Monday, December 03, 2007

A Smile, Aspergers and Education

Thanks to everyone who entered my poll. I am So glad to see that I'm not the only one that burns pans and things BUT I'm the ONLY one that burnt a soda bottle.

Just reporting that Santa was in a Jolly mood over the weekend. I was freezing my tuckas off while he was cracking jokes and Ho Ho Hoing - must be because the frigid temps and slicing icy winds reminded him of the North Pole. For the first time ever, Mrs. Claus was in the house. She was a delight but- Man!!!! She looked like she ate half a dozen batches of her own cookies!

They both were a treasure and my kids had no qualms about listing the few items on their lists.
Wouldn't you know it, the items were all electronics. My, how times have changed.


As far as Education? I went to a presentation last night that featured a group of mothers who shared with standing-room-only attendees, thier trials, joys and successes in raising children with full blown Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

The height of the evening was when the lead speaker, a man named John Elder Robison spoke.
He has Asperger's and has written a book called Look Me In The Eye. I WILL be reading his book. He was a fantastic speaker and he taught me a few things in relation to my son. He gave advice that only another Aspergian would be able to give. He gave me hope and showed that a sense of humor is necessary in shoring up my low levels of patience when I'm facing a moment of not understanding when a behavior isn't intentional but a sign of the syndrome. My emotional response is to be...well, emotional. Hysterics teach nothing and will get me nowhere fast. I need to learn where my son is coming from - what HE sees as going on in that moment because when I do, I'll understand that he's no where near the same page as me. He's forcing me to think "Out of the box", if you will. And some of the greatest thinkers of our time and times before have all thought that way, garnering civilization with advances and amazing leaps in mathmatics, technology and understanding of our world.

THAT is what I need to remember. I need to remember those mothers - I need to remember Mr. Robison; that Aspergians CAN succeed in life, there IS a healthy future in front of my son AND not to be so concerned with what he can't do, but on what he CAN.

I saw those moms do it last night and I need to do that too. Going to the program last night was the first step of many on a road to knowing my child.

And, I'm taking you readers along for the ride because education of this sydrome is not just beginning for me, but for society as a whole. You'll be hearing more and more about Aspergers as time goes on - there are more undiagnosed adults than you can imagine -and that blows me away.


John Elder Robison said...

I'm glad you enjoyed last night's event. I support the Elms because they are one of the first colleges in our area to offer a graduate concentartion in autism.

Will you be stopping by Amherst books Wednesday? There, I'll read from my book and answer questions and of course they'll have signed books for sale.

You are right, too, that there are many undiagnosed Aspergian grownups in the population. You'll see more of them Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

My hat's off to you. And anyone that goes to those lengths for their child.

Shesawriter said...

Very enlightening post, Michele. And inspiring.

Bailey Stewart said...

My nephew is autistic, and I think it may also be Asperger, but I'm not sure. It's a tough road to follow and I admire you for getting as much education about it as you can.

Brandy said...

You are doing what all wonderful Mothers do. Arming yourself with knowledge, compassion and a willingness to learn in order to help your child.
I wish you nothing but the best of luck, and prayers. Thank you for sharing your (and your son's) life.

Michele said...

Hi John!
Wow! How'd you FIND me?!

And Yes, I most certainly did enjoy the event. I learned that I have a LOT more to learn and that a lot of it can be good.
I hope I DO see you Wednesday. I did a Mapquest so I know how to find the place.

I spoke to my local librarians tonight, about my experience going to the ELMS event and that I was hoping to attend the reading.
They asked me to ask you if you'd be willing to speak at our town library too.

I don't expect you to see my comment to your comment here, but it sure gives me a trial run for asking.
I'm nervous so I expect I'll have neon pink cheeks -
But, should I make it there, I'm gonna talk to you!

Michele said...

Wayne. Thank you again for stopping by with words of encouragement.
I think in the months ahead, it's going to mean a lot to me.
So glad to 'see' you.

Michele said...

Thank you.
I know it's a departure from my usual fluff, but this a big deal for my family right now and this blog is my sounding board.
I appreciate your reading my post.

Michele said...

Thanks Bailey!
The more I talk about this, the more I meet people who have a family member affected by it or know someone who does.

It's hugely eye-opening!
HUGS to your nephew ... hope he's not taller than me. LOL

Glad to see you, Bailey!

Michele said...

Awwww, Brandy.
You are always so eloquent!
Thank you.
When you keep us in your thoughts, could you ask for extra patience for me?
Those extra breathes help give me the moments to remember this is not what we thought but something new and I need to change my pattern, or dare I say , habit?

What a learning curve this is going to be.

Did you get my IM?


Brandy said...

I just remembered to sign to my IM. Sorry I missed you! I replied back! Love, hugs and Prayers to you adn yours!

John Elder Robison said...

Your library is the one in Belchertown, right? If so, I'll go there if you get a decent sized group together. We could do it in January.

I finally got to put up a post about Elms and the other events this week. Stop by and leave a comment if you can.