Paying Attention While Autistic

Helpful information 🙂

Autistic Academic

The first draft of this post started with the phrase, “When I was a kid….”  But that’s not entirely true.

When I was kid, and to this very day, when I go out in public with my mother I can count on at least one exasperated command to “pay attention!”  Usually, she’ll say it while she’s yanking me out of the way of some grocery cart or stroller I didn’t see coming; my failure was in paying adequate attention to my surroundings (and, presumably, embarrassing her).  Once in a while, though, it’ll be when we’re trying to find one another in a crowd, or in a grocery store.  “You were looking right at me!  Didn’t you hear me calling you?  Pay attention!”

I have never not been paying attention.

I have, this past week, been reading Olga Bogdashina’s Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome*, in which…

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A Father’s Powerful & Extremely Personal Thoughts on Parenting

“And it has to stop. It is wrong. It is life-killing and soul-killing. And if you, as a parent, can’t see that this is the reality your children are living with every second of every day, you need to open your eyes and ears and heart.”

Emma's Hope Book

*This was what my wonderful husband, Richard wrote as a comment on my post the other day.  I asked him if I could make it a post all on its own.  He gave me permission…

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

There are plenty of difficulties in life. Parenting is hard, but “childering” is harder. Parents usually have some experience in navigating the complex social expectations of the world. Children must gain that experience with each passing day, hopefully with the guidance, support and unconditional love of parents who put their children’s needs ahead of their own.

But there are a lot of parents who aren’t like that. Mine for example. I was taught from birth that my obedience and subservience were more important than my own needs and desires, or personal considerations. When I didn’t do what I was told to do, or didn’t do it fast enough with a “good attitude”…

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The Importance of Play

Love this! I’m an adult and can barely handle a 40 hr work week without an outlet or a break to do whatever I want. But autistic 2,3,4 yr olds often have this much work a week or even more! Sometimes even are shamed or discouraged from doing the things they need or want to do to unwind when they get those tiny slivers of free time because it isn’t “normal” or “appropriate”. I encourage you to put yourself in your child’s shoes…preschoolers…or anyone for that matter should not be pulling 80 hr weeks…for any reason.

Musings of an Aspie

This morning as I was lying on the floor wrestling with my dog for her tennis ball–complete with fake growling on my part and some real growling on her part–I realized how important play is in my life.

Still. At the age of 45.

Since childhood, I’ve enjoyed playing board games and card games, solving puzzles and competing at (some) sports. Basically if there’s a game and I can potentially win at it, or at least enjoy trying, I’m there. But I’m also a huge fan of spontaneous, unstructured, completely pointless play.

Play in its purest form.

Play that arises in the moment and leads to unexpected, unbridled fun.

Which is probably why the assertion that autistic children don’t play “right” is so offensive to me. Why have autism researchers and therapists and clinicians forgotten the meaning of play? Worse, why are autistic kids so often described as not understanding…

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Checklist for Identifying Sources of Agression (link)

Every day in my autism groups at least one parent is concerned by their child’s Agression. Autistic people have been murdered or put in lockdown wards for such behavior. The folks over at We Are Like Your Child have put together a checklist of common aggression triggers…i encourage you to continue browsing after clicking on this particular link. Click Here for link

what i want to tell you – blogging in nine minutes

a diary of a mom

I woke up late this morning. Like really late. Like hit the snooze button for nearly an hour of nine minute intervals late. And there’s so much that I want to tell you, but I now, somewhat ironically, have exactly nine minutes left to write. Wait, was that really irony or a fly in my chardonnay irony? Damn it, I just lost a full minute.

Power blogging … commence.

I want to tell you that when I was speaking at the Early Intervention conference, I was talking about how, for me, respect for our children demands that we make our very best attempt to look at anything and everything that we do from their perspective. (I also mentioned how ironic I find it (the real kind of irony – this time I’m sure) that while the ‘experts’ talk so much about autistic folks struggling with theory of mind, it’s so often…

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