Inside the house the air conditioning was turned up to full, but he still woke up without a shirt. “I am not going to school,”mumbled Caleb. “I’ve got a headache.” When you have Asperger’s you wake up every morning, day after day to the same thing. “Ssshh”, he said. “Can you hear it?” “Just listen.” Rubbing his eyes he said.”The filter.” “The water is low in the turtle tank.” He then began to scan his room to make sure he still had his four favorite pillows. He looks to see if the books are stacked neatly beside the bed. His lampshade is tilted just enough to shine light on the turtles. And, the cars are lined up on the window sill with some neatly put in the blue bucket not the red one because that one is for his legos. Ok, it is now safe to climb out of bed.
I watch Caleb walk over the dirty cloths and miscellaneous toys to go to the bathroom. It is the one certainty in the morning. He has lists in the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen to help him get ready and prepare him to leave at a certain time. His head stills spins widely out of control. We pick out his cloths the night before but he still forgets to change his underwear. The first time I told him to put on deodorant he proceeded to rub it on his entire body, face and all. He has to make his bed but he forgets. Since he has already checked his pillows, to him his bed is complete. He has to pick up his room but he only sees his buckets are in order and lined up. He does not see the trash and cloths that I see. He forgets to brush his teeth so another list reminds him again.
He never deliberately tries to make friends. He doesn’t have very many friends, but the friends he does have, he has made by accident. At school, he has made friends with other boys by letting them play on his phone. Or discussing the best type of car.Or, just by sitting next to someone day after day. He only chooses to talk to people he likes, but some of his friends, he doesn’t even like much.
I will admit, being an Asperger’s mother makes me proud. I love his attention to detail. I love that he puts all of his energy into something he is passionate about. But with the teenage years creeping up on me, new problems are now arising. He has learned hopelessness. He lacks self-confidence and is beginning to act out. He has developed poor problem solving characteristics because he can’t handle situations. He has to be taught through every problem. He needs to know how to handle it and work through it so he can function with confidence and competency. I am so tempted to lose my patience when he becomes long winded. But, All he needs is encouragement and the love to persevere in any situation. He also needs to learn that friends are special people who should be recognized everyday as such!