Category Archives: School

I Worry About Autistic Children – Trouble in the School System

I was extremely fortunate in life, born into a large family who loved me greatly. Every one of them wanted to see me succeed. They pushed me and taught me things. My grandparents made sure I had good manners and my aunts and uncles taught me art and music. Cousins and family was fun but teachers and school was very difficult.

At home I felt confident and competent, this was always crushed when I went to school. My individuality was not cherished and teachers said I was too much of a distraction to stay in class. Eventually when I learned to sit still (which even now is hard on me) I was allowed to return to class with my peers.

They were strict and it was hard but in the end I had to want to go back to the regular class room so I would be motivated to sit still. Autistic people can do very well if they are motivated but our motivations my not make sense to others.

I’ve learned to use my own motivations as rewards for good work. I tell myself “if you do this now you can have a reward at the end”. Sometimes the reward may be a stretch or stim break, it could be a cup of coffee, or a snack. I need to be motivated and as an adult I have to motivate myself to create good habits.

It’s not much different than what I would do for my dog when helping him learn new habits. All creatures love rewards and I love my dog. I want to help grow good habits so my dog can have a happy life – we just both happen to love treats.

Teachers who punish, call out flaws, and ostracize children who are different were some of my biggest adversaries in school growing up. They didn’t know what to do with me back then. I was “smart and dumb at the same time”. Teachers also called me lazy. There were no accommodations for me growing up, I had to learn to blend in or get kicked out of school.

Fast forward thirty years and parents advocating for their own children often struggle to get reasonable accommodations for their children in the public school system. Schools want to offer many Autistic kids a minimal education and with our current political situation I worry things may get much worse.

Many great historical thinkers had trouble in school growing up. Imagine if they encountered a system that told them they were not worth teaching. What if nobody had taken the time to help them learn and grow?

Everybody deserves the chance to learn and grow. We need to make sure Autistic children do not get shut out of an education just because they have a different way of experiencing the world.

Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Me, so bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Wild child, who can’t sit still, full of joy bouncing off the walls. Yes you are strange, but please don’t fear your uniqueness. Be you, don’t grow bitter.Stay strange and amazing.

You have so much potential. Yes, your mother is right you are smart. Stop believing when people tell you otherwise.

It’s okay that you don’t need people. That makes you independent NOT defective. You are not cold and robotic you are calm and logical. Yes you do things differently but some day this will be your strength.

The people who picked on you never made it far in life. It was them not you who had the problem. Bullies are insecure and often suffer on the inside, lashing out to make themselves feel bigger. Don’t be like them. Stay kind.

Silly girl, who talks to the animals and trees. Never stop. Don’t worry about what other people think of you. You are perfect just the way you are.

 

With deepest love,

-Me

Remrov’s World of Autism – Talks about Being a Real Person

Be yourself. Why would you want to blend in when you were born to stand out?

I’ve never been more miserable and insecure than I was when I was trying to fit in with the rest of the world.

Accepting myself and not letting my light be hidden or moved by those who don’t understand me has changed my world.

Have self compassion and get to know and love the real you. Don’t let others ever make you feel bad about being real.

It doesn’t matter what other people think of you.

Always do your best with honest intentions and nothing else matters.

I am a fan of the Remrov’s World of Autism channel on YouTube. It is exciting to see someone so expressive and honest speaking out about the issues that we Aspies face. Please check out Remrov’s World of Autism for more great content and subscribe to the YouTube channel so you don’t miss a video.

Autistic Confessions – I’m an Information Addict

Hi, my name is Anna and I am addicted to information.

I’ve been reading since I was two years old. It started with children’s books but I quickly moved up to encyclopedias and dictionaries.

I had and still have Hyperlexia, a condition that is frustrating beyond all of the words that won’t come out of my mouth.

I can read and type my thoughts just fine but often appear “dingy” and confused in face to face conversations.

I absorb and understand just about everything that I read. If I am not reading I am writing about things I’ve read or obsessing over the facts that I’ve collected in my brain.

Endless information, building up my catalog – hording facts. I read science magazines, websites, books, and articles. I listen to Audible, watch documentaries and YouTube videos.

Sometimes I read so much that I run out of books or videos on a particular topic.

I can’t stop. I am addicted to information.

Standardized Testing Isn’t Totally Useless, but It Does Miss the Point | Scott Barry Kaufman – Big Think

This video from Big Think has some great points. I have never felt like the public school system was fair to me and the way I needed to learn in my own way.

