Help! My Husband Hasn’t Seen A Dentist in 16 Years!

Dear Prudence, an online weekly chat with live readers, counsels a woman on what she should do about her husba913710-a-man-model-portrait-in-the-studiond who has not been to the dentist in their entire 16 years of marriage.

This woman gave her husband an ultimatum: Either see the dentist, or I’m asking for a divorce!  Her husband had a dental accident when he was a child and will not smile or ever show his teeth.  He is obviously fearful about seeing a dentist, but suffers from extreme poor dental hygiene and halitosis.  Is this a reason to ask for a divorce?  See what Prudence has to say about it here.

17 Things The Princess Bride Taught Me About Autism Parenting

autism parenting

Scene from The Princess Bride

How many times have you found yourself quoting from The Princess Bride? I know my family have their favorite lines. But what does this have to do with children with autism? More than you might realize. In this fun article, 17 Things ‘The Princess Bride’ Taught Me About Autism Parenting, Bec Oakley takes words of wisdom from the classic movie and relates it to parenting children on the autism spectrum. Humorous and totally insightful. Check it out here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765622139/17-things-The-Princess-Bride-taught-me-about-autism-parenting.html

New Theory Might Change the Way We Understand Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger’s Syndrome is a developmental disorder on the Autism Spectrum that impacts communication and social interaction. People with Asperger’s often struggle with reading non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions. They can have obsessive interests and have difficulty maintaining friendships. They are often alone and can seem withdrawn, distant or even aloof, making it seem like they lack empathy for others. But is it true? Do they really lack empathy or is something else going on?

A new theory has been circulating in the Autism world and it might just change the way we treat those with Asperger’s Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism. Actually, this theory describes my daughter, who has been diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism, to a tee.

The Intense World Theory

asperger's syndromeAccording to Henry and Kamila Markham of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, those with Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism  are actually hypersensitive to every day experiences which makes them easily overwhelmed. This means that instead of lacking empathy, they actually empathize too much, making it difficult to process everything.

It’s a chain event. They walk into a room and sense everything in an intense way. This in turn, causes them to withdraw and seek comfort in repetitive movements such as rocking and spinning. Because they withdraw from over-stimulating situations, they lack the social experience necessary to interact with others.

Another reason why those with Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism may seem to lack empathy is because the ability to see things from a different perspective than their own is delayed. They eventually develop this skill, but it may cause difficulty in understanding what others are feeling.

Also, understanding the emotions of others often involves reading body language and facial expression, skills which are difficult for those with Autism or Asperger’s. It doesn’t mean they lack empathy, they just might not understand what the person is feeling based on non-verbal cues.

Sometimes people think that Autistic people lack empathy because they dominate the conversation. It’s not really that they don’t care how the other person feels or that they are trying to control the situation. Again, it’s part of the perspective thing. They have intense interests that they like to talk about and don’t realize that others might not be interested in the same things.

Many Autistics state that they feel a lot of empathy for others, but have difficulty communicating with Neurotypicals (those who develop normally). They compare it to a human trying to communicate with a chimpanzee. They are similar in many ways, but have differences that might make interaction and communication difficult. On the other hand, Autistics do well with other Autistics because they understand each other. And when they understand where the other is coming from, it’s easy to show affection and empathy.

Those with Asperger’s Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism actually do want to form friendships and be social. They just have difficulty handling the stimulation that comes with interacting with others.

This understanding truly could change the way we look at individuals on the Autism Spectrum. If we can help them process and deal with the stimulation they are feeling, we can help them get the social experience they need to interact with others and show the empathy they feel.

To find out more, read here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/05/11/a-radical-new-autism-theory.html

Leave a comment and let us know what you think about this theory.

10 Positive Autistic Traits that Everyone Should Emulate

Many times providers and parents of autistic children focus on deficits and treatment. They list the things they “can’t” do and try to change them. One of the first things my husband said when my daughter was diagnosed with Autism was, “She’s Hanna, whether she has a diagnosis or not. She is who she is and we’ll still treat her the same.”

Although having a child with autism can be very frustrating at times, many of the problems that autistic people face can actually be blessings in disguise. Because my daughter has difficulty reading social cues, she is not easily offended. She is very innocent and accepting of others. She’ll walk up and start talking to anyone without the inhibitions some of us have of meeting new people. Also, many of the teenage social pressures pass her by (whew). There are many autistic traits that us “typical” folk could try to emulate…

10 Terrific Autistic Traits

1) Autistic People Rarely Lie

2) People on the Autism Live in the Moment

3) People with Autism Rarely Judge Others

4) Autistic People are Passionate

5) People with Autism are not Tied to Social Expectations

6) People with Autism have Terrific Memories

7) Autistic People are Less Materialistic

8) Autistic People Play Fewer Head Games

9) Autistic People Have Fewer Hidden Agendas

10) People with Autism Open Doors for Neurotypicals

autistic traits

by Krissy Venosdale

Source: http://seventhvoice.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/10-terrific-autistic-traits/

Be That Kind of Friend: Dealing with Chronic Illness

chronic illnessSarah M. Eden is an author of Regency romance (think Jane Austen) and one of my favorite authors. In fact, when a new book comes out…I buy it. No questions asked. Within the past year she has been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It came suddenly and with a vengeance. On her blog, she writes about her struggles and triumphs as she tries to cope with the chronic pain from this debilitating disease. She is brave and inspirational, even though I’m sure she doesn’t feel that way.

In her latest post, she talks about the effects of having a chronic illness on friendships. Some people are concerned at first, then indifferent, then impatient. “Haven’t you learned to deal with this yet?”  Then there is the friend that constantly lifts you up and blesses your life. It’s a great article and reminds us to be kind to those who are suffering. It’s a long road. One that can get lonely without true friends to help you along the way.

Check it the article here: http://www.sarahmeden.com/2013/11/be-that-kind-of-friend.html

Check out her other posts as well. They are inspirational.