When Asperger’s ATTACKS!

This is a horrifically bad picture of me. Its being used to illustrate frustration, which is felt at this house on occasion. I won’t sugar coat our family dynamic. Sometimes I want to sell Nathan to the Gypsies. I would never do that, of course. But there are days…

About two weeks ago, Nathan was in his room, getting dressed. Or so I thought. I knocked on his door to check on him and he’s only in his underwear. This was a good sign, which means he’d started the process. I asked him if he needed more time to change and he said yes. I told him he had 5 more minutes.

I checked him again and he had pants on, but he looked like he’s about to cry. I asked him, “What’s the matter, honey?”  
“The pants.” he said.

I questioned him about the pants. He couldn’t really say. I checked them. They weren’t dirty or  wrinkled. They didn’t have a difficult button or zipper. I couldn’t figure out what’s wrong.
“Nate, what’s wrong with the pants?”
“Mom, they’re uncomfortable.”

Okay, we’re getting somewhere. I was glad I gotten that out of him. But, it’s was 7:45 AM. I hadn’t showered and I felt like I stunk like a wedge of Stilton. We needed to leave by 8:05. I had a feeling we wouldn’t make that time frame.

I said, “Okay, pal. That’s fine. You want to wear another pair of pants?”

He said, “Yeah, pajama pants.”

I normally don’t let him wear pajama pants to school, as they look like, well, pajama pants. But this pair had a camouflage print on them. Completely acceptable in my book. I told him he could put them on and he could finish getting dressed.

“But Mom,” he whined, “everyone will know…”
“Know what?” I pressed.

“That they’re pajama pants.”
I got close to selling him on Ebay at that point.

“Honey,” I insisted, “who knows they’re pajama pants?”
“Me & you” he said.
“Right, so we’re the only ones who know. Nobody has to know except us.”
“But what if someone asks me?”

Ask him if he’s wearing pajama pants? Please, half the kids in school don’t change their clothes before going to school. But Nathan is a clothes horse and frequently asks me if his clothes make him look fat. I couldn’t wrap my head around this. His Asperger’s was being too crafty for me. It was 7:55, Nathan was crying and half naked and I was on the verge of having an audition reel for “Jersey Shore” with all the f-bombs I was holding back.

“Honey, nobody has to know they’re pajama pants.
 You can wear them if you want.”
“I’ll wear the other pants that make me itchy.”
“Nate, you don’t have to wear the itchy pants.”
“But everyone will know about the pajama pants.”
“Nate, you’d rather be uncomfortable and wear the itchy pants?”
“YES!!!”

I was befuddled, confused and yes, frustrated. There were some raised voices, by me. There was lots of crying by Nate. I was like, “Why is he torturing himself? Why can’t he just put on some darn clothes? Doesn’t he know I smell like an 8th grade science experiment?”  Nathan was just miserable, in my lap, screeching into my shoulder. Then, like a direct line from the Asperger Gods to me, I had a thought.
“Nate, do you want to wear a different pair of pants?”
“A different pair?”
“Yeah, like a pair of pants that are comfortable and are not pajama pants?”

He looked at me like I had told him he could swim in ice cream for a week. He smiled a little and wiped his face and said, “Yes. I would like that.” I figured he needed another option. In his brain, he had only two options. There was never any consideration of a third choice in his mind, so I put it there.

I held him in my lap and rocked him for a while. He’s 73 lbs now, so it’s not so easy to keep him there, but he still crawls up into my arms like a monkey when he’s sad. I know he needs love when he does that and I am happy to give it to him.

So, to sum up, Nathan wore jeans that day. I did not have a shower before I took Nathan to school, but did as soon as I got home. We also donated the offending trousers to charity. Asperger’s may attack without warning. It is best to be as prepared as you can, and try to think outside of the proverbial box. 🙂 

 

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0 thoughts on “When Asperger’s ATTACKS!

  • February 7, 2012 at 7:23 am
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    @Chibi_Son_Gokou@xanga – @Chibi_Son_Gokou@xanga – Why
    then are you then reading and commenting on this post? I personally can’t be
    bothered to debate whether Asperger’s is real or not with persons such as
    yourself but I will point out the illogical nature of posting a response such
    as yours on a website about Autism and Asperger’s. Also if you don’t have Asperger’s
    why even post this comment. ‘Except I haven’t been fired 30 times, I don’t have
    seizures when I’m in a place with flashing lights and loud sounds, and I can
    read facial expressions and body language quite well.’
    All you have said makes
    no sense.

