PRINCESS Eugenie opened up about battle with debilitating scoliosis which left her with 2 large metal rods in her back. The emotional royal, who will marry Jack Brooskbank in the same venue at Prince Harry and Meghan in October, paid tribute to her older sister Princess Beatrice for her support ever since she was diagnosed and underwent treatment aged 12. Her determination to fight through pain of scoliosis means spine twists and curves to side. During a speech at youth empowerment WE Day in Wembley, London, on Wednesday, Eugenie said her sister encouraged her not to be disheartened. The princess, daughter to the Duke and Duchess of York, urged women to “live fearlessly” in the face of adversity. The 27-year-old told audience: “When I was 12 I was diagnosed with and treated for, scoliosis has two twelve inch metal rods in her back. Understands pain in life but it did not stop her from doing the things she loves to do. Said sister encouraged her not to get disheartened, not give up live fearlessly. Today, able to get to work with and support the young people going through same things, encourage them to not let diagnosis win so live courageous lives. Credits bigger sister’s inspiration, love, team work, support in messages from their speech: “Never give up, find that tiny game inside you that gives you the belief you can change the world so you don’t have to face anything alone. Their mother Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York tweeted congratulations to daughters on Twitter posting: Leading by example of unity and confidence. Well done. And Princess Eugenie announce engagement to long-term partner Jack Brooskbank in January. The pair will tie the knot at St George’s Chapel, Windsor the same place where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry October 12.
A North Carolina Gospel Minister Sows Seeds of Hope in a Food Desert in USA.The Reverend Richard Joyner of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Conetoe, NC, exhorts his congregants to strengthen their community. First, the Reverend Richard Joyner got mad. Then he got a trowel. Sick and tired of seeing his congregation suffer from poor nutrition, the North Carolina minister sowed seeds of hope in a food desert. ABOUT A DECADE AGO, the Reverend Richard Joyner of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church realized he ministered to a congregation of people often hungry and living in poverty but never complained. He came up with an ingenious use of land that helped keep the young ones involved in learning about nature first hand. The Church members unfamiliar with farming in the city are educated on how to grow own good produce. The pastor found it difficult to comfort grieving or contain his outrage: “How do you tell someone who’s just lost a child to poor nutrition that this was God’s plan when it was totally preventable? Who would hang out with that God?” Each Sunday, Joyner felt like a hypocrite, urging congregants to worship a deity he doubted. During the week, he was forced to confront the community’s health problems constantly as a hospital chaplain. After one particularly trying hospital shift, Joyner pulled his car over and began to pray. “I heard a voice saying, ‘Open your eyes and look around,’” the 64-year-old remembers. All he saw was farmland. His parents and grandparents had been share- croppers; his great-grandparents, slaves. That moment fields blanketing Edgecombe County represented not untapped opportunity but a painful reminder of the region’s racist past.
Young people enjoy outdoors activity so this roadside epiphany directly inspired the church’s now-bustling nonprofit agriculture and education center might construct a tidy narrative. It would, however, be inaccurate. Back in 2005, when Joyner first equipped area youth with seeds and spades on a borrowed plot down the road, he simply hoped to engage kids at summer camp. The campers consumed their initial harvest, but the following year, they started delivering free boxes of ‘Hen Pecked’ mustard greens, ‘Puerto Rican Red’ sweet potatoes and the vegetables to local senior citizens. “One 97-year-old lady, she was so excited, she kissed the children,” Joyner says. “That was the first time in a long time I witnessed anybody speaking a blessing over our troubled children.” Not everyone welcomes bounty. Only a generation or two removed from sharecropping, some church elders questioned the wisdom of participating in any sort of agrarian pursuit. They remained uncomfortably familiar with Edgecombe County’s role in the South’s antebellum cotton economy. Henry Toole Clark, a Civil War–era governor of North Carolina, owned a vast plantation—and dozens of slaves here. Joyner explains prevailing concern: “Do we really want our kids going back to that?” He empathized. Then again, he’d witnessed satisfaction junior parishioners derived from the soil. Less encumbered by Conetoe’s complicated history, they were free to dig in the dirt. “They’re bringing food to people who need it,” Joyner says. “They enjoy the process. They’re playing out there.” Meanwhile, various activities on the farm like preparing beds, selecting seeds, tending crops, selling produce, tracking digital data impart valuable lessons in science, technology, exercise, economics, math, and nutrition.
Joyner and young participants in the church’s farm program harvest collard greens destined for Edgecombe County’s hospital and school cateterias.
Reverend Joyner’s brother and nephew, Bennie (left) and Dante Joyner, plant sweet potatoes.
Marquon Pettaway was named a Local Food Hero by Farm to Fork North Carolina last year. When Pettaway started working on the farm, he says, “My friends asked, ‘Why you doing that?’ Then they saw me on the news.”
Joyner thunders from the pulpit in stereotypical Baptist fashion, but heed his words. They’re less fire and brimstone than sweet rain for parched souls. Ponder this passage from one rousing sermon: “Friendship is deeper than what you do. Friendship is deeper than your actions. Friendship is deeper than the story told. That’s how we are going to transform this community. Not by being churches. Not by being preachers. We are going to transform it by being friends! heightened dramatic effect.] Can I get a witness?!!”Adept as Joyner may be at casting visions, he admits to shortcomings in the arena of organizational management. At the outset of the farm’s second season, the preacher petitioned Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, where he volunteers as a chaplain, for a grant. “I wrote application, with my dyslexia, and it was terrible. I prayed over it: God, please help them understand what’s going on.”
Although a phone conversation was required to clarify intent, the hospital ponied up $2,000. Two years later, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gave Joyner $15,000. And in 2011, The Conservation Fund donated $7,500 through its North Carolina–based Resourceful Communities initiative, which emphasizes the link between socioeconomic and ecological strengths. “Richard can sweet-talk people out of tractors,” says the initiative’s director, Mikki Sager, “yet the whole effort seemed random.” So she made further funds dependent on proper managerial oversight. “We weren’t trying to be controlling,” explains Sager. “We wanted them to have the pieces in place so they could articulate a good plan and deliver on it.”Joyner’s magnetic charisma and missionary zeal have attracted a wide base of fervent fans. Among the converted: Garrie Moore, a retired vice-chancellor of the City University of New York, who signed on as executive director of the program three years ago. Ruth Little, an assistant professor of public health at East Carolina University, has pitched in by training a number of Edgecombe County citizens as lay health advisers over the years. Tes Thraves, of North Carolina State University’s Center for Environmental Farming Systems, immediately thought of Joyner in 2010 when she founded the Food Youth Initiative, a statewide effort to bring teens together to explore food justice issues. Of the Conetoe delegation, Thraves says, “They grasp the power analysis of the world around them. They’re raised with integrity and empowerment. They believe in something.”
Today, the Conetoe Family Life Center—a name befitting the farm’s beyond-the-field ambitions—encompasses five different plots that together total 21 acres. Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, the Edgecombe County school system, and a number of area restaurants pay in advance to secure salad greens, peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and other crops. The center’s 150 hives generate $10 jars of honey, as well as an alternative income stream from local farmers renting the pollinators. Proceeds are reinvested in the program. A single market-rate cabbage puts 10 cabbages on the tables of needy families. Approximately 25 percent of the produce is distributed among church members, with those who can afford to contribute subsidizing others who cannot. Health-related outreach continues year-round. The results are nothing short of dramatic. Since 2012, visits to Vidant’s emergency room—the de facto primary care clinic for underinsured parishioners—have decreased by 75 percent. Collectively, the 250-member congregation spends $4,000 less on medication per quarter than it did a decade ago. Joyner’s many accolades include the 2014 Purpose Prize (honoring the social work of citizens over 60) and a 2015 Hero salute from CNN. Last year, when he accepted a Local Food Hero award from the nonprofit Farm to Fork North Carolina, the pastor did not stand alone. Two of the program’s participants—Tobias Hopkins, 19, and Marquon Pettaway, 20—were also honored. Pettaway thrived in the apiary. He’ll talk endlessly about the hives, about honey’s merits, about how he made beeswax candles for a school project. “The bees have a job, too. They have an everyday job,” he says. “That made me motivate myself to keep pushing.”Before getting involved with the farm, Pettaway viewed the army as his only option, but he now attends community college. “The program,” he says, “changed things for me.” Still, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging in Conetoe, a food desert that lacks a single full-size supermarket. Pettaway’s mother works at Bojangles’, where fried chicken and biscuits anchor the menu. “I get the grilled Cajun Filet Biscuit from Bojangles,” he insists. “I get the grilled.”
