A lovely aspie

Kami sits in front of a fair of his toys arranged in a line and stares at them silently. It has been about 30 minutes…

Kami’s parents know that gazing at toys this way is not a typical of a 8-year old son’ activity. It is a common behavior of autistic children.

“Let’s go to the supermarket,” Kami’s mom says. Kami hurries to the door… confused with people there, he is in sensory overload. The supermarket is noisy with customers waiting for account.

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Kami looks like impatient. In fact, sensivity to noise has been always inseparable from his character. Vibrant colors and overwhelming choice can be confusing for adults, imagine how those flashy items must be for him! Such a place is intolerable for him. It can be translated into a screaming, pinching himself or others, running away toward exits, or knocking over displays.

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Shopping baskets has been abondoned filled with groceries…she apologized for half-eaten candy bars and they left there as soon as posible. All efforts for a successful trip to the supermarket remained incomplete. Waiting in lines, going to the malls, eating in resturants, even going shopping in groceries are not a part of her rutine.


At home, Kami engages in his homework. Textbook asks this question: Which of these seems rough? Flower, sement, paper? Kami touch the book to indicate the answer. Non of them is rough, so he leaves the answer blank.

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Like most autistic children, Kami just notices to literal meaning of a sentense.


Kami’s family goes to visit Grandpa and Grandma. Kami, now 8, rings the doorbell, open the door, and walk in.

” Hi, Kami!” says Grandma. Without any reaction, he goes to the living room and turn on the TV. ” Did you enjoy the shopping?” Grandpa asks. No answer… his grandparents know he is sometimes unaware of environment and prefer to be alone. But the fact is that he doesn’t know how to behave appropriately in social situations. Turn taking seems a puzzle for him and mutual conversations tend to be confusing.

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8-year-old Kami is playing footbal. When the ball reaches to him, he hit the ball into the outfield. He continues playing …everyone gets angry. “Hey! What are you doing?” A player shouted angrily…

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Apart from all difficulties he has, his parents know playing in a team gives him a chance to be a part of a community and collaborate with others.


Kami is doing math homework. He writes fast, and in less than five minutes he has solved 25 multiplication problems correctly!

Kami is very briliant, but not academically good. His listening and spelling skills are poor.

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Homework has been always a battle between most parents and their childrens, but Kami’s trouble is different.

Painting has become his preferred free time choice, and a connection to imagination and creativity. Actually, he has found his voice through painting. His exceptional focus and attention to details have helped him create incredibly beautiful paintings. Then, his parents do not often use the force to doing homework, and allow him to have a long period of time in painting.

It’s bedtime. Kami is so tired…He brushes his teeth and climb into bed.

Now, Kami is asleep. Finally, his handsome face and sturdy body relax, and his mother engages in thinking of what kind of day her child would have tomorrow…

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My son’s collection of paintings

Painting has been my son’s hobby for ages. It has been his full-time job, actually. In fact, when an autistic child draws somthing, you can access his world this way. I have gatheted all his works from the begining, although you see here some of them between the age of 6 and 7.

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Soldiers

Although painting is done soley for the enjoyment, but it is a window to his world.

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Aquarium

Painting attracts so many people today of all ages. I think most people like the idea of painting somthing of beauty and feeling good about being able to say they painted it.

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Anger

My son regularely engages in this job, because of his interest in it. Painting is everything for him.

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Seaside

A hobby like painting may at times be a hidden passion of a child. It is a part of his life at an extremely deep vision.

 

It was difficult to access his works. He often hides them in a closet carefully, and nobody is allowed to see them!

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Fishing

I think his style of drawing things is amazing!

He takes a pencil and draws a picture as fast as possible! He creates the first thing that comes to his mind…You know he is not so patient, but careful about detail.

 

 

 

ADHD, Autism or both?

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When a child above the age of 6 cannot focus on a task, parents may immadiately diagnose the child with ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Difficulties with sitting and doing homework may be easily confused with ADHD. Both disorders share many common symptoms. In other words, Autism spectrum disorder and ADHD are related in several ways. Children with ADHD which is common childhood behavioral disorder may have other deficits like repetative behavior, social problems and language delay. In this case, it is important distinguishing symptoms of ADHD and Autism distinctively. Sometimes, these overlaping symptoms can cause a kid to be incorrectly diagnosed with one condition rather than the other.

 

Diagnosis of ADHD or Autism or both is not easy, specially at the earliest ages.

