OK, Asperger's does suck in my practical mind, but when I'm in my happy place----I love him and he is amazing and funny. Unfortunately the world requires that I perform in a practical and functioning way. At this point in our conversation, you may not be sure if I am the aspie in addition to having a child with it... How do I answer that question? I don't know. I haven't been tested. But deep down in there, I really honestly could have Asperger's Syndrome. That idea freaks me out, so I don't go there very often. It makes me somewhat sick to think about it.
Which brings me to my son. He is 13. That 3-word sentence gives you lots of information: obsessed, moody, depressed, temper, overwhelmed, lonely, sad, manic. Other offerings I can give are: singing all Beatles all the time, creating new and 'exciting' Star Wars stories and reciting them to everyone he sees, on medications for abrupt and intense mood changes (are you shocked?) and pretty severe death wishes.
Both of my kids were brought up in public school until last spring 2009. My daughter (8) has some unidentified educational quirks that we are trying to figure out. My son was getting beaten and the school policy was not helping. The environment in middle school 'sucks' for almost everyone, but for aspies, it's torture.
Obviously since I am homeschooling, I'm not overly concerned about conforming to societal norms. I don't NEED him to perform everything that I would expect of another son. I never did. I was concerned with his happiness, and my own sanity in providing that. My aunt's philosophy with her aspie son is different. She has pretty much pushed him through the door of various sports teams, and held the door shut while he struggled to get out. He eventually performs, but I've rarely seen him smile. My oldest brother-in-law (aspie) was raised somewhere in between, but he is now 48 years old, so it was a different environment altogether.
I do have hopes for him for the future. These expectations are small and specific and vary day to day. For instance, I hope he will grasp the principles of writing various forms of papers this coming school year, so he can go to college. I hope he is able to keep the few friends he has. I'd like him to successfully attend New Tech High when the time comes. None of my plans for him go beyond a few years time. How can they?
We're a pretty religious family, and I know Heavenly Father loves him. I have seen evidence of that in gifts, in little miracles.
But I am tired. I am worried. I struggle to be a good parent to both of my kids, but I especially feel that I could easily fail. Asperger's sucks because we don't live in my happy place. Because I am not perfect and perfectly consistent and perfectly sane all of the time. I know what you're saying---"you're doin' fine, don't expect perfection, it'll be okay." Whatever. Hopefully, someone is thinking, I understand her feelings. I need that probably most of all.