Archive for May, 2010

 Yesterday I took my autistic son to a car boot sale.

He loves them and now it’s a safe and relatively inexpensive way to pass a few hours.

It wasn’t always so.

My son loves things he’s familiar with and used to want to buy every video he already owned. I suspect he didn’t realise there was more than one copy on the planet, and the fact he’d seen another version on someone’s stall didn’t mean his was not  still waiting for him at home.

Anyway, we’ve progressed beyond that stage now, and although DVD’s have taken over, Jodi still wants to buy old videos.  He collects them, but now thankfully, he only wants the ones he hasn’t already got.

It’s much cheaper!

Jodi prefers videos to DVD’s because he can rewind them, and has the uncanny ability of being able to rewind them to the EXACT spot EVERY time.

Yesterday,  whilst we were walking round I noticed a visibly challenged gentleman trying to navigate his way along the rows of stalls.  He had a stick, which he used to make sure he didn’t trip over anything.

Clearly he could see outlines because he would stop in front of a table, face the stall holder and politely request if he or she had a stacking stereo system.

It was obvious he was going to have some difficulty so I offered my assistance and together, the three of us went round the car boot sale in search of the objects of their desire.

It turned out Keith is not only visibly impaired but has Asperger’s  Syndrome.  He’s very intelligent, very articulate, and very vulnerable.  He has real problems with social skills and told me he’s lived in 78 different homes already.  It’s hard to guess, but I suspect he’s about mid- thirties, so that’s a considerable amount of moves.

He told me he’d only been in the area for three weeks, had travelled from his home in a taxi, and was hoping someone would direct him into the town so he could have a drink and a sandwich, order a taxi, and go back home again.

This was no mean feat as the car boot was being held in the rugby field on the outskirts of the town. Even for someone with perfect vision it was a considerable walk and involved crossing a busy road and a bypass.

For someone with partial sight, a walking stick and an armful of purchases, it  would have been incredibly difficult indeed.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, Keith found almost what he was looking for on the very last stall, so I made him wait there whilst I got the car, collected him and his purchases and drove him into town.

I offered to drive him home as I discovered he lived in the same village, but he said he really wanted to go to the pub otherwise he would spend all day stuck in his room on his own with no-one to talk to.

He said he lived in a flat, and when he told me his address I realised most of the people there were considerably older than him.  Keith said apart from fixing up audio equipment, he loved the weather and spent most of the time outside the main door of his apartment block, because he liked to sense the change in the sky and wind.

He confided he felt the other residents didn’t like him very much and probably couldn’t understand him at all.

That’s not unusual for someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.  Being accepted socially is their biggest challenge.  It’s so sad too because they know their situation and desperately want it to be different.

Keith asked me about Jodi and said he was “lucky”.

In many ways he is. 

 Jodi has autism and is non verbal.  He doesn’t seem to care whether people like or accept him.  As long as he has his needs met, he’s happy.

It’s sad, but true, and I am so grateful NOW he is that way, because for the most part he’s oblivious to the hurt and pain inflicted by rude and often ignorant comments made by people who should know better. 

Anyway, as requested I drove Keith to a pub – well three  actually because I couldn’t park anywhere near the first one, the second one was closed and the third one was just brilliant.  If anyone goes to ELY in Cambridgeshire, UK, I can highly recommend the genuine compassion of the staff at The High Flyer.

Before  I dropped Keith off I spoke to the staff to see if he could go in because he’d told me one pub he’d been to had refused to let him in because he had shorts on.  They were long shorts and over them he was wearing a bright yellow waterproof coat, which was as much a safety feature as anything else.

They said it was fine and he assured them they wouldn’t have to look after him.  He said he’d just have a drink, a sandwich and then get a taxi home.

I gave him his purchases and when I mentioned to the staff he’d been really looking for a large stacking audio system, the manager disappeared into a storage shed, came out with exactly what Keith had originally been looking for, and gave it to him.

