The runaway success of this post implies that the headline was not much of an exaggeration. If you're stuck for what to get someone this Christmas, or you missed the Christmas post, I can't think of a better (or a cheaper) gift than the gift of how to learn! Recently AutismSpeaks asked on Facebook and Twitter what 5 things that people would tell parents right after their child was diagnosed.
So having boiled it down to one answer, which encompasses them all but is still a little too vague entirely on it’s own, I will broaden it out to answer the original question: what 5 things would you tell a parent right after their child is diagnosed with Autism?
The scariest part of getting the diagnosis is that most of us really don’t know what Autism actually is at the time and so our minds start racing about all the things that must be wrong with our children and all the ways their future is going to be impacted. This has to be your second step because early intervention is the key to helping your child overcome Autism and live a productive life. The sooner you find the best places to go for help, the sooner you can get in the door to talk to them. Also, some places will take you but not until after you’re approved for funding, or some other stipulation and again, applying right away means you get the paperwork done faster.
If it’s a nutritionist, ask for a list of essential foods to try for, ask for suggestions on how to get a picky eater to eat the things they have to instead of just what they want to. The one good thing about Autism being everywhere is that there are so many people out there going through similar situations. Children with Autism are extremely diverse and you’re very likely to find parents that have children that are extremely low functioning, some that are high functioning, some that have had made great progress in getting their children developing and even some poor parents that have had their child regress.
On top of all that, unlike most parents that are forced to become doctors, psychiatrists, chauffeurs, banks and so forth, you’re also going to have to become a researcher, scientist, psychologist, therapist, nutritionist, supporter, event manager and even more. It sounds pretty daunting actually, but the good news is that even though it does happen pretty fast, it’s still not over night. No matter how busy you become, don’t be too busy to put it all aside and play with your child.
I’m still not nearly at the super-hero stage, so I guess the only thing that I would add is that it could take years before you reach that status! This post is awesome…I would have loved to have read something like this when I was first being thrown into this new world. I am on the stage of shocked when the psychologist say that my daughter might have light symptoms of autism. It’s difficult to give advice as everyone in the world has different levels of services available to them. However, I can say that if you want to move forward, an official diagnosis will go a long way.
In ProVoke, I talk about the necessity to be uncomfortable before we are ready to disrupt and innovate. So, I needed to find supporting thoughts around the link between learning agility, innovation and leadership. I recently came across a fascinating area of research from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), a division of the American Psychological Association. The implications for learning agility on innovation are profound, because learning and adapting are the lifeblood of innovation. This entry was postedon Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 at 12:11 pmand is filed under Blog, Innovation.
Today we have Dan, hailing from Chinese Breeze, talking about how to start learning Chinese and how to keep going if you’ve already reached a high beginner or intermediate level. So you wanna know where to start when learning Chinese, or how to gain momentum and push through to fluency?
Despite being only a mere mortal like yourself (in that I am not yet fluent in Chinese, – but it is only a matter of time) I am quite experienced in learning languages and have developed strategies and techniques that have saved me literally hours, days, months, maybe even years.
Okay, so, if I could impart only one thing on you it would be that confidence is half the battle.
Chinese is not harder, Chinese is just far more different to English than most European languages are. Although the sometimes vicious debate present amongst the language learning community would have you believe otherwise (I’m looking at you, Steve and Benny), there is no hard-and-fast rule to language learning. Here is what I would advise for those beginning their Chinese studies, and for those already on the path. Get some materials. Textbooks are okay, as long as they have dialogs with a recorded version.
Jason – your situation, in which you are better at speaking than listening, is particular, although not uncommon. I’m hoping to take a standardized Chinese test so I can get a good idea of my level soon and use it as a motivator.
Chinese isn’t hard (compared to other languages) but just like any language the grind of trying to get from basic to advanced takes a lot of commitment and time.
The culture is interesting, Lots of interesting traditions, still struggle to make sense of it.
I mean, from a Chinese language perspective, Taiwan seems to be a drawback due to the traditional characters. I originally came out here to teach English and was drawn by the higher wages here than the mainland and the good reports of others who had taught here. As far as benefits go, the standard of living is generally higher here, manners can be slightly better and there is no censorship. Since you’ll already be familiar with Chinese characters (I presume), this will definitely make your job easier.
