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Tales
Snowy Owl
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14 Jun 2010, 1:57 am

Hey guys this is about one of my ongoing stories I am writing.
However since we have a english speaking audience, I think this is the topic to make on a Fantasy story with a heavy chinese background.

I want to make sure my points are understood by English speakers. Also the highlight is that the characters are accurately portrayed people with Aspergers, Autism and ADHD unlike Percy Jackson.

I want to portray the character's ASD in a accurate manner.



Villette
Velociraptor
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14 Jun 2010, 3:57 am

Hi Tales,
can you show me an extract? I'm Chinese Malaysian. :) So I think I'd understand what you write. Perhaps we can exchange writing tips!

Coincidentally I'm writing an AS story but with different terms in an alternate universe. I have to give them English names because
1. to cater for a wider audience - in case it's published
2. I have an obsession with the Victorian era.

I commend your resolution to use realism in fantasy. Is your novel to be more character-based? Mine is thematic/subject-based.



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Snowy Owl
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14 Jun 2010, 4:23 am

Thanks for the interest. The Story is now in the Research stage so nothing concrete just yet....

It's the year 2010, and ancient Chinese immortals far more ancient than the Jade Emperor have walked out of the pages of bamboo scrolls and into the life of 14 year old autistic Sheng Kai. After being rescued from a Chinese demon, Kai is escorted to the Wu Sheng Temple. There under the protection by benevolent Chinese Dragons, Kai learns of his parentage between a human father and the powerful Xuan Wu, the Immortal Beast of the Water. So he learns that his sensory issues and other symptoms of his disorder are actually his gifts as he learns to interact with others like him and eventually with the cruel outside world.

But Kai finds himself hunted by the Human immortal, Yu the Great, as he's the only clue to Xuan Wu's whereabouts. Kai and his new found friends, all having ASD and descendants of the 5 Immortal Beasts, must find his mother whom he hasn't seen since birth. And find out the mystery of her departure before the vengeful Yu finds her and imprison her.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Now the big issue is portraying Autism, Aspergers and ADHD in a way that is accurate to real life. The media has often times underplayed or stereotyped us to the point where it seems too far from the reality of having to live with such a condition or gift.

So the main character is Lee Sheng Kai or Kai. He has autism. My feelings and encounters maybe not be exactly accurate as I have very little of sensory issues unlike some of you and animals in human environments.

I welcome any one here to share your autism experience. Better if we can have females too as there are girls on the spectrum in the story.

Also part of the experiences will help in design the facility of Wu Sheng Temple which is said to be AU friendly and will not cause sensory overloads in the children.

1. Fans do not make a lot of noise. They are using newly designed fans that dun have blades and its very quiet.
2. <need advice> Lights do not flicker like a disco light and drive animals, and dragons crazy.
3. Pipes and water supply are checked carefully and are made from stainless steel. not copper, lead or potentially toxic heavy metals.
4. Wheat products are not allowed and cow's milk products are strictly off limits since chinese dragons are allergic to cow's milk like some Asian people.
5. anything else you guys can suggest?



Villette
Velociraptor
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14 Jun 2010, 7:45 am

Tales wrote:
Thanks for the interest. The Story is now in the Research stage so nothing concrete just yet....

It's the year 2010, and ancient Chinese immortals far more ancient than the Jade Emperor have walked out of the pages of bamboo scrolls and into the life of 14 year old autistic Sheng Kai. After being rescued from a Chinese demon, Kai is escorted to the Wu Sheng Temple. There under the protection by benevolent Chinese Dragons, Kai learns of his parentage between a human father and the powerful Xuan Wu, the Immortal Beast of the Water. So he learns that his sensory issues and other symptoms of his disorder are actually his gifts as he learns to interact with others like him and eventually with the cruel outside world.

But Kai finds himself hunted by the Human immortal, Yu the Great, as he's the only clue to Xuan Wu's whereabouts. Kai and his new found friends, all having ASD and descendants of the 5 Immortal Beasts, must find his mother whom he hasn't seen since birth. And find out the mystery of her departure before the vengeful Yu finds her and imprison her.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Now the big issue is portraying Autism, Aspergers and ADHD in a way that is accurate to real life. The media has often times underplayed or stereotyped us to the point where it seems too far from the reality of having to live with such a condition or gift.

So the main character is Lee Sheng Kai or Kai. He has autism. My feelings and encounters maybe not be exactly accurate as I have very little of sensory issues unlike some of you and animals in human environments.

I welcome any one here to share your autism experience. Better if we can have females too as there are girls on the spectrum in the story.

Also part of the experiences will help in design the facility of Wu Sheng Temple which is said to be AU friendly and will not cause sensory overloads in the children.

1. Fans do not make a lot of noise. They are using newly designed fans that dun have blades and its very quiet.
2. <need advice> Lights do not flicker like a disco light and drive animals, and dragons crazy.
3. Pipes and water supply are checked carefully and are made from stainless steel. not copper, lead or potentially toxic heavy metals.
4. Wheat products are not allowed and cow's milk products are strictly off limits since chinese dragons are allergic to cow's milk like some Asian people.
5. anything else you guys can suggest?

Yup, intense light drives me crazy.

What about things to satisfy their obsessions, i.e. wide open spaces for kungfu, archery, swordplay, etc.? Special weapons for the dyspraxics. Library for the scholars. You could construct a zoo or reservation area around the Temple. Even a cave for the loners to retreat to.

About females ... Aspie females are more likely to be bookworms than engineers compared to the guys. (I myself used to analyse sentences in Victorian books years ago.) Some are animal lovers. Another thing is Aspie females are more likely to like anime. I know one who reads about geography, history and philosophy. You could mention puzzles and paintings and even ancient codes to decipher. (Maybe reuse some quotes from Lao Tze and incorporate them into the story. Then you can have the classic scholar-detective novel.)

