Thursday, 2 May 2013

My brother's Autistic Ability.

" Normal is just a setting on a washing machine"- Joshua Muggleton (Raising Martians- From crashlanding to leaving home)

What ME, follow the crowd?

Some time  ago my friend overheard her young daughter explaining her older brother's Autism to her school friend.
'Oh don't worry' she said 'It's just that he has an ability!'
It's great when siblings learn to accept their brother's or sister's disability as part of their normal family life- it's non threatening, occasionally annoying,can get in the way of family time but it's also part of their lives.
I've been thinking about the subject of being normal and I've come to the conclusion there isn't such a thing.Tony Attwood has said that the difference between having Autism and Aspergers is happiness. He may be right, People with low functioning autism may often be unaware of their differences and be happy in their own secure world. People with Aspergers are aware of their differences and are often not, mostly I think, as a result of expectations of other people.
I learned the other day of a young lad who has successfully gone through University having made many friends - most of whom were Assylum Seekers and Foreign students. It was as though they understood what it was like to be different because of their different cultures and beliefs and he was accepted without question!
I am reading Joshua Muggleton's book Raising Martians at the moment.I find that the best way to learn and educate myself about Aspergers is to read what Aspies themselves have to say.So far I've found the book clear and articulately written. It confirms why my son does much of what he does and has once again reiterrated how many children going through puberty can rarely get out due to anxiety  and suffer from insomnia. Once again I ask myself the question whether it's really right for us to be pushing them to go to school with it's inflexible structure and rigid time table .I've convinced that for us at least it is not. It would be my idea of hell to fight my son every morning to get him to school. Instead this morning when I came down he was working on his computer and when I said " Oh dear , couldn't you sleep?" His response was "Why Oh Dear? I didn't want to!"
With a softly softly approach I'm finding that my son is willing to do things as long as I don't MAKE HIM. Yesterday evening for example we went to the local fish and chip shop for tea. Not much for most of us but it was busy and crowded when we got there and I could see my son struggling to process everything even with his headphones on. He was barely audible when he spoke but because I know what he likes I was able to lip read. He sat and ate his tea in silence but he didn't go into meltdown mode or walk out the shop and, after the rush had died down he was able to talk again and even managed a trip to our local supermarket for an ice lolly afterwards. That's my idea of success. Worries about independence and adulthood can wait for now. Although I'm already genning up on the problems we may have to face in the future and campaigning for better support for adults we will deal with my son's specific anxieties nearer the time. Meanwhile we will work with our 'normal'.

Martian's mother xx

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