A 31-post collection I need more training! (discussion of traumatized autistic child and strategies for helping) I need more training! (discussion of traumatized autistic child and strategies for helping)




I've become pretty confident in my ability to assist adolescent Autistic/Aspergers students with superb verbal skills and mild-to-negligible behavior issues.

Student is now pretty good at sniffing out when others are teasing him under the guise of "just being friendly" and is able to tell them...

I'm not a teacher, but I am a mum of two kids on the ASD rainbow. I can tell you from experience that ASD manifests itself in ways as unique as each child. Therefore, improvisational skills are a fantastic advantage.

Some things that may help in the overall strategies:

1) Get the class on your side. Books like All Cats Have Asperger's can be an introduction to ASD and how some behaviors of Aspergic kids can be found in the fully autistic. Explain Autism and how it can make life a little harder for those who have it. Just like any disability, knowledge is key to preventing bullying or exclusion.

2) Confab with a helpful parent/guardian. Given that the kid in question is scared of adults, you may be dealing with someone at the 'beat it out of them' level of ignorance somewhere in the home scene. Tact is a great helper when dealing with people who don't understand ASD.

3) Make a safe space. For my youngest, who had meltdowns in the early years, I suggested and achieved a "soft corner" where my little girl could de-stress. It included a bean-bag, a cuddly toy, and a faux-fur pillow. Your little autiste (my term) may need a toy cubby or a similar one-kid space. Make it clear that this is X's safe space and anyone caught invading it without permission is headed for time-out.

4) Have sensory aids. Lots of autistic kids have trouble with loud noises. I personalized a set of ear muffs, which I loan to the school for the times when the world gets too loud. You may have to work with the child on your own if the family is unhelpful. You can do lots with stickers, beads and a hot glue gun.

5) Set up a reward system. Positive re-enforcement works marvelously. If your kid isn't a reader, then pictograms work as well. Prizes can be anything from stickers and stamps to safe sensory activities.

6) Know the time limit. If an autiste can only handle tasks in five-minute windows, work with it instead of trying to convince oatmeal to flow uphill. Yes, it means re-framing the tasks you set out for the whole class, and I won't pretend it isn't a pain in the anatomy... but it will make class time less stressful in the long run.

7) Know the warning signs. This is one only familiarity can help you with, alas. ASD kids have what I like to think of as an escalating chain of de-stressing behaviors (eg. Verbal stimming) that you can use to gauge whether or not it's time to intervene(use the three D's - Delay, Derail, Distract). There's a huge difference between I'm dealing with this habits and This is starting to not be OK habits.

This is an awful lot not about books. I know. But I do recommend you get a hold of Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian by John Elder Robinson. If only for the marvelous word Nypical.

Oh, and avoid any material from Autism Speaks. They don't speak for autistes, they want to eliminate them.

On the three D's:

Delay: delay the oncoming storm with encouraging words, or telling them they can try 'one more time' before going to something else. Never make them feel 'bad' or 'wrong' that the disturbing thing is disturbing them.

Derail: derail the chain of causation with something attractive (VERY dependent on the child in the situation) as a reward for 'doing so well' at whatever. You can even use verbal stimming for this if you can.

Distract: distract them from the distress with a different (and attractive) activity/object. Improvisation is definitely your friend. I once prevented a meltdown by singing about being scared and then being 'a brave little girl'. It caused my elder child a lot of embarrassment, but my little autiste did not have a meltdown and that counts as a success.

And above all else - learn everything you can, then share everything you can. Be fully prepared to dumb it down if you have to. And if someone insists on ignorance, ask them if their ignorant strategies would work on any other disability. Then ask them how Autism is not a disability.

Winning the fight against ignorance is often the biggest battle.

No, I WOULD NOT recommend JER's "Be Different" for a kid who's been shamed or terrified into this level of insecurity.

That book might as well have been called "Why It's Super Important for Other People Not to Think You're Weird." I couldn't even get through the first part of it, it was that shaming and gross, and I'm an adult who thinks I'm fairly secure with myself.

More likely he needs to just know that he's safe and accepted. OP, that he seems to see you as a safe person is a good sign. Is there any way that when he gets upset, he can just come to you, no questions asked?

It's also important that adults don't make him feel cornered or trapped. As long as he's not in imminent danger, there's no reason he should be having to run away from adults, because they shouldn't be giving chase. I concur with the need for a safe space.

Also, the motion of rocking is soothing to a lot of autistic people. See if, when he runs to you, he likes being rocked back and forth.

And this might be the job of someone other than you...but I hope someone's trying to figure out what's going on at home for him. (Some "therapies" that parents subject their kids to for 20-30 hours a week in addition to school can be very overwhelming and psychologically abusive.)

Sorry, I meant to say that JER’s book is an OK tool for teaching adults what ASD can be like “on the inside” from someone who’s experienced it. Plus ‘nypical’ is a pretty damn cool word that doesn’t carry the shaming implications present in 'normal’.

