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Songs of the Gorilla Nation

My Journey Through Autism By: Dawn Prince-Hughes

hannah weis

on 16 April 2010

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Transcript of Songs of the Gorilla Nation

Songs of the Gorilla Nation
My Journey Through Autism
By: Dawn Prince-Hughes The Autism Spectrum: *Autism is a variety of disorders that fall along a spectrum
*The autism spectrum is like a color spectrum,
which represents different colors of the rainbow * Although the different disorders may share certain core characteristics of Autism, they are defined more by their unique features.
* Asperger's Syndrome
* High-Functioning Autism
* Classic Autism
* Tourette's Syndrome
* Fragile X Syndrome * Two people can have the same diagnosis
and be very different.
* In addition to differences in personality and
intelligence, one person may have mild symptoms,
while another may have more severe symptoms
of the same disorder.
What is Asperger's Syndrome? * Asperger’s Syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder that is on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum.
* Asperger’s Syndrome is diagnosed more often in males than females.
* It is a neurological condition

* Asperger’s Syndrome cannot be “cured”. It is a lifelong condition
* A person with Asperger’s Syndrome truly marches to the beat of a different drummer because his brain in wired differently.
* People with Asperger’s Syndrome have “mind-blindness’. This is the inability to read other people’s minds through their words and actions.
* They don’t pick up all of the hidden meanings in conversation
* People with Asperger’s Syndrome can be very intelligent and have high OQ, but socially they may still be interacting at a much younger age than they really are. * People with Asperger’s Syndrome usually have a favorite subject or hobby, which absorbs their time and attention completely. The person usually knows every bit of trivia and detail about the subject and enjoys talking about it to anyone whether they are interested or not.
* A person with Asperger’s Syndrome may have extreme problems with sensory processing, due to this neurological condition.
- Hyposensitive
- High tolerance for pain
- Sensitive to sounds or bright lights

Defining Characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome

* I am often very smart. Sometimes, I am smarter than other students.
* I am good at picking up details and facts.
* I have trouble being organized and setting my priorities.
* I can focus on certain things for very long periods.
* Sometimes sounds, smells or lights will bother me.
* I don’t always know when I am too close to another person.
* I have terrible handwriting. Sometimes, it is very tiring to think and write at the same time.
* I have trouble recognizing stress. By the time I recognize it, I may display inappropriate behavior. * I find social situations confusing.
* I find it hard to make small talk.
* I say what is on my mind.
* I find it hard to figure out what other people are thinking and feeling.
* People often think I am rude, even when that was not what I intended
* I take things literally.
* I have a sense of humor, but other people don’t get it or say it is inappropriate.
* I have difficulty making friends, even though I really want them.
* I follow the rules and expect everyone else to do so.

* I have very specific ways that I do things. Some people think that I am not very flexible.

* I have unusually strong, narrow, special interests.
Chapter 1: A Culture of One
Chapter 2: A Chaos of Noise:
Understanding Autism Chapter 3: The Silence Before Dawn
Chapter 4: Starting Off Key Chapter 5: Music Behind the Looking Glass Cage Chapter 6: The Difficulty of Lyrics
Long and Unfamiliar Chapter 7: Requiem Chapter 8: Ancestral Hymns:
A Family History Chapter 9: Successes Chapter 10: Sharing the Songs First encounters with gorillas
Schooling and new job
Struggles with job and communication
Life struggles Learning emotion
New Relationship "In so many ways, large and small,I
saw the best and worst of myself in the
gorillas. But they had accomplished what
I had not; The ability to remain open and
communicate in their kinds of ways that made
me feel whole". * Bringing Congo home
* "I sat there staring at the only part
of him that will ever touch Africa again-
the first part of him to touch it in 38 years-
I pictured his wide, innocent eyes blinking in
wonder at the bright African sun. I said,
"Welcome home." Discussion Questions: *In your opinion, during her school years, what helped her the most? What hurt her the most? Asperser’s Syndrome didn't make it into the DSM-IV until 1994.
People without filters have problems with their environments

-nervous tics
- Obtuse behavior
*Great Aunt-
- nicknamed "Buggy"
*Great Uncle-
- Plethora of unusual skills
- balance
- Uniform
- nervous tics
- Had to perform daily routines and rituals
- depression
- sleep disorders
- likes to be alone
- attacks of rage
- hoarder

Quirks were more widely accepted in the past
A huge genetic component that runs in families
Relationship with partner
Medications * If you were in Dawn's shoes do you think you would
take medication or go a different route? * Do you think kids with Autism should be in
the same classrooms as "a typical student" or in
a specialized classroom? 1. School
2. The move
3. Alcohol
4. Declaring herself lesbian
5. Dropping out of school
6. Becoming homeless
7. Finding a job *If you were a teacher with an autistic
student, what would you do to help this student
out? -Asperger’sSyndrome-characterized by difficulties in processing stimuli, sensory over sensitivities, and challenges in social interactions
-The author was not diagnosed until she was 36
-Aspergersmade it into the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1994 -Characteristics & tendencies of Dawn Prince Hughes:
-Loves symmetry
-Loves driving through tunnels
-Has “sense” addictions
-Loves repetition -Woodland Park Zoo-Seattle, Washington
-where she “found” herself through the gorillas
-Earlier Memories:
-Her own birth
-Having scarlet fever
-Started to walk at 10 months
-Playing the word game with her family *Does anyone have a family member or friend
with autism? If so, how does this effect your life? Wrote book to chronicle journey of an autistic person from childhood thru adulthood
Finally finds University in Switzerland that will let study the way that works best for her
Her and Tara growing closer and helping each other with doctorates
Discovers she is good at book writing
Her and Tara decide to have a baby
Dec. 17th at 4:11 Teryk Brydanialun Prince-Hughes is born
Tara’s career takes off Becomes friends with Jane Goodall
Working with apes through sign
Constant consideration for the
welfare/well-being of apes
Campaigns and organizations
Promote constant efforts to further
the plight of the gorilla nation
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