There’s a blog I love called, Musings of an Aspie written by Cynthia Kim. Cynthia Kim also has a book, I Think I Might Be Autistic , which is now available as an e-book and in paperback. She writes about her decision to pursue a diagnosis, with lots of tips for those who might be thinking of doing the same. “I Think I Might Be Autistic: A Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis and Self-Discovery for Adults” begins from that “aha!’ moment, addressing the many questions that follow. What do the symptoms of ASD look like in adults? Is getting a diagnosis worth it? What does an assessment consist of and how can you prepare for it?” But the book is much more than just advice about whether to get a formal diagnosis or not. It’s about identity, who we are, what that means and why we…
View original post 663 more words
Novelist David Mitchell looks back on the heartbreak – and joy – of learning that his son had autism. Plus, below, an extract from the book by a young Japanese boy that helped him. [Quote from The Guardian]
“When I was small, I didn’t even know I had special needs. How did I find out? By other people telling me I was different and that this was a problem. True enough. It was very hard for me to act like a normal person, and even now I still can’t “do” a real conversation. I have no problem reading books aloud and singing, but as soon as I try to speak with someone, my words just vanish. I can’t respond appropriately when I’m told to do something, and whenever I get nervous I run off from wherever I happen to be. So even a straightforward activity like shopping can be really challenging if I’m tackling it on my own.” [Extract from The Reason I Jump]
The Reason I Jump: One Boy’s Voice From The Silence Of Autism, by Naoki Higashida, translated by David Mitchell, published by Sceptre at £12.99. To order a copy for £10.39, including free UK mainland p&p, go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop.
This well-organized book by Stacey Platt gives hundreds of useful tips for the organizationally-challenged. This is a book you can enjoy just browsing through; the layout is a pleasure to behold, and the photographs are beautiful. The author obviously knows her stuff, she’s a professional organizer who coaches high-value clients.
“This is the greatest book I have seen on organizing. It is incredibly informative, actionable and easy to read. I am going to send one to all of my friends and family members. There is so much great information on things that I never realized I was doing incorrectly.” [Amazon customer review]
A common thread through most autistic disorders is a lack of awareness of non-verbal social cues; things like body-language, facial expressions and the ‘unspoken rules’ of sociability, that non-autistics pick up intuitively. Autistic children need to have the meanings of different non-verbal cues spelled out (for example, that a frown means someone is upset), along with the social conventions around various activities (such as making friends). The Asperkid’s Secret Book of Social Rules is a handy guide for tweens-to-teens with autism, on the basic norms of etiquette and good people-skills. The book comes highly recommended by many parents of autistic teens. The author, Jennifer Cook O’Toole, writes from first-hand experience as someone with Aspergers.
About the author: O’Toole was diagnosed as an Aspie in adulthood, is the mother of three Asperkids, the wife of an Aspie, an award-winning Special Educator and two-time author of ￼brand-new books for and about Asperkids (Asperkids: An Insider’s Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children with Asperger Syndrome, and The Asperkids’ (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Guidelines for Teens and Tweens, from Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2012). Both books were chosen by Autism Speaks as “Main Resources for Families,” and Autism Asperger Digest selected Asperkids to the “Top 12 Books to Read When a Loved One is Diagnosed with ASD.” Her third book, The Asperkid’s Launch Pad: Homes That Empower Everyday Superheroes will be released in Spring 2013. [From Amazon]
Since many autistics suffer from loneliness (and have trouble detecting hidden agendas) they run the risk of ending up in cults, which provide instant fellowship at the price of unconditional obedience. Not all cults are religious groups (and not all religious groups are cults). In fact many cults are secular, offering quasi-scientific psychological therapies or other forms of ‘life improvement’. Inspired by my previous post, here (in no particular order) are the Top Ten Signs You’re in a Cult:
1. Leaders demand unquestioning and unconditional obedience from members.
2. Leaders are not accountable to anyone else, their deliberations are secret.
3. The same leader has been running the group since it started, or leadership has passed to confidants.
4. Members who leave are harassed, or emotionally blackmailed.
5. Members are discouraged from forming relationships outside the group.
6. Non-members are regarded with suspicion, hostility, or merely as potential recruits.
7. Recruiting new members is a mandatory activity.
8. Members are required to spend most of their time on group activities.
9. Members have to consult group leaders on even minor decisions.
10. Members have to give a high proportion of their income to the group.
[Excerpt from The DIY Prison: Why Cults Work, read the book for free below]
To find out more about staying cult-free, simply read this free online cult-awareness handbook from the Cult-Free Campus Campaign. Don’t forget to share!
This award-winning guide is written from an autistic person’s perspective, in language that appeals to other young people. It’s a short (only 48 pages) but succinct manual for anyone trying to relate to an autistic young person. Ideally, there should be a copy in every school library and a class taught from it in every school.
Best of the Best 2012—Chicago Public Library
Books for a Better Life Awards finalist
Clearly explain[s] the difficulties with communication and social interactions that frequently accompany autism, while urging readers to reach out to and stick up for autistic children—Publishers Weekly