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Everything posted by StellaM

  1. If you're already working on clothes, why not continue with clothes/laundry related tidying ? Clean clothes hung up or put away, dirty clothes and socks in appropriate hampers ? (Full disclosure - I don't make my kids put clean clothes away - dirty clothes, up to them - ds does all his on laundry, but I will wash the girls' stuff if it's in the main hamper). Otherwise just choose the one thing that bugs you the most!
  2. Oh, sorry, just saw your most recent post - feel free to ignore mine above 🙂
  3. Honestly, I would just ask for the referral. My experience of child and adolescent psychiatrists is that they are quite careful around meds for children; having said that, meds can sometimes be what enables a child or teen to be able to engage with therapies effectively. Is she seeing a psychologist or counsellor ? That's another step, I guess...if she's not currently seeing a psychologist, you could make that switch. You can get a mental health plan through the GP which will cover 10 psychology sessions in one year (six, then review, then four).
  4. I think I'd do it CM style, laying down the rails and all that. So, rather than all try to keep up with a long checklist initally, choose one thing off the list. If it's 'make beds', then that's all you worry about for now, until making beds is a habit. Then add the next thing. I also find it helpful to 'peg' chores to something else - for example, I always put away the dishes while I wait for the kettle to boil for my cup of tea in the morning. It's easier to do things when they are paired with an already existing thing that happens consistently. For folding, try Marie Kondo family folding sessions - folding can be really soothing, actually.
  5. Agreed. For OCD I would seek out a child and adolescent psychiatrist as a first step (GP can refer).
  6. Imagine how much worse she'll feel if she can't restrict and uses the expensive soap! Money guilt on top of hand washing shame. No, I wouldn't do that.
  7. The idea that women are commodities, and that men are entitled to those commodities, is not confined to the right, the alt right or white nationalism. The vast majority of leftist men, for example, are pro porn (commodification of women's bodies) and pro prostitution ( more commodification of women's bodies). It's a very broad cultural problem, that manifests in different ways depending on context.
  8. I hope that those women who abhor the violence and the attack on a Muslim community, but will never cover, in solidarity with the women around the globe who are forced to do so, are not assumed to be Islamophobic for not joining in.
  9. It's just one particular manifestation of cultural disrespect for women. There are, sadly, many others. I don't know what the answer is.
  10. Is it the one by Richard Lavoie ?
  11. Oh, it's reallly frustrating! Grown adults should know how to manage their own money, and ya know, buy only what they can afford to honor. And the thing with taking dd out to dinner - that would have me tearing my hair out with frustration as well!
  12. I think probably let it go this time, but never, ever ask them for money in the future ? Because it's not worth the inevitable hassle.
  13. I don't pay ds for chores, and I don't give regular pocket money either, but I do give him money when I have it for fun stuff. Plus he gets birthday/Christmas money, and sometimes fun money from other relatives for holidays. My girls worked from when they were 13 &11 ( a mothers help service on our street) so they saved money from that and spent it as they liked. I think the benefits of pocket money are over-rated, but that's just a personal opinion.
  14. And honestly, vice versa. I would find it easier if everyone was married to a difficult spouse, 'cos it wouldn't feel so lonely. But that's an awful lot of misery to wish for in the world. What we in difficult marriages do to get by shouldn't be the basis for anyone else's relationships.
  15. Look, I've been in this situation (or similar) and it's rough. There are three options: Talk. In a decent marriage, talking will help. Ask for the serenity to accept the things you cannot change - probably good in situations where you don't have a ton of options Be resentful. A likely outcome where talking is met with derision, disrespect. ~ I've done 1. I try for 2. I find myself 3 more than I'd like. What I can't do is insist that others present their lives to me in a way that makes me feel better about my (dysfunctional) own. Many couples do, in fact, respect and listen to each other, and work things out to the mutual benefit of all. And that is a good thing. Many women do, in fact, have high expectations for sharing of child care, mental load, whatever, that their partners meet. And that's a good thing. I think more relationships are functional than not - it sucks to be in one that has dysfunction, but it doesn't make us the norm, and it doesn't mean that society or culture should adapt to us.
