Wednesday, December 21, 2005

---part of the Tallahassee Autism support group newsletter, with my article in it.
-----------------



So the work continues: Hopefully, the Adult Â?Autism-AspergerÂ? Social Support Group will successfully make the transition to its new meeting mode and continue to meet regularly --- Almost every Saturday, 1:00pm until 2:00pm.

Notices

The Adult Â?Autism-AspergerÂ? Social Support group (now more often called the Â?Social GroupÂ?) currently meets at 12:00pm at 110 North Adams Street, downtown. We meet in the Education Building of First Presbyterian Church. The precise room we meet in may vary, but is on either the second or third floor Â? one or two flights of stairs up. The Education Building is near the northwest corner of North Adams Street and Park Avenue, downtown - northward and downhill from the intersection, right next to the church itself. Posted signs will direct attendees to the exact room.

Those individuals who have attended at least one meeting in the past but have not attended since are welcome to return. However, if they require a separate meeting Â? one-on-one with the facilitator, or otherwise Â? and/or in a different venue, that can be arranged.

Anyone who would like to be involved in T* A* S* C* apart from the support group and would be interested in meeting for that purpose, please contact the facilitator/ coordinator, Jarl K. Jackson using the information found elsewhere in this issue.


Contact Information

For all comments or questions about the newsletter, the groups, or the Coalition:

Tallahassee Autism Support Coalition (T* A* S* C*)

c/o First Presbyterian Church

110 North Adams Street

Tallahassee, Florida 32301

(850) 412-0141

jarlkjackson@pngusa.net

The T* A* S* C* website is located at:

http://www.orgsites.com/fl/tallahassee_autism_support_coalition/index.html

The Triad of Supports

Transforming the social support group into a simple social group was not much of a feat. That is what it had largely been anyway. This was due to the lack of resources Â? and of resource people. This cannot continue and must change.

There is the outline of a plan for what I call the Â?Triad of Supports.Â? This was originally conceived by Freestone Wilson and elaborated on by him and myself. The name is a deliberate play on words derived from the so-called Â?Triad of ImpairmentsÂ? that defines the core of autism.

This similarity between the two should not suggest that each part of one corresponds to a part of the other. It simply acknowledges that no one tool, approach, or resource serves all the needs of everyone with autism. Envisioned is an interconnected set of base supports serving as the core for an overall system, utilizing and coordinating existing resources as much as possible.

a concept of autism gotten from a shirt label!

By Freestone Wilson

(Freestone is a 64-year-old individual, self-diagnosed with what he still calls high-functioning autism - although it is would probably be defined as the nonverbal form of AspergerÂ?s Syndrome. He has contributed several times to the T* A* S* C* Master and as a prolific writer on a variety of topics, now could have a regular column here.)

(Spelling and grammar are according to his own unique and expressive style.)
hello everyone!

yes tis freestone, i thought that i would share with
you all some observation about what i think is with
autism!

this observation comes from a very very small event,
and as usual with me, sometimes the very very
lttle-ist thing can open great doors of insight!

in this case it was where i put on a new shirt and
immediately i felt the label of the shirt on the back
of my neck. immediately.
i always wonder why they put them there, where my
neck feels the label.
i wondered...how do normal people live with labels
that rub and touch the skin? A "terrible" thought
came
to mind, folks....that MOST normals immediately feel
it all right but in a moment they get used to it and
then ignore it and then do not note it anymore as they

wear the shirt.
WHY can't I?!!

i noted that if i were to leave my apt, with that
labeled shirt on, and walk out to the bus 2000 feet
away,
would i enjoy the cool quiet morning with the chirping

birds and the smells of a southern woods?
NO!
all i would do is to be very very very very very very

very aware of a shirt label rubbing on my back of my
neck! for all of the 2000 feet and all the way in, on

the bus, too, and all the way up the hill to my coffee

shop, also!

why?

I finally figured out something about autism from
that!
>
>i think, for me, that the sensation of that label on
my neck, it FILLS my awareness, fills it like of a 2
gigabyte program filling up a 2.1 gig hard drive!
there is no room for anything else. i have a pinhole
in a
sheet of paper for awareness whereas i think that most

normal people have a window to look through.
>
>i note this with my computer too. once i put a sheet

of white paper next to my computer, here, and i could
not concentrate upon the letter that i was typing as
ALL of my awareness was directed towards that white
square of paper! i had to move it away from sight
before
i could go on.....i have to keep anything in my
periferal vision exactly the same, while typing, or
else i
can not concentrate a bit on the typings!
>
>too...there must be something with the "filtering
system" in my brain...as i can not stop any
distraction
from becoming the focus of my awareness.
NOW i see why some autistic people seem
"obsessive-compulsive"!
like: as if they can not eat a meal until *every*
dish and silverware is in an EXACT place and pattern!

simple: the slightest misplacement of, say, the
napkin,
will cause that person to be UTTERLY aware of
N-A-P-K-I-N, and not the food or of anything else!
it stands there a sharp pain of focus as
focus-painfull
as a needle poked into the finger! i often sit down
to listen to music on my radio and i find the every
object in the room must be in the EXACT same place,
everytime, otherwise i MUST focus on the changed/moved

object, instead of the music!
---yes something with the filterings...and something
with the area of focused awareness. if i see a
dropped raisan on the floor of the bus station, i see
it
immediately, as that rasin was not there yesterday and
it
really really stands out!
however....
if i come into a "busy" envirnment, like of a
supermarket that i have never been to, come into it
for the
first time, why in a sense i see nothing! almost as
if i was blind! for all i see is a mass of colors, a
mass with no pattern or purpose. the only way that i
can see something is to focus minutely upon each and
every slight differnece.
once in college, my friend pulled away from me in the

caferteria line and he sat down somewhere in the
crowded hall, before i could get a chance to see where
he
went. i ended up sitting down alone and i ate as i
could not find him...later he "chewed me out" for not
sitting down with him! i tried to tell him, not too
successfully that the ONLY way that i could ever ever
find
him at a table would be for me to go and INTERACT with

each and every person in the 500 student caferteria!
i would have to face each person face to face close up

and really really "get into" each person...then go to
the next person...table by table!
>
>it is as if that I, more than most people, seem to
have a sharper focus on minute "what is right there"
in
thought as well as in the outer world. no wonder some
couselor in high school would call me an
"underachiever"! i could never see any larger picture
to anything
as well as most other people can.
>thus...for instance...i gave little thought to
career, as a college kid...i tended to live in the
moment...i actually failed college miserably...but i
fell in
love with the tallahassee climate and live here
now...40
years later. see, folks, i noticed the weather and
the trees and the soft air OVER my subject matter of
college study...the live oak tree outside of my
classroom, as i walked by it, it got ALL of my
attentions.
guess this is why iam basic self centered and live
alone! tis all i can do just to live MY LIFE! if i
had
a lover/wife/roomate, why i would pay attention only
to them and not even be able to shave in the mornings!

constantly distracted...

well enough rambling for now...maybe i will write
more later....

Table of Contents

a concept of autism gotten from a shirt label! . . . 4