The realities of Asperger's

Usually, I try to find a positive spin on parenting a child with Asperger's. Many times, when Gameboy surprises us with something good, it is noted in the blog. The day to day is very different, with yelling, screaming, temper tantrums and frustration. He cries like a two year old when he doesn't get his way. His most common phrases are "That's not fair", "But I want", "But Mom/Dad", "I hate ..." . He turns heads and we get rude looks constantly in public, because hey, your kid is 11 and is a brat. If they only knew...

Last night, we had one of those meltdowns that happens every night at bedtime. He didn't want to stop playing games, he hates bedtime, he doesn't want to take a shower because he took one last week, he hates bedtime. Yelling and screaming. As is typical, I ask if the crying makes him feel better, does it get him what he wants? What happens when you cry? Okay, so if it doesn't make you feel better, doesn't get you what you want and gets you in more trouble, why do you still do it? "I don't know" is the answer. It's his answer for all of this.

After years of it, we've started saying if you don't like our rules, leave. You're making our lives miserable, too. He doesn't like that answer, either. He wants everything his way and for us to provide it. It is frustrating. Last night, though, he said he was going to tell his teachers on us and get us in trouble. Okay, fine, do you know what they'll do? Take you and your brother away. Is that what you want? No, it's not, but the emotional maturity of a three year old doesn't delve into what happens when you do that. He just thinks life will be sunshine and roses when Mom and Dad get in trouble-that the law will tell us to let him play games all day, not go to bed, do homework or go to school. He doesn't believe that they'll be tougher on him than we are.

Chef Jr heard the conversation and got extremely upset at the reality we painted. He was horrified at the thought of child protective services taking them away from us because his brother was throwing this temper tantrum. There isn't an easy answer to dealing with this-you can't give an inch with an Aspie, but you have to remember that any neurotypical kid is going to be hypersensitive to the harsh realities you have to put in front of the Aspie.

Sometimes, the horrible parent in me thinks it would be great for him to be taken away-he'd see that we're pretty damn good to him. It'd be nice to not be on guard for everything related to his care-does he have meds? that food doesn't have dye in it, right? did you make sure there are no carbs in the pantry? did he do all his homework (one page equals at least an hour of torture for all of us)? did you take the gameboy and hide it? did he brush his teeth? did he take his meds? why is he freaking out so much? No breaks from this, its a war in our house every day. One that we feel like we're losing, despite our best efforts. I feel great empathy for the troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, because I feel the small feeling of never letting my guard down, lest the enemy (Asperger's) undoes all that I have been doing.

More thoughts will come to this entry when I get home from work tonight...


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