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List of websites with bullying resources [05 Sep 2010|09:09am]


Hello everyone,

You can find websites with information on how to deal with bullies here (along with information on laws, nation wide strategies, policies and teaching materials): http://www.bullying.com.au/links/index.php

Hope this helps you in some way!
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How to help someone who is thinking about committing suicide [19 Dec 2009|04:18pm]

This post was edited to add: this post was crossposted from my livejournal blog.

Hello everyone,

Please read the information below. It is from this website:


The information from the above website link has instructions on how to help someone who is thinking of committing suicide.

The text in italics below is from the above website:

Lifeline has developed these Five Top Tips to assist you to connect with other people:

1. Be receptive

Take the lead, show initiative and ask: “Are you OK?”
Put the invitation out there: “I’ve got time to talk”
Maintain eye contact and sit in a relaxed position – positive body language will help you both feel more comfortable
Often just spending time with the person lets them know you care and can help you understand what they’re going through

2. Use ice breakers to initiate a conversation

Use open-ended questions such as “So tell me about...?”, which require more than a “yes” or “no” answer
You may also like to use the following questions to start a conversation:
“You know, I've noticed that you've seemed really down/worried/stressed for a long time now. Is there anyone you've been able to talk to about it?”
“Lots of people go through this sort of thing. Getting help will make it easier”
“I hate to see you struggling on your own. There are people that can help. Have you thought of visiting your doctor?”

Read more...Collapse )


1) If the conversation you are having escalates to a point where someone says they are thinking about suicide, unless your trained, people should seek the assistance of a trained professional, that could be a local doctor, or counselling service, or if the need is immediate, Lifeline on 13 11 14

2) If the situation is life threatening in any way, then they must call 000 straight away (in Australia).
In other countries: if the situation is life threatening you must call the police (dial 911 if you are in America).
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Tool kits on how to help people going through a crisis [19 Dec 2009|04:11pm]

Hi everyone,

You can find information from this Lifeline website on how to help people experiencing a crisis:


The above link has information toolkits on how to help someone who is experiencing these things:

-natural disasters (bushfires, drought)
-mental illness
-considering suicide
-domestic violence
-panic attacks

The toolkits are aimed at Australian people, so they contain information on Australian services. They are written in simple English. The toolkits also contain useful information that anyone can use.

Edited to add: This post was crossposted from my livejournal blog.
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How to protect yourself from scammers - Part 2 [02 Jun 2009|04:41pm]

Hi everyone,

Below is some information on protecting yourself from scammers. The information in italics comes from this website:

Protect your identity

  • Only give out your personal details and information where it is absolutely necessary. For example, only give out personal information where you began contact with someone and trust them. Personal information is information that includes your birthdate, address, medical details, financial status, work history, contact details (such as phone number or email address).
  • Destroy personal information. You should cut up, burn or shred old bills, statements or cards so scammers can not get your personal details from them later.
  • Treat your personal details like you would treat money: don’t leave them lying around for others to take.
  • Order a free copy of your credit report every year to make sure no one is using your name to borrow money or run up debts.

Sending or transferring money

  • Never send money to anyone that you are not totally sure about.
  • Do not send any money or pay any fee to claim a prize or lottery winnings.
  • Money laundering is a criminal offence. Money laundering is when somebody tries to ‘launder’ money they have earned from a crime to make it look like it came from a legal source. They do this by putting the money through a series of bank accounts to hide its original (and usually illegal) source. Do not agree to transfer money for someone else.
  • Make sure that cheques have been cleared by your bank before transferring or wiring any refunds or overpayments back to the sender.
  • Do not pass on chain letters or take part in pyramid schemes, as this will make you lose your money. Chain letters ask you to send a small amount of money to everyone listed in the letter. You then put your name on the list and send out copies of the letter to as many people as you can. The letter claims that by doing this, you will receive a large amount of money in a short space of time.

    Chain letters are illegal and are a type of pyramid scheme. The only people who have any real chance to make money are the people who start the scam.

