This is something I’ve come to understand in the past few weeks. I’m lucky enough that I have a friend who, as an adult has just realized that she has been struggling with undiagnosed Asperger’s her whole life. The discovery that her daughter was giving her such a hard time in the morning because of socks – but could never verbalize it – made me realize that my son may not always be telling me why he is feeling and acting the way he is.
I also just started reading Asperger’s Syndrome and Young Children by Teresa Bolick. She has taught me that “My head hurts,” can actually mean something as unrelated as, “I don’t like the way that food looks.” Now when Jonah has a “behavior,” I’m finding that I can play detective and almost immediately find out what’s really going on. Do you even know how liberating that has been for me, AND for him? Tantrums are shorter, discomfort is diminished and I have a much greater understanding of his feelings. My anger towards him has all but disappeared. Even though I knew he wasn’t willfully being difficult, I still didn’t fully understand it. His overall attitude has began to shift from, “They don’t get me,” to “Oh my gosh, they REALLY get me!”
The look of relief in his eyes is priceless!