 

The brains of high functioning autistic individuals is fundamentaly different with those of others. Todays, brain imaging technology has helped neurologists analyze brain structure of autistic children and compare them to those of ADHDs.

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Behavioral symptoms of ADHD

There are three groups of symptoms; inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.


Hyperactivity:

  • always being “on the go”
  • feeling bored quickly with tasks
  • neglectimg others in conversations
  • talking nonstop
  • blurting out
  • interrupting others
  • Having trouble playing quietly

Inattention:

  • being distracted easily
  • Having a dard time paying attention to a task
  • being forgetful
  • being disorganized
  • lack of focus

 

Impulsivity:

  • being impatient
  • having hard time with waiting to react

Symptoms of Autism spectrum disorder:

  • language delay
  • impaired social interaction
  • lack of eye contact
  • repetative behavior
  • flapping hands
  • strange interests and habits
  • lack of flexibility
  • being unaware of danger
  • lack of emotional reactions
  • flipping objects around
  • having trouble with switching from one activity to another
  • unresponsive to his name
  • lack of sympathy

 

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Studies show that two-thirds of kids with ADHD have at least one co-existing condition, and Autism spectrum disorder is the most common disorder in this case. Latest investigations have indicated that up two half of kids with ADHD also have Autism.

However, the important thing is that occuring both ADHD and Autism together worsen quality of life for children. This is the task of parents to cope with these tough situations patiently. You know it is so scary the word “Autism”, and diagnosis of the disorder can be terrible, and deeply devastate parents.

 

Gifted people with Asperger syndrome

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In spite of a lot of problems with AS, Aspies are excellent in some ways. Here, there are aspects of Asperger Syndrome that can be considered great advantages.

     Focus
The ability to focus on one goal over long periods of time without becoming distracted allows them to accomplish challenging tasks.
     Independent thinking
Independent thinkers strengthen a team they work in, because they understand that different backgrounds and perspectives bring different ideas and solutions. They are willing to share ideas that differ from those of the rest of others. Aspies’ willingness to think of unusual possibilities creates new options and opportunities and paves the way for others.photo_2016-07-21_11-23-49

     Intrinsic motivation
Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards. In other words, the motivation to engage in a behavior arises from within the individual because it is intrinsically rewarding. Aspies’ independent thinking and loneliness equips them with internal motivation.

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   Great memory for detail
Their ability to memorize details without getting lost gives them a significant advantage in solving complex problems.

     3-Dimensional thinking
3-D thinking refers to the ability to think outside the box. Einstein was a multi-dimensional thinker. He could see and feel the elements of science in a unique perspective. This brilliant man was kicked out of German schools because of his unusual learning style, but later made the greatest advancements in science. At this point, Aspies’ ability in 3-dimentional thinking helps them create solutions.

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   Logical decision making
Aspies’ ability to make logical and rational decisions and stick to their course of action without being distracted by impulse or emotional reactions allows them to navigate successfully through difficult situations.

 


Source

The Eight Asperger Advantages

Famous people with Asperger syndrome

 

Norm Ledgin in his best seller book, Diagnosing Jefferson, claimed that the genius of America’s third president was cause of Asperger Syndrome.

Untitled1After this book, the author wrote Asperger’s and Self-Esteem: Insight and Hope through Famous Role Models, which claims that thirteen famous people of history in science, art, music, politics and other areas – Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, and Mozart among them-also had Asperger Syndrome. There are some pieces of evidence that Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Darwin, Galileo, Pablo Picasso, Benjamin Franklin, Margaret Mead and Aristotle had Asperger Syndrome.

 

Vernon Smith received the Nobel Prize in 2002 for inventing the field of experimental economics, which uses laboratory methods to test economic theories. Smith believes his ability for deep concentration helped him win the Nobel Prize.
“I don’t have any trouble thinking outside the box,” he said. “I don’t feel any social pressure to do things the way other people are doing them, professionally. And so I have been more open to different ways of looking at a lot of the problems in economics.”

Lovecky , PhD, Therapist and Psychologist notes how Aspies often have large vocabularies, recognize patterns others do not, and pursue ideas in spite of evidence to the contrary, because they are not easily distracted by others’ opinions. Their ability to focus on details leads them to come up with solutions to problems others overlook.

First blog post

I am a mother of an Autistic child (Asperger syndrome). I didn’t know anything about Autism. At first years, I had lots of problems with my son… everything was frustrating, until I distinguished symptoms of the disorder…and started studying about Autism specially Asperger syndrome. I consulted a neurologist and decided to change my behavior.

