How to Parent Asperger’s Syndrome Children
School is just around the corner! I swear I saw back to school supplies at the store yesterday. It’s not even July 4thand Classic Crayola Crayons are taking over the aisles.
Even though I wanted to bury my head in my hands and sob – I rather like the unstructured calendar of the summer and I definitely like the lower driving requirements – I pondered, like Pooh Bear, and said “Hmm, what can I do to prepare for school?”
They keep growing, you know. What worked last year isn’t going to work this year. I think it’s important to determine your own Parenting Philosophy, recognizing, of course, that it needs to evolve and develop along with your child.
My friends with typical kids don’t seem to have to work too hard on their Parenting Philosophy. They just merrily go along copying what worked for their parents. I, however, with my Asperger’s Syndrome Son, have to plan these things out.
For example, since Home Ec has all but disappeared from classrooms, we are incorporating “Bachelor Training 101” this summer initially working with washing machines and folding clothes and light cooking. Doesn’t “Bachelor Training 101” sound better to a boy than “Home Ec”?
This school year I’m actually going to increase my curriculum and homework involvement. I loosened the reigns too much this past year and ended up with some crisis projects. You know the kind – the six week project that was supposed to have been done during class but because one question wasn’t clear (six weeks ago), nothing happened since and, oh, by the way, it’s due on Monday.
There are advantages to clearing the weekend and diving in for a project. You have to spend twenty minutes up front discussing communication rules, like, I’ve done these before and you haven’t, so we’re gonna do it my way are you clear on that? And it actually takes far less cumulative time when it’s done all at once. I hope there is learning! Certainly weekend projects intensify “quality one-on-one time”.
But, weekend projects do not inspire independent work and often I do more work than my illustrious son. SO, I will be asking more PROBING questions about projects and will read teacher emails with more attention to details.
I think my son needs more daily guidance. I keep hoping that I will turn into that little angel on his shoulder that always shows up in cartoons and movies, that my words and guidance will be immortalized in his subconscious so that he will be able to direct his own activities without me. In the meantime, last year’s performance showed me that he needs me to take a step backward with more guidance to cement that angel’s dialog in his brain!