  16. Needs to be embroidered, framed and hung up in every home.
  17. What’s it like to be a Girl with AS? By Professor Tony Attwood Girls who have Asperger’s syndrome are primarily different, not in terms of the core characteristics of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but in terms of their reaction to being different. Girls typically use constructive coping and adjustment strategies to effectively camouflage or mask their confusion in social situations, and may achieve superficial social success by imitation or avoiding being engaged in interpersonal situations by escaping into an alternative world of fantasy or nature. A girl with ASD can become an avid observer of other children and intellectually determine what to do in social situations; learning to copy or imitate other girls, adopting an alternative persona and ‘acting’ someone who can succeed in social situations; becoming a social ‘chameleon’. Alternatively, some girls escape into imagination and create an alternative world. They constructively avoid social interactions and play with other children, choosing instead to engage in creative solitary play, read fiction or spend time with pets and animals. Thus, we need a paradigm shift in terms of our recognition of the female presentation of Asperger’s syndrome to ensure earlier diagnosis and access to effective understanding and support at school. Early signs The first signs for parents in the pre-school years can be intense emotions, especially distress, and an inability to be comforted by affection or the intense despair alleviated by distraction or conversation. There can be aspects of sensory sensitivity, especially tactile and auditory sensitivity, resistance to change and unusual characteristics in language development, while speech may not be delayed, the linguistic profile can include problems with the pragmatic aspects of language, the ‘art of conversation’ and being pedantic. Parents notice that their daughter may not identify with or want to play cooperatively with her female peers. She may consider that the play of other girls is stupid, boring and inexplicable, and prefer to play alone so that she can do things her own way. Her interests may be different to other girls, not necessarily in terms of focus, but intensity and quality. There may be a determination to organize toys rather than share them, and not play with toys in conventional ways. For example, she may collect over 50 Barbie dolls yet choose not to enact with her neighbourhood friends ‘Barbie getting married’, but instead arrange the dolls in particular configurations, sometimes to re-enact scenes from school to try to decipher the codes of social conduct experienced during the day at school. She may prefer non-gender specific toys such as Lego, or playing with toys associated with boys such as construction sets and vehicles. A young girl with ASD may not seek acquisitions related to the latest craze for girls her age in order to be ‘cool’ and popular. She may also be averse to the concept of femininity, choosing not to wear the latest fashions or fancy or frilly clothing or clothing with bright colours or complex patterns. Her preference may be for practical, comfortable clothes with lots of pockets. While boys with ASD may fixate on facts (and some girls with ASD can also have an encyclopaedic knowledge of specific topics), many girls have an intense interest in reading, with some being hyper-lexic, developing an amazing vocabulary and escaping into fiction, enjoying a fantasy world, creating a new persona for herself, talking to imaginary friends and writing fiction at an early age. Another escape for girls with ASD is into the exciting world of nature, as many have an intuitive understanding of animals rather than people. Animals are safe; they are loyal, enthusiastic and appreciative friends who never tease or reject. The key diagnostic characteristics are not motivated to play with female peers, imitating peers to camouflage social confusion, escaping into a world of fiction and not being interested in the typical play activities of female peers. Friendships If a girl with ASD does have friendships, they are likely to be quite intense and with one other girl, who may provide guidance for her in social situations, becoming an unpaid paraprofessional in the classroom. In return, the girl with ASD is a loyal and helpful friend, rarely interested in the ‘b**chy’ behaviour of her peers. Unfortunately, sometimes the girl who has ASD is vulnerable to friendship predators who take advantage of her naivety, social immaturity and desperation for a friend. Since it is inevitable that there will be times when she has to engage with other children, a girl with ASD may well prefer to play with boys, whose play is more constructive and adventurous, rather than emotional and conversational. Many girls who have ASD have described to psychologists and in autobiographies how they sometimes think they have a male rather than a female brain, having a greater understanding and appreciation of the interests, thinking and humour of boys. She may be described as a tomboy, eager to join in the activities and conversations of boys rather than girls and be an active participant and develop talents in school subjects that are predominantly male dominated such as mathematics and science. During their adolescence, some girls with Asperger’s