Saturday, October 30, 2010

Something That Touched My Heart

     The piece that I wanted to focus on today is very heartwarming.  It shows true evidence of the wonderful people out there and also that things come to you when you need them most.
     Today was Kyle's last soccer game of the season.  This time of year the mornings are rather cold.  I dressed Kyle according to the weather and also let him wear his army coat and helmet with the understanding that they were to come off for soccer (and also the sunglasses he wears to block out the sun).  We had a half hour drive to the town where the game was, it was a pleasant ride and we talked about the schedule for the weekend.  We were the first to get to the field.  I let him get out of the car and play on the playground, but instead he decided to wander around and check out the trees, the ground and whatever else seemed fascinating to him.  He did decide to go over to the playground when one of the other team members arrived and then proceeded to use the seesaw as a balance beam!
     Shortly after his first teammate showed up, the rest followed.  Kyle handed over his helmet and his sunglasses without any problem, but the jacket was another issue.  He is allowed to wear it on the sidelines when he isn't playing, but I explained to him (for the 793rd time I believe) that he needed to be on the field with his team shirt and undershirt on when he is playing.  Also, this time before they started to play they decided to take a team picture.  Kyle was standing there, coat on, and I casually went over to retrieve it from him while the coach was getting everyone else situated.  This resulted in Kyle running around the goal away from me, dropping on the ground in a temper tantrum that a two year old would display, and accusations that I was causing him to get frostbite.  He could be standing there naked and wouldn't get frostbite because it wasn't that cold.  So, what do I do?  The first thought that runs through my head are what the thoughts were that were running through all of the other parents' heads.  The horrible thoughts that they are thinking about me and him.  This in turn causes me to try and rectify the situation as fast as possible which is most always not the most effective way.  About three seconds before I was about to lose my mind another parent helped out.  Usually this type of intervention is not welcomed in any way because most people don't know how to deal with this sort of issue appropriately with a child who has special needs. 
     I stood back in amazement.  I was in awe.  He had the patience, he knew just what to say to Kyle.  He rubbed his arms to warm him up, showed him how to blow into his hands to warm them up.  He showed the patience that I wished I had!  And he was there at the right time!  I wanted to take him home with me!  Well, his patience at least, my husband probably wouldn't like it if I actually brought him home.  Kyle was able to calm down long enough for the picture, but he "had to wear" his army coat every time he wasn't on the field.
     The army coat he was wearing was part of his army obsession, but he also does have intolerance to the cold, and heat (lights, sounds, tastes, smells, touches etc).  His coach said that maybe next year they would have camo shirts.  I am sure that Kyle will remember this next year, and I am sure she was joking, but I at least have a year to figure out how to deal with that meltdown because I know he took her seriously.
     If everyone could show each other a little of what that gentleman exuded today, the world would be a much better place.  If children, the ones who can be most critical at times, could learn the same early on then a lot of the social heartache growing up would be eliminated.  This is the fantasy world that I dream about all the time.
     In closing, I want to thank the angel that sent some help my way today.  You always seem to be there when I need you most.  To everyone else, please find ways to be other peoples' angels as everyone has some struggle they are battling.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Raising a Son With Asperger's - First Post

     Today was like any other day.  Kyle woke up and got ready for school.  Today they were celebrating Halloween at school.  Kyle was excited!  He was going to wear his army gear.  The same army gear he wears every day after school.  Ever since a young age he has been obsessed with the military.  To me, this day was a relief.  I knew that at least for this one occasion he wouldn't get looked at as dressing weird.  He could be himself and blend in with all of the other children wearing costumes.  He was very happy that he could be himself at school.
     After raising a child like Kyle, even before the definitive diagnosis, you learn ways to help your child and to help yourself in the process.  Grocery shopping is bound to include at least three meltdowns.  I have learned that allowing Kyle to wear his army clothes, especially when he is accompanying us to places like the dreaded grocery store, he has fewer meltdowns and seems to be a happier little boy.  This allows us to accomplish the basic needs in life a lot easier.  The only thing that I am left to deal with is the looks that people give me or my child while I am out in public.  They look at him, then look at my husband and I, and then our other children (who are neurotypical) and see that the rest of us appear to be "normal" and don't know what to think.  It bothers me because they don't know what is going on and what they would potentially be witnessing had he been forced to dress "normal".  I guess the one blessing I have is that he is oblivious to these stares.  I would love to buy this shirt I saw on Cafe' Press.  It said "maybe your staring will cure my son's Autism", loved it.  I didn't buy the shirt even though it was incredibly hilarious for two reasons.  The first reason was because I didn't feel that I should have to broadcast it to everyone especially when not every moment is a meltdown, and the second is that I don't want a cure.  He is perfectly fine the way he is.  He has a lot of struggles and many aspects of life are going to be a little harder for him, but there are so many things that he is great at.  I can not even begin to tell you how intelligent he is.  He also knows that he has a very strong support group behind him all the way.
     So, in a nutshell, the purpose of this blog is to invite you to join our journey in raising a child with Asperger's or other similar situations (I don't like it being labeled a disability) and to learn from each other to raise these children with every ounce of knowledge that we can obtain.