Leaf

June 15, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Diagnosis, Family, Mind, Nature, Senses, Sight, Touch | 6 Comments
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Touch one, touch all.

At age three, you or your child may be told to put 50 fallen liquidambar leaves in a bucket.

Sounds fair: kids should help around the home.

50 ain’t many.

It’s a fine day.

Parents are near.

So why the crying?

The liquidambar leaf shape is relatively complex.

Worse, it can take infinite autumnal hues.

To an aspie toddler, a sole leaf may look challenging enough.

Mixed with other leaves, it becomes even more complicated – with endless permutations.

Focused on one leaf, the other 49 seem legion; the work highly daunting.

With more leaves falling on already cleared ground, the task appears impossible.

Too many simultaneous data overload the brain – triggering stress and threatening shutdown.

Mother can’t fathom the problem.

Nor can father, who becomes irate.

Yet the ‘brat’ before him isn’t ‘spoilt’, ‘stupid’, ‘disobedient’, ‘wilful’ or ‘lazy’.

Merely showing an early sign of what may take decades to identify and address.

It’s therefore advisable to try the ‘teaspoon test‘ before things turn ugly.

Doing so will likely save all parties time,

effort and

tears.

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Pic by The Marmot.


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Your smallest kindness will keep me going strong. With many thanks, Paul.


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Gym

May 24, 2015 at 8:23 am | Posted in Body, School, Touch, Treatment | 4 Comments
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Much more fun than it looks.

Poor coordination, low self esteem, lack of team spirit and/or a preference for academic pursuits may make school gymnasium time dispiriting and uncomfortable.

There may be one activity, however, that you do enjoy.

If the gym has large, thick, heavy exercise (tumble) mats, your class may play the unofficial (and sometimes banned) game of ‘stacks on the mill‘ – or whatever it’s called in your world.

Basically, a few students lie on the first mat, while the other mats are piled on top.

The students outside the pile then jump on top of it and bounce up and down – theoretically trying to crush their colleagues to death, but in the knowledge that the ‘give’ in the first mat makes this (unfortunately) impossible.

You may find you much prefer to be a ‘crushee’, rather than a crusher.

In fact, you may well be able to withstand more weight, and for longer, than any other child.

This may result in you ending up alone beneath all but one of the mats, and all but one of your class.

To enhance your splendid isolation, you may even wriggle to the centre of the pile while chaos reigns above.

There you can relax in warm, dark, comfortable solitude.

Until the gym teacher comes along to ruin the only good thing about your physical education class.

Decades later, you may learn that Temple Grandin recognised the value of non-human ‘hugs’ and actually created a ‘hug machine‘ (or hug box) to this effect.

While you may not feel the need to install one of these in your lounge room, it will be satisfying to realise why you loved to be last on the first mat all those years ago.

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

 

Earth

December 6, 2012 at 8:52 am | Posted in Body, Mind, Nature, Recreation, Senses, Touch, Treatment | 6 Comments
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Splendour in the Grass Small

Step into your (new) comfort zone!

Chances are you live in your head far more than your body.

While a rich mental life offers entertaining discourse with superior company, you can have too much of a good thing.

At the most practical level, your body is a life-support system for your brain.

Serving the latter to the detriment of the former ultimately compromises both.

So, while hobbies, alcohol, medication and literature may seem preferred paths to contentment, beware false readings from a selfish organ that knows exactly what you’re thinking.

Though all impulses may screech to the contrary, it’s vital to shift your corporeal form.

The trick is to find a (probably solo) exercise you enjoy.

Swimming is ideal, but unsuited to warmer months.

Walking is a good year-round alternative.

If you can find a large grassed oval that’s deserted at inconvenient times, you’re in for a treat.

At first, the prospect of circling with nothing but your protesting mind may daunt.

To ease yourself in, try downloading fascinating documentaries to an iPod or some such.

Acquiring facts is a great way to silence your inner voice.

Once you’re in the swing, take the next step.

Take off your runners and walk barefoot.

At once, the 2D green disc you’ve been traipsing will become a 3D sensory adventure.

