I received an email from a woman named Amanda. She wanted advice about her son. I hope you enjoy and can use what I've wrote to her. If you are reading this I would appreciate you becoming a follower of my blog and telling all of your facebook friends about me. Encourage them to become a friend of mine and follower of my blog. Thank you, my friends and readers :)
Amanda Bishop September 1 at 6:48am
Sorry Scott for taking so long to get back to you, I have a 16yr old son who was diagnosed as Autistic spectrum at 3yrs but thanks to a private assessment I was told he should have been diagnosed with Aspergers.He hasn't seen his biological father in 9yrs all down to his father not myself,now at the age of 16 only natural he is full of questions and wants to see him.I have tried to explain to him the hows and whys of it all as softly as possible as not to upset him too much but don't know if he has taken it all on board and understands everything.Reading your blog and the people you have spoken to also the fact that you have children of your own wondered if you may have come across anything that might help me...have fought so hard to get him to where he is today am so worried that if his biological does decide to see him it will ruin everything...
Scott Crawley September 1 at 7:50am
Amanda, first of all Aspergers is basically high functioning Autism. The experts out there have to find different names for people depending on where the fall on the scale. But just think of the scale like an umbrella or a rainbow. If you have autism, you fall some where on the curve. The right side of the curve is higher functioning and that where myself, my father, and my son fall. I'm still not sure where my daughter's gonna land on that curve as she's still not speaking sentences yet. The far left side of the curve is where you end up with what the experts call autistic savants like on the movie Rain Man. Regardless, however, of where an autistic individual falls on the scale, we all suffer from the same symptoms. Anxiety's, fears and phobias, depression, some of us have coordination issues like myself and my son, some of us have speech problems like both my children, we all suffer from social issues and spend our lives feeling like an alien on a planet of humans that we just can't seem to understand or communicate with correctly. Often times this causes normal people to dislike us and not give us a chance because they pick up on our autistic mannerisms and it bothers them. If your son wants to see his father, you have to understand that this is an incredibly deep longing in the pit of his soul that won't go away. I'm sure he stays awake at night for hours with his mind constantly trying to figure out how to satisfy this need and also replaying movies of the past in his head, most likely about his father. What you have to figure out is who he can relate to, and understand him better, yourself, or his father. I know the world wants to find blame on autism, and maybe some do get it due to immunization shots. But I am sure that most of us in the world got it though genetics. If what I've talked about hasn't sparked something inside of you about your childhood and you can't relate to everything I've said about autism, then you most likely don't have it. I would let his father read this letter in that case, and he can probably relate to what I'm saying. Either way I'm sure that one of you will see the same kind of symptoms in your own lives, but if not then maybe your son did contract it through shots or chemicals in the environment. Your son needs much more love than the normal child, but he also needs understanding for what he's going through. His emotions are more extreme than a normal persons. It's harder to control the anger, anticipation, fear, sadness, or other sensations he's feeling. Plus his sensory side is heightened too. Lights or certain colors can seem far too bright. Loud noises can be down right painful. Smells can be too much to bear. Theses are all things you must realize that he will probably never get over, but with time and patience he should be able to adjust to his life better. He will also have certain traits or autistic mannerisms that are just part of who he is and you'll have to accept that. Myself and my children like to use the same glasses, plates, bowls, etc. It's comforting to us. Some, like my father, have to constantly keep busy at something or their minds can drive them crazy. All autistic individuals seem to get overly focused on something that they enjoy and it becomes a compulsion. This is where you have to look for your sons talents and what makes him happy in this world. Encourage him to do what he loves, support and help him to achieve that goal and he will succeed and become one of the best at what he likes. If my parents had done this with me I'd be a professional musician by now. I still am such a good singer after having all my years of practice, that bars cheer when I sing, people buy me drinks, I've been asked to sing at weddings, etc. Just remember, any bad feelings or experiences that your son has will stick with him and haunt him forever, so give him lots of love and try to shelter him from harm. You'll have to judge the people he associates with and decide if they are right for him. I still can't tell if a stranger is going to hurt or use me and many times still get abused by people I think of as friends. We can't tell who's good and who's bad until we see enough examples of it in our lives and have been hurt by that person enough times to tell ourselves they are bad and we don't want to be used and abused any more. I still get hurt by my children's mom frequently although since we've split up it's no longer physical. But she still loves to put me through hell mentally to the point of suicide. We are very fragile creatures and require lots of love, compassion, and understanding. We can be taught things that are hard for us to do or understand, but it takes repetition. Repeat, repeat, repeat to your son the things you want him to learn and eventually it will break through a barrier in his head and he will get it. If his father is not good for him, this is what you will have to do. Keep explaining and repeating until he understands. Only you can figure out what's best for your son. I hope I have helped you with this letter and you can help me by telling everyone you know about me. Just like what I've been talking about, I need encouragement and support from as many people as I can get to keep me alive and taking care of my kids that I love more than my own life. My life has been so hard that I'm suicidal everyday. I have a longing to have lots and lots of people following my blog, I like to see the numbers climb higher as people read my words. I also want people to enjoy my poems and songs that I write and make comments on them that will encourage me to keep doing it. I have a deep longing for my songs to be recorded and played on the radio. I would like contact with professional musicians who will help me achieve this goal. I've never cared about money, this is not about being rich, music is what I was born to do. I've talked to Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue on the phone, I've written Brett Michael and asked him to work on a charity project with me for autism and diabetes. On one of my postings to John Elder Robison I even ask him to contact John Bon Jovi to do the music to one of my songs. My dreams and goal can be achieved by you and the rest of my facebook friends spreading the word and telling all of your friends about me. Eventually my voice and desires will be heard and I'm sure a single autistic father rasing two autistic children one of which is also a diabetic is a good enough reason for the world to be interested in me. So tell all of your friends about me, become followers of my blog, write to me and give me hope for my children's lives. I will continue to want to help others and I sincerely hope I have helped you. Your friend always, and with love to you and your family,