I am reading a book right now on Aspergers Syndrome. Doctors do not diagnose Aspergers Syndrome anymore. The symptoms of Aspergers gets the diagnosis of mild autism. The change happened last year in 2014. Anyway, as I am reading this book I can only think of one thing and that is Andrew! WOW....this book is totally preparing me for my future with Andrew.
The book gives numerous scenarios and I can picture Andrew doing every single one of them. I would like to share one small example from the book:
One mother told the story of thirteen year old Jamie's first meeting with her cousin's boyfriend. As the sixteen year old cousin introduced her boyfriend, Jamie looked closely at the young man. When it was her turn to greet him, Jamie blurted out, "Your face is covered with acne!"
While most thirteen year old girls would have noticed the young man's unfortunate case of acne, most would also have avoided comment. Even after the cousin and her boyfriend left, Jamie was unable to understand her mother's admonition against such remarks. "But, Mom." she said, "He does have acne. You always tell me not to lie."
Andrew tells me all the time that he doesn't like certain people and that he doesn't like _____ shirt. He also tells me all the time that he doesn't like _______ because she/he looks mean. He comments all the time when we are in stores if the person next to us looks nice or mean...he also tells me if the person is big or small. Andrew and his disability do not lie and tell exactly what is on his mind.
Here are a few of my conversations with Andrew the past week. (Please no one take offense to these comments. It is just Andrew.)
Andrew says, "Mommy, I don't want to be Daddy."
Mommy says, "What are you talking about. I don't understand."
Andrew says, " I don't want to be like Daddy."
Mommy says, "You can be however you want to be. If you don't want to be like Daddy, you don't have to be. You can just be like Andrew."
Andrew says, " I don't want to be a daddy. I just want to be a brother. I am a brother. I can't be a daddy."
Andrew says, "Is Lincoln my cousin?"
I say, "Yes he is your cousin."
Andrew says, "Is C.J. my cousin?"
I say, "Yes, C.J is your cousin."
Andrew says, " I don't want C.J to be my cousin. I already have one cousin and that is all I need."
I say, " Well, Lincoln is getting a baby brother really soon and he will be your cousin too."
Andrew says, "Lincoln is my only cousin Mommy."
Andrew says, "I don't like people."
I say, "Why? You should like everybody Andrew."
Andrew says, "I don't like the way people look at me."
I say, " Well, if someone is looking at you and you don't want them to can you try to ignore it?"
Andrew says, "No! I tell them I don't like them and to stop looking at me."
Andrew, " I don't want to go to Harsha?"
I say, "Why don't you want to go to Harsha Bubba? You like Harsha."
Andrew says, " I don't like Harsha anymore. Its hard to play with people."
Andrew has changed a lot lately. He has made huge gains in some areas but he is still way behind in other areas. I remember posting on my first blog how much I felt like I missed out on Andrew's life because Trenton wanted only me at all times. Wow, things have sure changed! Andrew and Trenton have switched roles! I am the only person that can do anything with Andrew. I have to be by him at all times or he is looking for me. If he doesn't find me, he starts panicking. If I try to sneak out on Wednesday nights and take a walk, about 75% of the time I come back to Andrew crying or upset because I had left him. I am the only person that can help soothe him to sleep. He occasionally lets my mom but that is about it.
If I am taking a shower, he has to sit in the bathroom with me. If I a putting on my make-up or doing my hair, he is right there with me. If I am making his breakfast, he has to be on my hip. It simply doesn't matter, I have to be within eye shot of Andrew about 85% of the time. The only exception to all of this is if little kids, like his cousins are around. Then he gets in a zone and I am okay to be away from him.
I never thought I would say that Trenton is much easier to take care of these days than Andrew but he is!! Trenton was home with diarrhea again today and I was not able to interact with Trenton one time today. I had to be with Andrew at all times. If I wasn't, he was looking for me and making sure I was right there.
Now, I know a lot of kids enjoy being by their parents at all times but the child is normally okay with either parent and the child is younger. Andrew will be 4 this fall. He can't play by himself. His play with toys is very limited or it is all "learned play". He can't come up with anything on his own.
Like I mentioned before in a post not too long ago, Andrew chews on his fingers like crazy when we are out in public. I have noticed when people talk to him when we are out in public, he either says something totally random to them or he tells them to not talk to him.
Our life is always an adventure!!! Yes, it is hard but totally rewarding at the same time. It is a totally different parenting style and totally different life than most but I would not trade my angels for anything in the world!!
So much more I could say on Andrew but it is getting late....I never know if I am going to get sleep or not so can't stay up too late:)