Living with and Loving the Asperger Mind
Taking it day to day
There are just so many times we can hear the statistics of a baseball player before we lose interest. Many times, we cannot muster up the enthusiasm to listen to the ins and outs of a video game that he has just learned to beat by reading the cheat books. We have come up with probably a very unflattering term for it, yammering. It is just a signal to my Asperger son, that we simply cannot listen to what he has say one moment longer.
Yes, yes I know, the rational sane side of me knows that he is simply trying to communicate with us. Unlike my other children, my oldest son cannot strike up a conversation out of nowhere and ask you how you are enjoying your interest. His mind does not operate under those conditions. He can be coaxed and guided into having a true conversation with you, but deep down inside, he is thinking hard about what he is going to say next. Most times what he is planning to say is nothing of interest ot you. It is of deep interest to him. After all one of the most prominent traits of Aspies are their inability to get along socially in this world.
However, how many of us truly do get along socially these days? It is amazing to watch the amount of people who are in total denial of their lack of proper social skills. Lets think about this....hmmm...if you are texting at a party rather than talking to someone in the room, there is a good chance that your social skills have become impaired. If you are unable to speak to someone without insulting them, your social skills are impaired. If you are unable to answer the telephone properly because you have gotten so used to emails and text messages, chances are you have disabled social skills.
Poor social skills and inappropriate behavior is at a historic high these days. All over the news we are hearing of the blatant adultery committed by superstars that many people look up to. Adultery committed by someone who is NOT famous is just as awful, it should never be sensationalized. This lack of manners by both the person committing the offense and the press are not to be ignored. Lack of accountability is what is making this society so difficult to live in. If you say something inappropriate, apologize and learn from it. If you commit a crime or an act with is reprehensible, then own up to it and then do the right thing for the person that you wronged. There are no free passes in life. This is a lesson that is tough for ALL individuals to learn about, especially Asperger students.
Aspies seldom think about what the other person will think or feel before they said what they said or did what they did. They need proper role models and they need people who are not afraid to hold them accountable for what they said or did that was incorrect. This is the only way they will learn. The same should also follow in "mainstream society" No free passes, everyone should own up to what they did and take it from there. It only makes someone stronger if they must accept what they have done and make their life better than before.
Living with an Aspie is quite interesting most days. I must admit I love having an extra hand around to help with the homework. He does not give them the answers, he does indeed make them figure it out and know it by heart before he lets up on his siblings. But it is also hard. He wants to talk about what he wants to talk about. This is normally not a problem, but on many occasions, my fuse runs out and I have a hard time having a one sided conversation which it ultimately becomes. My seven year old is still able to listen to him, even if it only half heartedly, but the brother just younger than he is has had enough. His patience is starting to wear down. He complains about his brother, he gets annoyed with the constant stream of facts and knowledge that he is not interested in.
Yet....the children DO love him. They love him no matter if he is different. Sometimes I think that is WHAT they love best about him. They see someone unique, someone that you do not see everyday. Someone who does not "follow the flow" if you will, and does not get upset or worried about what other kids say to him or about him. It is really quite liberating if you think about it. So the consensus in this house is that living with an Asperger sibling is challenging, but they wouldn't trade him or send him away. They form the unite front against us parents if necessary over certain issues. If they truly did not love him, he would not be with them in their quest to win over us.
Lving with and loving an aspie takes time, energy and patience. You must always understand that with every new day, there runs a risk that this will not be a good day But then again, isn't that the way it is with EVERYONE out there, not just my Asperger son?