Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Sibling Effect

A few years back, when we were in the midst of PT, OT, and such, and my younger son Z had to traipse to each appointment with us, one of the therapists said, "You know what? Z is probably the best thing to ever happen to L."  I still well up when I think of her saying that because it's true; Z has been such a blessing.

The boys are only 22 months apart and at a time when L could have really spiraled into his own world unchallenged, constant interruption from a younger sibling forced L to confront so many of the issues and interactions (e.g. sharing, compromising, perspective-taking, and so on) he would have preferred to avoid.  Now don't get me wrong.  L is still challenged by all of those behaviors and concepts, it's just that with Z around he gets to practice coming to terms with them on a daily basis.

First Meeting  :)
"And what about Z?", I always ask myself.  As much as he has positively affected L's life, can we say that Z has been given as much in return?  He's definitely been shaped by L.  Z is patient, kind, understanding, and accepting from growing up with a brother with Asperger's.  I hope that Z keeps those qualities intact as he grows and can appreciate that as much as L is more exceptional because of Z, Z is equally as exceptional because of L.

"The sun is in my eyes!"  Holding on for dear life to little bro.

Check out the post below for more information about siblings and Asperger's:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And Around He Goes

L is a wanderer, especially in social situations.  Looking around a party or large group gathering you typically see a congregation of children laughing and playing.  Off in the distance, though, you'll typically spot L walking the perimeters of the grounds or pacing in circles.  He's in his own world...we say "he's in his imagination."  He seems perfectly content and happy.  If you ask him what he's doing he normally takes the question literally and responds, "Walking."  Yeah, I figured that one out.  But he's doing more than just walking.  He's actively thinking; normally about his topic of interest which for years was trains and train schedules and more recently has morphed to Pokemon.

Though as a parent it is sometimes difficult to see him so removed from the larger group and activity I try and find the balance between encouraging him to join the group but respecting that at times he needs a breather and break from the overload of the social situation.

I just wonder, as he and his peers get older, and friendship is based more upon the interaction with each other instead of just close proximity and circumstance, if he will be able to maintain the friendships he has.  Hmmm?

My Aspergers Child: The Benefits to Parenting an Aspergers Child

My Aspergers Child: The Benefits to Parenting an Aspergers Child

Great resource for parents with some practical and helpful guidance.