Thursday, June 27, 2013

Neurodivergent K introduces We Are Like Your Child

Introducing We Are Like Your Child

We Are Like Your Child is a new, exciting blog collective of Autistic (capital A) bloggers, with the occasional allistic disabled poster.

It's for the stories that so often aren't shown in the media: those where we have difficulties and yet we problem solve creatively, we live with our disabilities rather than the whole "in spite of" and overcoming thing. Or the stopping and dripping in tragedy. This is a slice of reality from Autistic people.

It'll be a once weekly blog (or more. Maybe. But once weekly for sure) & I'm sure many people who read here would like to check it out. It's highly unlikely to be as firey as here--it's just a place where we can show things that won't make it into a "Success In Spite of Autism!" type anthology, nor are they the stuff of woe is me human interest stories, nor are they inspiration porn. It's just that yeah, we do have difficulties, yeah, we can work around some of them, and yeah, we're people even if we can't do some stuff.

So. Some of you might be interested in that. People who find here too political might too. Cuz we are like your child, and that's a good thing for all involved.--Neurodivergent K

And the intro post from We Are Like Your Child:

So what is this?
This is a group blog of adult autistics (and the occasional allistic disabled person) who are a definition of successful that means 'comfortable in our own skins, having lives that we find fulfilling'. We are undeniably autistic, we have difficulties, and we are unafraid to talk about our difficulties-and the creative problem solving we use to work with them. Our messages here are that it is ok to be disabled, it is ok to be disabled and like yourself, and that the stories of ubersuccessful highly privileged autistic folks who had every advantage are not the only stories out there.

Some names may be familiar to you from other blogs. Some may not. Our stories are those of disabled people who don't see "disabled person" as an oxymoron and who truly live "different, not less". We are advocates or activists, we like ourselves, and we bring to you stories of life while disabled that are neither sugar coated nor dripping in tragedy.

We are like your child. Your child is like us. And we may have difficulties, we are disabled--but there is no denying that we are also awesome.

Posted by Neurodivergent K at 3:48 PM

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Book Review and Give-Away: Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood

May 2013 saw the DSM removal of Asperger Syndrome as a diagnosis, although it remains in the ICD-9 and 2013 ICD-10 codes. Still, given the DSM removal of it as a distinct category, publishing a book on Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood in 2012 seems a bit odd, as if it were rendering itself almost instantly obsolete.
Nothing could be further from the truth, though, as it is unlikely that the construct of Asperger Syndrome is going to disappear from the autism community, from those who identify as Asperger, and consequently, from the clinicians who have been working with that population. Even if the name gradually fades from use, this text, filling an important gap in the literature, of how to identify mild autism/Asperger Syndrome in the adult population, is an important read not just for clinicians but for adults who are seeking diagnosis or who have attained diagnosis in adulthood.

Stoddart, Burke and King have delved into the existing literature and have created a thoroughly documented text that will be valuable to clinicians seeking to provide support and interventions for adults on the mild end of the spectrum. The text looks at comorbid conditions as well as the issues individuals might be struggling with because of Asperger Syndrome. The authors note the lack of evidence based practices in treatments and provide information on complementary interventions.

Research in how autism presents across the lifespan is lacking and many clinicians lack the expertise in recognizing how undiagnosed mild autism presents in adults. This book is a good solution, regardless of what we call the condition.

If you would like to win a copy, please leave a comment below. I will select a winner from a hat draw on July 5.

--Kim Wombles

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Request for stories from a grad student

Hi. My name is Nicole Henson. I am currently working on my Masters Degree to get my BCBA to become a behavioral Analyst. I love working with children who have been diagnosed with Autism. They are such sweet kids and I love helping them. I am employed at an elementary school helping children with Autism in the general education setting. I also have a brother who was diagnosed with Autism about 11 years ago. He is such an awesome kid!
For my masters program I am taking a class about how disabilities affect families. I am desirous to learn about other families perspectives on having a child that has been diagnosed with Autism. What were some of the challenges you faced? What were some of the successes you had? Were there certain things you were worried about? What is your perspective on your child's education program? Have you had problems with the educational system? What are some of the joys your child or children have brought you? 
I really appreciate any comments and the time you take to make them! 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Blog Ladies: episode 2; posts wanted

Kathleen and I are covering some interesting topics for our second episode of Blog Ladies. We're having a book giveaway, and we're tackling things like burnout and finding community. Kathleen is going to look at dad bloggers and sleep. Not together of course, although that could be interesting! So now it's your turn. In the comments provide your links and I'll put together new posts linking to your posts. Make sure you let us know what topic it is, too. In my community segment I recommended Stymeyland, Four Sea Stars Embracing Chaos, and Springtiger's blog. You can find them in both the autistic bloggers and family bloggers. Why these? Because they are both autistic adults and parents. It's an important perspective. Oh, and I plugged Countering and Herd, because, we too write blogs of our experiences as quirky parents of autistic children. If I had more time though, I'd have suggested several others. Mostly True Stuff. The Connor Chronicles. Flappiness Is. The Autistic Me. Mind Retrofit. AS Parenting. Actually, the list goes on and on. I've found so much support and so many friends in our extended blog feeds. Give them a look. They are some awesome people!
                                         Kathleen says....
But wait!  There's more!  Yes-I am covering sleep issues...and dad bloggers...I am looking for posts on sleep issues..anyone who has had them, dealt with them..heard something about them-AND might like to share advice, help..favorite coffee brands etc...please leave a link in the comments here. These will go on a separate post for sleep issues alone.  ALSO-In my dad blogger section-I  suggested Big Daddy Autism, Lost and Tired, Stuart Duncan and Just a Lil blog in my segment. These are blogs that I have read for a while and they are different from each other.  I thought that it gave a nice variety-so, I was happy to share them.  I would love links to some please feel free to place them in the comments here-as they too will get their own post. Thanks so much.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Guest Post:20 years after the autism diagnosis: Autism Files

