Hi there, and welcome to my blog!  This is my very first post, so I’m just going to give a brief intro to myself and to why I have started this blog.  Thank you for reading. 🙂

I am Sally, a homeschooling mother to a wonderful aspie girl, and I myself am also an aspie.  After a lot of struggle, trial and error and deliberation I am finally confident in my parenting style, which I have evolved and thought out myself but which is pretty similar to Unconditional Parenting and Respectful Parenting.  I have many bugbears and things I am passionate about.  Pet hates are childism, weight discrimination and speciesism.  I am passionate about animal rights, human rights and autism acceptance (and anti ableism and ABA).

So why the blog?  It occurred to me recently that I have been pretty much using facebook like a blog.  Prattling on at great length about my beliefs and thoughts and theories – probably boring a lot of my friends, and at worst offending some who don’t share all of the same beliefs as me, or have a different parenting style.  I really don’t want to offend or bore people, so I decided that it might be better to use an actual blog to write about my beliefs (and general prattlings), so that a narrower audience can read my stuff.  So that people can have a choice whether or not to read what I write, rather than having it posted on their walls. 🙂

As for what I intend to blog about, probably mostly about the issues I am passionate about.  My main interests are respectful parenting and autism so I’ll probably blog mostly about those, but I don’t want to limit myself to that.  So I retain the right to post endless photos of my cactus and lithops collection!! 😉

Again, thank you for reading, and have a wonderful day. 🙂




NaNoWriMo 17.5 – Respect


When looking at the definitions of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, it seems there were variations of two themes…

  • a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements…OR…
  • politeness, honour, and care shown towards someone or something that is considered important.

Then there was the shockingly accurate one…the one that you hear way too much about…

Behavior intended to please your parents (Vocabulary.com)

Parents…grandparents…teachers…police…older people…AUTHORITY figures. Period.

Let’s look at each of those in turn…beginning with that last one.

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

Do you know who said that?

Socrates…400 years BC…before Christ…almost 2500…

View original post 475 more words

Snack Box Country Studies Modules North and South Korea – Day 5 – Shamanism

So today’s Korea lesson was about shamanism.  I love religious studies.  I’m fascinated by comparative religion.  So these sorts of lessons are always a bit of a treat for me.  And I so love the fact that my daughter is getting to learn about a wide range of traditions instead of being force fed only one as she would have been at school.

The lesson started off with a gift of Korean Shamanic drums to add to my daughter’s musical instrument collection.  (All hail ebay! 😉 ) She liked them, although found them a bit too loud for her taste, but you could certainly get a feeling on hearing them in use of how using them could aid trance achievement.  

Here is our drum:


So I began by explaining what shamanism is, and how most religions have some form of shamanic tradition.  I then read us this little introductory article:


My dd was quite excited by the fact that my description of shamanism very much described the ‘medicine cats’ in her favourite book series, ‘Warrior Cats’.

We finished off the lesson by watching a mini documentary giving a very brief introduction to Korean Shamanism:

And that was the lesson – very short and sweet. 🙂

Snack Box Country Studies Modules North and South Korea – Day 3 and 4 – Architecture

I like as part of our country studies to do a few lessons on subjects or concepts that are not directly related to the country we are studying – I feel that this is a good opportunity to introduce a broader range of learning.  I suppose in this way I see our country studies partially as a springboard to other topics of study.

So on days 3 and 4 of our Korea module, as an indirectly related subject, we did an introduction to the field of architecture.

We started off the lesson by looking through a ‘book’ I had printed out from the wonderful www.twinkl.co.uk, a company without whom I would be well and truly lost!!! 😉 I use a lot of the Twinkl slide presentations, but instead of using them as slides I print them out, staple them down one side and turn them into mini books.  I do this partially because in this form I can later place them in our home ed scrapbooks, which obviously I wouldn’t be able to do for an online presentation.  So for this lesson we began by looking through the ‘book’ ‘Great Architects Through Time’, from Twinkl:


I say ‘look through’ because I had intended for us to read through it, but I have learnt to ‘let go’ of information if I see that interest isn’t there, as I did on this occasion.  We did however spend some time looking and enthusing at the photos of the amazing buildings.

For the 2nd part of our architecture lesson, I told my dd about the traditional Korean dwellings called hanoks, and how architecturally clever they were / are – how they take the environment and the climate and seasons into account in their design and placement, and maximise available resources.  They were really exceptionally cleverly designed.  