    Pyramid schemes

    What is a pyramid scheme?

    Pyramid schemes are illegal and very risky ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes that can cost a lot of people a lot of money.

    Promoters at the top of the pyramid make their money by having people join the scheme. Then they take the fees and other payments made by those who join under them.

    In a typical pyramid scheme, a member pays to join. The only way for the member to ever recover any money is to convince other people to join up and to part with their money as well.

    People in legal multi-level marketing earn money by selling genuine products to consumers, not from recruiting members.

    Be aware though: some pyramid scheme promoters hide their true purpose by introducing products that are overpriced, of poor quality, or hard to sell.

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How to protect yourselves from scams - Part 1 [14 Apr 2009|01:18pm]


(Cross posted from my livejournal blog):

Scams are fraudulent business schemes that cheat people of their money.

Card skimming is when someone copies your credit card/ATM card information illegally. Once your card has been skimmed, skimmers will use your credit card/ATM card information to create a fake copy of your card.

Some scammers use card skimming for stealing your personal details and bank account numbers. They then use this information to commit identity fraud.  Stealing your personal details allows scammers to borrow money or take out loans in your name.

  Use the information from the ACCC's (Australian Consumers and Competition Commission's) Scam Watch's website at http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/694076 to avoid becoming a victim of different types of scamming.

The following text in orange is from the Scam Watch website:
  •  signs that skimming is occurring:

    • A shop assistant takes your card out of your sight to process your transaction.
    • You are asked to swipe your card through more than one machine.
    • You see a shop assistant swipe the card through a different machine to the one you used.
    • You notice something suspicious about the card slot on an ATM (e.g. an attached device).
    • You notice unusual or unauthorised transactions on your account or credit card statement.-----------------------------------------------
  • Keep your credit card and ATM cards safe. Do not share your personal identity number (PIN) with anyone. Do not keep any written copy of your PIN with the card.
  • Check your bank account and credit card statements when you get them. If you see a transaction you cannot explain, report it to your credit union or bank.
  • Choose passwords for your bank account that would be difficult for anyone else to guess.
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Etiquette for buying groceries [02 Mar 2009|12:30pm]


Grocery etiquette

Usually there is a trolley or a small basket near the entrance of a grocery store or supermarket. Use a trolley if you are going to buy a lot of items. You can also use a trolley if you aren't strong enough to carry the items you want in a basket. At Woolworths supermarkets, there are also express lanes (where you can pay for your items, if you have 15 items or less).

When you are waiting at a checkout, there are small bars you can use to separate your groceries from another shopper's groceries. Place down the small bar between your groceries and theirs. This will help the checkout person avoid confusing your items with someone else's groceries.

At the checkout, place chemicals (like detergent, soap) together. Place cold items together. Place hot groceries together. Keep chemicals separate from food (as they could contaminate food). Keep cold groceries separate from hot groceries.  

You can pay for groceries by using either a credit card, EFTPOS (at BigW supermarkets) or cash.

Let the checkout person know if you have a supermarket customer/discount card (at Woolworths or Franklins). If you do have such cards, you can get a discount on grocery prices. If you don't have such cards, you can apply for getting them. Ask your local supermarket if they have any discount/customer cards, and how you can apply for getting them. 

If you used a grocery store's basket for carrying your groceries, return it to where the baskets are kept. Baskets at Woolworths and Franklins are normally kept near Checkout sections.

Please remember to return your trolley to the trolley bay. Trolley bays are found within carparks near supermarkets.  

Where you can get cheap groceries:

Aldi stores in NSW, Australia have very cheap prices for groceries. At Aldi stores, you must bring your own cardboard boxes to carry groceries. This is because Aldi does not supply bags for putting groceries in. Franklins has the next cheapest prices for groceries. Woolworths' groceries can be a bit expensive.
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Dating Etiquette [22 Jan 2009|06:23pm]


The following text in italics is from this site: http://www.topdatingtips.com/dating-etiquette.htm I've listed the ones that I think are most relevant/important:

Turn up for a date unless you have given enough time for it to be canceled. Standing someone up is not acceptable adult behavior, and shows contempt for your prospective date by wasting their time.

