I had been told that things like this are family secrets and family stuff should be kept quiet; writing about it, talking about it is a bad thing "for the family". I read something this evening that made sense to me. Maybe you will read the entire post to Penelope Trunk's blog and maybe you won't. This particular quote hit home, " I am positive that keeping family secrets only serves to protect people who treat family members like shit."
Although she was discussing other issues, it really is something to consider. Keeping things secret, like your kid's real diagnosis or what they ate that is making them act up or an Aspie trying to tell a lie....well it seems to make sense when Penelope talks about it. You may not appreciate some of her language, look past that and go into the thoughts and the ideas Penelope presents....to me are something really good for any adult on the spectrum AND to the parents of kids on the spectrum....Go read it, give the girl a chance.
The other thing that came to mind was comparing Aspergers to narcissism. It came to MY mind anyway...think about it;
One is considered a disability, the other a negative trait. Both appear show up in a kid with a disability. Any disability. It is hard for a disabled kid to realize that the wanter that is stuck or the poor behavior can be negatively viewed as VERY narcissistic. The thing is though, unsticking the wanter is sorta easy (although this evening if the boy asks me one more time for a book I am going to flush it down the toilet), in comparison to dealing with a very narcissistic person or people. A narcissist is defined as 1. inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity. or 2. Psychoanalysis . erotic gratification derived from admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.
Makes you think doesn't it?
Then Aspergers is defined as Asperger’s is sometimes referred to as high functioning autism. All those with Asperger’s, by definition, have a normal IQ. Often, Asperger’s is not diagnosed till later in life, though increasingly it is being diagnosed early. Those with Asperger’s have difficulty in social interaction, tend to be considered eccentric, and often have monomania's. However, they are able to function in the world of the more neurotypical. It is named after Hans Asperger, who originally described it in Vienna in 1944. Many people with Asperger's consider their condition a difference rather than a disorder, and wish to choose for themselves what they will be, and how they are to be seen.
So where does that leave us this evening?
Well in an ideal world I would say, "Goodnight folks, hope you can figure it all out."
In the real world?
I think now is a good time for all of us to go back and read some Brian King who has a great program going with Spectrum Mentor....that is another resource that needs to be examined; his stuff is well researched and thought out. FYI- he is a successful adult with Aspergers....and a good friend. Grabbing Tony Atwood's book is something that can help keep things together too. I keep mine on my desk and sometimes in my purse. Take a look at Penelope's discussion on Aspergers. She details a number of features about life and work. IT is worth the read.
IF you feel the need to read up on narcissism there are some great books at the local library. I found several that really gave me a new perspective on how to help the boy relate and although he isn't narcissistic the cuter one and I are going to work darn hard to keep it that way.
The other thing, is learning that arguing with someone who has already decided who and what someone is or could be is kind of like beating a dead horse (my Dad's allegory, it is a good one). There is very little point in further discussion. In fact, one of the books I read on narcissism discussed that very thing. Trying to argue with someone who twists everything you say, trying to manipulate someone into doing specifically what they want.......well it is pretty much like talking to a wall. Although there are times when the wall would give you a better response than someone who is attempting to twist the meaning of what you have said or written.
As with any situation, there are behaviors at home that can be worked on. I know for certain we are going to be working with the boy to be more thoughtful (when the cuter one and I walk in the door it is NOT a good idea to say, "I want", "I have to" or "I must have" all 3 are conversation dead ends). He is grasping that he gets more credit when he helps with laudry, dinner and clean up than if he plonks himself on his butt all day and reads comic books.
I think that looking at this topic is really worth discussing. I decided today that this particular post is going to be a running topic....it seems like it would be worth bringing up again.
(ooh oooh that sounds narcissistic doesn't it??? we can have a lot of fun with this topic.)