“Getting Started”

Diablogue #1:

Christina and Ken writing first post at Albert's Restaurant in EdmontonChristina and Ken writing first post at Albert’s Restaurant in Edmonton.

Christina: So, I’m glad we finally started this.

Ken: I as well. Why don’t we let our readers in on why and how this evolved?

Christina: Ok. Since your diagnosis five years ago, autism has increasingly consumed our lives, our thoughts, and our conversations. Some of that has been positive. We’ve learned a lot about how to make our relationship work. It seem to be such a struggle for you, personally. You seem to be getting more frustrated and more isolated by your autism every day. 

Ken: That is a correct analysis.

Christina: You haven’t had any other outlet to manage or talk about it. So, I’ve been urging you to read about autism, watch movies on it, and maybe start a blog. I thought that would help you process and manage autism better. We would get more balance back as a couple, make our relationship less about ‘you’ and more about ‘us.’ The blog would get some conversations going that don’t involve me.

Ken: This blog is an excellent idea for those reasons. However, I think I will still need your help with navigating and decoding the social aspects of the blog. To organize it as it develops and to keep writing it every week.

Christina: Of course! That’s become our everyday rhythm, supporting each other like that. I’m excited about where this could go.

Ken: Through this blog we can both learn more about autism for our mutual benefit.

Christina: Yes. But I think you should be the driver, to take the lead.

Ken: Agreed. That way it will take the focus and pressure off you. At the moment, you are my sole lightning rod.

Christina: Some days it sure feels like that!

Ken: I also want to write this blog to connect with others, both on and off the spectrum, to share and to learn from and with them.

Christina: For sure. We have a lot to learn. I hope we connect with other couples like us. We could compare notes, learn other work-arounds, and have a good laugh about some of the crazy things that happen.

Ken: I concur. It is important because 80% of autistics never marry.

Christina: And I know why. This is hard work—but worth it.

Ken: Yes. And I am glad I am not one of those statistics. We have both gained much helpful data so far to explain it.

Christina: I know there are lots of other blogs on autism. But ours is a conversation, so I think it has something different to offer. It might interest anyone curious about autism or even just about communication across differences. Relationships too.

Ken: Agreed.

Christina: Why are you talking so formally if this is supposed to be a conversation?

Ken: This is how I always want to talk. This is how my ‘self’ or internal dialogue runs. Since I was young, I have always been criticized for the way that I speak. Since then I have self-censored my speech patterns in order to make it less formal. However, it has been my experience that informal language is less precise. That is lamentable. It has been my observation that precision and accuracy leads to fewer misconceptions and miscommunications.

Christina: Hmmm. Fascinating. I just learned something new about you—that you self-censor even in daily conversations with me. I think we should make that our next topic. Yes?

Ken: Agreed.

 

Next post, Diablogue #2: “About Talking.”

20 thoughts on ““Getting Started”

    1. Thank you Lesley, we hope that you will follow our blog and continue to be part of our new venture with further comments, contributions and suggestions.

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    1. For sure that’s what we hope to do–and we look forward to back and forth conversations as well! Thank you, Dar, for commenting. If you hit ‘Follow’ you’ll never miss a blog!

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    2. Thank you Dar, we hope that you and Lyle will follow our blog and continue to comment contribute and suggest, as you are part of our success.

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    1. Thank you, Trudy, for your encouraging comment. We hope to get a lot of different ‘eyes’ and views into this blog. Autism affects everyone differently, though there are powerful through-lines and commonalities as well. We hope you and others join the conversation. Feel free to ask questions or…. anything else!

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    2. Thank you Trudy, we enjoy your comment and are looking forward to further comments on our post and autism through your eyes as well. We are hoping to create a community with autism as seen through the communities eyes.

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    1. Sahana, we truly appreciate your kind words. So glad you’re eager to see each post; it makes us even more eager to write them. And we’re happy, also, that you have told us you intend to forward the link to our blog to others who want to know more about autism. Life is a journey of learning!

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    1. Thank you! This is what we are hoping to achieve…to be relevant and present. Is there anything in particular you would like for us touch on?

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  1. Hi there! This is a great idea! And you both look really fine in your photos. Just to relate: I lived twenty five years with my former husband and never realized that we did not really speak from the same ideas of what communication was. Part of this is what the 1970s book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus described, which is about oxytocin vs. testosterone and societal roles, but it can also be from what is described as “diffuse” thinking vs. “focused” thinking. Autism spectrum has some incredible geniuses who are so in the focused mode, they outshine any non-spectrum persons far and away. A second major source of differences in communication comes from how much empathy a person develops, some of that related to birth, much of it to experience and role modeling. However, the self-censoring is something I also am stuck with. This comes from several causes: the role I played in my family of origin, for one, where I was not allowed to express my opinion or my own needs, trained instead to intuitively meet the emotional needs of others. So I have great trouble knowing now when I am speaking from my own unmet needs or my trained need to address others’ needs! Good luck and great courage in attempting to find better ways to relate and to create the kind of marriage most people need help with!

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    1. JoElla, we much enjoyed your long comment! We too like many aspects of the Venus and Mars book. Some people say that an Asperger man is like a ‘hyper-male trait’ responder; that is, while all men tend to miss hints and often appear to focus rather than multi-task, Aspergers are extreme in those responses.

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  2. Hey guys.. very little experience with autistic people here. 🙂 I had an autistic student long time ago. He was brilliant but very introverted. I new he was autistic because as his teacher I was informed of that. That helped me to understand and not judge my student’s behaviour. I had a couple of students some years later who were not average. Academically, they were above average, but their behaviour was completely different from the average people. I was never informed of any medical diagnosis regarding these kids, and I have to confess that not being sure about their situation complicated in many cases my relationship with one of them. I think, being open and embrace our nature is the best thing we can do in order to understand each other.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your experience and insights regarding your evening with Temple Grandin! I really enjoy reading your blog! It’s enlightening, fun and engaging!!

    Blessings, Faith

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    1. Thank you Faith for your support. And we hope you become a follower! Check out Ken’s cute little blue follow button. Please pass on our link to anyone you feel might be interested or touched in some way by Autism. Till next time then…

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