If you have a child..raise your hand.
No doubt more than one of you are raising your hand. When you’re a parent, or even a guardian or a big sibling, you expect certain things from kids and how they act and react.
What happens when none of the parenting skills work?
What happens when the only discipline you can think of is physical harm because none of the other work? (Oh, I know…many parents are saying..NOOOO DON’T…and then some are saying “that’s right”).
Here’s a small clip into a little boys world. He was born and his life was great up till 5. Suddenly, at 5 everything changed. The things that use to be done for him, he was now told he had to do. This had never happened before, how could he do it, how could he manage to do any of these things. These were adult things; he had seen adults do them. How was he supposed to be able to do them.
Every day was hard. 10 days after his birthday he just couldn’t handle it anymore and he cried. He cried for 2 days…nothing would change it. Suddenly, he saw a movie that changed everything. But he wanted to watch this movie again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again (I know you’re like…I get the point, but you don’t if there aren’t 30 more “again’s)
Then came 6. I remember the fateful blood curdling scream 2 months into that year: I HATE 6!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why? Because he had to learn to make his bed and tie his shoes. He was also asked to…WRITE!
Writing…a fate worse than death. Writing his letters 10 times took 20 minutes each. First there was the crying, the throwing, the fits, the anger, the slamming, the tearing, the breaking pencils, and then…letter B. When he found out there were upper and lower case I thought he was going to have a heart attack.
People are strangers and will always be strangers. There are 2 types of people, friends and family and them. Now at 9, he has 1 friend, but he is often asked to leave because he won’t do the exact thing he is suppose to. Parallel play and playing the same thing again and again is expected. Why doesn’t anyone want to ride their bike around the block 100 times?
Food can’t touch on the plate.
Darkness hurts when it touches and so does certain fabrics.
There is air in your eyes that has to be let go.
I HAVE to do things, and if I can’t…my mind explodes and I yell until I can do them! I just can’t control it!
Welcome to Asperger’s syndrome!
So many people look at these kids and write them off with a “What a bad kid. Control your kid.”
Nobody pays attention that this is a form of autism…it’s actually called high functioning autism. For those who have it, this world makes no sense to them. For those that have it, it’s an up hill battle involving consequences, rules that are always changing, and patterns that are attempted to be kept but others break them all the time. It’s a world of ear piercing sounds that nobody else is bothered by, fabric that feels like it is cutting your skin open, and veins that are burning. These aren’t make believe, this is real.
How do you tell them that their brain is wrong?
You don’t…you educate and help. Asperger kids look and act relatively normal until you’re around them for a minute, and then everything goes crazy. They do things you don’t understand and does things in ways our society tells us kids aren’t supposed to act. People believe they are doing things for attention, constantly lying, and just wanting to piss adults off. In fact, they are just trying to make sense of the world around them amidst people who don’t understand them.
This leads to abuse, destruction, and that turns into anger towards them and from them. After enough torture, pain and abuse are normal…and anger is all they know. They are created to be a problem because they were misunderstood. In fact, our jails are clogged with undiagnosed aspergers, diagnosed and misunderstood, and those that have just been abused into the reality that fighting is the way of life.
Write about it.
Read about it.
Volunteer and just be with them…because so many won’t take the time (even their own parents). These kids are often treated like the bad dog that nobody wants. They are amazing people, with awesome talents and ideas that just have to be found and shown to them. There are so many opportunities in this area to raise awareness for them, for the bullying that is being perpetrated against them, the child abuse against them, and begin paving the road for all families to find answers and the way to a greater and better way of life for these families and these kids.
Here are a few books I’ve found on the subject.
Understanding Sam by Clarabelle Van Niekerk
Aspergers from the inside out by Michael John Carley
Quirky yes, hopeless no by Cynthia LaBrie Norall
Get on to the GRASP (Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership)website and see what you can do to help
Do something and change the world!
What other challenges do kids with aspergers have? Have you ever known anyone with it?