Aug 30, 2006

Watch My Mouth!

I sat through a two day training on Microsoft Access at New Horizons Computer Training Center. It was actually quite useful really. That said, I realized that could understand what the teacher was saying when I watched his mouth.

At times I would work on other things, wright down notes and ideas, or edit a working data base that I need at my job. However, I found that if I really wanted to catch and understand each word (and what they meant together) it was best to watch his mouth.

That brings me back to the phenomenon of sensory scrambling.

I'm guessing that the visual reinforcement of the mouth movements reinforces the auditory input, especially sense some of the auditory and visual stimulus is being mixed up. By locking them together (watching a persons mouth), it essentially defeats the effects of scrambling.

Over the years, I've made an effort not to watch peoples mouths while they talk, because neurotypicals don't expect that kind of behavior. I have a routine that I follow of eye contact for a few second, look at mouth, look back at eyes, look away, look down, repeat. People then feel like they are having a normal conversation instead of being "drilled" with my eyes in one spot.

That said, in a class situation, I'm just going to get the most out of it that I can and watch the teachers mouth.


Aug 29, 2006

Sleaping Through Transitions

My wife has always remarked that I have this habbit of taking a major nap right after a transition. It used to be that whenever we would make the drive to her parents house, I would then take some major naps over the next day or so. After 15 years of marriage, I don't do that as much any more.

After the last Sojourn concert, I took a nap, and then was in bed by 7 or 8pm.

I believe that it is part of the Aspie thought process, the way our minds work. Several things may be happening.

1. Is the sensory integration disorder part of Asperger. Because major changes bring in numerous changes in my paridgm, then I need extra brain power to integrate all the new data points into my paridgm or grid of life.

2. Also, sense Aspies think in images (pictures), then perhaps the Aspie brain is building new maps or re mapping the week ahead based on what has changed.

Better to shut down cognitive systems (i.e. go to sleep), and let the subcognitive do its background work.

Many Aspies may not be able to tell you how they feel about certain changes. I do feel a certain sense of loss over quiting Sojourn. Just as much I feel a sense of confusion. Sojourn is part of the fabric of who I am. It is a primary key in my relational database. It requires a major restructuring of what I believe about who I am.

So, while I sleep, a part of my brain is re-building data structures so that I can live a predicatable and well ordered life. In this case it will take a while.

I bet that's not how the neuro-typical world handles change.


Aug 21, 2006

Please, Join Me In Welcoming . . .

"Please join me in welcoming . . ." I get these e-mails with some regularity and they are often for high level employees.

I asked some one, "From your experience, they don’t really want us to “welcome” these top level people do they? I’m guessing it’s just a happy phrase not requiring a response. ?"

My wise coworker replied with, "Yep – just a happy phrase. I think it also implies supporting that person in their role."

I’m always so tempted to actually send an e-mail welcoming the person when they say, “Please join me in welcoming . . ." Now, when they ask us to welcome the new CEO and support him in his new role. . . Well, I have some thoughts/suggestions!

I should swing by for lunch.