I decided to make a painting about what it’s like to have Asperger’s Syndrome.

A couple of years ago, I was home alone while my parents were out for the day. Suddenly, I felt like painting something. At the time, I was in an Art Appreciation class and was watching The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross on YouTube, so both of those played a part in making my painting, but I wanted this painting to be unique.

Child with Asperger’s? Insight from someone who knows

Samuel Allen insightSo you’ve just found out that your child has Asperger’s Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism. What’s the next step? As an 18-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome, I can provide some insight:

People with Asperger’s seem to lean towards wanting space from others, and in some cases, family members as well.

If an Aspie is feeling unnerved by loud noises in the house, give them space and let their room be their sanctuary; it’s their quiet zone.

It has calmed me down in the past, so it should work for other Aspies as well. I’m mindful not to keep music and TV in other rooms too loud.

The Brilliant Artistry of Darby Sparks

While my parents received the diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism when I was very young, I wasn’t told until I was around 17. I never felt any different than others I suppose, but I did notice that adults didn’t treat me the same and that the other kids didn’t play with me. Later I would go to speech therapy and an occasional visit to the counselor.

The Brilliant Artistry of Darby Sparks

My Son: Through the eyes of a Father

I am the father of a son with Aspergers Syndrome and through the years of my wife and I raising him, it has had many challenges for me.  As a father I wanted him to take interest in outdoor activities, sports and other things that we could do together but while he was not interested in these things there were other items of interest that I had to adapt to in order to spend the most amount of quality time with him.

My Son: Through the eyes of a Father

While he may not have had interest in what I thought a young boy, now a man, should be interested in he has opened my eyes to a different world that has brought us closer together over the years. I just had to be the one to approach his interests with an open mind and with the idea that these were things we could do as a father and son.

The many times that my son was being called names or bullied by his peers I had to be supportive and encouraging in creative ways,

primarily to teach him how to ignore those and look forward to the future with special father and son times together.  Some words of advice from a father of an aspie, learn to be a listener, take interest in his activities, not those you think a young man should take interest in, find things to do outside the home that you can teach him and he is interested in.  Also, be supportive and patient as typically those with aspergers will find it difficult to relate to things we take for granted as well as conveying their thoughts in the same manner we are accustomed to.  Above all, be a father as well as a dad, they will never forget the times you spend with them and the memories you are making.

by: Herb Allen

Nikki Jeanette – Autistically Speaking

This week’s edition of Autistically Speaking features Nicole, aka “Nikki.”

Nikki drawingI run the webcomic “AuTalkz”, and I have Asperger’s Syndrome.

When I would get overwhelmed (overstimulated), I would have a panic attack.  I didn’t know how to deal with it, so I just started doodling. In eighth grade, drawing my favorite Dragon Ball and Digimon characters became a way for me to calm myself down while in class, even though it was only a step up from stick figures.

A Quote Worth Contemplating…

When asked about living with Autism, without prompt nor expectation of any kind, this quote came from our son Sam during an interview for the documentary “Coping to Excelling”. 

“Don’t worry about the impairments that God included in this package….think about the good stuff in the package God gave you.”                                                                                                               -Sam Allen July 2011

These are Sam’s words of advice to anyone living with an impairment, disability or challenge of any kind. His words, though brief, are quite powerful for someone in their mid-teens. I share this because as a person of faith, this is a good way of thinking…maybe for us all.