Now for the fun part – we made our own hanok!  We used a kit that I bought on ebay – I did the instruction reading and pressing out, and my dd did all of the assembling.  It took us just under an hour to make our lovely little house, complete with separate rooms and furniture inside.  If you use a torch you can peer in through the doors and windows and see all the detail inside. 🙂



On the 2nd day of our architecture lesson, we made another model!  This time a Korean neolithic settlement, also using a kit bought on ebay.  This one was much simpler to assemble than the hanok, but as much fun!



These models have sparked a great deal of individual activity on the part of my daughter – she has spent hours recreating both models in Minecraft, and recreating the hanok in The Sims! 🙂  In fact we are both so taken by models, that we plan to include them in our lessons much more often! 🙂

Snack Box Country Studies Modules North and South Korea – Day 2

Well, we ended up having a rather long home ed break – of about a month in fact! – due to illnesses and various other circumstances.  So here I am back again, FINALLY having done Day 2 of Korea!!

For this lesson we did a few of the things that we would normally do in the first lesson of a country study.

To begin, I asked my dd if she could try to find North and South Korea on our blow up globe beach ball.  I try to make use of both flat maps and round globes in our lessons, to help the concepts make more sense.


For the second part of our lesson, I read us a two page introduction to the Koreas from an exorbitantly-expensive-and-no-doubt-not-worth-the-money, but oh-so-pretty-and-useful, partwork that I’m collecting. 😉 I have to say that the partwork is definitely veering on the side of ‘avoiding litigation or their headquarters being hit by a rocket’ by being oh so polite and politically correct about North Korea.  It is rather pleasantly described as a ‘single party state based on Communist ideals’, and the wonders of the modern metropolis of Pyonyang are lauded (with not much being said about the countryside!) 😉  Ah well.  DD and I had a bit of fun laughing about North Korea naming itself the ‘Democratic People’s Republic’.  All the politeness notwithstanding, the piece did have some really interesting fillers, such as the number 4 being considered unlucky, and some interesting social dos and don’ts.


The final stage of yesterday’s lesson involved us filling out fact sheets for the countries – I printed out separate facts sheets for each of the Koreas.  I had looked up and noted down elsewhere some of the more tricky answers beforehand (to ward off irritation), but I got my dd to guess or to try to remember from the reading matter some of the other answers.  In addition for this task I always print out thumbnail images of some of the more ‘picture-able’ answers, for example photos of the president, pictures of the national plants and animals, etc.  I place all of these thumbnails in a little box and get my dd to guess where each one goes on the country fact file form.  My dd enjoys the task of googling and drawing the country flag on the fact sheet.


The information that we try to fill in for each country is as follows:

  • Name
  • Nationality (demonym)
  • Flag
  • Continent
  • National musical instrument
  • National colours
  • National fruit
  • National plant
  • National sport
  • National animal
  • Main languages
  • Main religions
  • Currency
  • Form of government
  • Current leaders
  • Capital city
  • Major rivers
  • Seas and oceans
  • Major mountain ranges
  • Favourite snack (i.e. dd’s favourite snack from the snack box)


And there we have it.  That was Korea Day 2.  Hopefully Day 3 will take place later this afternoon, and not in a month’s time!!! 😂

The last socially acceptable prejudice

If anyone else wants to tell me that weight discrimination is not a serious thing, I dare them to become anorexic.  And as they are getting sicker and sicker, hear the compliments they get about their appearance start to flow in, and when they are at the point where they are so sick that they can no longer walk without assistance because their knees keep on buckling, to hear the compliments at their thickest and fastest.


And as they start to recover, to hear the compliments start to trickle, and eventually dry up…


So, now, they are no longer dying, but they are no longer as socially acceptable.  


Anorexia is socially acceptable.


Anorexia is a socially acceptable suicide.


And then, I urge that person to spend the remainder of their life obese.  And to see just. what. exactly. that is like…. Every fucking day.  Every time you go out in public.  The stares.  The way people speak to you as if you are a baby, or are intellectually disabled.  The looks of disdain.  The barely concealed, and often unconcealed, contempt.  And if you are particularly ‘lucky’, the comments and jibes.  People peering into your shopping trolley to see what you eat.  Being asked by a complete stranger if you have picked out a particular yoghurt because it is low fat.  And more direct comments.


