same

16 years old!

i haven’t written anything in AGES.

i had a tough year with my health because the headaches i had about 4 years ago came back. And i have been on medication for them for the last few months. They do manage to keep the headaches away mainly – but the doctors haven’t diagnosed them as anything – just concentrated on getting me pain free. Which they did and i’m glad for it.

i had my first REAL EXAMS this year.

All year- right from the first day we heard about EXAMS. Like every other NEW situation it’s difficult for me, and i have to LEARN it. With exams there were so MANY new ways of testing.

  • Someone like me doesn’t work well in a group when am revising.
  • I am better off learning as I go than having major end of year tests.
  • So in some ways MODULES suit me – breaking the subject into sections.
  • but there were so many different types of structure in the exams.
  • controlled assessments
  • modular exams
  • practicals
  • non-modular subjects.

As they have always been my school were INCREDIBLY helpful.

I was off due to my headaches for about a month and lots of isolated days, BUT the school spent a good two weeks with me ONE-to-ONE with a teacher until i had caught up in EVERY subject to an extent where i could go back into classes.

  • In exams i had a room on my own where it was quiet.
  • I could take a drink or a headache tablet.
  • i was with my own classroom assistant so it felt “normal”and calm.
  • i avoided the formality of the exam hall.
  • i had extra time.
  • they really have done everything they could to help me so far!

i have made a LOT of FRIENDS this year. And i have kind of become part of a good large group which i am happy with – people in my school and NOT.. i know it is hard to remember i used to say “but i can’t” when i was trying to learn to become a friend…..

  • They ALL look out for me, as they know I’m autistic – i  STILL think that is one of the safest ways to be with people. UNDERSTOOD!
  • They don’t treat me differently- i get slagged just the same as everyone else does. But now i know it means i amn’t hated or being victimized.
  • When i was in hospital a lot of them visited so have met my mum and dad.
  • The big group is good cos we are all friends and we all make sure nobody is left out.

i KNOW i will ALWAYS be different. – but that’s okay.

i KNOW new situations will always arise, but so far i have used them to LEARN how to exist with non-aspies. So if i keep learning from them, I will hopefully find life easier.

i KNOW i have lots of new situations some will be more difficult than others cause i have friends but more IMPORTANTLY I have got to this point by being helped, by my parents and my family. I know to ASK for help before a small issue becomes a MAJOR meltdown or crisis.

Mam and Dad made it their JOB to “get me” when i was only 4… and both

explain me to the world” and

explain the world to me“.

That is how i feel so okay being my way!

I’m a geek on IMDB and movie trivia so all aspies please keep using your specialist interests to help you out socially

NOW i don’t stand out about being different…but if you look closely there will ALWAYS be little clues.

I am keeping my blog OPEN, but I am not going to be writing for a while.

I have made a lot of friends and had a lot of incredible experiences due to my blog – like my Packie Bonner interview on the John Murray show.:)

I am keeping it open as so many people  have said it helped them at times over the years especially in understanding their children.

Meanwhile i am off to be “autistic and proud ” as i always was.

by Fionn:)

aged 16.

autistic and proud.

same

this was the card we got Fionn aged 16…you have to look harder now to find the different one, and that’s how it is.  

Helen x

 

WE are the EXPERTS – we who live with our autistic children.

This is a Helen post.

Fionn was 5 when we realised we were NOT going to be taught how to bring up an autistic child.

5 when we decided we were NOT going to write his learning ability off. 5 when we realised the EXPERTS are not the people we went to …

the EXPERTS are who we had then to become….the EXPERT on OUR SON....not on autism …just on our bit of it….as we loved him completely and we had him with us for the rest of his life. OUR SON…OUR SPECIALIST TOPIC…our work in progress.

he was 5 years old. We had noticed that in reading his favourite book – every night for months- that it still hadn’t clicked , that a tadpole would ALWAYS grow up to be a frog. So when tables – even basic addition tables came along, obviously he was NOT able to see that 2+2=4 every time. 

Being a proactive but innocent mum, i booked the appointment with the Austistic outreach Services……naively assuming that this common to all ASD children issue had a teaching technique to help….” you know, he may just be a child who never gets tables” she said – willing to write off his ability to generalise learning.

Was she stupid?

so my child could NEVER do a learning task – signed, sealed and delivered…aged 5!

no bloody way!

aspergers made him different – in wiring…in how he processes…in ways of perception…in how he thought.

aspergers did NOT limit him.

It became my mission –

to discover ways to make him learn

I also understood LOUD and CLEAR…that WE are the only experts…expertise by experience. if our child is to have a good life outcome , he or she only will with OUR input – huge commitment – but WE are the only ones who care enough NOT to write off their capacity.

