Sunday, June 30, 2013

Asperger's Conundrum- Feeling Younger while getting Older


Talking on the phone to a fellow Aspie I was hit with a sudden realization. I NEED to have this validation sometimes. I NEED to know I am not alone in my strange ways of perception. "Do you ever feel like you are getting younger as you age? At seven I related to the adults but now past my early twenties I am once again relating to the teenagers."

Yes! I was often referred to as the 'professor' or 'guide' to my peers throughout school. From grade one to twelve, I had a sense of maturity and wisdom around me. I knew my favourite subjects with intellectual superiority. I asked profound questions and found unique answers. I was not into peer pressure on most days and I happened to be popular enough (sometimes by association, sometimes because I was sweet) to get by. Overall, those years were a grand success because I knew what I wanted and what I loved. But then I entered adulthood. The place where spiritual intelligence does not matter as much as physical capability. The place where I am expected to know how to shop at a grocery store or drive myself into a new city without a meltdown. Adulthood, I am finding, expects all the little physical menial tasks I find incredibly hard, to be the "norm." If I can't remember to have lunch with three little ones, I have failed. These "simple" daily tasks are enormous accomplishments to me. At the end of the day I am exhausted...just from "normal" living.

My sister is nine years younger than me. I helped take care of her growing up. I taught her all she needed to know about every genre of music. I made sure her education was well rounded, fed her snacks and let her hang out with my friends and I. She adored me and looked up to me. At about age seventeen for her, I found myself weeping to my husband. I sensed a change. She suddenly did not want to watch the movies we used to view together. Her social life changed as she became who she needed to be. Independence meant everything to her...and even though I was twenty six with three little children...I had never quite been at the point of full independence. I had lived on my own with three close friends while attending college for a year before marriage, but I still liked dancing to Abba at sleepovers. In every sense but the spiritual and intellectual areas of expertise, I had not "grown up" according to the world's standards.

At my current age of thirty, my little sister  STILL drives me to the city. My sister takes my children and I to the Health Unit to get shots. My children will obey my sister at bedtime more than they will me...and she will be firmer and more capable at following through on most days. I have other gifts. My children are understood and I have helped them overcome many of their own issues by introducing cognitive therapy into their lives, but I can't seem to manage any executive functioning skills like driving, meal time or events that require massive amounts of socialization.

Feeling like I was being surpassed in many areas happened with my younger cousins too. They passed eighteen or nineteen and suddenly it seemed over. Up until that point my house was the place to be. They had tons of sleepovers, we chatted for hours about life, and they looked for my advice on everything. But they grew up and I grieved. Pre diagnosis- I wondered if this would happen with my youngest son. I thought he would surpass me at a certain age and I would never quite catch up. I have to admit that I was relieved when he was diagnosed with ADD and a slew of other issues...It meant he still can relate to our spectrum family. In fact, I suspect he is on the Spectrum too but more social. You can have an extroverted Autistic and I think he may fit into that rare subtype.

My sad mental image of feeling younger while getting older is something akin to the Tale of Benjamin Button (which I could  not watch because it hit too close to home in my mental capacities.) It's an odd concept to grasp. Michael Jackson was speculated to have had Asperger's Syndrome. After his death I went through a brief obsession with the artist and read anything I could find on him. I observed his gestures, his interviews, his friend's words about him and I do think he had A.S.D. I can relate on so many levels. I think I understand why the media tortured him. He was misunderstood. He could be very awkward yet so talented. Most of all, I think the law suits against him having younger boys over for sleepovers were taken the wrong way. I really believe he was just an Aspie who could relate to his younger peers and wanted to have INNOCENT fun. (I could be wrong but this is how I choose to interpret it all.)

I can relate to enjoying innocent fun. Luckily, I am not in the spot light and I grew up in a community that has known me from birth. All who know me, know I would never commit any sort of crime. I did have my sister and her friends over for many sleepovers. I would rent whatever movies they loved
(Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen or whatever) and purely enjoy being that age. Perhaps this was more acceptable because of gender? Unfortunately, this is an area where boys suffer more scrutiny.

 I needed the outlet of expression to be youthful in my mindsets. I needed to giggle over frivolous silliness and dance to my favourite music. 'Adults' are not comfortable (for the most part) expressing this inner joy in such a way. 'NT Adults' define maturity as stifling emotion and acting proper in the correct channels of appropriate behaviour.

