A guest post by Rosie and Jo’s Dad
That sound you can hear, it’s a penny dropping.
When Rosie was first diagnosed with Asperger’s, people kept explaining things she was finding difficult, how she saw the world in a different way, how she wasn’t picking up on “normal” clues and therefore communication was difficult and this was increasing her anxiety. When Jo started on the same journey more things were highlighted; executive function (it’s taken me 3 weeks to get round to typing this), deep all consuming interests and a desire to get away from social situations and have time on her own. The fact that they wanted these things or had these characteristics wasn’t a massive shock to me, the fact that other people didn’t and that they were considered “different” was.
Many of the ways that my children see things is exactly the way I see them, increasingly I see things I did as a teenager replicated in Jo’s behaviour and coping strategies, delaying things semi deliberately till a point where a decision has passed, removing the need to make a choice. Wanting desperately to do something but not being able to step over the metaphorical cliff edge just in case. Developing a character you can play as your normal persona, after all if you’re going to be different you may as well enjoy it.
So once that loud clashing sound of the penny dropping has finished, in my case my ASD/Asperger’s of whatever point along the scale still needed pointing out to me before I really understood it, what can you do? Well you can’t change it, it’s just who you are. For me it explained a lot about things that had happened as I grew up, social faux pas, not knowing when to leave things alone. There is a positive I see to it, it’s not easy but it can help if you work at it. If you have read this and thought “that’s me” you may be in the best place to understand how your child views the world, all you have to do now is find a way to make others understand but at least you have the benefit of experience.