Aspergers – Worrying what the future holds

18 Jan

When you mention that your child has Aspergers Syndrome, most that have some understanding of the syndrome, just think the characteristics are a lacking in social interaction skills, literal understanding, or an intense special interest. There is so much more to Aspergers then this! One of the main difficulties for Little man is learning independence skills, the most basic everyday things that a “typical” child masters in the early years of life, such as tying their own shoe laces, Little man is only just beginning to do at the age of 11 years.

We have always struggled when it comes to daily hygiene, basic teeth brushing and hand washing are a few amongst the list of difficulties Little man has. This is due to a combination of factors such as, sensory sensitivity (which is defiantly the case for brushing his teeth, and reluctance in letting me cut his nails) to lacking the basic skills needed to do what you or I can only describe as the most basic of tasks.

The hard thing for us as a family is the fact Little man is more than aware that these are skills he should have mastered by now and yes it make him very anxious and upset.
It’s not that he doesn’t want to wash his face & hands, like I have said this is just a basic skill his lacking, which is why we use visual aids in the bathroom. Little man just needs a visual reminder to remind him of the order in which certain things need to be done!

So, here’s my worry… shouldn’t Little man have mastered the order of play by now, not be relying on visual direction as much? This is something he cannot be doing as an adult and as we reach the years of puberty (oh god I’m dreading these) this will become an even bigger and more needed skill that he must acquire.

When Little man was much younger, even though we struggled to obtain a diagnosis, then a statement of sen… things such as these were much easier to cope with! Now my Little man is growing fast, before I know it he will be 16, what then?

Like any mother, I only want the best for my child! I want him to grow up, get a job, a wife, have a family of his own! I’m not stating he can’t do these things, I know he can! What I need to do is step back and help him to help himself!

It sounds harsh, yes, I know! But he is my son and I love him! I am guilty of doing what many mothers of children on the spectrum do… helping him that little bit too much! If Little man finds something hard to cope with, it’s easier for me to remove the source of the problem, yet in the long run how will this help him? I’m not just talking about hygiene now… I’m talking about everything, from sensory overload, when we take a visit to the supermarket or fighting with his sister (there is only so many times you can remove a child from the situation after all)!

Yes, such issues are true struggles for my child, however it must get to that stage where in order to help my child cope with the things he finds most difficult I need to slowly introduce new techniques to help him acquire better skills for his future, I’m gonna have to start now… before my child is relying on his mum, come age 21!

I just wish these things were easier… that’s all!

9 Responses to “Aspergers – Worrying what the future holds”

  1. h0pefulmummy February 1, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    i can in no way understand what you are experiencing with your son, but as di said i think that you know what to do and are probably making little changes to achieve the independence that you want for you son. you have the strength and the ability to guide him and teach him and at some point you might have to let him go and see how he copes on his own. we all have a tendency to molly-coddle our special needs children because we want to protect them from the world, but actually we should be enabling and encouraging them – it’s just easier said than done x

    ps – thank for joining the love al lblogs showcase this week

  2. bottleinfrontofme January 30, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    The future worries me a lot too. our son is 10 this year, but for some things he could be 5. However clever he can be at times, and he has a wonderful brain in there, he is so far behind with appropriate social and emotional behaviour. He also suffers from sensory overload and OCD, so I know where your coming from.

    We can only do our best to try and equip them for the future, a lot will depend on how they progress in the next few years. best of luck.

  3. mumstimeout January 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Hi there.
    I think that you already know what to do… “What I need to do is step back and help him to help himself!” 🙂
    I wrote something similar to your post not so long ago….. it was about how I do too much for my son!! We mums like to look after our kids but we have to be mindful, as you say, of not doing too much!
    I wonder if you would like this post… It was posted today by a friend of mine. It is an RDI post, although you can look past that if you are not interested in RDI. What is great about the feedback and videos is that it gives great ideas on pausing, pacing and the style of language that you use……. all to encourage your child to think dynamically/for himself.
    Best wishes
    I found you on loveallblogs 🙂

  4. Ann Kilter January 20, 2012 at 2:30 am #

    I have two adult children on the spectrum. It is high functioning autism, not Asperger’s, but the issues are the same. They are 25 and 23, and have just graduated from college in the past year. I understand completely where you are coming from. It takes a long patience in the same direction for a long time. We sometimes think that the things that help our children such as lists are crutches for them. But the fact is, they are tools. Tools to help them gain independence. Like everyone else, we all use tools to help us get through our days. It is very normal. I use Outlook, lists, and reminders constantly throughout my work day. So we can think of using the list as a way of building skills for independence. It is excellent that you are thinking about this now. “A ship is safest in the harbor, but that is not what ships are built for.” John Shedd.

  5. Mum in Meltdown January 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    My son is only affected slightly nd masinly with organisational skills and planning. We do help him at home with his school planning and making sure we are getting the right homeworks in on the right day. However, he is doing really well now. But for stuff at home we leave him lists and he will work through those (the liss were his request) and it seems to help. Like today he will be home alone for a while until my OH gets home from work. I have his list done already, sadly it includes basic things like putting lights on and closing blinds etc- but he prefers it all written down as its better for him to work through. It’s easy to become over protective but you are doing a great job. A good mother worries!!! 🙂

  6. clairelouise82 January 19, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    Thanks for visiting and commenting, that means so much thank you. I love it when fellow mums come and say they understand, it somehow makes things feel a lot better. Little man has started to ask for that bit more freedom. He does have a friend that lives a few doors up, he gets a bit upset that he can’t go that bit further like him, it just scares me! Claire.x

  7. cinda johnson January 19, 2012 at 3:55 am #

    It is hard. So hard to let go and sometimes experience failure and anguish and pain. I couldn’t until my daughter said to me one day, “Momma, you take such good care of me I am afraid I will never be able to take care of myself.” Out of the mouths of babes. You are a good, no, GREAT momma!


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