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serenity
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19 Jul 2008, 9:45 pm

What positive things did your parents, other family members, and community do you for you?

In raising my boys it's important to me that I give them every opportunity to be happy that I can. We are all so different, with differing personalities, and options as we were growing up. I thought this thread could be a really nice resource to parents (on, and off the spectrum) as how to help our children have a smoother ride to adulthood. Plus, it's just nice to think of the positives for a moment.

I'll go first. There was no such thing as "back talking" in my house. I was always allowed to state my opinion about how I felt about things. Of course, I still had to do my chores, and whatnot, but I was allowed to say that I didn't want to, and why without getting into trouble for it. I felt that my opinion, and feelings were valued by my mom, and somewhat my father. They never treated me like I was only a child, or what I had to say wasn't important.



Aurore
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19 Jul 2008, 10:57 pm

If I was afraid of something, no matter how ridiculous it was, my parents never laughed at me.
If I was doing something generally considered socially unacceptable, the policy was that I could do it at home, as long as I understood I wasn't to do it in public (and then only if I had a full explanation as to why doing it in public was a bad idea). There was no corporal punishment, though we had a complex system of rewards for good behavior.
Mutual respect was far more effective than a relationship based on fear.
Thank you for starting this topic : )


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20 Jul 2008, 12:35 am

I just posted this in the self harm thread:

Speckles wrote:
Hmm, I sometimes scratch my forearm until it oozes plasma. I've gotten blood a few times, but it's actually kind of hard to get that far with just your nails before calming down, particularly since I keep them short. It actually ends up looking like a burn when it's healing, and fades to a faint skin discolouration - I can see the scars, but most people don't notice or think they're just birthmarks. It gotten less frequent as time has gone on, to the point that it can be half a year between scratchings.

I remember when my mom first caught me doing it - it was one of the corniest days of my life. She started to freak out, then stopped and left me alone for about an hour. Then she came back with a billy goat plushie she'd just bought, and made up a sappy analogy about how she found it difficult to see me hurt myself trying so hard to accomplish something, like a billy goat trying to get a mountain back down, and that she'd like it if she could help me find other ways to get around my difficulties. It was kind of embarrassing, but also wonderful at the same time. I still have the plushie, and stash it in my bag when I'm having a bad day. :oops:


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SIXLUCY
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20 Jul 2008, 1:06 am

When I was in a girls home and young women shelters some staff would say I was one of the lovliest girls that come through. I got along really well with them. One worker kept sayin, "Isnt she gorgeous" I guess that was until... I threatened to kill people and so forth
Now I look back I think why did I carry on like that for and then I remembered that around this time I was raped by my sisters x husband. I was still only a kid and it didnt really register
f**k I HATE THIS
my past sorry...

but what I am meaning to express is that these Women were so nice to me and in prison too

Its just whats helped me get through :D :D :D



ericksonlk
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20 Jul 2008, 6:08 am

I begin to read at 4-5 years old... but I couldn't understand the text well... it was hyperlexia. My father everyday for two hours after his work did read with me, asking me to read to him some pages of a book (R.L Stevenson, C. Dickens, ...), and then we should talk about that part. He did explain me what I couldn't get by myself and teach me that I have to keep those little pieces of words in my mind until some meaning appears. This really helped me, although my father is a f***ing bastard in everything else. :x


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serenity
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20 Jul 2008, 8:22 am

Aurore wrote:
If I was afraid of something, no matter how ridiculous it was, my parents never laughed at me.
If I was doing something generally considered socially unacceptable, the policy was that I could do it at home, as long as I understood I wasn't to do it in public (and then only if I had a full explanation as to why doing it in public was a bad idea). There was no corporal punishment, though we had a complex system of rewards for good behavior.
Mutual respect was far more effective than a relationship based on fear.
Thank you for starting this topic : )


That sounds similar to how we do things in my house. Except, the correcting of behavior part. My boys aren't old enough to grasp that yet.



DJRnold
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20 Jul 2008, 8:55 pm

If I ever have kids, they'll be allowed to know "why", even if the answer is simplified. Many, many parents don't want to tell their children "why". They say things like "Because I said so" or "I don't need a reason, I'm your mother/father". My parents do that to me, but they don't do it nearly as much as they did when I was little. Even when I was little, I insisted on knowing "why" they wanted me to do something or not do something. If they wouldn't tell me, I tried refusing to do it, but I usually ended up having to do it anyway.
If people won't tell me the reason, it makes me think that they have no reason. Many people make decisions based on feelings, but I don't want someone else's feelings determining my actions. There has to be some sort of logic behind the command.



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21 Jul 2008, 2:50 am

Randomly-

In 8th grade summer school English I had a teacher give me a "Elements of Style" book. For me, the gesture lasted well into high school, as I always fancied myself to be a writer of novels in the woods somewhere. This gave me a sort of confidence. It hasn't panned out for me, yet, but to me this kind and thoughtful action that meant more than the gift itself. I've recently written to this teacher, as I've found his e-mail address, and hope to have a reply soon.


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21 Jul 2008, 9:47 am

Okay -- some people who've done things right, and what they've done right:

1. My mother early on never made me think there was anything 'wrong' with me. From as early as I can remember listening to conversations, I heard people ask her, "What's wrong with your daughter?" And from as early as I can remember her answers, she said "Nothing" in a really offended tone, or else sometimes (frostily) "She just does things her own way and there's nothing wrong with that." Then she'd grumble to me about how rude people were. So it turned into what was wrong with other people for saying there was something wrong with me, rather than what was wrong with me.

