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Wrong Planet is the web community designed for individuals (and parents / professionals of those) with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, PDDs, and other neurological differences. We provide a discussion forum, where members communicate with each other, an article section, with exclusive articles and how-to guides, a blogging feature, and a chatroom for real-time communication with other Aspies.
5 tools to get through Christmas (and other family holidays)
WrongPlanet Tips
Maja Toudal
Obviously, with me being from the very small country of Denmark, many of our traditions will have small differences in how they are celebrated, even if they are mostly the same. And aside from that, every family has their own little quirks, so things that will work in one, might not in another.

However, one of the things I hear from many people on the spectrum, and have had trouble dealing with, as well, is family holidays. Christmas being the big one. Here in Denmark, many families have different celebrations to go to every day from Dec. 23rd to Dec. 26th. And being social for that amount of days can tire out even a super social non-autistic person, but for us, people with any level of autism, it can be torture if you do not have the right tools and the proper understanding from the people around you. Some of these points will require others to co-operate with you, others you can do on your own.

Also, normally, I would have a whole other point about buying presents, but it’s so close to Christmas now that the advice is very late indeed, so I will not bother you with it this time. Instead, I’ll go for things that are relevant to the Christmas-days themselves.
(Read More... | 37 comments | Score: 3.83) (22,010 reads) By Alex Plank

Alex Plank - Creating Authentic Autistic Characters on Television
WrongPlanet Audio
Diane Kruger and Alex Plank on set of The Bridge
Alex Plank is interviewed on The Business by Kim Masters, editor at large of the Hollywood Reporter about consulting on FX Networks' The Bridge, a show with an autistic character played by Diane Kruger. He's also interviewed about Shameful, his documentary about autistic children being mistreated in France.

And he even talks about how he watched TV as a child and used characters on TV as a model to learn social skills and how there are actors on the autism spectrum.

Max Burkholder, is also interviewed about playing an autistic character on NBC's Parenthood, a show which is in its 4th season.

Alex's interview starts 8 minutes into the show.
(Read More... | 11 comments | Score: 4.13) (24,868 reads) By Alex Plank

FX's The Bridge - Alex Plank Interviews Diane Kruger: Asperger's & Sonya Cross
WrongPlanet Audio
Diane Kruger and Alex Plank on set of The Bridge
In this special episode of ATTV, Diane Kruger (Inglorious Bastards, Troy, National Treasure) sits down with Alex Plank of WrongPlanet.net for an exclusive interview where they discuss the character of Sonya (a detective with Asperger's) and Alex's role as Asperger / Autism consultant for The Bridge.

The Bridge premieres today July 10th at 10pm on FX! The Bridge follows the story of Sonya Cross and Marco Ruiz, two detectives from both sides of the US/Mexican border who are responsible for hunting down a serial killer operating in both Juarez Mexico and El Paso, Texas.

The Bridge, based on Swedish/Danish show of the same name, was created by Elwood Reid and Meredith Stiehm. Diane Kruger stars in the series as an autistic detective along with Demian Bichir, Ted Levine, Annabeth Gish, Matthew Lillard, Thomas M. Wright, Johnny Dowers, Emily Rios, Eric Lange, Catalina Sandino, and Carlos Pratts.
(Read More... | 24 comments | Score: 4.78) (41,717 reads) By Alex Plank

Ten Tips for Getting and Keeping a Good Job
WrongPlanet Tips
Complete Guide to Asperger's
Barbara Bissonnette is the Principal of Forward Motion Coaching, and specializes in career development coaching for individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome. This is a sponsored article.

Since 2006, I have coached individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome on how to find and keep employment. My clients include young people who are entering the workforce, and individuals in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Job seekers work with me to explore occupations, learn interviewing skills, and develop effective job search plans. Employed people need help addressing performance problems, improving their interpersonal communication skills, or planning how to disclose their Asperger’s Syndrome and request accommodations.

I wrote The Complete Guide to Getting a Job for People with Asperger’s Syndrome, and the Asperger’s Syndrome Workplace Survival Guide: A Neurotypical’s Secrets for Success to share ideas and strategies that my clients have used successfully. Here are my Top Ten Tips for getting a job and staying employed.

If you are looking for a job…

(Read More... | 31 comments | Score: 4.18) (47,919 reads) By Alex Plank

What to do if you lose your wallet or it gets stolen
WrongPlanet Tips
Like many individuals with autism, I’m prone to misplacing things. Unfortunately, I recently lost one of the worst things you can lose; my wallet. No one wants to endure a situation as such. What should someone who has AS do in a situation like this (but may feel overwhelmed with a blank stare)?

