Archive for the ‘Autism’ Category
On Monday September 20, 2010, at 7pm EST, Author and Life Coach, A.J. Mahari, herself an adult woman with Asperger’s Syndrome interviewed Taylor Morris, who is a 17 year old young woman with High Functioning Autism, as well as a straight A student, and advocate for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Taylor is very articulate young woman and she has made several video. She has an incredible following of her videos. Taylor describes and explains a lot about her experience in life as someone with Asperger’s Syndrome in ways that can help people with Asperger’s better understand it and also helped their loved ones better understand. The more we can understand and respect each other across the differences of what it means to be a “neurotypical” or a person with Asperger’s Syndrome the richer all of our lives will be.
Asperger’s Syndrome, as I know from my own life, and as I stress on my own Aspergers and Adults website is a different ability – not a disability. It brings with it challenges, but, also many blessings and gifts. Please watch some of Taylor’s videos below and read the post re-posted here from her blog at Meet Taylor Morris, entitled, “My Social World: Inside an Autistic’s Psyche”
© A.J. Mahari, September 10, 2010
My Social World: Inside an Autistic’s Psyche
By Taylor Morris
Just before class I hear a necklace jingle around the neck of a pretty girl. She is gossiping with another pretty girl, who is twirling her pretty hair and talking about the awesome party where some other pretty girl ruined her dress with a beer stain. At the other end of the class, I listen to yet another pretty girl complain to her pretty best friend about how her make-up wasn’t done just right — she is not pretty enough. Meanwhile I’m on my own, at my desk, looking at my calloused hands and unkempt nails thinking: “The jewelry, the hair, the clothes and the make–up — it’s all their social games. Their value, their conversations, their lives. How do they devote so much time and money to that? How do they know just what to say to get “groupies” to follow them?” I sigh and shake my head, thinking of how I don’t own a dress, how I wear the same earrings every day, and how I never seem to understand when they speak in what seems like code. With this, I’m once again reminded of how I’m an unwitting member of a social “game” I don’t really know how to play. Having an Aspie mind is a hard-enough social challenge; add to that the complexities of a high school girl’s social world and hierarchy and you have just added insult to injury.
Over the years I have learned to associate the word “social” with scenes like these. I never have understood the social culture people practice. I just don’t have the ability to “sense” like neurotypicals because my thoughts are literal, not intuitive. My mind is heuristic, so I behave in accordance with what I see and directly experience. I can’t “sense” whether or not I’m winning over a person. I have to wait and see how they treat me in the weeks after I have met them. This creates a whole new challenge in meeting people and making friends, especially girlfriends.
However, I have learned to use my style of mind to my advantage. For example, I use heuristics to decide which people I should and should not try to be-friend. I know from experience that girls who hang out in large groups of other girls tend to be mean to me. Because of this, I know to not try to connect with them. Same goes for girls who wear shirts worth more then my earrings, girls who wear more make-up in a day than I do in a year, and those who match their entire outfit a bit too perfectly. This may seem ridiculous because everyone knows someone who wears a mountain of make-up but is still very nice. Even so, over the years I have found that these heuristics work well. Many of the people I have excluded often did end up being the exact kind of people I want to avoid. I know these “rules” in deciding who I will try to interact with are polarizing to an extent, but they are how I have used my mind to find my way through a social game. Using this method, I have successfully identified girls who became my best friends. They don’t judge me for being slightly different and don’t hold it against me for not having the best sense of style. They have judged me by my character, and that is all I ever really wanted.
Life Coach, and author, A.J. Mahari, interviewed Dr. Dan L. Edmunds on the Psyche Whisperer Radio Show Monday August 30 at 7pm EST. Biopsychiatry violates the first oath and ethic of medicine for all doctors, including psychiatrists, “first do no harm”. Dr. Dan L. Edmunds views biopsychiatry as “supposed treatment” and doesn’t believe in the common pratice of using toxic psychiatric drugs and especially when it come to children who are then made life-time psychiatric patients. He maintains it is cheaper to “treat” with drugs rather than actually address the reasons for patient’s distress. He believes that science and ethics must become consistent and that the entire mental health system needs to be deconstructed. The medical model needs to replaced with a model of compassion. Maybe then, we can have a humane system wherein abused of the past and current abuses could become things of the past.
This episode is now available below
Professor Dr. Dan L. Edmunds is a radical psychotherapist, a friend and advocate of psychiatric survivors, and a critic of the mental health establishment.
Dr. Edmunds is a voice for the marginalized and for the many who lack a voice within the psychiatric system. A person of deep compassion and principle, Dr. Edmunds is a noted psychotherapist, child development/behavioral specialist, Comparative Religion scholar, sociologist and counselor working with both children and adults.