I agree with everything you’ve said here, chavisory. Safe environment first, above all things.

Help my best friend get out of medical debt

Help my best friend get out of medical debt


Some of you have seen me talk about my best friend Jess. She isn't on Tumblr much anymore, but she's a hilarious, incredibly bright, ambitious woman who also happens to be the strongest person I know.

Let me give you some background. Jess and I have been friends for more than 14 years. We assembled our own feminist army that we called the Viqueens.

We grew up together, we did everything together,

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Good news, everyone!

I have a job.

A paying job.

I am now, officially, a journalist [talk about doing things backwards. Most writers start out as journos] for a soon-to-be-released online ladies’ magazine.

I have, over the past week, been working on some articles for it, usually two or three a day.

Today (Thursday) I was told I should be writing “pink and fluffy” pieces.

I must have earned a year off purgatory for not exploding at my best-beloved on a “

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Titanpad help?

I’ve been trying to put my interfics on Titanpad, and I keep running into a problem.

My fics are too damn long.

I get up to one thousand (+/- 100) lines and the next paste in causes a weird glitch. I can’t see any subsequent lines even though the line count says they’re there. It’s just… white.

Anyone with expertise in Titanpad… please let me know if this is a common thing

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I've been working on a cypher

It’s for a book. Honest.

Nothing nefarious going on here, no sir.

Now, given my limited brains on the subject, I thought the wise thing to do was encode something with my cypher and let the internet geniuses out there try and crack it.

So here’s the encoded text:


What say you all? Crackable? Uncrackable?

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queennubian: Peace family! A mother is in search of her daughter right now. Please help her locate her child and signal boost. Wishes for...


Peace family! A mother is in search of her daughter right now. Please help her locate her child and signal boost. 

Wishes for wellness and safe return in this signal boost.

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A call for volunteers

You’ve had some free samples of my writing [check the #story tag in my posts] and now I’m looking for Beta Readers because it’s just occurred to me that handing out stories for free before I try to sell them might just be a bad business plan.

So. Does anyone out there with sharp reading eyes wish to subject themselves to the alpha drafts of whatever the heck my warped mind concocts next?

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A small dilemma (and an ask)

Firstly, apologies to everyone who’s been expecting a thing a day. I’ve been busy with pestillence, family and (again) waiting for someone who could help me to get their finger out of the metaphorical divot.

All my loyal readers will know I’m on Smashwords now and have my first work allegedly up and multi-compatible.

C'mon. Buy the dang thing. It’s only two freaking dollars. I need the money.


Anyway. I have three other

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A polite request

I’m trying to raise some moneys for my next trip to Thailand [ticket price $2500] by selling my written works on/via Smashwords.

They need covers.

I have the artistic skill of a distantly-deceased moose.

So. Therefore, I must ask kindly for someone to design front covers for RTFM, Nor Gloom of Night and perhaps Good Boy if I can get it somewhere where I like it a bit better.

I might even publish a fantasy story I’ve

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Technically technical difficulties

Okay, so here’s the scoop.

While I was over in Thailand, I used a (gasp) foreign chip so I wouldn’t be landed upon by positively ginormous roaming charges. And so I could, you know, call home without also gathering a huge debt.

Now that I’m home and back on my regular chip, my computer refuses to recognise that there’s photos in there at all. And I know for a fact that I have almost

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Almost there!

Okay, so I’ve almost transferred all my files and folders from the dying laptop to my new lunchbox Mac. Yay.

I’ve installed Minecraft - essential!

And now I’m trying to find where the save games are so I can get on with the MathMagician Adventure Map.

Alas, things have changed and I can’t find the bugger.

I know it’s in ~/Library/Application Support… but I can’t remember where I

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So it's been a tad of a rollercoaster, lately.

I got my PC running again after months of idleness, so now I can write my blog on that. Yay.

Alas, what I can no longer do is work on the adventure map until I learn/figure out a way to export a Mac saved game to a PC without the whole thing throwing a massive wobbler.

My PC is about eight years old since the last hardware upgrade. Which is about 80 in computer years. I refuse point blank to buy

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I’m taking my time with the sewer level. It’s almost a month later, and I’m still working on this thing. As I write this...

I’m taking my time with the sewer level.

It’s almost a month later, and I’m still working on this thing. As I write this [24 Mar] I am STILL stuffing dispensers with brownish objects and occasional representative junk.

And by “representative junk”, I mean: leather for dead animals, raw fish for fish, empty bottles, string, lilly pads, grass, iron fences, gravel, slime balls and pieces  of paper. Because it’s not just poo

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Dear Haters

You need to stop. Seriously. Anger destroys yourself, your family and the things you care for. While I understand that you have an innate fear/dislike of everything “different”, I have to impart some shocking news.


There is “average”, which is a nebulous enough to encapsulate a group, but the “average” person is brown, a little under 6 feet tall, most likely bi and not christian. Shocker,

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