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Old Dec 28, 2008, 06:58 PM   #21
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Ok, VB did some searching. Its going to be on again Dec 31 at 8pm (Eastern I think) on Discovery Health channel. I also found a website the family has, but its really a very basic informational site.

http://autismbites.com/aboutus.html
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Old Dec 29, 2008, 06:08 PM   #22
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I work in a preschool and we have training on Autism, one of the teachers has a 3 year old son with it. It's very sad thing to see children struggle with this!
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Old Dec 31, 2008, 05:48 AM   #23
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I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is in the autism spectrum. And I sure don't like people touching me.
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Old Jan 02, 2009, 05:30 PM   #24
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I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is in the autism spectrum. And I sure don't like people touching me.
May I ask, Aimee, if it's the touch itself that you don't like or that people come too close?
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Old Jan 03, 2009, 05:26 AM   #25
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Both.
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Old Jan 04, 2009, 03:55 AM   #26
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They're just different type of people. If they have exceptional talents that's just cool.
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Old Jan 04, 2009, 07:36 PM   #27
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Fewer than 10% of people on the spectrum have savant skills.

Asperger's is an issue near and dear to my heart and fortunately, the local politicos in my county are listening to advocates for autistic voters. There are a lot of people on the spectrum who vote and when you think about it, all kinds of accomodations are made for people with physical challenges. It is the population of people with INVISIBLE challenges who are often the brunt of rude comments by strangers and who contend with a general lack of understanding because their condition, whatever it may be, autism, AS, ADD/ADHD, etc. is not readily apparent to the public at large.
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Old Jan 05, 2009, 02:55 AM   #28
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The only thing I really have that can be considered "savant" is a nearly photographic memory. Never have to study for tests. But sometimes it fails me.
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Old Jan 05, 2009, 03:03 AM   #29
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Both.
That's tough, Aimee! I'm not autistic but I sometimes still feel people gets too close and want to back off a step or two. It's not the touch though that bothers me, I just feel a bit uneasy having people right in my face. And for me it matters a lot who it is. Does it matter to you or is it difficult regardless of whom it is?
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Old Jan 05, 2009, 12:13 PM   #30
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And for me it matters a lot who it is. Does it matter to you or is it difficult regardless of whom it is?
I don't like anyone touching me.
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Old Jan 05, 2009, 05:48 PM   #31
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Not even Tommy?

Asperger's is as varied as there are individuals who have it. Not all people with AS dislike touch. One universal feature is that people on the autism/Asperger's (a/A) spectrum tend to hate surprises, i.e. having things sprung on them.

I hate having things sprung on me.
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Old Jan 05, 2009, 06:22 PM   #32
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My son hates pranks and doesn't get sarcasm.
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Old Jan 05, 2009, 06:39 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatlebangs1964 View Post

Asperger's is as varied as there are individuals who have it.
I am beginning to learn this. I'd never ever HEARD of Asperger's until a couple years ago, when I encountered a couple people who have it. They never actually said they had it, but I figured it out from their actions. Knowing there is a reason behind some of the things they do makes me understand them a little more. The fact that it is often an "invisible" condition is indeed an issue, BB, because people are often quick to judge and label. I think knowing a few people who have this has caused me to be less that way.
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Old Jan 05, 2009, 06:45 PM   #34
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My brother has co-worker who has Asperger's and it took him a while to realize what he had.

I learned about Asperger's from a Law and Order episode.
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Old Jan 05, 2009, 07:39 PM   #35
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I have relatives with Asperger's and know others with it as well. I will bang on the drum for rights and courtesy to all people on the spectrum.

I hate sarcasm and trickery irritates the hell out of me. In some cases what people call "joking," I view as trickery. For example, I hate this website called "Find Your School." It doesn't matter what you type in, be it numbers, symbols or random letters. You get the same "found you and found you and a friend." Instead of pictures of people, it's just primates. That is not funny to me.

I can't stand when Letterman trots out drawings made by some adult and says kids did them. The content and verbiage is way too sophisticated and adult themed for ANY child. I personally find that deceptive.

As for Asperger's resources, Tony Attwood is the leading professional and his books are gems of wisdom.
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Old Jan 06, 2009, 12:31 AM   #36
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Lightbulb Autism 911: Help for a family in chaos

Since we're talking autism, there's a series of programs about autism this week on CNN American Morning. Watch Marissa, an autistic teen, work with a therapist to get her behavior under control. 6 a.m. - 9 a.m. Also check the article Autism: Unraveling the Mystery Link to article which also contains many interesting links.

This article is posed on the CNN website. You may also want to check out the comments at the bottom of the page. Link to article

Autism 911: Help for a family in chaos

By Linda Saether, CNN Medical Producer

The Bilson family is like many other families: three kids, a cat, and a small, lovely home with lots of family photos and carved wooden wall signs with sayings like "Live, Laugh, Love."

