Friday, March 23, 2012

My kiddo has Asperger's Syndrome

After school, like any day, we followed our routine. Off the bus, walk the dogs, 10-15 minute break and then time to get to home work. After about 30-45 minutes on homework its time for another 15 minute break. Kiddo asked, begged, if it was OK to play on the Wii for this break. I don't usually let the kiddos play video games during the week because it gets adversarial and usually results in problems. It had been a long time since I let him play, so I said fine so long as you play with your sister. Great, fine, perfect. I started dinner and Grandma came by for a visit and we talked while the kids had their homework break. The minutes passed and it was time for spelling pre-testing. "Oh no mom please!!! Only 5 more minutes, we almost beat the level!" "Ok, ok, five minutes and that is IT." The level was not beat and it was time to get back to work. 

Kiddo started in with the tantrum and I immediately regretted allowing them to play the video game. He threw his spelling notebook towards the table, grabbed the baggy that his spelling words were in with his teeth ripping a hole into the bag. Grandma said she would do his pre-test, an effort to try to distract his attention and change his mood, unsuccessfully. He saw his sister had a mechanical pencil that he had been using and went over and tried to lurch it from her hand, pulling apart the pencil and stabbing her in the arm at the same time. Little Sis started crying in agonizing pain (seriously she was fine... she had a scratch, but drama is her middle name) and Kiddo had arrived at atomic meltdown stage. I told him to go to his room and he ran into it in a flurry of tears and rage. Grandma said she would go and do his test with him in his room, but I knew he needed time. I walked in and he was thrashing in his bed throwing everything from beenie babies to bed sheets across the room. 

My kiddo has Asperger's. He has a very hard time with change in routine and transitions to new activities. He can not stand when rules are not followed (especially when they address the touching or use of HIS property) He doesn't like to be touched or hugged too much and avoids eye contact. Socks drive him mad and clothing with seams set him off. Alternately, kiddo is wickedly smart. He can pull apart a mechanical pencil to its very core parts and put them back together and have it work better than it did off the assembly line. He can build unimaginable things out of Legos and blocks, even if he needs them to be organized by color before he begins. He can absorb information hearing it or seeing it only once and shock your pants off with details about a strange species of bug located in Egpyt or some other far off land. He is extremely detail oriented making the most amazing and tiny sculptures out of paper, clay or even pasta. My Kiddo is amazing. 

I walked into his bedroom, took a deep sigh and told him that he had five minutes to take a break to calm down. If he wanted to watch his T.V. program tonight, we still had to get through his spelling work. He could rage all he wanted, not breaking anything, during that five minutes, but when he was done the room needed to be back together again. 

I walked out and my mom was sitting doing Little Sis's spelling with her. Through the door that he angrily closed, I counted him down after each minute passed. At about 3 minutes he poked his head out, throwing pencils that his sister had allegedly stolen from him. He went back in and continued his tirade. I gave him his four minute count and a few moments later he walked out of his room, which was put back together again. He grabbed his notebook again and muttering to himself about how he didn't want to be around and that today was just horrible but sat at the table with a pencil to hear his spelling words for his pre-test. 

Grandma and I just kept things light, poking a little fun at him to lighten his spirit. Though he was a little irritated by it, he wrote his spelling words as they were called, not misspelling one of them. I told him he had done a great job and that we should go ahead and make dessert because they had definitely earned it.
Kiddo worked on mixing together the ingredients for the dessert and Little Sis helped get the table set and dinner finished. By the time MacLeod walked in the door and dinner was on the table, kiddo was happy, smiling and joking again. It took over an hour, but he was back to his normal again. 

Each day comes with its challenges, but it also comes with its rewards. I wouldn't change Kiddo for anything in the world because even though we have our difficulties, there is so much about him that is special and I love each and every bit of it. 

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