Category Archives: anxiety

On Being a Writer with Autism

It’s a problem.  Not just having Asperger’s or, as the more politically and diagnostically correct phrasing goes, being on the spectrum.  But also not being diagnosed.

I know I am autistic.  My oldest daughter and two of my grandsons have been diagnosed as being on the Spectrum and we process information in a similar fashion — although often arriving at very different conclusions. The way we observe and process information is generally considered to be ‘unusual’.

Being different can bring a sense of isolation.  For me, as a child, it began at home. 

None of my family questioned the things I questioned, or perceived certain aspects of home and the society in which we lived, in the way I viewed and interpreted them.  It made both myself, and my family think of me as ‘other’.  I lived there, but I was different.  Wrong.  I didn’t fit in. And I found myself in a very similar situation in school. 

I honestly would not be able to tell you how I was different from the other kids.  That was a secret only they knew. 

Not knowing how I was different made it impossible to adjust my behaviour to conform.

I loved my mother, but in my opinion she lived a very dull, uninteresting life and I was determined to not grow up to live a similar one.  On reflection, my mother faced a great many challenges.  Raising a family and working outside of the home in the 1950’s and 1960’s when women were bombarded with media messages that their place was at home, could not have been easy for her. But I was too young and too involved with my own dilemmas to truly understand hers.

Then, when I was eleven, a neighbour began to notice me.  An adult, he was a close family friend.  My dad, my grandmother and my aunts all liked him.  As he was frequently in our house, he found me an easy target for his perversion.  Familiar with our household routines, he could easily determine when I would be home alone and thus vulnerable.

My autism contributed to my sense of helplessness in dealing with this neighbour’s twisted mind. 

The isolation I felt from my parents, the sense of being ‘wrong’ and not knowing how I was wrong.  The strict rule in our house that adults were always to be obeyed … I couldn’t sort out how I was supposed to alert others to this situation.

When I made tentative inroads into conversations about this problem, as with every other serious conversation I tried to have with adults, I was shut out. 

It was the 1950’s.  No one wanted to hear ‘that kind of thing’.

And, no-one knew about Autism, other than Hans Asperger in Germany and a few of his cohorts. We didn’t know about stimming, the social skills deficit or the neurology that would have unveiled my condition.  So I stood alone.

 I have been criticized for writing about this period in my life as I experienced it, rather than focusing more narrowly upon my autism. 

The social deficits were, and to some extent still are, real and pervasive. The sense of isolation, the astounding lack of connection to others.  Pleasure in solitude.  The foreign-ness of other people’s thought processes.

I cannot make up autistic traits.  I was different.  Socially awkward, and a loner.   That’s my truth.

And as an author who is autistic, the truth is the most powerful narrative I can offer you in a memoir. 

The sometimes horrifying, sometimes touching and sometimes humourous truths about what it was like to be socially challenged in the late fifties, early sixties, attempting to ward off a sexual predator while trying my best to figure out how to be normal in a world that seemed so completely foreign to me, is my story of growing up on the spectrum.

Unforgiving. The Memoir of an Asperger Teen is available on Kindle and in paperback through Amazon Books.  Read for yourself.  I told my truth.

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YET: The Word that Turns I can’t into Future Possibilities!

The work that I love, creative writing, seems to have closed its door on me.  When someone very dear to me died, the joy and passion I once had for writing died, too.

 Being stuck is anxiety-producing for anyone, but especially us Aspies.  How can I reduce my anxiety?  I need to give myself attainable goals.   

So I have decided to blog once a week. But then I look back at my blogging history, and I feel anxious again. I can see that I don’t blog regularly.  Maybe I can’t.

When we self-talk in a negative way, we say things like, I don’t. I can’t.  I don’t know how to… or I’m not good at…

But we can convert these defeatist thoughts from the negative to the positive by the addition of a simple, single three-letter word: YET.

I’m not blogging once a week—Yet

Saying ‘yet’ interjects a positive possibility into our future. 

Saying ‘yet’ implies that we are not finished. 

We are not done.  We are not stuck in the muck of failure.  We are working, perhaps slowly, but nonetheless surely toward our goal.  The battle is not over.  The cause is not lost.

Not giving up is important to our self-esteem. 

It is a significant factor in our sense of self-efficacy, a term created by a renowned psychologist and Stanford professor of psychology named Albert Bandura.  Self-efficacy is our faith in our own ability to organize information, to make informed plans, and then successfully execute the steps required to manage “prospective situations”.

