Sunday, June 12, 2011

Louise Weston--Connecting with Your Asperger Partner

THIS MONTH'S GIVEAWAYS are Mothering Heights and Connecting with your Asperger Partner. TO BE IN THE DRAW, POST A COMMENT. For submissions for author interviews to aussiewriters, post a comment and email Wendy at aussiewriters at gmail dot com.

Louise Weston is our guest this week. Louise has a book signing on June 18th at Koorong, Brisbane. Get along to support her.

Connecting With Your Asperger Partner

Book blurb

Communication and intimacy can feel like a constant struggle in relationships where one partner has Asperger Syndrome (AS). For the neuro-typical partner (NT) in particular, this can be an endless source of frustration, misunderstandings, and tears.

Drawing on her own experience of being married to a man with AS, Louise Weston shows that the road to intimacy begins with letting go of expectations and looking after your own physical and emotional needs. She provides tried-and-tested strategies for relating to and connecting with your AS partner, as well as useful tips for coping with hurtful words and meltdowns, helping your partner to interpret emotions, and finding further sources of help and support. Above all, she shows that although your AS/NT relationship will challenge you beyond what you ever thought possible, by letting go of expectations and respecting each others' differences, this unique partnership really can be both happy and successful.

Brimming with stories and advice from other NT partners, this practical book will help NTs take positive steps towards connecting with their AS partners. It will also be a useful resource for counsellors and other professionals who wish to deepen their understanding of AS/NT relationships.

“My book is a self-help manual that takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery resulting in connection with their loved one with Aspergers.”

About Louise

Louise Weston is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Queensland, Australia. She was the former coordinator of a monthly support group for NT partners and spouses of individuals with Asperger Syndrome. Louise is happily married to her husband, Graham. After they were married in 1999, Graham was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. His diagnosis was inspirational in writing this book.

What would you tell the parent of a child with Aspergers?

The highest priority is to look after yourself. By this I mean ensure you have enough sleep or rest to cope with the frequent misunderstandings and meltdowns that are common with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). As well as enough sleep, it’s really important to do some relaxing or enjoyable activities to refresh you so that you can keep going. Another wise tip is to empathise with your child. My book has a whole chapter on “Entering into the Aspie’s World.” Once you “put yourself into the Asperger person’s shoes”, you start to understand what they go through and why they have certain behaviours.

Why do people on the Autism Spectrum have difficulty fitting in with others?

One man with AS told me that he thought he was an alien until he was 10 or 11. He was bullied at school and always had trouble acquiring and keeping a job due to “not getting things right” or not understanding the subtleties of body language. If you watch Big Bang Theory, you will know what I mean when you see how Sheldon is extremely rigid in his thinking. Not only does he have idiosyncrasies that he must follow, he takes things literally and has difficulty relating on other peoples’ terms. Problems with social interaction and communication are obviously difficult, making it a chore for someone with AS to make friends.

Why are friendships difficult to maintain for someone on the Autism Spectrum?

Friendship can be a strange concept for a person with Aspergers. One AS person commented. “Why do I need friends? They just use me or take time away from my Special Interest?” Interacting socially is not their first language; hence they are less likely to look to friends for support or comfort. Most have a few or no friends. Their “Special interest” consumes a lot of their time and is a comfort to them.

Tell us about sensory issues.

People on the Autism Spectrum can often have hypo or hyper-sensitivity when it comes to the senses. Sensory processing issues can bombard the AS person all day—to the point of sensory overload. The effort required by the person to be socially connected is quite difficult. If their job, school or study involves interacting with people all day, they can usually “hold it together” until they arrive home. This is safe ground so they can “let go” and often have a meltdown about something that may seem trivial to us. To recuperate they may require sleep or “downtime” away from people, usually relaxing in front of the TV or enjoying their Special Interest.

Where can we buy the book?

There are links on my website to Footprint books (NSW), Jessica Kingsley Publishers (UK), some Angus and Robertson and select stores like Open Leaves in Brisbane, Koorong online or order through Koorong Stores.

How do we find out more?

I talk about the “Four vital keys” to Self-discovery and Reconnecting with Your Asperger Loved One. You will have to read the book to find out what they are!

Visit my website to email me or to hear me speak:
♥ You-tube interview with Craig Evans from Autism Hangout
♥ Radio Interviews with the ABC and 96fives’ “Talking Life” show.
♥ She will also be a Guest on 101FM on Tuesday 14th at 1140am.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10 Ways to Save $100 Per Month...

THIS MONTH'S GIVEAWAYS ARE Picking up the Pieces and Mothering Heights. TO BE IN THE DRAW, POST A COMMENT. For submissions for author interviews to aussiewriters, email Wendy Sargeant at aussiewriters (at) gmail (dot) com (without the spaces), but before you do, be sure and post a comment.

Our guest blogger, Simone Trinder has compiled these money saving tips we all need. Look out for the forthcoming series How to Thrive in Hard Times of which Simone will be a contributor. Welcome Simone.

1. Make a meals list before shopping and you are less likely to buy fast food or food that may go off, such as food with a short use-by date that you later forget.

2. Put your usual list of foods on an excel database and use it to shop. You are less likely to forget and have to re-shop during the week. Avoid using credit cards where possible. It is easy to overspend when you don’t have to pay up front.

3. One survey found the average person can save $300 a year by using only what’s in the cupboard and freezer once a week. Use all that you have bought, (condiments are an exception), that way you are less likely to waste forgotten food or let it run past the use by date.

4. If you are with a bank that is ruthless with unfair bank fees, to get these fees back, go to and .

6. If you live in the Sydney or Melbourne area, to save money on car maintenance, rego, insurance and petrol, sign up with or
(These are car share companies).

7. Refuse ATMs with high fees, (if you can't, start a fight-back campaign for bank fees through Facebook, and also change your bank to one somewhat better fees). For example, ING.

8. If you have to use a credit card, use one with reward points, (the small rewards are much better than nothing).

9. Grow your own fruit and vegies. Build up the soil nutrients with Alroc from, and plant, (go with, (for Tasmania residents).

10. You can reuse the seeds over and over, because they are not genetically modified, and you also can pass the seeds onto others. If you lack planting space, you can also use stackpots, these range from about $38 to $75. Or for hanging pots to grow herbs, etc. These range from about $38.

Thanks Simone. We look forward to more tips in the future.