syndrome are renowned at school for being extremely well behaved, and are late developers in terms of romantic relationships, having an almost puritanical attitude to intimacy. Their first intimate experiences can be several years later than their peers. They often do not follow society’s expectations of femininity - for example, they may prefer to wear practical, comfortable, somewhat ‘masculine’ clothing with dark or subdued colours, rather than dressing in a fashionable or feminine way. They may also have an aversion for the tactile and sensory aspects of make-up and perfume. There is an alternative trajectory; adolescent girls with Asperger’s syndrome can develop low self-esteem due to being bullied and teased by peers, and rather than enforce social and moral conventions, decide to actively contravene them, becoming vulnerable at a relatively early age to relationship and sexual predators. They may not have the intuitive ability to identify disreputable characters, but tend to set their relationship expectations very low, and often experience multiple abusive relationships. Social mistakes When a social mistake is recognised by the child with an ASD, boys are likely to become agitated and disruptive, girls, in contrast, are more likely to apologise and appease when making a social error. Peers and adults may then forgive and forget, but without realizing that a pattern of social errors is emerging. However, the girl with ASD is increasingly recognizing her own social confusion and frequent faux pas. She may react by trying to stay on the periphery of social situations, and not be noticed in a group, so that others remain unaware of her social confusion. She may develop a pathological fear of making a social mistake and intense performance anxiety in social situations with peers can lead to selective mutism. Another strategy is to be extremely well behaved and compliant in class so as not to be noticed or recognized as different by the teacher. A girl with ASD may suffer her social confusion in silence and isolation in the playground, yet be a very different character at home. The ‘mask’ is removed, and she may use passive-aggressive behaviour to control her family and social experiences, a complete alternative to the cooperative and compliant child at school. The confusion, tension and suppressing emotions that occurred during the school day are released with some ferocity, such that she has almost two characters, the meek schoolgirl and the defiant argumentative and emotionally volatile daughter at home. Imitation and Imagination We recognise that a constructive adaptation to being different used by some girls with ASD is to engage in imitation or imagination. The girl may identify someone who is socially successful and popular, either a peer or a character in a television soap opera, and adopt that person’s persona by mimicking speech patterns, phrases, body language and even clothing and interests. She becomes someone else, someone who would be accepted and not recognized as different. She learns how to act in specific situations, a strategy so successful that people may not be aware that the social abilities were a performance, achieved by intellect and imitation rather than intuition and inspiration. Girls who have ASD can be like chameleons, changing personas according to the situation, and no one knowing the genuine person. They may believe that the real person must remain secret because they fear that person is defective and must never be revealed. However, this coping strategy leaves such girls exhausted, and like Cinderella at the Ball at midnight, they cannot keep up the social charade indefinitely. When they return home from school they cannot tolerate any more social experiences, even with family members. Some girls may not seek integration, but instead escape into imagination. They feel that if they cannot be successful with their peers, they can try to find an alternative world where they are valued and appreciated. They may identify with a fictional character such as Harry Potter or Hermione Granger, who face adversity but have special powers and friends. If they feel lonely, then talking to imaginary friends can provide companionship, support and comfort. Alternatively, they may develop an interest in ancient civilizations to find an old world where they could perhaps feel at home; or a fascination with another country, such as Japan, where they might be accepted and among people of like mind. They may develop an interest in science fiction, imagining living on another planet; or a special and intense interest in the traditional fantasy worlds of witches, fairies and mythology. Many typical children occasionally enjoy escaping into imagination, but for the girl with ASD, the reasons are qualitatively different. This is not evidence of the potential to develop a psychosis as the fantasy world becomes a constructive means of avoiding (not distorting) reality and experiencing a relatively safe and successful alternative social life. These coping and camouflaging mechanisms may mask the characteristics of ASD for some time, such that the girl slips through the diagnostic net during the Elementary School years. However, there is a psychological cost that may only become apparent in adolescence. It is emotionally exhausting to be constantly observing and analysing social behaviour, and trying not to