I love having my children around. My children at their young ages allow me to once again live in that youthful mindset. I can watch their cartoons with them if I want. I can turn up Michael Jackson and they will yell with delight and try to moonwalk. It's fun and I love that they are not thinking about appropriate appearances. They are simply thinking of LIVING purely in the moment.

As I am approaching thirty I am finding that I am LESS capable than before (regarding everyday experiences.) I can learn. I can act (oh boy can I act), and I can mimic my way through the routine...but I know inside it should be easier than it is. Sensory Overload (see http://musingsofanaspie.com/?s=sensory+overload ) and Executive Functioning (see http://musingsofanaspie.com/2014/01/07/executive-function-primer-part-1/ ) issues are the main reason why these every day moments are tough. Lack of fine motor skills is another. I am a horrid driver and I do not think practically. I think logically but logic is actually not always practical. With this logic comes the youthful obsessions and wonder of my interests. It makes an interesting paradox.

POST EDIT: To hear about the consequences of what happens when we try to "grow" our Aspie friends/ children up to reality please read this:


This song was made for the show Adam (showcasing a bit of hollywoodized Asperger's Syndrome) but it really does hit home for a lot of Aspies:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The She in Ezer Kenegdo- God breathed Womanhood

Disclaimer; * I realize men can apply this in their own way but I am writing strictly from the perspective of myself...which happens to be in the gender of a specific womanhood. Nor am I writing for all women as there are many expressions with many wonderful ways to be. I think woman hood is varied and diverse. This is just a piece of prose of what it meant to me as a person being freed from a religious perspective that thought women were "weaker". It has been a decade of seeing equality for what it really is and I wanted to celebrate that! I added religious references because of the way I grew up. I long to rise up and become the love. *


There are moments of self love. Moments when the She  in Self rises up to claim her prize. When She becomes the smile of capability, the laugh of confidence, and the twinkle of inspiration. There are moments when the mirror holds a price, and moments when the mirror holds a promise. She is both beauty and beast, famine and feast, and SHE can also turn a day into heaven or hell.

Inside every woman is the capability to BE SHE. To choose. To overcome. To try again. To endure. To
laugh carelessly and love avidly.
 Inside there is the steady heartbeat of the age old cry of Ezer Kenegdo.(Link) The name God gave to each She meaning power, strength, to rescue and to save. The equal counterpart to manhood. The different strength of steel. The She in every woman.

She is responsible for how her world is seen. She has to be an advocate for herself. She has been given grace so that grace can be given. She is part of the reason the world survives. Needing to absorb both laughter and tears, she embraces the pain as part of the beauty. But She will not do what is needed if She is bogged down by the world's interpretations of herself. She needs to rise up and become herself. The love that cannot hope to last requires endurance, stamina and determination. Inside herself is the beginning of change. Beneath the outer layers of whatever insecurity is grappled with, there needs to be a strong belief that SHE can and SHe will. That beauty is more than just a pretty face. That looks are not about pounds or skin, but about real flesh softening with compassion and wrinkling with stubborn wisdom.

There is a raw beauty formed from the dust of the earth, the borrowed rib of a man, and the breath of God. Equality is in the breath, counterpart in the rib, and awareness in the dust. Through the cries of a mother a daughter is born. From the strength of a woman, new life can breathe once again. The ancient ancestry of womanhood is ingrained deep within. The future of her depends on these remembrances.

She first needs to believe in herself. She first needs to forget about expectations and rise up to be the Ezer Kenegdo of life. She needs to embrace both beauty and beast to become the ancient and the present. Where there is passion there is also the placid. Where there is belief there is also doubt. Where there is stubborn determination there is also gentle giving. Where there is strong empathy there is also a fight for justice. Where there is self awareness there is balance. Where there is strength there is a need for God. Where there is weakness there is a need for her counterpart. Where there is raucous laughter there is silent weeping. It is all in She if she so chooses. May each woman rise up to take and be and grow. Breathe Life.

For musical inspiration, the beautiful Idina Menzel singing "No Day But Today."


