Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another Light Bulb

O.K. so I've been wining on my other blog,, about what a difficult summer this has been with my two sons.  The teenager is being well...a teenager.  He's difficult, belligerent and generally exhausting!  Despite my knowing that he has Aspergers, and being well educated on how that effects him, doesn't make it any less frustrating to deal with on a daily basis.

I went and signed him up for Movie Camp and Swim Team, in order to keep him from sitting in front of the computer all summer long, eating, gaining weight, fighting with his brother, complaining of boredom and generally grinding on my nerves.  He loves video editing and has started a little business making DVD's and slide presentations for friends, family and even some teachers at school.  Ah ha...he could have a career in movie editing! That will get him out of my house eventually! Let's sign him up for this  fabulous, expensive camp! (Actually there were others out there that were a lot more expensive.  I didn't totally loose a grip on reality and sign him up for one of those that lasted for three weeks and required sleeping away.) 

After nearly two weeks of fighting with him to get off of his ass and go...we're both exhausted.  Yesterday, I decided to give us both a break.  I offered to let him skip swimming to go hang out with a friend.  He looked totally surprised, "You mean we can miss today?"  "Yes, but only today.  That way, I can do something with your brother." Then came the shocking moment: "But I actually LIKE going to swimming. I like going to movie camp too.  It's just I'm so tired."

He has given me holy hell every single day, every single time I say it's time to go! Is he trying to drive me crazy? Is this some "vast right-wing conspiracy?" No, it actually is not.  The light bulb went on...this is just too much for him.  It's too much for me.  He is not a morning person.  The camp is at 9:00 a.m. and it's all the way downtown so we have to get up pretty early.  Not to mention, this week they bumped it up to 8:30 a.m. We come home and he has 5 hours of downtime before we have to head off to swimming.  He takes a nap and then transitions to working on a project on his computer and then, it's time to go again.

For an ordinary boy, this shouldn't be a problem.  For this boy, it's a disaster.  When things go wrong with your kids, doesn't the blame somehow come back around to our parenting decisions?  I over did it.  One activity at a time for this kid and if at all possible,  schedule nothing early in the morning during the summer.  At least not, if I have to be the one to take him.

The best part of his summer so far has been the sleep away Christian camp.  He was loved and accepted, made friends and came home with a better attitude.  Next year...I'll try to find a Christian camp that last all summer long!  Its sad to admit, but he really does much better when he doesn't have me around.  What do I know anyway? I'm just the person who gave birth to him.


  1. I am going through the same thing. My Dh, and 2 of my 5 kids have Aspergers. And right now I am ready to run away screaming into the night. Its so hard taking into consideration all 3 of their different needs as well as my other 3 kids.

    36 more days until school starts. The only thing helping me keep a grip on reality (sometimes!)

  2. This post really resonates with me. My almost 12 year old is not Aspergers (PDD/Mood disorder/ADD), but if I "fill" a day and start EARLY it is hell. He is very slow to get moving in the morning and honestly, I never really got it until recently!

  3. Great post.

    I am the one with primary custody of my 13 year old son, who is Aspergers and ADHD.

    Sometimes the stress of being a single parent of a teenage Aspie gets to me. I often find that I also have to take a step back and look at what I am asking of him.

    Some days, I feel like a complete failure as a parent. Then, I get a good report card, or he gives me a hug, and I know that it will be alright.

  4. Your last paragraph grafxguide is spot on.

  5. I can so relate....I have one with ADHD and one with ADHD/SPD. Some days...ughh! And summer is hard!

  6. I completely agree. I have two with autism and one more possibly. I also have 4 other children and summer is the hardest time for me too.


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