Last September, I visited the Conetoe Family Life Center with a delegation from Princeton Theological Seminary and helped plant 10,000 cabbage and collard green seedlings. Three weeks later, on October 8, Hurricane Matthew hit the Carolinas. Conetoe and the neighboring towns of Tarboro and Princeville occupy low-lying, flood-prone terrain (shortcomings that explain the relative ease with which rich whites ceded this land to poor African Americans). The Tar River overflowed its banks and destroyed most of those plants, 100,000 others, plus 120 beehives and all the honey in them. Joyner was apoplectic. “I was not angry at God,” he clarifies. “I was angry at those of us who add to global warming. I was angry at people who will not take ownership.” For centuries, his community has wrestled with the compounding consequences of others’ sins, and he considers climate change another variation on that theme. When I spoke to the pastor again in June, the church had recently buried a 29-year-old woman after she succumbed to renal failure. Several of her relatives had also died of kidney disease. But Joyner noted that this funeral was one of only a handful he’d performed for people under 40 over the previous 12 months. And he mentioned that the woman’s 13- and 19-year-old cousins currently work on the farm. The fields, at least, “were flush green and full,” he said. “You can become hopeless real quick around here. But things are improving. I’m totally hopeful about these children.”
Among many people’s priority resolution for the new year is the desire to lose weight. An amazing weight loss plan used by this man transformed his life to shed the extra pounds of weight in a short time. So there is hope for many more people to follow his example to lose weight too. The father-of-two lost 12 stones in under a year in remarkable weight loss effort attributed to low calorie diet. Lorry driver Adam Moffat, 44, sheds half his body mass after adjusting eating habits. The Independent Online shared this story of Adam Moffat with his wife Margaret and daughters Hannah, 13, and Holly, nine Katielee pictured here by Arrowsmith /SWNS. The father-of-two is now half the size of the man he used to be after shedding more than 12 stone in less than a year. Prior to shedding half his body weight Adam Moffat, 44, gorged on pies, cakes and daily double rolls crammed with sausages. He would scoff cakes with breakfast and lunch and would even sneak in a kingsize Mars bar before dinner.
People lose millions in online ‘get rich quick’ schemes according to an article in the news once again on binary options trading. In Israel and Canada, binary options trading is illegal as Adele Robinson, the News Correspondent stated in the news. An online investment scam targeting people through social media has seen the amount of money lost by victims in the UK rise by 400,000% in six years. Figures from Action Fraud show the amount lost to “binary options” trading increased from £6,200 in 2012, to £27m in 2017 alone, with the total currently standing at £61m. Binary option or fixed odds betting are being used by fraudsters as part of a multi-billion pound industry which is believed to be co-ordinated by overseas criminals. A binary option is where you can gamble on an outcome, usually something to go up or down, with the pay-off being a fixed amount or nothing at all. One example would be to bet on whether the value of gold will be above or below a certain price and investors believe they can gain high returns on little amounts. Consumer group Which? has described binary options scam as “Britain’s biggest investment con” with illegitimate companies targeting victims through pop up adverts online and cold-calling.
Frank Thornburrow was targeted through social media and believes he was conned. As an investment idea it first appeared ten years ago but the industry has grown exponentially in recent years. Detective Sergeant Alex Eristavi from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, run by the City of London police, says people are being defrauded on a daily basis. “There is no typical victim,” he told Sky News, “they are just ordinary folk like you and me. The youngest one is 19 years old, that we have recorded so far, and the oldest is 93, so it’s a wide spectrum. “It’s fair to say with binary options coming into play the average victim’s age of investment fraud has dropped because previously it was over 60 and now it’s early 50s. “It’s because the younger generation are taking part in this activity, and it could be easily explained as social media is a lot to do with it, the advertisements and the pop ups etc.”The Financial Conduct Authority will begin to regulate binary options trading this year. Binary options trading is currently regulated by the Gambling Commission but from January 2018 the Financial Conduct Authority will take over. In other countries like Israel and Canada, it has been banned completely. Frank Thornburrow from Kent, lost his life savings when he invested in binary options. He has been unable to get any money back and told Sky News that he believes he was conned. He gives one example from an email telling him that to access his money he would have to make 150,000 trades, which was money he simply did not have. “The last couple of years haven’t been easy,” he said. “I lost my daughter couple of years ago when she died of cancer. I retired and I was looking for a way of making money so I tried binary because it looked good. “And basically it was a big con, it didn’t work out and I lost a lot of money. I’ve ended up with a triple bypass, so that’s the impact it’s had on me.” There is also concern that students are falling victims to scam companies after gambling with their maintenance grants to “flip” their money, according to Action Fraud. The advice from police is that “if you don’t know the field, don’t get involved in it” as there are “so many rogue companies out there.” Which? carried out its own investigations into binary options companies and found evidence of “bad practice across the board”, with high pressure sales tactics and “unfair” terms and conditions. Jenni Allen, managing director at Which? Money, said: “We found for instance that people making a deposit had to invest up to forty times that deposit to even access their money again. “I think most worryingly found examples of where actual data being used was rigged by the company so your initial investments would return some form of profit in return but thereafter you would receive loss after loss.”
Why does a man leave his wife and his children for another woman? An advice column in a local paper recently had a poignant letter, timed close to Father’s Day. It alluded to other several previous columns. The first consisted of letters from children whose fathers who left families for another woman. Another had been from a woman who wanted to know why her husband had sought a one-night sexual tryst with another woman and had asked how a decent, educated man who supposedly loved his wife could do such an “unspeakable” thing. I hadn’t seen previous columns but I felt the pain and bewilderment from this letter. A woman wanted to know whether men had written to tell their stories. The writer said she hoped such letters would help her understand her own abandonment. Let me as a social psychologist take a stab at trying to imagine what happens inside some of these men, to prompt them to turn to other women. I want to make very clear that none of this is designed to excuse or justify immoral acts. This is intended as an exercise in social science, not moralizing at all. Indeed, as I wrote in my book Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty, if we want to understand people who do things we disapprove, it is essential to set aside disapproval and moral judgments temporarily, in order to try to see how things look to them.
What do we know about such men? Not much but apparently its quite common. Society condemns them without much effort to understand or accommodate them. It doesn’t help advice columns, relationship authorities, and moral discourse are dominated by women. It is hard to understand the perpetrators from the victim’s perspective. Men who leave wives and children for another partner present a difficult problem for society. Let us suspend moralizing for a moment to understand them. Possibly some of them are simply immature and irresponsible and give not a thought or care to wife and little ones left behind. More likely many of these men agonize and suffer over the loss of their family. Society has not made it easy for the men who desire more sex. Marriage demand that desires only his wife. Standing at the altar reciting her wedding vows, the bride may be utterly beautiful and sexy and desirable, and perhaps he thinks he can desire only her forever. But what happens? She ages, gains weight, maybe loses interest in sex. Research has found that most wives are satisfied with the amount of sex in their marriage, while most husbands wish for substantially more than they get. The implication is that for many men, marriage means years and years of sexual frustration.