Don’t forget that you are never too busy to learn a language, and almost everyone has enough unharnessed time in their day (on the train, washing dishes, walking the dog, etc) to easily have enough time to learn both Japanese and Chinese. You may be worried that spending time on Chinese might make you lose some of your ability in Japanese – but from my experience this is not that case. Did you learn tones by learning individual syllables at first and then building your way through words and longer sentences? Learning Chinese is a pretty good thing to do at the moment, theres just no good jobs at home(Spain).

The best part is the pinyin entry on Google keyboard doesn’t require the tone marks, so what I can remember can be texted from my phone or posted in social media in Chinese characters. Not being able to quickly acquire any vocabulary on your own is the most frustrating thing in my opinion and it quickly kills all my motivation.
Good point, reading a Chinese text can make it a bit more difficult to look up words, although technology has not made it much, much more easier to deal with this issue. Thank you so much,but if I could have a good friend to have a conversation with that would be great. The course  which is offered by The University of California San Diego is four weeks long and begins on 2nd January 2015. The trick to learning fast is that  you skip the learning and start doing the thing you want to learn.
If you walked 24 hours a day, and wore levitation boots you would arrive in London in 1833 hours. We start going through our memory files trying to think of every single thing we’ve ever learned or heard about relating to Autism. That is to say, you may have speech therapy appointments once a week which help a lot, but how much more would it help if it was daily instead of weekly?? They are professionals but they can only do so much because it’s not just your child that needs them. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive.
You might be able to get by without it with some people but you’ll hit a lot of roadblocks.
Your doctor likely won’t be able to do it but they should be able to refer you to someone that can.
We need to be uncomfortable because pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone is hard work and is unsettling. According to the SIOP, learning agility is an individual’s ability and willingness to learn from experience. While institutions vary in their definitions of learning agility, the SIOP offers a useful calculus of learning agility. Innovating demands that leaders envision the impossible, seek challenges as opportunities, and learn from their mistakes. While Dan’s post is primarily aimed at learners of Chinese, he has a lot of awesome advice that can be applied by those learning any language. These I will share with you today, so that you may learn from my past mistakes and less time studying and more picking up Chinese chicks! It’s actually a good stage to be at, because it is clear what needs to be done for you to push through to the next level. I’m definitely at a solid intermediate level now as progress is really hard to notice. A lot of people here pleased to meet people trying to learn the language and make an effort. Their questionable relationship with China (if you ever have dealings with the Chinese government in the future that might be a problem) and other things are also definitely considerations. I guess my biggest excuse to avoid learning Mandarin, a language I’ve been wanting to learn for sometime, is that I feel devoting time to it will take time away from improving my Japanese.
It seems that as long as you are learning a language, no matter which, your ability won’t really decrease in the others you already know. I have a post coming on learning tones very soon, and I’m curious about your take on it. While obviously one of MANY language learning tools, I found the one-on-one approach (using video conferencing with instructors in China) very helpful. To be fair, though, I do think that the tones make it significantly more difficult to speak. The best way to learn Chinese or any other language is to learn it from those who actually use it everyday. For example, most good online Chinese dictionaries these days let you draw a characters in a box, after which the dictionary finds a list of characters that resemble what you’ve just drawn. Finally, depending on what you look to get out of your Chinese studies, it might be a worthwhile exercise to focus on listening and speaking skills in the first few years of study, thus avoiding the frustration that you have had to deal with. However, there is not much opportunities to speak Chinese with someone who is the native speaker : ( Koncall, a newly released app, is aimed to solve this problem!
Online face to face tutors are good but the reality is if you want to become fluent you do need to practise speaking regularly with native speakers. I’m trying to learn Mandarin and just recently began learning via a language exchange partner. If we did get taught learning techniques, what we were taught probably wasn't actually backed by any research evidence, we were likely told to use techniques such as highlighting, summarizing and rereading that have been handed down unquestioningly through the ages and been shown to be comparatively ineffective. It goes into your virtual portfolio – you can tell about it to your future employer, impress friends, and brag at parties. Talk to your doctors and also hit the information super highway to learn how Autism affects people. In fact, you will likely find a much larger support group online since you literally have the whole world at your finger tips. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance. I say tell them that even though their life is about to become full of new and unpleasant stuff (like the learning, learning, learning + therapy + insurance fighting + education advocacy, etc etc) that it is very important not to give up on family joy and having fun. Learning new things means admitting that we are not experts in all areas and that we are willing to improve our learning agility.
