I’m a mom of many (adopted) children, three of which are Aspergers. My oldest is 40 so I’ve been dealing with the Asperger issues for many years. Until recently no one had heard the term “Aspergers”, so my son was labeled, Minimal brain damaged, Learning disabled, Hyperactive, ADD, ADHD, just a BAD kid. etc. One doctor suggested that he had a lot of Autistic tendencies but he couldn’t possibly be Autistic because he could talk so well. Now we know that higher functioning Autism does talk. While they can talk it’s often very hard for them to communicate. (There is a difference between talking and communicating or connecting with others.)
It has been quite a journey! My son has always been impulsive. One day he went to Ohio and came back married! Surprise!! His wife had similar issues. As the children came the child welfare got involved and I was given custody of their three beautiful girls. Two of these have the Asperger diagnosis and the third is just ADHD. My girls are 15, 16 and 21. Socially life is difficult for them.
Much of what I write will be the first-hand experience from 40 years of raising Aspergers. I don’t have many answers but I know it takes a lot of patience, a lot of love and a lot of giving of myself, of adapting my life and schedules around Aspergers, of dealing with folks who don’t understand and think “a little discipline” should make them act normal. It takes putting on tough rhinoceros skin to not let the negative comments not get to me. I’ve learned to smile in the midst of a meltdown and explain to the frowning stranger that “she has Autism”. And many will think, “She’s just enabling them to misbehave.”
I guess being a parent of an Autistic child/adult is part of the process to conform us a little more to the image of Christ. Dealing with Autistic issues day after day, helps us to lay down self and rise above being a victim, to learn patience and compassion and to find our moments of peace in the midst of the storms. It helps us to daily lean on God for our help and strength. Living with an Autistic person helps develop and strengthen faith. It’s not an easy job and life isn’t always fair, but God is faithful! We are running a race – the prize isn’t at the beginning or the middle but in the end. God sees every tear and turns them into blessings! So newly diagnosed Asperger parents, get ready for a rough but rewarding ride! 🙂