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The Big Interview with Cale Irwin

27 Feb

At last it’s here! The Big Interview.

This month I’m speaking to Cale Irwin a 20 year old with the condition Aspergers. Not only did i enjoy this interview but i learnt a great deal from it’ so thank you Cale.

Hi cale. so you have Aspergers? Is that correct? How old were you when you discovered you had Aspergers? And how old are you know?

I have Asperger’s Syndrome, diagnosed by a psychiatrist in 1997, when i was 8. I was informed about the diagnosis when i started asking about it when I was 17. Since my brother has classic Kanner’s, and autism is genetic, and I know my social skills were awful, it seemed Asperger’s was a possibility. So that’s when i found out about it directly from my parents. im almost 20 now.

Did you ever see yourself as different when growing up? Do you remember what age you were at the time these fellings came about?

I felt different from my peers from the moment I started meeting my peers; the age difference between us was the first factor. Because I was fully conversational at around 14 months, Iwas involved in programs for late toddlers before i’d even learned to walk. By kindergardenthe differences between myself and my peers began to lead to bullying which continued on into my late teens.  However, it was not until 14 that I began to understand just how different I was from my peers. I always knew I was smarter ( not in a cocky way, but in a testable IQ way ), and less socially competent. But  it wasn’t until then that I realized I perceived the world differently then they did. It was then that i become aware of how they perceived me, as an other, and one who had always been an other and simply hadn’t realized it. I would compare it to when the ugly duckling looked up for the first time and realized he wasn’t with his family, but rather with individuals who bore some similarities but also major differences from himself.

Cale what was school life like for a child with Asperger’s?

I obviously can’t speak for all individuals with AS, but for me, all elementary classes besides my gifted-LD class were hell! I was physically assaulted daily from K-4th, and verbally abused from 3rd on. I knew the material before we learned it in class, but teachers became angry when i sat and read rather then paying attention to their lessons. My gifted-LDclass which was all individuals who would later be diagnosed with Asperger’s or PDD-NOS was the major highlight . I was surrounded with kids who were like me. Offered material that challenged me intellectually, and in a classroom built for kids with sensory sensitivities.

Could you tell me is it true that all children with Aspergers develop special interest?

I think most do! Though i know i didn’t develop my special interest ( which happens to be ASDs ) until I was 15 or so. Before that I sort of bounced around, reading a bit of everything, but never finding anything that stuck. Now I eat, sleep and breathe books on autism, and no one can make me shut up about it.

Do you have any sensory sensitivities or problems with moter tics?

I have both! I can’t be suddenly touched or be around loud noise ( classifying loud as at or above normal television volume ). I can’t filter out background noise so i need conversations to be in a quiet environments. I have proprioceptive difficulties, so I stim almost constantly to gain information about the location of my body in space. I also have prosopagnosia ( face -blindness ), but I’m not sure whether that’s classifiable as a sensory issue in the same way.

Recently I have developed a slew of moter tics, and very recently some vocal ones, which would warrant a TS diagnosis in any country but the US (as DSM says 18 or under onset, but ICD-10 says 21 and under). It would be difficult to say whether the TS is more bothersome because of the activities it prevents me from doing ( I’ve had to change my focus in neuroscience as i can no longer operate needles/scalpels ), or because of the unkind and judgemental remarks i get from others.

So Cale, What’s life like for you now, how are you spending your time, are you happy with where your life is heading?

Life for me know is better then it has ever been . I’ve gained a position in the college which allows me to utilize my devotion to and fascination with autism ( my professors were quite excited to find an Aspie with a special interest in ASDs. Now i can do all their grunt work for them, because it’s far more fascinating to me then to them. ; ) I spend about a quarter of my working hours in class and doing hw, a quarter reading informative materials for fun, a quarter reading informative materials for research purposes, and as of late a quarter with autistic children, one of whom I’m setting up an ABA program for. I tend to get the majority of my social interaction with peers during meals or in the half-hour before sleep, but i do try and schedule a few hours each weekend to associate with friends.

I’mvery happy with where life is heading at this point. Academia was made for Aspies and i’ve certainly found my place within it. I have found a job goal to aim for ( BCBA) which I know will be immensely personally satisfying. And adopting children is certainly in my future, either with or without a partner.

