Everyday Aspergers: THE BOOK

I invite you to take a look inside of my book Everyday Aspergers.

Take a look here.

(I just deleted an entire paragraph explaining why I am uncomfortable with self-promotion. I’ll spare you the details!)

My publisher, Your Stories Matter, took great care to provide this ‘book-to-look’ version of the second edition of Everyday Aspergers.

(I’ve truly failed at promoting my own book. I usually promote Steve Silberman’s book in my travels and teachings. Typical me!)

Over a year ago, I decided to move my memoir from one agency to another. I made this decision to ensure the paperback was available outside of the USA. Here are ten facts you might not know about E.A.

The second edition of Everyday Aspergers : A Journey on the Autism Spectrum can be purchased on Amazon in several countries. It makes a great gift!

The new book cover is by a talented autistic author and writer. The pages, of the new edition, have photos and images from my childhood. I added a new end chapter. The layout, pages, and style are different. It’s the same story in an enhanced casing.

https://www.book2look.com/book/KRksrIxTxr

My three sons and me in 2018.

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471: A Beautiful Morning with a Beautiful Mind

It was a beautiful morning.

My Aspie son and I have such deep and complex conversations; I swear he must be at least a thousand years old. He speaks philosophically, in a manner of viewing life that I have only discovered in the ancient wisdom of great scholars across the globe.

This morning we spoke about truth, and the idea that when one threatens another’s truth by confrontation through disagreement or differing opinion, how the other naturally, quite instinctually, responds with a fight-or-flight nature. We opted for the agreement that this human response is based on human nature, on the idea of wanting to protect singular intelligence and mentality. I scaffolded upon the initial points, mentioning the concepts of limited and isolated perception based on the singular collection of reality from a limited scope of an individualized sensory input. He understood entirely.

I elaborated that I don’t hold a singular truth, as my truths vary vastly compared to how I interpreted my world five years prior, and that I am continually changing. He concurred and expressed that I had made sense.

Of course, most of this discussion was a dissertation on my son’s part. His theories of human communication and outcomes are right up there with the geniuses of our time. It amazes me that he is Aspie, and yet years ahead of his peers in understanding the complexities of human nature and societal responses to multiple environmental stimuli.

I suppose I have taught him some by example, and he has sought out his own form of awareness and truth through observation of others and the intake of literature and films; however, the intricate ways in which he pieces the found knowledge into linear and detailed outcomes and conclusions is awe-inspiring. If ever an old soul exists, I see this as my son.

When I offer a gentle reminder to him, at anytime and in any genre of conversation, to keep in mind that he views the world a bit differently than others, and that him and I have complex ways of interpreting events, he is ever so humble, consistently reminded me that he does not enjoy the comfort of setting himself above or beyond anyone else, and that all can see and comprehend as he does, but that perhaps they do not understand what they are doing or in some way do not observe the connections.

He is insistent that his way is no better and that he is not superior by any means; to sit with the idea of being special is a great discomfort to him. And though my son may appear aloof, argumentative, and at the edge of his seat ready to engage in debate, he is at the heart of him a wise sage, insistent upon remaining humble. A concept I did not set out to instruct him upon, but one he shares with me.

I am continually fascinated by his mind. He grows in spurts that are ‘unnaturally’ fast; comprehending and taking in and retaining more than any student I have ever witnessed. And he reworks ideas in his mind to match his view of reality, a view that is extremely open-minded, whilst being seemingly narrow-minded. I mean to say that he comes across, to the typical observer, as strongly opinionated and limited in his viewpoints, but with careful analysis and granted the patience to listen, he is actually extremely open to reasonable and logical ideas that don’t initially resonate as truth with him. And, in fact, he will easily dislodge a chosen truth for a new truth, after taking in what another has shared. The barrier that exists between him and his peers (and some adults) appears to be that exact fight-or-flight mentality my son was theorizing upon. He speaks and if another interprets him as threatening to any degree then the other shuts my son down or out; no longer hearing what he is stating and instead closing off to possible connection.

We were weaving out of conversation this morning, and I found myself going down an interesting course. I had started a sentence several times, never truly completing the string of words, as my son was interjecting (albeit while apologizing for doing so) with his rapid-firing thoughts and connections. I enjoy the way he is ignited with ideas, and take no offense to his interruptions. I see myself a lot in him, and him in me.

I was trying to explain something to my son. At first I thought I was clear on my idea, but something inside of me self-corrected, in the middle of my thought process. I was speaking aloud. I had thought of the isolating factor of Aspergers. How we are so often misunderstood and ostracized. And on hearing my son talk so freely and blatantly, I imagined how this exact discourse might bring him further out of his collective circle of peers. (He attends a part-time academic school for children that are homeschooled). I began to speak from fear, but didn’t recognize what I was doing, until most of the words were out of my mouth.

