Well I’m pleased to say the BOY has been somewhat exuberant for the last couple of days and my stomach is doing much better. The GIRL was hesitant to take me out in public after the other week and my bodily expulsions….
She did …. I’m proud to say no foul odors escaped my system
We ran into a mom and a young boy, younger than the BOY (remember he really isn’t a boy, he’s like 25, but he’ll always be the BOY to me) while running our errands. The boy must have been around 8. It was super clear to the GIRL and I that he was almost like the BOY. He had Aspergers. He was quit the walking encyclopedia on dog facts. He knew more about me and my kind than I did.
The GIRL was being kind and answering all the young boy was asking and accepting his very direct corrections while he sprawled his body all over me like he was drooling from a good drink of water.
After a bit of time the mom pulls the GIRL aside and tells her that her son has Aspergers (before the DSM IV was changed Aspergers was under the Autism Spectrum as a diagnosis. Typically people with Aspergers have a good ability to communicate but extremely poor social skills and issues understanding the rules. They are usually extremely birth in 1 or 2 areas of their interests). The GIRL tells her what she does for a living (the GIRL works with individuals with ASD) and the mom very quickly interjects that her son has no idea that he has Apergers Syndrome.
She says to the GIRL…….
“We don’t want him to know he is different.”
WELL BLOW ME DOWN AND ROLL ME OVER AND LEAVE ME IN A HAIRBALL.
Lady, do you really think your son thinks he FITS in now? I bet my furballs that he knows he is different and wants to know why.
I am just going to say it. I a damn Doodle and well I think the mom is being selfish. If she doesn’t share with the boy what is going on it only says that she and perhaps dad cannot accept the fact that their son has a something nuero-logical going on that makes him a beat different from others.
Years ago the GIRL read Special Children, Challenged Parents: The Struggles and Rewards of Raising a Child With a Disability by Robert Naseef Ph.D. and James May (Jul 31, 2001). It was one of the best books she ever read. She cried through most of it but it was an eye opener to understanding the emotions that she would feel many days.
In 1969 Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote a book “On Death and Dying,” and she explained the stages of mourning and grief. Dr. Naseef pointed out in his book that families when given a diagnosis go through this grieving process because of losing the “dreams” of the unborn child. There are five stages of normal grief. They are: Denial, Acceptance, Bargaining, Anger, and Depression. We spend different lengths of time working through each step and express each stage with different levels of intensity. The five stages do not necessarily occur in any specific order and vary from one individual to another. We often move between stages before achieving a more peaceful acceptance of our child’s disability.
Even if a mother and or father cannot accept that their child has something going on they should put their own emotions/feelings aside and tell the child. Let the child decide how they will deal with it. I know that many individuals with ASD once given the diagnosis are relived to now have a clear explanation as to WHY. There are many great men in history that had Aspergers like Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson possible Steve Jobs…..the list goes on and on and on. Hey, Aspergers isn’t so bad is it?
The GIRL always told the BOY he had autism. At the age of 3 she started telling him. There are many books written for children explaining autism spectrum disorders. She would read them to him and tell him that the character was like he was. She would always tell him that there was nothing wrong with autism. It just meant he would think, see, hear and feel things differently than others at times, and that was a good thing, BUT she would always tell him that autism was not an excuse for him not to learn.
One day they were shopping. The GIRL goes to some, well let’s say, not so nice places. She’s a bargain hunter. Now that she has me it’s ok. I protect her and the BOY. She would always take the BOY in the dressing room with her. She would always look to make sure the ‘coast was clear’ to get him in the dressing room and out. One day there was an attendant at the door and she peeked around the attendant to check the ‘coast,’ saw it was clear, and told the BOY to come on.
The attendant doing her job, quickly put her hands up and said, “wow, he cannot come in here.” The GIRL said, “oh yes he is.” The attendant said, “no ma’am, I’m sorry he is not allowed.” The GIRL never using the A card pulled it out and said, “look I am not leaving him out here alone. He has autism and the ‘coast’ is clear he is coming in.” The BOY, (now quit tall) walks right up to the attendant, looks her straight in the eye, and in his nicest meek manner voice says, “excuse me miss, I don’t have autism.”
THE GIRL IS LIKE GREAT NOW YOU PICK A TIME TO BE NORMAL.
Not telling your child what is going on is just unfair to them. Today bullying is high…your child is different…tell them WHY. There is plenty of literature out there to let them read and have a better understand. They are not alone, nor are you. Just remember they are not going to grow out of it so ….let them grow in it.