Thursday, May 26, 2011

A change in procedure

When I first started writing this blog, I had envisioned submitting multiple entries per week.  I figured my son's actions would provide enough material that I would have to limit what I actually wrote about.  That part is still pretty accurate, but the desire to write about his daily actions became...well...undesirable.  Don't get me wrong, my son still provides plenty of fun and entertaining material to pass on, that is for sure, but when the wind keeps being taken away from my sails, I tend to forget to raise them back up when it returns.  To be less cryptic, I simply had no desire to write about what was going on in our lives these past few months and the moments of happiness were overshadowed by the dark cloud that loomed above.

To recap, my family and I recently moved to North Carolina.  My son was less than pleased to leave his friends behind.  We knew it would be a difficult move, but we were looking ahead...way ahead, for a better future for all of us.  These past seven or eight months have definitely not been easy.  One of us broke an ankle in three places, another one of us has been exited from two schools, and the other is still unemployed.  All of our nerves are shot and we feel like we are hanging on by a thread.  However, if I was able to go back in time and know then what I know now, I would still believe we would be making the right choice to move.  My son thinks otherwise.  My wife is undecided.  We sacrified stability and comfort to take a leap of faith, trusting that breaking out of our comfort zone would reap more rewards for our future.  Nothing in life is free, and if these past months are any indication of the payment for our coming reward, we are going to find even more happiness here than we could imagine when we made the choice.

My son has been through more in his short time on earth than many adults go through their whole life.  When he was a toddler, his first father died.  He was hospitalized a year later with severe depression.  He was diagnosed with a potential for bi-polar disorder on top of standard depression.  He has been on medication for the past two years (there'll be a whole other blog about meds and children...) and has changed dosages and prescriptions more times than most people buy cars.  Most recently, he moved to a completely different state.

Although that last one may not seem that difficult to most people, it was the new diagnosis of Asperger's that shed light on how challenging a move like we experienced actually is.  Imagine you are on a freight train cruising west on a straight path at top speed; suddenly, the conductor tells you to pick up the entire train and place it on a track going north.  First, the wreckage of stopping a train so suddenly would be devastating, second, the ability to lift that train by yourself is impossible, and third, it just doesn't make sense, does it?  For an Aspie, this is how they live their life; on one specific track and if you ask them to suddenly change routes, you better be prepared for a devastating wreck of emotions. 

So, because I love to write, and because I hope this will serve as a source of valuable information to anybody close to my son, and to those who will never meet him, and because I am looking for answers myself, I have decided to make a change in procedure, alter my topic, morph my style and write about raising a child with Asperger's Syndrome. I may lose a reader or two, but that's ok since I only have a few anyway, haha.  Thank you all for sticking with me, by the way!  And if I lose you, yes, I will be sad, but I believe this is the direction I need to go.  Some of it will be self-therapeutic, some of it may be shocking, some of it will be informational, and some of it will be funny (at least to me it will be).  For example, why does the syndrome have to be named in a way that sounds like Ass-burger, or Ass-booger???  Which is why I will be referring to my son as an Aspie as much as possible!  But, after looking at what I just typed, one might see that as Ass-pie (as my son pointed out yesterday!)...hmmmm, there's just no easy way to say it, which makes me realize how important it is going to be to maintain my sense of humor through the upcoming years.

On a more serious note, I have no idea what I will be writing about because I have no idea how this is going to affect our lives.  I must admit, I am not 100% convinced the diagnosis is accurate.  As a matter of fact, sometimes I believe my son's actions are manifested from the diagnosis and not the diagnosis coming from his actions.  Either way, it is going to be a very interesting and educational ride.  What I do know is my son's mind works in magical and mysterious ways.  His intelligence level is far superior to mine and some of the doctors who have treated him.  His outlook, when he is on a peaceful track, is fantastic.  His desire to be a good person shines through even in the darkest of days...most of the time.  Although he prefers a straight track to live his life, his mind is more like a twisting and turning super-fast roller-coaster to those around him.  In short, all aspects (good and bad) of him are amazing.

I hope you will stick with me, learn from my experiences, share your experiences, forward the blog address to anyone who may benefit or have additional insight, and together, hopefully, we can understand how such an amazing mind works.  After all, parenting is parenting.  All children are unique, special people full of challenges and full of blessings. 



  1. Larry,

    Your mother and I are very proud of you for your handling of the past 7 months. We know what you have gone through and you are made of strong stuff. Stay the course and it will work out. You are a special person and have grown into a fine man. Many others would take the easy way out and bail, but not you. We are proud to call you our son.

  2. Larry, I tried to send you a comment but blogger has been having some problems so I sent you an email instead. This is a test to see if I can send a msg from Dad's computer.

  3. I appreciate you writing this, all I know of aspergers comes from a tv show I like. Raising a "normal" daughter has been a trying experience, not always sure if I have done the right things or not. Having another perspective is nice. Thank you and good luck. I look forward to hearing more of your journey. Mike

  4. Larry,
    This entry really touched me since both my sons and my husband are on the autism spectrum. My oldest (Alex, 11) is probably Aspie although he has a diagnosis of autism. My little one (Evan, 7) has High Functioning Autism (HFA). I have read all of the books on autism and Asperger's, done the fundraisers, been to countless therapy sessions...It's been quite a ride. I remember the early days after the diagnosis, I was exactly where you are now. Evan was diagnosed when he was 3 and Alex was 8 (but his was just a formality because we knew something was different about him early on). But you know what?: I would not change a thing about the way my boys are. Autism is a mysterious thing, but I have made my peace with it and adjusted my perspective. I am not saying it is easy to parent a child on the spectrum (nor is it easy to be married to someone on the spectrum either!), but it has been an intense, emotional, wonderful experience. We have also been through a lot of frustration and pain and our marriage has been tested to the max. You have quite a journey ahead of you but I am sure you will shine through it and so will your son. Hey, now that you are in NC we are not so far from each other!!

  5. Mike - Thank you for the kind words. Stay tuned, hopefully I will have much more to write about very soon. Thanks for reading!

    Myra - Thank you for sharing. It makes the pill a little easier to swallow when you know others have gone through similar situations and have come out just fine. I know it will be a bumpy ride and some crazy things will (and have, already) happen, but at least that means life will be interesting instead of hum-drum boring every day! Stay tuned and please chime in (suggestions, stories, advice, or just to say hey) from time to time. Thanks for reading! :)