  • we learned and drilled in tables almost wearing blinkers – eye to eye, one to one.
  • we pointed out to the school that he needs to keep revising concepts or they are forgotten.
  • to TELL his secondary school how he works and what he needs – rather than have them faff about and waste time discovering what i know.
  • to learn Irish and French colours through the colours of gaelic and soccer strips
  • to show him how to summarise as you know that come exams he will need all that done- and it will keep learning by rote to a minimum,
  • to bolster his confidence so much that he sees unlimited options…overly so!
  • to be determined and to learn – like your child does- to think OUTSIDE the BOX…when one way doesn’t work , come at it from a different angle…
  • be ready to write a note to the maths teacher, telling him your child needs to understand the mathematical thinking, and leans a gimicky method, he will forget – there was a LOT of advantages to the old fashioned way of teaching maths!
  • persevere...
  • your child is NOT defective…look at him like YOU are the expert…look for the chinks…the interests…the things that he is good at and start there!
  • its a LONGTERM work of art…but it is a one off…be proud of it!
  • Fionn comes regularly and thanks me for knowing him and understanding him so well…
  • That’s my prize:)

mum x

 

 

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WHY DOES EVERY THING HAVE TO CHANGE…when you are used to it?.

written when asked to by @Asiam .it is so hard that everytime you learn how the world world is, you are ready for a completely NEW situation you have to get to understand!😦 Fionn

autisticandproud

Adam Harris, and his aspergers site Asiam.ie  are friends of ours. Sometimes Adam asks me to write something, or sometimes to go somewhere to an opening event.. but i ALWAYS try to help out. This time he wanted me to write about the new year…

Life:

Life is overall good with me. it is though difficult. That’s just me being ME- means it’s difficult sometimes. it just seems that there are ALWAYS changes in what i know about, and i have to keep adjusting to new behaviours, new challenges and stuff. And for me, i have to take more time to adjust, and it takes mum and dad’s help – and i know that i don’t mean that in a babyish way, but i will always need help to learn how to ADAPT socially, and stay SAFE and HAPPY as i grow older.

Socialising:

THIS is a bit…

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how i learned to MIX with people

How i learned how to MAKE and have friends…. it wasn’t always easy.

autisticandproud

how i learned to MIX with people?

for me it was NOT easy to understand people. And it takes times.

And i don’t think you ever you ever really stop learning about people.

normal people know how to MIX easily.

they know how to make friends.

they know what to say and the then know when to say it and everything.

for autistic people it is difficult.

when i go into a room i still can something that is wrong – i mean something that is unrelated to what they were saying, or related to the situation. Like i want to talk ALL THE TIME about things that interest me but might not interest everybody. BUT i try not to, and sometimes i need reminders from mum or dad that i am being a bit ME…unrelated… and it’s ok to say it, cos i have it, a bit autistic. The…

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“feeling like a piece of a jigsaw in the wrong box” – 10 reasons we BLOG!

by Helen…and of course by Fionn.
WHY the blog

autisticandproud

This is Helen – Fionn’s Mam.

I decided to repost a blog which Fionn and my husband and I worked on a while ago.

I (mainly me – but with mu husbands support all the way) encouraged Fionn to set up this blog. NEVER for any reason other than to help other people benefit from what we encountered and learned through Fionn and his aspergers, AND his great ability to communicate that with us.

I initially spent years, since his needs were queried first, “studying” autism

  • theoretically – i read volumes
  • i study Fionn constantly!
  • i have spent years looking at inadequacies in service provision – or maybe inequities…
  • we have tried strategies with Fionn which worked and which didn’t
  • admitting failure is the key to learning…we have to just keep looking!
  • i know how many parents have to PUSH against doors to see childs needs met
  • i KNOW that…

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world autism awareness day 2015

autism awareness in all people could make such a difference!

autisticandproud

It is World Autism Awareness Day 2015.

The day to make people aware of autism and how life is for autistic people and aspies.

i have aspergers. I don’t remember NOT knowing that i had autism.

I’m going to do 10 points that might help you understand MY autism – cos everybody who has autism has different warning signs and clues. We have quite a few in common, BUT we are all a different mix of characteristics.

  1. I stim. I always stimmed in different ways. It depends on how nervous it am. NOW i SING out loud that blocks out the world for me. I used to be always whistling . NOW i have an addiction- that’s my parents word to my PHONE. I fidget at it all the time. It is really difficult for me to stay away from it.
  2.  i have habits you might think are a…

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