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Explaining/ Disclosing Aspergers/ Being on the Autism Scale

UPDATE 2016: I wrote this post originally before 2012 and added this to my public space at the time. My view points have expanded a bit since then and I believe I have grown in what I feel being autistic is...I no longer use aspergers as much as I do autistic though I interchange them a lot. I still use the term aspie. To me these titles evolve in the learning process and also depending on time. I would also highly recommend some of my more recent posts on Autism.


(My 8 year old- at the time- daughter took this picture of me and I think she did such a good job.)

“When I try to explain my condition to people I feel like they either think I'm making up excuses for myself or look on me as a freak or as some kind of nut case. Sometimes I feel that by telling them I have ASD I'm alienating myself, but then, if I don't tell them I will probably mess up at some stage and they will think I'm strange anyway so I figure its (sic) better to tell them on the whole, especially if I intend to try and pursue any type of friendship. But then at times I feel quite fine about myself, I feel like it's the rest of humanity that has the problem, not me. Sometimes I too, look on myself as a freak and a nut case. But then, I'm sure I'm not, because they always say that if you are nuts you don't know it, and I'm sure I am, so I guess I'm not..... Make sense?”- Richard Rowe -Taken from: http://laughinghelps2.blogspot.ca/)

When I found out I had Asperger's Syndrome my close friend from elementary school onward looked at me quietly for a second and said simply, "That makes sense." (We both had studied Asperger's in our College Years of Early Childhood Education years ago, so she knew what I was referring to.) I had also facilitated a women's group over the last two years prior/ during the assessment time and when I explained what Asperger's was to the six ladies I regularly met with... reactions varied. One of the newest members replied, "I can see that about you. Sometimes you are very odd- it makes me laugh, while other times you are intelligent beyond my expectations." (Thank you I think?:) Another, whom I had known closely for seven years was a bit put out. She kept trying to talk me out of my diagnosis - which can be rather insulting. She would say comments like,"Well, that could be anybody." or "Are you sure you are not looking for something?" or "Why do we need labels to be who we are?" Ironically, she has a personality similar to mine. The rest of the gals fell into reactions somewhere in the middle. I am happy to report that more than a year after that explanation not much has changed. I am the same person that I was to them before. Except now when I have sensory overload I can explain it and they do not think I am crazy...or I do not feel as guilty for not being "normal."

However, with non close friends who have not known me for years it is both easier and tougher. Should I explain myself? Will it even help or will it hinder? It's situational. Breaking the news to the in- laws was my hubby's job. (Thank God.) We had a rocky start...to say the least. I suffered through many family gatherings misunderstood (this assessment includes all the extended family on that side that lived around us.) I was also yelled at and had fingers shaking in my face because they thought I was insensitive and destroying the family with my differences. They suffered through my stony silence or my unreadable facial expressions and fast speech...among clumsiness, awkward conversations and reluctance to join activities. It was not a great understanding for either side involved. In the last few years, since the year after my son's first diagnosis, I have felt a slow shift in perspective...for both myself and his parents. Last year I worked up the courage to ask his mother if she would like to read "Aspergirls" by Rudy Simone. She honoured me and read it. While on the phone, after finishing the book, she said to me, "I am so glad I read that book. Dad might read it too. It explains you so well. Everything makes sense now- why you hated playing board games like Taboo or Bowling. How you must have suffered through so many loud family gatherings ect. Thank you for attending them even though you must not have wanted to. At the beginning I though you were just sickly. Now, I know it's just Autism/Aspergers." I had to laugh. That's one way to put it. She went on to tell me how great I was for her son and mother to my children. I told her I appreciated her effort and I could relate to the way she tells stories dramatically and sometimes gets klutzy (an attribute I adore in her.) I think we are becoming friends. It's still awkward, but understanding is the key to any relationship. There is a lot of hurt to overcome for both of us...enough to cover almost eleven years...so I am not expecting immediate reconciliation but it is a glorious start. In this case it was better to explain.* 

With new friends, I find there is a time when the topic naturally comes up. Some people look confused, some judge, but most are fairly great about it. I also have a few friends who do not know that I have any Syndrome at all and I like it that way. I can just be "normal." Thus far they think I am quirky and funny....I get labels like Bohemian, Spiritual, Dramatic, Passionate, Opinionated, Funny, Ice Queen or Artsy. Labels that imply a difference but do not hit the source.  I enjoy that freedom too. It is a welcome break to not have everything sourced back to "Aspergers." 
Ultimately I am just me. 

