Ottawa to Vancouver

Hi, I'm 27 years old, from Ottawa, I have Asperger's so my "disability" isn't really that noticeable but I'm on financial assistance because I don't have the best luck in jobs as I'm sure everyone here knows. Believe me, I don't like that word "disability" but this is what I'm on, ODSP: Ontario Disability Support Program while other people I know are on it in Ottawa and have no drive to work and just want to live off the government, I'm not settling for that, it's wrong anyway. I'm young and I have dreams and have a number of career options and others that I want to bring to life and am slowly but surely getting what I need to make that happen The best case scenario I'd like for myself is to move to Vancouver and live my life there and be free of assistance and be able to support myself in doing something I love. I am, though, getting impatient, I've done lots of research about Vancouver and amongst other things, I'm envious of the weather (I hate the sun and heat) and I love that there are strict speed limits since I live in an apartment and am sound sensitive and cannot stand the drag racing that people like to do in the sunny and nice weather here. I'm trying to wait until I have enough money saved and enough of a job plan and a place to stay to venture out to Vancouver but it's not easy. So I'm just wondering if anyone had any leads, suggestions, resources, advice, etc. to help me get settled out in Vancouver. Again, I'd like to be free of financial support but I've also looked into as much as I can, the support system of Vancouver because I can't trust that I can keep a job when I'm out there either. The very first reason I wanted to go was years ago, I used to make amateur music videos with my friends and I wanted to move out there because I found out it was Hollywood North and there's all that industry in Vancouver, I'm interested in anything to do with the entertainment industry, and I pick up jobs here and there in entertainment here in Ottawa but I know it's nothing compared to what I could get in Vancouver. hope you can help, thanks Fraser Thomas P.S. I filmed commercials for a internet reality show but I don't know if I can give the address out in the forum


I'm one of the lost. My parents had absolutely no idea what was going on, as I have always been very secretive about everything. I was able to build a passable emulation of normal human behavior, and maintain adequate enough grades that I didn't arouse suspicion. However, it was terribly draining to do so. It's only recently that I've started being me. Being secretive has always been one of my defense mechanisms. The less people know about me, the less there is to hate about me, and the less I have to explain to people I shouldn't need to explain myself to. I'd like to tell the parents of this boy that everything will turn out OK, but there are just no guarantees about anything. I survived relatively intact because of a mix of physical stature and emotional temperament. I beat the stuffing out of any bullies who targeted me, which resulted in them moving on to easier prey. I usually only had to get into 1 or 2 scraps before I was left alone when I moved to a new school (I attended 6 different schools during elementary and secondary as my father followed his next job). One thing I can tell you: The bullying will NOT stop unless you stop it yourself. The teachers won't do anything. The principal won't do anything. The police won't do anything. And anything your parents do to protect you will just make you look weak (thus making you MORE of a target than ever). You WILL get into trouble for defending yourself. Do NOT back down no matter how much your teachers browbeat you. Take a suspension with your head held high. This is a social contest, and people only remember the winner. If you lack the physical strength, use other means. There are many ways to make someone very afraid, and that is the effect you want to generate. If he feels unsafe being alone when you are around, he will also leave you alone when his friends are around (it may take a few tries to hammer the point home to him that he is vulnerable to you). The isolation will not end. I'm lucky in that I don't really need much human interaction (once a month is more than plenty for me). I much prefer to be alone so that I can concentrate on my projects. I do, however, have a couple of close friends who, it turns out, are also autistic. That can be very helpful, as you can swap stories and strategies for getting by in this alien land. Autistics are FAR more trustworthy than any neurotypical could ever hope to become. Girls might be a problem as well. I don't like intimate contact (especially kissing! yech!), so going out with girls never really worked out for me, except for one night stands. Your mileage may vary.

Discussion Forum Open Again

Hi there we got spammed so had to shut down for a while. We are back now and require you to register to join the discussion group. Its fast and easy. Hope to chat with you soon. Marianne

