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Things trully can change. :)
Although I know I haven't been around aidpage very much recently, I'm still very committed to the idea of people helping people.
In my own life, my ex-wife suddenly agreed to forgive a good portion of the child-support debt so I could move back to Texas to be near my children. We've been here for a few months and have had the children to our apartment several times. I missed a lot of their growing up (13, 10 and 7), so we've got a lot of catching up to do, and I'm really grateful that I'm here now to do that. :) I see some of my autistic qualities in all of them one way or another. Alex talks in a ramble the way I often do (if you get me excited). Nicholas doesn't hear his name until about the 4th time you've called him. (Not uncommon with autistic kids.) Calli is very shy but methodical. One day I looked to see what she was doing on the computer and she was playing Spore. She told me "this is as close as you can get to a pellican with this game." And believe you me, she knows. That sort of thing was never one of my interests, but she's all about it. My oldest daughter Alex on the other hand wants to be a writer and is hoping to work on the Sonic the Hedgehog properties.
I've almost resolved my drivers' license suspension, which had been ongoing for nearly a decade due to the child-support issues. And I'll have a car soon, which is important, since there's still no public transportation in Arlington yet. How they thought it was a good idea to build a new football stadium for the Cowboys in an area without public transit, I'm not sure. I think the city might be in for a rude awakening once they start playing. ;)
And I've found a lot of great books that have really helped me to learn how to help myself. Some of it is about autism specifically, but a lot of it has really just been learning new ways of thinking and dealing with challenges. One book I can't recommend enough is Carol Dweck's Mindset: the new psychology of success. This book has really challenged me and helped me to understand my own role in the job challenges I've had. You can read more about how it relates to the software industry specifically on my technical blog. I also finally got around to reading Malcolm Gladwell's Blink and although I wasn't expecting to find information about autism there, I think I may have stumbled across the single most important piece of information I could find on the subject. He mentions a researcher by the name of Paul Ekman who's spent many years studying facial expressions. This is fantastic! One of the biggest challenges faced by people with Asperger Syndrome is the fact that the fusiform gyrus (the part of the brain that reads facial expressions) is underdeveloped and so we don't have the instinct to look at or read facial expressions. So my next step is to start reading his books and learning how to understand them: Unmasking the Face and Emotions Revealed. If you'd like to help me out, I'd be flattered if you picked one of these or one of the other books about body language off of my Amazon wish list, however, I'd be equally happy to hear that you bought one of these books for someone else you know who has Asperger Syndrome or who has a family member with autism. :)
I also recommend for anyone, but especially for people with Asperger Syndrome, reading Martin Seligman's book Learned Optimism and Richard Wiseman's book the Luck Factor (preferably in this order after first reading Mindset).
In the next couple months I plan to start a local chapter of the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP) and I'm spearheading this new project to get people on the spectrum employed. The company is named Autelligent Laboratories and we're using the world's biggest and best laboratory, the internet, to get pepole involved. And we've had a great initial push with an interview on change.org. Tell your friends, announce it on Twitter, post it to your blog and update the wiki.
And most of all, have a great day! :)
Bad business for the apartment complex... Sorry to hear about that...
I've always wished that the business owners better understood that their own actions with regard to how they treat their clients affects them in ways they don't realize. It's not just their reputation, because they probably chose that route in response to the economic crisis -- in other words, "when times are tough, make them worse". But not just for their tenants -- they're making things worse for themselves as well by doing that.
Everyone who shrinks from the challenge of the economic crisis, who responds to it with fear and "pulling back" as they have, are contributing rather directly to the crisis. They're committing to more crisis.
The crisis will end when we collectively choose to embrace the challenge with love and positive attitudes. Yes we can. :)
Hi Joyful. There's an organization here in Boston that does the kind of get togethers you've described for people living with autism, both children and adults. I can't really speak to what the children's events are like because I'm an adult living with Asperger Syndrome, however, if the events for adults are any indication, then I think they're probably a good thing to be a part of.
I can't recall having seen a "movie night" on their calendar and I would imagine they would likely shy away from that for the same reason that it's a passive activity. It's really a good bunch of folks running this group, the Aspergers Association of New England.
You might try contacting them to see what advice they have about getting funding for a similar organization in your area. My contact is Max Sederer, although I think he primarily helps manage the adult services. However if you contact him I'm sure he can put you in touch with the right people to help answer your questions. :)
Ha! Well I work with a different kind of ColdFusion. :)
But if you ever have any questions about internet stuff, websites, web programming, PHP, etc. I can either answer those questions or point you in a good direction if I don't know. :)
I just thought I might give you this link in case you hadn't seen it.
Most of the people using that site are other adults with forms of autism. So if you find yourself looking for more information about the condition it's a good resource. :)
Hi Phoenix! :)
I love the background on your page - is it one of your works?
Elaine of TSA recommended you as a graphic artist.
I've been looking for a graphic designer to help with this comic strip project I've been working on: http://www.woohooligan.com
I illustrate and I can do some design, but it's not my forte. My skills are mostly technical and the comic project is something I'm working on to help deal with a disability I have. If you're interested in helping out I can offer to split the CafePress commissions with you. I wanted to make sure you understood up front that I've had the store for over a year and although I have made some sales, it's not paying for itself yet (it costs $7/mo to maintain, so it's not bad in terms of expense). So there's no guarantee that you would see any income from it immediately. However if you enjoy the cartoons and have some spare time to help out, I think having a better design on the site would go a long way toward improving sales and I'd love to help you out as well. :)
Either way, you're obviously a go-getter, you're on the right track and I'm wishing you the best of luck! :)
Hi Niki. :)
I can relate to a lot of the things you've shared. I hope you're doing a little better now than you were a few weeks ago. I'm also not good at synopsis, I never have been. I also can't get the hang of "skimming" when I read. I used to just chalk those up as anonymous "quirks" along with a whole host of other things. I've discovered recently that they're likely brought on by my having Asperger Syndrome (which I'm sure you've heard about since your son is PDD-NOS).
