My son Drew was given the diagnoses of Asperger's last January. We have known for a year that this is officially what he has. That it is why he acts the way he does, thinks the way he does and is the way he is.
Each day is different. Some days are okay, some days are happy, some days are sad, some days are way too difficult. Add having my husband gone for lengths of time and I get beyond stressed out sometimes.
What does having a child with Asperger's really mean?
* That if your kid wakes up and something doesn't feel right to him, you better take care of it before he leaves for school. If you don't, it could ruin his whole day. The littlest thing could ruin his day. When my Mom came in late Wednesday night, I told her to wait in my room until he left for school Thursday morning and she could say hi to him after school. Why? Because if he saw her he might freak out and that would make for a horrible day at school. It isn't that he doesn't like Grandma, it is that she isn't normally in our home in the mornings and it takes him a while to get used to her.
* That I worry about him all day at school. If I have a doctor's appointment, I worry that I will have to leave it to go pick him up. I can never 100% relax. I would never feel comfortable leaving Clarksville during the school hours. The frustrating thing about this is over the last six months of school I have only had to go pick him up three times. Yet I still worry about it. I worry I will commit to something and then have to back out of it. A few weeks ago I was watching my friend's daughters in the early afternoon but we had to set up a backup just in case.
* That regular parenting rules don't always apply. I hear people talk. About kids who hit. Kids that don't listen. Kids that need to be spanked. Makes me cringe sometimes. Because of the way Drew is, normal parenting rules simply don't apply. He isn't telling me no because we never discipline him. In fact, before we knew what was wrong, we explained it by feeling like he was a kid who had parents who gave him everything he ever wanted and never said no. When in reality we weren't like that. It was extremely frustrating. I am finding that the older he gets, the more he understands that he isn't going to get everything he wants right when he wants it. And then when he doesn't, it isn't the end of the world.
* That I am careful about who we hang out with. Not everyone is understanding. I need safe people. I need to hang out with people who can understand that sometimes Drew doesn't act like a regular 6 year old. I am thankful that I have found a good support group here. At least for now. Being a Military community, everyone moves but for now, we have some amazing friends here at Ft. Campbell.
When you have a special needs child, you see the world a little differently. What was important to you as a new Mom, probably doesn't matter much anymore. I know that over the years my son will learn more about how to act. This makes me feel good and gives me hope that he can live a normal life.