Friday, May 29, 2009

Life with Asperger's

Wow I had no idea that living with a child with Asperger's could be so interesting! Kolton is so smart about certain things. He has such an engineer's brain and can think things through 20 years down the road. Then he shocks you with the fact that he doesn't even know what the kitchen sink is, he calls it the cleaning bin!

His anxiety is the hardest part for me to deal with. He is so anxious about everything!! Whenever it is windy he thinks it is a tornado, when the fire alarm goes off when I am cooking he stands outside (with the dog, maybe the dog has asperger's). He is convinced that there are ghosts in our house and that someone will come and kidnap him. He is terrified of bees/wasps and can run like the wind when he sees one, yet he gets stung every year at least 6 times.

The social part of life is difficult for him! I remember taking him and his best friend Shannon to a baby reading and singing group when they were 2, what a shock. Every child in the room was listening to the stories and singing the songs and dancing. Kolton sat on my lap doing nothing except looking like I was torturing him. When he joined Beavers I watched while he just did his own thing, he would not actually talk to anyone or participate. He does have some friends, so long as they are willing to do what he wants to do. He seems to find the other kids who have the same obsessions as he does.

Then there is the obsessions! Kolton's first obsession was anythings to do with trains, this one lasted for the first 3 years. Then daddy introduced him to Star Wars!! The obsession was all consuming for the next 3 years, our whole life revolved around Star Wars. That was all he talked about, played with and watched. He would even hum Star Wars theme music in his sleep!! For Halloween when he was 4 I had got him a cool Buzz Lightyear costume (pre Star Wars). I insisted that he had to use the costume we had once he got obsessed with Star Wars much to his dismay. During the school Halloween parade people would go "there's Buzz Lightyear" and he would reply "I'm Luke Skywalker"!! These days his obsessions change but they are intense. His current obsession is Webkinz, there are 30 Webkinz now living with him in his bedroom!

Kolton's other Asperger trait is the non-stop talking about what he wants to talk about! He can't seem to grasp that he just talks over others. He has no interest in talking about what anyone else wants to talk about. He just doesn't pick up the social cues that people are giving him. He even talks all night long while he sleeps every night! This is definitely and area that we are focusing on with him!

Routine is so important to him! If the teacher changes anything at school it throws him off for the whole day! And if we do things differently at home he gets so upset. If we go on vacation he is fine for about 2 days and then he wants to come home and see his stuff, even if we are at Disney World!

I have learned so much from living with Kolton, patience being the main one! All of my kids are teaching me so many life lessons! I certainly can't talk to them about how great these life challenges are for teaching them and then get upset when life challenges me!!


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