Sunday, October 21, 2012

Asperger’s Syndrome & Parenting: A Very Positive Video

Cannon Beach, Oregon.  April 30, 2011.

Recently I was watching some videos on Asperger’s on YouTube.  There is some good stuff up there and, of course, some crap (that is the nature of the beast), but learning more about this condition and about how to help my son learn how to navigate in the world is something I try to spend some time doing from time to time.

Obviously, this is a full time process, not a time to time one, but I like to dedicate a few hours to watching and reading material about Asperger’s a couple times a month. 

Sometimes I learn new things, or re-enforce some things that I already know, and at other times it is more just for my own sanity, to remind myself that these are real things and we are not all crazy.  In that way, these sessions can fulfill the role of a support group, I suppose.

I’ve been meaning to start throwing up some posts covering some of the material I’ve been looking at and writing about my own experiences raising a child with Asperger’s.  The other day, after seeing a video that I will discuss at another time, I found myself writing so much in the comments that I realized I pretty much had already written most of a post.

“Ah ha!”, I thought.  I’ll throw these comments and videos together and I’ll have my first post.

This, however, is not that post.  A few things happened between then and now.

First of all, one of the drawbacks of throwing that post up was that I’d be starting this conversation off writing about a very unpleasant aspect of life raising an “Aspie”, meltdowns.

In fact, the second reason I am delaying that post is that this is a huge and complicated topic.  In fact, it is probably the one of the most challenging aspects of Asperger’s that parents have to deal with, and even that one post, I realized, was quickly growing into at least two different posts covering several different issues involving meltdowns.

But, beyond all that, I’d rather start off with a more positive topic, especially when thinking about some videos I posted on my Facebook profile a couple weeks back which made some people, I fear, walk away with a misleading view of Asperger’s, making it feel like Asperger’s was a crippling disorder leading to, or even guaranteeing, a life of severe disability and misery.

That is far from the case, especially if it is diagnosed early and the child is raised with the understanding and taught the unique skills he needs to survive in a world where he is just wired up a little bit differently.

In fact, today, I started off watching a very positive video made by a woman who has Asperger’s about the good parts of having this condition and I would like to share that video in this first post, starting things off on an upbeat note.

Before I wrap up for today, I also wanted to point out that, in these posts I hope to be making over the next few months, I am only sharing my own experience, strength, and hope.  What my family has experienced with our child, and the solutions that have and have not worked, may vary.  I have no training other than what I’ve learned through working with my child and his various providers.  So, any thing I say, is pretty much just opinion and not fact.  It should be taken as such.

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