Wednesday, November 28, 2007
He led the Asia Society for a decade and mingled in the circles of George H. W. Bush, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates, just to name a few. He kept his multiple personalities a secret for many years. One of them that had been hidden away for most of his life was "Bobby". Bobby is the manifestation of Oxnam's creative drive. When they "let him out" he took up inline skating. They called him Bottle Man or Bottle Boy.
I guess this is Bobby.
Monday, November 26, 2007
This is a pretty cheap camera, so the sound quality isn't great. I've downloaded something called Audacity that's supposed to prettify it a bit, but I'm not quite sure how to use it.
"Mama? You know what's the saddest thing in the whole world? Losing those that you love." Then he started doing that thing where your chin quivers and you're trying not to cry. "I miss Max and Petey."
"Me too." I said. "I guess you're kind of having a delayed reaction, aren't you."
"Yeah. That music makes me sad."
"Well, I'll go turn it off."
When I went down to turn it off, I looked at the title of the CD. Of course I had forgotten, but it's title is Remembrance. I wonder.
Josie's story begins with a souvenir shop. All manner of helmets, swords, and armor are sold there. The shop is the first place you come to when you walk into our scene.
Notice the "parking lot" where the people have left their horses to graze while they wait in line behind the chain for the show.
Many years ago, the king captured a dragon who was burning down the forest. He tamed her and named her Sophie. He entertains his people by putting on plays with the dragon. The king hires live actors and undead actors to perform.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The Hemi Sync information that got my attention at first was the group studies done at the Monroe Institute on the effects of auditory signals on altered consciousness. Unfortunately those CDs don't seem as readily available, although my yoga friend might have one. You must be pretty relaxed to do those auditory experiments. I don't know deep breathing, or focused meditation. I do know heavy drinking though.
Maybe after a few glasses of Ravenswood I would be able to achieve an altered state of consciousness. I just might not be aware of it. That could be a problem. I could probably do that without the CD's.
For my ADHD friends: this particular set of CDs is geared towards people on the autistic spectrum and those with ADHD.
(Ravenswood is geared towards alcoholics.)
Someone on one of my Yahoo groups is giving away puppies. They are golden retriever/Australian shepherd mixes. This one is the most beautiful to me. I can feel myself touching noses with her and staring into those beautiful cornflower blue eyes. She would make that little chuffing noise that baby doggies make and then I would smell that distinctive puppy breath. At that point I would turn into a crazy drooling idiot.
(smashing is a good thing in my home)
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
One interesting thing this Nelle Frances points out is that anxiety in AS people is cyclic. You could go months with only minor upsets and feel like things are getting better and then boom, here come the meltdowns etc. again. She also states that anxiety problems seem to be affected by the lunar cycle. Days of the full moon are troublesome for AS kids. We'll be celebrating Thanksgiving on a big moon day.
Did I tell you that holidays can be a problem too?
Asperger’s Syndrome and Anxiety
Children with Asperger’s Syndrome are known to be more naturally ‘anxious’ than their non- ASD peers. The challenges presented by the 5 characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome (social impairment, communication impairment, sensory sensitivity, repetitive behaviours and difficulty with change) potentially make their world a confusing and frightening reality. Add anxiety to the mix and you may have a child who is anxious and worried 100% of the time. Anxiety and stress over sustained periods of time is shown to lead to exhaustion, the development of allergies and illness.
Children with Asperger’s Syndrome demonstrate their anxiety through a variety/combination of behaviours:-
• Physical symptoms (stomach pains; headache; racing heart; sweaty palms; constricted chest; tight muscles; insomnia)
• Avoidance desire
• Inattention and
Anxiety in children with Asperger’s Syndrome can be triggered unconsciously; when this is coupled with their inability to verbalise effectively it compounds the effects of anxiety – the Asperger child can be extremely anxious, and unable to tell you why (they may not know themselves). They may be able to tell you they have a stomach ache, or don’t wish to go to Joey ’s birthday party, but not know why.
