Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Tricky Thing About Asperger's

Yesterday it finally rained.  The boys were so excited to dust off our umbrella and use it with their friends on the bus stop.

My Aspie son has had a banner few weeks.  He's greeted several new changes with ease (dare I say even giddiness).  Many of the transitions we expected would rock his world, nary caused a ripple.    He embraced the first day of school with a smile.  He entered a new carpool situation with little reaction.  He has thrived (according to his teacher) in his new fourth grade Sunday School class.  Things were good and a calmness swept through our house.

It's times like these that I realize my memory is short.  I sail into a new reality where I think things are fine, and will always be fine.  The challenges we faced are in the past.  I smile as I imagine the last chapter of our lives may be just a challenging memory never to be experienced again.

But shame on me for not learning a thing or two over the last several years.  The thing is, Asperger's can be tricky.  Months can fly by peacefully and then something triggers former behavior and somehow we've landed back to the place we didn't think we'd return.

With our Aspie son's newfound tranquility we decided to place him in an activity.  Over the years, we tried everything from fencing to science classes.  He greeted each new venture with everything from tears to outright defiance.  I pulled out all my mommy tricks just to get him to enter classrooms and sports fields, anything from threats to bribery.  Nothing worked, or worked well.  

Last night, we tried the Bible Bowl team at our church.  My thought was he loves trivia and might thrive in a "jeopardy" type environment.  No such luck.  He entered the classroom semi-willingly but by the time I picked him up his face was crimson and tears were streaming down his cheeks.  Even the supervising teacher looked flustered.  It was clear to every single person in the room that Bible Bowl was not a good fit.  Not now.  Probably not ever.

I walked out of the classroom frustrated.  At home, I spewed the story onto Chris.  With a pained expression he finally said, "How's he going to be able to function for the rest of his life?"

His words struck me hard.  He said what I don't really want to think about.  I want to live with the mindset that he's in a phase.  With age, things will change.  He'll go to college.  He'll get a good job.  He'll have a family.  I don't want to think things may play out any differently than this.

I thought about Chris's words and decided I had two choices with how I would respond.  I could: 1)  fret endlessly about how his life will unfold, or 2)  appreciate the progress he's made, continue to work with him, relentlessly pray for his future, and joyfully accept the child God gave us.  

I selected choice two.

1 comment:

  1. As another mommy of an aspie boy (who has some Aspie tendencies herself), I completely relate, and although he may not thrive in one environment, there will be another where he will... He will. :)

    Thanks for sharing.