Arrive on time. If you cannot avoid coming late, then phone your date to let them know you will arrive late. 

Smoking and drinking a lot on dates are no good, unless the you and your date both love doing these things.

Do not be opinionated or arrogant on a date. Try to avoid discussions on politics and religion in the early stages of dating.

Be a listener and do not talk too much.

Make an effort to be fresh and smell good. Be shaven, bathed and smell very good.

Never try to sleep with your date on the first occasion by any method.

Here are some dating tips from Kathy Buchanan's book Charm School:

-Don't eat messy foods like spaghetti. But remember to eat something if you're going to a restaurant (or your dating partner may feel uncomfortable).

- If you don't feel like eating on a date, then mention this to your dating partner before the date. Also remember to mention to your dating partner what foods you are allergic to, and if you're a vegetarian (if your dating partner is booking seats at a restaurant)

-Discuss with your dating partner who pays for the meals (before you order food). If your partner offers to pay for you, then please accept this offer. If they expect you to split the bill, then please do so. Carry lots of notes and coins in your wallet to avoid problems with paying for a meal on a date.

-If you must cancel a date, cancel it in person, or on the phone. Give plenty of notice (don't do it at the last minute). Never cancel a date by email or text message, as this is considered to be too impersonal and rude for cancelling dates.

-If your dating partner orders food and drink for you without asking what you want, then consider (a) telling them to stop doing this, or (b) not dating them. This is because they may order food for you without asking in the future. Ordering food and drink for you without your permission could be a sign that they'll boss you around/do things for you without consulting you.

-The exception to this rule is if you are travelling overseas, you don't speak the local language and you want a surprise sample of the local cuisine (in a case like this, it is acceptable for your dating partner to order food without asking what you'd like to eat).
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Hair Salon Etiquette (from Kathy Buchanan's book) [02 Jan 2009|04:47pm]


You can find information on hair salon etiquette at this site:


 The following information in italics is from the above website (and it refers to hair salons in USA):

(Or no more than 15 minutes late.) "I schedule my haircuts every 45 minutes," says Louise O'Connor, owner of OC 61 Salon in New York City. "Once we're 15 minutes past your appointment time, there is no guarantee you'll be accommodated. But a call to the salon is appreciated nonetheless."

"If it's the first time you're seeing a stylist, dress up a little," says Kevin Lee, creative director of the Kenneth Salon in New York City. This allows a stylist to get a sense of your personal style, so he can give you a cut that works with it. Along those same first-date lines, limit your revelations. Although having someone run his fingers through your hair is disarming, you probably shouldn't talk sex, religion, or salary with someone you've just met, whether he's sitting across the table from you or standing behind your chair.

Also, ask what forms of payment they take; not everyone accepts American Express, for example. This can prevent potential sticker shock or an embarrassing confrontation at the front desk after your appointment. If, however, your bill is way more than you expected, don't try to haggle with the receptionist. Ask (politely) to see the manager, who is empowered to do something.

"If you are early [thank you!] or your stylist is running a little late, do not walk up to the stylist, stare down the client in his chair, and start talking about your hair," says Lee. If the stylist is really running behind, however, it is perfectly acceptable to speak to the manager, says Lee. Most will try to appease inconvenienced clients with a free manicure, hair product, or deep-conditioning treatment, says O'Connor.

"I actually don't mind if a client has gone to see someone else," says Luden Henriquez, a stylist at the Rita Hazan Salon in New York City. "If she's back in my chair, clearly I'm doing something right." But most experts say it's still good to come clean-- especially if you've had a chemical service done elsewhere, which could cause an adverse reaction to any new treatment.

