My son’s always felt comfortable with Asperger’s Syndrome. After all, his Daddy – and thus his idol – makes AS look good.
- clumsy, uncoordinated
- difficulty with social skills
- sensory integration issues
and so on.
Shocked, he asked me why they were making Asperger’s out to be something bad.
For a moment, struck by the meaning – and injured pride – in what he’d asked, I had nothing to say.
And then remembered that everyone out there has challenges. His are just a little more easily defined. With Asperger’s, you pretty much know where you stand with some things. Nodding his head, he mentioned social skills (have I mentioned that my son’s no fool?). With other people, it varies more with the individual.
And it’s true.
For example, I have noise sensitivity. It’s led to some success in music, but I’ll still want to run screaming from a noisy classroom. A friend of mine has sinus and health difficulties that can make her life miserable. Family members suffer from bone spurs, arthritis and other painful joint aches.
How about claustrophobia? Allergies? Fear of math? A loud voice? Overweight? Mood swings? Shyness? A tendency to chat too much?
All of us have weaknesses. And all of us have strengths.
He knows some of the strengths often associated with Asperger’s Syndrome. The strengths that are rarely mentioned, because it’s just too easy to focus on the downside.
- Often intelligence, even genius
- Visual memory
- Think-outside-the-box mentality
- The ability to truly master a craft or subject
And so on.
We need to remember the strengths more often, and not get bogged down in the list of challenges.
My son’s confident and happy with who he is. So is my husband. Sure, they have a list of baggage that they need to work on.
But then, so do the rest of us.