Through my years as a parent of Asperger children I have learned that to survive I must be like the willow tree that stands through the storm because it is able to bend with the wind. Sometimes the strong Oak is more apt to break. We must be strong but able to go with the flow. Adversity strengthens trees and people. Our very special children will make us or break us. I chose to grow stronger. When the storms come, I have a shelter, a source of strength beyond myself. There are days when my girls and even their birth dad who is 40, can be oppositional. There are times under pressure when there are deadlines to meet and no one cooperates. Meltdowns result. The situation seems overwhelming at the moment. It’s when I get to the end of my self that I reach out in faith, and God gives me the strength I need to get through one more crisis.
Accenting the positive is so important! Look for the good. Praise them for jobs well done. Encourage your Asperger child! Brag on them to others. Unconditional love and acceptance go a long way in helping our children. It is too easy for them to lose their self esteem, being an Aspie in a NT world. Help them with friendships, but don’t get discouraged if they don’t have a circle of friends. They are probably a lot more comfortable doing their own thing in their own world without a circle of friends, than we are. Don’t point out their faults. They are probably very aware of them. Help build their self esteem.
My advice as a mom is to get all the information you can about AS., and then take a look at your child’s strengths as well as his challenges. Use your child’s strengths in addressing his challenges. Prioritize which challenges to take on now and which ones you can put off for a while. Pick and choose your battles!
Most of you are very conscientious parents trying to provide your child with every opportunity to succeed, and in doing so, you are finding that your child, seems to demand a lot attention than other children. It can be very exhausting. Life isn’t fair. We see other parents with “easy to raise” children who feel qualified to judge our Autistic children! Believe it or not, you probably ARE doing all the right things, and you WILL find that this starting to pay off when your child hits the teen years. Probably the most challenging ages are between eight and twelve but after that, you may even find your spectrum child is much easier to handle than your friends “typical” teens.
Listen to our children, and hear what they are really saying. Be sensitive to who they are and help them be the best they can be.
“Listening is love in action.“
– Leo Buscaglia
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word,
a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around. –
Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)
Through my experience I’ve found some things that work and some reasons why my children do some of the things they do. I understand a little better how their brain works. They are lovable, unique, very special children. They are a blessing and even grown they are still full of childish joy at discovering new things, there is no cynicism, sarcasm, suspicions. They are excited about life. What you see is what you’ve got. They may blurt out the things that some of us may think but haven’t the nerve to say. But coming from them with the innocence on their faces, it is often accepted. They may never learn social skills but they have honesty! “Thank you Lord for my very precious Asperger children!!!