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post #11 of 24 Old 08-03-2012, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! And it's ok, aldebono, your question doesn't offend me at all. I have learned to read human body language and signs, but it didn't come naturally, and I still struggle with understanding facial expressions. I will often mimic it automatically, though, if I'm especially comfortable around someone. Might seem weird, but the sense of smell tells me much more about how somebody feels, however, it may also become confusing if a person is trying to hide something and uses body language that contradicts the emotions I smell. For example, it is frustrating to be around people who act as if everything is perfectly ok, but in fact they are angry or sad.

Makes me wonder - it might be close to how animals perceive us and the reason why they sometimes "act up", actually just reflecting the emotions people try to suppress. Peace and trust come from being completely truthful to yourself and others...

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #12 of 24 Old 08-03-2012, 01:04 PM
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My son has AS. We knew something was "different" about him from the age of about 3. We had a very rocky road as parents of this boy, who was also a very angry boy. To say that AS people don't have feelings is simply not true. I have seen my son with tears in his eyes many times, and I know that he has deep feelings of affection, which he has even expressed to me at times (which makes me almost fall to the floor with joy). But, I know that he is VERY sensitive emotionally. And, I think that this is probably typical of many AS people.

When he was growing up the big thing was ADD and ADHD and everyone said that was his problem. But, it just didnt' expain things. So, more testing and eventually, it was suggested that he was Austistic Spectrum disordered.
We reluctantly chose to used medication for him because anxiety was so incapacitating to him that he was stuck in perceveration often. The medication, Prozac, as for Obsessive Compulsive disorder and for depression, and it has helped him tremendously. He has also received intensive personal pyschotherapy for almost his entire life, which cost us the equivilant of buying another house. This is why I have never been able to afford to own my own horse.

He now , at 22, still uses medication, but does not require it. He actually forgets so much that it really isn't in his blood stream enough to make a difference, so in effect, he is functioning off meds. He does, however, live "better" on medication. He is happier and more social and takes better care of himself. But, it is his choice becuase there are always side effects.

It was not until he was 18 or so that we really opennly talked about him about being AS. Up til then, we had just taken him to the therapist and he had not really questioned much "why" he was there. She felt "labels" would not help him, and since he is MORE than just a person with AS, she wanted to work with him as "him" , not an AS person.

But as he got older, I felt that he could like that fact that he is different. And , we started to talk about it in a very matter of fact way. Now, he is at university and I so, so wish there was a group for AS adults there. It would be such a relief for him to be able to just relax with other AS adults , but strangely , there is not such group. There are often groups for kids, but none for adults. I find this odd.

Anyway, enough of my/his story. As for you, since you need to operate "undercover" , so to speak, can you at least find books that other AS persons have written about their experience? Can you plug into some online groups of AS people?

I know this will not help you with dealing with NT people (neuro-typical ), such as the person you mentioned, but at least you will be able to feel "normal" amoungst the others who perceive the world as you do. Everyone should have a place to belong.

Have you read "Born on a Blue Day" ? check that out.

Aspergers people are part of the total human spectrum, and really not nearly as different as they are told they are. Still have the same red blood in there, and the same heart that is full of feeling.
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post #13 of 24 Old 08-03-2012, 01:12 PM
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That is truly amazing Sandra, thank you so much for sharing that!

I have no doubt that you will be able to connect with your friend in a letter. You definitely come across as a very kind, good-hearted person that connects easily with others. I am sure your friend will understand.

That makes me wonder what things animals can pick up from us as well.

Did you ever read about the trainer who taught a horse how to use horse language? The horse,who was blind from the time of birth, had surgery to correct his vision. The trainer had to teach the horse how to "talk". Off topic, sorry but great read for any horse lover! Hopefully someone will fill in the details on the trainers name.
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post #14 of 24 Old 08-03-2012, 01:13 PM
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Saranda - As information, my nephew has Aspergers; he`s around six years old now and has been making social interaction improvements thanks to therapy, etc.
It's been my experience that as you progress through life you will find that interaction with people is frequently a source of disappointment and angst so know that you are not alone in that regard. I think you're getting a plan in place to deal with your current situation. So all I can add is that since the written word comes more easily to you use this to your advantage -- consider developing your writing skills, become a writer and tell your stories for all to hear. Take care.

Last edited by Chevaux; 08-03-2012 at 01:20 PM.
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post #15 of 24 Old 08-03-2012, 01:20 PM
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Let me draw off of a little personal experience.

I suspect DD20 has AS. She knows I suspect this. She is somewhat reluctant to accept it or persue it although she agrees she has many AS tendencies.

She is brilliant. Book smarts. Unbelievable memory and knowledge. Very artsy and talented.

Struggles tremendously with eye to eye conversation, and social situations. She does not have a job because I suspect she doesn't interview well. She is returning to college in the fall after dropping out over a year ago.

She has wonderful online friends, as she is very articulate, and enjoyable to communicate with online.

She met her bf online. He is as adorable as she is. They accept each other as they are and for the first time EVER I see her completely comfortable with someone .. it's amazing.

As much as possible, I understand what you are struggling with. I've watched DD20 struggle with it for some years. You just view the world a little differently. It's hard for people to understand that if they don't know what you are dealing with .. but I don't pretend to understand your social situation and don't want to advise you to do something that might be more detrimental to you. It does seem like your closest friends would benefit by knowing that you can't help these things.

Hang in there, honey. We all have our issues. Yours just has a name..


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post #16 of 24 Old 08-03-2012, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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You are all so encouraging - I am truly touched.

tinylily, thank you for sharing your experience. I have never used any medication, but maybe it would have been easier at times if I had. But psychiatrists are somebody to fear here, although I find it very sad it is so. Those therapists who are said to be really good, not state provided, are very, very expensive and nearly impossible to afford. And adults are expected to be able to cope by themselves anyway, until they burn out and become a burden to the society. Something we have to keep in mind here. I don't want to sound too grim, though, it is usually ok to deal with, except for when a meltdown comes, like when I felt the need to make this thread.

