Monday, May 23, 2016

LightingtheWay: #Panic Attacks, #Meltdowns and #Autism

Autistic Panic Attacks and Meltdowns

Welcome back to Lighting the Way: Teaching the Gifted Child. It's been awhile since I have last posted in this series. I was preoccupied with things that were happening my life. I'm so grateful that I am back to daily posting on my blog. 

Meltdowns and anxiety attacks are common for Autistic children and adults to experience. Yet, often times, the public doesn't understand the difference nor what to do when the person is experiencing one.  Daily life can be overwhelming, especially for Autistic children and adults. Understanding the difference between the two can help anyone who cares about person with Autism. 

Panic Attacks

Many people think a meltdown and an anxiety attack are the same thing because they oftentimes exhibit the same symptoms. Yet, when fully examined, they are not. Panic attacks occur suddenly. The DSM - IV defines someone having a panic attack with having the following symptoms. 

1. Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
2. Sweating
3. Trembling or shaking
4. Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
5. Feeling of choking
6. Chest pain or discomfort
7. Nausea or abdominal distress
8. Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
9. Feelings of unreality or being detached from oneself
10. Fear of losing control or going crazy
11. Fear of dying
12. Numbness or tingling sensations
13. Chills or hot flushes

Panic attacks occur due to a misfiring in the brain. Every human has a fight or flight response to stressful situations. A panic attack when the brain mistakenly believes their is an imminent threat to a person's life. Yet, there really isn't one. It mistakenly releases the stress hormone, norepinephrine, into the bloodstream. The hormone causes the person's heart rate and blood pressure. It also causes the person to experience an overwhelming fear/dread and panic. It can take up to three days for a person to fully recover from a panic attack.


 Meltdowns, on the other hand, happen as a result of a gradual increase in the person experiencing stressful or anxious factors. These factors build upon each other until the person experiences a meltdown. It's important to understand that a meltdown is not a temper tantrum. Temper tantrums are controlled by the person while a person in a meltdown has no control over their mind and body. The may not remember afterwards what they said or did. The meltdowns are not directed towards anyone. People who do not understand meltdowns may accuse the sufferer of being self-centered. While this is simply not true.  

It's important for people to understand that a child or an adult experiencing a meltdown is a threat to themselves and others while experiencing the ordeal. It is also important for people to understand a person with Aspergers or Autism does not grow out of having meltdowns. Meltdowns can happen for a number of reasons.  The duration of them can be sporadic lasting a few months or all in one day. The most at-risk group of Autistics to experience meltdowns have been identified by the Adults with Aspergers chat as having: 

A history of physical abuse or bullying: “Aspies” who were abused as kids have an increased risk for frequent meltdowns as adults.

A history of substance abuse: Aspies who abuse drugs or alcohol have an increased risk for frequent meltdowns.

Age: Meltdowns are most common in Aspies in their late teens to mid 20s.

Being male: Aspergers men are far more likely to meltdown than women.

Having another mental health problem: Aspies with other mental illnesses (e.g., depression, anxiety disorders) are more likely to have meltdowns.

A meltdown will gradually resolve itself. A meltdown can take anywhere from 5 - 20 minutes. The after effects of which causes the person experiencing the meltdown to be tired. It can take a few hours to a day for the person to fully recover from a meltdown. You can learn more about Autism and Meltdowns in Adults.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

#WhatsUpWithAllison: Book Update


Camp NaNoWriMo last month gave me a great start for my next book, Lies and Deceit. I've been spending all of May editing, rewriting and writing the book. It's coming along great. I'm 46,642 words into the book. At the rate it's going I might be longer than Calico, which was around 110K, before the official editing takes place. The next CampNaNoWriMo is in July. I am planning to have this project finished and be working on my next book.

If you haven't read the first book of the Children of the Shawnee series, Calico, you can find it on Amazon.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Mysterious Visitor at #SchoenbrunnVillage

Dear Diary........

