Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Friday, November 09, 2007

Frustration

It has come to my attention that most people in the Autistic community refer to their children as non-typical or non-neurotypical verses "abnormal". This means that they often refer to "normal" children as typical or in some cases neurotypical children. Why the difference?

Definitions:
NORMAL - conforming with or constituting an accepted standard, model , or pattern; esp., corresponding to the median or average of a large group in type, appearance, achievement, function, development, etc.; natural; usual; standard; regular.

TYPICAL - having or showing the characteristics, qualities, etc. of a kind, class, or group so fully as to be a representative example

In other words, for me, to "be normal" means you are accepted by the general public in all of your behaviors and endeavors. So, to be abnormal, would mean you aren't. However, if you classify children as typical, you aren't stating an acceptance level on any part of it. Instead, you are pointing out that although they aren't part of one type of group, they are in fact just part of another. It doesn't matter whether it is accepted for the good, bad or otherwise they just represent another group.

Why the frustration??

This morning Ethan has decided to act very much like his 2 year old brother. He is taking toys away from Rebekah, just because he wants to play with it right now. He has been throwing more and more physical tantrums over VERY small things like whether or not he is allowed to have more juice. He will "play" Tupperware next to Rebekah not with, just because she is doing it and gets upset when she takes a bowl away from him. Yet, when he's playing blocks, she better not dare to take one from him. He has no concept of age difference. We don't have any other toys in the house except toddler toys because Ethan is such a destructive player, he will break anything he plays with. We also don't have anything that is "age appropriate" because he won't play with it "appropriately". It instead becomes part of a big pile of stuff that he has to constantly load and unload into piles with his trucks or crash into.

He is not a typical soon-to-be 5 year old. So, when someone tells me, "Oh he's just being a normal kid"...I get frustrated. I get angry...because in the day-to-day stuff his behavior is anything but "normal". It's typical...for him...because he has Asperger.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

i just came across your blog and i have a child with asperger's syndrome as well - i hope that you are aware that your son's behaviors sound very age appropriate and that you will do best by him to remember that. if you only treat him like he has a problem, he might not amount to all that he would have otheriwse. as im sure you have read, there is now a girl on america's next top model who has a.s. her name is heather she is beautfiul and doesn an amazing job on the show. she takes criticism well, pushes herself to fit in with the other girls and has made it thru many many eliminations so far. she's always getting top marks! and this isn't just about her beauty. this is about the confidence and love that her family gave her - before going on the show she was a college student. COLLEGE. not some dummy special needs person. because aspergers isn't the end of the road - it's just a slightly different turn than you were expecting. heather's mom has said in interviews for americas next top model that she "wants to show that asperger’s doesn’t define her.” make sure you don't push your son into a hole where youre not giving him a chance to crawl back out of it. that would be a disservice to him and not the best parenting that you could possibly give. youve already come a long way and it sounds like you and your husband have faith and strength - use it to the very best benefit!

Michael and Michelle said...

hey anon thanks for the advice. no really. we ant our son to flounder stumble and fall. we feel that is the best way to help him. how else will he learn that the world is a cruel and mean place that eats up and spits kids like him out? no better place to start than at home right? i know kids/adults with asperger's can lead productive lives. and i kinda think that is what we are aiming for here, i may be wrong with that assessment - i'll have to get back to you on that one. michelle had a bad day. period end of story. if you really have a kids with apserger's you know that they happen. MUCH LIKE ANY NORMAL CHILD!! she was just venting. SHE HAD A BAD DAY! we all have em. get a grip will ya - sheesh. we have every intention of raising ethan to be a fully capable kid/adult. that being said he will have issues and problem that other kids don't. it can just be overwhelming at times. michelle is doing an incredible job with ethan. she homeschools him, brings him to his ot and doctor's appointments. as well as looks after his younger brother and sister. it is an amazing amount of work she does. so sorry if she had a bad day. get over it. we are very aware of how blessed we are to have ethan as our son. and that his issues pale in comparison to others. that being said it can be challenging at times and michelle was spent, she needed to vent. so she did. and that is it.

.mike

ps - oh yeah it was nice of you to hide behind some anonymous tag to make ad hominem attacks.

Michael and Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay+me said...

Dam straight Mike!
I would never compare what I went through with Sean to what you guys go through with Ethan. Sean has Tourettes and ADHD which had its fair share of judgements by others who claim to know better. You guys are doing an incredible job with all your kids!
As someone (Michelle) once told me when I was venting on a post... Blog-on!
Jay

WyldeKatz said...

YIPPIE NO MORE ANON COMMENTS!

SOME OF THEM WERE SOOOOOOO RUDE!

AYN