However, I do not view Asperger's as a label but as an explanation. It was a welcome relief to hear that I fit in with other people- instead of wondering why I seemed to go against the grain of most of society. I was being labelled regardless, it was nice to have a title that threw me in with other people who could understand me. I am unique and although I may share some qualities with those on the Autism scale- I am my own person. NT's  (Neurotypicals/ normally wired people) don't like to be defined by their "normality," even though they share the commonality of not being on the Autism scale. Both scales have unique qualities. There are extreme benefits and extreme low points to Autism as well as to NT life. Aspies do not always want to be defined by their Syndrome. Yet, it is a key to their life. It's a mixture that requires a delicate balance of recognition and acceptance. I needed my diagnosis to enable me to be who I am without it. Make sense? 

Interestingly enough, none of my close friends (minus my bestie) read this blog. Many of them don't enjoy blogging anyway but I did not give this address out to many I know. If they happen upon it - great. However, I wanted to write without worrying about anyone taking offence or having to put a filter up about each experience. Occasionally, I want this blog to shed some light on Aspieness. I find that tough to do if those who love me are reading regularly. They are trying their best to see me as me and only those who crave greater understanding need to read more. I don't want it to be all about me and my quirks. Yet, I write these posts for those out there who need some perspective. For those who are LOOKING for more personal information on the Syndrome, want more understanding or some sort of support. The Aspie/Autistic community is so misunderstood...even by those who live with them. As an Aspie with several years of therapy, books and personal understanding/stories, I feel I can give a different picture. 

I have high empathy which is supposed to be reserved for NTs only. I think empathy in most Aspies is misunderstood. We are more in tune with subtleties of emotion than most know. We simply do not have the tools to express this appropriately at times. The plus side is that the tools can be learned. We have a facial chart for expressions of all kinds on our fridge. My son can point to what he is feeling. He will be more prepared for his future than I ever was because of our teaching. It can be taught. I come across as a paradox. Ice queen and drama queen are two separate labels yet I received them continually. I think it depended on what time you happen to experience me. If it was/is ice, I am usually uncomfortable or overwhelmed or hiding my true opinions. If it's drama I am usually comfortable and excited or irate. I bet many Aspies would differ on this. 

My relationships with NT's are rich and confusing. My hubby teaches me more than anyone and I am lucky that he possess high sensitivity, so he can understand a sliver of my world and interpret correctly on most days. He is my guiding light. I am his shinning star. He finds my quirks refreshing. I find his normality and humour interesting. It works...with a TON of communication, laughter, and information.

Breaking the news to friends and family depends on the relationship. Go with your gut or trust a confidante with discernment powers to hep figure out how to proceed. Most of all, keep the relationship before the issues. In most cases, it's worth it. I get by with a little help from my friends. They are actually the reason I survive so well in an NT world.

*To see posts (Not Autism related) on dealing with and adapting to different family systems (In Laws ect) click HERE.



,
This is by Samantha and SO good for Aspergirls. I would highly recommend for any who wish to understand women and autism to listen while doing chores or watch during downtime:


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Famous People, TV Characters, Literary Characters ect Speculated to have or who do have Asperger's Syndrome


There are so many misunderstandings of what it means to be an Aspie/ Autistic. This list (below) shows that while sometimes we DO need more help in life in some daily activities due to sensory overload or anxiety or depression or dyspraxia or ADD (each Aspie is different in these traits),  we give back to the world in ways that are inspiring, artistic, genius, unique, refreshing and original ways. We would not be communicating on computers without Aspies. Nor would we enjoy many philosophical debates, beautifully written prose, or humorous antidotes without many Autistics. I feel this must be said because of the recent judgments and misconceptions that have been given to Autistics/Aspies. Keep in mind it's a spectrum. The original following list can be clicked here.

It can be particularly illuminating to relate to the characters or famous people in the lists below if one can not relate to most "normal" (or NT) people. Funny enough, most Aspies/Autistics have qualities that every person we meet can relate to (I think this is because we can be a chameleon of sorts and mimic behaviours or traits.) Often Autistics feel isolated because those same people can not relate to the way they live nor can relate the Autistic's experience of the world referring to it as odd or dramatic. It is refreshing for those on the spectrum to find people who think alike or offer the same traits of behaviour or thought pattern.

