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Book Club

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Book Club

Post by arover on Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:10 am

Just started one here (oh what it is to not be grafting) and we're on to our second book and had the meeting about it last night. The books we have read so far have been Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time" and Jeffrey Eugenides' "Middlesex"

It's going really well, about 13/14 of us and much profitable discussion. Last night we discussed Middlesex (plenty to go at here).

Anybody read either of these?
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Re: Book Club

Post by arover on Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:20 am

Obviously not.
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Re: Book Club

Post by Roverdamus on Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:46 am

I was given the first one a couple of years ago, but I haven't read it. So it was good?
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Re: Book Club

Post by arover on Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:36 pm

Roverdamus wrote:I was given the first one a couple of years ago, but I haven't read it. So it was good?

Very, give it a go.
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Re: Book Club

Post by PieEater on Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:52 am

My eldest was diagnosed with autism and Haddon's book was both educational, a great read and emotional.

K I'll admit a Sad

'A Spot of Bother' is a pretty good follow up also!

He's also done some kids books, 'The Sea of Tranquility' has pictures that just mesmerise my four year old.

You could have a book club outing to chez pie, it's like a library without the shushing!
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Re: Book Club

Post by arover on Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:28 am

PieEater wrote:My eldest was diagnosed with autism and Haddon's book was both educational, a great read and emotional.

K I'll admit a Sad

'A Spot of Bother' is a pretty good follow up also!

He's also done some kids books, 'The Sea of Tranquility' has pictures that just mesmerise my four year old.

You could have a book club outing to chez pie, it's like a library without the shushing!

Sorry to hear that.

I have some experience of the autistic spectrum, as they call it, having worked with many youngsters severely affected by it in a residential setting for many years. Of all the "Special Needs" it is probably the most difficult to come to terms with probably because of the lack of empathy. Haddon, who has experience of it himself I believe, manages to get it right in so many ways. For me it is a must read for anyone who is likely to encounter the condition.

Our second book, Middlesex, is also well worth a look and to give you a flavour of it is narrated by a third generation Greek immigrant hermaphrodite.

The third book, Fluke, is a bag of old shite and it has taught us only one thing - never to let the woman who recommended it have any further input into our choices.
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Re: Book Club

Post by Willy on Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:35 am

Autistic kids are superb. I've had quite a few experiences with them in my fairly short lifetime and they're highly intelligent and great fun. It's all about how you approach it, I suppose.
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Re: Book Club

Post by PieEater on Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:45 pm

Absolutely, wee Ben is a legend and has always commanded an audience and wonderment.

When he was 1-4 we moved about a fair bit and didn't know many people with young kids and it was picked up really late. He had speach problems but didn't really trouble him til about 3, it was on a Butlins holiday we realised how his 'behaviour' just dominated everything.

When 4 and at Nursery he was hilarious when they were trying to diagnose. His behaviour wasn't great because he struggled to communicate with other kids and only saw extremes, everything (as Hadden aluded to) was good or bad. Doing the tests they were amazed by the way his mind works, a bit rain man like. They'd give him a puzzle and he'd do it before they'd explained it. Yet if they tried to get him to do things that were like or similar to he would get absolutely naff all, things either matched or didn't.

We're having battles at the moment, he's seven and just gone into juniors. They're trying to stop all additional help due to the fact that his grades are top drawer. There's still underlying things he still needs help with, nerves, coping in groups etc.

Also, as a point of note. One of the scrubbers of my family have claimed benefits for their child that they are claiming is autistic. They claim their daughter can't hold a knife and fork (cause she eats McDonalds constantly), pisses her bed (cause she gets locked in her room) and struggles with school work (cause her parents are doleite motherfuckers who educate her thru Playstation 3). They get shit loads of cash which helps fund their smoking and stella drinking.

When we were seeing the experts they gave us a ton of forms to claim cash, I asked how this would help or whether it was instead of the school help. Fuck that, the help Ben got at school was immense, money really would have done sod all to help!
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Re: Book Club

Post by thebluehalf on Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:55 pm

PieEater wrote:Absolutely, wee Ben is a legend and has always commanded an audience and wonderment.

When he was 1-4 we moved about a fair bit and didn't know many people with young kids and it was picked up really late. He had speach problems but didn't really trouble him til about 3, it was on a Butlins holiday we realised how his 'behaviour' just dominated everything.

When 4 and at Nursery he was hilarious when they were trying to diagnose. His behaviour wasn't great because he struggled to communicate with other kids and only saw extremes, everything (as Hadden aluded to) was good or bad. Doing the tests they were amazed by the way his mind works, a bit rain man like. They'd give him a puzzle and he'd do it before they'd explained it. Yet if they tried to get him to do things that were like or similar to he would get absolutely naff all, things either matched or didn't.

We're having battles at the moment, he's seven and just gone into juniors. They're trying to stop all additional help due to the fact that his grades are top drawer. There's still underlying things he still needs help with, nerves, coping in groups etc.

