Completed book projects

As you may know, April is Autism awareness month and since I have Aspergers Syndrome I wrote a book about our preferred forms of communication. Aspergers and preferred methods of communication

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aspergers-preferred-communication-Angela-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B01ERJSOEI?ie=UTF8&keywords=angela%20goodwin&qid=1461670307&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Also my most recent Autistic interest has been learning Modern Greek and I have learnt it sufficiently to write a small ebook about it. How I learnt Greek – An English Introvert’s guide

http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-learnt-Greek-English-Introverts-ebook/dp/B01ES7Y9S4?ie=UTF8&keywords=angela%20goodwin&qid=1461670307&ref_=sr_1_3&sr=8-3

I published them at the same time as there both related to language and speaking and one helped the other etc.

Pointing at the Autism

a very good article illustrating that we are different yet the same.

Autism and expectations

I can’t always tell which bits of me are a result of being autistic, and which bits would have been there anyway. It may not be helpful to know one way or another.

I share as many personality characteristics with other autistic people, as I do with other brown eyed people.

What we do have in common are some experiences, some ways of seeing social interaction, some loves and hates of sensory input.

What we don’t have in common, is a sense of humour, a dress sense, an accent. Because autistic people are just people like everyone else.

Autism is something that can isolate us. It can lead to difficulties in dealing with social situations. It can lead to sensory overload.

Just like I don’t understand the more common negative reaction to certain stimuli – I can happily scrape my nails down a chalkboard, or rub a balloon and make…

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Making adjustments for autism can be as easy as honesty

We are slowly turning the tide!

Autism and expectations


Lots of autistic people are already making many adjustments to fit in with the rest of you. To stop you from feeling uncomfortable. To stop you from noticing us. To keep us all safe from the shadow of “difference”.

Why are we the ones making adjustments?

Because majority defines normality. That’s the only reason.

It’s not a good enough one, is it? It’s not a defensible position.

It’s essentially the argument of the boss at work who doesn’t want to automate their systems, because, “We’ve always done it this way.”

But automating systems increases productivity. The less time and energy I have to put in to pretending to be just like you, the more time and energy I have for being a productive member of society. I only have so much brainpower to work with. It’s finite. And I’ve spent years wasting it on “being normal”, instead of useful things.

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Odd things about colours in English and Greek

I had a discussion yesterday about how in Greek you can have more than one sheep unlike in English. In fact you can have as many sheep as you like 2,3,4 … sheeps. Or I should say as I have mentioned before ena provato, duo provatos etc.

This then continued onto the fact that Greek differentiates between orange the colour, portokali and the fruit also portokali but the emphasis switches to the end of the word. We also talked about lemonia being a lemon tree but lemon being a single lemon and lemones being plural. There is also the colour aspect here but in English we don’t say a lemon lemon, it would be a yellow or green lemon even though we say lemon yellow. I think this is because lemons can be all different shades of yellow, not just lemon!

I also thought that we don’t say that lavender is lavender coloured although we can describe a particular shade of purple as lavender. The same for periwinkle which is a light blue/purple flower. I then went on to think about mint as since there are so many types ranging from ‘mint green’ to dark green and back to very pale green leaves. I also covered roses in this thought process as it’s a type of pale pink but we don’t describe roses as being rose coloured since they encompass so many different shades from white to  red, yellow, orange and combinations of the above.

This is just some of the odd thoughts that pass through my head and recently my head has been very odd indeed.