In recent years there are more characters from my own list to add to the list below. *Remember that some of these people are either speculated to show Autistics traits, were Autistic or have many relatable qualities TO Autistics/ Aspies. Some of these people are imaginary characters on shows that may not be stated as on the spectrum but many on the spectrum can relate to ( for instance Kirk or Paris on Gilmore Girls)  and others are imaginary characters actually stated as in the spectrum, real life advocates, heros and writers*:

 Elphaba from the Broadway musical Wicked (non intentional but MANY Aspergirls relate to her), Temple Grandin (real life advocate, author, inventor), Sheldon Cooper and Amy Ferrah Fowler (from the Series the Big Bang Theory), Max (from Parenthood), Abed Nadir (TV sitcom Community), Bones (from TV series Bones), Adam (from the movie Adam), Layla (Movie Sky High), Hermoine Granger (Harry Potter- this is another example of the Aspie GIRL and not what we think of traditionally as Aspies), Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, Percy Jackson (the Lightening Thief book and movie), Jennifer Cooke O Toole (author of Asperkids and other books), Rudy Simone (author of many books including Aspergirls), Parker (Thief/ Character in TV Series Leverage),  Laine Holiday Willey (author of Pretending to be Normal and other books), Jerry Seinfeld (Stand up comedian and TV star - as reported HERE)John Elder Robinson (author of Look me In the Eye), Sam (blogger from the popular site aspergersgirls.wordpress.com), actress and advocate Audrey Hepburn could qualify for the Aspergirls temperament (she valued privacy, was quiet, felt odd and outcasted, and was a genius in the way she acted. Reading Enchantment by her son, Aspergirls can relate) Keep in mind that women on the scale are often very different from the men on the scale. Enjoy the list below and feel like you belong!)

This is another great little post about famous tv characters getting aspergers wrong...and some doing ok: http://mic.com/articles/86995/these-are-the-tv-characters-getting-asperger-s-wrong-from-someone-who-has-it#.dFdSK61nG




This list was found HERE by Anlsmommy:

"I have listed here some well-known people who have shown some autistic or AS traits. Some may have autism or AS, in their mild or severe forms. Others may be elsewhere on the autistic continuum. And others listed may just be unusual individuals. 

 Fictional characters Television characters

* NEARLY NEW Alex P Keaton, played by Michael J Fox in Family Ties, USA 1982-1989 * Basil Fawlty, played by John Cleese in Fawlty Towers, BBC 1975-1979 * Bert (voiced by Frank Oz) in Sesame Street, USA 1969- * Cliff Clavin, played by John Ratzenberger in Cheers, USA 1982-1993 * Daria Morgendorffer (voiced by Tracy Grandstaff) in Daria, MTV cartoon USA 1997- * Jim Dial, played by Charles Kimbrough in Murphy Brown, USA 1988-1998 * Lisa Simpson (voiced by Yeardley Smith) and Moe (Moe Szyslak of Moe's Tavern, voiced by Hank Azaria) in The Simpsons cartoon, USA 1989- * Martin Miller ("Ben's little brother") played by Matthew Buckley in Grange Hill, Children's BBC UK 1978- * Mr Bean, played by Rowan Atkinson in the eponymous TV series UK 1989- and film Bean UK/USA 1997- * Taz Tasmanian Devil (voiced by Jim Cummings) in Taz-Mania, USA cartoon 1991-1993 * Steven Quincy "Steve" Urkel / Myrtle Urkel / Stephan Urquell, played by Jaleel White in Family Matters, USA 1989-1998 * Dr Victor Ehrlich and Dr Mark Craig, played by Ed Begley Jr and William Daniels, in Saint Elsewhere, USA 1982-1988

TV Aliens/Extra-Terrestrials

* Mr Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek, TV and films, USA 1966- * Data and Reginald Barclay, played by Brent Spiner and Dwight Schultz in Star Trek: The Next Generation, USA 1987-1994 * Seven of Nine and The Doctor, played by Jeri Ryan and Robert Picardo in Star Trek: Voyager, USA 1995- * The Doctor, The Daleks and The Cybermen, from Dr Who, BBC TV and films UK 1963-1989 * Mork, played by Robin Williams in Mork and Mindy, USA 1978-1982 * Dick, Sally, Harry and Tommy Solomon, played by John Lithgow, Kristen Johnston, French Stewart and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 3rd Rock from the Sun, USA 1996- 2001