In other words, self-efficacy is our belief in our ability to strategize, to manage our behaviours and motivations. It is an awareness of our strengths and limitations when working toward goal achievement.

When we take a negative statement like, I’m not capable of… and change our thinking to say, I’m not capable of this yet, we imply that we are working toward achieving this goal. 

We are changing our mindset, and thus, we are changing the direction of our lives.

Our seemingly unattainable goal is no longer that daunting closed door of I can’t.   Instead it has become, I’m still working on that.

Give it a try.  Open up some of those doors you’ve recently closed on yourself.  Instead of I can’t.. or I don’t know how to…tell yourself,

I can’t do this yet…but I’m working on it!

This helpful tip came to me through an Autism BC sponsored webinar presented by Chelsea Jelic from POPARD[1]


[1] Provincial Outreach Program for Autism & Related Disorders, a BC Ministry of Education Resource for Teachers and Students.sive

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Aspies: Challenge or Opportunity? Your Choice!

We all know about challenges like climbing Mount Everest or crossing the Pacific Ocean on a raft.  If you’re up for that kind of challenge, you may read no further. Congratulations!

For some Aspies, the word ‘challenging’ may seem to be synonymous with ‘anxiety-producing’, creating stress.

Experts tell us that whether stress becomes a positive or a negative factor in any particular situation depends upon how we respond to that stress.

Worrying creates unhealthy stress, whereas allowing stress to spur us on into action in a challenging situation ensures that it leads us forward into a positive learning experience.

For some Aspies, ‘challenging’ may even refer to those activities which for many people are common, almost daily occurrences.

For instance, what if you would like to go to a certain shop but it’s in an unfamiliar area of town; one into which you have never ventured. You don’t know how to get there, let alone how to get back!

Maybe you’re hesitant to take a bus because the numbers, the routes and the schedules can be quite confusing.

Breaking down a challenge like this into its relatively simple components will allow you to realize that you can resolve each of them, separately, quite successfully.

You could download a schedule for the number of the bus you need to take to get to your desired location.  When you are ready, go to the nearest bus stop.  When that particular bus comes, take it.

Carefully observe what roads the bus is taking, what shops and restaurants you are passing, or which other points of interest are along the way.  You could make a mental, or even a paper or e-note of them.

When you get to your destination you may not wish to initially venture too far from the bus stop.

Familiarize yourself with the three or four blocks around the bus depot, note the street names and any other unique or ‘landmark’ buildings, parks or memorable natural landscape features.

Once you have experienced the bus route and the nature of the surroundings at your desired destination, you can take the bus back home again.

You might find it helpful to do this two or three times until you feel comfortable in your knowledge of the route, how long the trip takes and the nature of the area surrounding your destination.

What will you have accomplished?  Just this: you will no longer need to wait for someone else to have the time to drive you where you want to go. You will be able to move about based on your own agenda, not that of your parents, your siblings or your friends.

You will be in control of your day, and just a little bit more in control of your own life.

And you will feel a sense of success, maybe even of triumph!

Becoming more knowledgeable about your community and its surrounding areas can increase your confidence, giving you a greater sense of independence.

You will find that knowing where you are going and that you can get there on your own can be exhilarating and liberating.

The result is that your sense of self-respect will receive a tremendous boost, encouraging you to undertake similar challenges, in a similar manner, with far less anxiety in the future.

It is important to realize that falling into the trap of simply avoiding the initial anxiety which may accompany a novel task will not get you where you want to go. But meeting the challenge will enrich your life.

When we decide to take control of a situation in our lives, we ask something of ourselves.

When we respond positively and successfully we present ourselves with an opportunity for growth, which involves meeting, accepting and overcoming challenge after challenge.

Ultimately, we become our own heroes, infusing ourselves with the courage, even the desire to face whatever challenges present themselves. In this way we can view new challenges as opportunities for enhancing our experiences.

Our reward is a life fully and joyfully lived, with gratitude for challenges which come our way.

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The French Kiss: An Aspie Makes Peace with Her Past.

If you’ve read my memoir,  Unforgiving, Memoir of an Asperger Teen, you’ll know I was once subjected to a French kiss that was the beginning of a severely anxiety-producing period in my life.  This column is about a much better relationship: one with the French language.

