American Asperger's Association Support Group

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» Chambers of Hope (COH) and American Aspergers Association (AAA)
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 27, 2013 1:29 pm by csweepigirl

» Introductions
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Feb 06, 2012 12:39 am by earthenvessel

» June 4th 2011
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Feb 25, 2011 6:22 am by csweepigirl

» Free Home Speech Practice Home offer
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Feb 19, 2011 2:21 pm by csweepigirl

» Support group meeting and hbot volunteers
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Dec 20, 2010 9:35 am by Dr. Ron

» Favor....Locals..read..please...
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 11, 2010 7:46 am by bondgary009

» Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) is hosting the first of its best practices webinars
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Aug 27, 2010 4:51 am by csweepigirl

» We need to start this website back up again!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Aug 23, 2010 2:33 am by man of a million names

» Group Home Manager is Yelling I Need Help
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeThu Aug 05, 2010 3:10 am by csweepigirl

» Facebook
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 05, 2010 2:27 am by KelleyNNelson

» Support Group Meetings 2011 *EDITED*
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 23, 2010 3:57 am by KelleyNNelson

» community happenings!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 22, 2010 6:01 am by asg_tlm@hotmail.com

» Asperger's (how it is diagnosed and treated)
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 12, 2010 4:27 pm by csweepigirl

» What do you do when people look at you by the pills you take vs. the person you are?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 12, 2010 4:01 pm by csweepigirl

» Items under your nose that are gluten free, and cheap too!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 09, 2010 5:59 am by KelleyNNelson

» Adam
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 08, 2010 1:19 am by man of a million names

» Looking for friends
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 05, 2010 8:51 pm by channing28105

» Maas-Rowe Carillon Questions
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 05, 2010 8:51 pm by channing28105

» Video Emails from Dr. Ron
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue May 11, 2010 1:40 am by Dr. Ron

» Ah, it's good to be back.
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat May 01, 2010 5:03 am by man of a million names

» 1st Annual Aspergers Volleyball Tournament
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 19, 2010 2:03 am by Dr. Ron

» free event: Therapeutic Recreation Adapted Sailing and Kayak Clinic
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeThu Apr 01, 2010 3:20 am by csweepigirl

» Help! I Seem to be Getting More Autistic!" ARTICLE
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 29, 2010 10:22 am by csweepigirl

» Was this teacher out of line?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Mar 03, 2010 10:31 pm by lovethefish

» OMG THE PLACE IS REMODELED!!!!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Mar 03, 2010 2:38 am by KelleyNNelson

» Got Plates?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 02, 2010 1:19 am by KelleyNNelson

» Local IEP Advocate!! THANKS VAL!!!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSun Feb 28, 2010 1:16 pm by csweepigirl

» Pinellas ESE advisory board meetings
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Feb 27, 2010 12:31 am by lovethefish

» Dentists who use sedation.. thanks Dr. Ron
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Feb 27, 2010 12:28 am by lovethefish

» Hey GAB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 24, 2010 5:25 am by csweepigirl

» Autism in the news: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A hormone thought to encourage bonding between mothers and their babies may foster social behavior in some adults with autism, French researchers said on Monday.
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeThu Feb 18, 2010 7:01 am by csweepigirl

» **********echo*******************
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSun Jan 31, 2010 11:16 pm by KelleyNNelson

» Any ideas on how to make a gluten regression easier for both child and family?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Jan 06, 2010 9:47 am by csweepigirl

» Hi! Long time no see.
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Dec 21, 2009 3:04 am by KelleyNNelson

» Hellooooo? Need some freakin' help here.
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue Dec 15, 2009 8:50 am by man of a million names

» Cats or dogs? Summer or winter?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Nov 23, 2009 6:47 am by man of a million names

» Mozark and the whale *aspergers movie* on showtime on demand.. SUCKED by the way
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Nov 23, 2009 6:42 am by man of a million names

» Adult Aspergers Syndrome
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSun Nov 22, 2009 4:07 pm by KelleyNNelson

» Asperger’s Syndrome: A Developmental Puzzle by Michael McCroskery
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSun Nov 22, 2009 12:22 pm by csweepigirl

» Really Cool Super Awesome Thing! Kim And Kelly You Have To Read This!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 20, 2009 4:24 am by man of a million names

» 2 Articles of Interest Re: Aspergers
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeThu Nov 19, 2009 6:15 am by csweepigirl

» Accidently stubled across some info about meletonin oops!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue Nov 10, 2009 2:41 pm by csweepigirl

» Lack of Services for ASD
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Nov 09, 2009 8:04 pm by Dr. Ron

» New and having a hard time
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 04, 2009 3:40 am by lovethefish

