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When the children are away…

When the children are away….

via When the children are away….

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Weekend Thoughts

Weekend Thoughts.

via Weekend Thoughts.

Just looking out the window.

Since the end of the summer holidays Tobi seems to be becoming more and more reclusive.

Yes he goes to college two and a half days a week, where he spends his lunch and break times in the library. Nothing wrong with that I hear you cry and normally I would agree but for Tobi it is a way of avoiding having to interact with other kids.

He doesn’t have any friends that he goes out with. His virtually friendships are all based on lies, so he doesn’t ever meet friends from the cyber world. He sometimes knocks about the village with the six, younger, village kids and that is the extent of his social life.

Just recently things seem to be going from bad to worse. Tobi is spending more and more time alone in his bedroom. He gets up on the days when he isn’t at college, has breakfast, wanders about for an hour then goes back upstairs. Comes down for his lunch then when he’s done, straight back upstairs. Comes down for tea, moans about having to shower, watches the soaps and then (you’ve got it) back upstairs to his room.

I check on him from time to time throughout the day but struggle to get conversation out of him. He spends most of his time stood in front of his window watching the world go by.

I know what you’re thinking, typical teenager spending time in a bedroom full of technology. Tobi’s isn’t though, he has a TV with no aerial so it can just be used to watch movies or play games on, which he doesn’t do anymore. He has no internet up there after we discovered a really unhealthy obsession with seriously nasty porn. The other possessions are his stereo radio (which is on day and night tuned to radio 2) and all his treasures.

I ask if he is lonely? No. I ask if he wants to go out? No. I ask if he wants to do anything together indoors? No. I know he won’t want friends round but I do ask occasionally. I’m at a loss and a bit worried. Is this normal?

He seems to be struggling at college. Don’t think he likes it much. And it definitely isn’t the course he thought it would be, which isn’t helping matters much. He cycles to college and gets a puncture every day (I think this is being done on purpose). We have offered him a lift but he doesn’t want one. And he won’t go on the bus because he is scared of buses. He has even stopped doing his car cleaning round in the village which he used to do religiously (ish). It seems his need to earn money has also gone out of the window.

The only club he wants to go to is the Youth Club which I run. As he is obsessive about cars I thought about buying him a banger to play in and try to do up. My only fear is that he will want to move into it and I will do more harm than good. The only thing he seems to really enjoy doing is telling his sister what to do on a regular basis.

Sometimes it feels as though he is excluding himself from life and this is what worries me most.

Guess I will just try again tomorrow to find something that inspires him. Wish me luck!

How My Fears Drove Me To Pursue a Cure

How My Fears Drove Me To Pursue a Cure.

via How My Fears Drove Me To Pursue a Cure.

Thought this was a brilliant description of an Aspergers view on social situations. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Postcards from the edge of the Spectrum

 

Imagine you are about to make your first ever parachute jump!

To make the experience a bit more exciting, you haven’t been given any training and it won’t be a static line jump either.

  • and you haven’t been given a reserve parachute!

Your only instructions are to pull the rip-cord handle after you are clear of the plane.

The plane is quite old and hasn’t had its mandatory annual maintenance check for 2 years.

You are flying through an electrical storm, it is raining and one of the engines seems to be cutting out.

The location of the jump is a little unusual, as it is a foreign country that is in the grips of a civil war.

You aren’t a soldier and you’ve never had military or survival training.

You haven’t been given any weapons, not even a parachute knife.

You have no food, no compass and no…

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Beyond Autism Awareness

I read this yesterday on the Huffington Post, but it’s also written on the Age of Autism site.  Please check it out.  It gives a real, and honest voice from a parent on the Spectrum who realizes that the horizon is closer than we all think.  I think there are many who share these emotions. -Ed

AUTISM SUCKS: AND THEN I DIE

Mia and Mom!

By Kim Stagliano

It’s been a while since I’ve spooned up a goodly dose of medicine to you.  Today I ask you to open wide, say ahhh, bend over and cough all at once.