guest post by Suzanne McRae

Today June 2nd, 2013… it is 20 years later after our son’s autism diagnosis, on this day in 1993.
As I was working in my flower gardens this weekend and I was remembering the year that we had created our first big flower garden at our home and it was the year after our son had been diagnosed with autism. All of a sudden I remembered what date we were… and realized the next day June 2nd was going to be the 20thanniversary of our son’s autism diagnosis, a day where it feels that our life was changed forever in so many ways.
A year ago I wrote a blog post  about his diagnosis, he had just turned 3 years old and just a few weeks ago he had his 23rd birthday.

How is it different for us today than it was for those first 20 years?
We have survived what felt like intense early years. I had so many fears of the unknown for him especially as an adult. I don’t know how it happened, but he’s now a young adult and we got here without fully realizing it. It seemed to happen almost overnight.
Back then life felt like one big roller-coaster ride for so long… so many ups and downs, we were rarely ever coasting it seemed… we were either going upwards at a slower more relaxed page… but mostly it seemed that the ride took us on a downward dive, experiencing what felt like steep high-speed drops. They were painful times to go through. It felt like we had very little control about our situation, like there were no other choices but to hold on for dear life with all we had so we wouldn’t be thrown off the roller-coaster.
Today it no longer feels like we are on a roller-coaster ride. We choose instead to coast through life with our son at the speed that we wish most of the time. I must say that we rarely ever have any speed bumps along the way. The ride is so much smoother. We have learned to navigate life with greater ease. Learning that we could co-create the life we desired for ourselves was such an important stepping stone in helping us get us there. It didn’t happen overnight, but it certainly does feel like we have arrived.
I believe as a family together we have come through to the other end of the autism tunnel. For the longest time I saw no glimmer of light and today all I am able to see is the light. I no longer see the autism tunnel. We have learned as a family how to shine brighter than we ever have and to live life from a much happier and more peaceful place. We are far from perfect or having it all figured out, but the strides we have made is now very clear to us and boy what a feeling that is. Our life feels so different than it did even 4 years ago when he came out of school. With a shift in our focus and also beginning to dream differently for him and our family, it all began to unfold as we saw it with time.
The autism has taught me to let go of so many things over the years. I had to learn to trust God and to trust myself and in the future even when I didn’t know how that would look or what would be available to our son. We are learning to live our life from a happier and more peaceful place and from that place more good things will come, even the things we can’t see yet.
It took me a long time to do this, but eventually I had to learn to disconnect from the things that were driving me over the edge. I could no longer do what didn’t resonate with me anymore. It felt like the fun and joy in my life had been sucked right out of me. The gut-wrenching feelings I experienced all too often were simply trying to show me how to listen to those feelings and learn to trust that they could show me the right way for my son. I had to learn to listen to those feelings, they got so intense I could no longer ignore them. My daughter has been instrumental in teaching me about those gut feelings and what they were trying to tell me. She’s been a powerful influence in my life these past few years as I began to learn to take steps towards trusting and finding my way to my own answers. My husband’s unconditional support all these years has been monumental as well in allowing me to do whatever I felt needed to get done, and this was simply another turn on this journey that he took in stride.
I am now able with greater ease to put my attention and focus on my deepest desires. This has been a lot more fun than how I used to do things. Swimming upstream or against the current so much of the time was never, ever any fun. I am going much more with the flow now, and I am able to attract more of what I wish for in my life because of it.
I rarely ever focus anymore on what anyone else is doing, or what is happening in the autism world. I make conscious efforts to listen to how I feel instead. If it brings me that not so great feeling, I choose for the most part to not go there. If what I wish for my son is slightly different from someone else, I will follow that path that feels right for us instead of not listening to my inner voice. I prefer to keep my energy flowing in the direction that feels right where I know that a world of unlimited possibilities awaits for us and our son.
I have come to realize that our son is showing us what he wants in life. He always believes that what he wants, he can have. He chooses what he loves and eventually, almost always (not quite) it become reality for him. He is teaching us to focus on whatever it is that we want, so we can attract it. He knows that the world is filled with unlimited possibilities when one believes.
Some of the greatest desires that I have for my son is that he always continue to experience an over-abundance of joy and happiness in his life; that he feel loved and supported by those that he is closest to in life; that he be able to get access to all of the opportunities in life that he desires just like us, with no limitations; that he be able to use his gifts and talents and share them with the world. I truly believe that he has many talents that will continue to be revealed. I wish to continue seeing him make his greatest desires a reality and that they continue showing up in his life.
The past 20 years has helped us to grow and be in a place that is much more peaceful, fun and light-hearted. If any of this can give hope to another parent of a special needs child or anyone else for that matter… it is my hope that my journey has been able to do that for you. I didn’t have any of this figured out 20 years ago. It took me a long time to understand that I had the power within me to change. You can do it too. Keep reaching for the feel good feelings and dream the impossible dreams.



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