It has always been a challenge (not a struggle) to raise a child with Asperger’s. They see a world so much different from ours, understand differently from what we can normally comprehend, grasp unrealistic ideas and view it as normal. They see color in black and whites and grays in color. They give a solid meaning to the word unique. So somewhere in between, you know you’d both clash and disagree.
But also in between you learn about patience (lots and lots and lots of patience), about perseverance, about compromise, about appreciation and amazement and unconditional love.
This kid, when he was younger, he could name all the flags of the world. When he got older, he could name all the car brands and their model types. Recently he’s into constellations and he’s been telling me about what he sees when he looks up the sky at night. It’s amazing how they could pour all concentration and focus and passion into that one thing that interests them and be scattered with all the rest.
There are days that I feel exhausted and helpless especially during the times when he is being unreasonable and throws a tantrum and no matter what I do he just completely shuts down and I can’t get through. There are days that I panic and overthink things, like how will he be able to live normally when I’ve gone. There are days when I feel like a failure and think that I am not doing enough despite all the medication and doctors and therapy.
Then there are days when he is overly sweet, does his chores, surprises me with I love you balloons and letters, talks to me about his day like what he did with his friends at school, jokes about random things, looks after his youngest brother and somehow, it assures me that somewhere, I am doing things right.
This kid, he’s taught me a lot about living. How to appreciate the little things, how to pay attention to detail, how to strive harder and never give up, how to dream. When he is shattered, I need to focus. When he is unnerved, I need to encourage. When he is irrational, I have to be patient. When he is being stubborn, I have to pour more love.
And yes he is extraordinary and atypical and awesome and I’m very very grateful.