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.

 

Transference

March 5, 2014 at 8:55 am | Posted in Animals, Family, Mind | 4 Comments
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The puppy as a child.

The puppy as a child.

If childless, you should have more success than most deriving faux-parenting experiences from non-infants.

This will likely be due to your vivid imagination and strong ability to anthropomorphize.

The flip side of ‘making do’ with substitute offspring is that when your pet does die, your heart will shatter with grief.

Yet it’ll probably be worth it.


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Even a buck or three will keep me in the hunt. With many thanks, Paul.


Biplane

April 10, 2013 at 5:32 am | Posted in 1, Benefits, Family, Recreation, Senses, Treatment | 4 Comments
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Biplane start

Unforgettable.

A fabulous gift for an aspie is a biplane flight.

Strapped snugly in the cockpit, with the pilot behind, you see the airstrip beckon.

When the engine fires, you feel every rod and tappet clanking away.

Takeoff is breathtakingly swift.

Once you’re aloft, the strut wires zing as the tiny craft surfs every zephyr.

But you don’t feel afraid.

The plane is over 90 years old. Statistically, if it were going to crash, it would’ve done so already.

Though linked to the pilot by headphones, the wind and noise dissuade chit-chat – freeing you to savour the journey alone.

As you gaze down at your past – mapped out in homes, schools, offices and parks – you may feel brief respite from life’s struggle.

And on your reluctant return to earth, you’ll very likely feel blessed that someone cared enough to grant you such a wonderful adventure.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Bread

March 28, 2013 at 7:18 am | Posted in Humour, Senses, Society, Taste | 2 Comments
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I posted this piece in my business blog, but some say it has the hallmarks of an aspie post. 

Have a read, see what you think, and let me know!

More than one is a miracle.

More than one is a miracle.

Bread: plain, simple, honest … daily – yes?

No.

I’ve had a bewildering range of bread ‘experiences’.

I suspect they hold lessons on dining, business and life. Yet I can’t find a unifying theory.

If table my data, will you help me use my loaf?

The Stick

Some venues emphasise ‘stick’ over ‘bread’. Pale wands that laugh at butter and look like they’re from 1970. Bitten, they explode into a silica that absorbs moisture and glues teeth.

The Shard

This seed-studded sliver has an elastic centre that hints at dough. The impression shatters as the crust cuts in.

The Shard often comes with a saucer of olive oil that appears to have escaped from a truck gearbox. A request for butter triggers disbelief, derision and deteriorating service.

The Slice

A cornerstone of Australian pub culture, The Slice is white, single and preconceived.

Common to every meal, it mirrors its environment: brown for gravy, crimson for beetroot, yellow for cheese sauce.

Requests for seconds (or olive oil) are met with stares, swears or beatings according to age and gender.

The Solo

Native to wedding receptions, this pleasant item (pictured above) is strictly rationed to guest numbers. This is odd, given its low cost and the margins needed to cover skewed main orders.

Waiters may pretend to revisit the kitchen, but the answer’s always no.

Only via a generous partner or a no-show guest (within arm’s reach) can you win a dual. Then you must fight for another swipe at the communal butter dish.

The Multi

Favoured by family bistros, this dramatic variation of The Solo is ‘multi’ in every way.

Grain and wholemeal triple choice. A big basket lets you plunder with impunity. Cascades of butter patties complete the cornucopia.

Rare venues take The Multi even further, baking their bread, whipping their butter and presenting armloads of both at the slightest provocation.

This is the ultimate bread experience.

The Twist

This cruel subterfuge usually reveals once you’ve ordered. On asking for bread, you’re offered a dripping garlic roll, a trio of dips with pita or a home-baked Turkish loaf (with olive oil).

Stiff prices apply. No reductions or variations are permitted. Any request for dish components triggers ejection.

Trends

  1. The more a meal costs, the less bread you get.
  2. The more ‘modern’ a venue, the greater the olive oil risk.

Questions

  1. Why is it so hard to get a satisfying amount of bread and butter when dining out?
  2. Do venues ration bread to make diners spend more?
  3. Do other sectors use similar practices?
  4. What is this olive oil crap?

I now totally get why the loaves and fishes was a big deal.

I knead your help with the rest!

:)

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire

Question

January 19, 2013 at 10:17 am | Posted in 1, Animals, Mind, People, Sight, Society | 6 Comments
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P1020511 Plane Truth Small

When conversing, keep your feet on the ground.