If you want science, you can find science easily enough simply by googling.  Scientific studies have shown the following:


  • Weight discrimination against women is as prevalent as racism in the US.
  • Heavier people earn lower wages for the same job.
  • People hire less qualified people with the same characteristics, who are thinner, for the same job.
  • Heavy people are fired faster, and get fewer salary increases.
  • Parents are more likely to help thinner children (in the same family often) with college fees.
  • Parents are more likely to help thinner children with the cost of buying a car.
  • Educators and elementary school teachers exhibit high rates of weight discrimination against pupils, which affects the way in which they include them in class, which affects outcomes.
  • Heavy people receive poorer healthcare from doctors for issues not related to weight.
  • Heavy people avoid things like essential cancer screening due to the stigma they face from doctors.
  • In studies done on sexual attractiveness, heavier people were rated less attractive than people with sexually transmitted diseases and people missing limbs.


Every fucking day.  Every.  Fucking. Day.


(And, as an aside, if people really thought that it was so damn easy to do something about weight in the long term, why the hell do they think that a highly intelligent person, strong willed enough to have once almost starved herself to death, would not have fucking lost the weight decades ago?)

A mad lib ;)

Okay, because I’ve had a completely crap day that needs desperately to be forgotten, I have decided to post something nonsensical – a mad lib that I did last night! 😀

Here it is:


Two Daring Uncles Traversing to the Beat

A Short Story
by Sally

Maria Doodle was thinking about Edward Smith again. Edward was a morose warrior with bony toes and pasty noses.

Maria walked over to the window and reflected on her fiery surroundings. She had always hated hot Mount Etna with its vigorous, violet volcano. It was a place that encouraged her tendency to feel enraged.

Then she saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the a morose figure of Edward Smith.

Maria gulped. She glanced at her own reflection. She was a downtrodden, meek, iced tea drinker with auburn toes and freckled noses. Her friends saw her as a loose, loopy lunatic. Once, she had even jumped into a river and saved a quiet butterfly.

But not even a downtrodden person who had once jumped into a river and saved a quiet butterfly, was prepared for what Edward had in store today.

The lightning teased like throttling rats, making Maria triumphant. Maria grabbed a derelict spoon that had been strewn nearby; she massaged it with her fingers.

As Maria stepped outside and Edward came closer, she could see the miniature glint in his eye.

Edward gazed with the affection of 6779 panicky lively lions. He said, in hushed tones, “I love you and I want revenge.”

Maria looked back, even more triumphant and still fingering the derelict spoon. “Edward, you are a bluebird bubble,” she replied.

They looked at each other with fanatical feelings, like two moaning, melted monkeys climbing at a very decadent graduation, which had death metal music playing in the background and two daring uncles traversing to the beat.

Maria studied Edward’s bony toes and pasty noses. Eventually, she took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” began Maria in apologetic tones, “but I don’t feel the same way, and I never will. I just don’t love you Edward.”

Edward looked obsessive, his emotions raw like a chilly, cold carpet.

Maria could actually hear Edward’s emotions shatter into 7556 pieces. Then the morose warrior hurried away into the distance.

Not even a drink of iced tea would calm Maria’s nerves tonight.


If you’d like to create your own silliness, this is the website:
Enjoy! 🙂

Just how far does my PDA go?


I’ve been thinking recently about just how far my demand avoidance actually reaches, and the answers have astonished me, to be honest.  Certain things that I do in certain ways, and ways in which I react, I have always before considered to be unrelated oddities of my personality, but viewing them now through the lense of demand avoidance they make a lot more sense and are more cohesive.


So I suppose for this blog post it’s probably best to just relate examples.


What first got me thinking about this in the past few weeks was when I was thinking about self-help books.  I was thinking about parenting, and different styles of parenting, the names given to those different styles, and the books first initiating and then expanding upon / marketing those different styles.  It occurred to me that, bar a few baby care and conception books, I have never fully read through a parenting book.  I have bought quite a few along the way, always with the intention of reading them, but I have never actually read more than a paragraph here and there.  Bearing in mind here that my primary hobby is reading – it’s something I do at least daily – and I read primarily non-fiction, this complete omission of parenting books is quite striking.  Especially scene as parenting is something that I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about and theorising about.  Of course, I know exactly why I don’t read them – I DO NOT LIKE PEOPLE TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!!!  I do not like demands, I do not like suggestions, I do not like expectations, I do not like even reading about methods, because to me these feel like something that could become expectations.  Even though I have discovered that my parenting style is similar to certain ‘known’ styles, the thought of categorising myself or aligning myself with something with INSTRUCTIONS or GUIDELINES (read: demands / expectations) totally flips me out.  I insist on doing things entirely my own way.  No matter how difficult or troublesome that may be, and no matter if I need to reinvent the wheel for myself in doing that.