Wow they are some pretty amazing goals! I wish you every luck in succeeding  with them. It’s been fantastic speaking with you Cale. Your a person with a strong sense of where his meant to be in life. Your story is one of a young man that never gave up on what he wanted no matter what was but in his path Maybe the years of bullying have made you the strong man you are today. I hope so!

Please come back again some time in the feature with an update on your journey through life, But before you leave would you be so kind to finish by giving us a cool  Aspie fact! one you would like to express to the world?

I can’t think of a cool fact off hand ( other then the speculation that both Steve jobs and Bill Gates are Aspies ), but i will offer my favorite Aspie quote: “For success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential.” – Hans Asperger.

I could not agree more:)

Want to read more on what Cale has been up to? Visit http://frogger11758.wordpress.com or follow frogger11758 on twitter .

MONDAY FINDS ( WEEK 5 )

17 Feb

BAD, BAD GIRL!

OK now this is Bad! I am really losing the plot this week.  As you can see it’s not Monday! Nope it’s that day called Tuesday the one after Monday. I was laying in bed thinking about stuff as i was yet again unable to get some sleep ( As you can see its close to 5.30am and that’s not because I’m just a early riser) I was working out in my head which finds i was going to add to my Monday finds blog feature today. Then i heard it on the early morning radio show. It’s Tuesday morning OMG!

Not being funny but that means that i spent the whole of MONDAY thinking it was SUNDAY. When i think about it it’s kinda crazy as no one said nothing and i remember telling my close friend on the telephone how much more I’m beginning to enjoy Sundays. I even wished her good bye saying i had to check the roast in the oven lol. My my I’m only 26 reaching 27 years old’ anyone would think i was older then 60!  Anyway now that i have finished explaining my early on set into a mad person I will get back to my Monday finds AKA Tuesday. Whats a day late? I’m just glad it wasn’t a week touch wood.

British mummy bloggers

Yet again i have found what seems to be a great ning social network. I must add it’s UK only just in case you missed the word British. The site is not a site based around ASD but it sure has a good deal of parents that discuses the subject due to there children being on the Autistic spectrum.

You can join British Mommy bloggers by visiting http://britishmummybloggers.ning.com   

Contact a family

UK based charity that are spread over most of the UK. There offering free help, advice and support for those that have children that are disabled. Contact a family are also known to to have many events and sibling groups. Find out more by visiting http://www.cafeamily.org.uk    

Autism myths. 

Worth a visit this one. Some people could find a lot of comfort within this blog as half of what people say is some what untrue. This site exposes the many myths of Autism. Visit http://autism-myths.org

Autism Hub

Am i the last to hear about this one as its a very busy list come social network. Get your URL listed in the great big long list of autism sites. You can also subscribe to the RSS as it is listed beside the site name. Handy  really not having to click o sites opening a load of windows. Take a look http://www.autism-hub.co.uk

 

MOTHER TO SHERK AND THE FACES OF AUTISM….

Best to last! but kind of a cheat ( it is two sites i chose but its by the same publisher)  http://motherofshrek.blogspot.com  and http://casdok-facesofautism.blogspot.com  Written by a single mother to a son in which has Autism and is none verbal. His names C and his 20 years old. His mother has written some fab post on Mother of shrek and her idea to create a site that displays some top art work and lovely images of lots of children each suffering from some kind of ASD. These two blogs are wonderful. Im coming back.
IF YOU FIND THESE LINKS NOT TO WORK PLEASE FIND THEM IN MY SIDEBAR LISTED UNDER MONDAY FINDS. THANKS.

CHECK THESE BEAUTIES OUT!

16 Feb

Oh yes i have been a lazy lady!!

It was so about time i started adding some more links and site reviews to my links page! It wasn’t like i didn’t have the resources’ more so the time:(

Never mind as i have kicked my own butt which i admit was much needed’ and added some newbie reviews:)

Wanna check out what I’ve been checking out? Want to see what sites and blogs i felt the need to write about? Check out the review page listed at the top of my screen and have a look for yourself!

GO ON’ GO ON. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO:)

MONDAY FINDS (WEEK 4)

10 Feb

This weeks Monday Finds (week4)
enjoy.

