A few weeks ago I was wandering on the internet throughout the Autism community. I came across The Autism Positivity Project and the call for all bloggers in the Autism community to write for "I Wish I Didn't Have Aspergers," a search that landed a despondent Aspergian to a Autism blogger's page to look for answers. Because this particular blogger was distraught that a person was searching "I Wish I Didn't Have Aspergers." they, along with a band of other amazing bloggers decided to spread the word to have everyone respond to this person on a Flash Blog day.
I decided, of course I would join in this effort to be sure that anyone who searched such a phrase would always come up with positive and supportive things, but it was a topic that did make me nervous. My son has Asperger's and has told me on numerous occasions that he wished he didn't. So the idea of writing to someone to help them cope with their diagnosis in life seemed like a difficult task. I stepped back and decided that my best advice can only come in what I say and will continue to say to my own child.
It's not easy and I wish I could make it easier for you. Sometimes those things that make us each unique are also the things that make us feel crazy. But sometimes those things are what set us apart from everyone else in this world. Having Aspergers means that you are going to deal with a number of things like your sensory issues that make it tough to get through the day. It might mean that you have a hard time making friends or getting people to understand who you are. But having Aspergers also means that you have some amazing traits that you may not have otherwise. You are by far the smartest kid I have ever known. You were telling me about the lives of jungle animals and what differentiated a tornado from a hurricane when you were four years old. When you were five years old you decided that you wanted to become a veterinarian on a zoo, something that you are still dead set on accomplishing five years later. When you set your mind on doing something you get it done, I have never seen a child so incredibly persistent as you. While you never ever engaged in imaginary play (pretending a banana was a phone, well because clearly it is not) you have the most amazing mind, creating a small mechanized world out of twist ties. I watch you at work reading, learning and doing and it makes me excited to see you grow. Because of your Aspergian traits, I know that you will become at the very least a veterinarian in a zoo, and maybe much more. I know that there will be challenges, but you must know that I am always here for you with your family, friends and all those who love you and know you. Together we can all see that those things that define you as having Aspergers Syndrome are the same things that make you my son and I wouldn't change that for anything in the world.