Posted By Rudy Simone

I am now giving webinars, both to private groups and public ones for up to 9 people. My first public one is on sensory issues and will be at noon (EST) on April 19th. Please email rudy@help4aspergers.com if you'd like to register.

 

 
Posted By Rudy Simone

Hi all – a few changes in my world I wanted to share with you. First, I am giving a keynote speech in Ontario on April 8th, called Understanding Aspergirls. You can register here. It will be my last live appearance. I dislike airplanes and hotels in this era of post 9/11, climate-change-disrupted travel.

However, I will be giving live webinars to small groups beginning shortly thereafter. My Presentations/Calendar page will be changed to Webinars shortly. My Doctors Who Diagnose page is now called Where to Get Diagnosis/Counseling 4 Adults/Females. If you would like to have yourpractice listed, contact me.

Those of you who follow me on twitter, I’ve had to delete that account, for it was hacked and a mess ensued. You can follow me on my new account here. I have a new book coming out most likely at the end 0f 2014, called Aunt Aspie's Wisdom, One-Liners, and Occasional Advice. The publisher is the same for most of my books, Jessica Kingsley (JKP).
Lastly, my music career has really taken off, with my album Gothic Blues (amazon link) selling from New Zealand to NY, Sweden to South Africa, France to California. Those who are interested in seeing what the fuss is about can visit www.rudysimone.net. Purchasers get keys to my club house, where you can view live concerts and get free goodies for life.

 

yea

 
Posted By Rudy Simone

Much attention has been drawn to the world of female autism and Aspergers because of the work and  fame of Temple Grandin. But if Temple was instrumental in a big way, Liane Holliday Willey has been instrumental in a quiet way, speaking to the soul of the individual Aspie. In fact, if it weren’t for Liane, there would be no ‘aspie’ at all, for she coined the term.


Her first book Pretending to be Normal is still the high water mark for books on Aspergers, male or female, and her latest book Safety Skills for Asperger Women, is to me, just as important and more practical. Pretending was everything up to the epiphany of diagnosis and a bit more, while Safety is everything missed in the first book and everything since, and there’s been a lot, from marriage to children to death of her best friend, her father.
Liane bemoans the fact that she never became an attorney, but it’s easy for me to see as the reader, that she is far too sensitive, too gentle, to have endured the game playing, arguing and truth-bending that comes with the territory. Liane is a poet, and this comes through in her book, not as a trickle or an afterthought but seeping from the pores of every page.

The title of the book is, in my opinion, too dry and doesn’t convey the tone of the book which is as much about the emotions and the spirit as it is about the tangible. I think it should have been called Attention Aspie Women—Advice from Your Soul Sister or something like that. But this isn’t some chick book—this is real, raw, practical stuff and the fabulous glue that binds it all together is the intelligence of the woman herself, her surgical insights and her way with words. Every sentence she writes is a mini work of art which makes turning the page as easy as rocking.

Liane talks about literal thinking and confusion creating havoc in her travel plans (e.g. a sign reading “stand here for shuttle” doesn’t mean you don’t have to call for pickup), being mom to a teenager with aspergers and handling someone else’s meltdowns; there’s a chapter called “mood marauders,” another example of her clever and accurate way with words. Here’s a quick excerpt from the chapter ‘falling prey”—every aspie woman reading this will relate with a strong head nod or an audible ew!:

"During my third year in college, I took a bowling course knowing it would be a fun class and an easy A for my transcript. After class one day, my kindly elderly professor asked if I would like to see how the bowling machines collect and re-track the bowling pins and balls. In solid Aspie form, I didn’t think twice about turning down a chance to take such a cool look at machinery in action. Imagine my shock when the tour I had expected quickly turned into my professor giving me a tour of his nasty tongue going down my throat."

Been there, done that, got the PTSD and the pissed-off attitude to prove it. Life doesn’t get easier, aspergirls and boys, it gets tougher, but so do we. Books like this aren’t optional, they’re survival gear.

