We are blessed to have a guest post from a mom who has a teenage son with Asperger’s. Due to her son’s age, she wishes to remain anonymous for this post. However, she did let me know that if you have questions specifically for her, she would be happy to dialog with you! Feel free to send me a message and I will get it to her!
First, I have to begin by saying that living life with a teen who has Asperger’s is challenging. Second, it also has lots of rewards! It’s not easy for my son being a teenager. It’s certainly not easy adding having Asperger’s to being a teenager! But we’ve made it for 17 years so far, and most of the time we’ve been able to handle things well. I guess what I’m saying is that it takes a lot of work on both of our parts. It takes a lot of communication. A lot of trouble-shooting. A lot of love and understanding. (That’s mostly on my part!) But it can be done.
I have a lot of experience with the autism spectrum. I have a severely autistic child. She is non-verbal and is totally dependent on me for her care. I also have a son who has Asperger’s and is very high-functioning. I think one thing I’ve noticed by having children on both ends of the spectrum is that, it’s often harder on my child with Asperger’s than my child with autism. My child with autism is different at first glance. People know that she’s different. They don’t have to guess or wonder. And because they can immediately see that she’s different, whether good or bad, they also immediately lower their expectations of her. It’s not that way with my son.
When people look at him, they see a teenage boy who looks like other teenage boys. They don’t realize when he says something that sounds insensitive that he honestly has no idea he’s saying something inappropriate. They have no idea when he goes on and on and on about a video game or movie that he can’t read their body language and tell that they really aren’t that interested. So then it’s up to me to decide whether or not to intervene. And what if he doesn’t get it even then?
At the same time, it’s such a huge feeling of success when he *gets* something that I’ve been trying to teach him. When he realizes that something he said hurt someone’s feelings and makes it right on his own. When he begins to realize (when I wondered if he ever would!) whether it’s appropriate to say something in the first place or not. When I can see him thinking and making a decision about what he should (or shouldn’t) do or say…and he makes the right decision!
I guess what I’m saying is that it’s hard being the mom of a kid with Asperger’s. That’s true. I don’t always know what to do. That’s also true. But the feeling of success is so very wonderful when it comes! And it will come. Maybe not every time. Maybe not most of the time. But it will come. And it will feel great!!
So hang in there! You can do it. It’s worth it.
Life with Asperger’s Series Posts:
Day 1 ~ Introduction
Day 3 ~ Verses to Pray over your Child
Guest Post ~ Wendy shares her heart about having a teen son with Aspgerger’s