The Fourth of July celebrations are over and we sailed through relatively unscathed this year.
This is not always the case when my hubby is included in social events. Since arriving at friends get-togethers with Steve’s mouth duct taped shut isn’t an option (for that causes far more discussion than his awkward blurting and/or embarrassing questions and prevents him from eating which is a good way to keep him quiet) I usually don’t enjoy myself very much as I am constantly listening to him to prevent meltdowns. Both his and others.
Too bad I can’t get Steve to keep his thoughts to himself sometimes. He is of the belief that if something is true, it must be spoken. Ugh.
A recent email from a reader reminded me of the basics in living with Aspergers Syndrome. I really like the info from WebMD:
The symptoms of Asperger's syndrome vary and can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:
· Problems with social skills: [people] with Asperger's syndrome generally have difficulty interacting with others and often are awkward in social situations. They generally do not make friends easily. They have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversation.
· Eccentric or repetitive behaviors: [people] with this condition may develop odd, repetitive movements, such as hand wringing or finger twisting.
· Unusual preoccupations or rituals: [people] with Asperger's syndrome may develop rituals that he or she refuses to alter, such as getting dressed in a specific order. [hand washing, mandatory placement of objects, or checking & rechecking locked doors, windows, etc.]
· Communication difficulties: People with Asperger's syndrome may not make eye contact when speaking with someone. They may have trouble using facial expressions and gestures, and understanding body language. They also tend to have problems understanding language in context and are very literal in their use of language.
· Limited range of interests: [people] with Asperger's syndrome may develop an intense, almost obsessive, interest in a few areas, such as sports schedules, weather, or maps.
· Coordination problems: The movements of [people] with Asperger's syndrome may seem clumsy or awkward.
· Skilled or talented: Many [people] with Asperger's syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math.
I do learn a lot about The Hubster by watching strangers interact with him for the first time. They will try to discuss something with him other than his single interest of cars, and typically will begin to look puzzled after a few minutes when he keeps changing subjects back to cars. Some will try to follow for a bit; others with just walk away.
Occasionally Steve will be fortunate enough to find another gearhead and spend the evening in total bliss. Then I am off duty and can also enjoy the party.
Let the fireworks begin!