“As you get older, son, I think it would be beneficial if you monitored some of what…”

The words came through at last, as one cohesive thread, and with that outpour I had time to recollect what I had shared. I immediately backtracked.

“You know what, I have changed my mind,” I shared. “I was originally thinking these past few minutes that you should be more careful around people who don’t love you unconditionally, so that you don’t live an isolated life. But I disagree with this. I think you should be exactly you, and that people will love you for you.”

We sidetracked for a bit to explore the concept of unconditional love. He didn’t understand the idea of choosing not to have someone in your life but choosing to still love them unconditionally: to hold them in love and light, to pray or keep them in thought, to hold no ill-will or resentment towards the individual and wish the person the very best.

He seemed to be taking in a lot more than I was saying.

My son looked at me, and gave me a sheepishly-wise grin. I knew that he knew. And we continued onward, back to the previous conversation, again.

I stated: “I mean, I tried the other way for years. To pretend and hold back myself and I was miserable. Why would I want that for you? I just want you to be free to be you, and others to appreciate you for who you are.”

He listened and answered. “I know. I thought you might change your mind once you said it. You realized you were contradicting yourself before you were finished. That is clear. I understand.”

I smiled. Still in disbelief at the level of this young man’s ability to comprehend others’ thought processes. I added, “I guess I just wish as you grow older that you can focus on being less injurious, if that makes sense. What I mean is there is a difference between choosing to say something that you are highly certain will hurt someone’s feelings and saying something and unintentionally hurting someone. If you are injurious, it will be harder to maintain friends. Does that make sense?”

“Yes,” he said. “And I already do that Mom. Don’t worry. I understand.”

We talked further about the complexities of human communication and the limitations based on others’ interpretations and emotional responses.

As we approached the school, he looked at me and responded more, “Thank you for such intriguing conversation.” He nodded, sounding much like the little professor I have grown to adore in astonishing amounts. “It was quite a good conversation.”

I half expected him to add ‘indeed’ to the end of his last statement.

His voice was monotone, without hints of rejoice; he made no eye contact, and he mostly huffed away as I said, “Enjoy your day, Baby.” But I knew how he felt. We’d connected at an intellectual level without judgment, without expectation, and with equally open minds and acceptance. It was another freeing moment, the way in which the two of us communicate; this unabashed arena in which anything said is okay and doesn’t affect the other’s equilibrium or sense of self or worth.

It was a beautiful morning, indeed.

416: How I would free my spectrum daughter

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Sophia

How I would free my daughter with Aspergers

1. I would learn everything I could about the spectrum conditions through reputable, well-honored sources; and then readily forget everything I knew and recognize my daughter is a unique individual with exact perfection and a glorious light.

2. I would acknowledge each and every way my daughter’s actions reflect a behavior that in some way makes me believe that I am affected. What is it that she is doing that is causing discomfort to me, would be a question I would demolish, and whole-heartedly embrace the conclusion that I am the only one choosing to be in a state of discomfort based on someone else’s reactions and actions. And in truth my reactions have a direct effect on everyone about me. My ‘job’ as a parent, if I were to assign an exact ‘role’ and ‘duty,’ would be to reflect back to my daughter her beauty and nothing more.

3. I would concentrate on the definitions of imperfection, flawed, wrong, and normal. I’d understand all words are manmade and invented, that even the deepest of spiritual beliefs and psychology have been spoon-fed from man to man, and thusly infected and created into something man-based. With man comes fear. I would readily announce the fear in me, and the fear related to my daughter’s ‘condition.’ I would see that all my discomfort is based primarily on two things: Fear and not living in the present.

4. In seeing I am nothing but the present moment, and that my daughter is thusly only in the present, I would establish a way in which I could practice moment-by-moment being there in a state of grace for my daughter and the rest of family, friends, and society. I would grow, as a role model for my daughter, a person of inner-security, unconditional love and acceptance. I would discard robes of non-authenticity, fear-based projection of self onto others, the selfish feeding that society dictates from mass media, big business, politics, and dogma-based religion. I would embrace the light of my child as my divine teacher and establisher of the breaking of norms to set my own soul free.

5. I would ask her to teach me what she knows, and try to experience the world through her eyes and senses, while recognizing her way is not right or wrong, and just is. I would understand she needs no fixing or alterations, and that in healing my own spirit and aches and longings, and by being in a state of centeredness and balance, she, as I to her, can grow into a reflection of me.