Kathy Buchanan's book Charm School has information on Hair Salon etiquette. You can buy the book Charm School online here: http://www.amazon.com/Charm-School-Complete-Etiquette-Handbook/dp/0143001493

Edited to add link to Marie Claire's tips on Salon Etiquette. Information from Charm School deleted due to copyright laws.
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Library etiquette [02 Jan 2009|04:27pm]


To obtain a library card in NSW: Ask library staff how to do this. Normally you will need to fill in a form and provide your personal details to obtain a library card. Bring a form of ID with a picture of yourself (ie Driver's licence, pensioner's card etc.) to show to library staff, so they can verify who you are.

Things to remember while you are at a library:

Speak quietly while you are in a library, as there are people who are studying and reading.

Eating and drinking is normally not permitted in libraries.

People are not allowed to borrow reference books from libraries (but they are allowed to borrow other items).

There are sessions on orientation days that instruct people how to use university libraries (if you are a university student). Contact your university library on the dates of these information sessions.
There are usually computers you can use to browse for library items. If you want to learn how to search for items, or you have problems finding a particular item, ask the library staff for more assistance. There is usually an information desk on the first floor of the library. If not, there is a desk/section with library staff on each library floor.

To print out book pages on library printing machines, you may need a library card. To obtain one, ask library staff how to do this. Some library printing machines require a library key card (like the ones at Sydney University). Others will accept credit cards or coins.

Please try not to rip or soil the pages of a book, as the library has to pay for repairing its books. Please remember to return library items on time. If you forget to do this (as I occasionally do!) ask the library staff if you can have your borrowing time extended (so you can borrow items for longer). People who do not return library items on time will be fined (50cents a day if you're an adult, 20c a day if you're a child, in Bankstown library and other associated branches in New South Wales). If you lose a library item, you will be asked to pay for the replacement of the item.

Borrowing time of items can be extended for up to 3 weeks for a book in many NSW libraries.

Everyone, please feel free to add/correct the information I have typed here.

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Etiquette for travelling on a train or a bus [27 Dec 2008|03:02pm]

When travelling on a train or a bus, please remember to give up your seat for the following people:

-an elderly person
-a pregnant person
-people who carry a big/heavy bag, or several bags 
-people with mobility impairments (e.g. people using crutches)

When travelling on a train or a bus, allow people to leave the train/bus first before you enter the train/bus. Remember to have plenty of coins, so you can pay the for the train/bus fare (without getting the bus driver or train ticket collector to give you lots of change. I used to have problems with this). In the state of NSW, in Australia, train ticket machines will only give you $19.90 change at the most (roughly this amount).

Remember to not put up your feet on train seats (this makes train seats dirty, and some people feel uncomfortable about asking you to remove your feet so they can sit down). Putting your feet on train seats can also get you fined in NSW. Normally, people are not allowed to eat or drink on trains and buses in NSW (doing this can get you fined).

Try not to speak too loudly, so you don't bother other train/bus passengers. If your mobile phone rings, speak quietly. Set your mobile ringtone to a quiet or silent tone, so you don't annoy others or interrupt their conversations (I'm sorry to say I once made the mistake of setting my mobile ringtone to a loud volume, which bothered some people).

Please feel free to add/correct what I have posted here.
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Handling telemarketers and salespeople politely [27 Dec 2008|02:51pm]

ladycatherina mentioned on her blog that she would like to see information on how to deal with telemarketers and salespeople in a courteous manner. So, if a telemarketer phones you and you are not interested in their product, say:

"Thank you, but I am not interested in this product" or 'Thanks, but I'm busy and must go/I'm late for an appointment." Some telemarketers can come off as too pushy, but this could be because they need to attract customers to earn more money. They may be telemarketers because they don't have much money or job experience, and they are just trying to earn a living.

If a door to door salesperson greets you and you're not itnerested in their product, say: "Thank you, but I am not interested in this product right now. If I ever change my mind, I'll contact your company." You are not required to give further reasons for why you are not interested in buying their product.
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How to Protect Your Safety Part 3 [08 Nov 2008|07:39pm]

Ways to respond when you don't want to give out info to strangers

goddess_amy has asked me about how to respond when you don't want to give out personal info to strangers (like when they're asking if you have boyfriend or if you live with someone.)

