I am feeling incredibly inspired today. I don’t know what it is, but I know when I get that feeling, I just have to go with it. Maybe it’s reading inspiring stories about others. Maybe it’s looking at my two happy children and knowing how much they touch my heart that I want to spread it onto others.
Sometimes I sit back and wonder what I can do to help myself. What can I do to better myself? The first thing anyone will tell you is do things for yourself. That is very true. You need to make time for yourself. However, some people thrive mostly from doing things for others.
I ran into an old friend this week who is currently going through an extremely challenging time in her motherhood. She is blogging about it the whole way. We talked about how no battle is worth enduring if you cannot share it with others and help someone along the way. How very, very true for my life, at least.
If I am helping you by writing this blog, please let me know. If you have a child with Asperger’s, ADHD, Asthma, Allergies, Anxiety, any A, let me know. Just let me know that you are reading. A simple response with ……. will just let me know that you’re out there. That you are trucking along life’s bumpy road with me. That my words are bringing you some type of comfort.
Like I said, no battle is worth enduring without the love and support from others. So, are you out there? How can I help you and how can you help me?
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!
Jonah’s teacher confronted me this year about the incredible details that Jonah recognizes. She said that he would find one tiny thing on a bulletin board that was different or moved and point it out. One small chatzke in the classroom would be moved a few feet, and he’d know.
He would walk around my mom’s house, re-arranging chatzkes to where they were “supposed to be.”
Today my mom showed him a picture of our cabana at the shore from when I was a child. We’ve had the same one all of those years. My mom pointed that out to Jonah, saying, “It’s the same one Jonah, see?” Jonah was not convinced, “It’s not the same one Nanny, we have two.” My mom explained, “No Jonah, we don’t have two cabanas, we only have one.” “No, Nanny, look, that Cabana is number 7 and ours is number 2.”
Over the years at some point they must have changed the numbers around – because it is in fact the same cabana. And all of these years, and all of these people never once noticed that the number changed. But Jonah did, in the handful of times that he’s been there. That is what he does and it fascinates me.
Jonah is the best swimmer in his camp bunk. I can’t remember the last time Jonah was the best at anything – other than making people laugh. From the day I met his new “friends” and new counselors, I knew that holding him back from Kindergarten was the best decision I ever made. I mulled and groaned and whined and didn’t know what to do…. until I just looked at him and said, “He’s not ready.” He wasn’t ready. He doesn’t have any pre-kindergarten skills because he spent his entire Pre-K year working on social and behavioral skills. Now that he’s caught up on those, I’m sure his other skills will take off!
To see him play with these children – some of them a whole year younger than him – was like seeing him in his element. He is so kind. He’s not the smallest anymore. He’s bold and he’s brave and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. There is a little boy obsessed with HIM now.
I know it was the right decision. I think that this will be a year of great strides. In the mean time, he’s swimming his little heart out any chance he gets! My heart sings when I think of how very proud I am of him!
“Mom, what’s lava?” I think I’ve answered this question about eight hundred times over the past few days. And it’s not that he asks it once and is done, he’ll ask it numerous times in the same hour. We’ve never quite figured out WHY he does this, but we do know that it’s a repetitive ritual.
My husband gave me the best trick today! He said that he asks the question right back at him, of course only when he knows that Jonah knows the answer. Or a very simple, “What do you think it is?” Seems to satiate him.
He could sit for hours and watch others play video games as well. However, he cannot do so quietly. He has to ask a question a minute, tell the player what to do and when to do it, and my dear, sweet husband, graciously answers every single one of them. I don’t know how he does it. I see the anger building, the annoyance eating at him. He knows that his boy adores him and needs to know every last detail of his daddy’s world. So he let’s him ask his questions. But when it’s repeated, he gives him a big old, “What do you think it is?”