Want some fab autism awareness signs, buttons and banners.
www.commenthaven.com

Great Autism developmental and educational toys and learning tools.
www.autismsuperstore.com

Holly is making a list about the great things our autistic children do. visit her blog and let her know what you love about autism.
http://singlemotherofautism.today.com

Need a tutor for your child with ASD
visit this directory
www.autismtutors.com

Animal Agentz
A tool to help children deal with stress. DR Mark Jones computer based learning tool. Test for animal agentz were conducted At Londons Great Omond hospital for children.
http://www.animalagentz.com

If the links within this post do not work please click the links located in the sidebar under Monday links.

LOOK AT US NOW!

9 Feb

When i first heard that G was going to be assessed for ASD. I was both shocked and relived. If this is something you have just heard you maybe too. Once i had sorted everything out in my head the next step for me was to get educated on the subject and that’s what i did. I would advise anybody who has a newly diagnosed child of ASD or  those that think there  child could be on the spectrum should do this.

I found a great deal of information on the net. I also reed many books and spoke to other parents going though the same as me, my son and whole family. Once i started to research ASD i saw that things within the spectrum could be seen as gifts. There are many forms of autism some more high functioning then others. Aspergers is a condition on the higher end of the spectrum and Aspergers is the label given to G.

Once you know where your child is within the spectrum and you look at the reasons behind certain types of hard or unwanted behaviour you can then begin to avoid the upsets making your child’s life that little bit more easier. Ok not everything can be avoided certain sensory issues are hard to avoid but knowing what they are is a starting point. Lets not forget anybody within the spectrumof Autism sees the world some what differently from us.

There have been many times i have sat and cried but there are far more that i have smiled. When I’m on the net and i read forum post by parents of children with ASD and there so stressed angry and tired i think to myself that was me. Ok i’m not saying i never have them days anymore! I’m just saying it’s very rare i do. There is no cure for ASD i really don’t care what anybody has to say about that it’s just a fact’ But why would we want one anyway?

My point is before hearing your child had the condition they were the same child’ you loved them the same way you do now. The way i see it is your born with the condition the condition is what makes that child and your child is what makes the condition. If i asked for G not to have Aspergers that’s like me asking for a different child altogether. If you looked at us before and looked at us now! You would see how a understanding in Aspergers has helped in bringing me and my child so much closer. Don’t get me wrong we have always been close I’m close to both my children but G being close to me is different as it’s on his terms. Today it’s still on Giovanni’s terms but look and you will see he has opened up a little more as i understand him so much better.

My child is wonderful and yes my child has difficult times and yes he has at times got bad behaviour’ some non related to ASD as he is still human. But my child is who he is and i tell him never to be ashamed of that person.

Life doesn’t always have to be this hard there are many ways that we can make it easier for ourselves and children.

MONDAY FINDS (WEEK 3)

3 Feb

Hello everyone.
Its week 3 of my new weekly blog feature Monday finds. Really enjoying sharing my finds with everybody. Really hope that you find something within this feature that comes of good use to you. Already had some pretty good feedback and some of you have informed me that you have joined some of the sites that have been listed in my finds. Thats great let’s find some more:)

Aspergers support WA
Fantastic wordpress blog offers top information and advice on everything Aspergers. Fab site and forum that is so worth a visit.
http://aspergerssupport.wordpress.com

Life with Aspergers
This blog has been written by somebody living with Aspergers. They help you to look at the positives of the condition. There is a fab new post that’s been added. Do Aspie children know that they are different?    http://life-with-aspergers.blogspot.com

Autism stuff
Site created by Linda Hodgdons.
Site sells a range of autism and aspergers related products. Books, teaching tools and even a bargain bin.
http://autismstuff.com

ASD friendly
Found this site when looking for a asd book club. Found Asd friendly That offered a wonderful book club and lots more. Chat, boards, blog, and shop are just a few.
http://asdfriendly.org

Aspergers friends
This site overs everything. It covers so much and offers top ASD advice. It has news, links, support groups and more.
http://www.aspergerfriends.com

If links within this post do not load please use the links in the sidebar listed under Monday Finds.

