Q and A Tuesday: child therapy overload + homeschool fears (autism spectrum discussions)

Two great questions from parents this time. For kids on the autism spectrum, how much therapy is too much? And is it true that homeschooled kids are missing out on social skill development?

Here are the questions and responses in-full. Please comment with your own thoughts and reactions; the discussions that grow from these topics are always helpful.

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Why Fictional Therapists Suck

Despite a long history of undiagnosed neurological issues and depression, I waited as long as I could before trying therapy.

Waiting to get help: I can honestly say it’s the most self-destructive thing I’ve ever done. I slowly deteriorated over a period of years- years that I could have spent rebuilding my life, finding more constructive ways forward had I only been willing to swallow my pride and admit that I needed help.

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The Lunch Box Maneuver (ASD, Aspergers and school anxiety)

Growing up, August was traditionally the month that I was knocked flat with school anxiety. The last few weeks of summer, I was reliably a train wreck of fear and frayed nerves.

Today, in my late 30′s, I still feel echos of that as August sets in. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been out of school for a long time now; July gives up and some animal part of my brain tells me to hide, to run…from nothing specific or real, just the predatory talons of memory. (I’ve written before, in this post, about my teen habit of avoiding peers by literally climbing walls and hiding above ceiling tiles. I did that.)

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Scissors (stories from the autism spectrum)

(Please note: this post can be upsetting for some; depending on how emotional topics impact you, read or don’t-read accordingly. In short: take care of yourself.)

I spent a few years in therapy, speaking with a psychologist about the autism spectrum, learning to manage social challenges, sensory issues and so on. I was fortunate enough to find someone with a background in autism issues, so the discussion ended up being constructive, beneficial. I’m collecting those discussions, hoping to make them available soon. But after reading this post at Diary of a Mom, I wanted to share a particular session. In that Diary post, Jess writes about the need for parents to comes to terms with a child’s spectrum diagnosis, to feel at peace with it. The alternative…rejecting or denying the diagnosis…can be a devastating experience for the autistic involved.

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Q and A Tuesday: Aspergers, the autism spectrum and obsessive interests

Three questions from two parents this time on a single topic: The autism spectrum and obsessive interests. These questions were about a child and teen, but this is a topic that can be relevant for any age…so let’s do it. Let’s Q and A this business.

Q: As kids get older is it common for obsessions to sometimes be more socially inappropriate? We have sort of worked this out but it got me thinking about them and what adults with Aspergers might think about finding a balance.

Yes! It is very common for obsessions to sometimes be perceived as more socially inappropriate as the years go by. Not that they are inappropriate, they can just be perceived as such.

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The Elsewhere Condition (ASD, Aspergers and Depression)

This is part 5 of an ongoing series that examines the interplay between Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspergers and depression. Other posts have offered a breakdown of how to both detect and distinguish co-morbid conditions like depression (part 2 in particular, which focuses on how depression can “hide” behind autistic traits; all other links can be found below). This time around, I wanted to take a different approach and offer impressions that are more subjective in nature.

Part 6 will conclude this series with a look at coping strategies.

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An Experiment Uncontrolled: self-medicating and the autism spectrum

I.

I started drinking alcohol in college. One of my friends, he had a frat guy roommate and these parties would spring up around us on a regular basis. My friend and I, we’d be sitting there at his place watching old VHS bootlegs of Doctor Who. Then we’d hear cars pull in to the driveway. We’d hop up, frantic, immediately switch the television to ESPN, try to mask our nerdiness. Humans would proceed to file in. Frat guys, sorority girls, dozens of them. And that was it for the rest of the night, just drinking, drinking.

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#My Writing Process Blog Hop (Autism Spectrum Books)

There is an autism blog hop going around focused on the process of writing and current projects. The inimitable S. R. Salas was kind enough to tag me and send these questions my way. You can click here to check out her post and responses. She has previously written a terrific book about life and family on the spectrum, and has a 2nd book in the works, so it’s great reading her insights on these topics.

Writing and the autism spectrum: here are the questions, my responses.

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sketching roots: the grandfather situation (autism spectrum stories)

I was encouraged to make“people-sketches” as a way of connecting my thoughts and experiences together. This all came about when I was asked to consider whether any other members of my family are on the autism spectrum; it then developed into a broader thought experiment: words as sense of the world; words as connection to others.  As for the family/spectrum question, “I don’t know” is the honest answer. I’m never comfortable retroactively applying concepts like that. For me, memory resists the intrusion of labels, making “sketches” a preferable alternative.

Memories; no particular order. Thought experiment: in progress.

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