we see before us today. We are, as humans, hypersocial beings. We are genetically coded for social interaction. We depend on each other, we seek the approval of our fellow men, and we judge each other by our ability to master these social skills and rules.

Read on. . .

As most people believe, I am also confident that people on the spectrum of autism have ?always? been around. As the majority of you also know we’re wired a little differently than the average man/woman. Unlike them, we are not born with all of the social skills that society has come to expect from us all. Most of us have a social drive; we crave attention just like anyone else, we want to be accepted, to be approved of and loved, but not always in the same amount and quite often not in the same way as them. Also some of us only crave that second word: acceptance, and then ask for nothing more than to be left in peace. This is not an article for the latter.

In order to do well in the world and in society, if that is what we wish to do, we attempt to adapt, we do our best to crack the code that no one seems to speak of but everybody knows, often with limited results. I was diagnosed two years ago, when I had just turned 19, and it thrilled me to know, that I was not alone in this struggle, even more-so to find people with ASD who’d done a lot better than I. But I also met a lot of people on the spectrum, afterwards, some even younger than me, who had already grown bitter from the constant battles and all the defeats in this social human world. I am not saying, that I can ?fix? anyone, I can’t. If I had such an ability, I would have ?fixed? myself long ago (I need better word for that) , and you’d see me hanging out at trendy clubs talking to very interesting and important people, luring them all in with my amazing skills. I’d be out catching great friends, like Ash catches pokemons… Which I’m not. However I have improved a lot, I can make friends, I can attract people, I am now able to benefit from social interaction, I can get people to listen most of the time, and if you’re interested, I would like to share those techniques and tips which have worked for me.

I’ve made tons of social mistakes over the years. I’ve been mistrusting of everyone, especially men, and I have often felt that this fight was a waste of my precious energy. I’ve gone through periods where I just couldn’t be bothered, especially in my mid-teens where I didn’t try at all, and as a consequence, I didn’t make any close friends. I was crying out for people to accept me as I was, but looking back I see, that I was guarded, slightly defensive and sometimes arrogant. I didn’t let people in, even though I was lonely. All this because I was afraid of failure ? of being hurt and ridiculed. By the time I graduated from school, I’d grown tired of my own restrictions, all those bonds I’d gotten myself tangled up in.

I learned that without exposing myself, without opening up, no one was ever going to let ME in. How could they? They didn’t know the real me. How can you embrace something, you are not aware of? Especially when that something is guarding its true self like a starved dog guards its food.

Opening up is risky. You might get hurt. You will make mistakes. And some people will not like you, no matter what you do. But if you’re not willing to gamble, you won’t win anything.

Whenever you’re communicating with someone such as the cashier in the supermarket or a new friend, know that you are at any given moment just as responsible for the outcome of the communication as the other person you’re interacting with. How you behave does have an effect on that person. If you greet someone in a positive manner (by smiling, being polite and trying to be non-judgemental, etc.) you are much more likely to get a positive response back. But if your defensive mode is activated and you allow your fears and negativity to rule your thoughts and behaviour, most people will pick up on that and view you as a threat and unapproachable. Be aware of the signals you’re sending. Try asking friends and acquaintances what they thought of you, when they first met you. If you don’t have any friends worth mentioning a good way to educate yourself on the effects of body signals is to experiment when you’re out in public. Pretend and observe. If you behave one way, how do people react to you? If you behave another way, then what?

As for online communication as good (though occasionally annoying when overdone) way avoid appearing aggressive or insensitive and cold is by using positive emoticons or simply by letting people know that you’re are merely joking and/or you mean no harm. If you choose to go for expressive, written sounds like ‘haha’, be aware that many on the spectrum have a difficult time telling whether someone is laughing with them or at them ? especially online.

Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your shortcomings. We all have them. We all have difficulties and if you’re willing to admit them you just might be on your way to move forward. If someone (when you’re out with friends, colleagues, or any other kind of social situation) says something, and you’re not sure what they mean by it, ask! Something as simple as: ‘I’m not sure if I understood you right, could you explain it, please?’ or ‘could you rephrase that?’ works on most people. Try not to make a big deal out of it, even if it did sound offensive to you at first. Give them a chance to explain themselves, before you judge. 9 out of 10 times, people mean no harm, but they may have a crude sense of humour and are not aware of its possible effects on others. So, your friend or acquaintance has just said something ‘stupid and offensive’. Bite your tongue and be quick about it before all those automatic, nasty thoughts slip out. You might be tempted to call someone an idiot, moron, imbecile, bastard or what have we, but if you’re interested in having a nice, positive and rewarding conversation, it is most often best not to stick rude labels on them. You might have misunderstood them.

