AspieAngles has written what I think is a sadly accurate article called “Nobody teaches us how friends should treat us“. While Autistic people are taught the specifics of how they can and should be good friends to others, they are not taught how friends should treat them, and she referenced a survey showing that almost half of all Autistic adults surveyed had been abused by someone they had considered a close friend.
This lovely idea is a great way to minimise bullying and increase inclusion. A young boy, having seen a similar idea at a school overseas, raised it with his principal and school board, who agreed to implement it. Kids who feel lonely at recess can sit on this bench, and be invited to play or walk with others. The website has several different strategies with which the benches can be used- Christian’s Buddy Bench.
One of the incredibly resourceful ladies I’ve had the privilege of “meeting” through Facebook has put together two very indepth resource guides that she is keen for people to share wherever they would be useful.
A Resource Guide & Ideas for Therapists, Teachers, Parents and Carers working with people with Special Needs- covers a multitude of topics, and is well worth checking out.
The Queensland Autism Parents Handbook is 101 pages and is a comprehensive guide to autism services, support, tips and ideas for Qld. The book is most relevant to Qld but is a valuable source of info wherever you live.
15 unspoken rules of courtesy that everyone should adhere to. A set of captioned photos, illustrating everyday courtesies that are sometimes sadly lacking. Examples include:
- When you borrow someone’s car, fill up the tank to say thank you;
- If you ask friends for help with housework, feed them;
- If you stay the night at someone’s house, make the bed or fold the blankets before you leave;
- When someone cooks for you, offer to help clean up the kitchen.
Glennon Doyle Melton wrote this article-with-impact on Momastery. In conversation with her son’s teacher, she learned that every week, the teacher asked the students to write down and submit the names of four other students who they’d like to sit with the following week (they knew that these requests may or may not be honoured), and also which student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. The teacher wasn’t interested in seating charts or exceptional citizens- she was looking for patterns showing lonely children, children who were struggling to connect with other children, those whose gifts were going unnoticed, and bullying situations- and helping those who need to be taught how to make friends, ask others to play, join a group, or share their gifts with others.
When life sucks for kids, by Kirrilie Smout. Subtitled “Ideas and tips for when you feel mad, worried or sad- or life gets kind of messy”. While I haven’t read this entire book, I was impressed enough with the content of the sample chapters (link is just over halfway down the page, under the Buy Now button and cover images) to link to it here. This book is suited for 8-13 year olds, and the author has a previously-published book called “When life sucks for teens”. In the sample chapters, I particularly liked the SHOPS acronym for how to initiate conversations- ask questions about Screens, Hobbies, Other People and School- with half a dozen examples of each.
How to join a social circle and make friends in a group, by Autism Talk 23 TV (Wrong Planet). This episode of Autism Talk TV’s social skills series features information about how to approach a group, find something common to talk about, and be accepted into a group. Very practical and easy to understand.
How (Not) to argue with gifted children, by Carol Bainbridge. Some good suggestions here for how to keep from arguing with your “little lawyer” (whether or not they have a diagnosis of giftedness!):
“Gifted children, especially the verbally gifted ones, are often compared to lawyers: they argue as if they are in court. The case they are usually arguing is their own. They argue about rules, about punishment, discipline, bedtime, dinner. Basically, they’ll argue about nearly anything they don’t like or they want to avoid.”
I’ve just discovered a new-to-me blog called Life on the Spectrum. Some great articles, including a few about adult female diagnosis and life experience. It’s this latter topic that I’m linking to here:
Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome– a very honest list of everyday life experiences, eg
People call you “sad” for being interested in interesting stuff.
You don’t understand what’s so funny about teasing. You feel you’re being mocked.
You are exhausted by always pretending to be normal, but fearful the Real You will be rejected.
You laugh later, and more loudly, than everyone else.
You feel “different” from most people, and feel that you don’t “fit in”.
Assaulted by the detail– her description of “detail assault” is very thorough and understandable, especially with the specific example she provided.
We aspies can’t help consciously processing a huge amount of input at any given moment, whereas others can just subconsciously filter it out. It doesn’t have to be a sudden event either; a large amount of general input can render me completely dysfunctional given enough time. It’s all about the quantity.
Please, spare a thought for everything else that’s going on in an aspie’s head and, if you spot him going off on a mental tangent, realise his distraction might be conscious, but it’s not necessarily voluntary.
“At least your kid talks” (Autism with a side of fries blog).
I hear this a lot. It’s meant to check me into reality that the autism I am familiar with isn’t every one’s. I get it but here’s the thing. There’s a difference between talking and successfully communicating.
The thing I love about this post, is that it highlights that everyone struggles with something. It’s not a competition about whose struggles are harder- they’re just different struggles.