Being Scared

I get it. You as parents are scared and it seems like most of you are spending more time worrying than taking a head on approach to dealling with the situation. I know how hard it was for my mom to deal with me and still does. It gets worse and you just have to brace for it. The best thing you could do is be there to support as well. Realizing that you have a problem isn't easy at all, especially when its your fault. Today something funny happened to me. A guy who treated me like crap for elementary school and while I lived in my old neighborhood came to sit down next to me. One look at the two of us and you'd conclude that I could kick his a**. The point I'm saying is that it all works out in the end. Yes its a rough raod to get passed but it pays off if you're careful. I'm 21 years old and I'm doing fine. Yes my case is a bit different from most aspies however most can get through if you do even the simple things like keeping an organized bedroom/house so that his/her mind isn't scatterred. It all works out in the end so relax and brace for what is to come. A confident mindset is what gets you through these hash times. Graham

The documentary

The documentary just aired again on CBC Newsworld and I got to see it for the first time. I just wrote this up and submitted it to CBC before I realized that it was a repeat. Thought I'd come over here and post my thoughts here... I've added to what I posted at CBC. *** This documentary disturbed me. I work with several anti-social techno-geek men (I'm in IT) and I would be willing to bet money that some of these guys are undiagnosed Aspergers, based on what I saw on the doc. They are bullies, constantly behaving inappropriately and not taking any responsibility for what comes out of their mouths. They are VERY bright and technologically savvy, but socially retarded. They are Adam as adults. I have struggled a lot with trying to be compassionate, trying to make the situation better, then if not better, then tolerable, and it's intolerable. I am a compassionate woman and like the mom in the documentary, I try and reason with these guys, try and show infinite patience. I giggled when I saw what the expert said to Adam's classmates, because I *always* focus on what's right with a situation rather than what's wrong with it. I always set clear boundaries regarding what is acceptable in the way I will be treated. But with these guys, I'm thinking it's futile. Years of working there has made me realize how impossible it is to work in an environment like that. I think integrating people like this into the world is hard... for those of us who were blessed to be born 'normal' -- it's hard to be told to tolerate behaviour that would not be tolerated if it was displayed by 'normal' people. It's hard to be bullied, yelled at, physically and emotionally assaulted. And to be told this behaviour is a 'disability' rubs everyone the wrong way. It's just bad behaviour to so many of us. And then to hear those people complain of BEING bullied, when clearly they ARE the bully is hard, too. I do realize bullies often WERE bullied, but I see it like a vicious circle, and I have very little compassion for people who behave like that and want pity or understanding when they don't offer it to their own victims. When Adam complained in the movie of not having friends, then I saw how he treated the girl in the playground, I thought DUH, no wonder you have no friends. I wouldn't have any friends either if I acted like that. And you are smart enough to draw a line between A and B, you MUST see how your actions have consequences. You must! I don't know what the solution is at all. I feel terrible for those families who must live with this every day. I am currently looking for another job, and at least I have an escape. I'm still resentful that I have to leave, not these bullies. But I know the families don't have that luxury. The documentary was VERY upsetting.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime---Reactions?

I'm teaching this book to my grade 9 English students. I'd love some input, your thoughts/feelings after having read the book. Please e-mail me directly at Thank you. Jeanne Mcright teacher, Etobicoke School for the Arts

New Diagnosis...5 years of waiting!

My son is now 13 years old. For the last 5 years we have been going to bat for him where the school principal and teachers have been giving up..."he's got an attitude!" "he's exhausting to have as a student...he won't apply himself"...I could go on and on There's a reason I came across this link tonight. I hope windows and doors of opportunity start opening up for my son...Looking so forward to seeing your film! Mom in Ontario

Separating and needing support

My husband and I are on the verge of separating due to the fact that my husband and I are having problems coming together in our methods of discipline. My husband is rigid in his discipline and is strict with my son whom is 13. When you ask my son to do something his first reaction is to say no and argue however if we remain calm my son will calm down and usually do what is requested. My husband believes that he should do what is expected of him right away and he is disrespectful. They begin to argue which escalates the situation and makes our family very arguementative. I'm afraid that it will become physical. I'm not sure how separation will cause my son to react. Unfortunatly, I think that he will believe that it is his fault and not our ability to parent him. Has any one been in this situation and could give any type of advice? He has recently been retested and they are also debating if he has Asperger's. They said that the testing showed that he was just above cutoff for Autism. Meaning he they saw the characteristics of Autism but very mild. His psychiatrist belives he is just lazy body and that he has a lazy mind and that we are not parenting him properly. WE are going to find out the results next week. I realize that nobody can really help me. I guess I,m just reaching for some sort of support from people who may understand what I am going through.

