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The universe is made of stories, not atoms.
-Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) American political activist
After attending the 2015 APAC (Asia-Pacific Autism Conference in Brisbane), I went to Canberra to visit my daughter. The conference experience is mixed because the more I learnt about intervention strategies to manage the diverse needs of people with autism spectrum disorders in their early adulthood and the more challenges I became aware of in developing these areas in my home country. My mind is stuffed with cutting edge knowledge. I feel kind of pressure and confused.
It is until my daughter brought me to the disability home for dinner last night had I felt relieved and anchored. The simple presence, love and biblical reading of eight adults including my daughter and me gave me inner joy and peace. When these disabled people said prayer for the group, I was touched and inspired.
Regardless of what great stuff I got from the APAC, the most important and immediate thing to do is to serve with love with sensitivity and compassion. It’s a blurred line between the one who serves and the one who is served. Like making friends with the disabled, I feel the presence of joy and contentment among us. These special moments sharing with the special friends made my day.
“Social quota” refers to the amount of energy one affords in dealing with social interaction. To what extent is social interaction enjoyable? Actually it varies with your personality characteristics, mood and settings. For individuals with Aspergers or high functioning autism, interaction with people can drain their energy dramatically especially in topics not exactly of their genuine interests. It is, therefore, good to be aware of the variations of “social quota” of oneself before stretching too thin. For example, I was going out for a movie last night with 10 people. We had dinner and then movie. I found staying over for a chat after the movie a bit over my “social quota”. In order to maintain my emotion balance, I preferred going home to staying over after the movie. Self understanding and emotion wellbeing matters.
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Brain science prevails. Here we got a movie about the functions and interaction of major emotions, long term memory, language, abstract thinking, imagination and so forth. I hope more children especially my Asperger students will increase their understanding about how their mind is affected by their emotion and memory. I like this movie because it merges science and art of story telling in such a comprehensible way. I shall recommend more friends to bring their children to watch Inside-out.