“It’s time to take joy in everything that our kids are.”- Dan Pearce. Single Dad Laughing
So you have a child with Aspergers. If you are looking for sympathy you’re in the wrong place. If you are looking for empathy and a way to release yourself and your child from destructive victim energy, you’re right on time; you’re perfectly aligned.
Diversity is everything. It brings beauty, it builds love, it facilitates change; it’s a crucial part of evolution.
Believing that divergence is a problem is the real problem. Buying into the idea that there are ‘norms’ is destructive and unhelpful.
Choosing to re-frame differences is empowering, it breeds acceptance (especially self-acceptance), it cultivates tolerance and literally creates new worlds and enhanced, enlightened experience.
Changing perspective, changes lives.
Here are 9 awesome things about Aspergers!
1. Aspergers kids can be obsessional about a particular subject, apparently ‘unable’ to focus on prescribed or expected material.
Yay! What a skill; the ability to focus deeply on something; the ability to concentrate fully without distraction; the gift of tenacity. I bet some of you ‘normal’ people would like a bit of that!
How about we allow our Aspergers preferred focus. Some of the great contributors to our World have had this obsessive quality.
2. A lack of common sense. Yes, that is officially a symptom of Aspergers.
Frankly, who needs more ‘common’ sense, it’s just that; COMMON!
We need more uncommon sense, more out of the box thinking. There is genius lurking in the shadow side of disability. When you are frustrated with your little one who has Aspergers stop, take a breath and look for the hidden Einstein. I promise you’ll find it.
3. Poor social skills. That’s what Aspergers kids are continually accused of. Ok so they don’t follow our social expectations. Those expectations are pretty overwhelming for many of us. We are kind of obsessed with conforming to those social ‘norms’, whatever that may mean. It’s time we allowed for people to come to the party in their own way and in their own time.
Let’s get creative; let’s not get too fixated on narrowing the pathways to communicating. Lets upscale, expand and allow these kids to integrate in their own way in their own time. Added pressures caused by pushing external expectations at them won’t help.
Yes, it takes courage for a parent to support this, to release the propensity to adhere to norms, or fold to peer pressure, but that is what our role is; to be the biggest fan of our kids under any and all conditions.
4. So your child finds it hard to make direct eye contact. Well in the grand scheme of things is that really such a big deal? Do we need to be obsessed (are we verging on Aspergers?!) with insisting that communication and social skills are enacted in a PARTICULAR way?
I was a child who found eye contact difficult. They called me shy (ugh!) but what it really was, was a sign that I was receiving so much information energetically that to look into the eyes of said person was just too overwhelming. Sometimes it’s a protective mechanism and not a sign of rudeness.
5. Aspergers kids are likely to have certain Learning Difficulties. Agreed. But in truth, these special kids are brilliant system busters. The apparent increase in children who have Learning Difficulties may be a call to reconsider our educational practices; maybe it’s time to shake things up big time. It’s definitely time to do things differently, to learn to stretch ourselves as educators and walk in those potentially leading edge Aspergers shoes.
We are being drafted to find improved creative ways to address educational issues, perhaps even to debunk our traditional and possibly past-their-sell-by-date educational goals. Let’s see these wonderfully ‘different’ kids as catalysts to innovation.
6. Apparently, a tell-tale sign of Aspergers is the tendency to be clumsy, to be less agile and have poor physical coordination. Well, then I’m Aspergers!
I’m not being insensitive and I’m not being trite, but as a culture and species we are so obsessed with the perfection of our physicality, so consumed with achieving a Super Body that we forget that not all of us can, need or even want to be so.
In certain cultures being a proficient sports person/child is not something to be reached for; the more sedentary kid is revered.
To create some alternate perspective, the cheetah is agile and nimble, the elephant; Not so much. Diversity in the animal kingdom is accepted, loved, revered even, amongst Human Kind; not so much.
7. Oversensitivity. That’s a classic symptom of having Aspergers; being overwhelmed, unable to cope with loud noises and external stimuli. Well, we have created a very hyperactive world. Our cities are humming with busy-ness verging on mania and at some point, at some time a large percentage of us suffer from this overwhelm and sensitivity. We call this “Stress”. Oddly, we seem to accept this as a part of a preferred life. We’ve been known to revere it! If you aren’t uber busy, you’re not respected. Those of us who travel at tortoise speed get sideline by the hares. But hang on a minute didn’t the tortoise win the race?
Are our Aspergers kids calling for us to re-think how we live, how we work, what we prioritize? It’s almost inhumane the things we ask of ourselves, the environments we live and work in.
I reckon these wonderful children are on to something. Are they over-sensitive or have we just developed rhino skins?
8. Children with Aspergers are often noted for their inability to read other people’s body language, to respond to ‘ an other” appropriately, both socially and linguistically. They appear to be fully focused on themselves.
Narcissistic? Socially disabled? Detached from reality?
You could easily re-frame this and offer the perspective that we are perhaps too worried about reading other people’s responses or body language. We’re conditioned from an early age to take our cues from an external source. How many times have you stopped your Self in your tracks when you sense that the other person might not approve of you? How often do you hold back or refrain from being your Self in company because you’ve ‘read’ that other person and ‘know’ sometimes dejectedly, that this isn’t the time or place for you to be You?
Kind of sad huh?
Are our Aspergers kids showing us how to be more authentic? Are they quietly telling us its time to be brave, be bold and be our Selves no matter what? Perhaps.
9. Our Asperger kids sometimes have a very strong relationship with ritual. They appear to find it easier to adhere to strong (and often frustrating for us) routines.
Ritual is being proved to being an essential component of success. It can be seen to be a form of discipline. Don’t you want your child to have the ability to stick at something?
Yes, you could call it OCD but why would you? Why would you attach a negative angle to something that lets face it bothers you and maybe not them? Even OCD has its benefits. There are times when I’d love to be able to employ a cleaner with OCD! There’s room for all of us.
Ritual can also breed a greater sense of security, an enhanced sense of personal power and a connection to the bigger picture. Something Aspergers children need more than the average helping of.
So a big shout out to those wonderful children who have Aspergers!
It’s not easy being an Aspergers kid in our World I know, but it doesn’t have to be so hard either.
This perspective is not meant to trivialize Aspergers Syndrome. It is not intended to dismiss the deep and valid concerns of parents dealing with children who have this diagnosis. It’s just meant to literally hold up a different lens, an alternate point of view: a point of view that moves away from trying to fix something that likely won’t fix easily or even ever. It’s a point of view that focuses on the greatness of every situation, of every piece of grit in our oyster so that a beautiful pearl can come to life.
I’m passionate about parenting. I’m ardent in my pursuit of sharing my ideas for creating a happier more harmonious experience for children and families.
The biggest gift I can offer through my own experiences personal and researched, is to promote the power of re-framing. By releasing a dualistic way of viewing difficulty and diversity rooted in judgments and a preoccupation with fixing things or getting them “right”, I believe we transcend into a place of essential and productive personal empowerment.
By appearing to make ‘light’ of something like Aspergers through this re-framing technique I absolutely believe that we literally lighten their load.
The Light is always more powerful than the Dark; its just physics.
Umbilika is dedicated to helping parents and children navigate the most precious and crucial time of life; childhood. On offer is a FREE Q & A, Individual Coaching Sessions including Parenting the Parent, Astrology for Parenting (the closest you’ll ever get to a manual for your child!) and Flower Essence Consults to support every stage of parenting and childhood.
Visit the website or email Umbilika at firstname.lastname@example.org