The comparison of high functioning to severe autism can hardly be compared. They are really two different disabilities that are simply under the same spectrum. I have heard many times how much better off Andrew is compared to Trenton. Yes he is in many ways but in some ways he isn't.
High functioning individuals on the spectrum are much more likely to suffer from depression because they know and understand that they are different. They are the targets of a lot of bullying situations. They know what it feels like to be different. They are less likely to have friends and less likely to be included. They are much more likely to commit suicide compared to neurotypical peers. The statistics are sad and scary. By now, I am sure you have seen and heard about the football player who sat and had lunch with the boy who had HFA. I can't watch that video clip without crying and thinking of Andrew.
Andrew already displays some of these situations and he is only in preschool. I have been warned that it will only get worse for him and I. I read the statistics. I do read the information that is given to me by the doctors, etc. I have to. I have to get prepared and get ready for the battle that will come. I have to do what I can to make his life a little bit easier. I have to be his advocate because his challenges lay greatly in social and self esteem areas.
The fears and worries that I have for Andrew go away when we go back to Flora. He loves to play with Lincoln, his cousin, and always has. The older Andrew gets, the harder it is for him to make friends. I see a different child when Andrew is playing with Lincoln than when he is playing with other children. Andrew is comfortable with Lincoln. He has been around him a lot from day one and again, just like with severe autism, it takes being around someone constantly to make things better.
Andrew has known Lincoln from the time they were babies and it makes it easier for him to play with Lincoln than any other child.
Now, don't get me wrong, Andrew has a lot of his social challenges that come out when he is playing with Lincoln too. Andrew is still a follower and does whatever Lincoln does. Andrew knows that Lincoln can do some things that he can't and he gets very upset and the rest of the day is ruined. Andrew is very sensitive and if his feelings are hurt Andrew displays a very low self esteem and it seems to be getting worse as he gets older. The difference can be seen. There is no way you can miss the difference between the two cousins. However, you can see the love and the spark that Andrew has when he is around Lincoln that I miss seeing when he is around any other kids. I love seeing that !! It makes me so happy and I just long for the day when Andrew can have that around other kids. I know we will get there with all the training and help I am getting him, I just know through our faith and loyalty to God that he will help us through this and lead Andrew to be the best that he can be.
In the meantime, this world can be very cruel, especially to children like Trenton and Andrew....but especially to Andrew. I will pray every single day that the cruelty of this world goes away for the sake of many things in this life and for my boys.
Love watching these two boys play together. It makes me so happy:)