Month: December 2013
The Temperfect Mug: Keeps Your Coffee Nicely Hot for 3 Hours
The Temperfect Mug is designed to solve the perennial problem of keeping coffee at the right temperature. Coffee’s usually too hot when freshly brewed, and there’s a narrow window when it’s just hot enough, before rapidly cooling off. Not great if you’re an autistic with sensory issues, who gets turned off by coffee at the wrong temperature. This innovative mug uses a special type of insulation that stores excess heat, and keeps the coffee at 55 Celcius/130 Farenheit for up to 3 hours. Find out more at Kickstarter.
GlowCap Reminds You to Take Your Pills
It’s not uncommon for autistics to be on a range of medication and supplements, and remembering when to take what (and whether you’ve already taken it) can be quite a challenge. GlowCap takes the guesswork out of pill-popping, and even sends reminders to your cellphone. See the video below to find out more.
Adult ASD: Self-diagnosis or Professional Diagnosis?
Part 5 in the I Think I Might Be Autistic Series
Whether you choose to seek a diagnosis or not is a personal decision. As an adult, there’s a good chance you don’t need a diagnosis. You’ve done your research, come to the conclusion that you’re on the spectrum and that’s good enough for you.
This is commonly known as self-diagnosis and when done correctly, it’s largely a well-respected approach in the ASD community. The primary reason? Getting an official diagnosis as an adult is difficult:
- Asperger’s Syndrome and autism present differently in adults than in children. Finding someone trained and experienced in adult diagnosis can be challenging.
- Many adults face numerous misdiagnoses before getting correctly diagnosed with Asperger’s or autism.
- Women in particular are often misdiagnosed because they present differently than male aspies on whom the traditional model is based.
- Diagnosis can be expensive and an adult evaluation isn’t…
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‘Major discovery’ from MIT Primed to Boost Solar Power
“This is a major discovery with enormous implications for the future prosperity of humankind,” said Barber, the Ernst Chain Professor of Biochemistry at Imperial College London. “The importance of their discovery cannot be overstated since it opens up the door for developing new technologies for energy production thus reducing our dependence for fossil fuels and addressing the global climate change problem.”
I’m getting a little jaded with ‘gee whizz’ stories promising cheap abundant energy, but this kind of ‘water splitting’ technology does seem to be potentially the most efficient (and cleanest) path to getting us off fossil fuels. The process involves using solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, both good sources of energy. ‘Water splitting’ used to be prohibitively expensive, but scientists at MIT have found a way to get more ‘bang for the buck’. More power to them! Read more about it at the MIT site.
Musical Interlude: Ode to Joy – Opera Babes & Andre Rieu
Probiotics Alleviate Autism-Like Symptoms in Mice
Many autistics also suffer from intestinal problems, such as poor digestion that fails to absorb some nutrients and allows toxins to enter the bloodstream. Researchers at Caltech explored the link between gut issues and autism by inducing autism-like symptoms in mice (by giving their mothers a viral infection), then feeding the ‘autistic’ mice probiotics to improve gut function. The mice showed improvement in their mental symptoms, suggesting that some forms of autism may result from imbalanced gut bacteria. The researchers plan to try the same experiment on human subjects; but for the time being, caution against generalising the results of the mice experiment to autism in humans, which may have a variety of causes. Read more about it at EureKalert.
Singer Susan Boyle Diagnosed With Asperger’s
“Asperger’s affects social interaction and communication skills, and sometimes hinders the ability to form relationships and gauge appropriate behaviour in different social contexts. Boyle, who was called “Susie Simple” while growing up in her home town of Blackburn, West Lothian, was bullied as a child because she was “different” from her classmates. Now she can give that difference a name.” [quote from the article below]
Read more about it at Guardian.com.
4 Seconds of Silence is Enough to Make a Conversation Awkward
According to researchers in Holland, it only takes four seconds of silence in a conversation for participants to feel a sense of rejection. This is useful to know if you’re autistic, because we have trouble understanding non-verbal cues, and sometimes neglect to make proper eye contact or maintain a consistent flow of conversation. Autistics tend to do better with clearly stated rules like ‘say something within 4 seconds’. Morale of the story – keep talking (focus positively on the other person and ask open-ended questions)! Read more about it at Time.
Design For Autistics Gets Another Thousand Views, in Half The Time!
A big THANK YOU to our community of readers! This blog received its second thousandth view last week, in half the time it took to reach our first thousand. Here’s an appreciative comment from one of our readers:
Although this site labels itself a blog, it’s not someone’s personal account of life on the spectrum. Instead, it reports on items of all sorts, whether practical or just fun, that may be of interest to other autistics. Very cool to browse through! [Quote from Asperger’s / Autism Toolbox]