Your program brought me joy, not because I have a son with Aspergers but because as your program pointed out no one will acknowledge the condition, not even other parents. To hear the coping skills of these two very smart and sensitive parents made be proud to share this strategy with you: Get emotional counseling for your child as well as yourself. We sent my son to weekly group sessions for years before seeing 'results'. Every person who knew him before this, when he was having the temper and frustration fits, comments that they cannot recognise him - except that he looks like the same person. We experienced the same odd disparity of abilities and disabilities for years before we knew what we were looking at. Our son had a different quirk to his inability to comprehend other children. He would be constantly accused of inappropriate touching. He would want to ask the child who is crying "Why are you crying?" and try to hug that child. It was one of the first signs that we missed that he had a disability - his overarching need to reach out and in his own terms understand what was happening. He also to this day cannot bear to let a single book be given away because he reads them constantly. By the way, one example of those books is the Harry Potter series which he started when he was beginning the third grade, not at all age appropriate interest. Yet, he could not write, and still has difficulty with spelling. He could always and still does construct large, incredibly detailed worlds in his mind, filled with characters who have strengths and weakness, wear interesting clothes, live in odd houses, but he can't construct a plot other than employing an idea that he has read somewhere else. And did I mention his math and science comprehension level is through the roof, yet he's only an average student because he can't express himself. I have seen my son change from that kid who would never look you in the eye to a young man that, albeit studies the whys and whens, will now come up to you and ask "Do you need a hug?" and then hugs you. But like the parents that you interviewed, I worry about the future. Sure, his condition isn't profound, but until recently, he didn't have a single significant friend. What about when he goes to high school? What about college? What about a job? Will he ever find a true love and marry? Your program has given me hope beyond what I could find by myself. Just to listen to someone else talking instead of the voices in my heart and mind has given me a kind of peace and realisation that this too is just another step to tomorrow. That we all have challenges, and maybe the small things we do today will make it better some time soon.
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