Dad Show: I Love that Aspie of MineBy
‘My name is Bill. I’m a Dad and a radio man. These are my shorties. This is my family.’
It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m still trying to determine what to give my three little sweethearts. My two youngest, my daughters, nine and five, will be more than thrilled to take chocolate and stuffed bears off my hands. I’m having a tougher time deciding what to give my oldest, my thirteen-year-old son, my Aspie, my son who fights his way through a form of Autism called Asperger’s Syndrome.
AS is an Autism Spectrum Disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties ocial interaction, along with restrictive and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other Autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are also often reported.
The photo I’ve included shows him at eight. He was diagnosed the following year with OCD and Depression. Once the doctors were able to get these two debilitating disorders under control, they determined that he had AS. I knew my son was good, good to the core. I just thought it was a result of my awesome parenting. It turned out he was fighting his way through more than any adult should face in a lifetime. I could not be happier with the school he attends, but kids are cruel and ignorant of mercy. He’s an easy target because he simply doesn’t have the capacity to interact socially, especially in a group, especially in middle school.
This morning he said he planned to give a certain girl in his class a Valentine’s Day card. He asked, ‘Dad, should I ask her out?’ My heart began to break at the thought of rejection, a feeling he has faced time and again. I could not be prouder of my straight A student, my well mannered kid, my son with a heart of gold. I hope, like I always do, that today will be different, and some unsuspecting thirteen-year-old girl will realize the prize standing in front of her with a heart in his hand.