6. I would stop taking her to professionals who are not heart-mind centered and well-established in their own inner-awareness, growth, love and beauty. I would expose her to people that resonate at a high-vibration of acceptance. I would break up with all relations that fed off of her energy, ‘goodness,’ innocence and purity. Recognizing, she, like me, is born in beauty in perfection, I would establish an environment in which she could be the best of who she is: authentic in all ways and degrees.

7. If I ever felt embarrassed or ashamed, I would recognize I have bought into the illusion of normalcy and the ‘right’ way to be. I would declare there is no ‘right’ way to myself and to my child, and celebrate not what is good in her—for to do so would be to automatically judge and establish bad. Instead I would celebrate her in completion, for the gift of her in my life, for the way she has helped me to transition and grow as a person.

8. I would immerse her in her pleasures and passions; knowing her interest are the only means of escaping the chaos of a delusional world that breeds off of profit, greed, lies, and game-playing. I would understand that she sees through the veil of illusion, and is entirely awoken to the process transpiring before her. That to her the world is scary because the people are scary in their attempts to be loved through fear and imaginings. I would recognize until I see the world as safe, she will perceive the world as danger. In order to heal my own wounds, I would dive deep within and embrace my authentic being, risking like I never have and dying a thousand upon a thousand deaths. And through my own dark night of the soul, reestablished in my own profound light and knowing of All, I would return the light upon my daughter. Her established and well-pruned light of goodness. I would return not what was taken, but smothered by my own misjudgment and yearnings. I would thank her repeatedly for her gift of self.

9. I would expose her to life. I would teach her all is okay. But I would not take her where she chose not to go. If she was demolished in spirit in a social environment, I would not expose her over and over again. She is not lacking in her ability to associate with others and be in ‘public’ places. She knows the rules, she knows the game. What she is ‘lacking’ is the blindfold to pretend she is someone she is not in order to be falsely accepted by others pretending to be someone they are not. She recognizes the soul-eyes of the ones weeping and the bleeding pierced hearts. The sorrow is everywhere, and the heart-songs are locked away in over-burdened spirits, so lost upon self their suffering seizes the very encasement of my seeing daughter. And here she is rocked in so much confusion and pain, she longs for escape and safety. Returning her again and again to a place of non-awareness and imaginary games does nothing to lift her or gather her from one skill-level to another; it only reminds her, the over-exposure to the ways of the world, how very different, lost and alone she feels.

10. I would connect her to all awakened souls, so deemed awakened by her, more so than me. Whether this be the towering trees, the preacher on the street, the homeless man, the priest, or the Buddhist on the corner, or the birds in the garden, I would take her there. I would take her into the deep philosophical teachings of ancient scriptures of all denominations and let her find the interwoven connections. I would teach her through example to love all unconditionally, to accept all unconditionally, to erase dogma and the illusion of how things have to be. I would teach her through my very being that she is such a joy and gift to the world and that to let her fly through the removal of my own blinders is to me my own greatest gift to all. I would recognize I can never accept my daughter until I accept the completeness of my self, and in turn, accept the completion in her. Once accepted, my own perception of the world shall grant my daughter the freedom she brought upon me. The release of the self-afflicted self to the service of all. Here I would teach her, through my own being, that her gift shall serve the world, and in so serving the world, she shall be eternally free.

Day 216: Let the Grumpy Lady Pass

Let the Grumpy Lady Pass

“Guess what happens if you eat a raw snail? They have a parasite that goes into your brain and eats it. And our brain is not prepared for snail parasite. And you can’t defend it. It’s pretty much if you eat a raw snail, it’s all up to the snail if you live or die. If the snail has the parasite, you die!”

I am looking at snails with new eyes now, since my son’s enlightening comment on parasites. I have also reassured myself over and over that the chances are null that I will accidentally eat a raw snail and die from parasites eating my brain away.

Words are powerful, how they can alter the way you once viewed a person, place, or thing….even snails. Words can change the course of a life, too. Certainly happened for me. Just yesterday, in fact.

It was early afternoon, and I was strolling down the aisle in my favorite grocery store, when I spotted a blonde mother with five children. The oldest of her children, a young girl, was carrying her plump baby sister. The other three youngsters were little tots, all boys, ranging in height by a couple of inches from the next.

I stared, because that’s what I do when I’m processing. And about a dozen thoughts traveled through my mind all at once. I examined the mom’s facial expression, and instantly wondered if she was happy or frustrated with the shopping excursion. I noticed two of the boys had little shopping carts and that as a collective clan the family had barely gathered any groceries—just a couple bags of snack food. I evaluated and reevaluated, concluding that the mother enjoyed the attention of onlookers watching her shop with her little crew of miniature hers. In fact, I am quite certain she liked the attention. There were several of us shoppers trying to maneuver around the cute little ones, a line of about five or six of us squeezing our way down the aisle.

