One thing that I cant help feel is that for those of you that have made it into adulthood with a zest for life have so much to offer the youth who are struggling so much. I am a father of a 5 yr old girl with AS and I dont want her to suffer the same way many of you had to. Help me and other parents help them. Many of us have difficuly in understanding AS the same way some of you have dificulty understanding some social inuendo. We are equally at a loss to undertand what our children are feeling. The more I understand my daughter the more I can help her. You can be mentors or teachers and just maybe you can learn from a new generation of AS kids. Chris. (sorry I know this is supposed to be the adults comunity I wont but in any more) I wish you all the best.

Fostering Special Interests

Chris, I am the oldest of three brothers separated by five years. I am the only one possibly on the spectrum. When I was a boy in the late 1950s and early 60s, my parents noticed two things that I absolutely loved to do. The first was jigsaw puzzles (my mother enjoyed them) and the other was music (my father was a good musician). My parents fostered both interests to the extent that they could, given their limited resources. Jigsaw puzzles triggered my interest in science, and music made me fit in when I was a teenager. My wife constantly reminds me not to ramble, so I'll briefly explain in the following two paragraphs. By the time I was in elementary school, I learned to build jigsaw puzzles using a systematic approach based on shape (geometry), colour (optics), and probability (statistics), in that order. Easy puzzles could be done by shape and colour contrasts alone. Hard puzzles required separating all of the pieces into basic shape groups, subtle colour shade subgroups, and once the puzzle was being assembled, identifying and using repeating link patterns (probability). By the time I was a teenager I could put together a hard 1000 piece puzzle in a weekend. My mother used to help me and so this was our bonding activity. The skill I acquired from these puzzles was the ability to problem solve, a skill that has made me a successful scientist today. I still do jigsaw puzzles, especially around Christmas time as there is always a new one wrapped up from Santa. My father was a fast learner when it came to playing musical instruments. He played in bands and sang in choirs. I remember him coming to our school on Rememberance Days to play The Last Post on his bugle (he was a vereran). At the age of 13 my parents bought me a used acoustic guitar and I quickly learned dozens of songs. I was so focused on chord progressions and developing my own song interpretations, that I was always invited to teen parties to lead sing-alongs. Despite poor social skills, including not enjoying being in groups of people, I could spend an entire night playing songs at parties, sometimes until the sun came up the next day. Music helps me fit in to social gatherings and at the same time, helps me cope with anxiety. Fourty years later I am still playing guitar, music is an important part of my life. Dennis

I'm here as long as you have

I'm here as long as you have questions. Graham Kendall Yotuh Moderator