Suddenly, you’ll detect every nuance of the turf.

After rain, you’ll feel the little mounds worms made overnight.

When the sprinklers are on, you’ll slosh through puddles and streams.

When it’s dry, you’ll scale tiny sand dunes.

Soon you’ll realise the oval has a camber to aid drainage.

And that a barely perceptible tilt creates a particularly lush spot.

Each time you pass through this, the grass will remind you that, while still an etherial being, you’re definitely of this Earth.

Literally and metaphorically rooting yourself in the real world is an ideal counter to a busy brain.

And the fitness you gain will keep the relationship healthy.

If you’re lucky enough to live by the sea, the benefits of walking barefoot increase a thousandfold.

So close that book, put down that bottle, turn off that screen and

GO!

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Eat

November 7, 2012 at 9:11 am | Posted in Humour, People, Society, Threats, Touch, Work | 6 Comments
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Table for one?

Like many aspies, you may prefer to eat alone.

The mere presence of others may dilute (pollute?!) your pleasure in food.

And the onus of communication can turn a meal from treat to chore.

It’s fine to dine solo, but try not to overdo it.

If, for instance, you’re found lunching alone on the concrete fire escape stairs of a busy advertising agency, your reputation for socialising may suffer.

If you’re in business, try to avoid lunch meetings.

Chances are you’ll be so overwrought juggling conflicting tasks that your client or prospect may form a poor impression.

If they insist on meeting for lunch, avoid ‘difficult’ dishes.

Especially beef teriyaki don with long, crisp, slippery vegetables, sticky rice and loads of sauce.

The effort to control your chopsticks and sever mouthfuls while calculating optimal eye contact and tracking the conversation may well result in food on your hands, face, clothes, napkin and table section.

Not a good look.

Especially if you cut yourself shaving.

‘Finger’ foods (e.g. wraps, sandwiches and spring rolls [without sauce]) are a far safer bet.

You could even call these

a recipe for success.

🙂

Drive

October 30, 2012 at 7:04 am | Posted in 1, Benefits, Body, Hearing, Recreation, Senses, Touch | 10 Comments
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Learn one; master all!

If someone teaches you to drive, they may be astonished at how swiftly and well you pick it up.

This will likely be due to two factors.

First, you’re probably dying to master an enclosed, personal, movable space that protects you while giving you a means of independence and escape.

Second, and perhaps more encouragingly, your superior sensitivity will alert you to the training vehicle’s every nuance.

The moment you slide into the driver’s seat, your senses will start reaching to every part of the machine – like ganglia.

If you crunch the gears, you’ll shudder in sympathy and note the warning signs for next time.

If you hit a curb when turning, you’ll know by sound and feel whether it was the rubber tyre, the plastic hubcap and/or the metal rim of the wheel.

Early pilots called this ‘flying by the seat of your pants’ – because they literally felt many aspects of the aircraft through their seat.

You’ll take this principle even further.

After a while, your perception will extend beyond the car.

Since you’re well used to keeping your distance from people, you’ll have a valuable asset when it comes to reverse parking.

Onlookers will marvel as you knock the training sticks and bricks over once or twice, but never again.

Once you learn to drive one car, you can learn to drive any vehicle (see photographic evidence above).

It’s a bit like The Matrix movie, in which Trinity downloads the software to fly a helicopter.

But it’s better than that, because the software is already in you.

In fact, it is you.

On the road, because you obey rules and are careful, your dealings with police should be minimal.

In summary, learning to drive could be one of the most empowering and enjoyable things you ever do.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Coin

October 2, 2012 at 9:17 am | Posted in Compulsions, Senses, Sight, Society, Touch | 2 Comments
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This series starts so well, but then it turns to sh*t.

Depending on your country of residence, your confusion about currency may not be confined to banknotes.

This Australian sequence, for instance, is counterintuitive to say the least.

Fortunately, you’ll likely get your mind around it after a few months.

This is good, as you have little choice in such matters of State.

Confronted with absolutes, it’s better to go with the flow than rail to zero effect.