Monday finds week 2

27 Jan

Wow what a week!
Found some interesting and exciting stuff that I was bursting to share with

Model me kids social skills videos…
DVD sets designed to help your child with there social skills. This has been done by modeling peer behaviour in different areas of there life. Great teaching tools for your kids.
Click the link (yellow box) in the sidebar to get yours or read some of the latest reviews on these dvds.

Ringsurf.com
Join a ring or create your own. I joined the Pdd and Aspergers ring and autism support ring:) links located in sidebar.

Aspergerhelp.net
This site has been created by a mother of a child with ASD. It’s a centre for likeminded people seeking answers,sharing knowledge and understanding and more. It deals with several disorders on the sectrum. http://aspergerhelp.net

Aspergers world
Another social network hosted by ning.com. Aimed at people with Aspergers and there families. Chat, blog, forum, profile page and more.
http://aspergersworld.ning.com

Zazzle
My star find of the week:)
Looking forward to becoming a part of it all. At Zazzle you can shop or even better design with your own artwork autism related products. Open up your own gallery and then sell them. Best of all it won’t cost you a penny’ it’s free free free:) www.zazzle.co.uk

If links on post don’t work you can find them located in my sidebar listed under Monday finds

Monday finds (week 1)

19 Jan

This is week one of my project Monday finds. All my finds are based on or around Aspergers and ASD. They are all finds I have come across though the week. ENJOY:)

Aspergers web wing
Join the aspergers web ring or any other ring that interest you. You can join in forum chats, create your own profile, submit your blog to the ring directory or create your own ring. Do all this at http://webring.com

Meetup.com
There are many meetup groups you can join. Chat online and attend meet ups in your area once a month. Visit
http://aspergers.meetup.com

Get a free DVD
The website for the treatment centre in America are offering free DVD’S just fill out a short form. Visit
http://www.autismtreatmentcentre.org

One for the UK
Read about the Dore programme and how they can help with many developmental disorders. Visit
www.dore.co.uk/dvd.aspx or www.dore.co.uk

Great read.
If you love great reads then read this!
All cats have Aspergers
It’s a playful look at Aspergers
Get it at Amazon for $9.99 visit www.amazon.com

Any problems with these links then you will be able to find them all in my sidebar:)

Monday Finds

18 Jan

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m having one of them lazy ones:)
Grab a magazine I have been wanting to read all week put my feet up and get real comfortable. Kids are out with daddy and I’m loving the ME ME ME time

MUST HAVES OF THE WEEK!
This is one of the best parts in this womans mag. The editor selects some ramdom hot and fabulous items to cover her double page spread. All mostly fashion clothing and electrifying shoes. I’m fine with this and at most it has my upmost attention.

However not today! My lazy mood had left home and my brain begain storming. “Dont you just love it when a not so awake brain become’s so awake it’s like a brain on 20+ redbulls?”
My point being is I was yet again getting a bloggers moment:) You had nothing new to post yesterday yet today you could cover the Sunday mornings newspaper from cover to back and back again. But who cares?? Not me as today I had a new idea for my blog and looking forward to putting it to the test.
….HERE WE GO
Every Monday I’m looking to bring my top finds to the blog. However it’s not in the form of lip gloss and mini skirts. Its my finds in the ASD world. I’m going to start with my top five Monday finds tomorrow. Ok it hasn’t been a week but ah I can manage:)
Top Monday finds’ are finds I have come across within the week. It maybe a site, book, local group or something eles. But they will all relate to ASD and Aspergers. It’s something constructive for me to do on my quest on changing the world and bringing some massive awareness to autism 🙂 SUPER.

So watch this space!!!!!!

I’m of to do some much needed research inorder to bring you the best top 5 Monday finds 🙂

A great social network

12 Jan

If like myself you enjoy social networking and you have a child with autism or Aspergers then your going to love what I’m about to share.
Model me kids is a social network devoted to asd. Once signed up your provided with your own page and URL. Join groups, blog, upload pictures and vids, chat with members and lots more. Model me kids also provided me with some great tools and widgets that you can use on facebook, myspace and more. Do you have a site or blog? If yes you can use these widgets on your site:) since joining I have made contact with a number of nice people and gained some fantastic information.
Model me kids is one of a kind in social networking sites on the net today http://modelmekids.ning.com
If u find link not to work please find this link in my sidebar under links.

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