If you've never wanted to cause your child a moment of pain...you're not the mother of a teen with Aspergers. Upon my doctor's recommendation I signed the kid up for numerous activities and camps this summer. One -so that they would not be bored and two -so that I wouldn't have to be with them all the time, and three -so that I wouldn't end up in prison for child endangerment because I 'accidentally' wrung somebodies neck!
The best thing I signed up for was the sleep away Christian camp for the 14 year old. He loved it! He was accepted and made friends. He wasn't able to bug the sh_t out of me by calling home every five-minutes. In fact he didn't call at all. It was great! Except for the fact that I couldn't call him either, and I worried continually. I did resist the urge and reminded myself to simply enjoy the peace. Art camp was great for the 11 year old. He enjoyed it immensely. Art has a calming zen-like effect over him, not to mention he is very gifted and continues to improve the more lessons he gets.
As for the teenager -we are going on week two of swimming and movie camp. He vehemently complains when it is time to go. Aspergers makes transitions difficult, sleep to wake, from computer to getting your ass into the next gear. "I DON'T WANT TO GO!" I hear this tune daily, at maximum volume.
So yesterday, it's time for swimming and I pull out a little ABA (applied behavior analysis) trick. If you cooperate I will buy you Skittles after class. A relatively simple, inexpensive reward. He agrees to cooperate. When it's time to go, I call him and he says, "O.K." I end up calling him 10 more times before he comes down the stairs. We are late because of his delay. He gets down the stairs finally, and then he decides he wants a Pop Tart! A FREAKIN POP TART! Class starts in 10 minutes. "If you had come down 15 minutes ago, you would have had time for a Pop Tart! Now you don't! Let's go!" I literally have to block him from the cabinet and insist that he get in the car. He is 5' 9", 200+ pounds, I am 5' nothing, (I won't tell you how many pounds.) By the time we get in the car, my head is throbbing. I swear I thought about stopping the car suddenly so he would bump his head on the dashboard! I know...that's really bad, but this is called "Confessions" and at least I didn't do it! This time!
This morning, he did not want to get up for Movie Camp. Why? Well, one -because he's completely ungrateful! Two -because he stayed up too late last night. Did I want to get up this morning? NO! Did I do so anyway? Of course. Did I do this so that I will open up my world and expose myself to something that will help me in my future career? Absolutely not! It takes me 30 plus minutes to get him out of bed. We try the old cold water towel trick. I felt like getting a Super-Soaker Uzi! By the time I dropped him off I had that anxious feeling in my chest -like I wanted to burst wide open.
So much for signing him up for a bunch of crap to make it a more peaceful summer. Next year I will try to find a camp where I can send him for a month! I don't care how much it costs. I will get a job just to pay for it!
I know...he has Aspergers. These behaviors are to be expected (to a degree). It doesn't mean I have to like it.