Saturday, April 17, 2010

Do You Blue? 4/16/2010

I started this at 11:42, so I still have a little time! I've had some stress this week and am a little tired, so my normally blue eyes are tinged with green. It's not Hulk rage, but it's something different about me. 

Speaking of different, I was waiting to pick up Nathan at school today and I was hanging  with some other moms in the gym. I can see everyone around me. There was a little chit chat here and there.  All off a sudden, the group split off into a semi circle and I was left out. I'm having silent conversations with their backs. I felt so strange then, like I was back in elementary school and was being shunned. It didn't bother me as much as it would then, but I think I was bothered by the silence of it. I was so used to being verbally picked as a child that having no words at all made it that much more eerie.

I know I'm different from other moms. I've always been different and gotten various reactions. Nathan is different and he knows he is and knows why, but I don't think the concept has gelled yet. I got an email on Facebook asking my advice on how to approach your child and telling him or her is an aspie. I told the mom that perhaps she should use Luke Skywalker as a starting point (since the child is obsessed with Star Wars) and mention how the "force" makes him special and that her child is special, too.

These differences put us out there on display. Like the side shows of old, we are always on the world stage for people to observe. They may be afraid, or amused or angered. We just want you to have knowledge of what we are. 

I am reminded of Suzanne Vega and some of her songs. "Left of Center" was my favorite. It was from the "Pretty in Pink" soundtrack, which I felt was the story of my LIFE. I was so much like Molly Ringwald. I still am, in a way. I am different and cannot change that, but it doesn't mean I don't want to be a part of that "neurotypical" world. I do. I just need to be me. So does Nathan. We don't want to adjust that, or cure that or solve that. I leave you with the words of the muse here:
If you want me,
You can find me
Left of center off of the strip
In the outskirts and in the fringes
In the corner, out of the grip

When they ask me
What are you looking at?
I always answer, nothing much, not much
I think they know I'm looking at them
I think they think I must be out of touch
But I'm walking in the outskirts
And in the fringes, on the edge and off the avenue
Oh and if you want me, you can find me
Left of center, wondering all about you

I think that somehow, somewhere inside of us
We must be similar, if not the same
So I continue to keep wanting you
Left of center, against the grain

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  1. I love this. Aren't we all different? I think that if we all acknowledged this - and I mean everyone - people would be so much happier and accepting of themselves as well as others. Life would be boring and we wouldn't learn much if we were all carbon copies of one another. Delight in difference, I say!

  2. For your Facebook mom (if you wish):
    We just got an actual diagnosis for my 9 yr old earlier this school year (although I already knew as a Special Ed teacher).

    For my son, his acceptance of himself and his different way of approaching life began with the name "Aspie". All of the talks we'd had about quirks and special talents and figuring out confusing people in a confusing world still just meant "different" to him. But in kid-speak, and especially to one on the spectrum, "different" is never a good thing.

    Our children already know they are outside the norm. We aren't telling them anything they don't already know. Giving it a name makes it more concrete, more real. Something to be manipulated and figured out not just dealt with.

    I actually love hearing my son say things like "Dude, I'm an Aspie. I don't get jokes" or "Oh, that? It's an Aspie thing." or even "I'm being a pain in the Ass-pee aren't I?" (which he came up with himself). Or his newest... "I have Aspergers, a.k.a spin-in-circle-itis!"
    I know he's trying to make sense of it in his own way. And it's the start of self-advocating for himself.

    May I suggest sharing the book "All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome" by Kathy Hoopmann? It describes Aspergers in clear, simple, accurate ways that was easy for my son to understand and relate to. The funny pictures help too!

    Thank you for your time :)

  3. @anonymous: Delight in Difference, indeed! We all need to foster our creativity and individuality. :)

  4. @Meghan: I love the "spin-in-circle-itis"! It is brilliant. And we also love "All Cats Have Asperger's Syndrome" which is a fantastic book for kids and adults. Thank you so much for your ideas and stories about your son! :)