About The Author

The author is a mother of 3 children, one of whom has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. She started this blog to document that journey.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Conversations with kids

(Originally published over at my other blog 7-Jan-10)

I wish I could say that this post was about some cute conversation I had with one of my kids. But it's not. This conversation was a bit tougher.

I made the decision last night to tell both boys about M's situation.

I had two reasons, really. The first is because I think not knowing is causing tension between the boys. The older one will tease M until he is absolutely stressed out. And more and more I hear the same phrase when he gets to that point - "You don't KNOW ME!"

And it breaks my heart a little bit every time.

The other reason is a guy at a client's office. He's sort of a misfit. He's young, and it's his first job. But aside from that awkwardness, there's this obvious social awkwardness as well. For one thing, he doesn't seem to "get" personal space, and drifts in way too close when the conversation interests him. And he doesn't "get" hints. You have to explicitly tell him what you want him to do. And be careful what you tell him because he follows the instructions to a T. And he's sweet so everyone's still good and kind to him. But there are laughs at times. Not in a mean-spirited way, but still. At. Not with....

I don't know if he's an Aspie or not, but he could be. And that could be my son in 10 years.

So last night. I sat my boys down and explained to them as best I could. And it seemed to make sense to the
 older one. Like puzzle pieces coming together. M doesn't quite get it...

But now they know. And I've asked big brother to love, protect and support M now that he knows.

I felt crappy to have to do this. I feel very unsure and very much in doubt over this whole thing. Sometimes I just have dread in the pit of my stomach. Especially when he's "sad".

I know I'm not a bad mom, but I also know I don't have this together. And I feel like I'm failing.

But when I'm really low, and I walk in and see this, it makes my heart feel a whole lot better.

Because I know they know love...
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Beginnings

We've gone through some growing and stretching over the past few months since M's diagnosis.

I've been much more aware of behaviours to look out for, and that has shaped the way I deal with those situations. The tantrums have been much more manageable as a result. But as he grows I am noticing more and more things beginning to stand out.

He's gotten this new habit of repeating in monotone a word or phrase that he's either just heard, or some observation that he's just made that may or may not have some relevance to those in earshot.

He will do it for ages.

I'm not sure he's ever stopped on his own. I think at some point I usually bring it to an end somehow.

His aversion to brushing his teeth has gotten much worse. He just hates it. He says he hates the taste of the toothpastes and mouthwashes and I'm not sure what else to try. It is a battle every single day. If I'm very honest, I'll whisper that some nights I'm too worn out to battle and I let him go to bed without brushing...

I knowwwww. I can't believe I do it either. But honestly I consider the battle won if I'm able to get him into the shower to bathe. He fights to get into the shower too. But once there, he's fine. He will stay in the bath for hours if you let him.

He's also taken to correcting other kids slang, and shadowing his words (mouthing them over silently after he's spoken) and I talk about some of that in my other blog here.

The massive daily battle has got to be the socks though. The height has to be right, and the fit and feel has to be right. And the seams bother him. And there has to be the right amount of tension in the sock. Otherwise he'll pull on them so hard he'll bust through the toes.

Which presents another problem.

He wants to wear a particular sock and one side is comfortable, but the other side of the pair is busted. Cue the waterworks. And frustrated Mummy trying to substitute other pairs of socks, or mend holes on the fly, or just frankly get him to accept that he needs to wear some socks - any socks - and get to school.

I won a pair of SmartKnit socks to try with him, but I never did receive them. Does anyone know if they're any good? Are they worth going out and getting? Honestly I'd probably try anything now, because anything is probably better than this, right?

I will share our journey here, starting again in this new year. I hope that it will help some other family recognize symptoms or behaviours and perhaps connect with some of the situations or emotions in their household.

If you have any advice, or even questions for me, please feel free to email me at whendidibecomemymom@gmail.com or leave a comment here for me.
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