Monday, May 7, 2012


When new kids come over to our home for the first time, I tell them that we only have two rules in our house for those under eighteen years of age. The first is “No acting childish.” The second is “No having fun.” If they always follow these two rules, they will never get in trouble as most everything they can think of doing is either childish or fun, or both. Hence our household rules!
I like to keep things simple. Steve has an incredibly complicated set of rules for life that usually drive me crazy. Simple doesn’t seem to be in his vocabulary.
Over and over, day in and day out I butt heads with my hubby. He asks me if I think his Aspergers is getting worse. I’m not sure is ‘worse’ is the right description, but I do think that it is becoming more pronounced.
So often it’s simple communication that snarls things up. One of Steve’s ‘rules’ is to not use too many words. From what I’ve read, many Aspies feel the same way about talking; they don’t want to speak too much. They abhor chit chat. They like people around them to speak directly and to the point. No idle talk, unless it’s about their particular focus of interest.
Michael John Carley is the best known advocate for people with Asperger’s Syndrome, or AS. He runs GRASP, the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership, the largest national non-profit run by and for people “on the autism spectrum,” and he’s known as a brilliant and vocal champion. His book, Asperger’s From the Inside Out: A Supportive and Practical Guide for Anyone with Asperger’s Syndrome, tells of both his own struggle for understanding and what he has learned from the many others with AS he’s encountered in his work.
“In my particular case, and it varies certainly, what came naturally to others, I had to work harder for, especially with reading emotions of my own and other people. I was a ‘tell it like it is’ kind of guy, but I didn’t really feel like I was that guy. People who weren’t crazy about my differences thought of me as a ‘rude so-and-so’. You struggle with all the perceptions of yourself.”
My husband struggles with self-esteem and self-worth. One of the ways I can help him is to point out to him positive aspects about himself. Many times that requires super human effort on my part. For whatever reason, when I’m tired or my arthritis is acting up, Steve will be feeling down also. Then he starts ‘acting up’. He becomes so irritating that it’s difficult to me to be around him. That is when I just have to pull up my big girl panties and focus on encouraging him.
Sometimes it’s as simple as getting to the root of his particular insecurity. If I ask direct questions about work or his drive home, I will be able to pinpoint the source of the problem. It actually feels like working with one of my teenagers.
Since youngest kidlet was hanging out at big bro’s for the weekend, I only had one ‘kid’ to deal with. It sort of felt like a mini vacation. But just sort of. Crank up Kiss and we won't have to talk...

K.I.S.S. is an acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid

No comments:

Post a Comment