Saturday, 6 December 2008

My Crazy Life - Changing Reuben

Reuben is 14 years of age and has an IQ of 154. He describes himself as a square peg in a round hole. This Teachers TV programme follows Reuben's every day life and the challenges he faces along the way.
I gained a good insight into some of the key aspects of Reuben's Aspergers Syndrome from watching the film:

Information has to be broken down into small logical steps to help understanding.
Literal interpretation leads to confusion.
Tend to get obsessed ,doesn’t move on “gets stuck in a groove” .
Phobias– crowds, noise.
Interrupts other because he is focused on self not others .
Not able to deal with other people but a desire to have friends
Different interests from others
A desire to fit in but a realization that he is different
Grey areas – doesn’t like it when issues aren’t clear
Not understanding body language

This film has a wonderful section that explains how the extremely clever Reuben struggles with shopping at a supermarket. It shows him getting “stuck” on the issue of the ice cubes.
Why do they sell ice cubes like that why don’t we just make our own?
Well it might be because someone is having a party or something or going away or going out or something like that they can take it in a cool box
Why can’t they just freeze it?
The freezer might be full of meat and things
Where are they going to put the ice cubes when they get home?
In the cool box… shall we get the bread?
Why don’t they just make room in their freezer?
Not many people would have that many ice trays or may be they are having a party shall we go over here for the bread?
Well couldn’t they just make them up a bit at a time and put them in the coolbox?
Well may be its just a bit labour intensive ...

Every year I have someone with Aspergers Syndrome in my entry level groups. I have sometimes struggled with dealing with the behavior and this film has been very useful.
Many thanks to Reuben and his family for sharing his story.

Check out The Autistic Society website for further information on Aspergers Syndrome.

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