More self help:  exercise routines.  Recently I devised a get fit routine for myself. I briefly considered buying a book, or searching online for a suitable routine, but decided almost immediately (even before searching for anything) that that was NOT a good idea and that I would make up the exercise plan myself, as I normally have in the past with most forms of exercise I have done.  I had to see my gp a couple of weeks ago, and it occurred to me afterwards the intense need I felt to make sure that she knew that my exercise plan was self-made.  I remember telling her, and how I hurriedly told her that it was a self-made plan, as if this fact somehow made the whole idea of having an exercise regime more palatable.  (Which it does, to me.  The idea of somebody else telling me what to do with my body enrages me, to be honest.)  


That’s reminded me of the rather tricky situation I found myself in when I was attending physio sessions after breaking my ankle.  I desperately wanted to heal everything properly, but I encountered a problem during the sessions.  First, she told me to warm up on the exercise bike while she went off to do something, and, I’m afraid, I simply couldn’t.  I tried, I really did, but I could not get myself to do it.  She wanted me to do something with my body, and I simply was not ABLE to force myself to follow through.  (I was well able to do it physically, but psychologically, I just couldn’t make myself.)  Then came practising the actual exercises with her – I struggled to force myself to do each one – I did most of them deliberately slowly and sulkily, and I ended up ‘taking back control’ by telling her that I would do a certain amount (always different to the amount she told me to do) and by doing them in different orders!  I ended up being so appalled by the whole performance, by being told what to do, that I only attended two sessions and quickly rather taught myself to walk at home, on my own.  I know it was silly and counter productive, but it is what it is.  I couldn’t do it.


More ‘self-help’ – (really stretching the meaning of ‘self-help’ here I’m afraid…)  Diets!  Every single time I have ever undertaken a diet, including when I was anorexic, it has been ENTIRELY devised by myself.  Seriously, don’t fuck with my food!!! 😉  I assume this is partially the reason that the idea of deliberately eating healthily makes me so angry too…  (Although a lot of that has to do with anorexia, rejecting societies’ weight prejudice, and the injustice of it all, as well.)  It’s a no-go area.  Demand avoidance reigns supreme here for me! 😉


Another instance in which I prefer to do things myself: face creams.  I make my own.  With no recipe or instructions.  I feel far more comfortable using something that I’ve made myself. Same goes for health care, and herbal remedies.  I’d write out my own prescriptions if I was legally able to. 😉  I feel far better about things if I can work out for myself what I need and go to the gp and ask them for a prescription for that particular thing (instead of having them decide for me), but I’ve learnt over time that that often doesn’t go down very well!!! 😉 So I manage to control this urge (mostly!) these days!!!  I prefer to make my own tea – even if I have teabags I will usually add something to them so I can change the tea and ‘control’ it a bit.


Stuff. Stuff that I buy.  Apart from general groceries, I would estimate that about 50% of the ‘things’ that I buy I buy with a different usage in mind that what is intended for that product.  Seriously – don’t tell me how to use something!!! 😉


Societal expectations.  Oh wow, a huge topic – how to break it down?


Basically – I hate them.  Don’t expect anything of me, in any way.  I find myself deliberately doing things that I know I am expected not to, because it makes me feel better.  Like swearing.  Swearing when it’s inappropriate.  I do it deliberately to make myself feel less controlled.  I often use language that I know isn’t expected, because I don’t like to feel that I am expected to speak in a certain way.  For example academic language – I would be well able to speak in an academic style if I put my mind to it, but I tend to deliberately ‘dumb down’ my language because I hate being expected to speak in a certain way.  One of the things I used to enjoy about smoking was the fact that it was socially unacceptable.


Social conventions, such as forced smiling, forced eye contact, having to answer ‘fine’ when someone says ‘how are you’.  No, no, no, no, no!!!!  I remember as a child, when people told me to smile I would bare my teeth at them.  THAT is how I feel about social conventions.


Fashion.  Any form of following a set of conventions or norms.  It always used to amaze me, with goth friends, how they thought they were original.  Original in what way?  They had simply replaced one set of norms for another.


Religion? Nooooo!!!  I’ve always been spiritual, but I simply could not follow the rules of a church or a tradition.  Quite possibly, I could only ‘follow’ a religion if I had made up the religion myself… 😉


And that is me.  Fiercely, fucking-offly, demand avoidant.