The man is told to respect wife’s wishes. When she does not want sex, he should not push her to engage in it. Although it sounds reasonable and decent but given well documented fact women want sex less frequently than men is condemned to countless nights of helpless wishes for sex. And that’s assuming he desires her. What is he supposed to feel when she becomes less attractive to him? We have all heard endless and sympathetic discussions about how hard it is for women to see beautiful female models depicted in the media, because ordinary women feel they cannot live up to those idealized images. What about how hard those same images are on men? How are they supposed to continue desiring only their wives when they constantly see countless images of slim, gorgeous women all around? Mandatory divorce laws pull men apart from their families. If man finds a woman for sex with him and wants to form relationship, society puts obstacles in his path. He is told he cannot marry the new woman unless he divorces his previous wife first. A wife at a time, that’s the rule: If you want a new one, you must first get rid of the previous one. There is some ambiguity as to whether the monogamy rule was designed for the benefit of men or of women, but regardless of its intent, its function is to force many men to choose between sex and family. We should not be surprised though not approve some men choose sex. Meanwhile, what’s to hold them back? It is hard personally to imagine a man who does not love his children deeply, though I suspect such men do exist. Intuitively, my powers of empathy fail to make the case of a man casually abandoning his children. But I could imagine him deciding to leave them anyway, if in grip of passionate love and sexual desire for someone other than his wife, and when he sees society requires him to leave his family in order to experience that love and sex.
Consider how hard alternative choice must be for some men. Imagine a man whose wife long ago stopped wanting to have sex with him most of the time. And his desire for her diminished as well, as she stopped flirting with him or started nagging or simply added pounds and wrinkles with the years. He has found someone new, with whom the sex is great and the emotional connection is blossoming into love. We as a society ask him to turn his back on this promise of love and sex, out of obligation to his wife and children. He thinks he sees the opportunity to have great sex every day with the new woman (it is often thus in the beginning, and may well have been that way long ago with his wife), and we ask him to give that up forever. Some wives do not allow their husbands to watch porn or masturbate so choosing to stay with his family means giving up most or all sexual pleasure for the rest of his life. A man who gives up love and sex to remain with family might think he deserves credit and appreciation for this difficult choice and sacrifice. Sadly, he is not likely to get it in many cases. If he had an affair, he may be made to feel guilty for having it, rather than made to feel noble for electing to stay with his family in the end. I don’t know whether the men think of this when they are pondering whether to stay or leave, but surely some must expect their wives will be inducing guilt more than their lovers, for that is almost certainly what is happening right during period when he is deciding. His wife may bring up the affair in future years, and he will always have to suffer the guilt over it. Or at least he may anticipate this even if it is not true. What about fatherhood? What society, including psychology, told him about it? This is part of the tragedy. Society wants men to accept obligations of fatherhood but are not respected for doing so. In media, fathers are mostly portrayed as clueless, hapless buffoons or, occasionally, violent abusers. Social policy and social science have affirmed for decades it is perfectly fine a woman raises children without husband, father.
Possibly message was initially intended to encourage and support women who found themselves in a widow or single-parent situation, but men have all heard message fathers are unnecessary. If an honest open-minded look is taken at the social science publications on fathers, you can find plenty of support for the view there is no need to stay, children of single mothers do just fine, departed father must continue to send money. So other views here and there vary but society rushed to remove the stigma of single motherhood plenty of confident reporting of findings says fatherlessness is not a handicap if children do well too. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying I approve of men abandoning families. Moral judgments are not implied here. The goal is to try to imagine what could prompt a man to choose to leave his family. Perhaps, then, we can begin to understand this supposedly mysterious sort of man who although “supposedly” loving his wife can desire sex with another woman and might even at some point decide to leave wife and child for her. Consider his decision options. The option of having a bit of extra sex and remaining with his family is perhaps not available to him, though might be what he most wants. Society does not approve his wife not tolerate. The law requires him to choose. I am reminded of a character in a television skit I saw as impressionable teenager. The man said marriage was harder than being in the army, because army gave him a furlough now and then. That’s all he wanted. “I will come back,” he said. I always came back from furlough.”
On the one side, he sees sex and love. Society extols love as one of the highest good things. Sex may not enjoy quite as much official cultural prestige, but he doesn’t need culture to tell him to want sex. He already wants it from his core. The downside of this choice is that he has to leave his wife and children. But remember, he has been told over and over that they do not really need him and will be OK without him. Looking around, it seems, everybody’s doing it. On the other side, he can stay with his family. He can cling to his role of father, which society disrespects. It is a familiar life that he knows well and may or may not find pleasant. It means giving up sex for the most part, perhaps almost a de facto vow of celibacy. Certainly alliance with other woman will not endear him to his wife or made her seem sexually desirable to him. He will be reminded of his affair and made to feel guilty on future occasions. Sad to say, this choice, which the culture would prefer him to make, may appear to him as being a sucker. Again, I’m not moralizing, just trying to understand. But when you look at it from his point of view, we should perhaps not be surprised that some men opt for change. It’s worth adding that men who leave their families are often sorry later. The relationship with the new woman may follow the same pattern, with great sex and passion at first, but less over time. Perhaps the man finds himself in the same position he was in with his previous wife. He thought it would be great forever, but often things do not go that way. One can see it as stupid or tragic that he causes suffering in the pursuit of happiness but the happiness eventually eludes him again. Still, at the time he is making the choice, it is his expectation that is decisive, even if the expectation may turn out to be wrong.
