It has been exactly 9 days since our boy was diagnosed. In these 9 days I will say that our lives have never been so different. I mean this in the most positive way possible. Since reading about how to handle difficult situations with our boy, and relate to him on his level both my husband and I have received more hugs than we can ever remember getting. Sadly before his diagnosis, I can count the times my son has voluntarily hugged me on two hands. Sad, incredibly but this week has made both my husbands heart and mine soar. We both agree that our boy being diagnosed was the greatest gift God could have given us, it came with answers and knowledge. As a result our boy is happier and expressing himself more than he ever has. Let me get more into that....
Our son is loud, out spoken, and very comical at times. Since starting his medication we have seen much, much more of the Aspie side of our boy. But really we both figure as long as he is happy, we can handle the stares in public because really our boy is special and we could care less what anyone thinks.
I wanted to take a couple minutes to answer a few of the common questions we have been getting.
Will you cater your life to his every need? (because he does not handle routine changes very well)
The short answer is yes, we will cater our lives to our son, just like most parents cater to lives to their children after they have them. Will we challenge him at times to step out of his comfort zone? Absolutely, but this will be done in the future after we have all had time to get used to our new life. When you have a child that needs are different than yours, we as parents show compassion and handle it with ease. We do not ever want to put our boy into a situation that makes him regress. Of course this may happen at times, we will do our best to handle every situation with grace for our son. The metaphor that I use is, would it be fair if I got you on a plane and then when we hit our elevation told you that we were now going to be jumping out. Would that cause severe anxiety in you? Of course, it would be mean, and it would cause great stress for you. We would like to lessen the stress and anxiety for our boy as much as we can. This means planning out our days as much as possible and this might even mean that we have to pass on some events but really, big deal.
It looks like you are letting him get away with everything without punishment, will you ever punish him?
Of course we will! However, it may not be the same punishment that a child without Aspergers would receive. This is challenging in our home due to having one child that is a Apie and one that is not. But the reality is that our guys brain is wired different than our little girls, and he deserves understanding when it comes to punishment just as our little girl does. Because our boy does not understand why the words he speaks are rude, and will never understand why those words hurt others feelings. I cannot and will not impose a punishment that does not fit the crime. How can I punish my son for something that he does not understand? Instead he will take a time out that ends with a conversation from mom or dad or both about how that makes the other person feel. Again he will not truly get the emotions part but we feel that it is important to make him at least aware of how he made some one feel.
What are our plans for Our Boy?
Our plans for our boy were the same they were before he received the diagnosis. We plan on continuing to raise our boy to be a compassionate, humble, charitable, faithful, spiritual, follower of Christ. (I will get more into this later, but I will say that without our faith I don't know where we would be!) Our dreams for our boy have not changed in the least, in fact we now have even more hopes for our son. We both pray that he becomes a voice for all the other Aspies out there.
Really, my husband and I are both so relieved, our home has been so pleasant to be in. I will admit that there were many times that I wanted to go to work on the weekends because the anxiety and constant conflict and battles with my son became exhausting and my depression was so high. But now, I am so excited to come home and see the advances that our boy is making. Hannah is having a little bit of trouble understanding why our boy is acting so different but my husband and I plan on sitting her down and having a talk with her about it tonight, wish us luck!
Again, thank you for the out pouring of support we have received, the texts, and emails and just asking how we are doing is an example of the kind of friends and family we have. We love you all.