Asperger's Syndrome Community
I want to be a good mom
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This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding Asperger Syndrome issues such as: Balance, Behavioral Issues, Causes, Characteristics, Classification, Clumsiness, Communication, Diagnosis, Gait – Walking, Genetics, Medications. Parenting, Prognosis, Restricted and repetitive interests and behavior, School Issues, Screening Sleep Disorders, Social interaction, Speech and language, Treatment

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I want to be a good mom

pleaee, i am desperate, my son has asperger's syndrome and i love him dearly. I don't know how to get him up and out. I really want him to have fun, but it is hard. He is ten years of age and really does not like to do much. He loves reptiles and elephants, all sorts of animals.  My mother and I recently got him use to dogs, he had a big fear of them, but now with much time and patience we got him loving my moms dog.  It, seems lately that I have not been able to get him to go anywhere that is not the usual places we go and he does not care if he joins anything or not, but it really kills me seeing my big guy so alone. We go for walks but I don't want to be his only friend. Please if you have ideas or programs that are not expensive that would help us, please inform
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Have you looked around for a parent support group that also organises family type activities or activities that the children can do.
Are there any other children with the same diagnosis at his school?  If so, then you parents could get together to organise stuff for them to do together eg. a trip to the cinema.
Does his school not have any kind of youth club?
Does your state not have any kind of social supports for teenagers with aspergers?
Have you tried anything like climbing clubs (learning to rock climb), trampolining, fishing, swimming.  These types of activities are usually more enjoyable for them.  Anything involving team sport games is usually off limits!
Can he chat with other kids with aspergers via the internet?
Remember that he social interaction might not be such a priority with him as it is with us?  Have you asked him if he wants to mix with other children his age?
If he has difficulties with social interaction skills, or conversational skills etc then this should be looked at by a Speech and Language Therapist as it is part of their remit to address these issues.
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I agree with Sally44.  My daugther, age 11, does not want to leave the house at all on the weekends, since she has had to leave every other day for school.  When she is home, she is on her computer almost the whole time.  She has her interest groups, for instance, Calvin & Hobbes, where she goes and talks with her "friends" online.  This is usually an Aspie's preferred way to socialize.
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I think all you can do is go along with what your child wants.  But I find that often I have to ask the question to get the answer.  Those on the spectrum can find it very hard to identify what they want or what they need, especially if it is one of their areas of difficulty.  They might be fine asking for something to eat/drink.  But they may not even think about whether they want company unless you ask them.  My son has no understanding of time, so he can go for weeks without asking to see anyone.  But if I ask him 'would you like to have someone over this weekend' he usually says yes.  Now I'm not saying it is always successful!   Many times he ends up having a tantrum and demanding that the other person goes home!  But he also has alot of successes and enjoys playing with other children.  
If he does want to socialise, or join clubs etc then try to make it possible for him to do that.  He isn't alone.  There are lots of other children in your immediate area who will have a similar diagnosis.  The diagnosis rate is at least 1:100.  In our city they are having to build new schools because there aren't enough school places for children with autism!
But if he does lack social skills then that needs to be addressed otherwise he will attempt to socialise and fail and that will affect his self esteem, especially if he is self aware and understands that he does have difficulties.
My son is high functioning autistic.  He started a new school this September and from the first day he kept saying he wanted to make friends and play with other children.  But he has no idea how to do this.  If he wanted a child to play with him he might go over to him/her and just look at her and not say anything.  So the school has had to introduce a much more structured approach whereby he chooses what he will do during breaktime and he also chooses who he will do it with.  This interaction will be supervised by a teaching assistant.  He is also going to start going to a social skills group that the school has.
Having a diagnosis of Aspergers usually means that their speech is okay.  But, more importantly, they tend not to have the social skills to be able to interact successfully with other children.  But these skills can be taught.  Sometimes they need to learn very basic concepts such as you don't speak to someone and just walk away.  You have to wait to see if they want to respond and you have to say something to terminate the interaction.  If they don't learn these skills, then they just appear as very rude.
Have you tried contacting the Autistic Society of America to see what kinds of groups are in your area.
If you don't find something, and you think you are able, why not start something up?  It doesn't have to be complicated.  A group that I go to meets once every fortnight for 2 hours.  The parents have coffee and something to eat in the kitchen and the children go to play in the gym on all the climbing equipment/trampoline/bouncy castle etc.  A local college might be able to let you use this type of facility.  We use a Community College and they have 2 members of staff supervising.  One is permanent and the other two are trainees.  Some parents also stay in the gym, especially if their child is non-verbal.  But our group works and we have an age range from 5-15 and a whole range of abilities from non-verbal to gifted.
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it took me a while but i finally found a pokemon boys club
the group is filled with aspie boys, and while they are playing the moms talk about what works and what does not do well
i learn alot from the other mothers
i also have to tell you that you ARE a good mom
i too have what apears to be a small dose of aspers, my mom went nuts trying to help me
at times she too felt like a bad mom, but thats not true!!!
she is an awesom mom AND SO ARE YOU!!!!!!!!
having a child with special needs drains you, i know, sometimes i get so depressed working with my 9 yr old, but when i have a bad day i just try to remember, all this is not as important as having a good relationship with my son
i have a friend and her son plays every sport you can name, and he is great at all of them
she is my best friend, but at times i get upset because i want my son to be more like hers
but he's not!!!! and i do not need to compare!!
my son loves science, swimming (but it takes alot of patience for him to do swim team) golf, fishing and skating and hiking...
man, even sometimes when i get around my best friend i will start feeling less than, she works at a corporate job making a 6 figure income, and my last job was as a paramedic in a state run rehab, and now i am the homeschool mom that barley has time ot brush her hair
my point is this,, you cannot compare yourself with other parents, i am sure that my bestfriend would need valuim is she had to do math with my kid!!!
we all have are strenghts so focus on those for a while!!!
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It is really hard.  My son also has few friends - most of them he has from school which is designed for children with Aspergers.  He is better tan most of his friends about doing other things - but some of them are quite rigid.    You need to go with his interests.  I would try to contact groups that deal with disabled kids - every day more and more things are popping up - sports leagues, etc. especially designed for kids.