Name calling will make most people close up like a clam poked with a stick. Also they might be better at you at offending and your slip-up might backfire big time!

Also, when discussing try to not to indirectly blame people. Most people do this, I certainly do, but it doesn’t lead to rewarding debates, only to verbal war. Instead of saying things like:

‘You’re wrong’
‘You hurt me’
‘You’re not making sense’
‘Are you retarded?’
…you could try shifting the blame, like:
‘I don’t think that’s right, because…’
‘That hurt me’ / ‘I was hurt by what you said’
‘I don’t understand your reasoning’ / ‘I’m not sure I get what you’re trying to say’
‘?’ (Don’t poke the clam. It won’t like it. You cannot get your point across, when you’ve contributed to making the other person withdraw into him-/herself.)

People on the spectrum are notorious truth-seekers, but we are often also unyielding and stubborn, which can prevent us from comprehending the entire truth. And then sometimes, there is no definite truth, only opinions.

We all mess up sometimes. Hurting others at some point is almost inevitable when socializing. Don’t be the person, curled up in your sofa whilst staring angrily at the phone or computer screen, just waiting for the other(s) to apologize first. It takes two to tango – be the better man/woman and get on with it. Being a good communicator is also about admitting that you’ve slipped up. If you want to preserve the friendship or maybe just a tolerable relationship with a co-worker, you have to sacrifice your pride once in a while. Even when you think it’s not your fault, because you were ‘right’! Even the most skilled NT gifted with a sharp eye and a silver tongue cannot succeed in every conversation. Some people are difficult to speak with, some will use any given opportunity to put you down, due to their own insecurities and ignorance and, well, there may be a thousand reasons as to why communication goes wrong. Know that it is not always your fault. The most important lesson, I’ve ever learned when it comes to socialisation, is forgiving myself.

None of this will ever come naturally to me. All that ‘sensing and evaluating how far you can go and how to say your honest opinion without sounding like a bastard’ is still difficult. But if you keep trying, you will eventually learn something and from there you may move even further. Be yourself, but more importantly, be a person you can be proud of, be brave enough to be you and don’t be ashamed of failing. We’re all different, neurotypical or not, we all have a lot to learn, and there’s no better way of learning than by doing unfortunately. Know your limits, remember to recharge, think about yourself because that will make consideration for others that much easier.

Nanna Juul Lanng is a 21 year old woman living in Randers, Denmark. She is diagnosed with Autism.
               
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Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by RobotGreenAlien2 Friday, March 23 @ 22:00:52 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) It’s worth remembering too that NT’s have been passing down strategies that work for them for a long time. We are really the first generation of aspies that can pass our tricks down to the next.
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 3, Insighful)
by techstepgenr8tion Wednesday, March 21 @ 22:00:18 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Sage advice. I think it works best once we’re out of highschool and past the firing line. Also, I noticed several years back that one of my worst ASD-trained habits was that Pavlov’s Dog reflex of ‘when it doubt – its me’; beyond being injurious to self-assurance it also gives people a sense that some’s a bit of a pushover or doesn’t really command their own space.
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by kellywilliams Thursday, March 22 @ 01:30:05 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Thanks for the information. Great article.
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by LennytheWicked Thursday, March 22 @ 06:01:43 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Honestly, I’ve found that interesting people don’t hang out in ‘trendy clubs.’ They hang out in a classroom or in a laboratory, or in a study somewhere. Sometimes in an office. I have a few friends, and every one of them is eccentric. Or a boy. OK, they’re eccentric boys. Intellectuals are interesting people, and they’re more likely to wait for you to settle in during a conversation. Then it’s just a matter of getting comfortable enough that settling in becomes unnecessary.

Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 2, Informative)
by ebec11 Thursday, March 22 @ 10:31:40 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) I completely agree with this article, I have had to work hard to get the friends I have, and it was worth all the “fake” friends I had to navigate through first. I’m lucky in that when I’m hurt, I calm up/be nice until later, so it doesn’t muck up my social relationships. Definitely hurts when you open up to somebody and they hurt you though, I had one girl (ironically with Aspergers) who really hurt my feelings when she called me “slow”, and then tried to pretend she didn’t really mean it the way she did when I brought it up. I know that there are only so many ways you can call somebody slow…I was nice to her after that, but didn’t feel very close to her anymore. But for friends like that, I’ve met some truly amazing friends (and BF) that I wouldn’t trade for the world!
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 2, Interesting)
by zzmondo Thursday, March 22 @ 13:11:53 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Great advice. I’ve really found that a lot of this does work. I’ve found some of this stuff on my own too, it’s good to see someone else found it. I’m still going through some of this myself and it really does work out. I’m mainly focusing on letting my guard down, mostly when talking to girls and such too lol.
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by Oodain Thursday, March 22 @ 17:44:20 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) definately good advice, we all need to take our time to fail. that said, congratulations on the article.
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by AScomposer13413 Thursday, March 22 @ 18:25:47 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Great article! Some of these points you’ve made are ones I’ve taken years to learn and feel there’s progress as time rolls by!! Really well done!!
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by aussiebloke Thursday, March 22 @ 20:16:53 EDT
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Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 2, Interesting)
by TonyW Thursday, March 22 @ 20:35:36 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) This is a good piece on social skills. Thanks, Nanna. I have the hardest time with many Aspies when I argue we should do much more to work on our social skills and stamina, and to build networks which include NT friends — to help us out, and to help us get out of trouble in many social situations. My big piece of advice to those of us who try and work at this is not to let Aspies who don’t work hard enough, or who have given up on NT socializing, or whose Autism is (very sadly!) really disabling to social relations with NTs, get you down. Look at an Andy Warhol and see how far he was able to go in his rich life.
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by Kalinda Sunday, March 25 @ 13:00:17 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) I can so relate to this. I realized recently that I have Aspergers, and so many people misunderstand this. They say that we have no emotional intelligence, when it’s really how we express our emotions that is different. Social rules are very important in adapting to a fast paced world. But not everyone has that knack and I personally think evolution is God-driven, and that people who follow the natural order will eventually be the leaders of our generation. It’s a matter of seeing the big picture, and Autism to me is not about sickness, it’s about genetic adaptations that may or may not have an actual reason or purpose.

Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by Dillogic Sunday, March 25 @ 23:12:06 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) You ain’t part of the flock if you design a projectile weapon. Any animal on earth ain’t got nothing on a bow or early firearm. We needn’t be social at all; it’s only the dumb ones who desire protection from other people that makes them need to flock together.
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by PLA Monday, March 26 @ 10:42:54 EDT
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Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by halfaspieguy Monday, March 26 @ 14:02:45 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) This is good advice for “real time” communication and conversation. I wish I had known how I sounded 40 years ago when I thought being a 14 year old “know-it-all” was somehow a good thing. Over time I just learned to be quiet and smile and nod a lot. That helped me appear comfortable and kept me out of fights but it did not help me feel understood. I also found that my plastic smile would start to melt at some point and I would have to find a way to escape. I recently started doing video of myself to post on Youtube and I was really shocked to see how long and complicated my thought process is when I’m trying to make what I feel is an important point. It might be good practice to record our conversations in a variety if situations and then listen to what it sounds like from a third person perspective. Obviously it might also be helpful, if the persons involved are important enough in our lives, to simply explain who we are and how our mind works so that they might make some adjustment in their expectations that would allow us to just be ourselves every once in a while.
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by biostructure Monday, March 26 @ 15:46:41 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) I was intrigued by the following. I think this is part of the problem why I don’t seem to connect well with many of the women I meet on the spectrum. Girls are most often, compared to boys, more cautious, so we observe, ask, learn and imitate in order to fit in. And whenever we commit a social faux pas we are more likely to react with withdrawal, apologizing, trying to appease the ones we have ?wronged?, whereas the boys react outwards, with aggression, trying to assert his right and role in the group. I strongly feel I am seeking the women who showed an unmistakeable “boy pattern” of dealing with their AS–or other–issues: the outwardly directed, aggressive (whether or not physically) mode. The women I have connected with on here were ALL that type (if there are any more of those, go ahead and message me). The pattern she is describing, I have come to label the “rescue dog” pattern. And it makes me actually feel worse about myself, because they feel like no “match” for my intensity, they tend to come across as rather “blah”, and their fragility makes me feel WORSE about my pent-up frustration and empathic challenges, not better, as I’d expect a “kindred spirit” to do.
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Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by rondeau Friday, March 30 @ 11:28:44 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Nice advice, but really doesn?t everybody need that kind of advice. It is not stressed enough when growing up. Though they may not have them for the same reasons, I believe that all the people on the planet have similar difficulties in growing and developing. Years ago I remember somebody commenting on how inferior communication with an autistic person was. I said have you picked up a newspaper lately; have you poured over the stats at all. Quite frankly, your group hasn?t got the corner on communication. Otherwise the planet would be a dramatically different place?or something like that?LOL.
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by Nereid Saturday, March 31 @ 01:40:46 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) Good article! Presents several good rules of thumb to follow regarding social interaction. I would also like to add its helpful sometimes to read up on human behavior/psychology/body language. What cant be understood intuitively you can still arrive at by academic study. Also, if you can get a NT “wingman”, someone who you trust and who is tolerant and understanding of your asperers, you can request that they give you pointers when you commit major social faux pas. The wingman has been useful since I’ve discovered saying many things I thought were neutral/inoffensive apparenlty rub many people the wrong way. Now that I know this, I can adjust my choice of words or actions to be more diplomatic.
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by 1bandicoot Wednesday, April 04 @ 15:48:21 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Hi enjoyed your post ive just joined wrong planet. Kind regards M
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by jmnixon95 Friday, April 27 @ 21:14:01 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) You seem kind of pretentious. Do you like films from 20th century France?
Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by cheapnikeshoes Thursday, May 03 @ 04:52:33 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Paris city has a total of 6088public or private road (1997). One of the most wide road is zone sixteen Avenue Foch, width of 120meters, eighth District Nike 2012 [www.cheapnike-sale.com] Selves Street ( Avenue de Selves ) is Paris’s shortest road, full-length110 meters only, while the Lue de Vaugirard is the longest street in Paris, across the sixth and fifteen districts,4360 meters in length. The second region of the Lue des Degl e s is Paris’s shortest street, only 5.75meters; and the fifth Lue Du Chat-qui-P work Che Paris for the most narrow official street,1.8 metres wide ( some sources show, twelve area sentier des Merisiers, measuring less than 1 meters wide, or twenty area passage de la Du e e, although right now destroyed, surrounded by a palisade, measuring only 80cm wide. Finally, Paris’s steep is the path to rue area twenty Gasnier-Guy, the slope reached 17%.
Architecture
