Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Asperger Syndrome

Many of you know that Brandon was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome a few years ago. In the beginning it was hard to see that he was different besides not being able to sit down at all. But after finding out, we did everything that we could to help him out. He has improved so much that he is almost a different child, but even now you know that he is different.

Brandon had been having problems at school lately making friends and catching social cues. He has told me that the worst thing at school is making friends. My poor baby, and then you wonder why. Have I done something wrong to make him the way he is? Did I not let him play with other children as much? These are just a few of the many questions that have run through my head over the years. At times I come to the point where I have accepted the diagnosis and just work hard to help him in any way I can, an then at other points I am just floored on finding out that he is different.

My Mother in law is always reading and has very good taste in books, so when she suggested that I read "Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Aspergers"  I thought okay, that's nice, I will get to it when I can. But recently I finally picked it up after having it for a few months. I read the first chapter and just cried. This man describing how he thought and felt struck me hard! Just the littlest things that we take for grated, thinking that everyone knows! But he did exactly what Brandon has done. I have come to understand Brandon so much more by reading this book.

I would highly suggest anyone read this if they are curious about Asperger's Syndrome which is on the Autism spectrum or if you want to know Brandon more. I haven't read the whole book yet, but I am getting there. This man had a very hard childhood as it was and I have been struggling with it. But I would recommend this book to anyone.

I know that there are more books out there, written by those who have Aspergers. My heart just goes out to these people. When they were little, they were treated badly for being different because we didn't know about Aspergers, and just how they thought. I thank my Heavenly Father that Brandon was born in a time when we knew why he was different and have developed ways for us to better understand Brandon's world. There is no cure for Asperger's Syndrome, and I personally don't want one. Brandon is who he is with this syndrome and his little quirks has made him Brandon.

Now my second son, Nathan has High Functioning Autism. It is different from Aspergers but the same in areas. Nathan has struggled more with speech, which those with Aspergers don't. When you compare Brandon to Nathan they are so similar but night and day different. I am not looking forward to next year when Nathan goes into 1st grade, but as with Brandon, I love Nathan and wouldn't change him for the world.

If anyone has any questions about autism, please let me know. I don't claim to know anything, but I do know more than what is said on news channels. There is no set cause for autism and there is no set cure for autism. But I do hope that when you see a mother in a store and she has a screaming child at her feet, or a child walking next to her flapping their arms, please don't judge....because that has been me.


Amy and Cody said...

I love that you are so open-minded and non-judgemental. You are the best advocate for your little boys, I really feel like we all chose or were given situations where we would excel in before we came to earth because you honestly are the very best mom I know. That sounds like a really good book to read, I'll have to go check it out soon.

Sweet Grandma Rita said...

I agree with Amy. We are all given the children we have because we are the ones that can help them the most. If you think about it, would you put your child in a place that they would not thrive? Heavenly Father who loves more perfectly then we can, choses the homes for his spirit children where they have the best chance of surviving. Your children will do best with you!!

Luv 2 Kreate said...

I am not very familiar with Autism, but I do know that your boys are very lucky to have a Mom like you who loves them with out question! The book you suggested sounds interesting. I think I will check it out at the library and read it with my boys. I believe that it is important for us to be aware of the struggles of others so that we may be more understanding of those around us like you mentioned in your post. We never truly know what is going on in another life, and at times we don't understand why a person behaves the way we do...As grown ups we should educate ourselves and our children.

Thank you for sharing, your boys are ADORABLE!

I agree with the other comments...God chose you to be the boys Mom because you are a very special person :)

Alex and Katie said...

You're a good mama, Crystal.

JT, Carly, Boston, Jocelyn and Snuggles said...

Great book. I too am grateful that we know more about asperger's and autism these days. I constantly worry about my little aspies future, in my eyes he's just perfect. I don't even really notice he is different until we get around other kids his age. I know there will be tough roads ahead. If you haven't checked it out read Tony Attwood's Complete Guide to Asperger's. Best book I have read on the subject and really quite hopeful in looking at our boys future's. Thanks for posting this.