Also, as a point of note. One of the scrubbers of my family have claimed benefits for their child that they are claiming is autistic. They claim their daughter can't hold a knife and fork (cause she eats McDonalds constantly), pisses her bed (cause she gets locked in her room) and struggles with school work (cause her parents are doleite motherfuckers who educate her thru Playstation 3). They get shit loads of cash which helps fund their smoking and stella drinking.

When we were seeing the experts they gave us a ton of forms to claim cash, I asked how this would help or whether it was instead of the school help. Fuck that, the help Ben got at school was immense, money really would have done sod all to help!

I'd suggest 2 and 3 are directly affected by 1.

And Kudos to you for rejecting the money, i'd suggest that plenty of people who accept the cash for their kids' difficulties rarely spend it on helping ease the strain of their condition.
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Re: Book Club

Post by PieEater on Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:16 pm

Aye, I mean if it'd meant we could have time off work to give him more attention or be able to buy equipment to help him then it'd have been different. Not suggesting we're loaded or owt but if he needed anything he got it and me or his mam are about 24/7 so it just seemed stupid to.

Fucks me off that our taxes are paying for such shite though.

Ooh look, I've gone OT, I'd get War and Peace to thump the feckers to death!
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Re: Book Club

Post by thebluehalf on Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:35 pm

Complately agree. Had you been in a position that it would have helped, then definitely, take it.

Back on topic... I'd hit them with The Count of Monte Cristo instead. Much better read, and still as thick as Jade Goody.
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Re: Book Club

Post by PieEater on Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:32 pm

Are they ripping pages out cause she'll be thinning...
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Re: Book Club

Post by thebluehalf on Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:26 am

Cold.

Just like Goody.
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Re: Book Club

Post by Willy on Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:42 am

thebluehalf wrote:
PieEater wrote:Absolutely, wee Ben is a legend and has always commanded an audience and wonderment.

When he was 1-4 we moved about a fair bit and didn't know many people with young kids and it was picked up really late. He had speach problems but didn't really trouble him til about 3, it was on a Butlins holiday we realised how his 'behaviour' just dominated everything.

When 4 and at Nursery he was hilarious when they were trying to diagnose. His behaviour wasn't great because he struggled to communicate with other kids and only saw extremes, everything (as Hadden aluded to) was good or bad. Doing the tests they were amazed by the way his mind works, a bit rain man like. They'd give him a puzzle and he'd do it before they'd explained it. Yet if they tried to get him to do things that were like or similar to he would get absolutely naff all, things either matched or didn't.

We're having battles at the moment, he's seven and just gone into juniors. They're trying to stop all additional help due to the fact that his grades are top drawer. There's still underlying things he still needs help with, nerves, coping in groups etc.

Also, as a point of note. One of the scrubbers of my family have claimed benefits for their child that they are claiming is autistic. They claim their daughter can't hold a knife and fork (cause she eats McDonalds constantly), pisses her bed (cause she gets locked in her room) and struggles with school work (cause her parents are doleite motherfuckers who educate her thru Playstation 3). They get shit loads of cash which helps fund their smoking and stella drinking.

When we were seeing the experts they gave us a ton of forms to claim cash, I asked how this would help or whether it was instead of the school help. Fuck that, the help Ben got at school was immense, money really would have done sod all to help!

I'd suggest 2 and 3 are directly affected by 1.

And Kudos to you for rejecting the money, i'd suggest that plenty of people who accept the cash for their kids' difficulties rarely spend it on helping ease the strain of their condition.

Only just re-noticed this thread. Yeah, nice one on that. If there were more parents with that attitude then the world would be a better place. ok

thebluehalf wrote:Cold.

Just like Goody.

You meany.


not really
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Re: Book Club

Post by arover on Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:05 am

PieEater wrote:Absolutely, wee Ben is a legend and has always commanded an audience and wonderment.

When he was 1-4 we moved about a fair bit and didn't know many people with young kids and it was picked up really late. He had speach problems but didn't really trouble him til about 3, it was on a Butlins holiday we realised how his 'behaviour' just dominated everything.

When 4 and at Nursery he was hilarious when they were trying to diagnose. His behaviour wasn't great because he struggled to communicate with other kids and only saw extremes, everything (as Hadden aluded to) was good or bad. Doing the tests they were amazed by the way his mind works, a bit rain man like. They'd give him a puzzle and he'd do it before they'd explained it. Yet if they tried to get him to do things that were like or similar to he would get absolutely naff all, things either matched or didn't.

We're having battles at the moment, he's seven and just gone into juniors. They're trying to stop all additional help due to the fact that his grades are top drawer. There's still underlying things he still needs help with, nerves, coping in groups etc.

Also, as a point of note. One of the scrubbers of my family have claimed benefits for their child that they are claiming is autistic. They claim their daughter can't hold a knife and fork (cause she eats McDonalds constantly), pisses her bed (cause she gets locked in her room) and struggles with school work (cause her parents are doleite motherfuckers who educate her thru Playstation 3). They get shit loads of cash which helps fund their smoking and stella drinking.

When we were seeing the experts they gave us a ton of forms to claim cash, I asked how this would help or whether it was instead of the school help. Fuck that, the help Ben got at school was immense, money really would have done sod all to help!

Fair play Pie man.