Originally Published in Psychology Today by Roy Baumiers
A father’s love and devotion for his son paid off extending to daring rummage to save lives against all odds brought tears to my eyes this morning as a good read for all to learn a life lesson. God is Faithful in most critical moments when all hope is lost Jesus delivers children as the best piece of article encouraging parents to be there for their children in time of need. In the country of Armenia in 1988, Samuel and Danielle sent their young son Armand to school. Samuel squatted before his son and looked him in the eye. “Have a good day at school, and remember, no matter what, I’ll always be there for you.” They hugged and the boy ran off to school. Hours later, a powerful earthquake rocked the area. In the midst of the pandemonium, Samuel and Danielle tried to discover what happened to their son but they couldn’t get any information. The radio announced that there were thousands of casualties. Samuel then grabbed his coat and headed for the schoolyard. When he reached the area, what he saw brought tears to his eyes. Armand’s school was a pile of debris. And parents were standing around crying. Samuel found place where Armand’s classroom used to be and began pulling a broken beam off the pile of rubble. He grabbed a rock and put it to the side, grabbed another. One of the parents looking on asked, “What are you doing?” “Digging for my son,” Samuel answered. The man then said, “You’re just going to make things worse! The building is unstable,” and tried to pull Samuel away from his work. Samuel just kept working. Time wore on, one by one other parents left. Then a worker tried to pull Samuel away from the rubble. Samuel looked at him and said, “Won’t you help me?” The worker left and Samuel kept digging. All through the night and into the next day, Samuel continued digging. The parents placed flowers and pictures of their children on the ruins. But, Samuel just kept working. He picked up a beam and pushed it out of the way then heard a faint cry. “Help! Help!” Samuel listened but didn’t hear anything again. Then he heard a muffled voice, “Papa?” Samuel began to dig furiously. Finally he could see his son. “Come on out, son!” he said with relief. “No,” Armand said. “Let the other kids come out first, I know you’ll get me.” Child after child emerged until, finally, little Armand appeared. Samuel took him in his arms and Armand said, “I told the kids not to worry because you told me that you’d always be there for me!” Fourteen children were saved that day because one father was faithful. So faithful is God Almighty to us! Whether trapped by fallen debris or ensnared by life’s hardships and struggles, we are never cut off from God’s faithfulness. HE is true to His character, reliable and trustworthy and always counted on. So keep trusting God to the end, read the Bible and encourage someone. Matthew 18:1-4 says, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. A child literally believes what is told so expects exact performance of promises. In this case the child knew his was there for him so reassures his friends that his will surely come for them. That promise kept their hope alive and kept them to hold on until they were rescued. In the same way, adults must trust God believe in Jesus so have faith in God who Keeps His Promises so cannot fail. Hindrances like earthquakes against people try to distract and stop God’s blessings but God defeats the opposer the devil. This is why it important to understand how the attacks of the devil tries to sabotage blessings and miracles from God. Earthquakes often as natural phenomenon process of changes in the tectonic plates of earth cause damage. So issue is man-made structure concrete not properly reinforced by shoddy work of construction. A loving human father defied concrete blocks to seek his son buried in the ruins. That bonding trust between father and son assured both it is well even in adversity. It pays off to allow a father to be part of a child’s life to interact playfully and to involved in disciplining children. Get on the floor to play with your children as playing with them does not diminish you as a parent. You enter their world and let your hair down for at least 1 hour everyday set a time aside in your diary, tell partners at work in board meetings unavailable to attend some projects. Remember they have only one childhood so embrace the precious years to create good memories for the future. Negotiate into contracts value of quality time with your family. A good ethical company provides for the children of their staff, time off for school runs, distance and location of job near as much as possible for couples to raise their children. Job markets cannot force people to abandon family unless a dangerously risky job so unsuitable that can children at risk. Many accomplish and achieve great things in the world so renowned but emotionally lost children. Human value is more precious and also more priceless than all material assets so do not be embarrassed to play with your children. Help children set up toys, play football, play basketball, tennis, go walking, run, swim with them to get fit yourself. The parent connected emotionally with the children gain financial security and also automatically takes care of emotional stability at a deeper level relationship. A child depleted from parental attention craves attention in the wrong places. A family bonding lasts into future years so ensure attachment making the children avoid vulnerable online predators. The child connected to parents will share an onset secret safely trusting parents to help them stop any ongoing threats of bullying and building their confidence. Expensive items provided in life is good enough but does not always meet their emotional needs. If bread winner, the house husband father can partake in the story reading too. It can be hard for mothers bearing children to let go for a father to join in to take over childcare duties and prefer the father to mother. Always treasure and loves enjoying the moments at the end of day by curling up with children to read bedtime story, to feel chaos of the day often slowly slip away. One night recently as snuggled up to a middle son Zevi, six with a copy of Charlie and Chocolate Factory in hand, a mother was told ‘wants Daddy today,’ sentiment again echoed by four-year-old daughter, Zeabella and son Rafael, who’s nine. A BBC newsreader reading for a living, said it was insulting enough to be elbowed out of responsibility that husband Phil too usually shared. What really struck core was they all wanted Daddy to put them to bed, too. While on one hand high-fiving myself for being granted early dismissal from parenting duties, deep down felt hurt. This came days after holidays during which preferring Daddy became the recurring theme. It began in the taxi to the airport with three shouts of, ‘I want to sit next to Daddy.’ Then in departure lounge it was, ‘Daddy, sit next to me.’ Boarding the plane, they were pushing each other out of the way to grab the seat next to Phil, and for much of the week it was, ‘Daddy, hold my hand,’ and, ‘Daddy, swim with me.’ As they clambered all over him in the pool it began to really niggle. Spending time with him is more of a novelty working shifts allows me to be far more present but the sound of them shrieking and giggling started to grate. Why didn’t they want me? I had to bite my lip not to blurt out, ‘Without me you wouldn’t be on this holiday! Without me you wouldn’t have sun cream, goggles, books, iPads, clothes, sandals. Without me you might not even eat.’ Well, not the right meal at the right time of day, anyway. Perhaps, thats part of the problem as issuer of orders, the keeper of the diary, organiser, the taxi service familiarity breeds contempt for mother not fun like the nursery school. Mother has no time to mess about with them at bedtime or play games or just hang out. And become the consolation prize, the parent a child reluctantly sits next to if that is the only option left. It feels petty to be upsetting so mentioned it to Phil who certainly thought its oversensitive although admits can see it’s there. So try to shrug it off. After all the years telling kids not to be jealous of each other and constantly on the lookout for who gets more treats, time, attention or love than the others. The two boys often accused favouring of youngest child and only girl. Recently, Rafael asked why always talks to girl in a softer voice, ‘because you’re nine and she’s four as previously done. So now makes conscious effort to speak to them all in the same tone. In some ways blame father for if the child prefers him. Endless opportunities to gain affection by allowing more time on the iPad, more lenient bedtimes, sweets but never be short-sighted in parenting skills for the sake of earning popularity points. And do not create competition in marriage based on jealousy for love of your children either by father, family or grandparents. Perhaps Phil lets them get away with more than giving nagging more quickly, but on the whole we are on the same page and present a united front. In some ways I do not even blame them for preferring him he is always ready with a joke and more patience than the mother. So, may feel little pang of envy now and then focus more on the times children want and need mother often if feeling physically or emotionally hurt so make the most of freetime. If in summer holidays they fight over Dad then enjoy relaxing with headphones on and read your favourite books. Do not restrict or intimidate child to cut off a relationship with mother because you feel jealous. It is essential on other hand some dad’s struggle to bond and interact with their children like the father shared online in true story. Terrence Mentor a blogger who goes by screen name AfroDaddy, recently publicly opens up on personal struggles of being dad and relationship with his younger son, who seems to be indifferent towards him.
AfroDaddy hopes by sharing his story other parents all over the world will understand they do not need to keep beating themselves up but should be open and honest to themselves and their partners. Their first son was adopted so it was easier for him and his wife to take turns to feed and care for the child. This made it easy for him to have a bond with his adopted child and AfroDaddy said however, his second son was a lot different. Upon birth, his second son already had an intrinsic connection with his mom. That bond outlasted his newborn stage and continued on until he was a toddler. That made it difficult for him. On his facebook page, he wrote that “It is quite a thing to be a dad who can’t comfort his child, who is constantly told ‘No, I go to mommy,’ who never seems to have a real, relational moment with his son.” He also admitted that he was jealous and admitted that it was a bit childish. I know its silly and childish but jealousy was real and disheartening Mentor said. AfroDaddy said all that changed when his younger son started warming up to him. He said over the past few months, his younger son would tend to choose him over his wife, which made him somehow feel happy. “This child, who would cry when I so much as looked his way, came to me for comfort and calm. Not going to lie I got a little teary eyed,” Mentor said.
According to an expert family therapist, Leslie Seppinni: “it’s not automatic that you’re going to bond with your child. Usually it does take a little while.”You see some men do not understand the sacrifice and self denial involved carrying pregnancy 9 months, going through labour worst pain on earth, in pain breastfeeding after birth, the body bloated, and the man is envious and jealous of children being nurtured as their parents did for them. They put all their anger, bitterness, frustrations on for ” ruining ” their happiness. So put anger on innocent children by breaking their toys in front of them, bashing wall knocking holes in walls, kicking the dog, thrashing premises in temper tantrums. The children copy such behaviours for some men do not understand sacrifice, selfdenial so envious jealous of children put their anger, bitterness, frustrations on children so accusing them of ruining their happiness. Mother wisely told me just because man claims to love woman does not mean he includes the children. Some neglect the children because they lacked the natural automatic soul bond that ties a child to parents. Preoccupied with envy and jealousy of their children seeth with hatred, venom vitriol instead of giving them real lve and attention child deserves from them. Quite frankly some are tall children themselves so not really have a frontal cortex so not fully understanding parenthood. The stories remind us of God’s LOVE, Favour upon our lives in Jesus Name by forgiving us as a LOVING father when even unable to appreciate God’s Love for mankind. And most women need courage to leave the child in a safe father’s good hands. Get a support, help needed, required training humbly than trying in vain to change a partner. Do not get me wrong billions of great and wonderful fathers and responsible are men out there yet it is the stupid ones that rock my feathers.