Dr. Edmunds speaks truthfully and directly and has posed critical questions to the psychiatric establishment and to society as a whole. He has developed approaches towards helping distressed individuals that are compassionate and empowering and encourage self-determination and autonomy. He has been an advocate for social justice, informed consent, and for human rights in the mental health system.
Dr. Edmunds has become deeply concerned with the medicalization of human experience and how mental health services have often become ‘mechanical’, not seeking to truly be caring and empathic, limiting consumer choice, and often not providing informed consent. He has sought for care that is recognizes people’s experience and treats them as people, care that is holistic,which recognizes the mind-body-spirit connection, and which takes into account issues of social injustice and how they impact our emotional well being and often shape our possibilities and who we become. Dr. Edmunds has challenged the mental health system establishment to respect persons experience and once again a common healing ground betwen the therapist and client. His writings have often focused on the need for building of community, holistic approaches, and the role of the family as well as social and political processes that lead towards emotional distress. He has challenged stigmatizing labels and exposed the violence that is often inflicted upon individuals by those who claim to be in the role of ‘helper’. He encouraged a mental health system which does not force people into treatments that they do not want, which respects their dignity, and which allows their experience to be heard and validated.
Dr. Dan L. Edmunds has a blog at: danledmunds.blogspot.com
POST PSYCHIATRY JOURNAL – Center for Meaning and Relationship POST PSYCHIATRY JOURNAL – Center for Meaning and Relationship. A compilation of articles from mental health professionals and psychiatric survivors challenging the bio-psychiatric paradigm.
CHILDREN OUR TREASURE: Meeting Our Children’s True Needs Outside of the Bio-Psychiatric Paradigm CHILDREN OUR TREASURE: Meeting Our Children’s True Needs Outside of the Bio-Psychiatric Paradigm (book) – History of psychiatry, exploring psychiatric human rights abuses and the impact of psychiatry on children. Offers way to create a more humane mental health system.
Dr. Edmunds has been interviewed on local and nationally syndicated radio programs in regards to these important issues.
Dr. Edmunds was born in Tampa, Florida and spent much of adolescent years in Fort Collins, Colorado where he graduated from Fort Collins High School. From his youth, he became active in community and civic affairs and social and political change. Dr. Edmunds seeks for a society that places people before profits and treats all with compassion and equanimity. He served as a director of the Students for Peace and Justice and was involved in various political campaigns as a teen. In 1991, he served as the youngest legislative aide in the Colorado State Senate, serving in the office of State Senator (later U.S. Representative) Robert W. Schaffer. He later became the youngest registered professional lobbyist, being registered in the States of Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona. He was a volunteer for the Larimer County, Colorado Office of Veterans Affairs. In 1992, he obtained the permission of then Mayor Nicholas Fortunato to develop the Ormond Beach, Florida Youth Commission. He served as a county campaign coordinator for U.S. Representative Corrine Brown’s campaign in 1992. This accorded him the opportunity to transport Martin Luther King III, the son of the slain civil rights leader, to an event at Bethune Cookman College and exposed him to diversity, civil rights, and social justice concerns. As a public intellectual and left libertarian, Dr. Edmunds continues to remain active in political and civic affairs and encouraging a society that is based on equality, peace, and justice. In 2008, Dr. Edmunds organized the Humanist Center for Freethought and Social Activism in order to encourage an end to oppression, ecological responsibility, freedom, equality, and respect for diversity.
Dr. Edmunds is on the Board of Advisors for the Society for Laingian Studies. The Society for Laingian Studies is directed by Dr. Brent Potter and includes advisors who had direct collaboration with Dr. R.D. Laing such as Andrew Feldmar and Theodore Itten. The Society for Laingian Studies seeks to further the humane approaches towards understanding and helping distressed persons that was begun by Dr. R.D. Laing. Society for Laingian Studies
Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.,B.C.S.A.
Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, USA
PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR CHILDREN, TEENS, AND ADULTS ***DRUG FREE RELATIONAL APPROACHES TO ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)***CONSULTATION AND ASSISTANCE FOR EXTREME STATES OF MIND (SCHIZOPHRENIA, SCHIZOAFFECTIVE, BIPOLAR)***ASSISTANCE WITH POST TRAUMATIC STRESS***AUTISM/DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES SERVICES***LECTURES/SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS FOR SCHOOLS AND PARENT ORGANIZATIONS***PSYCHO-SOCIAL ASSESSMENTS***FUNCTIONAL BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENTS***FORENSIC ASSESSMENTS***FAMILY THERAPY/MARITAL COUNSELING