» Sorry I haven't been around as much (update)
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue Nov 03, 2009 10:53 pm by KelleyNNelson

» Having a hard time again
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue Oct 20, 2009 8:35 am by man of a million names

» Important paradox/riddle! Anyone care to help with it?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 19, 2009 10:46 pm by KelleyNNelson

» Follow through or not.
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeThu Oct 15, 2009 4:01 am by csweepigirl

» New Pediatrics Autism Study Putting Prevalence at 1 in 91
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Oct 14, 2009 11:45 am by csweepigirl

» Different Directions
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Oct 09, 2009 12:41 am by csweepigirl

» AS is a very difficult diagnosis to make.
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeThu Oct 08, 2009 1:47 pm by csweepigirl

» How is everyone?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 21, 2009 9:48 pm by Jerry Graham

» CD to benefit the AAA ~!!!!! Check this out!!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 21, 2009 11:14 am by bassfiddlesteve

» I met Joe Diffie's son!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSun Sep 20, 2009 8:01 am by csweepigirl

» Anyone feel like helping me smack the crap out of my former boss?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSun Sep 20, 2009 7:56 am by csweepigirl

» Lazy or Aspergers?? or both?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSun Sep 20, 2009 5:20 am by man of a million names

» The right thing?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 15, 2009 7:27 am by man of a million names

» Mark Fowler and his wonderful work.
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSun Sep 13, 2009 5:51 am by man of a million names

» A.A.A. RESEARCH STUDY. Do you see any differences between females with Aspergers vs. males with Aspergers
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 10, 2009 1:49 pm by csweepigirl

» What happened?? because I don't know, do you?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 10, 2009 6:24 am by man of a million names

» Haha, Funny URL.
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 09, 2009 9:15 am by man of a million names

» Dude! Kim, I forgot to tell you... and maybe anyone else at the last meeting...
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 05, 2009 4:59 am by man of a million names

» My son is making strange noises!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 04, 2009 11:41 pm by KelleyNNelson

» Terrible sound on video
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 04, 2009 9:30 am by man of a million names

» Aspian or Aspergian?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 04, 2009 7:22 am by man of a million names

» If you, or you know someone who needs a BIG/HUGE carseat..
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 04, 2009 12:33 am by csweepigirl

» Just a quick hello
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 02, 2009 7:37 am by man of a million names

» We started the FLDRS process...and here's what we found out so far
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 02, 2009 7:19 am by man of a million names

» Support Groups
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSun Aug 30, 2009 1:31 pm by KelleyNNelson

» (Aspergers) Boy Meets Girl Movie
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 25, 2009 8:13 am by man of a million names

» I give up, with trying to ever just relax, really.. I'm so flustrated!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Aug 24, 2009 9:15 am by man of a million names

» Basic White or Yellow Cake
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 22, 2009 6:33 am by man of a million names

» When did this category get here?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 22, 2009 1:55 am by man of a million names

» Pork Fried Rice
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeThu Aug 20, 2009 11:17 pm by man of a million names

» Why Are The Private Messages Still Disabled????
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeThu Aug 20, 2009 10:48 pm by man of a million names

» Sorry I've been M.I.A.
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 19, 2009 6:04 am by man of a million names

» 5Km Run For AS!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Aug 14, 2009 11:30 pm by man of a million names

» Help for a mother.
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 12, 2009 12:01 pm by Dr. Ron

» Aspergers and empathy
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 08, 2009 11:41 am by csweepigirl

» We are the three amigo(a)s!Aanyone care to join?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Aug 07, 2009 12:42 am by man of a million names

» Vaccinations, Red Book, What?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeThu Aug 06, 2009 12:21 am by Dr. Ron

» What is the first step?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 05, 2009 7:14 am by Dr. Ron

» Children who can’t cuddle
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeMon Aug 03, 2009 1:27 pm by csweepigirl

» Challenging popular myths about autism
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 31, 2009 10:59 pm by Dr. Ron

» I NEED your HELP!!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 25, 2009 2:41 am by melissa

» Ok..what do I do? any suggestions..
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 24, 2009 3:53 am by melissa

» Back home!
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 22, 2009 2:10 pm by KelleyNNelson

» Any spanish speakers willing to help an aspie in spain?
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 22, 2009 1:34 pm by csweepigirl

» Gluten Free Simple Bread
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 21, 2009 11:49 am by csweepigirl

» More research (genetics)
Holiday letter for Autism Families I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 21, 2009 11:43 am by csweepigirl


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Holiday letter for Autism Families

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1Holiday letter for Autism Families Empty Holiday letter for Autism Families on Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:19 am

csweepigirl

csweepigirl
Admin
Holiday letter for Autism Families
"Dear Family and Friends:" was written for the purpose of it being sent to relatives and hosts of holiday gatherings who might need a crash course in what to expect from their guest with Autism.

