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

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A shift in view

J. Lamb 2012
Drake continues to amaze me daily. Despite his struggles to understand people and what is appropriate behavior for each social situation, he remains one of the happiest people I know. Never mind that his best friend is his little brother (little brothers are most helpful when you are pretending to have 4 arms!). Even though he doesn't hang around with kids outside of school, I know he is improving. Just yesterday I was at the Middle School with him and someone walked by saying "hi Drake!" and he turned around and waved! He actually waved!! It makes me think that all the conversations we've had over the years are working somehow. :)
As is common among Aspies, Drake tends to be very rigid in his thoughts and ideas about the world. He is a man of science and tends to be very analytical in his thought processes. It is hard to sway him to new ways of thinking. Along with his fairly anti-social tendencies, I have a hard time convincing him to try something new.  I also have a hard time convincing that other things might be right, even if you can't analyze them, or see them, or explain them through science. Take the subject of faith for example, how do you explain to someone who doesn't understand that you can just feel things and know they are true? Exactly, it would be so very hard to do so. 
I don't believe in pushing my views onto my children. I want them to grow up being able to think and do for themselves. I am here as a parent to be their guide and this is what I try to do with Drake as well. I wanted him to be able to make his own decision. I have gotten a lot of crap from people on all levels in regards to Drake, like he somehow is unable to decide for himself, like having Asperger's Syndrome should make it so I have to make his decisions for him. I'm telling you now that this is not the case. Period. Drake has been able to prove to me and all the naysayers that he has the ability to do anything and make the decisions that are right for him and me as his mom, could not be any prouder. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Drake, just all very Drake

J. Lamb 2012

I sit here writing on the last day of school and this young man has now graduated from the 7th grade and moves on to middle school, wow! Drake at 13 stands just a few inches shorter than I am, wears the same size in shoes I do, and no longer looks like a little boy anymore (sniff). So amazing to think he started out like this:

Wasn't he cute?
Drake brought me his report card yesterday and to my amazement, it had all A's on it!? He even improved his grade in his language arts class. Yep, you're looking at one proud mama! Drake's school was posting a 7th grade graduation party last night and I asked Drake earlier in the day if he intended on going and he told me, "Hmmm...I don't think so..." I wasn't really surprised, but took a chance and asked him again when he got home from school. "Perhaps I should go and be a little more social..." and went he did! He even let a bunch of people sign his yearbook. Of course, he took his Lego's with him to show off as well. What a funny kid!

Drake still shouts random things all day...

"I'm not dead yet!" To which his sister replies, "And you won't be till the day you die!" It was really funny he said this to the dentist the other day, who intern started quoting Monty Python to him. Smart guy that dentist! ;) That is probably Drake's favorite movie, well that and Charlie and the Chocolate, go figure.

"What year is this?" I have never figured out the exact source for this...I just find myself repeating 2012 a zillion times a day.

Drake also has many interesting subjects of discussion such as, "A knife is not a weapon." "Unless it is used as a weapon", his sister interjects.
"A firearm launches projectiles, such as a pistol, a shotgun, a bazooka, or a bow, which launches arrows." Yes, very true...very random, but true nonetheless. Of course, this is all very Drake. ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012


J. Lamb 2011
I haven't documented what's going on with my boy lately, not for lack of progress mind you, he continues to amaze me. At almost 13, Drake is becoming the teenager he almost is in physical stature and has been taking the task quite seriously! I have a rule at my house, you cannot have lunch on the weekends until you get yourself dressed for the day. Drake has been known for foregoing the meal as long as possible, just so he doesn't have to get out of bed. This would probably frustrate most parents, but I love that he exerting his freedom of choice and is just acting like a kid.

The seventh grade has brought about it's own challenges. Drake continues to love the violin and plays in the advanced orchestra and has improved in technique tenfold. He is taking pre-algebra and getting A's and B's in all his classes, except Language Arts in which he maintains a C. He is so quick to learn and master concepts in all subjects, his downfall is turning all assignments in. *Sigh* Drake's younger sister is attending the same school as him this year and where I love that she is there to keep track of him, I worry that she holds him back in someways. Nevertheless, I was pleased when I visited with his speech pathologist (Drake has a lateral lisp) and she noted that he is trying very hard to correct his speech and seems to be interacting with  his peers better too. I also got a call from Drake's Language Arts teacher a couple of weeks ago, in which she confessed that she had taken away Drake's Lego's (which he is not supposed to have in class, by the way) and he had been very upset about it for the entire class remaining. She felt awful and I assured her that he would be okay (outbursts still occur, but are few and far between anymore) and we discussed the no Lego rule again and why.

We've had many, many discussions about behavior in public and interacting with others:

"Drake, it's nice to smile at people when they talk to you, it lets them know you are friendly."

"If you don't want to say hi to someone when they say hi to you, at least smile and wave, so they know you saw and heard them."

"Please don't shout at people when you are talking to them."

"Please don't run naked to bathroom when you are getting into the shower, you are just too big to not be covered up anymore."

That last one was a little embarrassing! Let's just say, we seem to have curbed that behavior. Yikes!

I'm not saying that everything is perfect, we definitely have some work to do still. Drake asked his grandma loudly why she always has to bring cookies when she visits, on Christmas. Good thing grandma is pretty used to it! I made sure to apologize for him and noted that it was Christmas and was sure he was overstimulated.
 Our little dog passed away a couple of weeks ago and as we were discussing it with Drake and his sister and Drake commented, that "at least we don't have to feed him anymore." We had a conversation about appropriate comments in certain situations at that point. Um, yeah. I actually think I said, "Yeah Drake, that's not helpful...."
The funniest thing has to be my dad though. You see, my grandpa has been in poor health (he has improved now) and my dad said to me, "You know that as soon as we are born, we start dying...." I chuckled and told him that he sounded just like Drake! I have heard that statement from him many times...come to find out, so had my dad.

You never have to guess where you stand with my boy, Drake. ;0)