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Living with an Asperger child

In a way, it is fortunate because an Aspie usually do not feel lonely. Often, they seemed to be in their own world and are quite comfortable when in their own company. But being with other kids and unsympathetic teachers sometimes can cause them to feel a lot of rejection.

A mother would usually suspect something is amiss when the child seemed unusually quiet or have learning disability. And if there is known family history of autism.

As a parent, if your child has Asperger, what you could do is learn to identify what he is good at doing. Usually, the scope is very narrow and may take sometime to be identified. Nurture it- as he may grow up to become really good at it. And when someone is exceptionally gifted at something, he would usually be excused for being eccentric, uncaring or have an unusual hairstyle (think Einstein).

Nurture the child with a lot of love- I believe that love and acceptance can move mountains. When I was staying in Thailand, I knew a girl (in her twenties) who had permanent brain damage because her father took a hammer and knock on her head because she had misbehaved. Her behavior had been aggressive and her IQ degenerated to that of a child. But when she was sent to stay in an environment which was nurturing- where people were kind to her, she become obedient, happy and laugh a lot. Anything you ask her to help, she is happy to oblige. That is the power of kindness and acceptance on people. Even animals can sense it too.

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Don’t worry if the child does not do well in school. Don’t pressure the poor thing by pushing him to loads of tuition and getting tutors to come in. It’s good enough if he can pass all topics and graduate- even though the scores are low. From years of being in the working world, I realised that the degree is just a piece of paper to get you some job with a better pay. Unless it is a professional and technical certification such as electronics, medicine or programming, most of what we study is theory anyway. Real world application is totally different.

And a child would learn to open up and be more receptive when he experience genuine caring, acceptance and love from the parents. Aspies can love and genuinely care for people whom they had received loads of love from. But it takes time, therefore, you need to be patient.

And social skills, body language and society norms, can be learned, just like how we learn a foreign language. Always remember that an Asperger child would need to learn step-by-step on how to develop social skills. They are not like you and I, who have this knowledge ingrained so strongly in the genes that we sorta ‘get it’.

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