I think the best way to respond would be to say:

- "Why do you want to know this?"

-"I'd rather not give out that information, as it's personal/private. I consider that to be an inappropriate question."

Feel free to add any feedback or additional information to this post, everyone.
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How to protect one's safety Part 2 [07 Nov 2008|05:05pm]

How to turn down requests to meet somebody

To turn down requests to meet somebody (if you don't want to meet them), say:

- "I'm sorry, but something unavoidable has come up."
-"I've got family commitments."
-"I've got a big project at work coming up."

It is best to use these excuses with someone who is aggressive, stalking you, intimidating you.
Don't meet up with a stranger who asks you personal questions about your love/sex life (For example, questions like "Have you got a girlfriend/boyfriend"), asks you where you work, where you live, how old you are.

How to gently turn down a request for a phone number

Some strangers may ask for your phone number because they have bad intentions (such as wanting to stalk you or harass you). To turn down a stranger's request for a phone number, say:

"I only give out my phone number to my closest family or friends. I also only give out my phone number for work/medical reasons."

Feel free to correct me or add anything to this entry, everyone.
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How to protect one's safety Part 1 [07 Nov 2008|04:38pm]

How to deal with a stalker

A person who is following you/stalking you normally has harmful intentions (for example, they may intend to attack or rob you). To lose someone who is following you, do these things (The following information in italics is fron the wiki-how website http://www.wikihow.com/Run-Away-from-Your-Stalker):

-Tell someone about the problem. Parents, police or a trusted friend. Back your suspicions up with proof and other witnesses. As soon as you notice a stalker that is outside of your workplace or school, always call the police. The least that will happen is that they have a record of problem. This will help you if you need a restraining order in the future.

See if you have a mutual friend or acquaintance with your stalker. Talk to that person and ask them to intercede, and persuade them to leave you alone.

If you have a distinct feature you might try doing something that you usually don't, so you won't be noticed. Wear a different jacket or cap. Walk with a friend to ward off any possible attacks. Some people even cut their hair, etc.

Find the return address of any mail sent to you. If there is none, you can take it to the police, and have them check for fingerprints, so you can identify who this person is.
Pay attention to what halls or places you usually see him/her in. Do your best to avoid these areas, even if it means taking an alternative route.

If you can, walk by a police station, as this will deter the stalker from following you. Change your route often so they will not expect to see you in the same place every day.
Make sure you have a way to spot them from a distance. If you see them, memorize their shirt color and be on the lookout for it. Write down this information.

Keep everything a stalker sends you. Letters, notes,and photos are powerful proof that will help you later. Keep letters in a file, and possibly a list of other things you have received from your stalker. It may sound silly, but essentially, what you are doing is building up evidence for a potential court case, should it come to that. Also, in case anything should happen to you, you will have a record of your stalker's behavior for others to find.

Talking to the person or making eye contact could be dangerous, because they are afraid to talk to you or are trying to hurt you. Take an adult you trust and go face to face with the stalker. Always let someone know where you are going. Or have a policeman question the stalker as to why they are following you. This usually chases them away or establishes a reason why you do not have to fear them

Consider how to defend yourself if you are ever physically assaulted. Contact your gym teacher, or a personal trainer. They will usually help you and give you a couple of pointers. Martial arts schools are abundant these days, and if you cannot afford classes, they usually have offers for a trail period. Usually you can just observe, and try to learn a few things that way.

If this person comes up to you and recites personal things, ignore him/her, walk away from them. Go to the nearest public place(a restaurant or store) and call for help. When this person is starting to make you feel uncomfortable, warn them that you have called for help. Give them a squirt with your perfume or scream to get attention, because you warned them and you're really getting tired of it.