This week I am starting something new on my blog. Dear Diary is a diary entry written by one of the characters in my books. It will be featured on my blog every Saturday. 

Today, I am introducing a new character to the world from the Children of the Shawnee series, Betsy Wagner. Betsy is introduced in the second book, Lies and Deceit. Lies and Deceit will be released late summer/early fall.

Betsy lives in Schoenbrunn Village located in North East Ohio. Originally from Bavaria, she and her late husband joined the Moravians at Schoenbrunn soon after it was established in 1772. Her husband passed away from cancer the following year. Betsy had spent years helping her husband in surgeries and caring for his patients. She holds enough medical expertise to have impress David Zeisberger into allowing her to replace her husband's position. 
Betsy healed Hawk Song after he passed out from blood loss and infections in his leg when he came to their village with his dead wife's body. The two eventually fell in love and married. 

In the words of Betsy Wagner........

March 20, 1773

Dear Diary, 

It's only been a few months since my beloved died of Cancer. I have visited upon his grave everyday since we buried him in God's Acre. It's been hard to live without him. My bed is so lonely. Some nights, after the boys have gone to bed, I turn over to speak to him only to realize he's never going to return to my bed. 

I have spent the past few weeks trying to busy myself so I can forget my love and move forward with my life. Yet, its hard to look upon the boys and not see their father. They all resemble him more than I! 

Today was an interesting day for me. The boys and I were dining with Jakob Novak and his family when Brother David had sent for me. I ran to the front of the village. There was a half dead Shawnee man with my good friend, Sarah Light, dead underneath his body. I knew who the man was. Sarah had married a Shawnee warrior last year by the name of Hawk Song Watching from the Sky. He is a handsome man with fine features. He arrived to our village with a gunshot wound in his hip. He was so frail from shock and blood loss I doubted he would survive. I wanted to cry for Sarah. I couldn't believe the fourteen year old girl was dead. Dead from a shot to the head. Chaos had erupted throughout the village. Everyone wanted answers. Obviously, her husband had tried to save her. But what tragedy had brought such destruction to their lives? The worst part of it all was Sarah was large with child! Brother David and Jakob Novak carried the unconscious Hawk Song to my cabin. The Shawnee awoke during surgery and tried to attack me. Thankfully, Abraham Light was there. He calmed the man down so I could finish the operation. The shot had splintered in his leg. I had found fragments in his knee, hip and leg muscle. I had to leave a portion of it in his hip joint. It had been to deep within the joint for me to pull out. I don't know if this man will ever be able to walk again. If not, what will we do with a heathen in our village? How will Brother David return him to his village? If he can't walk, won't he starve? So many questions. I pray God have mercy upon this man's soul, for Sarah and their child's sake. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

#CelebratetheSmallThings: Fun Times in El Paso, Texas

It's been awhile but I'm back to participating in the Celebrate the Small Things weekly blog hop. This week has been an exciting one for me. I spent three days in El Paso with my husband and his brother visiting family. We had a wonderful time. 

My brother-in-law taught me how to shoot a couple of guns. I used a nine and a twenty-two millimeter gun. I didn't quite like the the twenty-two. I think I want to get a nine and learn how to shoot it. All in all, I didn't do so bad with my first try at a shooting range. Here's a pic of the target. I think I killed him.

Last week, I participated in the 2016 Armchair BEA conference. I wasn't only a participate but served as a team member this year. I was hard work doing both but I absolutely loved it. 

I've had a great week with my family and working on my writing. I am currently working on the sequel to Calico. The second book of the Children of the Shawnee series is titled Lies and Deceit. It's coming along nicely. I can't wait to publish it. I'll be posting every Sunday the progress I am making every Sunday with my current writing projects. I'll also be posting announcements. 

Speaking of my blog. Now that I'm back to writing full time I have developed a daily blog schedule. Here's what will be on my blog. 