    Reply
  • February 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm
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    @wcn – Maybe its not easy living with you.  How is people bitching about Autistic/Aspergers people all day and saying woe to anyone with the misfortune of having one in your family not bigoted as well as kind of pathetic.  Well we don’t pick our family, god does.  I am not trying to be mean as I might sound.  Has it ever crossed your mind that just about every sister in the entire world complains about how annoying her brother is sometimes and visa versa even if both siblings are Neurotypical.  Kids with Aspergers know how to read does this mom really want her kid to read this, how will that make him feel?

    Reply
  • February 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm
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    Hi I actually am a Gypsy and believe me I am not looking for kids right now.  I kind of have to agree with Leni1 here, it wasn’t that hard of a problem, she sounds like a bit of a drama queen/has a difficult time tolerating her child, and honestly other parents have to deal with this kind of stuff too, its not necessarily autism specific unless he’s like 10 or older, I don’t know how old this kid is.  his insistence on not wearing pajama pants was well founded.  A lot of schools banned wearing pajama pants because it became a weird way for girls to try and look sexy, it was the style for a while kinda “intellectually disabled” huh.  So your son didn’t want to be the first boy to violate the anti lingerie clause of the dress code, wanted to maintain a sense of decorum it actually shows a surprisingly good social sense for someone with Aspergers.  At the same time he could not abide that denim fabric, that seems to be true of a lot of autistic people.  Maybe I am just a bit pissed at original poster because I happen to be part of two deeply stereotyped and misunderstood groups of people who came up in a very stereotypical way in this article, Romani(proper name for the Gypsies) and someone with Aspergers.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm
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    @wcn –  yeah, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense in the situation. Thanks for a response that didn’t act like I was trying to be a jerk.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm
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    @AgainstTheWind1@xanga – It’s understandable that you would see the situation that way. But for a parent having to deal with an Autistic child, in the moment of an “episode”, sometimes practically is the last thing on their mind. Especially if they’ve been having a rough day. So as simple (and obvious) as that solution seemed, it was like an epiphany for this mother. And she was even more excited because the solution was actually well received. It’s really not easy living with an Autistic person, even those who are considered high-functioning (Asperger’s). My brother is, so I know.

    Reply
  • January 18, 2012 at 10:19 pm
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    This is my first big trolling, and hey, it’s all good folks. I take it in stride and mad props and love to you all for fighting the good fight for me. You’re all rockstars in my book. But don’t give them air, and their flame will die out, you dig? 🙂 

    I’ve been doing this writing thing for a little while and I take this all with a grain of salt. I don’t take it personally. Their trying to rain on my parade, and there is no chance of that!

    Reply
  • January 18, 2012 at 10:13 pm
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    @AgainstTheWind1@xanga – It wasn’t a pair of jeans, it was a different pair of pants. And yes, probably all other mothers have gone through similar. But no need to put my already sensitive kid through my own anxiety when he’s dealing with his own issues, one of them which is sensory. 

    Your perspective is your perspective. This is mine. And if you don’t think it’s novel, hey, that’s your opinion. If you don’t have a special needs child, this makes absolutely NO SENSE to you. And that’s okay. Maybe one day you’ll experience it on your own and you’ll have that A-ha moment and it will make sense. Until then, blessings unto you. 

    Reply
  • January 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm
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    @TheyCallHerEcho88@xanga – It comes with the territory of being a special needs parent. You have to adopt so many roles, wear so many hats. It’s like being a detective with all the signs you have to decipher. You never truly know what you’re in for until you’re knee deep in it and then you wonder how you actually get it done. I still don’t know. I just do it. He’s an amazing boy and has made such huge progress over the past few years. 

    Reply
  • January 18, 2012 at 10:05 pm
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    @PolarGreyWOLF@xanga – It’s all good! Thanks for the props. And honestly, people are entitled to their opinions and to believe what they will believe. It’s their narrowmindedness that prevents them from seeing the full scope of what’s around them.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2012 at 7:22 am
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    What a touching story. It really IS all about love and understanding of our challenges, isn’t it?

    PS…don’t feed the troll. (Chibi_Son_Gokou) *hug*

    Reply
  • January 17, 2012 at 7:19 am
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    @Chibi_Son_Gokou@xanga – Wow! Troll much? Shame on you if that is the only thing you took away from this mother’s very heartfelt post. The bottom line here is that this story could happen to anyone who has a child no matter what issue the child does or does not have.