Get a restraining order. If the behavior continues for long periods of time, or you feel truly fear for your safety, contact the police department and they will tell you how to file for a restraining order, and you will have to go before a judge to plead your case. Generally you need at least three(3) pieces of evidence, such as a letter, taped phone call, and/or witnesses that will voice for your claims.

Stalkers are dangerous,do not take the situation lightly.
Do not use mace or a weapon unless you have been trained in how to use them properly. If you are threatened, or if they are trying to hurt you go to a public place and get help.

Check with your local police department to see if you can get their recommendations on self defense.

Don't do anything or go anywhere the stalker tells you to.

Confronting your stalker is not the best idea. While it can sometimes make them back off, it can also make them escalate in their behavior. Either way, it is best to go to the police first.

-Carry a notepad to write down information such as a license plate of a car following you, what you stalker is wearing,etc.
-Carry a file folder. This can help you keep any letters together so you'll have proof if you go to the police.

- Try having a friend or spouse with you wherever you go, so you have back-up if the stalkers attack you.
-Try keeping in places with many people.
-Don't be afraid to tell someone. He or she could be deadly.
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How to Cope well with a Job Interview, [28 Oct 2008|02:46pm]

Here is a link to a website on how to avoid common mistakes in job interviews:


Here is a link to a website on how to answer difficult questions in an interview:


Here is a link to a website on how to answer questions on your weaknesses in your job skills:


How to Cope With a Job Interview:

Arrive 5 to 10 minutes early to the job interview to give the interviewer a good impression. If you do not know how people normally dress at the workplace you are applying for a job at, then ring the interviewer and ask how people normally dress at that workplace.

Give examples of your strengths (what you do best) for the job you are applying for. If you need some time to answer a hard question during the job interview, then say,"Could you give me a few minutes for me to come up with an answer to this question?"

During the job interview: Ask at least 3 questions about the job you are applying for, or the company you want to work with. If you don't do this, the interviewer may assume that you are not interested in the job.

Before the job interview, research the company you want to work for (on the internet, through asking your friends and family about the company). Research the people who will be interviewing you for the job interview, if you know their names. This will help you find what your interviewer likes/dislikes, and it may tell you what kind of job candidate they are looking for.

During the job interview, tell the interviewer why you want to work for their company/organisation. You could say you want to work for the company because it has a good reputation, or you have heard that it has friendly staff members. You could say that you would like to work for the company because it has flexible working hours, chances for study leave, extra job skills training and so on.

Prepare for the most tricky questions and write down the answers before you go for an interview. Main questions often asked include:
-What are your weaknesses (in your job skills, written and verbal communication skills)?
-Why do want to work for this company?
-Tell me something about yourself.
-What are your strengths (what skills do you have that will help you be competent at the job you are applying for)?
-Why did you leave your last job?
-Do you see yourself as a team player? (This means "Do you have good teamwork skills?" Examples of teamwork skills are listening skills, offering feedback and advice to work colleagues in a tactful and assertive manner, helping work colleagues when they struggle with work problems, sharing information, teaching people things, problem solving skills))
Tell us what our company or agency is all about - What is our purpose/product/service?

Before the job interview, practice how you will speak in the interview by having pretend job interviews with a family member or a friend. This will help you answer questions more confidently in the real job interview.
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When A Homeless Person Asks You for Change [19 Oct 2008|05:41pm]

Most people don't really know what to do when someone on the street asks them for change. There is no one "correct" response -- there are several things you need to consider.

1) Do you have any cash on you? If you don't, tell that person: "I'm sorry, I don't have any cash" or "I'm sorry, I don't have any change."

2) If you do have cash, are you going to need that money soon? If you are on a tight budget, and will need that money to buy groceries, school supplies, gas, or other necessities, then it is perfectly appropriate to say: "I'm sorry" and keep walking.