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I had a child with a special characteristics (I didn’t consider him as a disabled child, but different). Now, I know he has extra abilities like independent thinking, great memory for detail, internal motivation, 3-dimentional thinking and focus which can lead him to a bright future.

 

Symptoms of Autism

Zohre Esmaeeli, Aug 2, 2016

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Your child may have problems with:

1. speaking by 2 years old
2. joining with other children in playing games
3. enjoying sports
4. fitting in peer groups
5. interacting with other children
6. making eye contact
7. keeping a two-way conversation
8. reading at school
9. taking jokes
10. being polite in social situations
11. understanding rules for games
12. dressing him/herself
13. turn taking in conversations
14. engaging in imagination and role-play in games
Children with Autism may have unusual movements and repetitive behaviors. They repeat words and phrases over and over (echolalia) or do things again in the same way all the time.
Sometimes, children with ASD have unusual memory for detail. They are able to restore lots of things in memory. You may see an autistic child who has memorized a long list of capitals easily!
It is impossible diagnosing the disorder before 2 years old, but language delay can be the first symptom.

Source:

The Childhood Autism Spectrum Test or CAST designed by Simon Baron-Cohen

What is Asperger syndrome?

Zohre Esmaeeli, July 30, 2016

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The Asperger’s disorder is a neurobiological pervasive developmental disorder and a milder form of autism.
The word Autism comes from the Greek word “autos” meaning self, because of extreme aloneness in this disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a complicated disorder of brain development. It is characterized by major difficulties in communication, social interaction, verbal and non-verbal messaging and repetitive behaviors. But, physically, individuals with autism have a natural appearance the same as other people. “Surveys from a range of different countries have consistently reported that between 2 and 4 children in every 10000 develop autism, usually in the ratio of 3-4 boys to each girl.” (Baron-Cohen & Bolton, 1993, p.11). It is commonly believed that the source of ASD is unknown, but researchers guess it may originate from genetic resources or syndromes, serious infections such as rubella that hurts the brain, and exposure to toxic chemicals during pregnancy.

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Types of Autism:

• Autistic Disorder
• Asperger Syndrome
• Rett Syndrome
• Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
• Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

Asperger syndrome which is the focus of my study was first described by the Austrian psychiatrist Dr. Hans Asperger in 1944. The syndrome was named after him by a British psychiatrist and psychologist Dr. Lorna Wing who first used this term in 1981 in one of her papers. She described the Asperger’s syndrome the following way:

• Lack of empathy,
• Childish, not adequate relationship to the situation or one-sided relationship,
• Neat, the speech is characterized by repetitions
• Pour nonverbal communication
• Intense interests towards certain subjects,
• Clumsy, poorly coordinated movements, abnormal postures

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Clinicians tend to agree that AS is a complex disorder involving dysfunction in the domains of social, behavioral, emotional, cognitive, sensory, and motor skills. Children with Asperger’s syndrome characterized by antisocial personality, avoiding eye contact, improper use of gestures, repetitive behaviors, misunderstanding of idioms, special interests or eating habits, echolalia, rigid thinking habits, deficits in working memory, restriction of imagination, and other descriptions distinguished by psychologists . All of these cause significant problems in social relationships and routines.

References

1. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Autism/
2. Baron-Cohen, S., & Bolton, P. (1993), Autism: The facts. New York: Oxford University Press.
3. Gordon, B. Speech and language problems in ASD. Retrieved April 2, 2007, from https://iancommunity.org/cs/articles/speech_and_language_problems
4. Happe, F, (1996), Autism: an introduction to psychological theory. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
5. Holwin, P, (1997), Autism: preparing for adulthood. New York: Routledg.
6. Khazan, O, Autism’s Hidden Gifts. Retrieved September, 23, 2015, from .http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/09/autism-hidden-advantages/406180/
7. O’Callaghan, F.J, (2002), Autism; what is it and where does it come from?. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 95, 263 – 265
8. Park, S, (2014), Bilingualism and children with autism spectrum disorders: issues, research, and implications. NYS TESOL, 1, 122-129
9. Reppond, J.S, (2015), English language learners on the autism spectrum: Identifying gaps in learning, Hamline University. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.hamline.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1241&context=hse_all
10. Willis, C, (2009), Creating inclusive learning environments for young children: what to do on Monday morning. California: Corwin Press.
11. Wire, V, (2005), Autistic spectrum disorders and learning foreign languages. Support for learning, 20, 123-128