"Has anyone else in the family been diagnosed?" the Paed asked.
"Pardon?", we replied still gobsmacked by the affirmative of a minute ago and puzzled as to this new question presented to us.
"Does anyone in the family have Autism or Aspergers? is there a family history?"
"Um, no...not that we know of. Not diagnosed" we replied, puzzled as to where this was going.
"No-one with any strange characteristics etc?" the Paed continued.
"nope, not that we can think of" we replied as the conversation then turned in another direction.
That was over a year ago. A small, non-consequential part of a larger conversation that should have been lost in the fuzzy parts on the edge of my memories as being useless knowledge to keep but instead lodged itself there in the 'important things to remember' part of my brain.
As the year progressed, as I learnt more about Aspergers and how to help my son that one little memory would continue to pop up over and over again. Is it heriditary? I don't believe so. Is it likely that someone else has Aspergers in the family? it is a probable possibility.
Day to day life is so hectic that I find chasing after my children and dealing with my Aspie sons therapies that my life is full to the brim. Perhaps I don't spend enough attention, perhaps I missed all the signs, but then there was one family member who began to jump up and sit in the chair right next to that little question posed in my memory oh so long ago as a definite possibility of having Aspergers too.
We talked about it, we thought about maybe getting an official diagnoses, something which has not occured, something which I cannot push on that person. As my sons therapies go on, as my patience wears thinner, I find my tolerance wears even thinner!
The puzzle pieces they began to click together and I wonder. Can you say that someone has Aspergers even if they do not have a diagnosis? is it real only when you have that piece of paper that says it's so? I know this is something that has been debated over a long time by others before me and within the Autism community.
This other person, there is no doubt has Aspergers. He has the same traits as my son. He believes everything that happens is because of or a result of something he has done. He is incredibly intrinsical and has many of the traits. He is a living, breathing, bigger version of my son, almost a direct carbon copy. His story is not mine to tell.
Why even mention it then? because I am struggling to cope with all that is coming at me from both ends of the spectrum here right now. Spending hundreds on therapies for my son of which he works hard at, only to see that the bigger one continues to display those behaviours we are attempting to change in my son, with no care to change them himself. As that bigger one is someone my son upholds as an idol, I am fighting a battle to prove just why he needs to change those behaviours himself. Being spoken to with a voice of contempt and disgust when things are not going the way they deem it to be, tag teaming their times to do this, one after the other. Angry outbursts, expletives thrown out at several intervals when frustrations brew over, when they don't know how to handle or what to do with their emotions.
I am their safe place, their island on which to stand and let it all out because they believe that it is only with me they can do this. That I get it, that I wont leave them if they do. They put their mask on 'out there' and they conform 'out there' but on my island they don't need to. I can handle one....but two is often too much. I am human, it is breaking me.
So what do I do? how can I help someone who doesn't believe they need it, but so desperately wants life to continue the way it always has despite the fact that it just cannot? How? how? how? Yes, right here where I am...Aspergers can definitely definitely SUCK! :(