Needless to say, he was delighted.

I couldn’t see him struggling with  two sets of audio equipment, as he’d told me his flat was on the first floor, so I took everything home with me and delivered it later.

It made his day.

He said he’d never forget our kindness and we’d be in his thoughts as friends always.

It was such a little thing.  Many of us just don’t realise it’s often the smallest of gestures which cost the least,  that mean the most.

Try it sometime!

Circle of Friends poem
                Read my poem

Take care

Jean

What do you think about the Law of Attraction?Alex Jeffreys

I believe in it, especially after the fiasco? I had yesterday.

If you’ve read any of my earlier posts you’ll know Alex Jeffreys is my mentor and he’s a pretty nice guy.

He’s also very busy.

Over the last few months I’ve been interviewing a few of his students in the hope of proving anyone can change their lives if they want to.

It’s been an interesting experience, and it’s become very clear if people have the right motivation, nothing stops them – not age, lack of funds, time , technical skills or other commitments.

Anyway, yesterday I’d arranged to interview Alex using Skype.

Now, Skype is new to me, and I usually use a different recording system.  However, Alex said he’d record our interview using PAMELA, which works with the Skype system, and  “shoot me over” a copy.

He assured me it was easy, and as he’s not known for his technical abilities, I decided to also download it onto my computer.

After all, if Alex can do it, so can I, right?

When the time for our call arrived, we connected with Skype, only to find Alex? couldn’t record for some reason, so I decided I’d use my PAMELA connection.

Firstly, I couldn’t find it on my computer, then I had to get instructions on how to use it.

Alex said, “Just press the red button”.

Easy!

Anyway, we had two trial runs to check the volume, etc, and then went for the real thing. 

I remember thinking to myself,  “Don’t forget to press the red button”.

The Law? of Attraction says you can manifest the things you want into your life, and what you focus on expands, so you need to be careful with your thoughts.

Now, I don’t know if you’re aware of this but your brain doesn’t recognise negatives.

I KNOW that because whenever I speak to my son, who has autism, I have to tell him what I want him to do, not what I don’ t wan

t him to do.

For instance if I want him to stop running, I won’t say, “don’t run”, because he’ll ignore the “don’t” bit, and all he’ll hear is “run”.

Instead,? I’ll say, “Please walk”.

So why, oh why, did I say, “DON’T forget to? press the red button”?

?Jean

 

NOTE: Alex was really “cool” about the whole thing and has promised me another session when he gets back from his working holiday. Next time I’ll say “PRESS the Red Button”!

Today I went to a lovely humanist funeral. 

It was a celebration of the life of my ex neighbour who died peacefully in his sleep at the age of ninety.

Sid had led a wonderful life.

His pleasures were simple, and it was so interesting to learn more about this industrious man who must have been the longest serving paper delivery boy  in history. 

It seems he’d delivered the Sunday papers for fifty years, to customers in the middle of the fen countryside.  Sid collected eggs and vegetables along the way and provided almost a social service for his customers.

I shall remember him for his incredible memory, and his ability to communicate.

Sid loved nature and telling stories.  Until his third stroke cruelly took his speech, he’d been able to paint pictures with his words. 

He never wasted anything, was plain speaking and incredibly hard working, I have no doubt if he’d ever embraced technology, Sid would have been very successful as an entrepreneur.

A gifted story teller, he was straight talking, always offered value, repurposed everything and seized every opportunity he could to make money.

However, like most people of his age, he had no time for computers, and that’s probably just as well because they can be terrible time wasters, especially e-mails.

I am on so many “lists”, my in-box gets inundated with e-mails, and there’s no way I can read them all.  Regretfully, most of them get deleted without ever being opened.

I feel bad about it but it seems I’m not alone.  These days most e-mail gets deleted.  It seems less than 27% are ever opened and it takes 48 hours or longer for people to respond to the e-mails they do actually read.