At the same time as transition happens and the father eventually bonds with a child, the mother now feels rejected and abandoned after doing all the hardwork alone. These stories reveal the modern trends of lack of daily extended family support putting burden on the couples to raise children alone most of the time. A mother can feel jealous too if a child prefers the father over mother at times. Children grow up very fast and move on with their lives. So create the precious memories for the moment to recall their childhood of good times. At the end of a it all, the couple have to live with each other when the children flow the nest. Continue to build up own relationship first and teach the children to respect both parents. Team work betwern the couple establishes firm rules, discipline and work ethics children trained apply in their own lives and marriages later. Parents must understand sacrifices and be mature to be there for the children emotionally instead of treating them as opponents in a competition. Often many children hurt, suffer or lost lives due to a parent’s immature jealousy behaviour and actions impacting their lives into adulthood. Some cultures with extended family support daily have clear roles of childcare rules so this issues may seem strange to them to read about. However, these real life issues exist and children must be taught from early years love for family, tolerance and the understanding of relationship roles, needs of babies and todflers, expectant mothers moods, supporting each other, helping around the home by every member of family, healthy eating, sound sleep, work, rest ethics and family principles, discipline, interaction and socialising skills in the community. Where both parents have extreme upbringing viewpoints there is need to create hybrid middle ground of compromise for their peace of mind and understanding. No perfect family exists on earth, do the best you can and leave the ‘rest’ of family in the HANDS of God.
Autism can be managed to excel at the highest level of education on spectrum range as Temple Grandin, Ph.D. shows. Temple is a gifted animal scientist who designed one-third of all the livestock-handling facilities in USA. She lectures widely on the autism spectrum because Temple Grandin is an autistic woman who thinks, feels, experiences the world in ways incomprehensible to the rest. In her book, Grandin delivers the report on autism from dual perspectives of a scientist and autistic person sharing her experiences and how she managed to function in the world. What emerges in Thinking in Pictures is the document of an extraordinary woman bridging gulf of condition to shed light on a common issue familiar to many people. Oliver Sacks calls Temple Grandin’s book First picture of autism from the inside” quite extraordinary, unprecedented in a way unthinkable.” Sacks told part of her story in his words and in response in Thinking in Pictures Grandin returns to tell her life history with greater depth, insight and feeling. Grandin told Sacks, I don’t want my thoughts to die with me, wants to do something to know my life has meaning. I’m talking about things at the very core of my existence. Grandin’s clearly explains what it is like to “think in pictures” to broaden minds and bring clarity on a whole school of philosophy declaring language as an only necessary tool for expressing thought. So Grandin feels she can see through a cow’s eyes to influence the design of slaughter houses and livestock restraint systems. She has great insight in human animal relations. So would be good if Thinking in Pictures transforms similarly to study religious feelings to make the world better place.
Anyone who needs help in dealing with autism can get help through available sources including books, advice from GPs and experts. Grantin’s original book published her life as high-functioning autistic woman. Grandin wrote articles on her life and work as animal scientist in 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. Words of encouragement in support of her work is included here by those who found her books helpful. The Library Journal noted from her autobiography, emerged: Labeled Autistic (LJ 5/15/86), Grandin (animal studies, Colorado State Univ.) on how, high-functioning autistic adult overcame her disability to design livestock-handling equipment. Profiled in Oliver Sacks’s An Anthropologist on Mars (LJ 2/15/95), Grandin lectures on autism at meetings and conferences. Using insights from scientific studies, autobiographies by autistic adults, and her experiences explained how people with autism differently perceive and process visual sensory information and experience to express emotion, develop social skills. She reviews diagnosis and treatment of autism, and discusses its association with talent and genius. And in the book we learn of Grandin’s own strategies for coping with autism. How autism gives advantage to understand behavior of animals. This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the subject. Published: Lucille Boone, San Jose P.L. Cal. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A most remarkable woman, Grandin describes her deepest feelings while telling how she made herself a strong and valued individual. Autistic, she was helped by her mother, book’s dedicatee, and mentors who included high-school science teacher, a cattle-rancher aunt in Arizona, and a Swift meatpacking plant manager. Attacks of nerves and panic nearly overwhelmed her in her teens, but carefully selected and supervised drugs eased many of those problems. After earning a doctoral degree, she undertook her first work project, which was called the “Stairway to Heaven.” Instrumental for her in developing that and other methods for the humane treatment of food animals was her ability, determined in some measure by her autism, to think in pictures, her profound caring for the animals, and her engineering capabilities; fully one-third of U.S. facilities for handling hogs and cattle use her designs. Readers of Oliver Sacks’ Anthropologist from Mars, title article of about Grandin, will want to read Grandin’s own heartwarming real story. William Beatty
Online Reviews of the Book
“I hardly know what to say about this remarkable book. . . . It provides a way to understand many kinds of sentience, human and animal, that adorn the earth.” –Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs
“There are innumerable astounding facets to this remarkable book. . . . Displaying uncanny powers of observation . . . [Temple Grandin] charts the differences between her life and the lives of those who think in words.” –The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A uniquely fascinating view not just of autism but animal and human thinking and feeling, providing insights can only be called wisdom.” –Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don’t Understand
“How does a true marvel let you know it has arrived? It’s hard to imagine an intellect as towering as Sacks’s coming up with perceptions rare completely out of left field as Grandin herself does in this mind-blowing book.” — Newsday
“Temple Grandin’s window onto the subjective experience of autism is of value to all of us who hope to gain a deeper understanding of the human mind by exploring the ways in which it responds to the world’s challenges.” — The Washington Times
“Temple Grandin, anthropologist from Mars, takes us on journey through her inner life and, with exquisite scientific detail offers us near photograph of the workings of her visual mind.” –John Ratey, coauthor of Driven to Distinction
“Temple Grandin’s legacy is invaluable gift of compassion. This is a journey of courage, determination, and, above all, worth. Society is the better for Temple Grandin having left her mark on it.” –Alex Pacheco, President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
“Thinking in Pictures is beautiful book. Grandin has created a beautifully odd and fascinating picture of her life and mind, and her abiding love of animals.” — Elle
“A tireless researcher with a bionic memory and a superb education, no one can write with Temple’s authority because nobody knows as much as she does! This is an outstanding book that every parent and professional in the field of special needs will want to read, and general reader will acquire a new appreciation of autism, its liabilities, and its formidable assets.” –Annabel Stehli, author of The Sound of a Miracle
“Even Sacks’s fine writing about autism does not really compare to writing from within autism, because autism disorder of interiority. . . . Grandin has replaced the teleology of autobiography with something much closer to her heart: a diagram, in this case a diagram of her own mind.” –Voice Literary Supplement
From the Publisher
The captivating subject of Oliver Sack’s Anthropologist on Mars, is the Temple Grandin’s personal account of living with autism and extraordinary gift of animal empathy transformed her world and ours.