1 of 2 But step inside their house after 4 p.m. most weekdays and you'll want to cover your ears because of the noise -- the screaming, to be exact. These are not the shouts of sibling rivalry or parental annoyance. This is the high-pitched, ear-shattering sound of a 13-year-old girl. More accurately, it is the sound of a frustrated, irritated, very loud teenager with autism.

Marissa, the middle Bilson child, was diagnosed with autism when she was a toddler. Her mother, Mary, a nurse, knew something wasn't right early on, when young Marissa's tantrums were off the charts and seemingly unwarranted.

But during the first few years, doctors told Mary Bilson that her daughter was fine and this behavior would eventually pass. They were wrong on both counts.

Marissa's behavior has not passed; it has, in fact, become worse. According to Bilson, Marissa and her tantrums rule the household. "I don't want to hear her screaming and tantruming, so we pretty much let her do what she wants," Bilson says. "We" means Mary, her husband, John, and their two other children, Brittany, 15, and 6-year-old Brendan.

Keeping the peace means that, when it comes to Marissa, the rules are different. She is allowed unlimited time on the one family computer. She is allowed access to her siblings' rooms and possessions. She is allowed to eat dinner at the computer instead of the family table.

But before you sit in judgment of the Bilsons, and suggest they just need a firm hand to keep their middle child in line, consider one thing: They are trying to cope with a child with severely impaired social sensibilities.

"Do you think people who don't have children with autism know how tough it is to deal with them?" CNN's senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, asked Marissa's mom in a recent interview.

"No," Mary Bilson replied. "And I don't see how they could."

She's right -- we can't, because many of us have never seen autism in action. Learn more about autism

Autism is described on the National Institutes of Health Web site as a "developmental disorder that appears in the first three years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism and related disorders affect about one out of every 150 babies born each year.

Autism manifests itself in many different ways. Although there are some common threads, like language issues, repetitive movements and difficulties connecting to others, specific behavioral patterns are largely unique to the individual. "Children with autism are all different; they are like snowflakes," explains Dr. Ronald Leaf, co-director of the group Autism Partnership.

The one thing that Leaf believes they all have in common is that "they are not expected to do enough." Leaf insists we have set the bar too low for what we think children and adults with autism can do. "They are highly teachable," he says. "You just have to have a good teacher."

A good teacher is exactly what Bilson was looking for to help her with Marissa. She knew that her daughter's behavior needed to be reined in, and it needed to be done now.

"She is getting older. She's 13 and her tantrums are louder and longer than they used to be. It's just so inappropriate. It was OK when she was much younger, but now that she's going to be an adult soon, she can't be behaving this way," Bilson says with tired resignation.

But what could the Bilsons do? This family doesn't have a lot of extra money, and most programs either aren't covered by insurance or have long waiting lists. The costs are staggering, according to the Web site FightingAutism.org. Families with autistic children can expect to spend $30,000 annually to provide proper medical, educational and other assistance necessary for dealing with an autistic child.

Enter Autism Partnership, or AP. This group, founded in 1994, offers extensive therapeutic services to children and adults with the disorder. One of its most unique programs is an intensive one-on-one, at-home intervention service that is similar in scope to what happens on the television show "Nanny 911." It's not cheap -- about $2,500 per day, typically for a five-day period (with additional days on an "as needed" basis).

Most of AP's work is grounded in a behavior modification technique known as Applied Behavioral Analysis or ABA. Essentially, the method breaks down behavior patterns, rewarding proper behavior while being careful not to encourage improper responses.

And that is exactly how AP therapist Rick Schroeder hopes to reshape Marissa Bilson's worst behavior. The group, which met Marissa while working in her school, offered the Bilson family a free week-long intervention with the proviso that CNN be allowed to record the process.

The week started off with a day of observation -- a day with lots and lots of screaming and tantrums, that left Schroeder stunned. He had observed Marissa at school where, he says, she was much less demonstrative.

But Schroeder is still eager and ready to tackle the challenge.

"I think the family is starting to realize something needs to change, and that's very good," he says after his day of observation. "As far as Marissa's behavior goes -- and the level that she is capable of going to -- she's pretty much out of control, for sure."

Link to article
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Old Jan 06, 2009, 05:49 AM   #37
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This thread has some good info, thanks, a friend of mine just had her oldest child diagnosed with Autism. I do not know very much about it.
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Old Jan 06, 2009, 07:33 AM   #38
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That poor family. They must be stressed out all the time. My son had severe tantrums when he was a toddler. I was told by well meaning relatives that all he needed was a firm hand. Fortunately, he grew out of his severe tantrums. He still has social issues and ticks, but he doesn't slam doors ans scream like he used to.
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Old Jan 06, 2009, 08:34 AM   #39
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I’m lucky enough to live near Paul McCartney and was able to hand deliver a letter requesting a donation to a new autistic unit that was opening in a local school. He sent me one of his paintings (poster not the real thing !!! ) which he kindly signed with a message for the children and staff. It now hangs in the school for all to see.
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Old Jan 06, 2009, 09:08 AM   #40
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What a nice story, Glassonion, and welcome to the forum too!
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