On Tuesday, I am going to a special presentation in my son’s classroom. The guidance counselor is going to teach the class about Aspergers. Once the counselor is finished, I will get a chance to talk to his class too. It will be a chance to educate the kids, and let them ask questions. We are hoping for a better level of understanding amongst his classmates. Aspergers is invisible; a child with it, appears to be typical, but behaves a little bit differently than other “typical” peers. While we don’t want Asperger’s to be an excuse for our son, we want others to know some reasons behind his personality. I have reservations about sharing information that feels private, but I am hopeful that my son will feel more comfortable in his own skin after.
This weekend, McCartney and I discussed what he wanted me to tell his class about his Aspergers. This is our list:
* His brain works differently than ours. He knows things that we learn. For example, no one taught him how to read. Around 3 years old, he started identifying words like December, Sunday, cat, dog, etc in the grocery store.
* He has to learn things that we all know. He is learning how socialize with people. He doesn’t always think to look at a person’s face or body to see what their whole message is. He often just listens to your words.
* He also had to learn how to use his imagination, where most of us know how to pretend without anyone teaching us.
* He doesn’t lie, so he assumes others don’t either. He takes what you say as the truth. For example, if you are mad at him and say, “I won’t ever play with you again.” He thinks you REALLY mean it.
* He likes to follow the rules when playing a game. Rules make sense to him. He doesn’t understand when kids change the rules to games. He gets frustrated.
* He can’t always tell when a person is joking. Often times, he needs time to think about if a person’s words are true or if it’s a joke.
* Because the social world is very complicated, he doesn’t trust people easily. He often thinks that others are deceiving him on purpose. We are not trying to confuse him, but he doesn’t always understand that.
* When he is interested in a topic, he wants to know EVERYTHING about it, and will study it until he does.
* He wants to have friends and be included.
I admit, I very nervous about this presentation, but I am open to trying new ideas, when the current ideas aren’t working.