Temple Grandin renowned throughout the world as a designer of livestock holding equipment. Her unique empathy for animals has her to create systems which are humane and cruel free, setting the highest standards for the industry the treatment and handling of animals. She also happens to be autistic. Here, in Temple Grandin’s own words, is the story what it is like to live with autism. Temple is among the few people who have broken through many neurological impairments associated with autism. Throughout her life, she developed unique coping strategies, including famous “squeeze machine,” modeled after seeing the calming effect squeeze chutes on cattle. She describes pain, isolation growing up “different” and her discovery visual symbols to interpret “ways of the natives” Thinking In Pictures gives information from the frontlines of autism, including treatme medication, and diagnosis, as well as Temple’s insight into genius, savants, sensory phenomena, etc. It is Temple’s unique ability describe ways her visual mind works and how she first made her connection between impairment and the animal’s temperament understood extraordinary phenomenal way.
From the Inside Flap
Temple Grandin, Ph.D. is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She lectures widely on autism because she is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways incomprehensible to the rest of us. In this unprecedented book, Grandin writes from dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person. She tells us how she managed to breach the boundaries of autism to function in the outside world. What emerges is the document of an extraordinary human being, one who gracefully bridges the gulf between her condition and our own while shedding light on our common identity. “The innumerable astounding facets to this remarkable book displays the uncanny powers of observation of Temple Grandin charting the differences between her life and the lives of those who think in words.” Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Temple Grandin has a Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Illinois and has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States, and many in other countries. She is currently an associate professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University and a frequent lecturer at autism meetings throughout country. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Thinking in Pictures Autism VisualsI THINK IN PICTURES. Words are like a second language to me. I translate both spoken and written words into full colour movies, complete with sound, which run like a VCR tape in my head. When somebody speaks to me, his words are instantly translated into pictures. Language-based thinkers often find this phenomenon difficult to understand, but in my job as an equipment designer for the livestock industry, visual thinking is a tremendous advantage.
Visual thinking has enabled me to build entire systems in my imagination. During my career I have designed all kinds of equipment, ranging from corrals for handling cattle on ranches to systems for handling cattle and hogs during veterinary procedures and slaughter. I worked for many major livestock companies. In fact, one third of the cattle and hogs in the United States are handled in equipment I have designed. Some people I’ve worked for don’t even know their systems designed by someone with autism. I value my ability to think visually, and I would never want to lose it.
One of the most profound mysteries of autism has been the remarkable ability of most autistic people to excel at visual spatial skills while performing so poorly at verbal skills. When I was a child and a teenager, I thought everybody thought in pictures. I had no idea that my thought processes were different. In fact, I did not realize the full extent of the differences until very recently. At meetings and at work I started asking other people detailed questions about how they accessed information from their memories. From their answers I learned that my visualization skills far exceeded those of most other people.
I credit my visualization abilities with helping me understand the animals I work with. Early in my career I used a camera to help give me the animals’ perspective as they walked through a chute for their veterinary treatment. I would kneel down and take pictures through the chute from the cow’s eye level. Using the photos, I was able to figure out which things scared the cattle, such as shadows and bright spots of sunlight. Back then I used black-and-white film, because twenty years ago scientists believed that cattle lacked color vision. Today, research has shown that cattle can see colors, but the photos provided the unique advantage of seeing the world through a cow’s viewpoint. They helped me figure out why the animals refused to go in one chute but willingly walked through another.
Every design problem I’ve ever solved started with my ability to visualize and see the world in pictures. I started designing things as a child, when I was always experimenting with new kinds of kites and model airplanes. In elementary school I made a helicopter out of a broken balsa-wood airplane. When I wound up the propeller, the helicopter flew straight up about a hundred feet. I also made bird-shaped paper kites, which I flew behind my bike. The kites were cut out from a single sheet of heavy drawing paper and flown with thread. I experimented with different ways of bending the wings to increase flying performance. Bending the tips of the wings up made the kite fly higher. Thirty years later, this same design started appearing on commercial aircraft.
Now, in my work, before I attempt any construction, I test-run the equipment in my imagination. I visualize my designs being used in every possible situation, with different sizes and breeds of cattle and in different weather conditions. Doing this enables me to correct mistakes prior to construction. Today, everyone is excited about the new virtual reality computer systems in which the user wears special goggles and is fully immersed in video game action. To me, these systems are like crude cartoons. My imagination works like the computer graphics programs that created the lifelike dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. When I do an equipment simulation in my imagination or work on an engineering problem, it is like seeing it on a videotape in my mind. I can view it from any angle, placing myself above or below the equipment and rotating it at the same time. I don’t need a fancy graphics program that can produce three-dimensional design simulations. I can do it better and faster in my head.
I create new images all the time by taking many little parts of images I have in the video library in my imagination and piecing them together. I have video memories of every item I’ve ever worked with—steel gates, fences, latches, concrete walls, and so forth. To create new designs, I retrieve bits and pieces from my memory and combine them into a new whole. My design ability keeps improving as I add more visual images to my library. I add videolike images from either actual experiences or translations of written information into pictures. I can visualize the operation of such things as squeeze chutes, truck loading ramps, and all different types of livestock equipment. The more I actually work with cattle and operate equipment, the stronger my visual memories become.
I first used my video library in one of my early livestock design projects, creating a dip vat and cattle-handling facility for John Wayne’s Red River feed yard in Arizona. A dip vat is a long, narrow, seven-foot-deep swimming pool through which cattle move in single file. It is filled with pesticide to rid the animals of ticks, lice, and other external parasites. In 1978, existing dip vat designs were very poor. The animals often panicked because they were forced to slide into the vat down a steep, slick concrete decline. They would refuse to jump into the vat, and sometimes they would flip over backward and drown. The engineers who designed the slide never thought about why the cattle became so frightened.
The first thing I did when I arrived at the feedlot was to put myself inside the cattle’s heads and look out through their eyes. Because their eyes are on the sides of their heads, cattle have wide-angle vision, so it was like walking through the facility with a wide-angle video camera. I had spent the past six years studying how cattle see their world and watching thousands move through different facilities all over Arizona, and it was immediately obvious to me why they were scared. Those cattle must have felt as if they were being forced to jump down an airplane escape slide into the ocean.
Cattle are frightened by high contrasts of light and dark as well as by people and objects that move suddenly. I’ve seen cattle that were handled in two identical facilities easily walk through one and balk in the other. The only difference between the two facilities was their orientation to the sun. The cattle refused to move through the chute where the sun cast harsh shadows across it. Until I made this observation, nobody in the feedlot industry had been able to explain why one veterinary facility worked better than the other. It was a matter of observing the small details that made a big difference. To me, the dip vat problem was even more obvious.
My first step in designing a better system was collecting all the published information on existing dip vats. Before doing anything else, I always check out what is considered state-of-the-art so I don’t waste time reinventing the wheel. Then I turned to livestock publications, which usually have very limited information, and my library of video memories, all of which contained bad designs. From experience with other types of equipment, such as unloading ramps for trucks, I had learned that cattle willingly walk down a ramp that has cleats to provide secure, nonslip footing. Sliding causes them to panic and back up. The challenge was to design an entrance would encourage the cattle to walk in voluntarily and plunge into the water, which was deep enough to submerge them completely, so that all the bugs, including those that collect in their ears, would be eliminated.
I started running three-dimensional visual simulations in my imagination. I experimented with different entrance designs and made cattle walk through them in my imagination. Three images merged to form final design: a memory of a dip vat in Yuma, Arizona, portable vat I had seen in a magazine, and an entrance ramp I had seen on a restraint device at the Swift meat-packing plant in Tolleson, Arizona. The new dip vat entrance ramp was a modified version of the ramp I had seen there. My design contained three features that had never been used before: an entrance would not scare the animals, an improved chemical filtration system. And use of animal behavior principles to prevent the cattle from becoming overexcited when they left the vat.
