Saturday, March 7, 2015

Am I autistic? Does it matter?

My counselor told me the other day that he thought I might have Asperger's.  Among other reasons, for  the fact that my most successful,  satisfying job is working for people who don't speak a lot of English,  with Co workers who generally speak no English,  with customers that my interaction is short,  limited and specific. Of course,  I corrected him and pointed out that since the DSM V,  it's all Autistic Disorder now and it's not called Asperger's anymore.

My first thought was about how to get an official diagnosis. Then I thought,  but why? It's not going to change anything. The treatments I'm receiving would be the same. Then I thought,  maybe it would excuse my awkward and sometimes unintentionally offensive behavior. Then I thought,  but is that a cop out? But then I thought,  instead of being a parent of a child with autism,  I would be a father with autism,  of a child with autism.

I already classified as not neurotypical,  because of the ADHD. And it's commonly thought that autism is a "spectrum" on which we all fall,  with more or less "autistic traits" and with a child with autism it's expected that I would have more autistic traits than is typical. I've always known I think about things differently from most other people. It does seem like a simple and probably accurate explanation. But I don't think I'd be comfortable just self-diagnosing myself as autistic.

Of course there's the valid point that this is all a question of labels and grouping,  which isn't necessarily a good thing. But I like boxes. If I think outside of The Box,  it's because I made a new box next door. That's a human thing though,  the need to identify and classify.

Ha,  the real result could be the new,  "It's a black thing,  you wouldn't understand," which is a concept I don't like. But I already know that someone really can't understand being a parent without actually being a parent,  or being the parent of a child with autism. I guess what's important is to know that you can't understand a situation you aren't personally experiencing,  but try to understand it anyway. Which is probably why anyone who does not have a child with autism would be reading this blog in the first place.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Happy Belated Birthday

Editorial note: I wrote this at the end of January,  but thought I wasn't done. I'm not sure I am now,  but I'm going to post it now anyway. 

Hey son,  I remembered before January was over that I hadn't written a birthday post for you yet. So that's an improvement.

You've been doing so well in school. Your teachers tell me you're making great progress,  though I think that what you show them and what you show me aren't the same. That's just the sort of mischief that we've come to expect from you,  you little scamp.

I just started going to PSR with you instead of sending your mother. It's given me a new perspective, seeing you in a classroom setting with your peers. I see how difficult it is for you to pay attention to what the teachers are saying,  and how your peers seem about as interesting to you as the furniture.

Your teachers from school tell me that there you actually seek out social interaction, and show preferences for certain classmates and sometimes you ask to sit with your friends at lunchtime. It gives me hope. I can't exactly teach you social skills,  to be honest mine are probably barely better than yours. :)

This year you're supposed to receive your 2nd and 3rd sacraments in the Church,  Penance and Communion. I'm anxious about it. I know they are not going to exclude you, but it's important to me that you have the appropriate education before you receive penance and Communion. That you understand the concepts of sin, and heaven and he'll,  and how God forgives your sins because you are one of his children and he loves you. I know that you're, capable of it, I know you understand right and wrong even though you sometimes don't understand WHY something is right or wrong. When you do something wrong,  I see honest regret in you,  at least sometimes.