I need to leave pretty soon

“OK, see you!” and off my Aspie zoomed to the Tilt-a-Whirl line.

“But I don’t want to go on that ride, again,” his friend called after him. “I need to leave pretty soon.”

“Mom, his friend said he needs to leave pretty soon,” my nine-year-old daughter repeated, concern written on her face.

“Yeah, I know. I wonder why he isn’t going to find his dad and sister.”

“Mom, my brother should be going on the rides his friend wants to go on.”

“Oh, of course, that is what his friend  is trying to say!” I tried to get my son’s attention, but he was already on the ride. So when he got he off that ride, I caught his attention and helped him understand what his friend was trying to communicate.

“Oh! Hey, what ride do you want to go on?” and off the two ran to do what his friend wanted.

Thank goodness for my NT daughter, helping my son and I decode that phrase, which is considered a polite way of speaking in the world of NTs.

While telling this story to a few of my NT friends, they were just like my daughter, realizing what the friend wanted immediately.

Oh, to be able to understand all of those NT half-communiques! I guess this is just another phrase I will have to memorize and watch out for!

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Ah, to speak the same language!

My son started social skills classes again this summer. He loves the school, which is in a cute little touristy town, so my daughter and I have a blast window shopping while he is studying. Also, I learn a lot by reading his class material!

I have always been very pleased with the staff person assigned to him each year. They are always kind, firm, fun and obviously love working with kids like him. The staff is also personable with the parents, so it has always been a joy to work with them.

But this summer, what a treat! The second day I picked my son up, not only did I get the usual, “He had a good day,” or “He needed a little help in this area,” and then a quick synopsis of why the day was good or bad, but I got an actual rundown of the order of events of the class. For the first time in the three years we have been at this school, I got to hear exactly what had happened during the two hours, in a very succinct, but somewhat detailed manner.

I don’t know that every parent would want that information, but as someone on the Autism Spectrum, I love that kind of description of events. I later learned that the staff person had taken classes at the school for several years before working for the school. In other words, that staff member is also somewhere on the Autism Spectrum. No wonder they are someone who speaks my language!

It’s like it doesn’t exist

Several months ago I was having lunch with some friends, one of whom has ADHD, so has many similar issues to myself. As the four of us were talking, somehow we got onto the subject of disabilities, God, and His ability to heal.

I shared how when I am doing exactly what God wants me to, the disability seems to disappear, but when I am not trusting God, and trying things my own way, my ASD is very apparent.

My ADHD friend’s eyes lit up. “Yes! That is exactly how it is!”

May we all experience our limitations being lifted by God, especially as we celebrate the ultimate lifting of our lives through Christ’s death and resurrection!

Blessed Easter, everyone:)

Black vs. Grey

So here’s a great example of the difference between my black-and-white thinking, and my husband’s grey thinking.

Several years ago my husband had kidney stones. After a week on meds to see if they would pass, he went back to the clinic in a ton of pain, and they sent him via ambulance to the ER because he had a dangerously high heartbeat. After my mom drove the 90 miles to our house to stay with the kids, I met him in the ER.

They were just getting ready to move him to a room, as his heart rate was still too high, and they had learned that he also had pneumonia! He was telling the nurse that he had taken some Dayquil in the morning because he had felt a little congested. The nurses response was, “Don’t ever take Dayquil or Nyquil, or anything else like those ever again. That is probably what has caused this rapid heartbeat.”

I went home that evening and threw out the offending medications. I had tried Nyquil once years before and had felt like my mind and body were buzzing all night while I was asleep. I woke up more tired and agitated than if I had just coughed and wheezed all night. So I didn’t mind seeing the stuff go.

After several days in the hospital my husband’s heartbeat returned to normal. The doctors never could find a cause for the tachycardia beyond the Dayquil. He recovered from the pneumonia and passed the kidney stones, and is just fine now.

Fast forward to a week ago. He was fighting some early spring cold, and went in search of some bedtime relief. “Do we have any Nyquil,” came floating out of the bathroom.

I had to work really hard to not scream, “You have got to be kidding me! You want to take the stuff that nearly killed you? Do you not remember anything?!” Instead I said something like, “Don’t you remember, the doctor said that you weren’t ever supposed to have that again.” I tried really hard not to sound annoyed or condescending.

His response went something along these lines. “I don’t remember that. Oh, wait, I remember hearing something like that, but I didn’t think it meant forever. I just thought it meant for that situation… I suppose maybe they did mean that…. Ok, thanks, good night.”

All I could do was shake my head in wonderment.

Work for words

It seems to be working – lately we have been giving our son jobs to do if he can’t control his mouth. Last week there was one evening where that snowballed a bit, and he ended up with quite a few jobs. After getting a few jobs for saying mean things like, “you’re stupid,” when I told him he needed to stop playing computer so that we could go pick up my husband, (his dad!) from work, he got upset about how many jobs he had, and couldn’t seem to shut his mouth off, ending up with 10 jobs. Some of them were very light, though, like, “go feed your sister’s fish.”

But lately he has been able to keep the job count a bit lower. I am so proud of him. I understand how hard it is to control one’s tongue,  as I was constantly in trouble for that same thing as a child. I never dared call my mom a name, but I did get into verbal wars with my siblings, constantly. I still have a long way to go on total tongue control, which means that my poor son does not have a perfect example to follow.

Thank goodness for Jesus’ example. Jesus wasn’t always, “Minnesota Nice.” He said things that were hurtful, unpopular and got himself into trouble sometimes. But Jesus wasn’t always loud and brash, either. Sometimes he used no words at all, but let his actions do the talking.

My prayer for all of us today, and especially for those of us with Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism is that we would be able to control our tongue – to really think before we speak. I pray that we would remember to carry our gripes to God, first, so that He can help us sort through what really needs to be communicated, and what we should just let go of. Often things we find offensive are just us misunderstanding a situation, or being far too petty. I ask God’s love for us, so that we can let that love cover a multitude of sins in ourselves and others, forgiving as he has forgiven us.