However, if your budget isn't tight -- for example, if you're on your way to see a movie, and you have more than enough cash in your wallet to pay for a ticket and any snacks you might want -- it is kind to give what you can. Take into consideration how much food costs in your area. I'm in Philadelphia, and while $1 only gets you a candy bar, $3 can get you a Chinese meal at a local foodcart. Most people don't give more than $5, although that is not a hard and fast rule. It depends entirely on your own personal budget.

3) If you give them money, try not to let them see in your wallet. Some people get offended if you hand them three dollars but they see you have twenty-five more in your wallet, and they will ask you to give them more. When handing them the money, say something along the lines of: "Here you go. Have a nice day!"

These same considerations apply if a person asks you to buy them some food.

The most important thing, but also the most difficult and awkward, is to acknowledge the person talking to you. These are people in desperate circumstances who are often ignored and avoided by those who are better off. They are often treated like they aren't actually people, and don't deserve the "common courtesies" (a nod of acknowledgement, a smile, a response to a question). You may not be able to give them money or food, but you can treat them like a person.
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Yoga for Aspies [27 Apr 2008|11:49am]

1. Just because the instructor is chanting "Exhale" does not mean "don't *in*hale." The ground assumption is that we're each responsible for our own bodies, and while sie wants you to pay *attention* to exhaling, you'll do what you have to do to keep yourself reasonably oxygenated. Passing out in class is not recommended.

2. If your body comes equipped with testicles and the instructor's does not, sie may not adequately take this difference into account in giving instructions. If following instructions precisely would result in a pinched or crushed testicle, modify the instructions so this does not occur, as loud screaming in class is *also* not recommended. I assume there may be similar issues if your body has breasts and the instructor's does not, but as my body does *not* have breasts I cannot speak from direct experience on this issue.

3. Keeping with the principle of maintaining responsibility for your own body, exhortations to release your control and let your body relax do *not* mean stopping telling your heart to beat. It's supposed to be a self-regulating function, and if you've taken conscious control from the autonomic mechanism, remember to emulate an autonomic mechanism in your functioning.

Cross-posted hither, yon, and to my own journal.
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Ordering from counter restaurants (fast-food places, coffee shops, etc): [20 Dec 2006|01:40pm]

First, it's a good idea to know what you want before you get in line. Usually there will be a big menu above the counter.

In a fast-food restaurant like MacDonald's there will often be pictures of the food as well. Often fast-food places will have "combos," combinations of foods and drinks grouped for one price. These can be confusing, so unless you see a particular combo you really want, it's best to ignore that part of the menu. Decide what foods and/or beverages you want and which size, if it comes in more than one. Stay about ten feet back from the counter while you are deciding, and if people try to line up behind you, say "you can go ahead of me, I'm still deciding." When you know what you want get in line. Have your money in your hand or where you can get at it easily, to save time. If you are going to be eating the food while you travel rather than sitting down to eat it, and you have pills you need to take with the food (lactaids, etc), now might be a good time to take them, if they're chewable. When you reach the front of the line wait for the clerk to look at you, or to say something like "can I help the next person, please?" Step up to the counter, look them in the face if
possible, and order what you want. Sometimes immigrants take jobs in these restaurants when they first arrive, so the clerk may have an accent. Try to listen carefully when they speak, and if they ask you to repeat the order do so. They are not being rude. Also it's hard sometimes because the restaurant has music playing and noise coming from the kitchen, and the walls are usually ceramic tile which bounces the soundaround, but try to be patient.

If there are tables and chairs in the place, after they have taken your order they will ask if you want your food "for here, or to go?" Say "for here" if you plan to sit at one of the tables or "to go" if you're going to leave and take the food with you. When they have keyed in your order, taken your money and given you your change, they will probably set a tray ("for here") or a bag ("to go") on the counter next to the cash register. Step to the side and wait in front of the tray/bag until all the things you ordered have been placed on/in it. If they do not give you paper napkins, straws, plastic cutlery etc and you need these things, look around and there should be some in a dispenser either on the counter or on a small counter elsewhere in the room. Take your tray/bag, thank them and go sit down at a table or leave. If you stay to eat, throw your empty cups, wrappers etc in one of the bins they have and put the empty tray wherever you see that other people have stacked theirs.

