My 9-year old son was recently diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Much has been said about the challenges of living with someone on the Autism spectrum and I could add to those stories.
But here’s the brighter side to life with my son, Aspergers and all.
My son is the most honest person I know
My daughter, who is two years younger, is a habitual fibber. We’ve caught her in the act enough times that she’s starting to learn that it’s not working out so well for her.
However, my son just doesn’t lie. He may avoid telling us something, but if he’s asked a direct question, he’ll answer it truthfully. Even if he’s going to get in trouble. Is that Aspergers? I don’t think it matters. I hope he stays as honest as he is now (he could use a little more tact, but since tact isn’t my strongpoint either, I don’t have much of a leg to stand on).
We are ALWAYS on time
Kids with Aspergers are very routine-oriented. My kids walk to school (about a kilometer). And we are on time. EVERY day. When the school bell started ringing three minutes earlier, my son changed his schedule accordingly. Now we’re all 3 minutes earlier too. He has a lot of influence on his sister right now, so we have a pretty nice routine. I know this will end when she’s older, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts!
I don’t have to be creative when I make lunch
My son has eaten the same thing for lunch every day since he started school and has no desire to change. Soy butter (blech) and honey sandwiches with sliced cucumber and an apple. Every day. It rocks. (Once his dad and I decided to stop worrying about variety, we realized that we had a good thing going here).
He really wants to succeed
One of the things I love to death about my son is how hard he tries. One of the characteristics of Aspergers is difficulty in performing social actions that come naturally to others. Saying “hello” or responding to a greeting is often very difficult. New situations can be overwhelming. But I have to hand it to my son, he is not afraid of facing these challenges every day. He gets frustrated, but he doesn’t give up.
I hope he never does.