Children with Asperger’s Syndrome are known to have ‘perfectionist’ attitudes towards many areas of their lives, and this can be witnessed through their ‘obsessive/compulsive’ behaviours, their repetitive patterns of behaviour and their difficulty coping with change. This self-imposed ‘perfectionist’ attitude can contribute to their anxiety and ‘pressure to perform’. In other words, children with Asperger’s Syndrome usually place extreme/unrealistic demands on themselves. It’s important to remember this when dealing with an anxious ASD child.
Some useful techniques for supporting an anxious Asperger Syndrome child include:
• Physical energy ‘burn’ (physical activity such as running, bike riding, jumping on a trampoline, swimming etc)
• ‘Whole-body’ activities (tug-of-war; monkey-bar; rolling on floor/ground)
• Body brushing/massage
• Deep pressure activity (lying under a heavy blanket/cushions/mattress)
• Chewing/sucking (relieves pressure in the jaw)
• Listening (hearing what the Asperger child can tell you)
Anxiety levels in children with Asperger’s Syndrome are ‘cyclic’ in nature, making it more difficult for parents/teachers/carers to identify anxiety triggers. Cycles vary from 4-6 weeks (often linking with lunar cycles). What causes the ASD child mild anxiety one week, may cause extreme anxiety ( and/or avoidance desire) the next.
When our Asperger son was 9 he progressed from a child who was slightly more anxious than his peers, to a child who was extremely anxious, paranoid and agitated in the space of 6 months. Various methods of dealing with anxiety were introduced by the many therapists/professionals treating our son, much of them with conflicting advice. All of them failed to acknowledge the physical symptoms our Asperger son experienced, tending to present the attitude that the anxiety was “self-imposed”, and “if he’s not going to speak about what’s causing the anxiety, then we can’t help him dispel the physical symptoms of that anxiety”.
Our son with Asperger’s Syndrome is now nearly 16, and in the last year has begun to verbalise much more about his experience of that time. He tells us he was very frightened by his physical symptoms, and most of the time he didn’t know what it was about a situation or event that was causing him anxiety, he just knew that the thought of participating sent him into panic. The ‘fight or flight’ response occured almost immediately (before he’d had a chance to process the feeling of panic) and he felt he had no control over his world.
He also says we should’ve listened to him more. For example, if he said didn’t want to go to Joey ’s birthday party, we should’ve understood that he:-
a) knew birthday parties were fun
b) liked eating party food
c) liked singing Happy Birthday
d) knew all the other kids were going
e) wanted to be like all the other kids
We should’ve understood that if there was any way he could’ve coped with the party, he would go. At that point he’d already tried 100 things in his head to talk himself into going. In saying he didn’t want to go, his real message to us was “I can’t cope with that today”.
As you support your child with Asperger’s Syndrome to cope with their anxiety be mindful of ‘hearing’ them – not all avoidance desire is ‘manipulative’ behaviour.
Yes, children with Asperger’s Syndrome can be manipulative, but their desire to not be ‘different’ together with their ‘perfectionist’ attitudes is a strong, internal force that drives them to be all they can be.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
If your name is Monica or Barbara he may not be able to call you by name, but he can call you Lady, and that's nice too I guess, sure beats Sugar Britches.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
(This is one of my very favwits! I even cwied on the part where the bunny wabbit dies beneath the weeping wose.)
Bugs Bunny is a very special classification of rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus transvetitus), rarely seen these days. In the past they could often be spotted on Saturday mornings, as children sat in front of glowing television sets with actual dials on them, getting exposed in an entertaining and amusing way to opera and classical music.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
It would be very nice to be able to use a robot to teach your child how to interact outside of a social setting. When Josie was younger and having a lot more trouble with aggression and empathy, I sure hated the idea of using other people's children to teach her how to interact. The only problem with the robot is that it has no facial expressions. That would make him extra scary to me, but probably more helpful to the autistic community.
Josie has come a long way in this area, especially towards younger children. She has a good instinct about them, and takes very good care and is protective of little ones. They like her too. She doesn't talk down to them. She tried to teach a three year old how to play chess the other night. She didn't expect Lola to know how to play, and just rolled with whatever Lola wanted to do.
Older kids are harder to read. They may be smiling at you when they are bullying you and she thinks they are being nice. Or they won't tell you when they are angry. She can't read that either. Toddlers cry when they are sad, laugh when they are happy, throw a tantrum when they are angry. Josie gets that and has a great amount of confidence with babies and small kids.
