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The Glossary of Life on the Other Side of the Wall

 I realize not everyone has read my book and not everyone has time to read every single post of my blog. This page is a quick way to understand the concepts I may reference or the people I may refer to. This is a quick way to learn the concepts, but of course reading the full chapters in my book, or the stories put forth on my blog will be a way to fully understand the concepts or people:

Kansas: This concept made it as the title of my book Finding Kansas. The Kansas concept was written in a chapter entitled "Situational Handicap". I learned through my job as a race director and flagman that when I was in an element that I loved I was much more functional and everything made more sense. From this I defined Kansas as "The activities, concepts, or interests that a person on the spectrum is supremely interested in". Most people on the spectrum have an area of defined interest and I define that as Kansas.

Alias: When I have a role to play I am able to speak and move with much more ease. I worked at a video game store and had no problem interacting with customers because that was the role I was playing. I was the "Game Advisor" and knew the rules and limitations of my position. Then, and now, when I was simply a customer I was/am almost paralyzed at interacting with staff because I am just myself. This is the Alias factor. When I give a presentation I am, "Community Education Specialist for TouchPoint Autism Services" and when I am at the race track I am "flagman". By playing a role I have rules to fall back on and I know what is expected of me.

Cement Theory: This is the ultimate concept to describe why early intervention is key. Imagine the mind on the spectrum as wet cement. Over time cement begins to harden and however it sets is how it will stay. Working with cement while it is wet is much easier than when it is hard, and so too is working with those on the spectrum.

I Think Therefore You Should Know: "What, you don't know this? I know it! How don't you know it?" The previous quote is a prime example of the way my mind thinks. If I know something, or can do something, then everyone can. I can become frustrated when others don't do something with the ease that I can or know the knowledge I know because if I know it I assume everyone does. When telling a story to a friend I have to step back and forcefully think, "wait a second, they weren't there" or I risk giving big gaps in my story. One time I got mad at a friend over Xbox Live as I mentioned something that happened at a kart race in Iowa. He lives 1,000 miles away from Iowa and the race was no televised so there was no way he could have known anything about the race, but until I thought it through I was a bit snippy with him. I knew what had happened, then he should have too.

Positional Warfare: If I am not in Kansas and don't have an Alias I may be exhibiting signs of a Positional Warfare. If you have heard the phrase, "Uncomfortable in one's own skin" this may be a time one is in a positional warfare. What this is, exactly, is not knowing how I should have my body in the space that I am in. What this means is, well, should I have my arms folded? Crossed? At my sides? My posture should be? The angle of my legs? With all these questions I am unable to get comfortable and I will just keep moving my body about trying to find that position that I no longer feel like my insides are going to jump out. Another way to describe it is an itch that can't be scratched yet one keeps trying.

Videographic Memory: This is the way I describe my memory. Instead of thinking in pictures, or words, my memories are very much like a DVD that has a narration track. I am able to see all the events of my life with narration. I must admit it is kind of cool, but the downside is that memories can stay with me a long time because I can literally see it in my mind as if it had just happened. I thought everyone had a memory like this up until last year (see, I think therefore you should know).

Emily: Emily is a girlfriend I had for several years. We met at bowling and continued to bowl. I make several references to her on my blog, and I believe fate wanted our relationship to fail. It was from this failure that I became who I am. It was an ultimate fail of a relationship though as I broke up with her on Christmas via text message. Yes, I do know just how bad that is.

TouchPoint Autism Services: My job is through TouchPoint. TouchPoint is the oldest and largest Autism provider in the state of Missouri. I am very much thankful that TouchPoint has given me this stage to do what I do. For more information on TouchPoint please visit the website.

Again, these are just the shortest possible explanations that I could give and reading my book or blog in detail will give you more light on all the topics. I believe than understanding the Kansas concept is vital because, for a person on the spectrum, Kansas is everything.