Sunday - Sunday Post (writing progress and announcements)

Monday - Lighting the Way (gifted education)

Tuesday - Historical and Cultural Post 

Wednesday - Express Yourself

Thursday - Historical and Cultural Post

Friday - Celebrate the Small Things

Saturday - Diary of..... (a diary entry from one of my characters)

The 1st Weds of the Month - Insecure Writer's Group

Friday, May 13, 2016

#ArmchairBEA: Allison's Bruning's Addicted to Books

Allison Bruning's Addicted to Books!

Books. Books. Books. I read 'em. I write 'em. I love everything to do with books! Just to have a library of books like this one....... *sigh*

When I'm not writing on my blog I'm usually writing another book, reading a book, or talking about a book. I'm a book nut.  I am a Goodreads author. I use Goodreads to record my progress in whatever I've been reading at the time. I like interacting with my fans. I love sharing interesting things I've learned about at different speaking engagements, festivals and book signings. 

I love to travel, meet new people and learn new things. Next year, my husband and I plan to travel the country in an RV we're buying. We want to fulltime RV while I'm doing books signings, festivals and more. 

#ArmchairBEA: Beyond the Books

Beyond the Books

I can't believe it's the third day of ArmchairBEA already. Where has the time gone? I've had so much fun so far meeting new people and talking all about books. Today is another great topic of discussion. We're talking about transmedia. Transmedia is the when the same story is told in different medias. Hollywood has been practicing transmedia for years. Most of the films that have been released to the public are based on either graphic novels or books. Gone are the days when writers only need to focus on one art form. If you really want to be successful you have to know how to write in more than one media type. 

There are five major types of media: novels, theatre, film, television and graphic novels. Each of these forms tell the story from a different point of view. Novels allow us to experience the story from the character's point of view. We're inside their heads as they go through the entire ordeal.  Theater portrays the story from a world apart. The audience is watching the story unfold before them through a missing wall. The characters rarely know they are being watched. 

Film and television allow the viewers to experience what is happening at the same time as the characters are. The only way we get a glimpse inside their heads is if there is a voiceover. Voiceovers are rarely used because they can be used too much. Sometimes the crossover from novel to screen can be problematic. You can read more about crossovers here

Some shows and movies based on books have offered the novelist the change to consult on the projects. The amount of say and freedom an author has depends upon the production company.  Diana Gabaldon is a consultant for the adaptation of her Outlander series on STARZ, which gives her some control on the changes the show must make from the books. 

Author George R.R. Martin is a contributing writer for the adaptation of his Game of Thrones series. He had admitted more than once he has made major changes in the storylines from book to screen. Some of the die hard fans of his books don't like the HBO series. In fact, I was reading the other day that Outlander is beating Games of Thrones in the ratings. HBO has responded saying they are going to produce less episodes per seasons. It looks like Game of Thrones is on it's way out. 

What books do you think had good adaptations in other media forms?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

#armchairBEA: Branding and Blogging.

Aesthetic Concerns II

Creating and maintaining a brand that represents what kind of writer you are is important for all authors. I have a personal logo that I use in all my books that depicts my values. 

My logo is of a mother bear with her cubs. I like it because it represents the protective nature I have over the next generation. I'm a born leader, teacher and mother. I love inspiring others to follow their dreams. The female leads in my books are strong, independent and have strong family values. Sometimes I will place my logo on an image to represent the book or series I am promoting. Such as the one below when I am promoting Calico or the Children of the Shawnee series. 

My blog is another place that represents my brand. I write historical romance. The visuals on my blog represent that. I use this banner on my social media and on my blog because I write about the 18th century. I wanted something to represent that. 

The topic I write about on my blog represent an aspect of life surrounding the life and times my characters in my current WIP or my previously published book. I also try to participate in blog hops the relate to history, books or the culture in which I am writing about. 

Branding is very important because it is the first image a reader has to make an impression about you and your work. It's hard work to create and maintain a brand but worth it.