A couple of years ago, I was home alone while my parents were out for the day. Suddenly, I felt like painting something. At the time, I was in an Art Appreciation class and was watching The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross on YouTube, so both of those played a part in making my painting, but I wanted this painting to be unique.
So you’ve just found out that your child has Asperger’s Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism. What’s the next step? As an 18-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome, I can provide some insight:
People with Asperger’s seem to lean towards wanting space from others, and in some cases, family members as well.
If an Aspie is feeling unnerved by loud noises in the house, give them space and let their room be their sanctuary; it’s their quiet zone.
It has calmed me down in the past, so it should work for other Aspies as well. I’m mindful not to keep music and TV in other rooms too loud.
While my parents received the diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism when I was very young, I wasn’t told until I was around 17. I never felt any different than others I suppose, but I did notice that adults didn’t treat me the same and that the other kids didn’t play with me. Later I would go to speech therapy and an occasional visit to the counselor.
This week’s edition of Autistically Speaking features Nicole, aka “Nikki.”
I run the webcomic “AuTalkz”, and I have Asperger’s Syndrome.
When I would get overwhelmed (overstimulated), I would have a panic attack. I didn’t know how to deal with it, so I just started doodling. In eighth grade, drawing my favorite Dragon Ball and Digimon characters became a way for me to calm myself down while in class, even though it was only a step up from stick figures.
When asked about living with Autism, without prompt nor expectation of any kind, this quote came from our son Sam during an interview for the documentary “Coping to Excelling”.
“Don’t worry about the impairments that God included in this package….think about the good stuff in the package God gave you.” -Sam Allen July 2011
These are Sam’s words of advice to anyone living with an impairment, disability or challenge of any kind. His words, though brief, are quite powerful for someone in their mid-teens. I share this because as a person of faith, this is a good way of thinking…maybe for us all.