It’s been three months since Drew was diagnosed with Asperger’s. Asperger’s is considered a form of Autism. I have accepted Asperger’s but having a hard time with the phrase, “my son has autism.”
Most parents start hearing about Autism before their child is even born. There are a lot of theories on what causes it. A lot of debate. It is something I have always been afraid of on some level. I think a lot of parents wonder about it. But knowing your kid is considered “on the autism spectrum” is so hard. I guess because when I look at my son I don’t see Autism. I do see a smart and healthy child that has a lot more challenges in life than another 5-year-old might have. Things bother him and I can never wrap my head around why.
A fork falls on the floor and it is the end of the world. I offer him the wrong cereal or the wrong brand of tortillas. I forget to put a napkin in his lunch. His teacher is absent for the day. His brother isn’t playing with the Lego the “right” way. He can’t find the pink nose for the Mr. Potato Head.
Things have to be a certain way for him or it really is the end of the world. I have to remember that his mind thinks so differently than mine. I have to remember that certain things other kids grow out of by age 5 he is still working on. He won’t understand certain things on an emotional level. He will have to learn the “rules” for how to live in society. He will memorize them and then know how to act.
He has a very hard time with “no.” If he doesn’t get something he wants he will spend hours sometimes trying to find a loop-hole to get it. For example he really wanted some Legos at the store. He knew we were going to go to Target on Friday. I told him several times that we could look at the toys but we couldn’t buy toys. Well he tried to explain that Legos were not really toys. When that didn’t work he went on to tell me that I should just put “Legos” on my list since we were only going to buy what was on Mommy’s list. He is super smart and tries so hard to figure things out.
He is also very literal. If we have breakfast and then he asks for ice cream and I tell him, “You can’t have ice cream for breakfast.” He will tell me that he already had breakfast. What I needed to say was that we don’t have ice cream in the morning.
He starts Kindergarten in the fall. We had our first IEP with his new school a few weeks ago and I am very happy with the team who will be working with him. It makes me feel good that we are on the same page. I am worried about the first few weeks of school the most since that is when everything will be so new to him. He has a hard time with new environments sometimes.
I do love spending time with him. He is so creative, I love it! He inspires me in different ways and I love watching him figure things out. He talks a lot about what he knows and although a lot of it can be repetitive, it is nice to see him passionate about things. Some days are pretty average, other days are pretty difficult and every once in a while they get pretty hard. I feel good about the help he is getting and it is helping me as well. Just taking one day at a time with it. I am worried about our next deployment and having to parent alone. I know I have done it before but I just feel like things are so different now. I know when the time comes I will be able to make it through but I worry thinking about it.
Just one day at a time…
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” (Mother Teresa)