Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The blurry lines of Aspergers

There are days in my life of raising a child with Aspergers that the differences between him and other kids his age are very apparent. Then, there are the days where I have to make parenting decisions for him when they seem extremely blurred. When he is stemming or slurring his words or having impulse control issues, the lines are clear. When he wants to walk home with other kids from school or walk down to the park to play basketball or stay home by himself, things just aren't quite as obvious. How do you define the boundaries differently for him and other kids his age? What is he not quite ready for that his peers can handle?

 Here is a perfect example:

After much discussion, we decided to let Hunter walk home from school yesterday. It was his first day of school. He made a friend at school last year who lives in our neighborhood, so he had a walking buddy.  I had his phone charged and ready. He had a hat with him to block the sun on his way home. I had the discussion with him over and over about watching for traffic and turning his phone on right after school.

Yesterday afternoon, I picked Grant up from school and stopped by Sonic for Happy Hour (no alcohol involved :-( ) School had just let out, so I called Hunter's phone to see if he wanted anything, but there was no answer. I drove home and called again, but no answer. I waited another few minutes, but still no answer. Grant and I drove around the neighborhood, but not sight of him and still no answer. I decided to come home and give it a little time before a full-on panic.  One hour after school let out, I finally got a text saying he was on his way home, and a few minutes later, he walked in the door.

My deep breathing to keep me calm had already started. I asked him where he had been and he said just walking home and stopping to talk. I truly believe they were just taking their time walking home. He was socializing! I should be happy!! He has a friend!! I should be ecstatic!!  I don't want him to lose this really important social situation, but he has to be responsible enough to call me. His cellphone has to be on so I can reach him...and once again, the lines are blurred.

Take two of this walking home thing happens today.

To be continued...