Language learning obstacles

As I’m quite interested in language learning at the moment I have been trying to learn a1 Spanish on Memrise but the thing that is tripping me up right from the start is the gender issue. I keep getting the forms wrong for the most basic verb llamo because learning how to say my name is correctly is quite important. Maybe the conventional way of learning a language is not good for me as I have progressed better with my Greek by following a rather obscure method of a bit of this, that and the other since there was no a1 course. Learning grammar I have found was easier later but to properly get this in my head I need practice. I’m rather reticent however to practice on my friends because its embarrassing and I can’t speak properly anyway.

I am however diverging from the point that maybe because Spanish is perceived as easier as there is no alphabet to learn and lots of the words are similar to other romance languages or you can figure them out relatively easily due to exposure that it doesn’t activate the brain as much as it constructs roadblocks to prevent learning.

I am however struck by the similarities in alphabet construction between Greek and Russian and I’m having the same issues here namely all the e’s. Who would have thought that one letter in English could have so many different sounds which are separate letters in Greek and Russian?

The pieces of the puzzle come together

Life is a very confusing thing but I think I’m finally making sense of mine. All things happen for a reason even the bad ones. Its just you cant always see this when its happening or even shortly afterwards. Reflection is a key point in remembering what happened and how it affected you and examining it from all angles to get a better grip on the situation. I’m an introvert so I need my alone time to figure things out which is where January and indeed the entire festive season is actually quite useful in figuring out what I’m going to do for the next year. I have Aspergers so I like schedule and routines so I like it very much when I’m at my in-laws and we do jobs in the morning, lunch, computer work then we will come together for a snack around tea and eat dinner then a movie. This is most days and I like the orderliness. This applies even when we are abroad as its how they do things on the continent and frankly I think its much better as it works with your body to get the most out of a day rather than against it.

As to writing which I have now decided to dedicate my life to, write what you know, (autism), write about something that is unique to yourself; a USP or unique selling point in business terms, (autism), also write about something that interests you and you can devote some time to (autism). When all these happen to be the same thing then that is a good idea. We need to stop worrying about the opinions of others and do what makes you feel good and happy. It is said that we all have a book in us but how many actually fulfil that dream? I like the advert that’s currently on TV encouraging us to write that book and invent that life changing device or what ever else you really want to do in your heart of hearts but you are afraid to show the light of day.

My mum said not to worry too much about my career as it would all be sorted by the time I was 30 and although it took a bit longer as I’m 31 that doesn’t matter as everything else has taken longer in my life to happen as I’m not doing anything the conventional way. Those that strike a new path endure the most hardships but are rewarded for there efforts very much like those that ski the first powder of the day before anybody else has put there imprint on it.

Life is hard but when you find your true calling it is a lot easier. Sure I’m not the best cook in the world but luckily my mother taught me well and when I’m at my in-laws my 2nd mother does it all as she is excellent. Others things I’m not good at are interacting with the public on the phone so others in the family company do that. My husband works very diligently to earn the money for us so that I can concentrate on my strengths which are research and writing. I knew never would have thought I ¬†would be good at writing at school as maths was my forte but life happens, you change and now I am.

I like the fact I have a good team (my family members) behind me supporting me as everybody needs help to achieve there potential in life. Good things come to those who wait as the Guinness advert says. It can be difficult to wait for them if your a bit impulsive like myself but patience is rewarded. You just need to find effective coping strategies to deal with the interim time. Just make sure there productive uses of time although productive doesn’t have to mean earn money.

So you see Aspergers and Autism is not a curse , only if the person is handled incorrectly. Autistic people can flourish if given the right environment. We should reap the benefit from allowing autistic people into the workforce like the Israeli Army are doing or the Danish company The Specialist and even some big tech companies are getting on the band wagon. A mind is a terrible thing to waste so with a little adaptation the world can be a much richer place with all these new ideas that are sure to come about with the inclusion of a different set of people. Neurodiversity for the win ūüėČ

Eureka!

Today I decided that I would like to write books for a living and for them to be about autism. I really like to research things and to go into a great amount of depth with them and to inform others of my findings. I like to educate and teach others about what I have found out about the world. My grandma always said I should be a teacher and I believe that this is a good thing for me to be just through the medium of the internet and print. I already have a ebook out and will possibly be joined by the same book in print as I have been asked for this. I like reading about psychology and neuroscience as its helping me understand¬†myself better as that is a very complex thing to do and in doing so I can disseminate that knowledge to the wider world to increase autism awareness, acceptance and the belief that neurodiversity is a good thing and should be encouraged and celebrated. Hopefully this will be a longer lasting idea than when I decided I wanted to be a journalist although this is still kind of that and when I wanted to be a travel journalist as I have the curiosity of a child when it comes to discovering new places. Another step on the journey towards this goal was writing a blog about beer which is still a journalistic endeavour and when I ¬†wrote a book first a children’s story about how to deal with unexpected death but that made me too sad to revisit after the funeral and then I started about how to learn Greek but I have to complete my language learning before I can do that plus my mate Angelos writes that style of book far better than I could.

