Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

27 January 2014

The source of my "otherness" took even me by surprise

I have always felt different. As a child I thought I was different because I was shy, or because I wore boy's clothes, or because I was not interested in girly things. In high school I thought I was different because I came from the wrong side of town, or because I had crushes on the other girls and not on boys like my friends.

In my twenties I thought I was different because I was gay. Then I came out the closet and made friends with other gay people and I realised that I was unlike them as well... in may ways. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed being around other gay people, but there was still a niggling sense that I was different from them too.

So, in my thirties I decided I must be different because of my politics. I was different because I was an anarchist and I saw the world through a different political and social lens. I thought this might be it, but I still didn't really, really know why I felt so very different to others.

In my forties, after a long and arduous journey through messy relationships and taxing work environments, not ideally suited to me, that I finally realised that I am different because I have Asperger's syndrome. What a journey! What a relief!

Most people start understanding themselves earlier on in life. For me it's been a much longer, slower journey. I spent a lot of time in relationships where I just became a chameleon. I became whoever my partner was. Time and again. (This characteristic is typical of many Aspergirls ie women with Aspergers or high functioning autism. (Ref: Rudi Simone, Aspergirls, book.)

I have finally arrived at the point where I feel I understand myself. I am centred. I am happy to the core. I embrace my shortcomings, my need for order and routine, my sensory difficulties, my need for time out and many other little preferences are all fine by me now. It's who I am.

25 January 2014

To Ease Transition, Adults With Autism Look To Dogs

While dogs have long assisted people with a range of physical and mental disabilities, their use for those with autism is a relatively new phenomenon.

Four-legged lifelines.

A trip to a shopping centre or an afternoon socialising is inevitably followed by a period of shutdown and then a cuddle with the dogs to take the edge off the overload. This is the quickest and most pleasant way to recover.

Here's the article that confirms my version of stimming.

Autism Service dogs are trained to help individuals on the autism spectrum. Autism service dogs are best described as a cross between seeing eye and hearing dogs as their tasks are similar. They are often trained to guide their handler through crowds , around hazards and to an exit, bathroom, car or home. They are also trained to find their handler or lead their handler to a person they were with when separated in a crowd or lead them to a quiet place. 

They are also trained intelligent disobedience where they will block the individual from walking into the street then refuse to more after given a cross command if a car is coming.these are some examples of seeing eye type tasks. these are important during sensory overload or just for navigating the environment safely.

Hearing tasks include alerting to name being called, phone ringing fire alarm going off or a knock on the door. these both help with sensory overload but also when the handler is tuning out sensory input.

When it comes to sensory over load the dogs are trained to apply deep pressure to help bring the handler out as well to help calm a meltdown.

Peyton Goddard, low functioning autistic, author, hero

At age 22 Peyton typed her first words, "I am intelligent".

Just because we don't express ourselves well verbally, does not mean we are not intelligent.

09 January 2014

Nwedzi with her other Mommy

Welcome to the world Nwedzi

One day old chick with his/her attentive Mom. S/he doesn't need to eat yet, she's just practicing to see how the world works. Newborn baby chicks can go for three days without food or water.