Showing posts from July, 2008

How to Taste Wine: Your Senses and Your Reality

Last week I tried to explain a bit about how Autism can affect the senses.

This week I want to teach You, using your own senses, how to appreciate someone else's perceptions.

To do this I am going to use wine. Mr Hammie and I used to work in the wine industry. I was a very good rep', I could talk the talk, I was a kick arse salesman and I knew how to communicate with the best in the industry. But Mr Hammie had the real gift of the palate. He could actually taste all the things that wine writers write about in their tasting notes. I used to read the notes and try to put it into my own words; Mr Hammie used to taste and describe them himself.

The picture above is a breakdown of how wine can taste. This is based on MY perception of what each flavour "looks like" and my ability to mix colors, but you get the picture.
On the right is how Mr Hammie tastes Chardonnay. To make it easy I am suggesting you go out and buy a nice bottle of Aussie Chardonnay. Off you go............…

Ewan and Boo's new haircut

The long way to the living room....

Tree of Happiness

I've finally been tagged! Yay.
After feeling like the unpopular kid in the playground, Te' of the beautiful blog "Shut up and Dance" has invited me to come up with 6 things that make me happy.

So here goes.

1. Hearing my son say No!
I am not a masochist. I just get such a buzz whenever he says the word NO! and means it. Because up until recently he would rely on behaviour to refuse a request. Or push the item away or take it and then use it inappropriately or chuck it.
And if it was a concept we were talking about, he would just flip out a bit and start hurting himself if he didn't like the idea. So being able to say and understand the power of NO! is excellent.
And the way he says it is so endearing. Because it is exactly the kind of "NO, what are you talking about? How could you even suggest that, Are mad? or just ignorant woman?"
That everyone on Mr Hammie's side of the family uses.
(like when you offer them a cup of tea or something, eek!)

2. Finding som…

I can see clearly now....

I am writing this with my sharper bionic vision; thanks to a new pair of specs. Had to go and get retested as the old pair were in the Stolen Suitcase. (which has not been returned) Turns out Downsdad's blog is not meant to be in soft focus. And the letters on this page don't slide off to the right. Pity, it was a cool effect.

But I'm proud to say I barely wore the other pair.
A, because Bratty wouldn't let me, she doesn't like any thing different on my face (so no botox or collagen, drat!) And
B, The optometrist told me 2 years ago to try and do without my glasses as often as I could or I would Learn to Depend on them.
I only had them in London to read the Tube Map, which needs to be A Whole Lot Bigger by the way!
Anyways, I got tested again on Tuesday, and it turns out I really do need them now. Most of the time.

And I couldn't help but wonder about what the Optometrist had said about
Learned Dependence.

This is a prickly issue. Because as you know my kids now both a…

That's whats real to me. And You

Thankyou brothers and sisters for standing up and embracing your inner autie. Thankyou particularly to the Floggies for commenting. Maybe your precision and understanding of pretty things that matter can teach us all to recognise the power of our abilities.
For myself, writing and reading the posts helped me to understand how REAL these foibles are.
I brought up the early thing with Mr Hammie and he said that it was nothing to do with autism; you just HAD to be EARLY.
(Mr Hammie is early for TELEVISION, I keep explaining that the little people in the box don't know what time he tuned in) To him it is very real, it simply has to be done, and most of the time he is quite right. It is annoying sitting around waiting for people who think that whatever time you have arranged to meet, actually means half past that. I have learned to bring a book.

So I was able to use that to explain to him my thing about the kitchen counters. I made a direct comparison to the early thing, and how anxious he…

Is Autism the New Black?

As some of you may have noticed, I have a good mix of thought provoking Special Needs, Autism and .....Fashion blogs on my blog roll. That is because I like them.

I used to work in Fashion, I like collecting and wearing pretty things, and I like debating how ridiculous a new trend can be, and how much a truly beautiful pair of shoes can inspire us. (and cheer us up, thankyou V)

I love it when the Floggies (Fashion bloggers, just made it up) visit me too.
Because it is good to get the insights of people who are outside of the special needs bubble.

But are they? More and more I am reading and hearing about people who know someone, or are related to someone, or who worked with someone who has autism. Sure even the special needs crowd are cross pollinating the trend. Nick from Downsdad told me last night of a family with a child with Downs (I'll be sketchy and discreet with the details) who have just been told the child has autism. An early diagnosis too, which is unusual.
The other littl…

the highest degree one can earn

Some of you may have noticed that I have "tagged" (such a cool street term) a new blog called Autism Vox:

I am enjoying it not just because it throws up thought provoking observations on autism; but because it is written by a Mother of a child with autism, Kristina Chew; who is also a PhD.

Ahh, so she must have the "cure" right?

NO! She doesn't and she is fair dinkum about it too.

She just struggles through all the normal things that we do. Like clipping toenails, eating from a plate, crossing the road, and all the incredible challenges those simple issues raise. And she does it with nothing more than her love and good judgement, and common sense.

The fact that she has the letters after her name give her good press recognition and she is often asked to comment in the national media in the U.S.A. when an issue specific to autism arises.

But she does it as a parent. In a way that we can all relate to. She does not set herself above the feeling…

where ever you go, my love goes with you

I read a post a few days ago on autism vox. (see
about "how do you tell people that your child has autism?"

In other words, are you out and proud?

"we're here, we're odd, GET Used to it!"

or or do you handle things more discreetly?

I read a beautiful comment written by a Dad on the site
"I guess our autism awareness is that where ever we go, Eleanor goes."
In other words they do not make any special extra effort to prepare the world for meeting their daughter. They just go there, and then go there again. And then I guess either people work it out or don't notice.

They saw no need to exclude their daughter from any of life's experiences. They were proud and they wanted her in their lives, not on the periphery. Nor were they prepared to miss out on experiences themselves.
So everybody else in their community just had to get on with it.

I am probably a bit the same. Although we do limit the opportunities for Bratty to scream …