In certain conditions, your (usually unloved) penchant for penetrating questions may find favour in the world.

For instance, if you land in a regional airport and are confronted by a sniffer dog, there’s a good chance your fellow travellers will hurry past its handler.

You, of course, will be entranced by the beast.

If its handler feels bored, jaded, undervalued or just plain lonely amid careless crowds, you might just make her day.

Start small, by asking what her dog is trained to detect.

Then ask how long training takes.

Express amazement that the pooch can master so much in just 10-12 weeks.

Bookend your interview by asking (roughly) how long the dog’s career will last.

Then ask if, after a decade or so, the handler will have the option to keep the dog.

Observe her interaction with the animal.

If she loves it, even you should be able to perceive this.

The dog, unused to his handler receiving such attention, will fix you with a stare that penetrates far better than the X-ray machine behind you.

This is OK, because you have nothing to hide.

And, unlike humans, dogs and horses have no agenda.

So, for once, you can enjoy staring right back.

And then it’s time to leave.

Under NO circumstances should you go on to ask questions like:

  • When do you think your dog will die?
  • How will you feel when your dog dies?
  • How long will it take you to grieve?
  • Will you get another dog?
  • Will it feel the same?
  • What if it doesn’t?

While you may find these questions perfectly reasonable, most ‘normal’ people will NOT.

By breaking off an interview – even when you’re having fun – you stop it going bad.

Easier said than done, perhaps; but you can learn that less really is

more.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Xmas

December 26, 2012 at 7:23 am | Posted in Family, People, Society, Treatment | 9 Comments
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Graham Christmas Small

A time to take special care of yourself.

Xmas (Christmas) can be very tricky.

If you have no (or another) religion,

or can’t/don’t/won’t have kids,

or don’t believe in Santa,

or don’t like socialising,

or don’t wish to clutter your home with needless purchases,

there are few (if any) reasons to celebrate.

You may therefore feel your otherness particularly keenly at this time.

If you have a non-aspie partner, this will likely hit them pretty hard.

So it’s important to take extra care of yourselves and each other.

This may involve bolting the door and bunkering down until it’s all over.

A more positive use of ‘downtime’ is to go where others aren’t (e.g. a golf course at dawn on xmas morning).

If you have pets, make the most of them.

For they accept you, even if you are a ‘freak‘.

😐

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Seat

December 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Posted in 1, Compulsions, Humour, Mind, People, Sight, Society, Threats | 10 Comments
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Chairs Small

NOT as easy as it seems.

Few would comprehend (or believe) the lightning thinking that precedes your choice of chair.

You enter a waiting room (itself a feat).

First priority is safety.

Check the corners. Does one offer a view of the entrance through which your appointment will appear?

If so, can you also see outside (to avoid eye contact, pass the time and spot long-range threats)?

Corners mean you need monitor only 90 degrees for danger.

Walls, therefore, run a very poor second.

The centre, naturally, is right out.

But position isn’t everything.

Check the seating. Is it solo?

If it’s a two-seater couch, you may be able to thwart later arrivals with your bag and coat. (This also applies to pairs of chairs.)

If it’s a three-seater (or more) you may have unwelcome company.

What sort of couch is it?

If it’s too soft, slippery and/or deep, you may have trouble rising quickly to meet any threat.

Better a firm, high one with good back support.

But even the ideal chair in the perfect corner can come unstuck.

Is it near a radio speaker (perhaps blaring a chaotic commercial station)? The cacophony will erode your (frail) composure.

Is it next to a water cooler, rubbish bin, pamphlet stand, children’s play area or stack of filthy, outdated magazines?

If so, people (at worst, infants) may launch themselves at you from all quarters without warning.

Waiting rooms are so hideous, it’s best to be the first appointment of the day.

Though this carries its own peril if your appointment still contrives to be late.

The silver line to this stormy cloud concerns your partner.

If, after some time together, your covivant can scan a space with 80 chairs and point to the exact one you’d pick,

you’ll know it’s true love.

Marry them without delay.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Introvert

November 15, 2012 at 10:37 am | Posted in Benefits, Interests, People | 6 Comments
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Out there.

Being introverted doesn’t mean you can’t act like an extrovert now and then (in fact, it comes with the territory).

If you have a valid message and a means by which to convey it, audiences should warm to you.

And their endorsement may suffice until you can generate your own.

To learn more, watch Susan Cain’s The power of introverts.

🙂

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.

🙂

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