The easiest way to deal with this type of situation is not to lose things in the first place. Keeping your wallet in a specific pocket and always checking to make sure it’s there before leaving places is a good rule to prevent misplacing it. Another tip is to never take it out unless you need something from it. When you do take it out, immediately put it back in the pocket in which you keep it.

However, even if you try your best to keep track of it, you could still lose it. Here’s what to do if, like I did, you lose your wallet. . .
(Read More... | 34 comments | Score: 4.71) (25,243 reads) By Alex Plank

How to Deal with Classrooms and Autism
WrongPlanet Tips
Maja Toudal
Maja Toudal is a student with Asperger's I met in Copenhagen, Denmark. Here are her tips for succeeding in your classroom.

I realize that not every part of this will be applicable in every country. We have different educational systems, and this is tailored to mine. This is meant as an inspiration to what you can do to make the student-teacher relationship go well from the beginning.

When I begin a new semester there’s a conversation I must repeat. Actually, it’s getting to the point where it’s more of a monologue. I have some diagnoses that make it difficult for me to be in a classroom, and while I do my best to deal with it, there are still a few things that will be affected.

I need a place – preferably always the same – on the first row, and away from the door. This allows me to create an imaginary sensory bubble around myself, the teacher and blackboard, which excludes the rest of the room. That way, I can pay attention in class. It is exhausting to do this, and to keep it up, but not as much as every other strategy I’ve tried.
(Read More... | 34 comments | Score: 4.65) (42,673 reads) By Alex Plank

Asperger Love: Searching for Romance When You're Not Wired to Connect
Social Skills
Here's an excerpt from Pulitzer Prize winning NY Times reporter Amy Harmon's new ebook, "Asperger Love" that profiles Wrong Planet's "Autism Talk TV" co-hosts Jack Robison and Kirsten Lindsmith.

The first night he slept with her, entwined with her on his futon, Jack Robison regarded Kirsten Lindsmith with undisguised tenderness. She was the only girl to have ever asked questions about his obsessive interests—chemistry, libertarian politics, the small drone aircraft he was building in his kitchen—as though she actually cared to hear his answer.

To Jack, who was 19 and has a form of autism sometimes called Asperger syndrome, her mind was uncannily like his. She was also, he thought, beautiful. So far, they had only cuddled; Jack had hopes for something more. Yet when she smiled at him the next morning, her lips seeking his, he turned away. “I don’t really like kissing,” he said. Kirsten drew back. If he knew she was disappointed, he showed no sign.
(Read More... | 30 comments | Score: 3.75) (74,873 reads) By Alex Plank

How to Stop Teasing and Bullying - Autism Talk TV 24
WrongPlanet Audio
In episode 24 of Autism Talk TV, Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson of UCLA's PEERS program gives alex tips on how to stop teasing. Unlike what you might have been told, just walking away is not the best way to diffuse teasing or a put-dow. In fact, sometimes walking away without saying anything can make things worse!

While it's never OK to be bullied, there's a difference between playful joking between friends and mean-spirited teasing. In either situation, the best thing to do is to discount what is being said by giving a sarcastic response such as "whatever." Tone is important in these situations. Please watch the video so you can understand how to implement these helpful social tools!

Also, after the episode, we have a very special interview from New York City that includes a sneak peek of John Elder Robison's new book, Raising Cubby! Check it out!
(Read More... | 25 comments | Score: 4.40) (38,146 reads) By Alex Plank

How to Thrive as a Special Needs Family and Community
WrongPlanet Tips
Douglas Baker is a wealth manager and parent of two adult children. His son Scott is 22 and is affected by Autism.

We live in a world that is fast-paced, high-tech, image driven and unforgiving, fueled by sensationalized media and reality television shows portraying what is now considered by many to be “normal”. Add to all of this a special needs newborn, child or adult in a family, and reality becomes a sub-world driven by a lifetime of challenges that require incredible commitment, compassion and persistence, as well as a lifespan of specialized planning and services. To thrive instead of simply survive as a family affected by special needs, it is important to have a socially integrated lifestyle with acceptance and great support groups, both personally and professionally.

Who are the special needs families? Families of genetic and birth conditions, or affected by Autism spectrum disorders, mental health and related illnesses, intellectually challenged and learning delayed, and physical or brain impairment though injury or trauma - a global microcosm of cultures that transcend race, religion, gender and the socioeconomic status.
(Read More... | 7 comments | Score: 4.04) (23,646 reads) By Alex Plank

Every time the phone rings . . . I jump - Parenting a child with autism
WrongPlanet Tips
Wrong Planet columnist Robert Naseef, Ph.D. is a psychologist with 20 years of experience and is the parent of an individual on the autism spectrum.

