Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Best Laid Plans

I pretty much knew from the get go that my sweet hubby was a nerd. From his emanating shyness to his habit of pushing up his glasses at the bridge of his nose with his middle finger, I figured out his proclivity towards Geekville within five minutes of meeting him.
I had never really heard of, nor studied anything about, Aspergers Syndrome.
Times have changed.
During our courtship and early marriage, I always had a nagging feeling that Steve was holding something back about himself or his past. The possibilities were so endless that I didn’t even want to speculate. We did go to premarital counseling, with no recourse for my uneasiness. Being emotionally involved with a person who would be an intimate partner in marriage behooved me to be absolutely certain that I would be making a good choice in Steve. Had he been diagnosis before we married, I would have still made the same choice to be his helpmate in life. I just would have had less hurt feelings from some of his more indelible traits.
Our daughter wrote a lovely bit in Steve’s Father’s Day card. She thanked him for his exceptional work ethic and dedication to learning. I second that. He is a hard worker. He is dependable. His inquiring mind does want to know. As long as I can still vacuum around the biggest piles of books near his recliner in the living room, I truly don’t care that he checks out a dozen books and/or magazines from the library at a time.
Many of Steve’s Aspie traits are innocuous, some are simply irritating, and other oddities can be altered with training.
Robert Naseef, Ph.D., and Cindy Ariel, Ph.D., co-editors of "Voices from the Spectrum: Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, People with Autism, and Professionals Share Their Wisdom" discuss Aspie changeability.
"People can change. In our profession, we help people to change and would not do what we do if we did not believe with certainty that it is possible  Since [an adult Aspie] functions at a high cognitive level he will be able to use that to learn social behavior that is less awkward and rude. In order to work on this it will be important for him to accept his diagnosis. That is the next hardest step; after that you and he can work on overcoming the hurdles and progress can be seen. He can change.
Accepting the diagnosis may be the biggest barrier to change. If your husband is willing to see a counselor, or even to get a second opinion so that the data begins to grow it could help him to see what is difficult for him to accept right now. Reading books by other high level adults with autism such as Stephen Shore, Temple Grandin, and Donna Williams may also be very helpful for him to begin to gather the cognitive evidence he may need to understand and accept his diagnosis."   http://alternativechoices.com/
I have finally trained Steve to adjust his glasses with his pointer finger. When he forgets and tries to ‘flip me off’, I just whisper “Mr. Pointer!”  Thankfully, he loves all those cute little rules and reminders from kindergarten.
As for me, my plans are flexible. I can go with the flow. I am able to help Steve adapt to plans that change at the last minute (i.e. four to six months prior to said event).
Laughing really truly helps!

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