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.
Enjoy! Jessica

Friday, March 4, 2011

Super smart!

I just got Drake's report card last week There is no doubt in my mind this kid is smart, of course not that there ever was! Every single grade an A except one and that one's a B+. I know why maybe it took a little longer for us to recognize that maybe Drake wasn't like other kids. You can't tell by looking at him. You can't tell by his report card. Try having a normal conversation with him though and you'll know...something is up.
When Drake was very small, he loved to learn. He only liked educational toys and would count things over and over again. Even when his cousins gave him a box of toy cars, he amused himself by lining them up in long lines across the room. You couldn't move them though or he'd have a meltdown! He'd have a meltdown if we did something else out of order or not in his routine as well. We lived in an apartment with 15 stairs and he would have to walk up each one and count it. 1....2....3... You couldn't skip any, you couldn't scoop him up to go faster either without him screaming!
Drake is my first child and now that I know what I do about Drake, I should have picked up on the clues. Drake couldn't open doors, in fact his 1 year old sister learned to do it first just before he turned three! He didn't look at my face when I talked to him, even as a baby. I had to teach him to "look" at me when I needed him to really listen. He still tilts his head back and opens his eyes as wide as he can when I ask him to pay attention. It's pretty funny actually. Drake had a babysitter who insisted that he was autistic (she had an autistic brother) and I remember thinking, "no way!" Little did I know...
Drake's all time favorite toy as a toddler was an electronic book called "The Learning Book" by V-tech. I can still hear it when I think of him waking his Dad and I up in the mornings..."Welcome to the Learning Book! Do-do-do...Select an activity!..." It's funny, he never said anything...just opened his book. His book taught the alphabet and had simple reading games and he would insist that I show him how each game worked over and over and over again. He was reading things in the grocery store to me by age four and I know why!
For Christmas just before he turned four, Drake got a talking calculator. It was made for a child and would tell you every number as you pushed it and the totals of your sums. Drake was in heaven! He loved to count things and this way he could what the numbers looked like that he was counting. "1...2...3...reset!" Drake loves math so much, that he takes an advanced math class this year and LOVES it! He still has the talking calculator too, although he prefers to use a regular one these days.
Drake my boy, you are super smart! The world is yours if you want it and I intend to do all I can to ensure you can take it!