Mindfulness

I think too much and that interferes with my happiness. I’m constantly over thinking and analysing and I need to be at peace with myself and the world. I do sometimes have difficulty switching off as I feel I need to be doing things all the time. This anxiety is always worst in the evenings which is the time you most need to be resting and in a calm state of mind to prepare for bed. I don’t like change much and I’ve recently undertaken quite an overhaul to my current regime as I’ve stopped drinking alcohol but ironically replaced it with a daily coffee and sweet. I’m working more and it’s more physical as its gardening so I’m losing weight but after were done since I don’t have a social life really I spend too much time online and that’s really bad for my eyesight, well being and I’m wasting the opportunity to do something better with the glorious weather that we have been having as it’s not usually this good. I also feel that the internet constantly dropping out and being slow means I’m supposed to be doing something else but I’m generally too tired to read. My attempts at Greek are laughable and if even Greeks tell me not to bother or there leaving their country and going to England what is the point as everybody knows how hard the language is. I just thought that I could learn it if I studied hard enough but it’s proving another thing I tried but simply wasn’t good enough at. Having a confidence crisis in my abilities I think as I was so looking forward to this for months but I think once again I have deluded myself as to the realities of a situation. Rose tinted specs are horrible.

Aspergers and sound

I think I have figured out why I can’t speak very well. I led quite an isolated childhood on a farm with my parents and later on my brother with whom I spoke our own language that we made up. Sure my grandparents et al came to visit me but when all you normally interact with is a cat, a dog, a herd of cows, a litter of pigs, a flock of sheep and fish to keep you company, your not going to learn a lot of human speech regardless of language. Fishermen don’t really count here as they were too infrequent. This could also possibly be why it took me till I was almost 2 to learn English but when I did learn it you couldn’t shut me up. Everybody who knows me understands that I have 2 basic forms of communication, 1st I’m really shy so I don’t say anything and I’m generally just listening and absorbing my current surroundings, 2nd full on verbal diarrhoea. This includes all sorts of inappropriate and personal things (think Aunt Voulla in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 1+2) but I’m trying to get better by having my conversational skills somewhere in the middle. (When the social anxiety has passed away).

The origin of this language inability only just occurred to me today after I’ve spent the day listening to various polyglots talking in about 30 different languages and how some are usually quite distinctive French, Spanish, German, Italian, I’m learning to understand some like Greek and Russian and others I had no idea what they were saying like Farsi, Icelandic, Hungarian. Listening is a key point in acquiring language with or without an accent but if you don’t hear it frequently enough your not going to be able to reproduce it correctly. This is one of the reasons why my Aspergers was never picked up as I can’t do imitations which is a classic autistic trait. I have a lazy mouth according to the speech therapist who treated me at 4 years old. A lot of good they did as I still on a daily basis, come across people who know me well and can’t understand me correctly even if they see me on a regular basis.

I also have quite sensitive ears and hearing and my husband is always amazed when he borrows my headphones to listen to the same music as me at how low the volume is as he can barely hear what I’m listening to. This means that I can quite easily be overwhelmed in social situations as I can be the stereotypical wall-flower but also my speech is very quiet but doesn’t sound anything like I think it does. In fact, to me, it sounds horrid and when I’ve done karaoke, it’s equivalent to nails scraping down a chalkboard it’s that bad. I even hate to leave voice mails as I know the receiver will not be able to decipher my words as my parents never can. My husband, on the other hand, has a beautiful singing voice that he rarely uses as he is too embarrassed most of the time.

Music is also not a thing I’m any good at because as well as being unable to sing nicely, I can’t play any musical instrument which you think I would be capable of with good hearing and a good memory as after all isn’t it just muscle memory? Even hearing or sight is not required as there are famous musicians that have neither. It’s however not a quality I possess so it is another way my speaking ability is impaired and I sound like a robot as I can’t differentiate my voice sufficiently to produce all of the different tones that are required for proper speech. Pronunciation and intonation or diction if you want the posh words that my dad would use to describe my current linguistic problems.

I’m also trying to improve my friendship skills here which is another reason why quite frankly I suck at talking and even my own parents have to tune back in to how I speak if I haven’t spoken to them in a while. I do fear for the millions of people that will have to encounter this from me over the coming years and all those that already have had to suffer, with my constantly changing accent, quiet voice and incoherent voice. It doesn’t seem to matter in which language I speak, the words that I choose or even how there arranged, the same inherent difficulties are there which I ‘m working hard to overcome but it’s an uphill struggle for the majority of the time. I only hope that people continue to have patience with me.