make a social error; and adopting an alternative persona can lead to confusion with self-identity, and low self-esteem. The stress, strain and exhaustion of intellectually analysing social situations, and acting ‘normal’ but being rejected, bullied and teased, can result in the development of a secondary mood disorder such as depression, or an anxiety or eating disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder. The clinician diagnosing or treating these secondary mood or personality disorders can then identify the characteristics of ASD when exploring the developmental history. We have only recently discovered that there are many more girls with ASD than we first thought. We are gradually finding them, but what we need to discover next is how to modify our existing programs of children and adolescents with ASD to accommodate the adaptations used by girls and improve their social experiences and abilities with female peers. For example, we can use the constructive adaptation of imitation in drama classes with a curriculum specifically designed for girls with ASD. At our Minds and Hearts clinic we have friendship and emotion management groups exclusively for girls and our clinicians are aware of the challenges of diagnosing and treating girls and women with ASD. We now have gender specific resources with several books on the profile and needs of girls and women with ASD and presentations by authors specifically on the abilities and needs of girls and women. While girls may have different ways of coping with being different, we are developing different ways of helping them cope. There are many great books about girls and women with ASD. Some that we really like here at Minds and Hearts are listed below: Asperger's and Girls, by Tony Attwood and seven other well-known authors, published by Future Horizons, 2006. This book was the winner of the Gold Award in the 2006 ForeWord Book of the Year competition. It is a ground breaking book describing the unique challenges of women and girls with Asperger’s Syndrome. In it you’ll read candid stories written by the indomitable women who have lived them. You’ll also hear from experts discussing “Aspie girls”. It includes practical solutions school systems can implement for girls; social tips for teenage girls, navigating puberty, the transition to work or university, and the importance of careers. Aspergirls: Empowering females with Asperger’s Syndrome, by Rudy Simone, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010. A wonderful resource for women and girls with Asperger’s Syndrome as well as their parents, families, partners and the community. With humour, love, liking and respect Rudy opens our eyes to the World of the Aspergirl, providing powerful insights on love, learning, sex, career, marriage, having children, friendships, puberty, diagnosis, emotions, health, aging and more... 22 things a women with Asperger’s Syndrome wants her partner to know, by Rudy Simone, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2012. This book covers 22 common areas of confusion for someone dating a female with AS and includes advice from the authors own experience and from other partners in real relationships. Safety Skills for Asperger Women: How to Save a Perfectly Good Female Life, by Liane Holliday Willey, published by Jessica Kinsley Publishers, 2012. This book explores the daily pitfalls that females with AS may face, and suggests practical and helpful ways of overcoming them. The focus throughout is on keeping safe, and this extends to travel, social awareness, and general life management. With personal accounts from the author's own experiences, this book doesn't shy away from difficult issues such as coping with bullying, self-harm, depression, and eating disorders. The positive and encouraging advice gives those with AS the guidance to safeguard themselves from emotional and physical harm, and live happy and independent lives. Women From Another Planet – Our Lives in the Universe of Autism, by Jean Kearns Miller, published by First Books Library, 2003. This book is a collection of stories and conversations, all of them by women on the autism spectrum who speak candidly and insightfully about both their gender in terms of their autism and their autism in terms of their gender. Pretending to be Normal, by Liane Holliday-Wiley, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2001. This book is an autobiography of a woman who has Asperger’s Syndrome and shows her daily struggles and challenges whilst providing helpful coping strategies and guidance for a range of situations including home life, sensory issues and employment options. This positive book will provide not only insight into the Asperger world but also hope and encouragement for other people with Asperger’s Syndrome, their families, and their friends. Under the Banana Moon: Living, Loving, Loss and Asperger’s, by Kimberly Gerry-Tucker Kim Tucker’s book is remarkable. Kim Tucker is remarkable. Many adults on the autism spectrum will resonate with her vivid, gritty, often humorous descriptions of life from an Asperger perspective. Her inspiring story is about love and loss, and how to live. She has faced massive challenges, including paralysing fear, loss and depression, and she has risen to face each challenge with courage, humour and importantly, with self-acceptance, self-understanding, and