Though it is hard to make friends, most kids with Aspergers want to - but some are so confined to their particular interests that it is hard.  Reading is my son's religion - and he tries to convert everyone to it.  Most kids aren't thrilled about discussing books but he can post on several boards.  He also loves Bionicles - and their are obviously many children and adults who share this obsession (you only need to go to You Tube).  

Luckily, his sisters have alot of friends over - and even though he is still a social disaster with kids he definitely gets along better with younger ones or adults.  Adults find him charming (he doesn't have the pendantic speech issues).  Peer mentoring is also becoming a "cool thing" to do at some schools in the junior/high school level.  

And another thing mom - relax.  Many people with Aspergers do better later on.  Sam' sschool just had a speaker.  There was a young woman with Aspergers who was talking about how she loved college because she finally had real friends.  It was a better late than never scenario.  She is going to publish a book called the Naughtie Autie (Sex and the Single Asperger's girl).  She is working on her master's in clinical psychology now.  Her father kept rearranging her handouts during her speech.

I loved it when she said "Dad sit down - I have this under control."  

A part of her talk was about parents always worrying.  I wish, me included, that we could all master my grandmother's trick of learning to worry about 5 minutes a day.  When she was young, doctor's told her she was going to die (she and her brother had a some sort of heart condition) at 30.  Her brother did die at around 30.  She decided to take up long distance swimming which gave her 20 more years.  Heart surgery did not exist in the early 1900's.  At 30, when she found out that she didn't die, she married and had 3 kids (against her doctor's order - having the last well in her early 40's).  I often wondered what it must have been like for her - knowing the inevitable was always around the corner from a young age.  She changed what she could have changed, lived with a badly dealt deck and moved on.  

I think alot of kids with Aspergers find their own way.  My husband works with a person who probably has it and he thinks his cousin (who was a college professor and Wall Streeter probably does too.)  I think that most people with Aspergers will eventually find friends - but they will be real ones with a great understanding.
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