I decided this blog was important to write for a variety of reason but the most important being that when we are faced with challenges it seems that we are so focused on the negatives that we miss out on the positives.
Having a child on the spectrum means that there are many challenging moments, and if I am not careful I find myself missing out on opportunities to understand and embrace my sons differences. It can seem overwhelming to those who are not educated with Aspergers or Autism but for me, the most overwhelming part is the frustration of people who do not take the time to even try to understand. It is so easy to judge parents of kids on the spectrum for not disciplining their child, what you may not realize is disciplining a Aspie and disciplining a child that is not on the spectrum is not always the same thing.
Here is some awesome information from a blog that i love...
"Traditional discipline may fail to produce the desired results for kids
with Aspergers, primarily because they are unable to appreciate the
consequences of their actions. Consequently, punitive measures are apt
to exacerbate the type of behavior the punishment is intended to reduce,
whilst at the same time giving rise to distress in both the youngster
One of the means to achieve this may be to focus on the positive. Praise
for good behavior, and reinforcement by way of something like a Reward
Book, can assist. The use of encouraging verbal cues delivered in a calm
tone are likely to elicit more beneficial responses than the harsher
verbal warnings which might be effective on kids who are not displaying
some sort of Asperger characteristic. If necessary, when giving
directions to cease a type of misbehavior, these should also be couched
as positives rather than negatives. For example, rather than telling a
youngster to stop hitting his brother with the ruler, the youngster
should be directed to put the ruler down."
For my son, I have noticed that his one area that can drive people crazy is his logical thinking. For instance, when I asked him to slow down when he is drinking his favorite drinks. He will say "Why, its going to be gone no matter what." Can't argue with that! At times his logical thinking can be mistaken for defiance from those that are not familiar with him, that is what I find so sad. My heart hurts that he is so misunderstood.
I am not here to say that my son is perfect and never has his moments because he does! But, I think it is so important to remember that every situation is different. If you have your guard up and are in constant defense mode around him, odds are you will find everything he says offensive.
The point is, not everything that my son does that is not "normal" is wrong or out of defiance it is simply that he has a difference way of process information than you and I. Taking time to be understanding and loving is so important when dealing with a Aspie. The last thing I ever want to do is make my child feel that he is "broken" or that the way he thinks or feels is "wrong".
I love my son, I will always be his advocate.