Books are a very neat idea. I have read some by Temple Grandin, and I have browsed AS and Autism support forums online, but I'm interested to find and read more books. Might be really enlightening and comforting.

aldebono, no, I haven't heard about this trainer, but it would be exciting to know some more details. I hope somebody will be able to contribute about this story! :)

Thank you, Chevaux. No matter how different we all might be, we are all people, as tinylily said, with the same blood, same hearts, same love. And conversations like this prove it fully, when people from all around the world can talk and share their experiences and emotions as friends. Just because it comes naturally for all human beings, if differences are put aside and only the truly important things are taken into consideration. As for writing - it is something I already do, I like putting my feelings in poetry and it has been acknowledged to be pretty good among our professionals - they say that I use characters and associations completely out of the box. They just don't know the price I've paid for it, lol.

texasgal, you know, in fairy tales - knowing a devils' name was half of the process of defeating it. It is good to understand what's going on, and I am happy that the life of your DD20 has been going up!

You are all amazing, people, and people together can be so strong: you've helped me to cope with and overcome a meltdown in a matter of one day, something I have to deal with over a week if I stay alone. I'm very happy to be here.

And, as music is something through which I can express myself better than through just words, I thought I'd share a song that is very dear to me, almost a hymn of how it is to be behind the wall:

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I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #17 of 24 Old 08-03-2012, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Saranda, Asperger's is a known condition, and I don't understand why you feel it would be a stigma to let people know you have it. Once people know, they'll take that into consideration when dealing with you.....
SR- Unfortunately this is not always the case. It depends on where one lives. My son also has AS and the battles I have had to deal with in the school district have been absurd as well as the general sigma where we currently live.

My son was clinically diagnosed and has been in therapy (mostly sensory and OT) from a young age, however many school officials and personnel continue to add to the problems for spectrum kids to the point where children have to be removed from a particular school.

The principal at my son's last school refused to implement his IEP (Individual Education Plan) as written, which is a huge no-no, and told teachers and staff I had Munchausen by Proxy and my child just need spanking on a regular basis.
(My child really is the sweetest little boy who rarely does anything wrong and anyone who knows him will vouge for that.)
It was the kind of stuff you read about or see on 20/20 and the effect on my child was damaging.

I boldly (and loudly) came forward in the school district (as well as threatened a personal slander suite to spur action) and she was investigated and found to have treated many special needs children the same way. It was also found that while some of the teachers at that school didnít agree with her or like what was happening, they feared for their jobs so they kept their mouths shut. Other teachers agreed with how she treated or instructed them to treat the kids and saw nothing wrong with her actions.

She was reprimanded and dealt with and my son was moved to another school where it is much better, but I still hesitate to divulge the information about him and have really only told a very few close family friends. And of course now all of you guys.

Saranda- it takes courage to navigate the world in which you function because many many people canít understand anything beyond how they comprehend things in their own world.
As a parent I have tried very hard to educate myself and to look at things through my sonís eyes so that I may support him as best as I can. Iím sorry you didnít have that growing up, but it seems that you have adjusted well and are quite capable.

I think if your friend is a good friend and you are comfortable writing and explaining yourself and AS to her then it may help tremendously. So far, with the few people I have been able to explain AS and my son to, it has indeed helped them and him function together better.
But again, I judge the quality and depth of the relationship first before explaining.
I hope your friend really takes in the information you give her and that it makes your relationship better.
There are some people who really do want to know and understand.
While they are not always easy to find, when you do find them they are gems.
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post #18 of 24 Old 08-03-2012, 03:24 PM
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I wish I could have understood what the song said. How is it that you speak/write suc perfect English and you are from Latvia? I speak some Spanish, French and Japanese, but none of those anywhere near as well as you obviously do English. Do you , by chance, have a natural affinity for learning languages? This is the case in my son. He can pick up languages like breathing the air. His college major is linguistics. I don't know how he will ever be able to support himself with this education (and his AS making him so much a loner) but he'll manage, somehow.

Also, this is a tiny matter, but my avatar name is "Tinyliny" not Lily. the "liny" comes from my name: Caroline.
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post #19 of 24 Old 08-03-2012, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, tinyliny, I must have misread your nickname previously and just stuck to what I thought it was spelled.

I've been learning English since I was three, graduated an "English" highschool and my major is in English philology. I work in an unrelated profession, but I sometimes translate books, stories and novels just for my own pleasure. And, in fact, it really is so, languages come very easily to me. I learned Russian and basic German just by watching some cartoons as a child, and I also enjoy hearing, reading and learning foreign languages.

Lockwood, you are a wonderful guardian for your son. Stay strong! He will surely learn strength and courage from you, and it will help him to get further in life. Support and encouragement is VERY important to practice social skills, as I have experienced.

I have a friend who has helped me greatly. She knows about my condition and has worked hard to understand me as deeply as possible, even reading books about AS and doing researches. She admits that it is sometimes hard and sometimes she has to put large effort in reacting correctly to my actions that are off the charts, but it is worth the effort as she sees how I manage to evolve my social skills with her help and support.
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I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/

Last edited by Saranda; 08-03-2012 at 04:15 PM.
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post #20 of 24 Old 08-03-2012, 09:03 PM
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Saranda, I don't know what to say except that I wish you all the very best from the bottom of my heart. You seem like a very nice, genuine person and you deserve understanding from others close to you. I hope all works out for you. Best Wishes.

I whisper to my horse, but he never listens!
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
- Confucious
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