A mother is finding out that her son has Asperger’s Syndrome and what that means.
When my son was an infant I knew something was different about him. He had trouble sleeping, didn’t self-sooth and seemed to love baby puzzles over people. As he got older he played with toy cars by lining them up color coded in long lines across the living room. When we walked through parking lots, he had to count every car we passed and say the color. Odd things would set off a huge reaction with him: bright lights, sudden noises or being touched without prior consent from him. He would only eat certain foods and change was never an option with him.
When he turned 5 it was time to get him into the school system, which we had been preparing him for the year before. For years, every call from the school or conferences were dreaded. My son would growl and try to bite other children if they wanted to play with a toy he thought was his. He kicked, screamed and cried everyday. The schools sent social workers our way to see if this behavior was because of some issue at home and then he was sent to counselors and neuropsychologists. He was smart, very smart, the only diagnosis we were given was ADD.
My son’s diagnosis of Asperger’s disorder was a blessing for our family. After years of not knowing what to do next, we had vast resources available to our son and to us. Today my son is getting good grades, making friends and has less meltdowns. He is happier than he’s been in years and my husband and I are able to relax and enjoy parenting much more. Below are things to look for with a child with Asperger’s.
Light sensitivity is very common with children with Asperger’s. Fluorescent lights are very prone to set off a reaction because of the constant hum that they produce and the light they emit. If your child’s school has a lot of these lights, ask them if your child could take tests or have a study room without them in it.
Loud, unexpected noises that most people just deal with like ambulances, smoke alarms and dogs barking, can trigger a meltdown. While all of these noises cannot be avoided, you can talk to your child and develop a plan to deal with them when it is an issue.
When picking out clothes for your child with Asperger’s, natural is always better. If your child complains about not liking a certain piece of clothing because it hurts, it really does hurt him. A child with Asperger’s is very sensitive to outside stimulation and it often causes physical pain. Listen to your child and work with him.
Keep a Routine
This is one of the most important tools to help your child. Control of the world around him is a must for a child with Asperger’s and knowing what’s coming next puts these children at ease. Keeping to a schedule also helps you as a parent. Since everything has a time and place, you will notice peace in your home and life.