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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jackpot!

One of our many challenges  has been to find Hunter's niche. It is important to us to find something that is interesting and important to him that can one day serve him well. Hopefully, he will be fortunate enough to find that ONE thing that he can turn into a career. That one thing he can use to support himself and maybe a family someday.

For Hunter, normal school is like a thorn in his side. He hates it! He hides school work, lies to me and his teachers, and does just about everything he can to avoid doing work in his classes. The classes he doesn't like are a real challenge. Therefore, I wonder what his future will hold. Will he go to college? Will he be able to keep a job? These are the worries (among others) that keep me up at night.

One of Hunter's obsessions (like many other boys with Aspergers) is electronics. Everything from computer games, IPods, gaming systems, cell phones....you name it, he loves it! He loves it so much that it is hard to regulatethem . It has been a constant struggle with him since he was old enough to talk.

We have tried to put him on sports teams. He has played baseball, football, soccer, basketball. You name it, he has played it. My husband loves sports, so team sports were introduced to Hunter by the age of 3. The poor boy just doesn't have the coordination. He also doesn't really have the interest. He loves to watch sports. He loves to collect baseball cards and football cards. He watches every ESPN special on sports history. He can tell you sports statistics about players from well before most of us were born. His knowledge is actually quite miraculous. What he doesn't have is much of a desire to play sports.

This summer, I struggled with what activities would be good for him. I looked around quite a bit because this is our first full summer in our new town. Finally, I found it! It was like striking gold! I found a "make your own computer game" camp!  It is only three hours for four days, so he doesn't have to be gone from the house long (time is always an issue for him). He gets to sit at a laptop (which is like heaven to him). Most importantly, he gets to learn. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he is learning and doesn't even realize it!! My boy loves computers. He loves video games. He gets uncomfortable engaging with people, so it is perfect!!

I was so nervous when I picked him up on Monday. I'm not really sure why. I think I was just hoping that this would make him really happy. Maybe this would be his "niche". I walked into the building and to his classroom. The moment he saw me, he said, "Mom, come here! I want to show you what I made!" My heart sang!! My pre-teen boy not only wanted me next to him (shocker), but he had made something and he was proud! By the way, it was also impressive!!

Jackpot!!