self-forgiveness. Nobody anywhere: The Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic Girl, by Donna Williams, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2000. Donna Williams grew up in Melbourne without knowing that she had autism. She existed in a state of dreamlike recession, viewing her incomprehensible surroundings from the security of a ‘world under glass’, surviving an urban environment that was often abusive, to enter university and then explore her own life in this book. Somebody Somewhere, by Donna Williams, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers 1999. This book continues the story of the author as she begins to investigate her own autism. Donna deliberately explores her own reactions and responses as a person with autism in the light of her new knowledge. This book is an examination of herself in terms of what she now knows about autism and its differences from the experiences of most people. It is a revelation of the real perceptual and social differences, which gives autism its unique characteristics. Congratulations! It’s Asperger’s Syndrome, by J Birch, published by Copy Solutions, 2002. Written by a woman who found out she had been diagnosed with AS at 43 years old. Life Behind Glass: A Personal Account of Autism Spectrum Disorder, by Wendy Lawson, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003. Written by a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome, Wendy traces her life in both Britain and Australia and shares with us her extraordinary understanding of autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. These books can all be ordered from the Resources at Hand Bookstore, 07 3880 2172
  18. Girls tend to have internalized symptoms, and honestly, a lot of checklists are based on studies in boys, so miss more female-typical symptoms or indicators. Girls with ASD tend to mask, and learn a lot of coping skills through mirroring others. Yes, it is worth seeking a diagnosis, imo, because it can help her make sense of any difficulties she experiences. Prof Tony Atwood writes on girls and ASD and it worth reading.
  19. I hear ya. I have concluded that I have largely been a motherhood failure too. Mental health issues in all of 'em seem unlikely to be a co-incidence, kwim ? I do know that I did a great job on one thing - reading my kids a wide and wonderful range of books! However, talking about it the other day, it turns out the kids don't really remember many of the have to laugh or else you'd never get out of bed for crying. My perspective change ? Well, I've certainly developed quite a lot of parenting humility. If I'm ever a grandparent, I will likely not feel I can harass my children-in-law with my superior parenting outlook, lol I have a better attitude to my own mother, who I felt for a long time just did all the wrong things. And actually, she did do a lot of the wrong things, but it turns out I have too. So, I don't judge her as much, and I think that is healthy and appropriate. I am working on self compassion at the moment - not doing all that well there, but trying. That's another persepctive change, seeing oneself as flawed and fallible, just like the other humans, and yet seeing oneself as deserving of the same breaks we'd give another. Lowering the bar is good ( mine is really low too ). Are the kids alive at the end of the day, and the start of the next one ? Win! Honestly, it is, historically speaking. Can you look for a win elsewhere ? A lot of my self esteem atm is coming from my teaching work - lots of positive feedback, and they pay me too 🙂 I can put in effort into teaching which then pays off. It's important to have a couple of wins now and then. Other wins I've had come from crafting projects, and doing small things for a sibling that I know makes them happy. Can you view the show Please Like Me ? The Dad in that show thinks he is to blame for all the bad outcomes, and seeing him think and talk exactly like me, really helped me (temporarily) to see how silly it is to think we have so much control, and made me laugh at myself. Recommend. Finally, do you ever get to hear that you are doing a steadfast job ? Mothering is often thankless, and it shouldn't be. And frankly, you are doing it harder than many. You need thanks for your role! I mean, look at you, you are down but here asking for ways to shift your own perspective - you are steadfast, honey. Four kids with dyslexia ? I'm gonna give you a medal. I don't really care if your kids are a mess, you keep deserve recognition for that.
  20. It will have been seen as a potential microaggression, making fun of a racial minority.
  21. If my kids' dad was their babysitter, I'd leave him a snack and my number on the fridge every time he stayed home with the kids, lol
  22. Equality of parenting didnt work for me when the babies were little (and bigger) because we did attatchment parenting. I still wouldn't have described the kids dad as babysitting them when he had sole care occasionally. I would very much prefer a more equal share of parenting from weaning (I weaned late) on, given that I worked from that point, but hey, we live in a society that tells moms it's an unrealistic ideal! Heart to hearts generally work on decent, reasonable people.
  23. I have a writing from home gig. I also tutor from home (English) Pay is OK for both.
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