Monday, October 10, 2011

Making Peace with Autism/Aspergers

When you find out the news that you are pregnant, automatically you start dreaming dreams of what your child will be like. You imagine so many good things. Then when he or she arrives you get to hold them and dream some more. So many hopes for their future spin around in your head. There too however are worries that may come up. You may wonder if your child is "normal?" Are they developing at the same pace as their friends? Are they learning things like they should? Are they able to share?

If you are a parent like me you notice things. I started to notice things were not "normal" early on. I even remember praying, "God please do not let my child have autism." I see this as grace. God was preparing my heart early on. If His answer was no to this prayer it must be for good reasons. Reasons I can trust though I cannot fully understand. He is still God in control of all things and He is still good.

As the years progressed more and more evidence started to show up. However it was a bit tricky. Aspergers in girls looks much different than in boys. And no two kids with this are the same. It is not a text book diagnosis. It takes time in observation to recognize and pinpoint.

Today is the official day we can say yes our daughter has asperger's syndrome. Wow, typing it is even hard. It is something we have been suspecting and talking about but because of her age there was still a small hope that perhaps she would grow out of it. The thought was perhaps it is just developmental delay of some sort. But she is eight and is not growing out of things that she should while not growing into things that most her age do.

Asperger's is a journey that can be exhausting at times. You have to imagine moving yourself into a foreign planet. The entire culture does not make sense to you. Things are often too loud or bright. Things smell or taste funny. People's facial expressions do not make sense to you. You cannot understand their body language it seems more like a secret code. Sometimes the people say things that make no sense what so ever. It can be a tough world to navigate and you are just a kid. This is what it is like to live with aspergers.

Fortunately these skills can be taught but it takes a lot of time, effort and practice. Social skills are just something that are hard for those with aspergers. However, my daughter is a great mimicker. She can wear a mask for short periods of time that mask these issues. It is a coping skill, pretending as she watches and learns. So as you see her you will probably not even realize how difficult social situations are for her. I learn new things about this everyday. She has an amazing ability to express her difficulties to me. I am thankful for that.

We trust through it all God is in control. In this we find comfort and peace. It is His gospel of grace that keeps us on course and where we place our hope. One day we will be in Heaven where autism and other conditions will no longer exist. We will trust while here these challenges will grow us and make us more like Him. We are in desperate need for Him.

"Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up".~ Hebrews 12:1b-3

1 comment:

Stacey said...

You have spoken directly to my heart today. My son is 12 and we had him evaluated about 3 weeks ago. The neuropsychologist says it is Asperger's. He's always been very smart and "quirky". But, we wanted to put a name to it once and for all. My husband seems to be ignoring the diagnosis. I am in "research mode" and trying to educate the grandparents and those that are around our son the most. I am experiencing anxiety over the whole thing. I know that this is God's plan. I just pray daily that He would show me how to support my son. Thank you for your words. Such a blessing.

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