As Aspies, we need constant challenge.  To live without it is a form of unpleasant inertia for us.

Perhaps that’s why we find games so absorbing; they challenge us while providing an anxiety-free way of being engaged.

An Aspie self-reflection might be to ask ourselves how we can utilize our Aspie focus in a more productive way.

This early in the morning, I’m usually doing a French lesson on Duo Lingo.  So far it’s free, I’m interested and I’m learning French!  As with many games, my online French lessons do not require any anxiety-causing social interaction, just self-motivation and tremendous concentration, at which Aspies excel.

Why French?  Because I have a brief background in the language, including some high school instruction (This is Canada after all, where French is our official second language) and some French at university where a second language was required in the first couple of years.

So, imagine my amazement when visiting in France I discovered that while I could read the signs, and understand quite a bit of what was said, I was unable to communicate verbally.  When it came to speaking my tongue got thick, my mouth got dry and I got stuck. That was an unpleasant and for me, rather traumatic surprise!

Now I spend a great deal of time in a household which includes someone who is a native French speaker; someone kind enough to teach me conversational French.

Taking  advantage of this opportunity with any degree of accomplishment meant revisiting the vocabulary, the conjugations and the grammar. Voila, Duo Lingo!

At first the conversational aspect was terrifying.  After all, it combined a modicum of social interaction along with the practise of something in which I had already failed while in France.  It was an effort to go into the sessions and blunder my way through.

Then, one day, for the very first time we had a conversation in which I could fully engage, understanding every word and being understood in return!  It remains so significant to me that I even remember exactly where we were standing in the kitchen when the exchange took place.

I may never get back to Hyeres in the south of France, but I will have the satisfaction of being able to speak in another language.  To wrap my brain, my tongue, and my throat around another verbal method of communication can only be good for me in so many ways.  Surprisingly, each night, my dreams include a word or phrase in French.  And the exercises, now that I am in my third month of self-imposed study, have become far more complex; a challenge I enjoy.

Is French helping me in any measurable way?   I cannot say.  I can only say that the universe has opened up this opportunity for me.  And I learned a long time ago—do not say ‘no’ to the universe!

 

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My Asperger Personality Unmasked.

Research published online on May 19, 2017 examines the notion that Aspies and others on the spectrum camouflage their autistic personalities in order to manage social situations.

The study entitled, “Putting on My Best Normal”: Social Camouflaging in Adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions* looks at a number of issues ranging from:

  • why females in particular are often diagnosed later in life,

  • if the fact that so few females are diagnosed is due to the feminine personality being more successful at camouflaging, and

  • that perhaps camouflaging can be detrimental to our mental health.

Before I read the study, I wrote this blog in an explosive mood after experiencing severe anxieties about taking a bath. I didn’t post it because I was afraid of what my partner would think if he read it.

After what I read in the study, I realized that by not showing him the blog I was camouflaging, masking my anxiety–though honestly, not very well.  

Why did I take a bath?  Because it’s such a normal thing to do, and I felt that I must be weird to be so resistant to sitting in a tub.

What follows in the resulting blog are my true feelings about the situation.  Looking at it now that a little time has passed, I realize that while some of the blog sounds reasonable, logical and fairly intelligent, other aspects simply seem to be the rantings of an angry child.

Here it is then, one Asperger personality, my own, unmasked and unleashed!

The Bath: A Source of Anxiety for Asperger Me.

As an Aspie, maintaining a relationship can be a challenge.

My partner thinks of baths as sensual, delightful, peaceful and meditative experiences.  Candles, essential oils, music, time for reflection.

There is no music in my bathroom, I told him.

To break the ensuing period of uncomfortable silence, I spoke up.  I said Baths are boring.  Which, granted, was probably rather inconsiderate.  That’s when he brought up the essential oils, candlelight, reflection etc.

You have to sit there.  I said.  Doing nothing.  

People who take baths seem to think that to truly enjoy bathing you have to sit in the water … like forever.  I am not tall, but my chest is always out of the water.  It gets cold.  I soak a cloth in the warm bath water, but it quickly gets cold too.

I could catch a chest cold.  Not to mention the other alternative: die of boredom.

You haven’t learned how to let go, he says.  How to be one with the water, breathe in the aroma of the oil, enjoy the sensual texture of the water against your skin.

It’s tap water, okay?  Tap water.

