Natalie — I would love to talk with you. Here are some random ramblings that came to mind as I read your comment. They are very random, but hopefully can get a conversation started.
- My son was 9 when he was officially diagnosed, although he had some pretty typical symptoms starting early. If you read the definition of Asperger’s Syndrome I swear his picture should be next to it. At age 6 struggled through KG. The academics were too easy, but the social and physical skill set literally tripped him up.
- After KG we brought him home for school. That allowed us to control the environment so that he could absorb as much information as possible in any given field of study.
- Tae Kwon Do classes. Great for developing brain-body coordination. Gave him a safe place to develop some friendships since there wasn’t much free-time and interactions were based on a common pursuit –the black belt.
- Weekly visits to the public library. Again, limited social interaction with a defined purpose — to get the book! We used the library to learn to maneuver in crowds before attempting crowds with noise.
- MA is very sensory over-sensitive. Loud noises, erratic motions, and anyone bumping him is a crisis. So after we conquered the crowds at the library we tried Meijer (like a Wal-mart, only better). That is about as much he can physically tolerate — even to this day. Driving is still out of the question due to sensory issues.
- MA finds incredible stability in categorizing things. We make sure he has access to a huge pile of spiral notebooks. These are filled with all sorts of stuff: superhero comparisons, sci-fi weapons, sci-fi space, sci-fi ships, String Theory, etc. Lots of seemingly random facts that he puts into order.
- One thing his first psychologist helped me understand is that aspies MUST bring order to chaos. They are compelled to find the pattern in everything around them. That brings peace and a sense of well-being.
- Some words that are used on his file: “Does not broadly apply social norms to new situations. Must be taught what is expected for each new social interaction.” “Needs significant assistance with routine organizational tasks.”
Whew! If my daughter says it is ok, I will post an essay she wrote once about being a sibling to an aspie.
Looking forward to the conversation.