Last week I was in Dallas, Texas, speaking to a wonderful group called Metrocare that provides services to low income families with children who have developmental disabilities.  I flew in a airplane all by myself. I was picked up at the airport and whisked to my luxury accommodations in a car that…

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Sacked from work experience, “Whats wrong with that boy?”

After many years striggling with schools, social situations and day to day life in general, the time came for Tobi to take part in a work placement scheme. Hopefully giving kids an idea of what it will be like to work in the real world.

Tobi wanted to try office work and got a placement not far from where his Dad works. We took him shopping and bought him some smart trousers, shirts, tie and so on. When we got home he tried all his new gear on. He was so excited and looked so smart, I started to hope that it may be a good thing for him. Give him a bit of confidence.

On Tobi’s first morning he and his Dad got ready. Both dressed for the office looking very smart. I stood on the doorstep, coffee in hand and a tear of pride running down my cheek. Waving at my men as they headed off to the office.

The days seemed to be a bit long for Tobi and he was very tired after just his second day. I worried that a fortnight of this would knock him out. He became quiet and stopped talking about what was going on in the office by dinner time on the Wednesday, but he got up and dressed and was ready to go as normal on the Thursday so I didn’t think anything more about it.

Thursday night came, Rob collected Tobi from the office as usual to find Tobi a bit distressed. Tobi had been told that they didn’t need him anymore because he had done all his work. He seemed unsure about what had happened and was a bit upset at not being able to complete his 2 weeks, so we calmed him down and got in touch with the school.

I was furious. They said they would contact the employer and let me know what was going on.

The next day I had a call from school informing me that Tobi couldn’t attend classes and must stay home until the end of the fortnight period as no teachers were available and the school wouldn’t be insured for him to go in. Secondly they had spoken to the employer who had, and I quote, “Wondered why the school had sent him a boy like Tobi with obvious problems.” He went on to confess that he and his wife had spent all Wednesday night researching on line what could be the matter with Tobi.

How dare a stranger reasearch “What is wrong” with my child?????? I was heart broken but didn’t want to show Tobi. And why lie to Tobi about why they didn’t want him. Surely this only gave him false hope of his abilities. How did believeing that he was soooo good he didn’t need to work for 2 weeks, he had done all that was needed in 4 days, ever going to help him?

I asked if they would ask his employer to write and let me know exactly what had gone on. This is what he sent…

LETTER FROM FRANK BILLINGTON,

Within the first day of Tobi starting work we noticed Tobi was a little different in his behaviour.

He was very anxious to learn, full of energy and willing.

However, he was very much “in your face” had an opinion on everything and involved himself in conversations in the office that were nothing to do with him.

This behaviour carried on into the second day so I had a word with him.

I asked him to keep involved in the work we had set him and let others get on with thier work. I tried not to quell his enthusiasm but encouraged him to put his energy into the tasks he had been set.

Well as time went on Tobi was into everything he was making coffee every 30 minutes, he was asking me where I was going and what I was doing.

If plans changed he did not seem able to cope he would repeatedly ask why the change had been made.

He then took to popping out of the office if he saw something he did not like in the road etc. His behaviour was begining to disrupt the smooth running of the business this is when we contacted the school.

It was obvious to me that Tobi has some problems and to be honest I was surprised these issues were not detected before.

I hope Tobi can get some help as I did like him and we had no complaints about the work he did.

Hope this helps.

F. Billington.

Tobi mimics – admired the boss, so copied him.

Tobi is literal – help yourself to coffee, so he did.

Tobi will get involved – we have taught him that his opinion is as valid as anyone else’s, so he makes sure he is heard.

Tobi has no personal space awareness – hence the “in your face”

I couldn’t believe it. He had done nothing but complain to the school about Tobi’s work and it had been picked up before. How dare he judge. I was disgusted and horrified that I had agreed to put Tobi in this situation. I felt I had left him wide open to be knocked down and that I hadn’t protected him the way I should. Tobi, however, seemed pretty oblivious to all of this and just seemed happy to be home alone with me.

And so it goes on. What next? I guess more of the same unless we are really lucky. I think this brought it home to me how many allowances we make on a daily basis.

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