Contrast that with sms text messages or voice mails, which get opened almost immediately, and responded to within minutes – apparently!

I wouldn’t know because although I have a mobile, I never use it.  It’s pay as you go and I  have no idea what the number is without looking at the piece of paper taped to the back of the handset.

I have the phone for emergencies only and luckily I’ve never had one, which means I’ve never learned to text.

My friends and family always  despair because I never think to switch my cell phone on to check  to see if I have any messages, which means PhoneFollowUp, the brand new idea from Joel Therien and Mike Potvin, (the brains behind GVO), won’t currently be any good for me.

Also, I’m a bit like Sid and tend to have verbal diarrhea, so I’m not sure I could get my messages across in less than the 160 characters allowed in this brand new system.

Having said that, I use Twitter and that only allows 140 characters,  so there could be hope for me yet.

Anyway, PhoneFollowUp is certainly the future of internet marketing, especially if people want to increase the retention in their “lists” and ensure their messages get read.

After all, if you’re a marketer, people won’t buy if they never read your messages, will they?

At the moment PhoneFollowUp is only available in USA and Canada, and has been described as the “newest revolution in marketing”. 

With one click of the mouse you can automatically contact clients via phone, text and e-mail, which is clearly a great way to boost e-mail marketing, especially as it has NEVER been done before.

I’ve watched the training videos, and with Joel and Mike behind it, I have no doubt it will only get better.  They may be the head of the company, but one thing I’ve come to know about them from my GVO experience is they listen to their customers and soon respond to any feedback.

I suspect this new voice, text and e-mail combination of PhoneFollowUp.com  is the next wave in internet marketing .

Wonder what Sid would have made of it?

Take care,
Jean Shaw

Last weekend I cried – AGAIN!

I wasn’t sad – just overwhelmed, terribly proud, and immensely grateful .

Why?

Well, because my youngest son had a starring role in one of the Magical Musical performances his college had put on at  the theatre in the local town.

It was very professional – stage, curtains, lights, compere, the lot, and there were about 700 people in the audience.

So what’s the big deal?

Well, all the students had some form of disability.

My son has autism. He rarely ever speaks and when he does it’s usually only single words, so it came as a complete shock to many people at the college when he burst into song.

Jodi had the role of Bert, the jolly chimney sweep in Mary Poppins, and sang all the words in Chim  Chiminey at the right time, in the right order and even with the right accent.

It was brilliant!

Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photographs  or videos, but his scene will be etched on my memory forever.

Many teachers and support staff came up to me afterwards and said they  had no idea he could “do that”.

That’s the thing isn’t it?

We all have hidden talents and it just takes the right environment and a little bit of encouragement to let them rise to the surface.

My son can do all sorts of things with the right support – just like the rest of us!

The money raised from the performance went towards  the college, the local life boat society, and the muscular dystrophy society , because one of the students, who had lodged in the same house as my son, recently died of the complaint.

It was very sad.

I’m so lucky. Autism is a terrible lifelong disability, but it’s not terminal.

Our health is something we can never take for granted. There are many things which can affect it as I know from personal experience.

Dangers lurk everywhere.

They’re hidden in your food, vaccines, skin care, household products, dental amalgams, and just about everywhere else you can think of.

People are becoming more aware though, especially with the popularity of videos and there are several videos around shedding light on different aspects of health.

One good youtube channel is Health Ranger 7 who covers topics I’m familiar with.  You can find him here –
http://www.youtube.com/HealthRanger7

His health videos can be seen here:

 http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=2F856F03238D7810

When  you have time you might want to check them out, and also grab a copy of my free skin care and dental amalgam reports, which you can get by clicking on the links down the right-hand side of this blog.

If you’re fast  and go along to DavidWalker’s 30th Giveaway before 16th May, you’ll be able to download them, and literally   thousands of dollars worth of free information and software as well.

Hope you’ll find them useful.

Take care

Jean Shaw