Twenty-Eight: Giving a Child with Aspergers a Break


Giving a Child with Aspergers a Break

Be. Let the words pour out of the child. Let the busy thoughts escape the mind. Let him speak as long as he wants about whatever he wants. Set no time limits. Welcome the rambling, digressions, repetitions, and dissertations. Be present, without interjection or correction. Allow time periods with no communication rules, lessons, examples, rights, or wrongs. Let the child release the pressure in his mind. Take long walks and car rides together, and just listen. Let him be himself.

Retreat. Grant her a day of rejuvenation, a full day with no visitors, appointments, outings, sports, or any mandatory doings. Keep the day free of all restrictions, chores, and obligations. Stay in pajamas. Allow escape, isolation, and repetitive activities. Give her the chance to rebuild her stamina. Provide solitude and comfort. Stay home from school one day. Peel away the rules and regiment. Let her retreat.

Environment. Ask about sensory concerns in the environment. What causes you discomfort in this space? How are the lights? The chair? The sounds? The smells? The flooring? The pictures? How do your clothes feel? Your hair? Your skin? Where is there discomfort? How can I help? What does it feel like? Describe it. How is the shower? The bath? Do you hurt? Where do you feel the safest sitting? What is hard to tolerate? Do you need sunglasses? A pillow? Earplugs? Let him create a more comfortable environment for himself.

Active Interest. Show interest in her special interest. Don’t call it an obsession or fixation. Call it an interest or passion. Participate. Explore and collect. Be together. Establish a schedule. Make the special interest a priority. Place the passion in a spotlight of acceptance. Establish a blog, newspaper, journal, comic, drawing, song, rhyme, act, or other creative outlet to express the interest. Let the creativity blossom. Welcome the opportunity for connection. Let go of the need to control, fix, alter, or end the special interest. Replace objection with acceptance. Replace disinterest with interest. Celebrate new discoveries. Use the interest as a therapeutic tool. Allow him the freedom to escape from the challenges of his world.

aKnowledge. Acknowledge characteristics, talents, skills, and intelligence. List positive attributes. Don’t pretend anything is easy. Be a warrior and teach how to be a warrior. Don’t try to change the child. Imagine how scary his world is. Tell him he is very brave. Tell him he is not alone in the world. Share others’ stories. Find an adult with similar challenges who is an effective role model. Watch movies about Aspergers. Know the child wants nothing more than to be good, to do good, and to feel good. Explain that he is never a failure and always a success. Tell him you hope he tries his best, but on the days he doesn’t feel like he can try, that’s okay. Tell him he has a right to hurt and be scared. Tell him he is a gift and that there is nothing he can do to make you stop loving him. Tell him he is perfect. Tell him even though you aren’t him, you can imagine how hard life must be for him. Ask how he is feeling. Never minimize or discount. Never say it’s not that bad or things could be worse. Say you are getting stronger and wiser every day. Believe in him.

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32 thoughts on “Twenty-Eight: Giving a Child with Aspergers a Break

  1. I love this one! I think these words of wisdom should be applied to all parents/children, especially if we want our children to expand out into their truth. Thank you, I enjoyed the read. Inspired!

    1. As I’m rereading the post, in the light of the day, yes, I think the words can apply to all children, and adults, too. Happy you enjoyed it. You know how long this took to edit? Sooo very long! lol. But happy with the end product. Chat soon ~ Sam

      1. You I wondered to myself how long something like this must have taken you. Okay, let it out, how long did it take, I’m curious????

      2. I wrote a rough draft on Wednesday of last week, which took about two hours—three drafts. I weeded a lot of extra words and cleaned the prose up on Thursday, for about an hour. Then last night it took two hours of additional editing. With my philosophical prose: Like the Wounded Healer and The Universal Measurement piece on my blog, the prose all pours out divine-like in one sitting, usually requiring no editing at all. So, makes me wonder??? Hugs ~ Sam.

        Now I’m wondering if you really wanted to know how long it took. LOL

      3. I could tell a lot of work went into this blog. And it’s reassuring other people also spend ages doing blogs, okay perhaps not quite as long as mine still. 😉

      4. I’ve been putting a lot of work into my writing for so many years that I don’t often think of the time involved. Thanks for asking that question. I’m fortunate that writing is my passion. I feel like an artist with a canvas. I know in the end there will be something of beauty, even if I am the only one that feels and sees the beauty. Writing is a lovely process for me. Thank you for noticing the effort. “..not quite as long as mine,”……you’re kidding?! lol You are an artist, too. : ) ~ Sam

      1. OMGOSH….August Rush is one of my favourite films. I have watched it SO MANY times.
        *AJ loves it too. 🙂 How funny is that.
        I’m really into JJ Heller at the moment.
        This is my all time favourite song and what I sing on repeat.

  2. All excellent advice. Sometimes I think Asperger’s is here to teach us that ALL minds are different and that people of all types need to take the time to learn to empathize with others. This post helps facilitate that.

    1. I always believe that Aspergers is here to teach. I believe that about all people. But there is something innocent and vulnerable about people with Aspergers. Thanks for your comment. Yes, empathy is so needed in this world. So very true.

  3. hi sam…thanks for this blog…i like that song, too…feeling so down and wishing that i was given the chance when i was little…my parents didn’t know…nobody knew…but i’m soooo grateful that i have friends like you…i’m reading your older blogs and trying to find comfort and encouragement…that i’m not alone…your latest blog is just too sad for me right now to leave a comment 😦 i’ll reread and leave my comments at a later time…{{{{hugs}}}} and love to you, my friend!!!!

    1. I am so sorry that you are down. You are loved and supported. I will hold you in light and think of you. You are a lovely angel. I am better now. Chat soon. HUGS to you. 🙂 Sam

  4. dear Sam, forgive me for being maybe so “passionate” about what I find here all the time, but I CRY reading. I cry reading…… Nobody told me never so many things about my baby. I only felt them, believe me, I felt these things as being part of her personality, and many of your advises I followed by instinct and intuition… Thank God for you.

  5. “there is something innocent and vulnerable about people with Aspergers” as you say…. Yes! Their purity is beyond human condition.
    One day at school toilet… I put few napkins on the toilet bowl, for Vera to sit (because there are not always clean)… And in the end, I threw inside the vessel all those napkins. Vera showed me enthusiastically:
    “Mommy, look! It’s like a white napkin planet! The napkins that you threw have formed a planet called White-Napkin! ”
    This… impetuous tendency to build fairytale in every corner of reality, (no matter how ordinary and miserable it would be) – remains a fundamental trait in this child’s personality structure. Now I sit and wonder myself: how clean you must have your soul in order to see a world of snow in a toilet of a school? ….

    1. What a beautiful awareness, that she can see the beauty in all. I will cherish this image you shared, the extension of your daughter’s heart. Very beautiful, pure, and real. Thank you so very much. Keep shining bright. ❤

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