I am a proud mom of three perfectly imperfect little humans. My eldest, who is currently nine years old, has Asperger’s. It is a diagnosis that goes under the broad umbrella of Autism. Our son’s daily challenges have shifted tremendously over the years. He has always been someone that is overwhelmed by sensory experiences. As a young toddler, everyday life was filled with a lot of meltdowns and fit-like behaviors because he had very few tools (as all toddlers do) to handle his world around him. His food issues that are still prevalent today were huge as a parent to try and help with day in and day out. He did years of ABA therapy through Discover Hope. There were so many useful tools that he gained in those years, as well I was able to learn parenting tools to help him cope and learn through a world that is often overstimulating.
My nine-year old’s current challenges lay within peer acceptance, anxiety, and anger categories. Food still has its challenges, but after years of “food school,” he has come pretty far. My son is not big on sharing day to day peer interactions. Instead, behaviors often shift, and I have to seek out answers when I notice that. He has been bullied, excluded, and made to feel weird at different times in the last few years, and those are just the moments I have been able to get out of him. My son described his school day as pretending to be normal, trying not to move weird, say the wrong things, or have peers notice that he is different. I hated this description when he first gave it, but then I explained to him that in some ways, we all do this. He is very aware of his efforts compared to those that look effortless.
I believe the intention here was to talk about challenges, but I can’t talk about my son without a quick brag session too! He is extremely bright, hilarious, and thoughtful. As is with many children with Asperger’s, he has a way of focusing in on a subject that can be stunning (though sometimes too intense). He plays the piano beautifully and loves me with all his heart.