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

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Autism Awareness Month

A. Rogers 2012
April in Autism Awareness month and I wanted to update everyone on Drake. :)

"Autism to me, says that I accept my child wholly. I celebrate his differences and his quirky-ness. I advocate diversity. I am proud of his successes, no matter how small they may be. I hope he holds onto the compassion he has in his heart into adulthood. I don't think he needs "fixing". I am proud that he is my son, and sometimes I am humbled by that very same thought. "

Acceptance is all I ask for my aspie. ♥ He is phenomenal and constantly astounds me with his view of the world. ♥

J. Lamb 2013

What a great kid I have! I mean it, this kid makes me a better person and I don't know how I got so lucky to be his Mom.

Drake will be 14 at the end of the month (if you can believe it) and is continuing to grow leaps and bounds as a person. I don't just mean in stature because sheesh, he is as big as I am and wears a men's size 8 shoe! He is growing in a ability as well.

Drake is finishing up 8th grade and is taking an honors Math class, Science, Language Arts, P.E., plays violin in Orchestra, History, Wood shop, and breezed through his keyboarding class (that Mom made him retake and improve on because you still can't read his handwriting and he has to be able to communicate somehow, right?). Drake has also taken a Study Skills class all year taught by a teacher who teaches Special Ed., as well as, regular classes. His teacher is super patient with him and helps make sure he stays caught up in all of his classes (this is one area we struggle with) and from what I've been told, he really doesn't utilize his class time much. Drake is all signed up for Honors Math and Science next year, German, Orchestra, Seminary (religion study) and Mom can't believe she'll have a 9th grader! Wow!

Drake hates taking pictures (unless it was his idea) and is content to scowl during most of them. We were at McDonald's with my parents a couple of months ago and Drake wanted an ice cream cone. I don't believe in babying him and pulled out some money and put it in his hand and sent him to stand in line. My mom questioned his ability to do do it himself and I assured her that he was perfectly capable of getting an ice cream cone and he returned a few minutes later with my change. Honestly, I don't question Drake's ability to do anything, I question people's reaction to him more than anything.  Drake walks 1 1/2 miles home from school on days that I am unable to go and get him. Drake can do his chores without help including, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash throughout the house, washing place-mats, and putting away his laundry.

Drake is still very loud when he is excited and the phrase, "Drake, too loud" is said many times a day. Drake hates writing essays for Language Arts and can't grasp the concept of varying the length of sentences to improve flow for nothing. Actually, I read his writing and it reads like he talks, analytical  and straight to the point.

Drake still struggles with understanding human behavior (and pets too). We have a little chihuahua who loves everyone and spins at our feet when we return home. Drake questions him, "Why are you spinning?" "It's because he's excited to see you and wants to be pet", I'll explain and Drake either ignores him or reluctantly kneels down and pets him for a second. We recently visited my sister who just had a baby and Drake spent the majority of the visit shouting, "Why can't I hold the infant? I promise not to drop it." Next time Drake, next time. :P

Some of the randomness makes us laugh and how anyone can be so quick witted and random at the same time is amazing to me. His Math teacher asked specifically "what was up" with Drake and after telling him, I learned he is the class clown and can be a bit disruptive. I asked Drake to tone it down a bit and try not to annoy Mr. Clark as much. I talked to Drake about it later and he told me that he only annoys Mr. Clark once a day now. Ha ha! Drake's orchestra teacher also claims that Drake has the girls that sit by him in stitches most days. We had this conversation yesterday: 

Drake: How are you today?
Mom: I'm fine, are you fine?
Drake: I don't know, why don't you ask my conscience?
Mom: Drake's conscience, is Drake fine?
Drake: My conscience doesn't know, he's terrible at his job.

Drake my boy, you are just fine and Mom (and the rest of the family) are sooo lucky to have you!