    I am going to pray for your heart to be opened so that it will pour out the LOVE it is intended to.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2012 at 6:02 am
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    @Chibi_Son_Gokou@xanga – I assume you have proof if you are going to make such a bold claim.  If you merely claimed not to believe it existed would be one thing.  Whatever.  No harm done.  Yet, you make the proclamation that some doctor made it up one day.  If you know this, then perhaps you would enlighten the rest of us here as to which doctor?  Which day?  Why did he do it?  I, for one, want details.  (and I mean details, not links.  I’m pretty sure I know how to do my own background research to verify the data.)  If you’re going to make the claim then be prepared to back it up with substantial proof.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2012 at 12:14 am
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    @AgainstTheWind1@xanga – That was my thoughts exactly. I imagine you look at the pants options and pick a pair. “Not these? What about these? How about those?” until you run out of options… I don’t know anyone with aspergers though. Maybe that’s part of it?

    Reply
  • January 16, 2012 at 6:42 pm
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    I really don’t want to say this because I don’t want to be taken as insensitive, but hey I can’t please everyone all the time, and this is just…absurd to me.

    That’s an epiphany?! Suggesting a third pair of jeans is a magical moment? Asperger’s or not, any mom in a rush would have reached that conclusion about eight f-bombs sooner…

    Reply
  • January 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm
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     I don’t have proper sentence structure but that was because my ad-d keeps going.   Thanks for this.  for all the ways that you keep going.  Mighty thoughts for the HEart of  You. 

    Reply
  • January 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm
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    just hoping that I can go free myself from this in some way, doctore continually tries to treat it as bi-polar.   When I simply has an inconsistent interactions among different other personality types =  intermediate form of something and  sporadic interactions also I am so stressed on my worry level that I forget to focus.  a-d-d 

    Reply
  • January 16, 2012 at 11:10 am
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    @Chibi_Son_Gokou@xanga – Asperger’s is not classified as a personality disorder, for one thing. For another, there are plenty of people who have studied this disorder for their entire lives, who clearly believe in its existence. Just because you are angry about it (for whatever weird reason) does not mean that it doesn’t exist. Lastly, why would you say something like this in reply to a blog written by a mother whose child has been diagnosed with Asperger’s? If she disagreed with the diagnosis, your reply may have had some merit, but she didn’t. Whatever you believe doesn’t matter, because she is doing what she believes is best for her child based on the child’s behavior, development, and an expert opinion.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2012 at 11:00 am
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    Aww, poor guy. And poor you! Mom knew the perfect solution, though, good job!
    I worked the past several summers at a school for kids with autism, asperger’s, and other behavioral and/or developmental problems. Sometimes it’s so hard knowing why they’re so upset, and you feel frustrated and helpless– then, when you can communicate and understand the problem, it’s like a light bulb switching on. Once I had a little boy that WOULD NOT STOP giggling, and throwing all of his school materials on the floor. I was following the protocol for what to do in that situation (which was to take him to another room where he could work quietly away from his peers), but nothing seemed to be helping. He stripped off his shoes and socks when we had gym the next period (something he would need his shoes and socks for!) and refused to put them back on, giggling the whole time. I was so frustrated, and in the end, needed to call the head teacher in, though she was unable to get him to work or put his shoes on, either. The next day, I was talking to a co-worker who told me that, right before the period when the boy started having issues, he had been in lunch, and a teacher took a toy away from him and gave it to another child. Being mostly nonverbal, and not an aggressive child, I think he felt helpless, and understandably, upset. He was unable to express his emotions in the way that a typical kid might have (by crying or throwing a tantrum), so he just laughed, instead. It was such a revelation to me, because, up until that point, I thought his acting up was completely random. It’s a lot easier to work with the kids when you are able to remind yourself that, when they are upset, it’s for a reason, and they’re just begging for a little understanding.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2012 at 7:54 am
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    As a person with asperger’s I know how it sucks when people around me do not understand. And i know that when they don’t understand, they truly don’t. It’s hard to understand. Nathan is very lucky to have a understanding and caring mother like yourself! I am battling through young adulthood facing a lot of hurt and confusion. It warms my heart to see a person that cares. Sorry for being so confusing and frustrating mom. We don’t mean it.  You totally made me my day. 

    Reply
  • January 16, 2012 at 3:03 am
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    @Chibi_Son_Gokou@xanga – Like the person above me said, Asperger’s IS autism, it’s a form of high-functioning autism.  My father has it.  He worked over 40 years in the same job, never got fired from a job, married and raised a family and is now retired.  He is also completely socially awkward to the point of isolation, has obsessive-compulsive behaviors and tics, etc.  He’s never had seizures, but then again that’s not a listed symptom of Asperger’s AND anyone can have a seizure whether they have an illness or not. You got the reading facial expressions and body language correct; however, “they don’t want to sit still in class, don’t want to play sports with other kids, or are naturally introverted geeks who act socially awkward” is actually Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, and that exist as well, although I will concede AD(H)D is over-diagnosed.  

