By pure happenstance, I stumbled upon one of several SSP’ers I’ve had the good fortune to “meet”online — his name is Patrick McLauren, and his URL is  Patrick McLauren’s Piping Blog.

He is so gracious and generous; in that he freely offers newbie SSp’ers like mesell tunes (.MP3s) and the .PDF music settings for some of his latest endeavours.  Like Gray West, Julian Goodacre, Nate Banton, Will Woodson and others, Patrick has a huge passion for the pipes — and for conveying his passion to others.

Patrick’s enthusiasm is somehow strangely infectious.  He has helped me — a lone piper from a very small, remote hamlet in Aotearoa (New Zealand) — to stay connected with others of similar ilk.  Residing in such remote locales can be a rather isolating experience… but Patrick’s tunes serve to ease this feeling, through his superb efforts and dedication ot the art of piping.

I’d like to post a heartfelt tribute — one that pays hommage to Patrick, the piper — a talented, incredibly gifted musician and kind soul who brings much joy to the lives of far distant kinsmen.  We salute you!!

Here’s another post I found on Tumblr that says what I couldn’t possibly say:

This is a heartfelt note of thanks from a Canadian of Scottish decent, thanking you for your beautiful bagpipe music which was a great comfort to me recently. At the time I couldn’t see where the music was coming from so later I asked at the cemetery office and was given your name.

…when I came back for the internment, I was alone. It was a sad occasion without any associated ceremony or service and without other members of the family along as witness or support. As I was sitting on the steps by the columbarium after the internment wishing for some better way to have marked this final event of her life, I heard beautiful bagpipe music nearby…it seemed as if it was a tribute to my sister as a member of the Ronald clan, a sect of the MacDonnell clan of Keppoch.

I am glad to know that the art is alive and well in Portland through people such as you…thank you for your dedication on behalf of veterans and their loved ones.

Phyllis T.

Randomly enough I’m also a half Canadian of Scottish and Irish decent, so the note hit a little close to home.  As someone who has witnessed many funerals over the years, I actually see the situation of the one-person-funeral fairly often. A few times I’ve even played for zero-person-funerals, where it’s just me and the funeral director paying our respects with no one else physically there to hear it. I think it shows great stoicism and commitment to be that sole family member present at the funeral, and good on Phyllis for being there.

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Jonathan Mitchell on NeuroTribes

A FASCINATING BOOK REVIEW.  The reviewer also points to others’ reviews and commentary on Steve Silberman’s “neurotribes” book.  One of his quotes stands out for me, above the rest of his blog spot:

Most of the autistic people Silberman wrote about in his book are at the mildest end of the spectrum (assuming they’re autistic at all).

Where does he derive this understanding from, I wonder?

Source: Jonathan Mitchell on NeuroTribes

an amazing blogspot — Concentric Circles

As illuminating as a prayer time in a Labyrinth, so I found Sheila’s amazing blogs. Well worth a sticky bick!!!

http://sheilapritchard.blogspot.co.nz/

Autism and Loneliness

Reprinted from www.autismdailynewscast.com — posted August 29, 2013 by Laurel Joss

One of the main symptoms of autism spectrum disorder is a lack of social reciprocity. People with autism have difficulty reading and using social cues appropriately. Human beings are social animals, and a disorder that impairs one’s ability to create and maintain satisfying relationships is a deficit that affects many aspects of life, both personally and professionally.
Some would argue that people with autism aren’t interested in close personal relationships. They prefer to avoid social situations, and are in fact happier when they are simply left alone. This may be true to an extent, for some individuals, but it is also possible that this attitude of preferred avoidance is a learned behavior stemming from repeated rejections after unsuccessful attempts to connect with others in social settings.

A study by the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior found that young adults with an autism diagnosis who suffered from social anxiety reported higher levels of loneliness in relation to their friendships, families, and romantic relationships. A similar study by Susan White in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University found a positive correlation between anxiety, loneliness, and the degree of social skill deficit in school-age children with autism.

These studies show that people with autism have the same desire for connecting with others, and that they can feel just as lonely as anybody else. Behavioral interventions like ABA can teach social skills, but it is notoriously difficult to teach people with autism all of the nuances and unspoken rules of social interaction, which can vary between different people and different situations. Social stories can teach specific skills, such as how to order food at a restaurant, but it’s incredibly challenging to teach someone how to read the subtle social cues that let you know when your significant other is upset, or that your friend may be getting bored listening to you talk about the same topic again and again.

Dr. Steven Gutstein of the Connections Center in Houston Texas created a therapy model called Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®). He spent years teaching social skills to children and adults with autism, but found that many of his patients continued to have difficulties in social situations and interpersonal relationships. He created RDI® after studying the ways in which interpersonal relationships are built between typically developing children and their caregivers. These early interactions form the foundations of all later relationships, but they go off-track when the child has autism. Dr. Gutstein developed a program that systematically trains parents to offer their child a re-do of these critical early interactions, guiding the child towards joint attention, social referencing, and emotion-sharing. For more information about RDI®, see Dr. Gutstein’s website at http://www.rdiconnect.com.

Social isolation is a real problem for people with autism, even those who are diagnosed as “high-functioning.” Everybody want to belong, to connect with others, and to be understood. Developmental models such as RDI® may help people with autism bridge the gap, and lead to a higher quality of life.

BRITTAIN BULLOCK’S BLOGSPOT

I FOLLOW QUITE A FEW BLOGS THESE DAYS… AND FIND MANY POSTINGS QUITE INFORMATIVE AND ILLUMINATING.  SOME I RESONATE DEEPLY WITH; OTHERS, NOT SO MUCH — BRITTAIN’S BLOG HAS INDEED CAPTURED MY ATTENTION.

IT’S BRIEF, PITHY YET PROFOUND STYLE HAS AN AUSTERE QUALITY — BUT OFTEN DRAWS ONE INTO A JACOBIAN STRUGGLE  WHICH CHALLENGES OUR MOST DEEPLY HELD BELIEFS AND VALUES.  WELL WORTH FOLLOWING!!

BRAVO, BRITTAIN!!

http://brittianbullock.wordpress.com/