Many of Paris’s important institutions are located within the city limits. Ladd Fong ‘s financial business district, the main wholesale food market ( Lungis ), Polytechnic Institute of Paris, Paris Higher School of business ( HEC ), higher economic and commercial Sciences School ( ESSEK ), the European Institute of Business Administration ( INSEAD ), the world famous research laboratory ( in the sand and clay and the evli ), maximum the stadium ( Stade de France ), and the Department of transportation, are located in the suburb of the city.
City of Paris
Place de la Bastille ( fourth, eleventh and twelfth, right bank ) is a not only for Paris, but for the whole French have important historical significance of the area, due to its historical value, the square is often used for political demonstrations, including the 2006March mass labor protest. Champs Elysees Street (area eighth, on the right bank of Place de la Concorde and Triumphal Arch ) connected by seventeenth Century, garden walk alterations to the road. It is Paris’s many tourist attractions and one of the main shopping street. Place de la Concorde (area eighth, bank) is located in the Champs Prada Shoes Sale [www.cheappradashoes-sale.com] Elysees Street East, the first built called the” Louis fifteen”, the notorious repute guillotine locations. Egyptian obelisk is Paris” the most ancient monuments”. In the square, the both sides of the road, there are two of the same stone building: the one is the French Navy Department, the west is a luxury Kerrey Yong Da Hotel ( Hô Tel de Klillon ). Near the Vendome Plaza to fashion and luxury hotels have known, the Ritz ( Hô Tel Litz ) and Vendome Hotel ( Hô Tel de Vendô me ) and jewelry stores, many of the famous fashion designers in the square with their salon. Lei Ale ( Les Halles, first, was Paris’s central bank) meat products market, since 1970 time later period, in Europe ‘s biggest subway Liaison Station ( Châ telet-Les Halles ) formed around the main shopping centre. The former Lei Ale malls have been dismantled in 1971, instead of the real Grand Place ( Forum des Halles ). Paris central market is the world’s largest food wholesale market, located in the southern suburbs have migrated to Rungis. Marlay ( Le Malais, third and fourth district) is on the right bank of the trendy area, this is a very open place in culture. Montaigne Street ( District eighth), adjacent to the Champs Elysees street, luxury brands gathered, including Chanel, Dior, Kristen Vuitton and Givenchy ( Givenchy ). Monte Matt (area eighteenth, bank) has a sacred temple, historically has been the artist region, in this region there are many artist studios and cafe. Montparnasse (area fourteenth ) is on the left bank of a historic region, with artist studio, music hall and a cafe life known. There are huge Montparnasse – Bienven u E subway station, and the solitary skyscrapers Montparnasse tower. The Opera House Street (area ninth, on the right bank of The Paris Opera House ) is the area around Paris, department stores and office buildings is the most Timberland 6 Inch Boots [www.timberlandboots-saleuk.com] concentrated locations, including spring department store and Paris Galeries Lafayette, as well as the financial giants Lyon credit bank and American Express Bank headquarters in Paris.
Paris is the political center. Historically, before July 14, 1789, Paris is the French Dynasty kyoto. Since then, he has been the French authority’s seat. Today, the French presidential palace — the Elysee Palace, the national assembly and the Senate are also located here.
Economics
Paris City Hall
Paris is the economic and financial center, in politics, science and technology, culture, education, fashion, arts, entertainment, media and other areas of the world have an important influence on. Paris with New York, London and Tokyo are recognized as one of the four cities in the world. In 2008, Paris and its region of GDP for $813400000000, more than the French GDP1/4. Paris textile, electrical, automotive, aircraft and other industries are very developed, fashion and cosmetics industry is more be known to all the world. Paris has many of the world’s major banks, big company, big exchanges, to Paris as a base, and actively carry out international operations, formed an international business network. Paris is the largest industrial and commercial city in france. Mainly from the outskirts of the northern manufacturing area. The most developed manufacturing Ladd Fang ‘s business district
Head has the automobile, electrical, chemical, pharmaceutical, food and other. The production of luxury goods in time, and are mainly concentrated in the downtown district; products are precious metal appliances, leather products, porcelain, such as clothing. Peripheral city specializes in production of furniture, shoes, precision instruments, optical instruments. Printing and air jordan [www.cheapairjordan-sale.com] publishing industry is concentrated in the Latin Quarter and remy. Paris ( city ) area film production accounted for the total production of three fourths of French cinema. Most of the Paris bank, insurance company ( including the Bank of France and the stock exchange ) are located in the” market” (1183-1969years for local center on the west side of the market ).
Lebanon has two international airport: located in the northeast of Paris Charles De Gaulle International Airport ( Aeroport international Charles de Gaulle ) and the southern Orly Airport ( Aeroport de Palis-Orly ). The Paris subway is Paris city traffic main force, a total of14 lines,2 lines, subway stations throughout the city, one of the most newly built Line No. 14is very modern, is a fully automatic driverless line. Bus routes are more than 50. Connecting the urban areas and other regions of the island traffic from the big area quick iron ( Reseau Express Regional, RER ) is responsible for, consists of 5 lines ( A-E ), which also runs through the city of Paris. Paris city around the around4streetcar line ( Tramway ). Paris is the center of france. From Paris to France around is very convenient, the French National Railway Company ( SNCF ) has built a number of high-speed rail train ( TGV ), from Paris to Lyon in just 2hours,3 hours to marseille. 2007April Paris and Strasbourg between the TGV also formally completed. Public transport in France has many public transportation systems. RATP ( Paris public transportation coalition ) is responsible for the District of Paris provincial public transportation, subway,2city traffic line, the Prada Bags [www.cheappradauk-online.com] provincial railway line, a bus line, a streetcar line and an automatic light rail line VAL, at the same time as t