A recently-diagnosed adult who sees himself in Adam

I watched _The Boy Inside_ for the first time when it was rebroadcast on CBC Newsworld about a month ago. I could be Adam. But in 1970 -- when my frustrated parents sent me to the University of Ottawa's Child Study Centre for a year to try to figure me out -- no-one knew anything about Asperger's or autism. The best they could say is "He's bright, and he'll probably turn out to be neurotic. Good luck!" One of my daughters has been diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism. (I guess before, we used that label interchangeably with the Asperger's label. Nowadays, though, they use "Asperger's" if your language development was straightforward like mine, and "HFA" if your language development had any reverses or backtracking, as Tina's did.) Following our research into the subject, I became more and more convinced that I was on the autism spectrum. I recently went to Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen's website and took his Adult Asperger's Assessment (AAA) online and "passed" (ha!) with flying colours. I'm posting partly because I might be able to at least provide a data point on the scale of "paths Adam could end up taking in life". There are things in my life that were great, but there were other things that would have been much better avoided (and in which early intervention during adolescence would have been a HUGE help). Some areas of my life have been great. I've served as an elected politician in my home town, I led a historic court case that added to the foundation of Canadian electoral case law, I have a wonderful wife and 6 wonderful kids, I've made successful and lucrative appearances on an American TV game show, I've had some wonderful and exciting jobs, and on and on. Other areas weren't so great. I suffer from tremendous depression and self-loathing, largely due to the bullying I suffered in junior high school. (High school was better for me, and I sure hope it's being better for Adam.) I have problems with addiction, largely due to the above and to my difficulty in forming and maintaining social relationships. I feel like an "outsider" no matter where I am and no matter how welcoming people are around me. Often as a child, and occasionally now as an adult, I honestly believe I'd be happy to sacrifice 30 IQ points or more just to "fit in", to "be normal". Anyhow. Thanks for the film. Best wishes to Marianne and Adam and all your family. And if Marianne or Adam or anyone else would like to chat about my path or your path or whatever, please feel free to get in touch with me at Robert Slaven Surrey BC

The Boy Inside

I just watched the story of Adam for the 2n time. This time I didn't watch it with my son Kevin. The last 9 yrs have been a living hell in my home. A week in lockdown at Youthdale - because of talking about hurting himself and others. The psych there made a quarry of Asperbers. Kevin's life revolves around the PS2 and trying to find a friend. This past summer I tried to get a complete pshyco-educational testing done on him. Kevin starts a regular high school this week after being in a segregrated class for the last 3 yrs - can you say we are both scared. They only did the projected testing - no educational or Asbergers assessment. We do know he has sever dyslexia - like me. I asked the tester if he even looked at Asbergers and he said no he didn't bother. How do I get him assessed properly and where do I go????? At this point I will pay to have him assessed. Anyone have any ideas?

Good books?

Hi all, One of my best friends has a teenager with Aspergers, and I recognize many of the same symptoms in my husband. Can you recommend any resources (books, articles, websites) that would help to reduce the frustration level in our marriage? With thanks, MK Hi MK yes, there are a number of books out there but the names escape me right now. Visit Future Horizons website or Autism Today (their bookstore) and peruse the offerings. MK

Sports Cards and Christmas Carols

My wife has become concerned over the last few months about a new activity that I may become obsessed with. When my father Corkey died two years ago (a difficult change for me to deal with) he left me about 1 million sports cards. Hockey, baseball, basketball, football, there seems no end to them. I made two trips to Ontario recently because my mother has been diagnosed with cancer (another difficult change for me to deal with). I saw first-hand the massive collection. It will probably take a year just to find out what he has collected. I brought some holiday cheer to my mother and her best friends the only way I knew how. First, I treated her friends to a turkey dinner at their favourite restaurant and played them Christmas carols using a guitar I borrowed from a young soldier. Then, I brought my mother the same meal at the hospital and played the French and English carols she loved to sing so many years ago (it seemed). She sang and laughed! That was one of the best days of my life. For me, music really takes the edge off anxiety. My mother bought me my first guitar 40 years ago and I am still able to use it to put smiles on people's faces and joy in their hearts. I have also promised my wife that I would examine Corkey's card collection in moderation. It is a strange feeling to read his notes and see a few of his fingerprints on some of the cards. I sure do miss him at Christmas time. Season's Greetings Dennis

Christmas Story

Every year my family has a Christmas tradition of setting up several Lego trains running through a seaside Lego village consisting of houses, a lighthouse, train stations, railyards, level crossings, and more. Trains are an important part of my family heritage, stretching back to the early 1900s. Two years ago I set up the trains early - before Halloween. One of our trick-or-treaters was a boy and his mother that my wife knew. When he saw the Lego he wanted to stay and play for a while. As he did, his mother asked my wife "So how old is your little boy?" Before my wife could answer, I came down the stairs and said "50!" The mother was shocked needless to say. Dennis Jones

Forum Moderator Introduction

My name is Dennis Jones and I am delighted to be the moderator for this forum entitled "Adults On The Spectrum." Although I have not been diagnosed as being on the spectrum (yet), at 52 years old I have had a lifetime of unusual experiences and behaviours that are only now coming into focus as possibly being Aspergers. Knowing what I know now about autism, I can look back at aspects of my life and see how I developed strategies that allowed me to appear as an 'almost normal' child, teenager, and young adult. I am very fortunate to have a wife who is an experienced teacher and has worked with autistic children for several years. Believe it or not, the strategies she uses with these children work with me as well. Social scripting, scheduling, preparing me to deal with change, stress relief, call it 'late intervention' if you will. If I had not married her in 1979, I would not have had the support I needed to complete my university degrees, have a successful career as a scientist, have a happy family, and enjoy my special interests. I look forward to interacting with you in this forum. Feel free to ask me questions anytime. Dennis Adults On The Spectrum Moderator

Helping The Youth

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.
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