Asperger's Syndrome

You know I have been irritable. I have been praying. I forget everything you know, and then I just forget to be practical. Schooling has been hard for me lately, as I have confessed. I have just gotten used to the fact that my oldest son has Asperger's Syndrome and I have dumbly not taken any of this into account. My son has actually been diagnosed with this five years ago and since he has made tremendous head way I just get used to the strange behaviours and count them as normal. It is weird how we just let things slip in our lives unnoticed. I let myself forget that my child has a disorder. I don't take these things into account when I am losing my patience.

So, I started looking up AS again, and looking up another strain of Autism that he has called Hyperlexia. He was born knowing how to read. I did not teach him. No one did. He has been reading since 2 or 3 and at four or five used to be able to sit and read Dr. Suess books to a friend as they sat down after hard play. So, naturally, Hyperlexia is this obsession with letters and numbers and also knowing how to read at an early age without being taught. I know that sounds crazy. I could go on forever about this subject, but I will not bore you.

So, yesterday I checked out books on how to homeschool challenging children, Asperger's Syndrome, and the like. My oldest, I forget, loves to look at the books I get. He is always interested. He asked who has this syndrome and why I was reading it. I just answered his second question. I told him I was interested. I did not know if it was ok that I tell him yet. Lately he has been noticing how different he is. He tries to tell me how he can't express himself, how he is misunderstood, and how his brain just does not think about certain things when he wants it to. He knows that he does not get humor either. He is socially handicapped. He has no clue sometimes how to act and is easily taken as a "rude kid."

I talked to Mr. Wilhelm about it last night after going over some of the material I checked out. I told him that I thought he was old enough to know what he has. So, this morning my oldest came to me again and said to me, "Mom, you have to tell me about this Syndrome."
I was really surprised he was so insistent on just knowing what it was about.
I told him straight. I said, "It is called Asperger's Syndrome and you have it."
"What? I have it? I thought so."

Pretty easy. In fact, when I told him the details of it, he was so relieved, I can not tell you. He has difficulties tying his shoes, riding bikes, he is clumsy, and he never knows when things are funny. I told him that there is a really good thing about it that he should consider. I let him know that as "stupid" as he sometimes thinks he is, he is actually highly intelligent and "highly gifted". He said (but not with the same words) that it was a good "trade off". He has a really realistic view of himself. He may not express it the correct way, but I know what he means. So, I have discovered that he is very sharp with the computer and just like I encourage him to look at medical manuals (I got him a book at the library on Microbiology---he loves science) I will encourage his computer skills by first giving him lessons in typing. He started today and could not get enough of it.

I guess all this time I have been gradually ignoring the fact that he struggles with this disorder. I treat him like he is by the world's standards, "normal" and I can not do that any more. I have to treat him like he is the individual that he is, otherwise he will not be able to learn if I don't apply it in that manner. Poor kid. I have been trying to fit him into a circular container when he was always a triangle. I think that would make any woman attempt to pluck every hair out of her head.

1 comment:

Funky-Redhead said...

You know what I mean!!!
We are experiencing many of the same things! Bran is in 4th grade and still struggles with tying his shoes. It has somethig to do with the fine motor issues. Handwriting is also a challenge for the same reason. I wonder if your son wouldn't really benefit from the tips on "Carol's Web page," that I mentioned in a blog the other day? we had to figure them out for ourselves, but she has published, them very eloquently. www.sizzlebop.com then to Carol's page