The lighter side to raising a child with Asperger's
My little boy Drake, is the most unique character I know. Drake was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome a few years ago and while yes, this provides for many challenges, it also provides a unique view on life. I want to share some of the lighter side to having a child with Asperger's, maybe if you have challenges like his in your family, you'll be able to see. See that life is hard sometimes, but it doesn't have to always be.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Christmas break ended yesterday and I picked Drake up from school (he normally walks, but it's been so rainy/snowy wet that the vacant lot he trudges through was soupy and it would have been more of a hassle to clean him up when he got home then it was worth). He presented me with his midterm report card warning me first, "Mom I got all A's in my classes, except Social Studies and in it I got an A-". I asked him about his day if it was good and all and he nodded, grinning. I thought about it and proclaimed, "I'm sure you had a good day because you like school and you're one of those sick people that would be perfectly happy to go to school everyday, huh?" Drake grinned and nodded.
Despite Drake's obvious struggles, he remains happy and willing to continue on even when something is difficult. Breaks from school can be tough on him though, he crawls into his own little world of Lego's and Pokemon battles and hardcore Super Mario action and when we have to do something else, it's hard. I took him and his siblings someplace where they needed to be dressed up and I insisted he wear a tie, he spent the evening scowling and refusing to speak to anyone. We went to dinner and I couldn't get him to talk to the waitress or even answer her. It's times like these that Drake having Asperger's is really obvious.
Drake has a communications deficiency somewhere, most likely from Asperger's, but it affects his ability to write clearly. If he takes a lot of time, his handwriting is partially legible. Normally though, it looks like the work of a Kindergartner all running different directions, scrawled and misshapen letters. All of his teachers have confessed they can't read it, except his Math teacher of course. Math is by far his favorite subject and he even takes an AP Math class, which he loves! I know what your thinking, does he take regular classes or special ed.? Drake goes to a regular Intermediate school and takes regular classes with all the other kids his age. He is extremely intelligent and has an efficient and long running memory. He remembers everything from the time he was 2 or so and absorbs information like a sponge. Now does that mean he remembers where his things are at all times? No. Like any typical kid he misplaces coats, shoes, toys, and whatnot frequently. We've curbed a good part of it though, he places things in the exact same place every time he is finished with them and that helps a lot.
Part of helping Drake communicate a little better is encouraging him to use the computer. Drake even has his own Facebook page and even though he claims to have no friends, he usually has someone to sit and instant message with. He chats with his cousin who lives on the other end of the state, he chats with his favorite aunt, he chats with his Dad who lives overseas. I'm trying to encourage him to get better at typing, this way he can communicate a little more efficiently. Because in all honesty, the ability to communicate is key in life.