    So you don’t believe in Asperger’s, which is a form of autism and we have actual scientific proof of its existence, but you do believe in god, which has absolutely no scientific proof of existing?  I think I’ll believe the doctors/scientists over your misinformed opinions.

    Reply
  • January 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm
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    @Chibi_Son_Gokou@xanga – 

    Aspergers, is high functioning autism. Aspergers is autism. It’s like people who are borderline diabetic and can still somewhat eat candy and it doesn’t effect their blood sugar as much as a full diabetic. Aspergers is like that, it is autism, but it’s not “full blown” nor does it carry all the symptoms. If a diabetic ate enough candy their blood sugar would skyrocket and other symptoms would occur. If a borderline diabetic ate as much candy as the diabetic I just described did, they would have a different reaction and not all of the symptoms as they don’t have it as badly as the person who has full on diabetes. It’s like why would cancer be in stages? Cancer has four stages. Each stage is different symptoms depending on the area it’s and each stage has a different surveil rate. Just like aspergers is a form of autism, every stage of cancer is cancer, like aspergers is autism but in a different form. Hence, aspergers is refered to as a high functioning or a slight case of autism. I respect you and your opinion and yes there are doctors out there who are there to make a profit, but aspergers is a real condition regardless as to whether you believe it or not.

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  • January 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm
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    @apathy_sucks@xanga – Personality disorders are usually the result of the environment people grow in and the experiences that they have. There is no physical evidence that aspergers exists like there is with autism; it’s just a means for psychotherapists to rake in more money that they couldn’t make otherwise.

    Reply
  • January 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm
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    @At_Sixes_And_Sevens@xanga – Except I haven’t been fired 30 times, I don’t have seizures when I’m in a place with flashing lights and loud sounds, and I can read facial expressions and body language quite well.

    Reply
  • January 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm
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    @Chibi_Son_Gokou@xanga – Asperger’s is a term given to describe a collection of symptoms that interfere with a child’s life. It’s as real as the symptoms are… we just gave it a name and now have support groups for people. Now whether or not it’s a positive thing to label a child is debateable, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a “real” issue that needs to be addressed. Recognizing your child is not “different” but instead “the same, but the same as a smaller group of people than the majority” can be extremely beneficial for a parent trying to teach their child to cope.

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  • January 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm
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    @Kaitlin – That’s autism; not aspergers.  There’s a huge difference.  Aspergers is what doctors diagnose kids with if they don’t want to sit still in class, don’t want to play sports with other kids, or are naturally introverted geeks who act socially awkward.  

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  • January 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm
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    @Chibi_Son_Gokou@xanga – Wow, some people really have a screw loose.  Why don’t you fin someone to troll that isn’t trying to deal with a neurological disorder.  And if its so fake then why do MRI’s show differences in the brains of autistic people as compared to neurotypical people (more brain cells bundled in certain areas, and a larger amygdala to name a couple)?  You know when composing such an arrogant statement, it might be nice to consider scientific facts first.  Just a thought.  

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  • January 15, 2012 at 10:02 am
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    @Chibi_Son_Gokou@xanga – Yeah, right… and did God tell you that Aspergers isn’t real? Hint: Belief, opinion and wishful thinking have absolutely nothing to do with fact, truth or what’s real. It’s what YOU WANT to be real, nothing more.

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  • January 15, 2012 at 9:09 am
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    @lgw – You could say the same thing about people that don’t believe in God, but I’m a firm believer that God is real and aspergers is not.

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  • January 15, 2012 at 12:01 am
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    Aspergers isn’t real.  Some doctors in need of a quick buck and too much time on their hands made it up one day.

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  • January 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm
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    Actually, I can relate to the jeans thing as well.  In elementary school, I would often wear sweatpants because they were just simply more comfortable and jeans felt like they restricted my movement too much.  That, of course, was not something that could be easily communicated to parents, but the things felt like a denim prison, particularly in the crotch.  A kid with Asperger’s would, no doubt, be driven to a point of meltdown by this.   …and the thought of being embarrassed in front of one’s peers would be no better.  Of course, to me this all makes perfect sense because I lived it.  The solution comes as a second nature to me, only because I think what I would have wanted at that age.

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  • January 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm
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    Whoa, that’s like a scene out of my childhood. I hated blue jeans. They felt so uncomfortable, like I couldn’t breathe because they were touching me. I used to wear sweat pants/suits everyday to school. And I wonder why no one liked me.

    My father used to threaten to spank me when I didn’t want to get dressed. 

    Reply

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