Dear Family and Friends:

I understand that we will be visiting each other for the holidays this year. Sometimes these visits can be very hard for me, but here is some information that might help our visit to be more successful.

As you probably know, I am challenged by a hidden disability called Autism or what some people refer to as a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). Autism/PDD is a neurological disorder which makes it hard for me to understand the environment around me. I have barriers in my brain that you can't see but which make it difficult for me to adapt to my surroundings.

Sometimes I may seem rude and abrupt, but it is only because I have to try so hard to understand people and at the same time, make myself understood. People with autism have different abilities: some may not speak, some write beautiful poetry, some can hardly hold a pencil, others are whizzes in math or have difficulty making friends. We are all different and need various degrees of support.

Sometimes when I am touched unexpectedly, it might feel painful and make me want to run away. I get easily frustrated, too. Being with lots of other people is like standing next to a moving freight train and trying to decide how and when to jump aboard. I feel frightened and confused a lot of the time, like you would if you landed on an alien planet and didn't understand how the inhabitants communicated. This is why I need to have things the same as much as possible. Once I learn how things happen, I can get by okay. But if something, anything changes, then I have to relearn the situation all over again! It is very hard.

When you try to talk to me, I often can't understand what you say because there is a lot of distraction around. I have to concentrate very hard to hear and understand one thing at a time.

You might think I am ignoring you, I am not. Rather, I am hearing everything and not knowing what is most important to respond to. Holidays are exceptionally hard because there are so many different people, places and things going on that are out of my ordinary realm. This may be fun and adventurous for most people, but for me, it's very hard work and can be extremely stressful.

I often have to get away from all the commotion to calm down. It would be great if you had a private place set up to where I could retreat. If I cannot sit at the meal table, do not think I am misbehaved or that my parents have no control over me. Sitting in one place for even 5 minutes is often impossible for me. I feel so antsy and overwhelmed by all the smells, sounds, and people--I just have to get up and move about. Please don't hold up your meal for me, go on without me and my parents will handle the situation the best way they know.

Eating in general is hard for me. If you understand that autism is a sensory processing disorder, it's no wonder eating is a problem! Think of all the senses involved with eating: sight, smell, taste, touch AND all the complicated mechanics that are involved with chewing and swallowing that a lot of people with autism have trouble with. I am not being picky. I literally cannot eat certain foods as my sensory system and/or oral motor coordination are impaired. Also, I have a hard time eating neatly, calling me "pig" just confuses me!

Don't be disappointed If mommy hasn't dressed me in starch and bows. It's because she knows how much stiff and frilly clothes can drive me buggy! I have to feel comfortable in my clothes or I will just be miserable! Temple Grandin, a very smart adult with autism, has taught people that when she had to wear stiff petticoats as a child, she felt like her skin was being rubbed with sandpaper. I often feel the same way in dressy clothes.

When I go to someone else's house, I may appear bossy and controlling. In a sense, I am being controlling because that is how I try to fit into the world around me (which is so hard for me to figure out!) Things have to be done in a way I am familiar with or else I might get confused and frustrated. It doesn't mean you have to change the way you are doing things just please be patient with me and understanding of how I have to cope...mom and dad have no control over how my autism makes me feel inside.

People with autism often have little things that they do to help themselves feel more comfortable. The grown ups call it "Self regulation," or "stimming'. I might rock, hum, flick my fingers in my face, flap my arms or any number of different things. I am not trying to
be disruptive or weird. Again, I am doing what I have to do for my brain to adapt to your world.

Sometimes I cannot stop myself from talking, singing, or partaking in an activity. The grown ups call this "perseverating" which is kind of like self regulation or stimming. I do this only because I have found something to occupy myself that makes me feel comfortable, and I don't want to come out of that comfortable place and join your hard-to-figure-out-world. Perseverative behaviors are good to a certain degree because they help me calm down. Please be respectful to my mom and dad if they let me "stim" for awhile as they know me best and what helps to calm me.

Remember that my mom and dad have to watch me much more closely than the average child. This is for my own safety, preservation of your possessions, and to facilitate my integration with you. It hurts my parents' feelings to be criticized for being over protective or condemned for not watching me close enough. They are human and have been given an assignment intended for saints. My parents are good people and need your support.

Holidays are filled with sights, Sounds, and smells. The average household is turned into a busy, frantic, festive place. Remember that this may be fun for you but it's very hard work for me to conform. If I fall apart or act out in a way that you consider socially inappropriate, please remember that I don't possess the neurological system that is required to follow your rules.

I am a unique person--an interesting person. I will find my place at this celebration that is comfortable for us all as long as you'll try to view the world through my eyes!"

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