In many drowning incidents, people nearby don’t know the victim is drowning. It often takes a trained lifeguard to spot someone in trouble. From watching movies, we’ve come to expect a drowning person to thrash about, wave, shout for help, and try to swim to safety. Quite often in real life, NONE of that happens. Drowning swimmers usually go through the Instinctive Drowning Response, in which they look like they’re “climbing a ladder underwater”, while their mouths constantly go above and below the waterline. Victims rarely wave or call out, because they’re instinctively focused on staying afloat and breathing. It often takes less than a minute before they completely submerge. To find out more, read this article and watch the video below from WIVBTV.
Some autistic writers find computers more distracting than useful, with the overwhelming number of options and apps available. Enter the Neo 2, a stripped-down portable word processor that cuts out all the bells and whistles. It allows you to focus on writing, without the formatting choices and programs that might get in the way (the plain text can be downloaded later to a proper computer for formatting). The Neo 2 is designed for portability, with a small sturdy body and long battery life. It’s also highly affordable (price valid at time of writing). Video review below is by Brave Luck Books.
The nonPareil Institute in Plano, Texas (USA) is a non-profit that teaches programming skills to adults with autism, and helps them find work making games, apps and other software products. Many of the students are employed by nonPareil itself, through its contracting arm. Some autistics are gifted programmers, but lack the social aptitude to fit into a typical workplace. nonPareil fills the gap by offering both training and an autistic-friendly workplace. Apart from imparting skills, the Institute also allows students to interact with like-minded peers in a supportive environment. nonPareil is planning to expand to other cities in the US, and welcomes donations. The Institute was recently featured on NBC Nightly News, and there are more videos (like the one below) on the nonPareil Youtube channel. BTW, if you’re wondering about the odd spelling of the name, ‘nonpareil’ is a French term meaning ‘none equal’ (apparently, the French don’t capitalise quite like the rest of us!).
Conversation is a challenge for many on the ASD spectrum, due to problems understanding non-verbal cues and unspoken rules. This video is an excerpt from a longer talk by Don Gabor of The Learning Annex. It gives some quick useful tips on starting and managing a conversation:
1) Ask an easy-to-answer open-ended question (without a “yes” or “no” possible answer).
2) Make a positive comment.
3) Offer sincere compliments.
4) Refer to something the person’s said to make a connection.
5) Stop focusing on yourself and your inner monologue, instead, LISTEN!
[Quoted from the YouTube page]