The first thing I did was convert the ramp from steel to concrete. The final design had a concrete ramp on a twenty-five-degree downward angle. Deep grooves in the concrete provided secure footing. The ramp appeared to enter the water gradually, but in reality it abruptly dropped away below the water’s surface. The animals could not see the drop-off because the dip chemicals colored the water. When they stepped out over the water, they quietly fell in, because their center of gravity had passed the point of no return.
Before the vat was built, I tested the entrance design many times in my imagination. Many of the cowboys at the feedlot were skeptical and did not believe my design would work. After it was constructed, they modified it behind my back, because they were sure it was wrong. A metal sheet was installed over the nonslip ramp, converting it back to an old-fashioned slide entrance. The first day they used it, two cattle drowned because they panicked and flipped over backward.
When I saw the metal sheet, I made the cowboys take it out. They were flabbergasted when they saw that the ramp now worked perfectly. Each calf stepped out over the steep drop-off and quietly plopped into the water. I fondly refer to this design as “cattle walking on water.”
Over the years, I have observed that many ranchers and cattle feeders think that the only way to induce animals to enter handling facilities is to force them in. The owners and managers of feedlots sometimes have a hard time comprehending that if devices such as dip vats and restraint chutes are properly designed, cattle will voluntarily enter them. I can imagine the sensations the animals would feel. If I had a calf’s body and hooves, I would be very scared to step on a slippery metal ramp.
There were still problems I had to resolve after the animals left the dip vat. The platform where they exit is usually divided into two pens so that cattle can dry on one side while the other side is being filled. No one understood why the animals coming out of the dip vat would sometimes become excited, but I figured it was because they wanted to follow their drier buddies, not unlike children divided from their classmates on a playground. I installed a solid fence between the two pens to prevent the animals on one side from seeing the animals on the other side. It was a very simple solution, and it amazed me that nobody had ever thought of it before.
The system I designed for filtering and cleaning the cattle hair and other gook out of the dip vat was based on a swimming pool filtration system. My imagination scanned two specific swimming pool filters that I had operated, one on my Aunt Brecheen’s ranch in Arizona and one at our home. To prevent water from splashing out of the dip vat, I copied the concrete coping overhang used on swimming pools. That idea, like many of my best designs, came to me very clearly just before I drifted off to sleep at night.
Being autistic, I don’t naturally assimilate information that most people take for granted. Instead, I store information in my head as if it were on a CD-ROM disc. When I recall something I have learned, I replay the video in my imagination. The videos in my memory are always specific; for example, I remember handling cattle at the veterinary chute at Producer’s Feedlot or McElhaney Cattle Company. I remember exactly how the animals behaved in that specific situation and how the chutes and other equipment were built. The exact construction of steel fenceposts and pipe rails in each case is also part of my visual memory. I can run these images over and over and study them to solve design problems.
If I let my mind wander, the video jumps in a kind of free association from fence construction to a particular welding shop where I’ve seen posts being cut and Old John, the welder, making gates. If I continue thinking about Old John welding a gate, the video image changes to a series of short scenes of building gates on several projects I’ve worked on. Each video memory triggers another in this associative fashion, and my daydreams may wander far from the design problem. The next image may be of having a good time listening to John and the construction crew tell war stories, such as the time the backhoe dug into a nest of rattlesnakes and the machine was abandoned for two weeks because everybody was afraid to go near it.
This process of association is a good example of how my mind can wander off the subject. People with more severe autism have difficulty stopping endless associations. I am able to stop them and get my mind back on track. When I find my mind wandering too far away from a design problem I am trying to solve, I just tell myself to get back to the problem. Interviews with autistic adults who have good speech and are able to articulate their thought processes indicate that most of them also think in visual images. More severely impaired people, who can speak but are unable to explain how they think, have highly associational thought patterns. Charles Hart, the author of Without Reason, a book about his autistic son and brother, sums up his son’s thinking in one sentence: “Ted’s thought processes aren’t logical, they’re associational.” This explains Ted’s statement “I’m not afraid of planes. That’s why they fly so high.” In his mind, planes fly high because he is not afraid of them; he combines two pieces of information, that planes fly high and that he is not afraid of heights.
Another indicator of visual thinking as the primary method of processing information is the remarkable ability many autistic people exhibit in solving jigsaw puzzles, finding their way around a city, or memorizing enormous amounts of information at a glance. My own thought patterns are similar to those described by A. R. Luria in The Mind of a Mnemonist. This book describes a man who worked as a newspaper reporter and could perform amazing feats of memory. Like me, the mnemonist had a visual image for everything he had heard or read. Luria writes, “For when he heard or read a word, it was at once converted into a visual image corresponding with the object the word signified for him.” The great inventor Nikola Tesla was also a visual thinker. When he designed electric turbines for power generation, he built each turbine in his head. He operated it in his imagination and corrected faults. He said it did not matter whether the turbine was tested in his thoughts or in his shop; the results would be the same.
Early in my career I got into fights with other engineers at meat-packing plants. I couldn’t imagine that they could be so stupid as not to see the mistakes on the drawing before the equipment was installed. Now I realize it was not stupidity but a lack of visualization skills. They literally could not see. I was fired from one company that manufactured meat-packing plant equipment because I fought with the engineers over a design which eventually caused the collapse of an overhead track that moved 1,200-pound beef carcasses from end of conveyor. As each carcass came off the conveyor, it dropped about three feet before it was abruptly halted by a chain attached to a trolley on overhead track. The first time the machine was run, the track was pulled out of the ceiling. The employees fixed it bolting it securely and installing additional brackets. This solved problem temporarily, because the force of the carcasses jerking the chains was so great. Strengthening the overhead track was treating a symptom of the problem rather than its cause. I tried to warn them. It was like bending a paper clip back and forth too many times. After a while it breaks.
The line between autism and genius is a well known factor in history. As many great and accomplished achievers in the fields of life ranging from the academics in education, creative personalities and maestro musicians among others have level of autism. An important factor is to identify the specific talents, interests, abilities and needs of a child. As Temple demonstrates her ingenuity plus a good support network of family, teachers an aunt with a farm among many made it possible to achieve her best interests. So a verbal word oriented society designed to function mostly on verbal ability to read and write exams is justice being done to autistic children. School system is based on use of words in a preferred language so what mechanism is in place ensures nonverbal visual measurement of talent and skills. Is it fair to insist one size fits all education compares autistic children in the classroom to gifted or a usual average child.
5 stars reviews was a fascinating read. I especially liked the first half when she talked about her childhood, memories and how she came to learn things. It’s very helpful in…
Many autistic people will experience meltdowns. The public ofinds it hard to tell the difference between an autism meltdown and temper tantrums, but they are different things. You can help by understanding autism, the person and what to do if you see someone having a meltdown. If your family member or the person you support has meltdowns, find out how to anticipate them, identify causes, and minimise their frequency.
What is a meltdown?
A meltdown is ‘an intense response to overwhelming situations’. It happens when someone becomes completely overwhelmed by their current situation and temporarily loses behavioural control. This loss of control can be expressed verbally (eg shouting, screaming, crying), physically(eg kicking, lashing out, biting) or in both ways.
Autism meltdowns are not the same as temper tantrums
A meltdown is not the same as a temper tantrum. It is not bad of naughty behaviour and should not be considered as such. When a person is completely overwhelmed, and their condition means it is difficult to express that in appropriate way, it is understandable that the result is a meltdown.
Meltdowns are not the only way a person with autism may express feeling overwhelmed. Other behaviours that may appear are less explosive but are equally common, such as refusing to interact, withdrawing from situations they find challenging, or avoiding them altogether.
What to do
If someone is having a meltdown, or not responding to you, don’t judge them. It can make a world of difference to someone with autism and their carers.
Give them some time – it can take a while to recover from an information or sensory overload.
Calmly ask them (or their parent or friend) if they’re OK, but bear in mind they’ll need more time to respond than you might expect.