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Re: The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism (Score: 1)
by CaptainTrips222 Saturday, May 05 @ 17:10:36 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) I just got around to reading this article. Interesting.
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The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism

The Social Human & The Art of Positive Communication for Autism
Posted on Wednesday, March 21 @ 20:50:33 EDT by Social Skills Nanna, Autism Advocate I also met Nanna Juul Lanng while speaking at the conference in Denmark. This is her first column:

Human beings are per definition flock animals. There is no real way around this fact. Our success as a species is partially based on our superior communication skills which allow us to share our knowledge and experiences in a much more efficient way than any other animal on Earth. We have no natural, physical weapons; no claws, no fangs, no spikes. Even our most incredible athletes are, in comparison to most animals our size, quite slow and not particularly strong. We’re so soft, fragile and vulnerable and to top all of this off we’re also naturally naked. Our physical features are, all in all, not very impressive.

But by learning, adapting, sharing and creating we have spread throughout this planet, and we have created a lot of the world we see before us today. We are, as humans, hypersocial beings. We are genetically coded for social interaction. We depend on each other, we seek the approval of our fellow men, and we judge each other by our ability to master these social skills and rules.

Read on. . .

As most people believe, I am also confident that people on the spectrum of autism have ?always? been around. As the majority of you also know we’re wired a little differently than the average man/woman. Unlike them, we are not born with all of the social skills that society has come to expect from us all. Most of us have a social drive; we crave attention just like anyone else, we want to be accepted, to be approved of and loved, but not always in the same amount and quite often not in the same way as them. Also some of us only crave that second word: acceptance, and then ask for nothing more than to be left in peace. This is not an article for the latter.

In order to do well in the world and in society, if that is what we wish to do, we attempt to adapt, we do our best to crack the code that no one seems to speak of but everybody knows, often with limited results. I was diagnosed two years ago, when I had just turned 19, and it thrilled me to know, that I was not alone in this struggle, even more-so to find people with ASD who’d done a lot better than I. But I also met a lot of people on the spectrum, afterwards, some even younger than I, that had already grown bitter from the constant battles and all the defeats in this social human world. I am not saying, that I can ?fix? anyone, I can’t. If I had such an ability, I would have ?fixed? (I need another word for that) myself long ago, and you’d see me hanging out at trendy clubs talking to very interesting and important people, luring them all in with my amazing skills. I’d be out catching great friends, like Ash catches pokemons… Which I’m not. However I have improved a lot, I can make friends, I can attract people, I am now able to benefit from social interaction, I can get people to listen most of the time, and if you’re interested, I would like to share those techniques and tips which have worked for me.

I’ve made tons of social mistakes over the years. I’ve been mistrusting everyone, especially men, and I have often felt that this fight was a waste of my precious energy. I’ve gone through periods where I just couldn’t be bothered, especially in my mid-teens where I just couldn’t be bother and as a consequence, I didn’t make any close friends. I was crying out for people to accept me as I was, but looking back I see, that I was guarded, slightly defensive and sometimes arrogant. I didn’t let people in, even though I was lonely. All this because I was afraid of failure ? of being hurt and ridiculed. By the time I graduated from school, I’d grown tired of my own restrictions, all those bonds I’d gotten myself tangled up in.

I learned that without exposing myself, without opening up, no one was ever going to let ME in. How could they? They didn’t know the real me. How can you embrace something, you are not aware of? Especially when that something is guarding its true self like a starved dog guards its food.

Opening up is risky. You might get hurt, you will make mistakes and some people will not like you, no matter what you do. But if you’re not willing to gamble, you won’t win anything.

Whenever you’re communicating with someone, be that the cashier in the supermarket or a new friend, know that you are at any given moment just as responsible for the outcome of said communication as the one you’re interacting with. How you behave does have an effect on that person. If you greet someone in a positive manner (by smiling, being polite and trying to be non-judgemental, etc.) you are much more likely to get a positive response back. But if your defensive mode is activated and you allow your fears and negativity to rule your thoughts and behaviour, most people will pick up on that and view you as a threat and unapproachable. Be aware of the signals you’re sending. Try asking friends and acquaintances what they thought of you, when they first met you. If you don’t have any friends worth mentioning a good way to educate yourself on the effects of body signals is to experiment when you’re out in public. Pretend and observe. If you behave one, how do people react to you? If you behave another way, then what?

As for online communication as good (though occasionally annoying when overdone) way avoid appearing aggressive or insensitive and cold is by using positive emoticons or simply by letting people know that you’re are merely joking and/or you mean no harm. If you choose to go for expressive, written sounds like ‘haha’, be aware that many on the spectrum have a difficult time telling whether someone is laughing with them or at them ? especially online.

Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your shortcomings. We all have them. We all have difficulties and if you’re willing to admit them you just might be on your way to move forward. If someone (when you’re out with friends, colleagues, or any other kind of social situation) says something, and you’re not sure what they mean by it, ask! Something as simple as: ‘I’m not sure if I understood you right, could you explain it, please?’ or ‘could you rephrase that?’ works on most people. Try not to make a big deal out of it, even if it did sound offensive to you at first. Give them a chance to explain themselves, before you judge. 9 out of 10 times, people mean no harm, but they may have a crude sense of humour and are not aware of its possible effects on others. So, your friend or acquaintance has just said something ‘stupid and offensive’. Bite your tongue and be quick about it before all those automatic, nasty thoughts slip out. You might be tempted to call someone an idiot, moron, imbecile, bastard or what have we, but if you’re interested in having a nice, positive and rewarding conversation, it is most often best not to stick rude labels on them. You might have misunderstood them.

Name calling will make most people close up like a clam poked with a stick. Also they might be better at you at offending and your slip-up might backfire big time!

Also, when discussing try to not to indirectly blame people. Most people do this, I certainly do, but it doesn’t lead to rewarding debates, only to verbal war. Instead of saying things like:

‘You’re wrong’
‘You hurt me’
‘You’re not making sense’
‘Are you retarded?’
…you could try shifting the blame, like:
‘I don’t think that’s right, because…’
‘That hurt me’ / ‘I was hurt by what you said’
‘I don’t understand your reasoning’ / ‘I’m not sure I get what you’re trying to say’
‘?’ (Don’t poke the clam. It won’t like it. You cannot get your point across, when you’ve contributed to making the other person withdraw into him-/herself.)

People on the spectrum are notorious truth-seekers, but we are often also unyielding and stubborn, which can prevent us from comprehending the entire truth. And then sometimes, there is no definite truth, only opinions.

We all mess up sometimes. Hurting others at some point is almost inevitable when socializing. Don’t be the person, curled up in your sofa whilst staring angrily at the phone or computer screen, just waiting for the other(s) to apologize first. It takes two to tango – be the better man/woman and get on with it. Being a good communicator is also about admitting that you’ve slipped up. If you want to preserve the friendship or maybe just a tolerable relationship with a co-worker, you have to sacrifice your pride once in a while. Even when you think it’s not your fault, because you were ‘right’! Even the most skilled NT gifted with a sharp eye and a silver tongue cannot succeed in every conversation. Some people are difficult to speak with, some will use any given opportunity to put you down, due to their own insecurities and ignorance and, well, there may be a thousand reasons as to why communication goes wrong. Know that it is not always your fault. The most important lesson, I’ve ever learned when it comes to socialisation, is forgiving myself.

None of this will ever come naturally to me. All that ‘sensing and evaluating how far you can go and how to say your honest opinion without sounding like a bastard’ is still difficult. But if you keep trying, you will eventually learn something and from there you may move even further. Be yourself, but more importantly, be a person you can be proud of, be brave enough to be you and don’t be ashamed of failing. We’re all different, neurotypical or not, we all have a lot to learn, and there’s no better way of learning than by doing unfortunately. Know your limits, remember to recharge, think about yourself because that will make consideration for others that much easier.

Nanna is an autistic woman living Randers, Denmark.
               
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Facts On Autism – Basic Facts You Need To Know About This Condition

Facts On Autism

They say ignorance is bliss, but I beg to differ. They say what you don’t know cannot kill you, but I insist that what people do not know is killing thousands of human beings all over the world today. Ignorance about autism disorder is surely not bliss and can cause more harm than good.

There isn’t that much in fact that is known about autism today, except that we don’t know precisely what causes the developmental disorder, or how it can be cured. But we do know that the disease itself is not characteristically a killer disease. Except for Rett’s syndrome, a kind of low functioning pervasive developmental disorder on the autism spectrum, which sometimes kills the female patients suffering from it due to respiratory complications, autism generally does not kill. Facts On Autism

However, living in a shell of your own, unable to communicate with the entire world, and being unable to be communicated with is a fate that I would personally consider to be worse than death.

Autism development disorder strips you of your ability to learn, to communicate, to make friends, or grow in any manner besides physically. Those who are suffering from it do not know how bad their condition is, but they have to live with it. However, the condition is perhaps worse for the loved ones and family members of autistic patients. They have to live with the sufferers and clean up after them when they mess things up, not that this happens very often.

There are treatments and medications for this condition. However, since no treatment or therapy can really provide an absolute cure on the condition, a combination of procedures can really help to deal with the situation. Facts On Autism


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