Self

“To be ourselves we must have ourselves – possess, if need be re-possess, our life-stories. We must “recollect” ourselves, recollect the inner drama, the narrative, of ourselves. A man needs such a narrative, a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his self.”

Oliver Sacks- The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

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The Reason I Jump- Naoki Higashida

thereasonijump

This book is incredible.

I’ve always been fascinated by autism but textbooks, with their clinical perspective, cross referencing and abbreviations have never been able to help me understand what it would actually be like to be autistic.

Written by Naoki Higashida, a 13 year old boy with autism from Japan, ‘The Reason I Jump’ provides a personal insight into the confusing world of a child with autism. Where other books have a doctrinaire spiel and are full of academic jargon, this closes the gap between the theory and, in the words of David Mitchell who introduces the book, ‘what’s unraveling on your kitchen floor.’

Higashida suffers from autism severe enough that verbal communication is impossible, but he has learnt to write by pointing at an alphabet grid, and through this has given insight into what’s happening in his head.

This book is a revelation for anyone who has or works with an autistic child. In demonstrating his intellectual acuity and understanding of  his condition, Naoki Higashida discredits ideas that children with autism lack empathy and mental capacity. His entertaining and charming narrative, dispels popular myths and allows the reader to feel a little bit of what he feels on a daily basis, a truly beautiful and moving book.

WHY DO YOU FLAP YOUR FINGERS AND HANDS IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE?

Flapping our fingers and hands in front of our faces allows the light to enter our eyes in a pleasant, filtered fashion. Light that reaches us like this feels soft and gentle, like moonlight. But ‘unfiltered’ direct light sort of needles its way into the eyeballs of people with autism in sharp, straight lines, so we see too many points of light. This actually makes our eyes hurt.

Light wipes away our tears, and when we’re bathed in light, we’re happy.

Day 50: The Illusion of Normal

Watch this space for my post inspired by this article. She lays out the issues with the theory of normalcy from a personal and inspiring perspective.

Everyday Asperger's

The idea of this concept called Normal is one of the grandest illusions of our time.

There is no normal.

Normal doesn’t exist.

All definitions of normal are debatable—as are the definitions of typical, average, and ordinary.

And what’s wrong with atypical, above average, and extraordinary, anyhow?

Normal, apparently, means behaving like most behave. But who are these most? And how do they behave? Show me the model. And PLEASE don’t point to a television program.

The definition of normal is particularly alarming, and highly debatable, when considering the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a guidebook for mental-health professionals. (Often referred to the mental-health clinician’s Bible.)

All mental-health practitioners in America categorize and diagnose millions of people by referring to the Bible of Abnormal—my word for the DSM.

No surprise that the definitions of normal changes with each publication of the…

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Mindfulness.

I haven’t posted in a while now, but I can explain!

In the past week or so I have; finished my exams, organised refreshments for sports day, visited four universities each at different ends of the country plus attended a university superfair, been on two courses, had three interviews, been to what seems like a million meetings, covered extra hours at work and organised prefects for an endless list of events with military precision- all whilst starting my A2 courses and trying to keep on top of the work I miss as a result of the aforementioned activities.

And breathe.

Hectic doesn’t really begin to cover it, and i’d be lying if I pretended I hadn’t wanted to just curl up and cry/nap at least once a day.

I thought in my break between essays I could write a little something about a stress and anxiety management technique that is growing in popularity at the moment called Mindfulness.

happy-child-field Continue reading

OCD- “That’s the one with the cleaning, right?”

I recently changed the title of my Extended Project essay so that I was able to study Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I find this condition fascinating and I know i’ll have loads of research to look into, but some people seem so unaware of what OCD actually is.

“That’s the one with the cleaning, right?”

When I mentioned my change of study to a friend of mine, her first response was; “that’s the one with the cleaning, right?” Urm, not really… Continue reading

Confessions of a Shopaholic- Studying addiction

Confessions-Of-A-Shopaholic

So exams are finally over, and that’s great, but i’m now left with a gaping hole in my life i’m trying desperately to fill.

Recently I made almost 100 origami dragons and elephants and started baking and cycling a lot, all to no success. Then I remembered online shopping. Topshop, eBay, ASOS, Amazon, where all the things I could ever want to buy are just a click away.

elephant

Continue reading