"It seems like every time the phone rings I jump." Not a week goes without a parent of a child with autism or another neurodevelopmental condition echoing these words in my office. Is it a phone call from a child's school asking that the child be picked up early because of a meltdown? Could it be another injury on the playground or in the classroom? Or has my child had another seizure? Otherwise, is a teacher reporting that many assignments have not been completed? Is it another bullying incident? All possibilities to be sure, but maybe it's not bad news after all, just a friend calling to say hi.
(Read More... | 29 comments | Score: 3.93) (29,630 reads) By Alex Plank

Autism Rights Watch Grieves for the Families after Newtown, CT Shootings
Asperger's in the News
Autism Rights Watch
Autism Rights Watch grieves for the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School and the community of Newtown, CT. We are devastated. Our wishes and condolences go to the many families affected. Our thoughts also go to the first responders who faced this horrific scene.

The news of the gunman massacre was an absolute shock. “Evil visited this community” said Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. 20 year-old Adam Lanza made a horrible individual choice. He decided to shoot four weapons, kill his mother, attack an elementary school and take his own life.
(Read More... | 42 comments | Score: 4.69) (23,966 reads) By Alex Plank

Autism Talk TV 23 - How to Join a Social Circle & Make Friends in a Group
WrongPlanet Audio
Alex Plank Learns how to join a social circle
In the second installment of Autism Talk TV's social skills series filmed at the UCLA PEERS center, Alex learns how to approach a group, find something common to talk about, and be accepted into a group. Hopefully this will show you guys how social skills are actually very easy once you know the language.

Making friends can seem hard but these tips will help you succeed. There are a lot of variations in body language that you can easily learn in order to join conversations. Dr. Liz Laugeson, the director of PEERS, walks Alex through these various topics in an easy to follow step-by-step tutorial.

(Read More... | 72 comments | Score: 4.48) (41,393 reads) By Alex Plank

Speak Up & Speak Out - Alex Plank Keynote - Autism Talk TV 22
WrongPlanet Audio
Alex Plank
In this special episode of Autism Talk TV, Wrong Planet founder Alex Plank gives the keynote talk at the Speak Up and Speak Out Summit in Springfield, Illinois. As many of you are aware, Alex speaks at conferences all over the United States and all over the world in countries such as Denmark.

Unlike most of the conferences Alex speaks at, Speak Up and Speak Out isn't specific to Autism or Asperger's. In fact, the conference was attended by hundreds of people with all types of disabilities such as Down Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Deafness, and physical disabilities. Parents and caregivers were in attendance as well.

For a full list of Alex's appearances, visit his website where you can also contact Alex to speak at your conference or event.
(Read More... | 22 comments | Score: 4.38) (15,273 reads) By Alex Plank

10 Steps to Become Independent: Learning the Basics of Essential Life Skills
WrongPlanet Tips
Arman Khodai
Living on your own might be something that you dream of achieving someday, but at the same time, the thought can be scary. You might even think it is impossible that you will live on your own. First, you need an income, and then after that you need the survival skills and street smarts to take care of yourself without anyone there to support you.

This guide will help prepare you for that transition so that someday you can live independently. This guide is not meant to be comprehensive but rather to offer you a few suggestions to help you along the way.

Step 1: Create a support network—We need people to be there for us and to also be honest with us and tell us how we can improve ourselves. Preferably, this network will extend beyond family members and include at least one close friend that you trust. Ultimately, when you are living on your own, you might encounter many obstacles you never thought of, especially obstacles of a social nature, and you will want someone there to be supportive of you and to help you as you navigate a life of independence.
(Read More... | 48 comments | Score: 4.2) (46,845 reads) By Alex Plank

A Rather Queer Year - By John Scott Holman
WrongPlanet Tips
John Scott Holman
Editorial Warning: Wrong Planet is a family-friendly site. However, the following article discusses adult topics involving sexuality and includes strong language. Parental discretion is advised.
      queer – adj. – (kwir)
      1: a: worthless, counterfeit
      b: questionable, suspicious
      2: a: differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal
      b (1): eccentric, unconventional (2): mildly insane: touched
      c: absorbed or interested to an extreme or unreasonable degree: obsessed
      d (1) often disparaging: homosexual (2) sometimes offensive
      3: not quite well
I am queer. Forget, for a moment, Chick-fil-a or that lovable character from Modern Family; focus, instead, on the definition printed above. What does Mr. Webster have to say? How do you measure up? Queer behavior would appear to be startlingly common.
(Read More... | 90 comments | Score: 4.52) (26,386 reads) By Alex Plank

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