While I rarely talk about my son, I have mentioned, on occasion, that he has Aspergers. Most of the time, you would never know. He has the most difficultly in loud situation, like a classroom. This isn’t a problem at home, but I do get the pleasure of the tantrum.
Like all kids with Aspergers, my son will struggle with handling anxiety. He’s not particularly violent, but he is hyper-emotional. He’s what most people would call sensitive, but only someone experience with the Autism spectrum would know the difference. For him, he really can’t calm it down. It does put us in awkward situations, from time to time, in public [or at work for me too, since I also do it for a living].
Something that every parent of a kid on the spectrum can tell you, tiredness is like dropping an atomic bomb. Any issue your kid has, magnify it and leave it in the ground to fester if they’re tired. Sometimes, you have to bite a bullet and do something you know is going to be traumatic for you both. Today’s trauma? Homework.
Homework, how I (we) loathe thee. I spent an hour of tears and breaks on homework tonight (not mine). Best part is that I’m sporting a migraine today that is only now tapering off. On the bright-side, I’m a pro at both headaches and tantrums, so the cool was kept on my part. You always have to feel bad when your kid is hyperventilating and in tears, but when you have a kid on the spectrum you get a special double dose of guilt. We only got half way done before I caved, but that felt like bitter success to me.
There is a silver lining to Aspergers. These kids might be bad at social cues, but, in turn, they’re brutally honest. Don’t get me wrong, this can bite you really hard in the ass at times, but in other moments it’s like joy spilling from their mouths. Tonight I got one of these moments. See I work over night on Sunday, midnight to six. My son is always upset when I leave but today it was atomic (he’s tired, remember?). There was real beauty through his tears in his words, though.
“Mommy, I can’t stop crying, because I’ll miss you.”
“I’ll dream about you all night.”
“I’ll worry about you all night, because your in charge, so I’ll be scared for you when I miss you.”
“I’ll miss you; I love you.”
See? What parent would mind the truth then?