Teachers wanted me to sit still and my peers bullied me. I have always loved learning but I HATED school. Something is wrong with that picture.

The world needs different types of minds, all minds, different perspectives. They are all valuable.

I can take no credit for Big Think‘s video below. Please check them out for more content.

“Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger’s” (Documentary)

I watched this documentary last year before I started my blog. Back when I was gathering information and desperately trying to find words to describe the things that I went through every day.

Today I re-watched this video and looked at the view count – 300,207. Wow. That is so important. That number reflects people learning about Autism, awareness spreading. Aspies own words getting out.

Like a fire our voices are spreading though the internet. Our stories are bring the truth to light.

I love the YouTube channel Alyssa Huber – The Life of an Aspie. She does a GREAT job advocating and educating. This video is wonderful and does a great job expressing things that many of us have felt.

Asperger’s Girl- Stress, How to Manage it & Sensory Toys

Autistic people are marked by their adherence to routine and resistance to change. We find comfort in familiarity.

I like to have a plan and know what is going on also I always try to have stim toys handy.

One of my favorite YouTubers – Anja Melissa has a new video talking about how she manages stress and will deal with transitioning to a new part of her life.

Asperger’s Girl- Pro’s and Con’s to getting a diagnosis

I am under the impression that getting a diagnosis, even as an adult, can be helpful but everyone is different and paying $1000 or more out of pocket to see a professional may not be an option for some people.

Before seeking out a formal diagnosis, I had already accepted my autism but realized that being diagnosed could help me to ask for things I needed and explain why there are some things that I struggle with. It protects me from liability and will allow me to request accommodation of future employers, airlines, hotels, and people around me and more.

Amazing AsperGirl Anja Melissa talks about the pro’s and con’s to getting a diagnosis. I can take NO credit for her video. Please subscribe to Anja’s channel on YouTube.

Being Anonymously Autistic

Growing up undiagnosed, I’ve already been anonymous for my entire life.

Wondering why I could not seem to be like everyone else my entire life was painful, however discovering my Autism has provided me with answers and allowed me to have compassion for myself like never before.

I spent my life trying to be like “them” – normal people, only to find that most of the time I either excel beyond what “they” were capable of or fail completely, depending on my level of dedication and focus. There is no middle ground with me.

This world was not built for me. Tormented by florescent light bulbs and  humming air conditioners, meaningless social gestures, and people who can’t just say what they really mean.

Neurotypicals, the majority of the world’s population, built this world. Adapting to  “their” ways is hard but it is in my best interest.

I work to fit in. It takes up a lot of my energy. “Normal People” out number us Aspies, but we are out there hiding in the crowd.

Now that I know Autism so intimately, I can pick other Aspies out in a room.We share some silent connection. There is often a nod and a smile. I wonder if the person in front of me is aware of what I can see in them, but out of respect I say nothing.

Discovering that I was Autistic was both freeing and painful. I went through a depression followed by a  roller coaster of emotions as the shock kicked in.

Suddenly all the times when my best had not been good enough were forgivable. The poor little girl inside me was finally embraced.

My childhood had been hard. I did not deserve all of the suffering I went through, but maybe I needed to endure it. All the bullies and villains in my life have helped to make me stronger and wiser, giving me a thick skin that an easy childhood would not have grown.

Unfortunately, it seems to be extremely common for kids on the spectrum to be bullied.

With our without a diagnosis, people seam to be able to “sniff out” our Autism, although they do not know what to call it. They call us weird, awkward, or strange. We are obviously different with our eccentric ways and erratic body movements and alternate communications styles.

Autistic children learn to blend in to avoid being picked on – or at least that’s how it was for me growing up. It is almost instinctual for an Aspie to “chameleon” into society if they grow up diagnosed.

Even now, my instinct still tells me to remain Anonymously Autistic.

“Girls with Autism; flying under the radar” – a new mini guide for schools and child based services. — Barry Carpenter Education

The following was in my news feed today, and as a girl who was missed the title of the original blog post stooped me in my tracks. Please be sure to visit the original poster for more information.

 

To mark World Autism Awareness Day, nasen has launched a new mini – guide highlighting the needs of girls with , or without a diagnosis of Autism. Written by Jo Egerton and Barry Carpenter, with contributions from the Girls with ASC Working Party, the guide is a free download to schools and services. The guide […]

via “Girls with Autism; flying under the radar” – a new mini guide for schools and child based services. — Barry Carpenter Education