Film characters

* Andrew Martin the robot, played by Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man, USA 1999 from a story by Isaac Asimov (see below) * Barry, played by Jack Black in High Fidelity, USA 2000 (based on the book of the same name by Nick Hornby, whose son is autistic) * Benjie, played by Oliver Conant in Summer of '42, USA 1971 * Chance the Gardener ("Chauncy Gardener"), played by Peter Sellers in Being There, USA 1979 * Charly Gordon, played by Cliff Robertson in Charly, USA 1968; also known as Charlie Gordon, played by Matthew Modine, in Flowers for Algernon, USA 2000; based on the novel by Daniel Keyes * Cody, played by Holliston Coleman in Bless the Child, USA 2000 * Edward Scissorhands, played by Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands, USA 1990 * Herbie Stempel, played by John Turturro in Quiz Show, USA 1994 * "Joon" (Juniper Pearl), played by Mary Stuart Masterson in Benny & Joon, USA 1993 * Malcolm Hughes, played by Colin Friels in Malcolm, Australia 1986 * Melvin Udall, obsessive-compulsive writer played by Jack Nicholson in As Good as it Gets, USA 1997 * Molly McKay, played by Elisabeth Shue in Molly,
 
Jane Austen, 1775-1817, English novelist, author of Pride and Prejudice (see above) * B?la Bart?k, 1881-1945, Hungarian composer * Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827, German/Viennese composer * AMENDED Alexander Graham Bell, 1847-1922, Scottish/Canadian/American inventor of the telephone * Anton Bruckner, 1824-1896, Austrian composer * Henry Cavendish, 1731-1810, English/French scientist, discovered the composition of air and water * Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886, US poet * Thomas Edison, 1847-1931, US inventor * Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, German/American theoretical physicist * Henry Ford, 1863-1947, US industrialist * Kaspar Hauser, c1812-1833, German foundling, portrayed in a film by Werner Herzog * Oliver Heaviside, 1850-1925, English physicist * Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826, US politician * NEW Carl Jung, 1875-1961, Swiss psychoanalyst * Franz Kafka, 1883-1924, Czech writer * Wasily Kandinsky, 1866-1944, Russian/French painter * H P Lovecraft, 1890-1937, US writer * Ludwig II, 1845-1886, King of Bavaria * Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1868-1928, Scottish architect and designer * NEW Gustav Mahler, 1860-1911, Czech/Austrian composer * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791, Austrian composer * Isaac Newton, 1642-1727, English mathematician and physicist * Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosopher * Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970, British logician * George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish playwright, writer of Pygmalion (see above), critic and Socialist * Richard Strauss, 1864-1949, German composer * Nikola Tesla, 1856-1943, Serbian/American scientist, engineer, inventor of electric motors * Henry Thoreau, 1817-1862, US writer * Alan Turing, 1912-1954, English mathematician, computer scientist and cryptographer * Mark Twain, 1835-1910, US humorist * Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890, Dutch painter * Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1889-1951, Viennese/English logician and philosopher

Historical people prominent in the late twentieth century (died after 1975)
Isaac Asimov, 1920-1992, Russian/US writer on science and of science fiction, author of Bicentennial Man (see above) * Hans Asperger, 1906-1980, Austrian paediatric doctor after whom Asperger's Syndrome is named * John Denver, 1943-1997, US musician * Glenn Gould, 1932-1982, Canadian pianist * Jim Henson, 1936-1990, creator of the Muppets, US puppeteer, writer, producer, director, composer * Alfred Hitchcock, 1899-1980, English/American film director * NEARLY NEW Howard Hughes, 1905-1976, US billionaire * Andy Kaufman, 1949-1984, US comedian, subject of the film Man on the Moon * L S Lowry, 1887-1976, English painter of "matchstick men" * Charles Schulz, 1922-2000, US cartoonist and creator of Peanuts and Charlie Brown * Andy Warhol, 1928-1987, US artist

