Apologies for the somewhat irregular postings in this section, life has been a bit... complicated this year, however, we persist in the face of all! Aspiehelp has been doing quite a lot of email and the occasional Skype counselling. Some of these requests come via Facebook. It is pleasing to see that, given a good description of the problem, our advice is well received. N.B. This is not "standard" counselling or psychotherapy. The style we have developed at Aspiehelp is more akin to "peer support, or mentoring", and is far more direct. This suits the Asperger brain wiring, where Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is sometimes just too hard. (Explanation: CBT proceeds by skilled questioning to uncover the hidden motivations, reactions and solutions to personal problems- for us this means that, in order to produce an answer, we take a stab in the dark, not being able to articulate what the counsellor is looking for). We leave CBT to the experts and deal with the practicalities of life as it affects Aspies. This is solid, suits the literal way we look at life, and can be debated without heat.
Leith has recently attended the 2012 AutismNZ Conference, held this year in Auckland's Aotea Centre. She reprised the joint presentation on "Aspies and the Social Media" given with Gabrielle Hogg in Brisbane earlier this year (oops.. rewriting it on the spot after an inspired question of how many in the audience actually used Facebook! Only two out of about 40 didn't). The visuals on Power Point were appreciated (I'll try to load them on here somewhere).
A goodly representation from Aspergers Syndrome NZ was present (a great way to renew contacts made in 2010), but overall, Aspies were in the minority and were also overlooked in the official welcome. Leith's efforts to secure the attendance of Dennis Debbaudt (www.autismriskmanagement.com) were, however, acknowledged (twice!). Dennis runs an international Training programme for First Responders (Police etc) in coping well with people on the Autism Spectrum. After the debacle last year in Christchurch where a young aspie was falsely accused of "looting", beaten up and imprisoned in the aftermath of our worst earthquake, we were determined that something good should come of all this. Aspiehelp was able to contact the Police Disability Training Officer, Morris Cheer, and he arranged to attend the whole Conference. He also had a private meeting with Dennis, and has arranged to purchase training materials for NZ Police. Dennis is remaking his DVD with some film from NZ to give the presentation a "more international look".
Other keynote speakers, Rita Jordan (U.K.), Tony Attwood (Oz), Paul Taylor (NZ) and Alan Freeth (NZ) spoke intelligently, entertainingly and brilliantly accompanied by really superb power point presentations. It's great to see Power Point being used as an extra narrative running alongside the speech, rather than being ponderously repeated word for word as I have too often seen!
Food is a very important issue when you are in a Conference situation. The 2010 Conference was a standout for a very poor show on the part of the caterers, and we were delighted by the food presented on this occasion!
I welcome enquiries/suggestions for future blogs- please use the contacts page on this website, and thanks for reading!