body language at 40- comment from 2005 post
"Billie has left you a new comment on your post, Body Language at 40
Thank you for sharing, My son, who will be 5 in March, has been diagnosed Autistic. I am trying to understand how to best help him and encourage his learning. Do you have any ideas, what most holed you when you were young to learn and understand the pictures and put them into practical use.
My son has a knack for anything mechanical and musical. I appreciate any of your Advise.
Thank You, Billie Good luck Billie and to all my readers, Great question by the way.
From Rich Dear Billie ,Readers
One of the very best things you might do is read the books The Enigma (Hodges 1983) also books by Autistic author Bill Stillman and of course Temple Grandin.
The Enigma by Andrew Hodges is unknowingly the best autism book ever written. It starts out to profile our autistic hero Alan Turing (1912-1954) and his inventions but thanks to Hodges including EVERY detail of Alan's strange life and manors he also documented our Autism Experience almost page per page. You can't UN-RING a bell so the innocence of going threw life not diagnosed Autistic is gone but the magic is still there, all the same. (and it still works). If a report was to be written on everyone in our anthropology The Enigma would serve as a great mold. As you read the book and follow Alan threw the grades and into real life you will see your autistic loved ones and most likely could exchange their name and his. It will also be obvious Lack of Eye Contact was a problem but, not a big one (as it would be today) and also splinter skills and obsession were allowed to develop. You will see like we have how those Splinter Skills simply boil over into life at large eventually. Even the parents point of view is mentioned and his parents were a bit set back with his odd ways? The book even inadvertently explains Autism's Pain Tolerance with the documentation of Alan's running achievements that didn't even hurt! Please note: however 'Modern Day Autism Experts' would probably not see the "obvious" autism to the book but, keep in mind they have never bothered to listen to us either.
Bill Stillman's books bring a more modern more personal message to autism and prove we are not all geeks. Temple's work is of course leondary and honestly well before its time, it seems she was talking about what we talk about something a kin to science fiction as the autism "experts" would judge us. Keep in mind the autism thought process is invisible to you or even the autism "experts" would have figured it out by now. Keep in mind when the eyes are OFF (lack of EYE contact) our Brains are on! While our eyes are off we have to learn by trial and error an entire image stream/daydream based thought process that has never been in a text book before on our own.
Personally speaking my parents are here to tell you it was an experience, it seems all of our parents would agree if our group were to be united and studied. Keep in mind most of us grew up in a time before Rain Man (thankfully) and no one was there to cripple us by calling us autistic. Our parents learned to put up with the odd kid as we all of a sudden had a spurt of growth or a glimmer of promise after seemingly months of tutoring at times. Sometimes we would be or on the Honor roll and some times we would be considered for special education, all in the same school year. The hind sight answer is as we absently learned our picture thoughts we could keep up.
KEEP in mind autism thoughts are naturally TOO complicated to be simply converted to words even if we had the process figured out. Autism Assumes we are as we present 'retards' but they missed the point that we have to water down our thoughts not build them up. Thankfully I have met modern age Aspies that too have overcome on their own despite their curse of diagnosis. Once someone in autism figured out our Thoughts they will see the genius of Einstein and Rain Man and indeed the nearly identical thoughts of the village idiot. We all share the same thoughts it is only our autism luck that makes us successes or failures.
Dad unknowingly did the very best thing for me by helping my tutors and teachers discover splinter skills, I could not figure out division on a chalk board despite months of trying, the terms divisor divined quotient all mente nothing to me and of course, I was horrible at math anyway. Suddenly Dad had me figure miles per gallon on a car and guess what it was the same thing! I had splinter skills for that and it became easy. Channeled learning is not the crime modern autism likes to call it, in fact it is our learning hallway.
Otherwise you need to have conversations in quiet places with your loved one. They will be odd strange conversations but simply listen and never interject and finish a thought if you can help it. Don't insist on eye contact in fact learn to 'read it' Dad tells me I looked up and to the right all the time while I was picture thinking and he even learned to wait until my eyes returned to normal function before going on with new ideas.
Our ideas will sound strange or we will talk about the same thing over and over but think rocket science and not retardation and I suspect you will see the high end thoughts if you listen hard enough and sadly we must learn how to convert those to your thoughts on our own still. I had hoped someday by now autism would have listened to us and condensed our double-blind experience to an Autism Pre School that could teach us our thoughts by 6th grade, but were still on our own. Suddenly even after months or even years of hopeless conversations we will simply floor you with success. That gave our parents hope all the time.
Please don't be touchy feely (sorry) unless we get comfortable with it, we just are not wired that way. We eventually get over that to. You could never expect to hold a wild rabbit and expect it to be comfortable; don't expect that from us.
Finally we are probably not going to be good at fast paced sports that require 100% visual contact like Baseball, etc., but we can do things like American Youth Hostels they do bike rides (centuries) caving, camping, canoeing and hikes and mountain and rock climbing etc. Dad and I joined that and Dad never expected to become a spots fanatic in mid life but we had fun at it. I know modern autism said we can't do that and we need to be in our group homes by 20.
Also if your loved one is coordination challenged many of us in the anthropology have discovered we have misaligned hips that makes us a natural klutz. Typically we have been 30 plus before our hip finally hurts (autism Pain tolerance) and like me X-rays prove were about a 1/4 inch off and we might limp a little but more likely we just can't skip, run or do jumping jacks. No, we never felt any pain while we were little to warn us of the condition. If you suspect this look at the wear pattern of the shoes one will be wore out while and the other appears new. We report the people in the anthropology with the odd hips have them either on the right or left side. Many of us today wear a shoe built up 5/16th of an inch on our short side and we are kind of pain free again . I can actually run now and not fall over!
I'm sorry to write a book but all of this stuff is natural knowledge for us. I ask my readers to please help us help you and insist autism 'professional' investigate all of autism even the stuff they don't approve of.
Rich Shull, Author Autism Pre Rain Man Autism (built on Thinking in Pictures) Inventor Truing Motor, GREEN 70% Efficient AUTISTICALLY designed motor.
Look Up Alan Turing (1912-1954) on the web our Autism Hero, Father of the computer.
Read more about Autism's Living Working connected Past and future on the Web At Rich's Web Blog Pre Rain Man Autism http://prerainmanautism.blogspot.com/