Make space – try to create a quiet, safe space as best you can. Ask people to move along and not to stare, turn off loud music and turn down bright lights – whatever you can think of to reduce the information overload, try it.
Anticipating a meltdown
Many autistic people will show signs of distress before having a meltdown, which is sometimes referred to as the “rumble stage”. They may start to exhibit signs of anxiety such as pacing, seek reassurance through repetitive questioning or physical signs such as rocking or becoming very still. At this stage, there may still be a chance to prevent a meltdown. Strategies to consider include distraction, diversion, helping the person use calming strategies such as fiddle toys or listening to music, removing any potential triggers, and staying calm yourself.
Identifying the causes
A meltdown is a reaction to an overwhelming experience. If your family member or the person you support has meltdowns, identify what is overwhelming for them. Complete a diary over a period of time. Record what happened before, during and after each meltdown. Patterns may emerge. You may find that meltdowns occur at particular times, in particular places, or when something particular has happened.
Many autistic people have sensory differences. They may be over-sensitive to some senses, under-sensitive to others and often a combination of both.
For example, for someone who is over-sensitive to touch and sound, people brushing past them and a loud announcement at a train station could cause pain and sensory overload, leading to a meltdown. In this situation, it could be helpful to listen to calming music on headphones to block out loud noises and wait until everyone has got off train before approaching platform to avoid crowds of people. Other situations to consider include creating low arousal environment (eg remove bright lights, soundproof walls) or using sensory equipment (eg glasses with dark or coloured lenses, ear defenders, a weighted blanket).
Change in routine
Consistent, predictable routines and structure are very important for autistic people and a change to routine can be very distressing. For example, the panic caused by needing to drive a different route to school due to roadworks could trigger a meltdown. In this example, a clear visual support explaining change, reassurance that the rest of the routine remains the same and adding extra support such calming/ comforting activity to do in the car could help. For an unexpected change, there can be a particular plan in place, such as the use of a picture symbol to explain the change, reinforcement of the rest of the day being the same (if that’s the case), a chance to express any frustration appropriately (such as hitting a pillow, ripping paper) followed by an activity that is known to calm the person such as taking deep breaths, listening to calming music, going for a walk, or squeezing a stress ball. It may help to increase structure around ordinary transitions, helping the person to navigate the change from one activity to another throughout the day. Using a clear timetable explaining when the transitions will be, using timers to countdown to transitions, using a favourite toy or character to be part of the transition, can all help.
With unwritten rules and unpredictable nature, the world can be an extremely challenging environment for autistic people and many experience anxiety. If a person does not have tools to calm down when anxious, they may have a meltdown. Develop strategies to manage anxiety, such as introducing our Brain in Hand app. Have a plan beforehand of what to do if the person feels anxious, such as a calming play list to listen to at the shops or a stress ball in their pocket. Build relaxation time into the routine. The person will generally feel calmer and better able to cope when something that could trigger a meltdown, occurs. What it means varies from person to person, and may consist of quiet activities, eg taking a walk, listening to music, and reading, doing puzzles, using fiddle toys, or more strenuous activities, eg jumping on a trampoline, going to the gym, playing a computer game. In the case of strenuous activities, observe if the activity really does calm the person down. If it doesn’t, but is just an activity they really enjoy, still build in time for that activity but try to find an activity that genuinely calms them and make time to use it well.
Autistic people can find it difficult to express their wants and needs, from a non-verbal child struggling to express need for a drink to a teenager finding it hard to express their emotions. This can result in overwhelming feelings, such as anger and frustration, leading to a meltdown. Support the person to find ways to understand and express their emotions appropriately before they get overwhelmed, and find ways to make your own communication more easily understandable. Verbal communication is challenging for autistic people due to potential misunderstanding of the body language, tone of voice, irony, sarcasm.
The Autism Helpline provides impartial, confidential information, advice and support for autistic people and their families.
Miracle Cure for autism
Nutritionist Susan Levin (center), with children Ben and Alina, claims that Ben’s autistic condition was improved by the yeast-free Body Ecology Diet. So when a doctor told Susan Levin her 4-year-old son, Ben, was autistic, she was shocked. In October 2007, and autism wasn’t mentioned in media nearly as much as it is today. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God. What are we going to do?’ ” Levin recalls. “Everyone knew autism was a lifelong disorder and couldn’t be cured.” Except that in Ben’s case, it could be. And it was. The family’s journey the many treatments tried and dismissed, from biomedical interventions to speech therapy to occupational therapy and more is detailed in her new memoir, “Unlocked: A Family Emerging From the Shadows of Autism.”
Levin doesn’t call this particular cure a silver bullet for autism: There is no silver bullet, no one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, she credits his transformation to a number of things, including a home based and child centered social-relational program called the Son-Rise Program.
But one of the biggest factors was what was on his plate. “Hippocrates was right when he advised, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,’ ” she says. Levin is part of a growing group of people who are paying more attention to diet, organic, gluten- and casein-free among them, as a way to treat the symptoms of autism and other disorders. So strongly does she believe in the healing possibilities of food that she’s now a family wellness coach working exclusively with families of autistic children. While the scientific verdict is still out on diet as a cure, statistics point to a definite link between gastrointestinal issues and autism. A 2012 study published by the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology found a direct link between GI issues and behavior. 70 percent of children with autism have gastrointestinal issues during childhood or adolescence, food sensitivity, diarrhoea and constipation can cause extreme discomfort, leading to irritability, and erratic or withdrawn behaviour. But not everyone convinced.
“Over the years I’ve been privy to a million parents, a million cures,” says Andrew Baumann, president and CEO of New York Families for Autistic Children. “Parents are willing to try just about anything.” And while he concedes that diet can have a very positive effect, he just doesn’t see it as a cure for autism: “You can’t cure something [when] you don’t know what the cause is.”
Parents are willing to try just about anything. You can’t cure something [when] you don’t know what the cause is.
– Andrew Baumann, president and CEO of<br /> New York Families for Autistic Children
Kathleen DiChiara begs to differ. The former Fortune 500 executive was diagnosed with sudden onset neuropathy, which left her unable to walk. When the doctors told her there was little to be done, she went back to school to study. She’s now a nutrition educator, chef and speaker who credits an all-organic diet for healing not only herself, but her 11- year-old son, Steven, who’d been diagnosed as autistic but is no longer considered to be.
Why are people resistant to the idea of food’s effect on illness?
“It’s socially inconvenient,” DiChiara says. “They’re already struggling, and the idea of removing things from the diet is so daunting. But it’s the difference between the children who get well and the ones who don’t.”
Maria Rickert Hong, author of “Almost Autism: Recovering Children From Sensory Processing Disorder,” credits a gluten-free, dairy-free diet with the recovery of her two children from sensory-processing disorder.
“In a child with neurodevelopment disorders, the brain is inflamed, and the gut and the brain are connected,” Hong says. “Most of these kids have gut dysbiosis — an imbalance of good versus bad bacteria, like having too many weeds in your garden. When you have that, the body’s immune system is off.”
Levin and her family initially started Ben on a gluten-free and casein-free diet, later eliminating soy, corn, potatoes and rice. But as soon as one offending food was removed, she says, a reaction to another popped up.
Then they tried the Body Ecology Diet, an anti-yeast diet high in grain-like seeds such as amaranth, quinoa, millet and buckwheat. Almost overnight, Ben calmed down and started making eye contact.
Now 12, Ben is studying for his bar mitzvah. Eight years after that chilling diagnosis, he’s become more empathetic, frequently saying “I love you” to his mother, his father and sister.
Levin says his newfound compassion is nothing short of a miracle.
“It doesn’t matter what people say,” says Levin. “I have my kid back.”