I am not sure I am ready to publish this blog post, but I feel a huge weight on my heart to at least write it and hopefully begin to speak out. My way of truly coping with things is to write.
I will begin by saying that if you know my son, please refrain from asking him about this.
Almost from the day he was born, I knew my baby was different. He was very intelligent and very independent, but could be very difficult at times. He never liked change and we always stuck to a routine. When we left to run daily errands, I always explained everywhere we were going. If I altered those plans, he was not happy. We learned together what worked. However, daycare and school were much different situations.
He never missed milestones, such as, walking, talking, reading, etc. so everything seemed normal. As the years have gone by, he had more and more trouble socially. I tried so hard to make him fit into society’s view of how a little boy should act. His frustrations at being different and always being told he needed to act one way or another came out as behavior problems. I remember the looks of parents who acted like he was a terrible child. I could hear the whispers “he needs his butt spanked”. Did they not realize that I had tried anything and everything? He did not like being in trouble all the time. No one wants to be considered “bad”. Everyone wants to be accepted. At times, we were both very sad.
I tried to force him to participate in activities other boys his age did. Soccer seemed like a good fit, but he lacked the coordination and as it became more competitive, he was always on the bench during the games (although he rarely missed a practice) so that, too, became a source of frustration to him.
He was never invited to birthday parties and was always last to be picked to play on a team at school. Over the years, he has learned to keep to himself and pretend he is okay not having friends and not interacting with his peers. Most teachers just considered him a behavior problem and that was it. The Angels who did get to to know him, still check on him from time to time.
About a year or so ago, I first heard the term Asperger’s for the first time, but it was not until about two weeks ago that God laid it on my heart that my child indeed had Asperger’s. At 15 years old, I can’t believe no one ever mentioned this to me. I had taken him to specialists and had still never heard the term Asperger’s. I heard the term ADHD plenty. He took medicine for years for ADHD, but it made him super moody so we eventually stopped taking the medicines after many years of trials and failures. We also knew he was dyslexic and felt that could be contributing to some of his frustrations.
In the last two weeks, I have been through the stages of grief from guilt to anger to acceptance, but he is already 15 so I don’t have time to continue down that path any longer. I have also been a momma on a mission. I have learned everything I can about Asperger’s. We found a fabulous doctor and we have had our first appointment. We are currently assembling a team at school that I hope and pray will be his advocates.
I will say that although as a young child, he was difficult to handle, as a teenager, he has mellowed out and become such a joy to be around. I don’t know what I could have done different to have figured this out sooner and I don’t know what to expect in the future, but for the first time in years, I feel like we have a chance to get expert help and advice from someone who understands my baby. I don’t feel so alone and I pray he does not feel alone. The fight to be society’s definition of “normal” is finally over and I have learned that my baby has always been “normal” in his own unique way. I am blessed that he is happy (for the most part) and he is healthy.
For now, we pray. We pray that God continues to guide our footsteps and leads us in the right direction so that he is able to successfully navigate the waters of life in adulthood. I consider God’s timing and His hand in this as a blessing.
I don’t know the exact reason I have felt the need to share. It is not for sympathy because I am prouder of my baby than I have ever been. I have been open and honest with him every step of the way and he is taking on this new journey with grace and maturity. Maybe there is a momma out there going through the same thing I was and this will help get her to a diagnosis quicker than I did. Maybe there is a child or a parent that you have spent years looking down your nose at because they just don’t fit your definition of “normal”. Whatever the reason, I pray I had said something that made you stop and think.
Crazy Mom On A Mission