You want me to be at one with the water?  Take me to a warm ocean, where the air is fresh and salty, the water buoyant and in constant motion.  My body, floating, swaying with the sea, caught up in the ebb and flow, me at one with the sea responding to the universe. Now that rocks!  Moving in tune with the moon’s gravitational pull … that’s a sensual, soul-saturating sense of unity.

But a four-foot tub filled with tap water?  Come on!

You have to learn to relax, he says.  He means be STILL.  Unfortunately to actually be still is a physical impossibility for me.

I have a familial tremor, which means my body is in constant motion whether I am consciously moving it or not.  It also means my adrenalin is always, to some extent in fight or flight mode, under which circumstances, unless I’m sleeping or comatose, it is pretty much anxiety-producing to be still.

But okay.  I had a bath.  I believe I stayed in that tub for ten whole minutes.  Maybe eleven.

Because I know it’s important to him.  I just don’t know why it’s important to him that I have a bath.  I shower every day.  Sometimes twice a day. I’m a bit of a clean freak.  But it’s important to him that I try, so I’ll fill the tub, light the candles and sit there as long as I can bear it.

Next time?  If he brings in a portable CD player and puts on some Celtic music, I’m going for twelve minutes.

*More about this study can be found at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5509825/

 

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An Aspie Memoir: “Unforgiving” by Margaret Jean Adam.

I handed the ‘Life Writing’ assignment in to my professor.  It was entitled “The Fictional Story of My Life”.

He gave it a high grade, but asked me, “Why fictional?”

I told him, “because important factors have been left out.”  I didn’t say what.  Like not understanding how ‘social interaction’ worked. Or, like being repeatedly abused by a sexual predator.

“You should write the truth,” he told me.  His name was Roy Miki, it was to be his last class before retiring from a long and illustrious career at Simon Fraser University.  He knew all about hard truths.  As a young Canadian of Japanese ethnicity he and his family had been interned during the Second World War.  He had since fearlessly examined and written his own truths.

At that time I had in mind five books which I wanted to write.  My life story was not one of them.  But Miki’s words haunted me and I found I could not work on anything else. So, almost reluctantly, I began to recall and piece together my teen years.

“Focus upon an event or period of time that was pivotal, and write around it,” Miki advised.

So I did.  I wrote about the summer I auditioned for a part as the lead actress in a National Film Board production.  About the boys I loved and the numerous times I made an Aspie faux pas.

And about the humour and sometimes the horror of situations that arose as a result of not understanding the underlying messages in conversations or events, inferences that everyone else seemed to pick up on automatically.

The resulting book is not a fictional version, but the truth, or at least as much of it as I felt people could endure.  As much as I could remember.  As much as I could bear!

Unforgiving, Memoir of an Asperger Teen is a book that is not so much about what Asperger’s is, but instead one which intends to illustrate the naiveté and social disconnection characteristic of Asperger’s.

I wanted to express how the realization that one is excluded from socially contextual understanding leads to strong feelings of rejection.  And how this sense of isolation then denies a person those meaningful ties which would otherwise develop to allow a teen to have a sense of security within her immediate community: family, friends, peers and lovers. A social shelter without which, she is isolated and vulnerable.

Easy prey.

And I wanted to express how, as a teenager, when I recognized this abandonment, and the full force of my emotional aloneness in the world, I found myself to be unforgiving.

 

To order a copy of Unforgiving, Memoir of an Asperger Teen, go to:

https://www.amazon.ca/Unforgiving-Asperger-Margaret-Jean-Adam/dp/0973136421

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Hey, Aspies! Here’s the Key to Social Connections.

 

Do you often feel like an outsider?  Unable to connect in a meaningful way with others?  In my book, Unforgiving, Memoir of an Asperger Teen, I talk about how, as a teenage girl, “the entire female species was as foreign to me as a zebra to a long-horned steer.”

Fortunately, early in my adult life I found Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. I strongly suggest you find a copy and read it. His main lesson for social success is simply to get other people to talk about themselves while you actively listen.

And you may be surprised to learn that just being quiet while someone else is talking doesn’t mean you’re listening.  Really hearing what the other person is saying is the key to social connection.

This is especially true for us Aspies, because real interest happens only when we allow someone else into our neural space.  For me, this can only happen when I shut up and listen.

Only then can I ‘get’ everything the other person is communicating.