 

 
Posted By Rudy Simone

Sophie Walker’s memoir tells of her efforts to train for and run in the London marathon while simultaneously training herself and everyone in her daughter Grace’s world to properly deal with Asperger’s. I was reticent to read this book feeling certain I would not be able to relate. 1st, I’m not a runner. The only thing in my world that chronically runs is my nose. 2nd, I’m not the mother of an Aspergirl so I never had to deal with education plans, psychologists, frustrated teachers, nor watch almost helplessly the suffering of a child who knows instinctively that she’s different. My own daughter like most children, of course had some experience with bullying but popularity always protected her like an invisible shield. Lastly, I’m not a sophisticated urbanite like Walker, a Reuters journalist living the kind of life in London I only see on BBC shows. Auntie is well-travelled, but I find London and all cities an assault on my senses that I simply cannot pretend to like although I do love a nice museum.
I was a little jealous as I began to read this book. To have an educated, loving mother, that not only cares if you cry yourself to sleep at night but also does something about it with the ferocity of a protective tiger is how it should be. (My own was always working or out disco dancing, and couldn’t have cared less if I ran away, which I did several times.) But as I read I quickly became engrossed in the story—Grace’s struggles reminded me of my own childhood and her mum’s tenacity was not, as I feared, intimidating, but rather, inspiring. I even began to run once I finished the book. Admittedly that was short-lived, but it did inspire me to pursue my exercises with renewed vigor. We must be strong physically and mentally to deal with the challenges life throws at us.
I think it surprised me how much of a toll having a child with AS can take on a parent. When you’ve read as many books and articles on AS as I have, you can get a little jaded, but there are so many things that Sophie says in this book that are like knockout punches, they hit home so potently, so clearly. Early in the book she describes the typical playground scenario, and details how she arrived to check on Grace to find her standing alone in the playground, talking to herself and sketching pictures in the air. Poignant. She laments the difficulty of “rendering Grace in simple terms” to a man in a suit who has the power to help her…or not. Ms. Walker also decries the type  of book written by an MA in autism, but with no heart or real world value. She sums up aspie empathy succinctly but aptly: “she fully understands how people feel, she feels the same way herself…..she just can’t read people’s moods in the moment or understand why they might behave a certain way…”
Virtually every page contains something poignant, useful, relatable and enlightening. What truly sets this apart is that all the while, Sophie is facing her own demons and training for a marathon that is beyond anything most of us will ever set before ourselves. Quite frankly, that aspect of the book was riveting and really opened this homebody’s eyes to the world of the athlete, one which I thought was about as far away from my world as I could get. Even though I do yoga, lift weights, it is not the same thing as this kind of quest, one with a clearly defined, almost impossible goal. I guess that’s what life is—a series of quests, challenges and adventures set before us to see what we are made of. Sophie and her book are made of the very best—heart, soul, intelligence and eloquence with a generous dollop of fierce determination.

 
Posted By Rudy Simone

For personal reasons I don’t want to go into right now, xmas for me is often a choice between two evils: spend it with the hatfields & mccoys, or stay home alone feeling the weight of a loneliness that only comes around on holidays, when we’re supposed to be celebrating with loved ones. You are my loved ones, I have others in the real world, but they are either busy, or they don’t currently appreciate me. So, what’s a semi-famous author supposed to do alone on xmas? I could follow in the footsteps of my late sister, and take misery to its ultimate conclusion but I won’t do that. I’m the strongest person I know but I still have my breaking point and I don’t want to reach it. So I’ve created, just for part of xmas eve, and xmas day, the Aspie Hotline. If you’re feeling lonely, you can Skype me. It’s free for any device, and we don’t have to video call. We can just use the audio function. In fact I’d prefer it. I’ll be here to say howdy, have a chat, toast you with my cup of tea. Add ‘aspie hotline’ in your skype contacts, and next time I’m signed on, I’ll accept you. I may be dipping out for a few hours on xmas eve, and a couple hours on xmas day, but other than that, I’m here. In fact, even if you’re not sad or lonely, I might be, so say hi. I’m only human. Bear in mind I’m in the states on east coast time. But go ahead and ring. If I’m asleep or unavailable, I’ll be signed off. If I’m in a call, I’ll put up ‘do not disturb’, but I’ll ring you back. All the best and I look forward to speaking with some of you on xmas eve day and xmas day (only). Search Aspie Hotline in buffalo, ny.

 

 

 
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