Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Moment of Pain

If you've never wanted to cause your child a moment of'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.


  1. Can there be sleep away camp for moms of kids (and spouses of) Aspies?

    I would sign up immediately!

    I feel ya!

  2. We have to create our own. I am going to disappear this weekend!

  3. Debra,

    In your light hearted remark lies what is for me, a deep offensive sobriquet - "Aspie".

    I have a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome - something that has profoundly affected my life, career and my family. It is a disease, a disorder or whatever you like to call it.

    And for you to casually and implicitly label me with the diminutive of a pathological condition is quite unacceptable.


    The behaviours of your son, you describe are directly caused by impaired executive functioning resulting from Autism.

    He, like me is suffering from a mental disability - for you berate him and effectively blame him for his actions/inactions are like blaming a child with no legs for not being able to run.

    I don't doubt he drives you to your wit's end - but the target of your ire should be Autism - not your child.

  4. Aspergers is distinguished by communication troubles, complexity involving to people, recurring body actions, trouble with changes in schedule, possessing concerning definite topics, and abnormal play with playthings or other stuffs.

  5. I hear you on the problems with getting our children moving or to understand that what they do impacts the schedule. My kids are STILL working on the concept of when we need to be at a place <-- when we have to leave <-- when we need to stop what we're doing to get ready to go (and what "getting ready to go" entails) <-- how much time do they want for the things *they* want to do <-- WHAT TIME DO THEY HAVE TO GET UP?

    Regarding the term "Aspie": I've heard a number of people with Asperger's refer to themselves as Aspies, so it's going to be hard to convince people that it's offensive.

    Regarding the behaviors and the underlying causes: There's a big difference between VENTING and BLAMING.

    Parenting a child with Asperger's is incredibly difficult. If this blog is your release valve for venting some pressure, go for it!

  6. Norton Cant Remember His PasswordJuly 24, 2010 at 8:15 AM

    Would I wonder, the 'N' word be acceptable here?

    Regarding the term "N.....": I've heard a number of African-American people of Color refer to themselves as N.....s, so it's going to be hard to convince people that it's offensive.

  7. Thank you all for reading and following. This is an opportunity to vent and to see our situation with a little humor. I see where someone with Aspergers may very well be offended by some things that I write. It's my's my experience from my point of view. Our situation isn't perfect, neither am I. Autism sucks...not my kids!

  8. Karen, I love how you handle your life's challenges and I applaud you for finding peace in whatever ways you may find it. Amazing how people perceive things...but even more how easy it is to move on and say LOL!
    Love you and pray for you too!!
    P.S. I'm almost finished setting up my blog!