Many Asperger families feel rejection from their church family. Unless folks have an Aspie they really can’t understand. We feel the rejection when the girls are left out of things. We see and hear of the young people their age doing fun things together but often they “forget” to invite my girls. Peers that grow up together in a church family often form little cliques. Not picking up on social cues my girls just never seem to “fit in” with the cliques.
One of the ministries of the church is outreach, not just to the heathen in foreign lands but to the hurting and rejected at home. These kids look so normal and sometimes they can act pretty normal so it’s hard for others to realize they aren’t just being difficult. I’ve tried to share with some of the church adults about Aspergers but sometimes I get the feeling they think I’m just using that label to excuse some of their behavior. Raising Asperger children can be a lonely job!
When my girls go to social functions you can see them standing alone in the crowd while others their age are laughing and having a good time. They used to want to be a part of the group but didn’t know how. After so many times of feeling “left out” It’s getting to where now they don’t want to go to social functions. I can understand! At church they sit back with the young people but after church I see the others getting in their little cliques and my girls are once again left standing outside of the group looking rejected. and being ignored. It’s draining! One Asperger mom suggested that they eventually had to “redefine” church. That “church” can be a walk in the woods and a prayer” which is much more peaceful than going to church Sunday after Sunday to experience rejection.
One of the things that helps us is, I have a friend from another church who has an 18 yr old son with severe seizure activity. My girls have befriended him in a good way. He’s immature for his age due to all his seizure activity. He can’t be out of his parents sight because of his often falling form of seizures. So he and my girls have a good (safe) phone relationship. The social interaction between them and this friend is invaluable. It does me good to hear them laughing and having fun over the phone
Another way we meet our social needs it that every couple weeks we have a little Bible Study group meet in our home. We have a pitch-in meal then sing together and fellowship around the Bible the rest of the evening. Very informal. We invite everyone from any denomination who wants to come and every time we host we end up with a house full from anywhere to a dozen to over 40. The family I mentioned that has the 18 yr old son, always comes, and we allow our girls and their son to set up a table back in the girls room to eat together because the “confusion” of the large crowd is too much sensory for my girls. The door is left open and they play board games and have a lot of innocent fun which fulfills their social needs while my husband and I get to interact socially with other understanding adults. It’s a great arrangement and everyone’s social needs are met.
The computer and an e-mail Asperger Support Group is another way of meeting the social need of us Asperger moms!
Are you a member of a support group?