Thursday, March 01, 2007


I'm looking forward to spend another week at Monkton Wyld Court - this time for the Home Educators Family Week... Actually I'm having mixed feelings. When I remember DJs resistance to going out and joining in group activities - plus other people's reactions - I feel tense.

I need to remember to take each moment as it comes and that I can deal with whatever happens. I've decided to take it really easy and give myself plenty of relaxation time: hot bath with lavender oil, relaxing music, quiet times... feeling a bit better already!

"You can not give to your child until you give to yourself." - Cheri Huber

Now, what have we been up to?

A bit of geography, watching Volcanoes and revising volcano types: composite volcanoes, shield volcanoes, dome volcanoes and ash volcanoes, and so on...

Watched Their Future In your Hands, a short video introducing the issue of animal rights, "suitable for use in English, Citizenship, PSHE and RE at KS3, KS4 and Sixth Form."

History: The Inquisition - 2nd half of the 19th Century; the situation of Italian Jews in Bologna: for 300 years they were banished by the Catholic Church - confined to ghettos, forced to identify themselves by yellow bonnets, forbidden to own property, to travel freely, to mix with Catholics or to attend University. The taking of Jewish children by the church was common occurrence. The Pope rules as king of the Papal States and his laws were enforced by the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Napoleon occupies Madrid in 1808 and abolishes the Spanish Inquisition. Between 1547 and 1699, out of 85,000 people accused of heresy, more than 20,000 were burned at the stake! Goya and Galileo... "In 1908 the name of The Holy Office of The Inquisition is changed to The Congregation For The Doctrine Of the Faith. The Vatican refuses to recognise the legitimacy of Italy as a country until 1929. In 2005 the Head of The Congregation For The Doctrine Of the Faith is elected Pope. He takes the name Benedict XVI."

PSHE: We've been talking about respect and consideration for others as empathy; as a way of seeing. This definition of respect comes up in the book I'm reading at the moment:

"The core meaning of the word respect is to look. But to look at what? We propose that to respect another person is to look at what they are experiencing - in particular, to look (...) to their present feelings and needs." - from Respectful Parents Respectful Kids

Interesting perspective... however, considering that aspies struggle with recognizing and feeling the emotions of others, no wonder they're likely to act in ways that don't take those emotions into account - and no wonder they tend to be perceived as disrespectful! On the other hand, if NTs were truly able to "put themselves into aspies' shoes" they wouldn't interpret their actions as lack of consideration or rudeness. Rather, they would understand the missing information and offer it explicitly e.g. by expressing clearly how they're feeling and requesting a specific action... or something like that...


Gill said...

I used to live with someone with Aspergers and can definitely relate to your last para. I found when I had the presence of mind/patience to do that, then things were fine. But when I was tired and/or feeling sorry for myself I didn't have what it took to deal with it well. Hats off to you if you can!

The course looks great! Hope you really enjoy it :-)

Paula said...

Hats off indeed! Empathy is hard work! I mean, it's easy to assume we know where people are coming from, what they mean and what their intentions are! But do we really? More often than not I get the wrong end of the stick. How could we possibly know people's intentions unless we ask, unless they are prepared to be open about it? That's a mystery to me... Just imagine how complicated things can get between 2 aspies!

Its so amazing how much is left unsaid in conversations! And how easily misinterpretation of communication can escalate into conflict - especially, like you say, when one is not feeling 100%.

Presence of mind and patience - you were spot on there! - the essential ingredients for dealing with people, whether aspies or not!

Cheers! :-)