For instance, if the other person is speaking about the weather, or their vacation, that’s probably a good indication that, at this particular time, they don’t want to hear about world affairs, software engineering or other complex subjects with which you may be currently obsessed.

And if you think you may like to get to know this person, you need to keep the conversation on their level.  You need to ask specific questions related to what they’ve just told you, and you need to do so in a way that expresses your understanding and interest.  

Some people are lonely because they haven’t learned to listen.  They believe they are right–more intelligent, educated or experienced–and they bully their way through conversations, correcting people, and boring everyone with what they know on the topic. Sound familiar?

This conversational hi-jacking impresses no-one.  The fact that these people are knowledgeable, intelligent, highly educated and/or experienced in their field may be both true and appreciated. But it does not override the other person’s need to be recognized.

We all enter into conversations to feel validated.  And if that validation doesn’t occur, the brilliant intellectual is going to find himself or herself alone in a room full of uninterested people.

Listen.  But do not stand quietly waiting to say what you have to say.  Actively engage the other person while being polite, and attentive. Take care to address what they are saying.

You want attention, right?  So does the person speaking with you!

And if they really have nothing to say that interests you, excuse yourself politely and move on.  Do not be rudely dismissive. Everyone wants and needs to feel important. It is not always all about us.

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Asperger Dread: The Job Interview… Arrrgggg!!

 

Do you have job interview nightmares in which you self-destruct? 

 We all have them.  Even neural typicals, I’m told!

How may we best avoid them?  By being prepared!  If it is a phone interview, here are some helpful tips.

Read and re-read the job description before editing and perfecting your resume.  Then print a copy of your resume, and keep it on your desk so you have it on hand when the interviewer calls.

Make a simple, clear list of the main requirements of the job description, along with a succinct but precise list of how you can achieve them, and keep those lists on hand, also. 

Practice stating clearly and confidently out loud how you believe your previous job experience, your type of personality and your approach to your work make you a good fit for the job.

Read and reread the instructional email regarding the interview.  Make sure you have a clear understanding of the date, time, and process.

Here is my (latest) nightmare interview:

It is 10 a.m.  I sit, waiting for the for the ten o’clock phone call.  According to the email, this is the time scheduled for a corporate interviewer to contact me.

I have been recruited for this job so I shouldn’t be so nervous.  But my back and shoulders are rigid.  I rotate my shoulders and flap my hands, hoping to ease the tension.

It is now 10:13 a.m.  My phone should have rung by now, but it hasn’t.   I check the email.

Oh no!  I was supposed to phone them.

It is 10:15 a.m.  I quickly dial the number and navigate my way through front end messaging to get to interviewer.  I apologize for being late. and explain in my Asperger way what happened.

It boils down to: I didn’t take time to read the instructions I was given.  But neither the interviewer nor I am saying so.  No doubt she is madly keying this info into her computer file!

I try to collect myself during some general discussion of my work history (thank goodness I have my resume beside me, along with the job description of the position I’m applying for printed out beside me.)  I thought I was well prepped, but I blew it by misreading the email and now, no doubt I am considered to be unreliable! 

The interviewer is rushing a bit because we’re late, and I’m just barely managing to keep up.  Still, my preparation with the job description and my resume are paying off.

Next I’m given some sample client questions.  The first one is simple, direct, uncomplicated.  I confidently answer it off the top of my head.

The second question, is more complex.  I can only answer part of it without research, which I explain to the interviewer without apology.  Third question?  I nail it!

My confidence somewhat renewed, I deflect the interview back to her by saying I think she has a great job.  She agrees, and tells me a bit about it, and about herself. From this openness I gather she must feel I am a reasonable prospect.

Do I have any questions?  I do.  Are they seeking agents who can answer the questions, or agents who know where to find the answer?  She eplies that they want agents who know the answers and can back them up with online references and put it all in laymen’s terms.

The interviewer reminds me that my next interview is at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.  As I am on Pacific Time, this takes some calculation and I realize it will occur in an hour and a half.

After the first interview, I remember only what I have done wrong.  I called in late for the interview, and I was flustered.  I didn’t ask a single probing question when given the sample customer queries.  I answered her first questions about the work with only one or two word answers.

 I make certain to call on time for the next interview.