Loneliness in Aspergers

Now I have written about connected topics or posted about them e.g. isolation and separation anxiety but this one is specifically about loneliness.

Loneliness is¬†something that is common to most autistics as they find it hard to connect to other people and when they do they are shut down and its just further incentive for them not to bother with humanity and it makes them sad. Its a terrible thing to be sidelined from the world just because you are different and don’t understand the ways of the world. We didn’t ask to be made this way so the least you could do is show some compassion and not just pity us instead of real feelings. We are just as complete as you are, only we are made in a different way so it requires different ways of interpreting our feelings. I was watching a documentary about the making of the curious incident of the dog in the night time and it mentioned there that autistic people don’t give love and my mother agreed. That really pissed me off. Our problem is that we are extremely empathetic and have too much love to give. Its just because it is packaged in a way that you don’t expect. Its often actions not words and its little things when your not looking or noticing, there not always monetary based. Don’t force autistic people to conform to your standards because it will not work and both of you will end up frustrated. As mentioned by Simon Baron Cohen in one of his interviews we are the original anarchists. We don’t like to conform to your rigid expectations because we see the illogical nature of them. Like Christopher Boone says people are unclear in there speech by staying things like be quiet but often not for how long for etc.

I like my alone time and prefer this to watching stupid television shows as its just filling time. I do like people but often they talk about such trivial things like what happened in those same stupid TV shows that I don’t want to watch. I think people are afraid to be original as it disrupts the status quo and we can’t be disturbing the peace can we. This is why I’m alone as I prefer the order and logicalness of things like trains, language, history. Its really terrible that most of my communication happens on-line yet its still not a real connection and things are misinterpreted. I believe that its the atmosphere of England that creates isolation as I’m always happier abroad and even foreigners in England are usually the happiest but I’m generally chastised for making conversation with strangers because of the inherent dangers.

I do despair about my lack of interesting people to talk to but also the fact that most of the populace is brainwashed into following the masses and I am not going to become one to fit in. I miss my autistic friends but I haven’t been able to meet up with them for so long as I can’t drive and its too inconvenient by public transport.

Separation anxiety in Aspergers

Now you may think that this is a thing that only children have and people grow out of it but for autistics this is simply not true. Lots of them have stuffed toys that they sleep with, blankets, clothes etc all the stuff that you would expect in a child. It is because part of them never grows up hence the innocence,  the wonder, awe, the wide eyes and the importance of novelty but also the need to keep them occupied. It is a wondrous thing to look at the world with a child’s eye to see the beauty that is ignored by others but it’s also a curse as you can’t deal with daily life when your significant other or whatever goes away and you don’t have contact with them every day. I usually don’t have so much issue with this and I’m glad to have time away but just lately it’s been emotional torture and I can’t sleep properly.

On the dual nature of Aspergers and normality

I quite often believe that I am in fact not one person but 2. I am Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. One is the normal side, that is more or less appropriate for my age that you see when you most likely first meet me or I’m probably in a good mood and can change and adapt; the other more primitive, simplistic and childlike side is the autistic side which doesn’t change so the disparity increases the more I age and causes an increasing amount of grief to all concerned as its so unexpected. The autistic side is more apparent when I’m somewhat diminished in my faculties due to illness, sadness or some other trauma that is currently happening in my life; (This also applies to alcohol) and is usually the reason for people being perplexed about my behaviour as they don’t expect the girl who appears to be really good at socialising etc. to suddenly become withdrawn. This can be because I’m not getting my way in a petulant fashion as I’m can be extremely wilful and stubborn at times or it could be because a complex array of emotions, thoughts, feelings and experiences has occurred; (basically life), that I hadn’t anticipated and so need time to digest it all without further stimulation to complicate matters. This can lead to issues but we all have vulnerabilities that we need to deal with. Usually these kind of articles are prompted by an online conversation with someone that doesn’t know me or Asperger’s that well so its my way of explaining to them the difficulties that I have with perceiving and reacting to what is to others normal social interaction. I will never fully understand the social world but I’m getting increasingly good at faking it. I am sorry for the people that I offend with my bluntness or what ever else that I do trying to act in a manner that is befitting on the occasion in question but I don’t always get it spot on and you have to bear with me on this note.

Memrise

I think I may have learnt all the Greek I can from Memrise as mnemonics are great but they don’t help you learn clauses or how to form sentences. They also don’t help with speech. So learning lots of different words is brilliant and it says I’m up to about 381 words but none of it will really be of any use in an actual conversation. Sure I teach my friends and relatives but they don’t know if I’m saying it wrong or using it incorrectly. There are limited engagement opportunities in Memrise. I have Memrise Pro but the immersion mode is just for main English courses and I haven’t come across the listening mode yet. The difficult words feature is helpful but so far I haven’t benefited that much from it. I haven’t used it that much but I thought that I would start learning Spanish to see if that was better as it’s a main language and the cross language ability may help me. Russian has piqued my interest too with ballet, history programmes, a novel adaption and I have a book already on how to learn Russian. I also thought it may help my Greek as it’s similar. So you could say I’m trying a new approach as I’m bored with just accumulating vocabulary and having no way of practising it. I need to wait until Greece for inspiration I think.