2. My parents did their best to keep me out of institutions, even when there was the threat of me being legally taken away from them (and a lot of ugly proceedings related to people trying to do that). They didn't always succeed, but they did their best. (I didn't give them enough credit for this until I grew up and heard the whole story. I had mostly thought of what they did wrong during this time, before. But now I can tell they were really trying to do stuff right, they just didn't have the information required.)

3. There was one teacher in special ed who really tried to give us an education equivalent to high school, and really believed we could do it. She could be stern but she had high expectations.

4. There were three teachers in regular high school who looked out for me, even when I was being bullied so severely that other teachers joined in the bullying instead of siding against the bullies. One of them kept me in her honors foreign language class even though the work was much harder than I was capable of. And the art teacher took me in after I was thrown out of math class for good. She was very clear that I could be as strange as I wanted in her classroom as long as I produced art. This was all pre-diagnosis, too, so they didn't know why I was strange, they just saw that I was weird and being picked on and did what they could for me.

5. My best friend, who I've talked about in many other threads. She pursued a friendship with me for years during which I didn't know how to respond, or how to understand what she was doing. She later told me that she hadn't been sure I didn't think of her as an object, but that she was happy enough even with that and didn't have to expect more to enjoy being around me. She learned to put together information that I communicated in highly non-standard ways -- information that not even my family knew how to decipher, but that was extremely important to me. She was the only person who didn't get impatient with me when I couldn't speak, and who even devised several alternate ways of communicating with me (one of my favorites, that I mentioned in other posts, was tapping out prime numbers on the telephone receiver). She was also the only non-family-member persistent enough to call me at every single mental institution I was ever in, including when I was too heavily drugged to communicate or to remember who she was or why she was calling. In person, she'd join in with things I was stimming on. When I was experiencing severe problems of various kinds, she let me crash on her couch. Just basically... this is someone who went way beyond normal expectations in attempting to communicate with me and be my friend, and we're best friends to this day.

6. Another friend, now a neighbor, sort of took up the job of guiding me, where my parents left off. She's old enough to be my mother herself, and also autistic. She recognized in me a person much like she had been at my age. And she thought I needed someone to help me learn to navigate the adult world without ending up back in mental institutions or group homes or homeless (or by extension, dead). She helped me learn how to avoid things like self-injury and violence, because she had had to learn to stop things like that too. She has never been afraid to call me out on things I'm doing wrong, and has contributed to a whole lot of growth that would have otherwise taken place much more slowly if at all. More importantly, unlike almost anyone else in the world, she can tell the difference between something I'm doing as a result of a problem of character, and something I'm doing as a result of disability, and never bothers me about the latter, while being stern about the former. And even when she is stern, she is never unkind. All of which has led to me being far more self-aware -- normally I am around people who can't tell the difference between something I can't help and something I'm doing wrong, and who therefore aren't equipped to give me any guidance on the matter. She can almost always tell, which has been very important. She also unknowingly helped me a good deal with communication, by putting words to many things I was experiencing and thinking, in a very consistent manner (this is something neither of my parents could do, and that normally parents do for their children at a young age -- the problem was that my expression of emotion and such was so different, even from my autistic father, that they often only gave me the words to emotions I was not feeling because they mistook me for feeling it; this friend on the other hand almost always used the right words, which helped me a good deal in sorting those words out). So basically she's taken on the role of a mentor in the truest sense of the word (not the diluted and fakey buzzword sense).

7. My cat. Just because. :) But seriously, she is extremely perceptive and helps me out a lot (and I help her as well, so it's mutual). She was the first person to map out how my movement disorder affects me, and which parts of my body to touch in what order to help me get moving again. I have based my training of humans in how to do these things, on what my cat taught me. She's been around all but one year of my adult life, and we've almost never been apart during that time. Right now, since I have banned her from sitting on my chest (due to bad asthma this season), she's figured out she can drape herself over my right arm and rest her head in front of my neck, and that's exactly what she's doing. :cat:


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21 Jul 2008, 10:51 am

I can't point out alot of things that people did right with me growing up because I was a pretty odd kid. However, as an adult, my mother has become very accepting of my oddity in a way that she couldn't be when I was a kid. Now, I understand that she was just horrified that I was having the same awful problems and worse that she had and she couldn't bear it. She knew the answer. "Be like them", but she also knew the other answer, "I just can't". It was awful to watch me struggle, I'm sure.

As an adult, I've had friends who are much more accepting of my weirdity. I always raised my son with the idea that weird did not equal bad. Too bad his dad tells him it is. It's sad to watch someone struggle with accepting their integral self. His dad has destroyed in a year what it took me 15 and a half years to build. Sad that one or two negatives is so destructive. And positives have so little power.

It's sad that the system believes that weird is bad. We all are supposed to accept kids for the wonderful unique individuals that they are, but not if they really are wonderful and unique. Sad that the system actually rewards people who are such piss poor parents. I'm on a roll, maybe I should start a thread....


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21 Jul 2008, 10:57 am

Well first I will have to thank my Amnesty group-
For being supportive of my crazy ideas to save the world(which were crazy at times)

Next, my best friend Sabina Carlson
look up her poem "hold up a candle if you're an angel"
and she certainly did

My neighbor, whom I stay over

I wish my mom wasn't so emotional and my dad so selfish but that's how it goes.