I find myself getting increasingly frustrated at the opposite but equally unfair treatment of my sons…
My almost 15 yr old Aspie gets extreme amounts of pressure put on him because “he has a genius IQ and needs good grades to go to a good college” (his dad’s words and the reason he’s been grounded from everything for months). Ok REALLY? Yes, he’s extremely intelligent and could do adult mazes without thinking at 5 yrs old, and he does have a genius IQ…BUT he also has Asperger’s and difficulties with his handwriting (so he hates it and major meltdowns over showing his work or writing essays on tests). He has trouble focusing and gets overwhelmed and melts down very easily. He has unlimited potential but he’s going to need support and help to be successful in the rest of high school and in college. The more pressure put on him, the worse it gets…why can’t people do something to actually HELP him instead of pointing out why he’s “not living up to his potential” I wish I had found the adult autistic community years ago, and that I had not allowed myself to be systematically pushed out of his life. BUT I have half a summer to pick my Aspie friends brains and catch up on blogs to try to find some strategies that work that he can take back to school with him…any suggestions welcomed 😉
My 3 yr old monkey is non-verbal classical ASD (if there is such a thing…that’s why its called a spectrum)…so because he cant talk and doesn’t always appear to be paying attention/interacting then people assume he’s not intelligent. He picked up the AAC concept and taught himself how to navigate an iPad at 2, he can do 30pc jigsaw puzzles on the iPad hardly even seeming to look, he knew his colors, numbers, shapes, and letters before some of his NT peers…all in all hes VERY intelligent…but because he doesn’t wave bye bye or pay attention to things that don’t interest him (I don’t blame him) then he consistently tests WAY below his age level. He gets very stressed at the Dr office and presents as SEVERE autistic so that as I’m asking Dr to sign off on therapies etc he’s looking at me like I’m crazy. Luckily he generally signs off on whatever I ask for, but I wish just once that he could see the child everyone who knows him well sees.
The point of all this is to say…it’s a constant learning experience for me to find the best approaches for BOTH boys, but I wish that people would stop over and underestimating them and SEE who they are, ALL of who they are and at least make an attempt to meet them there and contribute to their success or at least back off and don’t impede it. Attempt to listen to what THEY have to say, rather than what you think that they need or want or what they should do.
The autism statistics are now estimated at 1 in 50 so chances somewhere at some time it will be a part of your life, or already is. EDUCATE yourself…talk to adult autistics, and LISTEN to what they have to say…they don’t need any organizations or doctors to speak for them, they do a perfectly amazing job of speaking for themselves! As soon as I actually get my favorites added to my bookmarks on this computer I’ll be sharing them with everyone 🙂