Thursday, September 21, 2006

Aspergers and sound discrimination

I have finally had a conversation with Will where his explanation of a social situation makes sense to me.

We were driving home after school, and we were directly behind Will's bus. There were other boys in the back of the bus, some were even boys that I knew that have been over to the house to play with Will. These boys were very actively talking to each other, having a great time. I asked Will if he talked with these guys on the way home at the end of the day. He said "No." I began my usual spiel about how he SHOULD talk to these guys, that's what kids do on the way home from school -- they joke, they talk about sports, movies, bands, etc. I asked Will why he doesn't talk with them, and he very succinctly said "I can't hear them."

OK, Will can hear just fine, in fact his hearing is very acute. Like most people with Asperger's, he can hear a lawnmower from miles away, he can hear the air conditioning turn on in a room when most of the family would never notice. This is exactly the problem. There are places where the noise is so intense, and there are so many different noises coming from different directions, i.e. the bus, the hallway at school, the auditorium, the lunchroom, the gym, church, the classroom, etc., that our kids cannot discriminate between the sounds, and so they cannot socialize, they cannot carry on a conversation with four other boys.

No wonder!

Now that I know this, I know a little better than to try and push socializing on him when he just doesn't have the physical capacity to actually hear the conversation as anyone else would. I finally understand.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Asperger's and happiness in England

OK, this is going to be an odd post, but bear with me . . .

My son has the following characteristics that I believe he shares with many Aspies:

1. He has very white, pasty skin coloring
2. He often speaks in a somewhat formal, pendantic manner
3. He's not particularly athletic
4. Athletics is not as important to him as academics or general knowledge
5. His sense of humor tends to be very dry

I could be wrong, but is this not a good description of someone who would fit in well with English society? I lived in England for two years, and I think Will might be much happier and much more included in society if he lived there. I'm sort of kidding here, but sort of not . . .

Wouldn't it be great if you could find a place to live with Asperger's where it was an ideal character trait? For instance, if the United States glorifies all of its athletes, gives them all of the attention, money, and glory, surely there must be a country out there, somewhere, where those people who have great stores of knowledge, pasty skin, and a dry sense of humor could live in happiness?

If only it were so . . .


Monday, September 11, 2006

Asperger's and

When Will was diagnosed, I was always trying to get information about what it felt like to have aspergers, what was going on inside the head of the children, teens, and adults who have this syndrome. It seemed like there was rarely information in books or magazines that could provide this insight.

Lately I've found that logging on to this website,, has been helpful in developing my understanding of aspergers and what it's like for the people who deal with this on a day-to-day basis. The site is described as follows:

Wrong Planet is a web community designed for individuals (and parents of those) with Asperger's Syndrome, Autism, ADHD, and other PDDs. We provide a forum, where members can communicate with each other, an article section, where members may read and submit essays or how-to guides about various subjects, and a chatroom for real-time communication with other Aspies.

I check this site every so often to see what people are dealing with. It helps me to have an idea of what may be in the future for my son, and it also helps me to not have a cavalier idea of what Asperger's is all about.


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