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Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Little Literalist

Like most Asperger's kids, Sam is very literal, and it's something I forget about from time to time. While I generally remember to be specific, I forget that what comes out of my mouth and what I mean are sometimes two very different things.

Case in point: Today we were in the car, and I glanced back to see Sam take a swig of root beer. I didn't buy him any root beer today, so what I was wondering is where he got the bottle of root beer. Our conversation went like this:

Me: Sam, what are you drinking?

Sam: Root beer.

Me: From where?

Sam: I don't know where we bought it.

Me: No! I mean, where did you find that bottle of root beer?

Sam: Off the floor in the back seat here, Mom.

If I had just asked him where he found the bottle in the first place, I wouldn't have gotten so frustrated when he didn't read my mind and answer the way I wanted him to answer!

This is the case with so many kids with Asperger's Syndrome. They can't insinuate what you mean when you aren't explicitly clear with your meaning. My daughter probably would have been able to realize that I knew what kind of soda it was and that I just wanted to know where she got it, but Sam couldn't.

Check out this article to learn more about just how literal kids with Asperger's Syndrome are:

Do you ever wonder why your brilliant child with Asperger's Syndrome just doesn't understand a word you say? Maybe you aren't speaking his language... 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Arthur Explains Asperger's Syndrome

I receive Google Alerts on Asperger's Syndrome and autism, and this morning I found a link to a youtube clip where PBS cartoon "Arthur" explains what Asperger's Syndrome must feel like to someone who has it, and how a friend can adapt his approach when interacting with an Aspie.

While it's very simple, I think it's pretty accurate as well.

The narrator compares having Asperger's Syndrome to living in a world that looks like Earth, only different. I've actually used this very same analogy when trying to give an in-depth explanation of what Asperger's Syndrome is, or how Sam functions. It's a practical explanation, beyond that of "social skills deficiencies".

For a basic overview on the five most common "symptoms" of Asperger's Syndrome, check out my article:

Ever wondered what it's like to have Asperger's Syndrome? Learn the top five most common symptoms for children with an Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Welcome to 'My Little Expert - Life with an Asperger's Child' blog!

I always hate writing the very first blog post, because I'm never sure how to begin. Do I give a complete history up until this very moment in time? Do I write a cheesy little welcome that encourages everyone to "follow me as I talk about what it's like to parent a kid with Asperger's Syndrome"?

How about I start with just a basic introduction instead? My name is Heather. I'm 31 years old, and I live in a small town in North Dakota. I'm a newspaper journalist and a freelance writer online. I've been divorced for two years (I think!)and I have two children: Sam, who is almost eight, and Kaydee, five.

To protect their identities, their names have been changed. (On a side note, no I did not realize that by changing my son's name to his initials, I would inadvertently "name" my son Sam Adams!)

Sam was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in April 2009. His sister Kaydee is a "neurotypical", which means she doesn't show any signs of autism. Asperger's Syndrome is an autism-spectrum disorder which affects the person's social skills. This is such a basic explanation, but I'll get into more detail in further posts.

So... with all that said, I hope you choose to follow me as I discuss what it's like to parent a child with Asperger's Syndrome! (Sorry, I had to.)