😐

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

L

May 15, 2010 at 9:40 am | Posted in 1, Mind, People, Threats, Touch | 10 Comments
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Humiliation by technology.

Should you be press-ganged into babysitting a friend’s children, the results may be mixed.

On the plus side, you’ll thrill the kids with your highly original approach to games.

You’ll play their games their way.

Then you’ll play them in exciting new ways they never conceived.

Buoyed by their laughter, you’ll invent entirely new games, using straws, or string, or nothing but your combined imaginations.

Squeals of delight will fill the house.

Until they realise that your sole goal is their happiness, and that you’re not an authority figure.

Then they may start to manipulate you.

If you fail to respond, they may start to mock you.

If, due to your poor disciplining skills (due to no practice and fear of offending their parents) you fail to arrest this development, things may turn ugly.

If you’re very unlucky, a 12-year-old girl, done up like a Brats doll, will stand before you with a label maker.

She will turn the dial to ‘L’.

Click it.

Cut it.

Peel off the backing.

And press it onto your forehead with her right index finger.

When you ask what she has just done, she’ll say:

“That’s an ‘L’.

“For ‘Loser’.”

You’ll look at her.

And she at you.

And even though you’re 40, you’ll both know there’s not a damn thing you can or will do about it.

You will recall this humiliation for the rest of your life.

😦

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Colouring-in

May 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Posted in 1, Compulsions, Family, Interests, Mind, Recreation, Senses, Sight, Touch | 5 Comments
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Points of difference.

You don’t see so many kids’ colouring-in books these days.

If you’re old enough, though, you may recall the pleasure of completing them.

Not all books were the same.

The designs, for instance, varied wildly – from obsessively intricate to insultingly facile.

The best fell somewhere in between.

The papers varied too. From shiny surfaces that barely took a pencil mark to blotter-style offerings that soaked each careful texta stroke far beyond its intended position.

It was rare, therefore, to get a pleasing design on practical paper.

Christmas ‘Bumper Fun Books’, by dint of their sheer size, usually carried two or three satisfying options.

With your attention to detail so keen, you naturally coloured within the lines.

Yet sometimes, engrossed in activity, an unguarded movement saw your marker slip.

This transgression marred the entire work. So much that you had to employ your black texta (the most valuable in the set, and the one most likely to fail first through overuse).

You traced the entire colouring-in design with black, making all the lines slightly wider.

At the slip-up, the line became wider still, as you covered the alien colour with pitch.

The result was not unlike a stained-glass window.

Alas, some errors were too big to mask and had to remain patent.

When you submitted a work thus flawed to your parent, their judgment was revealing.

Instead of praising your industry, your palette or your almost-perfect execution, they did something else.

They started at ten, then subtracted one mark for each crossed line.

Never, in your entire childhood, did you score a perfect ten.

Though you tried and tried and tried.

It was only 40 years later, when writing a blog post to ameliorate the Great Sadness that had befallen you on waking, that you realised something.

Your parent had Asperger’s too.

😐

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Patina

February 10, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Posted in Benefits, Interests, Mind, Nature, People, Recreation, Senses, Sight, Touch | 4 Comments
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Read the runes (of ruin).

Read the runes (of ruin).

‘Patina of age’.

Once you encounter this phrase, you’ll likely use it often.

For it describes something quite fascinating.

‘Patina’ began as a greenish film on old bronze.

It expanded to include an oxide coating on any metal surface.

Now it resides on 343,000* web pages of every hue.

Wood, masonry, plaster, paint … the works.

Images like those above and below may interest you more than most television programs.

Studying objects with a patina of age, you’ll trace eras, incidents and processes (human-related and otherwise).

These photos depict but a fragment of an old building, the exploration of which could occupy many happy hours.

If you ever renovate an old, old house, you’ll get great pleasure from:

  1. peeling back the decades;
  2. unearthing artifacts; and
  3. imagining the lost lives of others.

Passing motorists were doubtless amused as I laboured to perfect this close-up.

* At time of writing.

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Change

December 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Compulsions, Humour, Mind, Senses, Sight, Touch | Leave a comment
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Yes.

NO!

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