Contemporary famous people Woody Allen, 1935-, US comedian, actor, writer, director, producer, jazz clarinettist * Tony Benn, 1925-, English Labour politician * Bob Dylan, 1941-, US singer-songwriter * Joseph Erber, 1985-, young English composer/musician who has Asperger's Syndrome, subject of a BBC TV documentary * Bobby Fischer, 1943-, US chess champion * Bill Gates, 1955-, US global monopolist * Genie, 1957-?, US "wild child" (see also L'Enfant Sauvage, Victor, above) * Crispin Glover, 1964-, US actor * Al Gore, 1948-, former US Vice President and presidential candidate * Jeff Greenfield, 1943-, US political analyst/speechwriter, a political wonk * David Helfgott, 1947-, Australian pianist, subject of the film Shine * Michael Jackson, 1958-2009, US singer * Garrison Keillor, 1942-, US writer, humorist and host of Prairie Home Companion * Kevin Mitnick, 1963-, US "hacker" * John Motson, 1945-, English sports commentator * NEW John Nash, 1928-, US mathematician (portrayed by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind, USA 2001) * Keith Olbermann, 1959-, US sportscaster * Michael Palin, 1943-, English comedian and presenter * Keanu Reeves, 1964-, Lebanese/Canadian/US actor * Oliver Sacks, 1933-, UK/US, Elvis Presley (speculated) 1935-1977"





This is by Samantha and SO good for Aspergirls. I would highly recommend for any who wish to understand women and autism to listen while doing chores or watch during downtime:


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Everyone is Worthy- Because they exist- Inspiration from Brene Brown and Glennon from Momestry


The link below containing the twenty minute video from the blogger of Momestry is worth every minute. Courage is owning your story. Kindness is allowing others to live theirs. Hope is the opposite of judging, inequality and non acceptance. "If you are still alive- you are still invited. Even lying on the floor, someone out there deemed me worthy of an invitation to a very important event...and I decided to show up from my dark, controllable world into the dark, messy one."- Glennon

http://momastery.com/blog/2013/06/05/everything-i-ever-needed-to-know-i-learned-in-the-mental-hospital/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=everything-i-ever-needed-to-know-i-learned-in-the-mental-hospital

You are worthy simply because you ARE. Not because of the religion you belong to, or the group, or your wage, gender, ability, personality, or looks...just because you are here, alive, fully breathing. Have the courage to make your own story. You are not broken. You may have broken moments but YOU are not broken enough to be discarded. Enjoy the inspiration today. Click and be encouraged.

And remember- not everyone deserves to hear your story or experience your FULL vulnerability. It's ok to mask a bit with those who do not want to hear it. Here are six types of people who do not need to hear your story (Brene Brown and Oprah):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8Pp7QB6GrE

P.S. What's life without some theme music? This song fits the mood:



Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Climate Change In Differing Families- Learning to Adapt To In Laws, Mixed Families, and Extended Family

Check out this image by http://store.jonasgerard.com

 Each family system has a different way of operating, with unspoken and spoken rules of conduct, behaviour, and belief systems. For instance one family may value passion by arguing for the bliss of it, sanctioning those who are passive and applauding those with the loudest voice. Eccentricity may be a value of another family system with the sanctions coming upon those who are practical, deemed "boring" or do not have enough gumption to be odd. Ironically, the family next door may place the value on practicality, flat emotion and a lack of expression. They would label misfits (those who do not conform to practical sensible behaviours) as having a "few loose screws," or "mysterious creatives," or "mentally unstable." To survive, in- laws, adoptions, merges, and relations, humanity learns to adapt to any social circumstance. We learn the laws, the sanctions, the rewards and the "system" of the family so we can fit in to the level that works best. Not all adaptations will work completely.

The concept of adaptability in families can be illustrated by the weather. People who have grown up in cold conditions have an easy going camaraderie with sub zero temperatures. There may be some healthy fear and a bit of risk involved but generally they adapt to their environment with little thought. There is comfort in the level of energy that has to be put out to survive because there is a knowing. That knowledge is based on understanding, and that understanding gives the innate ability to be generally safe to go about the normal. Take the same person and drop them into hot humidity and their ability to adapt is hampered by experience, time and ignorance. In just a few hours they could be de-hydrated in the hospital. As time goes by, if in the environment long enough, they learn some tricks, may have a little bit more room for personal normalcy and may even enjoy the change. But in general their first home, where risks are the least, and beauty can be experienced in full force because of the lack of misunderstanding/ mistakes, is the place where they can just truly be.