My mother took me around to all kinds of doctors when I was very little, trying to figure out what was wrong with me. One would tell her I was just "a quiet baby" and she should be happy. One when I was a bit older told her I had zero grasp of the difference between fantasy and reality and needed to be institutionalized for my own good. Thankfully she trusted her gut and not that particular doctor. Autism was virtually unknown when I was a child. At the time I was showing her that, although arms can be useful at times, you should never understimate your face as a form of locomotion. I would crawl across the floor on my face, pushing with my legs but not using my arms at all. :P And so because the condition was unknown, I've only been diagnosed with it last year at the age of 33.
Part of the problem of course is that there is no cure - there are only coping techniques. Your son is lucky that you've discovered his condition early and that you can begin to teach him coping techniques in a constructive way. I had to learn all my coping skills through trial and error, which is a very painful way for an autistic child to learn social skills. And although I've made some strides, I've not yet learned enough social skills to stay employed, in spite of being one of the most advanced practitioners in my trade (computer programming). Those kinds of challenges also result in a lot of depression in people with autism spectrum disorders. I've been working toward applying for disability but as you know it's a long process. In the interrim I've also started working on some other projects like woohooligan.com to hopefully help me bridge the gap.
And I can also say that I can related to some of your migraine issues. I have had painful migraines in the past, although in my case most of my migraines are non-painful "approximations" which cause blurred vision. I will say that genetics being what they are, I wouldn't be surprised if you find yourself having some similarities to your son's challenges. Many of them may seem innoccuous or even trivial like in my case being challenged to summarize things. I can occasionally produce a decent synopsis of something, but generally speaking if I do it's because I've thought *LONG* and *HARD* about how to do just that. I've written magazine articles for trade papers in my industry and I can tell you, although I write a lot (because I've forced myself to develop a habit of blogging), no matter how much I've written, writing is still a real challenge for me.
Although I'd like to say that I can offer some constructive advice, at the moment what I have is love and compassion. :) And whatever support I can offer. If you find yourself with questions about autism I can give you my thoughts as a person who's lived with undiagnosed autism for many years. It may not be the most practical information but I found when I started researching autism that talking to others with the condition was comforting. And honestly that in itself is a wonderful thing. Speaking of which if you find yourself looking for some reading material, you may enjoy this first chapter of a book I've been working on. :)
Good luck! I'm looking forward to some good news in your future. :)
I'm new to aidpage and finding it a little challenging to read and contribute. The controls seem pretty confusing...
But anyway I'm going to try and make this work. :)
I'm certainly very interested in marketing. I know that there are a lot of folks making really good money selling t-shirts and the like on CafePress. I've had a pro store there now for well over two years and can't seem to get it to a point where it pays for itself. I get a handful of sales per year and they don't cover the cost of the store.
I have created a separate site to help me better market my CafePress items at woohooligan.com where I've set up an affiliate system. I've done several rounds of attempts at search engine optimization although it doesn't seem to have generated any noticeable traffic.
The only thing I've found personally that's helped with the marketing yet has been advertising on Deviant Art, but unfortunately they don't allow me to link the ad directly to my store. So there's no telling if the people clicking the ad will notice the link to my site where I have the affiliate system. And although I know from their reports that the ads get me a few thousand views each time I buy one, they don't seem to result in any conversions.
I'd love to do some kind of barter deal with someone who knows how to do the marketing and/or a graphic designer to spruce up the site. I have mad technical / programming skills to trade.
I'm struggling with the same issue of a lack of resources for adults with autism. I also have an account on http://www.wrongplanet.net and have posted for help there a few times with very little response. There are an increasing number of resources for adults - in other countries - not here in the US. I really want to help change that with the funds from my own business (which is still in question and the reason I found my way here).
I started writing a book several months ago (last year?) titled the Optimist's Wager. It has some information in it about how to "play the odds" as it were in life -- one of the key volumes of research was a book titled the Luck Factor by an English scientist named Richard Wiseman. The good news is that being optimistic and holding out does pay off - the bad news is that all the habits that contribute to good luck are things that are very difficult for people with autism like you and I. But you're obviously already doing some of those things just by being on aidpage and being active, maybe even most of those things.
If you're interested I can make a prerelease copy of the Optimist's Wager available for you to read. But I don't want to push it on you. :)
Good Luck! I hope you find some good leads soon!
I'm working to create meaningful jobs for people with Autism. I'm seeking help with this goal in the form of angel investors, marketing and sales (software industry). If you're interested in finding out more about what I'm doing, you can get a good idea from the Programming Hope documentary KickStarter project here: https://www.kickstarter.c...
I've spent much of my adult life as a software engineer being exceptionally talented at my job and yet having a great deal of difficulty keeping jobs. In 2007 I received an official diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome.
Despite not having a degree, I've not let these obstacles stop me. I'm twice certified "advanced" for ColdFusion. I'm published in trade journals. I was a member of two invitation only expert programs, the Team Macromedia program and the Adobe Community Experts. And despite my social anxiety, I've given presentations at two conferences and a number of user-groups.