I was still watching and evaluating as I crept my cart forward. When I was near the mom, she eyed me closely. Then she turned to her troop and said, “Wait,” putting her arms back in stern gesture, “Let the grumpy lady pass.”

Immediately my right eyebrow shot up. Had she meant me? I was fairly certain she had. I rolled my eyes up and gave a quizzical expression, and then moved onward. A few steps ahead, I stopped to retrieve a can off the shelf. I noticed another lady standing close behind me. Feeling extremely self-conscious, and a bit flustered, I said, “Oh, I am sorry, if I am in your way.” She said, “No problem at all. But maybe you can help me find the artichokes.” I did. We scanned together, and I pointed them out with my over extended finger, while smiling big and glancing the direction of the meanie mom, as if to say, “See, how cheerfully helpful I am!”

Five aisles later, and I couldn’t get the meanie mom out of my mind. Was my expression seriously that sour? For a moment, I wished I was an always-smiling golden retriever.

By the time I reached the last aisle, my thoughts were still wrapped around the incident. By then, I had rationalized that the meanie mom wasn’t a very patient woman, and certainly wasn’t showing an effective example of behavior to her children. But I also reckoned she likely was juggling a full plate and was having a tough day. I also decided, with a mischievous little smile, that her husband, if she still had one, probably didn’t like her.

At the checkout area, I found the safest checker I could—a round-faced, middle-aged woman with a friendly natural grin. At the end of any shopping excursion I don’t look for the shortest checkout lines, I look for the least-threatening face. Typically, I chat it up with the grocery checkers as they are scanning my items. Conversation helps the time go faster, and alleviates some of my anxiety. Not much makes me more self-conscious than a line of strangers watching me; especially when they are waiting with those daunting expressions, seemingly cursing my high-piled grocery cart and wishing they’d chosen another route.

“I hope I don’t look grumpy,” I said, as I approached the checker and eyed the nametag Marge on a purple blouse. (Interesting conversation starter, don’t you think?)

I then explained, with rapid fire, what had happened on the aisle with the meanie mother. Marge smiled and responded kindly, and we bagged the groceries together. I told her about my Aspergers, and the man at the park who gave me his number as a result of my practice smiling, and she told me about her grown son with Aspergers. Turns out she homeschooled her son. He is now twenty and doing very well. We exchanged a lot of information and support in only a few minutes. I dodged the evil glares from the people in line. We were packing up the groceries rather slowly.

As Marge was bagging up the last of the food, she looked up at me, and said, “The main reason I homeschooled my son was because when he went to school he had to become someone else. He couldn’t go to school and be himself and still be accepted. He had to let go of who he was. God made my son in perfection. I wanted my son to be able to be who God intended.”

A bell went off in my head right then. My middle son was struggling in middle school even though  he was attending part-time. His anxiety was very high and depression was setting in.

I decided then and there to not send my son back to school and to instead homeschool him fulltime.

Later that day, as I calculated the probability of choosing the one checker out of a few dozen that so happened to have homeschooled a son with Aspergers, and as I processed that typically I would have not mentioned my Aspergers to a checker at a grocery store (had I not been upset), I smiled to myself about that mother and her five string of words that had changed the course of my life: Let the grumpy lady pass.

© Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com

Day 107: The Union of Word

I am sensitive to others’ journeys. The word Mother creates different experiences for each individual.  This is for everyone who has a mother. For all of us. As we are each joined through one word.

The Union of Word

Mother

The sacred word

The echoed sound

Varied in frequency

Same in source

Vibrates through the universe

Each pronouncement distinct and filled

Each carrying a singular story

Shared by all

The connecting link

The threshold to breath

Travelers though the same land

Of hills and valleys

Of unquenched thirst

Stories wrapped

In colors of blue

Opened in turn

With sound exact

All equal, all one

Seen through eyes of the heart

Shared through lips and tongue

Everything balanced

No key to unlock the reason or why

The hand that was held

Or missing or lost

Engraved you

Etched perfect beauty

Children of song

All gathered

With whispers sweet

Or silent empty

Hand in hand

We are together

The tears

Same as smile

In union loved

In union embraced

In union of the one

Echoed sound

Adored

 

Sam Craft

Mother’s Day 2012

 

Happy Mother’s Day to my mother who birthed and etched me into the beauty I am today.