Hello, I’m Gwen Kansen and I have Asperger’s Syndrome.
I repeat myself a lot. If a room is crowded I try to get out immediately. It takes me longer than most people to do pretty much everything because I make slow transitions. But I’m fun at dive bars. I used to manage a vintage clothing store. You might not notice I’m weird right away.
Chances are you know a few people on the spectrum. We may not tell you because autism isn’t the sexiest mental problem out there, especially when compared to more easily romanticized mental illnesses like bipolar disorder. Here are few things you should know about us autistic folks: Keep reading »
“I’ve never been comfortable being the center of attention It’s always freaked me out … I’m a grown up now. I’ve learned a couple of things that really would’ve made my life easier if I’d known them 20 years ago … I wasted so much time scared, self-conscious and insecure. Life is too short to stress the small things anymore.”
–Daryl Hannah reveals that she was diagnosed with autism as a child in this week’s issue of People. In the interview, Hannah also talks about how initially, doctors wanted to institutionalize her and she took up acting as a means of escape from the real world. But once she became successful, fear of fame debilitated her. She admits to skipping her own movie premieres and press appearances because she was “terrified.” I think it’s very brave of her to go public with her struggles.
[Daily Mail UK]
When Kara Begley, a mom from Newcastle, Ontario, opened a letter that had been slipped under her door, the last thing she expected to read was a hateful screed demanding she euthanize her severely autistic son, but unfortunately, that’s exactly what it was. The letter, from one of her neighbors who calls herself “One Pissed Off Mother,” is so vitriolic it’s extremely difficult to read, and includes such hateful statements as “He is a hindrance to everyone and will always be that way!!!!! Who the hell is going to care for him?????? No employer will hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him and you are not going to live forever!! Personally, they should take whatever non retarted body parts he possesses and donate it to science.”
Originally posted on the Twitter feed of “Nashville” stars Lennon and Maisy Stella, whose family is close to the Begley family, the letter has garnered international media attention and the police are currently investigating. You can read the full text of the letter after the jump, but beware, it will ruin your faith in humanity… [MSN Now] Keep reading »
Another code may have been cracked in how autism occurs in children: children that were born from labor induction or speeding up the birth with drugs were more likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder, according to a new study. The study conducted by Simon Gregory from Duke Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, found the education records of about 678,000 babies, where a note would indicate whether the children had been diagnosed with autism; they then looked into their mothers’ inducement of labor during childbirth. Women who had labor-inducing drugs were 23 percent more likely to have kids who were later diagnosed with autism. Correlation not being causation, though, the study does not prove that speeding up the labor process causes autism. Because there was no direct link found, medical procedures for inducing labor will not change. Additionally, other factors may contribute to autism in children, including a woman’s use of folic acid and epilepsy drugs during her pregnancy. For now, autism still remains a mystery. [Reuters; TIME] [Image of a pregnant woman via Shutterstock]
A new study suggests that girls suffering from anorexia display similar personality traits to those with autism, such as lack of empathy, high focus on detail, and rigid behavior. In some instances, girls with anorexia scored five times higher in autistic qualities than non-anorexic girls on the Autism Spectrum Quotient. Keep reading »
Carly Fleischmann has co-authored a book with her father, starred in a film, has 97,000 followers on Facebook, and will attend the University of Toronto in the fall.
She also has autism and is nonverbal. But what she can do is use technology to communicate; she’s been communicating using computers since she was 10 years old. “Carly was diagnosed at age two with severe autism and cognitive delay and oral motor apraxia, which is a neurological disorder preventing speech,” her father explained in an interview with Simon & Schuster. “We can’t speak to her because we don’t know what she understands, and she can’t speak to us because she’s unable to speak. … Technology has really been the key to unlocking Carly’s voice.” Keep reading »
I’ve been seeing my therapist, Jennifer*, for years. I love her. She’s helped me through a lot of hard times and she’s one of the first people I want to talk to when something big happens in my life.
However, there was one time she crossed the line between analyzing and annoying: the time she convinced me I had Asperger’s, a form of autism. Keep reading »
Meet Alexis Wineman, 2012′s Miss Montana who is headed to the Miss America pageant this January. This year, Alexis will truly be unlike all the other pageant competitors: she was diagnosed with autism at age 11.
Alexis spent her childhood learning to cope with with the effects of autism, including having difficulty socializing with her classmates and taking “everything so literally,” she explained to DisabilityScoop. Performing — like the comedic monologue she’ll perform at Miss America — helped her gain confidence and socialize other people. Now Alexis is now 18 and travels across Montana as the state’s beauty queen teaching kids about developmental disabilities like her own. Keep reading »
Ughhhhh, he is infuriating, I thought as I scanned Paul*’s Facebook page. There were new status messages — “carboloading” — a recent video of him performing, and links to new posts on his blog. Facebook told me what parties Paul had recently attended and which ones he had just RSVP’d to; it told me “Paul and So-and-So are now friends” and that new friend made a reference to how great it was to meet him. I felt my mouth puckering in the way that my friend Erin refers to as “Cat Ass” — tight and pissed. I wanted to scream expletives at him, eviscerate his ego, slap him, do something to show him just how hurt I was. Instead, I took a deep breath and clicked the window closed. You’ve moved on, Amelia, I thought. You’re over him. You realized you deserved way better than what he could possibly give. There’s no point in being angry. Keep reading »