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Friday, April 18, 2014

An Explanation from "The Inside" - Guest Post by Taylor Morris

The Asperger's traits addressed in this post include:

*Rule-bound behavior
*Much time spent on introspection
*Difficulty regulating attention
*Sensitivity to sensory input
*Difficulty learning to relax
*High IQ and high level of talent
*Getting misunderstood
*Difficulty communicating

Please click for video:
Taylor Morris on High-Functioning Autism

"I love being able to say that I'm a successful person - and I'm not a normal one."

"I love being different."

"I love that I can go through life and do the things that most people do - yet have almost a different twist on it. It's actually a lot of fun . . . to be different."

How this topic applies to Christian living:

John 15:15
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Another Asperger's Myth Unveiled

The Asperger's traits addressed in this post include:
*Getting misunderstood
*Anxiety and depression

The 5th Myth (hey, I’m rhyming) is: “A diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome and mental illnesses (such as bipolar disorder, ADD, or schizophrenia, for example) are mutually exclusive. You can't have both at the same time.” Oh, yes, you can, and the symptoms may overlap, further muddying the waters. This myth is perpetuated because mental disorders are diagnosed by observation, questionnaire, and comparison to a list of symptoms. You don't just take a blood test and get told the news; your teachers, parents, psychologists, and psychiatrists have to figure it out. YOU may be the one to figure it out yourself!

I remember being 17, and looking over my dad's shoulder at a library book that had a title something to do with bipolar disorder. Then I read the list of symptoms, and it clicked with me. From then on, I knew that I had experienced both depression and mania; therefore, I had bipolar disorder. At age 15, I had been diagnosed with a brief psychotic episode that had lasted several weeks. Psychosis is evidenced by delusional thinking and erratic behavior, which I obviously had displayed. I also had countless symptoms of mania. I had my first manic episode at 13, and first depressive episode at 14. These episodes consumed me with insomnia and lack of appetite. I was either a whirling dervish, or Eeyore personified! Yet nobody told me I had BIPOLAR DISORDER! Hello???

Anyway, I'm not bitter - well, maybe a little. Mental illnesses are apparently difficult to diagnose. Some of you, my readers, may believe all your problems can be chalked up to Asperger's syndrome, And maybe they can. However, if you are experiencing the symptoms of other mental health problems, then please, don't fall for the myth. Get yourself to the psychiatrist FAST, and rally your support people who care about you. That's what I do, and it is necessary for me to be able continue on, despite my struggles.

How this topic applies to Christian living:

Matthew 4:22
. . . They brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Faith, Asperger's, and God: Guest Post by Aspie Warrior

Asperger's traits addressed in this post include:
*High IQ and high level of talent
*Getting misunderstood
*Difficulty expressing emotions appropriately

Please click:
Faith, Aspergers and God

This post I read is awesome. It answers so many questions even I have. You won't be sorry you read it!

Aspie Warrior is one blog I'd be proud to follow. How about you?


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Opening Up - Guest Post by Aidan

The Asperger's traits addressed in this post include:
*Getting misunderstood

*Difficulty expressing emotions appropriately
*Following scripts when interacting
*Anxiety and depression
*Much time spent on introspection

Favorite quotes from Aidan King:

"In real life, I'm a special child that's just out-of-the-ordinary."

"For some reason, every time I think of something, it becomes real. I notice very much - in my mind, I am free. . . . I can just do anything."

Editor's note: Did you catch that, folks? Here's Aidan, age 12, whoppin' down the fallacy that “Boys and girls with Autism/Asperger's  don't use their imaginations.” Hello? 3rd Myth dismantled here.

Aidan actually has spoken one more myth, the 4th Myth, which is what his doctors evidently told him . . . "I have Autism and Asperger's Syndrome - those are the same thing." Um, no. The labels low-functioning and high-functioning are used for a reason. Low-functioning autism is never referred to as Asperger's syndrome, because Hans Asperger never studied or reported on low-functioning autism (that I know of).

One crucial difference is that those with Asperger's have the ability to communicate - and communicate well. That being said, I'd say Aidan is on the high-functioning end of the spectrum, even though he may have been diagnosed as autistic when he was younger. Congratulations on your improvements, Aidan!

Aidan also remarks: "There's one most important thing to me, and that is: friends, family, and my pets." He concludes: "All I know is: I love everything that my parents and life has given me, and I'd do anything to keep going, and fighting."

How this topic applies to Christian living:

I Corinthians 4:2
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's All in the Eyes: Am I Still an Aspie?

The Asperger's traits addressed in this post include:
*Boredom with small talk
*High IQ and high level of talent

"Can You Read People's Emotions?" The New York Times Quiz
On October 17, 2013, I took this quiz for the first time, and scored 28/36. The average score for this test is in the range of 22 to 30 correct responses. Does this mean I'm not an Aspie anymore?

I'm ready to dispel the 1st Myth that Aspies always, consistently have trouble reading people's faces and body language. 

I don't. I don't think I ever really have. It may be hard for some of us with Asperger's traits, but surely it's not a constant, unending struggle. There are ways to learn interpretation of body language and tone of voice. We learn by watching movies, TV shows, and plays, or better yet, acting in plays ourselves. I have found acting to be especially helpful in learning to bridge communication gaps.

But you know what? I'm guessing the myth came to be because even though Aspies may understand what another person is feeling and even possibly feel empathetic . . . well, what do you do then? How do you handle the situation? That's where we sometimes get stuck.

I remember being 14 and meeting my best friend's new friend. As we waltzed all around the school campus where a twice-yearly thrift shop was being held, I watched this new friend looking at the ground, smoothing the fabric of her skirt, twirling her flowing hair, scuffing her sandals, and stealing glances at the other girls around her. I took my best friend aside and whispered, "I think your friend is feeling left out."

My best friend (who, by the way, had Asperger's traits herself) frowned and darted her eyes towards her new friend and back to me. She seemed at a loss for words. We strode on, and suddenly I realized it was up to me to set the new friend at ease.

So I turned to her and said, "You look really pretty - even though we're all wearing sneakers and culottes, and have our hair in braids."

The new friend did not reply, but she gave me a smile and started to relax, and I knew I had said the right thing. It was perhaps an awkward, abrupt speech for me to make, but it was heartfelt.

Boom! Aspie Myth number 1 exploded!

I read recently that it's not always easy to make and keep friends. Here comes the 2nd Myth: Making and keeping friends has nothing to do with intelligence.

Um, excuse me? Creating and maintaining friendships requires a vast deal of intelligence. It's just that Aspies tend to use our "academic smarts" to inform our "social smarts," and sometimes the wires get crossed. But I think Aspies almost always can pull off some really great friendships - especially when we bump into other Aspies, right?

Seems to me that the reason Aspies are pegged as being social dummies is that we want something more useful, engaging, or fun than simple, yawning small talk! I mean, who wants to be told what the weather is like outside when you could be telling your friends about Voltron and Starblazers? (This is what my husand did to me - he can't stand small talk. It's lucky we have a baby now, since it gives him an easy topic of conversation.)

So, take the "Can you read people's emotions?" quiz yourself, Aspie or otherwise . . . and please post your results! Thank you!

How this topic relates to Christian living:

John 3: 16

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 13:34
Love one another. - Jesus