Looking for a Documentry...

I was hoping someone could help me please im chasing a fiom documentry about a young man that gave an autobiography into his life, He has autism. My auntie has just had her little boy diagnosed with Autism and i breifly remember seeing this somewhere along the lines and i would love to get my hands on it for her. I thought it might be "the boy inside" but after reading the lovely reviews ive realised it is not the specific one im after. This one was by a young man aged around 18 i think?? If you know of this film please please please help me with the title... Thanking You all. Tracie.

Parent to Parent

I am the filmmaker and am getting lots of questions and requests for advice from other parents, many of which I don't feel qualified to answer, and many of which I think other parents would be able to answer equally well. I would like to propose that parents join this forum and exchange ideas with other parents.

Will I ever be able to have a conversation with my son?

I have an happy, wonderful, almost 5 year old boy who was diagnosed 2 years ago (High Functioning on paper, but they told us Asperger's verbally - at this point, I really don't care about the label). He talks extremely well (since he was 1 1/2 yrs)but everything revolves around his obsession with animals. He can respond when I ask him about what he wants to eat, play with, which books to read, what he wants to do, etc. But, if I ask him anything of a social nature, I get "the duck and the cow","panda begins with the letter..." or some other comment about an animal that has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. Even when I try to have a conversation about animals with him, we can't connect(other than me asking/quizing him questions which he usually gets right). I've spoken to a couple of High functioning and Asperger's kids a little older than my son and they all seem to able to have a conversation that actually makes sense (although their speech was a bit strange). Can anyone out there relate? At what age did things turn around for your child or if it hasn't happen yet, does this mean I never have a "real" conversation with my boy? He will begin school next September (regular classes with a one-to-one aid - we hope)and I every time I think about it, I break down. Speaking of breaking down, I just watch the clip of this movie, and when Adam said that he's been called every bad word and that it made him feel like he wanted to die, I actually felt so much pain, I wanted to die. I'm planning to watch the show tommorow night but don't know if I can handle it if its too powerfullike the clip.

Vancouver autism conference March 1-4

Did anyone check out the Vancouver Autism conference held March 1-4? I thought Barry Prizant had very interesting ideas. Anyone taken any of his courses and how does his approcah work with kids?

Graham Kendall: I think I am about to do what parents don't want their AS kid to do...

In case you don't know, I'm a 20 year old suffering from AS. I have been attending UVic for almost a year now as a 3rd year sociology major. Recently I have been having many doubts as to whether or not this is the field I want to be in. I like the idea of trying to see how these things work in society but I have been realizing more and more that this just isn't what I really want to do with my life. However, this is the problem. As a person with AS I will probably be spending my life changing my options 20 more times and I hate the fact that this is the sad cold reality. I will never be happy with where I'm going and the changes will always be in the back of my head. I love this life but its really getting to a down point. I find these fits of anger and confusuion are becoming more and more frequent. School isn't going as planned and I'm beginning to realize that art or some sort of design is probably my forte. I've always enjoyed it and my dad has always left it there. What I would really enjoy though is a break from the realities of school. Go to australia or New Zealand and just relax, surf and do some soul searching. I need a better idea as to what I want from this life and I'm tired of trying to justify it to my parents, who also happen to be paying for my education right now. It is difficult to give up on something you've almost finished. It seems degrading and leaves me in great question of what successes I may actually achieve. Too much seems to be going on in my house, with my brothers, a renovation which seems to be clogging my parents minds of any outside activity. My parents bring their work home, to the dinner table and whenever I just want to talk to them both I find myself interupting a conversation about work. They love me, I won't deny that and I love them as well. But it seems now that every conversation they have is a business meeting. Maybe when I come back I'll be at UBC and be going for a degree in architecture and environmental deign. Who knows. This is just to give you parents and inside look at whats going on in an older childs life. Let me know if this helps. Graham Kendall
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