If you're in a coffee place like a Starbucks there will not be any trays; they will give you your drink, etc by the cash register if it's something simple; if it's more complicated like a latte they may tell you to go round to the side of the counter and wait for someone there to make you your drink. Do so. There will be a little counter with cartons of milk, etc to put in your drink. If you don't see one you will have to ask the clerk for milk or cream and sugar or sweetener with your drink. If it's a Starbucks or other fancy coffee place they will probably have soy milk but you'll have to ask for it.

When you have your drink you can sit down or leave, since you've already paid for it. Usually in a fancy place you can sit for an hour or more as long as you aren't bothering the other customers, but the less fancy coffee places sometimes have a sign that says you can only stay for twenty minutes because they're afraid people will order one coffee and hang out there all day.

If you are in a sandwich shop and the counter has a plexiglass shield with different foods and condiments behind it, the line-up usually goes sideways from one end of the counter to the other. There should be a "place orders here" sign at the starting end, or watch to see which way the customers are travelling. One of the workers will be making your sandwich in front of you, and asking you what you want on it. This requires more talking but you can point out through the glass what you want them to get for you. Usually if someone's waiting for them to make something complicated and you have something simple that's already done you can skip to the end where you pick up your order without being rude, but watch to see what
other customers are doing if you're not sure.

Some places keep their washrooms locked because they're afraid people will vandalize them. Try the door first or look for a sign that says you need to ask at the counter. If you do just go up and ask someone behind the counter who isn't busy. Don't worry - they get people asking for it all the time. If the washroom door has a remote lock they will send you back to wait in front of it - when you hear them buzz you in, turn the handle. If it has a key they will give it to you. If someone else is using it you will have to wait until they come back with the key. Generally only customers are allowed to use the washroom, so if you have come in just for the washroom you will have to buy something small like a bottle of juice before you ask to use it (a bottled drink or wrapped cookie is best because you can put it in your purse or backback for later.)

This is my basic discription of the main types of counter restaurants. There are probably more details to cover so if anyone would like to add to this section please do.
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Asperger howto books. [21 Dec 2006|12:07am]
Just to let you know, there's another book of this sort being developed over at wikibooks called "a survival guide for people on the autistic spectrum". It is based on a book written ten years ago called "a survival guide for people with asperger syndrome". Both should be freely googlable.

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International Aspergers Year [16 Jan 2006|05:22am]

[ mood | curious ]

FEBRUARY 18, 2006 will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hans Asperger, discoverer of Asperger's Syndrome. Dr. Asperger deserves greater recognition for identifying a major condition that affects people of every land.

2006 also marks the 25th anniversary of Dr. Lorna Wing's paper "Asperger's syndrome: a clinical account," which helped bring AS world attention.

International Asperger's Year, 2006, which marks these two anniversaries, is an appropriate time to:

- Honor the contributions of Hans Asperger, Lorna Wing and other pioneering researchers and clinicians;
- Encourage people who might have AS to seek diagnosis;
- Correct misconceptions about AS;
- Recognize the special needs of adults with AS;
- Publicize Asperger role models and achievements;
- Improve and expand Asperger public services;
- Harness AS passions and talents for positive use;
- Develop AS mentoring programs;
- Salute the parents, families, friends, volunteers, advocates and professionals who work so hard to improve the lives of people with Asperger's Syndrome; and
- Enable Asperger communities around the world to become better acquainted with one another.

Prof. Tony Attwood, Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen, Prof. Uta Frith, Prof. Michael Fitzgerald, Hon. Angela Browning MP, Stephen Shore, Roger Meyer, Michael John Carley, Barbara Jacobs, Prof. Brenda Myles and Jerry Newport have endorsed International Asperger's Year. The Committee for International Asperger's Year, composed of 35 organizations from 22 countries, coordinates IAY.

More information here.

[pinched from xxasimont's journal]

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