Since I have started this blog in early 2008, the most steady interest has been in what I have written about Asperger’s Syndrome. While I have addressed a few different aspects of the condition – as well as my experiences as an Aspie myself and, along with my Aspie husband, raising two Aspie kids.
Perhaps it is my ‘industrial dose of obsessive compulsive disorder’, but I am finding that as I try to write more about all this, I am getting ‘lost’ in what I have already written (and what I have half-written, got distracted, and never finished…..). So, this page was meant to be a tool to help navigate what I have indeed written about this.
However, I have failed to maintain this page adequately over the years – my apologies. However, I have been migrating my posts on Aspergers to a blog dedicated to strictly Aspie posts, leaving off all the political and other ‘stuff’ and hopefully making it easier to navigate.
I am NOT a medical professional. I am not a psychologist. I have NEVER had any formal training whatsoever in anything to do with Aspergers, education, or anything else that qualifies me as a professional in this field, or any related field. I am just an Aspie who ’learned to function’. I am just a parent of Aspie kids who has done her best to help them ‘become functional’. Nothing more. Anything and everything in my posts is to be treated as ‘anecdotal’, unless otherwise specified. These are just my ideas – please, treat them as no more than that.
As I write more about Aspergers, I will edit this page to add the ‘new post bit’. I hope this will be helpful.
My first intro to the topic…
ADD often co-exists with Aspergers…
Some of the most frustrating things about being an Aspie (or trying to raise one) is that to the outsider, the very real obstacles an Aspie faces will often appear to the rest of the world as either laziness or defiance…
Not hearing sounds in the correct order all the time can make an Aspie’s life even more difficult and frustrating. This could be related to the ‘sequencing’ difficulty, discussed in a later post, Aspergers and memory – part 1: ’sequencing’.
While this has nothing to do with their ability to perceive themselves as ‘separate’ from their environment (as some ‘experts’ erroneously labeled this, and therefore presumed Aspies lack ‘abstract reasoning’), many Aspies have a hard time understanding that not everyone is working from the same information, using the same reasoning. It therefore often baffles them that other people reach different conclusions on ‘obvious’ topics….and makes the Aspies appear arrogant, haughty or stand-off-ish.
The title says it all…
Few things that might be helpful when designing a learning strategy for an Aspie are listed here. Yet, no learning environment will be effective if the method of learning is one that the Aspie cannot master. ‘Figuring out’/’understanding’/’comprehension’ are essential to a successful learning strategy of an Aspie – it is our ‘coping mechanism’ through which we compensate for our poor memory. We achieve this by analyzing, categorizing and integrating the information to everything else we know about the topic on hand.
From actual mechanical difficulties Aspies experience in acquiring the fine motor skills needed for writing to a desire for perfectionism – this is a first look at just how deep the problems could be…
Some Aspies find that the thoughts are racing through their mind SO fast, they forget what word they were writing by the time they form a letter…. (Actually, Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, recently expressed some interesting thoughts on this…and admitted to having a problem like this.) This describes a strategy of how we overcame an extreme case of this, one letter at a time….and provide hope that this can, indeed, be mastered. With time…and a lot of work!
The English language does not show what part each word plays in the sentence – not obviously. This, coupled with the misguided ‘whole language’ approach of teaching our kids are subjected to can make ‘writing correct sentences’ incredibly difficult. Here is how we overcame it…
This one could have gone here, or in the ‘Aspie Perceptions’ section…either way, it is pertinent. It explains how some Aspies may have a problem often described as ‘hearing dyslexia’, where the sounds they hear might not be perceived in the correct order or having correct lengths. This could explain why some Aspies have such a difficult time with names or unfamiliar words….and could also be related to stuff discussed in a later post, Aspergers and memory – part 1: ’sequencing’.
It is sometimes difficult for Aspie kids to learn to read. Here, I explain how we used a videogame as a tool to help our son learn to read…. and he has gone on to become a very fast reader with excellent comprehension.
So often, Aspies are accused of being obtructionist or obstinate, or that sort of stuff, just because they are unable to extrapolate meaning from phrases where inaccurate words are used. This is not an ‘on purpose’ thing…but a true inablity to understand what is asked of them. This post explores that – along with a humorous (and TRUE) anecdote to illustrate this.
Aspies have different limitations. Many times, we need to learn consciously things that would appear to come ‘naturally’ to others… Reducing an image into its constituent shapes is just one of many such things….and this post describes a true life story demonstrating just that. Now, if such simple things have to be learned (and thereafter processed) consciously, consider what other ‘obvious’ things Aspies need to be taught a ‘method’ for…
Some teachers just don’t get it: it alomst seems like the pendulum has swung so far away from ‘structured learning’ that today’s teaching methods have been designed to frustrate and marginalize Aspies….here is an example, along with the somewhat creative solution we, as parents, found to ‘fight back’!
In this post, I ask more questions than answer. However, many ‘memory studies’ have shown that Aspies have great difficulty in remembering the sequence of things….which could relate to ‘hearing dyslexia’, and more…
More of my questions, after having read up on studies involving ‘Aspies’ and ‘memory’. It seems that how an Aspie arrives at a thought will seriously impact how well that thought will be stored in memory. It would appear that Aspies are ‘reasoners’, not ‘listeners’…
Aspies – especially kids – have a hard time accepting a game when the ‘rules change’. This is a look at one possible reason why ‘changing the rules’ can lead to an emotional meltdown and offers a possible method of mitigating this.
When I was in grade 6, I began to try to observe and learn ‘body language’ and ‘facial expressions’ – but would so superfocus on these visual cues, I would completely tune out any sound. In school, when I tried paying attention to what my teachers were saying, I would go to great lengths to block our all visual input so it would not distract me. Predictably, my teachers did not interpret my behaviour as ‘trying to pay attention’…
Other points of view
Felinophile wrote this insightful letter…here it is, along with my thoughts on it.
An artist tutors on the side – only to find herself tutoring Aspie kids….and even though she had not heard the word Aspergers’ before, she has better results than most ‘regular’ educators. Here is her secret, in her own words!
The old question, explored from 2 different ‘Aspie’ points of view…
If you want to understand the ‘Aspie mind’, ‘getting’ Aspie humour is an important part of the picture. So, this is a VERY serious post, and NOT just an excuse to have fun. NEVER!!! I’ll NEVER admit to FUN!!!
More ‘Aspie humour’ – this time, in the form of a sitcom….. Again, this is SERIOUS stuff, and not just an excuse to have fun!!!
Many successful aspies go on to become engineers…
Only an Aspie could pick THIS fight….but, well, the whole ‘I think therefore I am’ is SOOOOO obviously WRONG to the Aspie mind, it boggles us how anyone, at any time, could have thought it anything but foolish. Here, I give it a preliminary explanation (though, really, it DOES need a bit of expanding – coming soon, I hope!)
A new twist on the age-old paradox. It simply translates it into terms we can all relate to (or, at least, those of us who have gone through the pain of labour!). It, too, needs a bit of expansion…
Not strictly an ‘Aspie’ issue, this is one Aspie’s view of dogma and its role in society….
‘Faith’ is such a nebuous concept – and it is physically beyond an ‘Aspie’ to truly experience it. Some may rationalize and many do sincerely attempt, but, well, some things are physically impossible.
Note: this page will continue to be updated as I write more posts on Aspergers.