Hope this helps.



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Snowy Owl
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14 Jun 2010, 8:03 am

Flickering fluorescent lights also make animals upset too. I wonder if there are any alternatives?



Peko
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14 Jun 2010, 8:14 am

I'd consider something about funny odors or certain plants/flowers being off limits due to dragons and some people having reactions. Especially a ban on aerosal canned scents (hairsprays & air fresheners) (they usually drive me nuts).


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Villette
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14 Jun 2010, 8:32 am

ask the physicists. :p: well, perhaps avoid UV light which is harmful but focus on visible light. UV light has a shorter wavelength than visible light. there are special filters that filter out uv light but let in visible light.

Perhaps you can check out bioluminesence eg GFP.



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Snowy Owl
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14 Jun 2010, 8:33 am

Hmm for smells, there nothing much to help.. unless you have better ideas? anyone

Also the animals spirits or even higher legendary beasts like say dragons or maybe Kirin serve as the teachers of subjects. This is good becos they are able to detect what's causing sensory overload in the kids in the environment and react to the problem. A human teacher would be blind to such.

There are also hug machines near the Toilets or rest areas.

Also each kid has his own room/cave and it's soundproof and has a PC... but the internet connection is undetectable by humans outside.



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Snowy Owl
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14 Jun 2010, 8:52 am

Also the quantum physics of the Temple are different from outside. 1 hour in the real world is 10 hours in the Temple's dimension.

So the Principal of the Temple has a human avatar, Derek, who is a fictional Singaporean govt official who plans to build schools and learning institutes for teens with ASDs. But his obstacle is the lack of support from the top and the bottom of society.

In reality, there are schools in Singapore for ASD but those are for kids and none are for teenagers/adults.



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14 Jun 2010, 6:16 pm

I dunno if this is universally true of ADHD types, but I know it fits my father and me...one thing I would have very much liked in school would be to be able to study with music on, either in the room or on headphones given that some others might be very disturbed by the noise. And I mean VERY disturbed by the noise, considering the types of music I listen to are enough to send some NTs into a hissy fit, not to mention probably being potential meltdown material for some ASD types. So come to think of it, headphones should probably be a rule for public study spaces. And a few spaces should probably be designated completely quiet, so that someone like me doesn't come in with music blaring, even ON the headphone, and distract/tick people off.

I have a theory that the music helps because an ADHD brain is always pinging all over the place. Tying up a certain amount of "bandwidth" on the music seems to help with getting things done.

Some of your ADHD types might also like to have tea kept "on tap" where they study. The caffeine can help some as a natural aid to concentration. :) Now bear in mind that green tea is not as caffeinated as black tea or coffee, but it does still have some in there.


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Snowy Owl
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14 Jun 2010, 8:56 pm

Hmm true...

Btw, the kids will be having headphones in class connected to the teachers microphone. This filters outside noise and the only thing they hear is the teacher's voice. They can tune the volume of the teacher's voice but unable to switch it off.

And Twilight fans might like this tale since I have one character who is like a werewolf but he is a Hulijing= fox spirit. Sometimes he will change into his large fox form to protect the kids from outside threats like the human immortals who send demons to do their bidding.

And for ADHD guys and girls, there's farming work and hunting feral goats and chickens.

Also I apologize if it sounded like the Five God Temple is a bit racist since all of the adults and teens there are chinese.

However this is a reflection of reality now in Singapore. According to my supportive parents, they noticed that among the parents and children who come to support groups that help Aspies/ADHD.
95 - 99% of them are Chinese! Which made me wonder where are the malays and indians?



SoSayWeAll
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14 Jun 2010, 9:32 pm

Working with animals might appeal to more than just ADHD types...check out Temple Grandin for an example of a lady with autism who is very much an expert in animals. :)

Personally I would like working with animals. Though be careful...some people may fear certain animals. I can enjoy being around cats, but dealing with dogs wasn't easy until I got older--just TOO much energy, too much unpredictability for me. (Others may differ.)


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Official diagnosis: ADHD, synesthesia. Aspie quiz result (unofficial test): Like Frodo--I'm a halfling? ;) 110/200 NT, 109/200 Aspie.


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Snowy Owl
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14 Jun 2010, 9:43 pm

Hmm including hunting the feral goats and chickens.



Villette
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15 Jun 2010, 4:47 am

Nerdiness is part of the Chinese culture. IT and extreme math aptitude is also highly prized. So selective pressure favours these traits in the Chinese, which are associated with autism. Furthermore, Chinese parents are perfectionists and will see oddities in the child and make them go for counselling.

(fyi, a number of my singaporean relatives are from top universities, so that would explain it.)



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Snowy Owl
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15 Jun 2010, 5:14 am

Well yes unlike Camp Half Blood, Wu Sheng Temple is more focus on learning but physical activity is not neglected.

Actually the former principal had put a farm facility in the Temple's dimension but then the problem is the kids lack exercise and gross motor skills have not improved. Also the dragon constables are getting a bit fat. The current principal has reduced the farm and said that the goats and chickens are to be set free to the forests and grassland when they reach a certain size to help train the Aspies's senses and reflexes by hunting them with bow and arrow or the Zhuge Crossbow.

Just to let you know most of the kids in the Camp come from broken homes. Kai himself for example, his dad ever since his mother's disappearance has treat Kai very badly similar to one of the members of my Aspie group. Imagine getting domestic violence every single day.... OMG. So parents is a sensitive topic here for most of the kids in the temple. But some of them have parents who knowingly send them to the Temple. Not knowing that they are sent to some mythical dimension.