The autistic kids I have professional experience of were not high achievers in fact they were the opposite usually with multiple difficulties including epilepsey and all with severe learning difficulties. The film Rain Man gave many people the impression that all people with autism have a field in which they excel, this is not the case. Such people are broadly defined as autistic sauvants and are able to demonstrate outstanding abilities in a particular field. There are many other people who are affected by the condition to varying degrees and have no such gifts but do have, at the very least, social problems. Like all kids though what they need more than anything is love understanding and encouragement.

Sounds to me like your nipper is getting that in swathes, good on you.
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Re: Book Club

Post by PieEater on Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:59 pm

Well, many thanks for the lovefest, just being Dad.

As you say aRover the spectrum is far and wide and my Ben is at the very fortunate end of it. That said, and back on thread, Hadden's book did provide an insight for me as to what goes on in Bens head sometimes. It can be frustrating as a parent and hard to know when things are going a bit 'left of centre' and when he's just being a little sod!

The Rain Man thing as you say is often seen as the benefit, problem is that even if it is profound it is very hard for an autistic child to channel it and use it with any great effect.

And now I have one of the funniest and most cringeworthy stories of Universityville, on topic and not involving drink.

It involves my mate "Scouse" (his name has been changed to reflect the fact that he's a thieving bastard from Liverpool) and it should be noted throughout, come back to this if needs be, that Scouse was a trainee teacher at the time.

During the summer of my third year at University I secured gainful employment as a Manager of a children's summer camp in Northampton, responsible for 12 coaches, 8 assistants and approximately 180 children per week. On a Friday afternoon I would receive the details of all the classes for the following week and have a look thru the relevant medical issues, a usual mix of allergies to bee stings, diabetes, asthma and for the following week a child with autism.

So I give the lady a call and discuss her son's requirements, how she thinks he'll cope etc etc. I assure her that she will be in Mr Scouse's group and I know the fella professionaly and personally, little Jonny will be fine. May I remind you that Scouse has done 2 years teacher training and worked part time as a sports coach. In the car on the Monday morning I tell scouse he has the 7-8 year olds and has one with autism so I'll give him the best assistant. I check he's ok with that, he confirms. I ask if he has any concerns or worries and he says 'no worries'.

That night, in the pub, he moans about his group and Jonny in particular. I say it's usual that he may be disruptive and ask if he thinks he'll need further assistance. Once more he declines. The following morning the kids file in, are registering, and I amble about coffee in hand attempting to look important. As I amble past Scouse's group Jonny's mother is dropping him off and Scouse instructs his assistant to continue with the register whilst he has a word.

As I have to review the coaches and was likely to be a future referee (if i could spell it), I took a seat looking uninterested but eavesdropping. Scouse opens up by telling Mother that Jonny was disruptive the previous day and was difficult to teach. The poor woman shuffled her feet a bit, looked down and was apologetic. So, Scouse being Scouse decided to hammer home what a wee turd he thought the boy was and a lack of improvement would see him struggle in any normal educational establishment.

At this point I thought it best to intervene but Mother had already taken the bait with "You do know he's very autistic". Now it's not for me to define 'very' and this was the first time she'd allowed him into such an environment, she needed my reassurance.

Before I could get there, Scouse (may I remind you of his future profession) stated "Well I'm very pleased that he likes drawing and stuff but that really doesn't help me. Perhaps you should have enrolled him at an Art Camp rather than a Sports Camp".

affraid

You wouldn't believe the amount of lie-grovelling I had to do to ensure that we didn't have the lad dragged out of class and OFSTED all over our derriers. I even trotted out lines suggesting what a fantastic learning curve it would be for children and staff alike and benefit future generations of children with learning difficulties. I spent the next four days ignoring approximately 179 children and pretty much taking all of Scallies classes...
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Re: Book Club

Post by arover on Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:01 am

No surprise there pieman. Many of the teachers I've worked with are tossers and thick tossers at that, that's not to say there aren't some diamonds but none of those are scousers!

Very difficult for the parent who has more understanding of the condition and yet still worries about the effect her son's behaviour can have on other people and classmates. Parents deal with this in so many different ways in my experience, some are over apologetic and guilt ridden others are aggressive and overly demanding of the professionals working with their child and too quick to find fault. One thing's for sure if you take on a complex autistic kid in any professional capacity you take on the entire family as usually they are just as needy as the child themselves.

A friend of mine has 2 adopted daughters who are sisters and came from a drug addled mother, one of them although high functioning is certainly on the spectrum and has immense social difficulties at school. One day mum picks her up from school (she was about 11 at the time) and asks her what her day was like. Molly tells mum that they did English, Geography, Art etc, what she had for her lunch and just as matter of factly that classmate Susan came into school in the morning with a party invitation for all the other kids in the class except her. Molly was completely unperturbed about this, to her it was just another fact, mum of course was devastated by this news and was sobbing away at the wheel of the car all the way home.

Haddon succeeds in conveying an understanding of the impact that such behaviour can have on the immediate family especially the inability to compromise or empathise in any way. Of course people deal with it differently but as a parent, unlike a professional, you don't clock off at 5 o'clock and piss off home and forget about it all.
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