Guess what?  I did get the job!  After my intial nervousness I was able to settle down, analyze the procedures and really excel.  But that’s another blog entirely…

For information on the most commonly asked interview questions and preferred answers refer to:

https://www.agent.media/grow/most-common-interview-questions-and-answers/

You CAN do it!

Margaret Jean.

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The Christmas Party: An Aspie’s Dread

In Unforgiving, Memoir of an Asperger Teen, I am the only person in my entire class who is not invited to the class party.

Yes, it happens, and somehow, we survive. Obviously, I had no gift for social interaction.

But one thing Aspies are good at is learning, and our ability to learn and acquire social skills is key to our enjoyment of the world around us.

And, it’s Christmas.  If you’re lucky enough to be invited to a Christmas party, or maybe you just end up there by default–it’s an office thing and you can’t avoid it–wouldn’t it be nice to be able to relax and enjoy the moment?

Knowing some of the basic behaviours and unwritten rules that others take for granted have really helped me since that day of the big un-invite.

Let’s consider the office party.

First of all, I’ve been told that it’s rude to not show up. It could count against you. However, it is not impolite to come a bit late and leave early on, but if you arrive closer to the start time (say, 15-20 minutes after) people may not have clustered into cliques and you might find making and joining conversations easier.

  • Here are some conversation starters from the November, 2017 issue of Canadian Living Magazine:

    • Do you have any plans for the holidays?  Are you travelling?

    • What were your favourite holiday traditions when you were growing up?

    • Tell me about a book that has had a huge influence on you.

Be sure to see your bosses: your supervisor, the manager and/or the department head before you leave.  “Thank you.” And “It’s been a pleasure working with you this year.” are some things you might say.

Leaving early?  Even though the office party may be a high anxiety event for you, try to wait until someone else has already left before saying your goodbyes.  If it’s conspicuously early, you may say you have another commitment. But if it’s curling up with your cat to watch a good movie, it may be wise to refrain from saying so!

I do hope this helps.  Thankfully, my social life has improved immensely.  And believe me, yours can, too!

Yours truly,

Margaret Jean

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Aspies: Ten Ways Volunteering Can Help Us Learn to Adapt.

When someone else changes plans which also affect us, as Aspies we may become temporarily stuck in a “this is unacceptable!” zone.  How can we become more adaptable?

What activities or new experiences may best help us handle change so that we might adapt to other’s needs and acquire a healthier focus; one which does not lead us to a feeling of dread when we must deal with a changed agenda?

Save The Children’s Marc and Craig Kielburger give a possible solution in a recent newspaper article*:

“Youth who volunteer through our service programs…are more comfortable adapting to change…”

Renowned for creating the Save The Children Foundation as a young teen in high school, Craig Kielburger still operates the organization that was originally entirely run by and for children.

In their article, the Kielburger brothers note the following ten ways in whiuch volunteering helps teenagers adjust to school and other stresses, including aversion to change:

  1. When you do something for others, your stress levels are reduced.  This is proven by research**.

  2. Volunteering may give you an alternative social scene, in which you can find a sense of community and belonging.

  3. Volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about will connect you with mentors who have similar interests.

  4. Helping others puts your focus outside of yourself, encouaging you to see your own situation in a different and possibly more positive light.

  5. Volunteering broadens your outlook.  Your own problems may seem far less significant when you come face to face with the plight of others.

  6. Seeing other’s problems, Kielburger says, can help you build both perspective and empathy.  Kielburger also notes that doctors state that empathy is a powerful antidote to stress.

  7. As a Volunteer you enjoy increased self-esteen.  According to research done within the Foundation, volunteers for Save The Children are 1.3 times more likely to “have a strong sense of self”.

  8. The kind of stress found in volunteering — that is, helping others with their problems — can be an opportunity to overcome challenges, to build resiliency and to develop self-esteem.

  9. Volunteering can build leadership skills.

  10. Volunteering helps develop a  life – long habit of giving back.

Find a cause you are passionate about, Aspies and get involved!

Maybe sorting clothes at the local hospice society thrift shop won’t do it for you, but perhaps volunteering in a Wildlife Preservation Society or starting up a chapter of Save the Children will.

Whatever you choose, if you give it your all you will find yourself thinking about situations, people and places beyond your own inner world.  Go for it. And, most importantly, enjoy!

*According to an independent study by research firm Mission Measurement.

**See:  https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/the-science-of-kindness

Yours truly,

Margaret Jean.

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