Our ability and desire to learn from experiences determines how much we adapt our behavior and our ways of thinking in response to these experiences. Research has found that a small percentage of the population is naturally high in learning agility. It requires being willing to take risks and being open to experimenting (and failing) as opportunities for reflection and growth.

What seems to be unanimous is that a lot of input in the form of listening and reading is needed at some stage, with output (speaking) following either once a good level of comprehension has been achieved or from the start, in addition to input.
Almost all of the radicals and phonetic components used in characters that have been simplified are also used in traditional. I’ve been studying Japanese for the past ten years, and have lived there for two, but I always feel I should be devoting my time to it rather than starting a completely new language, (with even more characters!).
In fact, you may even find your ability in Japanese continues to grow, especially if you still spend some time on it.
You will be able to pick up new words easily in Japanese because you already know and read them in Chinese. I haven’t been to the school (Omeida) myself but a few of my friends have and say its pretty good. Especially from those who use it in a formal manner, like businessmen, because they use it in accordance with the rules.
Even if you are familiar with the radicals you will have trouble finding quite a lot of words. The good thing is that once you already speak a language, it’s much easier to learn how to read it, even with a language such as Chinese. I have started to learn chinese characters using Anki and try and recognise the characters I have learnt in the subtitles for tv shows and also in signboards everywhere. Our online process is the most convenient method of learning the language than the traditional classrooms with desks, books, instructor and white boards.
However, I don’t have any friends or family that know the language and I feel my tones are way off.
As you learn the signs, symptoms and effects it has, you’ll begin to recognize them in your child.
Yes, we all have great excuses why we don’t learn new things (if we are willing to be honest)! In other words, adaptation from critical experiences requires learning from such events, which in turn requires being able and willing to learn (learning agility).
So, companies can screen for agile learners based on stable traits related to learning agility, and increase their flow into the leadership pipeline. And it cannot happen without agile awareness of what is happening in the innovative ecosystems all around. The intermediate phase is really the one where you got to put a double amount of effort and never give up despite not seeing any apparent progress, or not fast enough. So even if you have never seen a certain simplified character you can often instantly know from its radicals and context which one it is. But enough with excuses, thanks for the strategies, links and ideas in your post, I think it’s time to finally get started.
I am not sure whether it is a good strategy though and should I focus on learning vocab and how to speak first? Our tutors are certified and have professional working experience in teaching Chinese as a foreign language to overseas learners by using a mix of Chinese and your local language. You’re going to stand up and make sure that people are treated far better than they have been, when before you might have let it go or just said something without getting too involved. But, here is the reality: the rate and intensity of innovation is directly related to our agility and willingness to learn. I suggest that all leaders take a moment to stop and consider how agile a learner they really are. I’m soon to write an entire post over on my own blog dedicated to explaining the importance of mini goals.
In the next couple of days I will be writing a post about 1 month challenges and how great they are – as my first 1 month Chinese challenge (listening to an hour a day, everyday) is about to be completed. Plus you can not always identify which words are one, two or three syllables since there are no spaces. We have designed flexible online learning lessons for learners at all levels from all over the world. Innovation does not happen in a vacuum, and it does not happen because we mandate innovation to others. In fields that are rapidly changing and require a high degree of adaptation, such as technology and business, learning agility has a major impact on performance. In addition, companies must rigorously develop the key skills and habits of learning agility among all of their current or potential leaders.
The learning topics span across rich subject matters such as business, travel, culture and news. Individuals (and companies) high in learning agility, who can and want to learn and adapt from experiences, whether positive or negative, often outmaneuver less agile competitors. In short: Even after just a few weeks I feel like I can understand way more in Korean than in Chinese.
Please contact me at [email protected] for the instructions on how to start your free 30 day trial. The concept of learning agility is most often applied to leadership, because the vision, attitudes and ability of leaders often guide the direction of their companies. A combination of these “select” and “develop” strategies is critical, because while the number of existing agile learners is limited, the potential to develop agility in existing and future leaders is boundless. In general, you want your comprehension to be higher than your speaking ability in order to have the best accent and grammatical accuracy possible. I would estimate that the average person has about 1-2 hours a day of dead time, this meaning time they do NOTHING else.
If you studied Chinese only in the time you otherwise would be wasting, you will see massive progress.

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