Older kids often can't pick out what is not normal about Josie. She works very hard to entertain others, and usually just comes off as a very silly girl. But they do think there's something a bit "off" there. Little ones just take her as she is. Many homeschooled kids are better at taking her at face value too. But as she gets older, that kind of acceptance by her peers happens less and less.
It's appropriate that this robot is a toddler, how do you program a robot to be sarcastic? How do you program a robot to lie to your face? What does a lying face look like? How do we know when someone is doing that?
I'm a neurotypical person, but I can't readily explain how I know the hidden language. It comes naturally to me. That's what makes me neurotypical. Teaching this hidden social curriculum the difficulty in raising a child with Asperger's syndrome. It's like teaching someone how to build a strong house with popsicle sticks and paperclips. You need to become a totally new kind of draftsman to find out how to make it happen with what you've been given.
I wonder how many neurotypical people who understand the hidden language are out there programming robots? These engineering fields seem to be highly populated with aspies. But perhaps it takes a more scientific knowledge of human behavior to program a robot to emulate a human personality, precisely the kind of textbook style knowledge people with asperger's syndrome need to use daily in dealing with social situations.
Friday, November 02, 2007
They have already picked out their names: Poppy, and Lucky Sue. She's lucky because she's a feeder mouse who has been saved from being a snake's lunch.
Here's an interesting little article I read today about super mice. Oh no, they're not interested in using this technology in humans;) I imagine the military will get their hands on this one. Perhaps even the NFL.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Well, not really, but it sounds so Khmer Rouge.
With no guile at all the university has laid out a brutally specific program for "treatment" of incorrect attitudes of the 7,000 students in its residence halls.
The training makes clear that white people are to be considered racists - at least those who have not yet undergone training and confessed their racism. The RAs have been taught that a "racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture, or sexuality."
Students are required to attend training sessions, floor meetings and one-on-one sessions where RAs ask personal questions such as "When did you discover your sexual identity?". Students are pressured or required to accept an array of the university's approved views. In one training session, students had to announce their opinions on gay marriage. Those who did not approve of gay marriage were isolated and heavily pressured to change their opinion.
In this curricular approach, students are required to report their thoughts and opinions. One professor says: "You have to confess what you believe to the RA." The RAs write reports to their superiors on student progress in cooperating with the "treatment."
You can read the whole thing here.
Via a link from Instapundit.
First of all, let me say that I thought we had a good time. I especially enjoyed our conversation about the 70's R&B sound and how it should come back. I know I probably shouldn't have said what I said about rap. I was what propelled you to fame after all. But you were never gangsta, so I figured you knew what I meant.
I never expected things to end up in the bedroom. I do believe it was me who was showing you the door, when suddenly a good night kiss turned into something else.
But when my entire family came home and decided to walk through the room one by one, how can you blame me for that? They weren't even my family, just supporting actors. I did feel like I needed to go to the living room and let them know to mind their own business.
Then you came out and stood in the kitchen with your back turned to us and those ear muffs on and you were all of the sudden weary and dismissive. You turned to me with that endearing Will Smith smile and cut me to the bone. That thing you said about me being a flatterer, and about the hibachi you made and how nobody loves every single bite. First of all, I'm not a flatterer, and I think fame is sort of a mass hysterical people worship. Second of all, I don't really like hibachi all that much. Thirdly, you didn't even make me hibachi! What the hell are you talking about?
Things just got strange when you left. Standing there in the living room with Mimi Rogers, Peter McNichol, and Steve my old college roommate looking at the door, then looking at me. Then Oliver from the Brady Bunch reminded me that you still had my hearing protection on. I'll need those for Ladies Night at Coal Creek next Tuesday.
Anyway, I'm sorry it all ended up the way it did, but c'est la vie, I guess. Oh, and I'm married. You are too.
P. S. I would like to know the name of that musician you were talking about earlier in the evening. I wrote it down, but somewhere between then and waking up I lost the piece of paper. So if you could do me the kindness of letting me know tonight, that would be great. It would save me a whole day of surfing Itunes. If you're still throwing a tantrum, well nevermind.