I wish I'd said it first:

"The world is a stage but the play is badly cast"
Oscar Wilde

"In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away."
shing xiong

"Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid."
John Wayne

"Life is a great, big canvas and you should throw all the paint you can on it."
Danny Kaye

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Son With Aspergers Syndrome

My son Ian is the most honest person I know. He lives in his own world. He seems detached but really, he is observing closely. He began reading and writing at three and a half. when he was little he rarely made eye contact but that has changed, he engages easily and loves to be the center of attention. Loud sounds still send him running. He is ten now and in the fifth grade and unable to be in a class room for more than two or three hours at a time, so he goes to school for a couple of hours a day and then does his homework on line in the form of a blog. I noticed things were a little off when he was about four but since I had rarely been around small children I figured that I was seeing something that wasn't really there.

He was such a happy little guy, always smiling and dancing, he loved to dance (and still does.) The dancing, it turned out was another symptom of his Aspergers... These children use repetitive motion to lessen their anxiety. He was so bright! he would spend an hour at a time in the bathtub spelling words with his sponge-rubber letters. He was spelling out words way before he could say them. His first day of school was bittersweet since he had been tested and due to his advanced ability to read and write he was placed in a first grade class skipping kindergarten altogether. He was not ready for this. He needed to be in a room with crayons and paste and fish in a tank with a friendly kindergarten teacher to hold his hand, what he got was a screaming harpy who didn't like little kids very much at all. Poor kid. He lasted a couple of weeks before the school listened to me and put him in Kathy Bills kindergarten class. Here he is on that first day of school, all bright and shiny.
Ian was a really good kid. He never put weird objects in his mouth and he loved to be cuddled. He learned so fast that is was almost scary. He loved the computers in the house and figured them out quickly. He learned both PC and Apple platforms and was editing my writing by the time he was four. He just was a natural genius in spelling and punctuation. It was as if he always knew how to read. Now, at age ten, he reads on a graduate school level. Ian's gifted in all things technical but he can't tie his shoes. He will only eat and drink very specific things and he collects computers and vintage video game consoles. Ian's sister was born a year after he was and so his constant companion as always been his sister Jacqui. Here they are together back in September 2004 right before Ian went off to school on that first day. Jacqui has been Ian's best pal and confidant for as long as they both can remember. I am very lucky to have these beautiful children.

Ian struggles socially - He gets on much better with adults, it's difficult for kids to get where he is coming from. He has a best friend who lives down the street and Ian loves to play with the neighborhood kids. He loves to rollerblade and ride his bike and skateboards. He loves basketball and spaghetti. I just feel fortunate to have him in my life. I do my best to understand his world and he does his best to tolerate the rest of the planet.  He likes to spend time alone writing on his blogs, he's really easy to have around because he is so happy just being alone. I used to worry that he was withdrawn but that just is not so, he genuinely just likes being in his own space because it is familiar and quiet. Here is what he looks like today. A wonderful, bright, honest, kind and cuddly little boy of ten.

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