We can adapt to our surroundings while being true to our essence, but never fully who we are in the places where certain rules must be abided with severe sanctions. There are environments and families that allow for more adaptability than others. Unfortunately, there are places where more self control, awareness and caution are needed. The idealist would probably feel this is disappointing and sad. The practical person might think it's common sense. The eccentrics might shrug their shoulders and get back to life. Or perhaps some people feel a mixture of all three (or more) responses? * Regardless of how we feel about them, most rules remain. With a lot of discussion, conditioning, information and knowledge the family climate can rise and fall- to a level of degrees. But there are limits in each family to how far those degrees can be stretched.

On a personal level, I understand how this is because I have many systems I belong to. On one side I have to exercise great self control to be respected in the way they view respect. I need to be unemotional, the less I show the more I am heard in the way they choose to hear. It's surface level for the most part. I am aware that any sign of weakness physically or different ways of thinking may be labelled as attention seeking, sensationalist, dramatic or unstable. They are not even aware of how much they use these words to describe people they do not agree with. In this case I am the deviant in the family. In another system I do not have to exercise as much self control, yet I still need to adhere to a few behavioural rules to not be continually mocked. I need to have a heavy tolerance for affection guised as sarcasm and an understanding that to open up my mouth puts me in the lime light...yet I am more comfortable with this sort of honesty and know I am loved more in this situation, so generally I risk a little discomfort to make them laugh. However, that family is not my first home either. Though they think there is understanding much has changed since I was little and the person I am now is not understood.

There are other systems that also have varying rules (generational, gender related, religion, ethnicity, income, ability related ect) but the most important one is what I end up with as the day closes. This is comprised of all those who know my flaws and love me anyway. This family system is very small and requires minimal adaptation. The adaptation that comes with it may be painful at times, but usually is a choice through the love of the environment. My personal one involves my husband, three children, best friend and about twelve other good friends who simply KNOW. It's a relief after all the transitions and adaptations of the day, to come home to a place of belonging where each interaction simply IS for the sake of BEING. There is nothing more beautiful. It has it's flaws and moments of risk, but overall it is a safe place where anything can be spoken of and each person is respected for who they are. Eccentric, practical and idealist, pragmatic, charismatic and shy...the list goes on...but each are accepted without major sanctions or views of deviance. They are simply loved. While I respect the other family environments that require self controlled adaptations, nothing says love, nothing whispers home, and nothing shouts belonging more than full acceptance and truly being myself. This is how it feels to be held, loved and cherished. It may be rare, but it is there in some form or another...and if it is not- I adapt.

*I am not limiting it to simply three but for the sake of this article I am.



**Disclaimer: I am not advocating adaption for family who is physically, emotionally, spiritually or socially abusive. Emotional and spiritual abuse is especially elusive. (An example of Spiritual abuse is consistently disrespecting your views by witnessing, preaching, challenging or saying phrases like "Autism is just a sinful nature. Perhaps the children with Autism just need to repent of their sin?" With spiritual abuse you can not change the viewpoint's mind as they think they are answering to God, thus distance is especially crucial if attempts at peace have been made.)

Check out this link if you think you are being emotionally abused in family situations. What needs to happen is an honest conversation from the spouse that is blood related with the members, detailing the abuse/continual disrespect, outlining boundaries and consequences. IF after a few months of peace talks and boundaries there is still abuse (especially if they do not recognize it themselves) it is crucially important to DISTANCE, DISTANCE, DISTANCE. To these type of people, knowledge and information is power and ammo to attack and misunderstand. Do not give them the chance to do so. Do not let them find you online, stop sending emails, stop attending events where they are and gently smile, wave and move on if bumped into. IF they still do not respect you after all of these precautions it may be time to bring in the law (see Henry Cloud's book on Necessary Endings) but first try peacemaking, boundaries and distance. This will also take self control, awareness and respect on your part.
Here is a lighthearted song for manipulative abuse that seems elusive (it really can be a dark art form). Who needs enemies with family or friends who are like this eh? Stay strong and stay distant. If it gets dangerous or physical seek outside help.
https://www.pinterest.com/KAlluraMarie/quotes-2-loving-boundaries-balanced-forgiveness-an/