With A Little Help From My Friends…..

Ups and Downs of High Functioning Autism

I know it seems as though I “talk” about autism often on this blog and I suppose I do. When it is such a big part of your life and daily living it comes to the forefront of every situation. I get comfortable and do not think too much about it but more times than not it is consuming.
I am in my “fix it” mode lately and have felt like I did when he was first diagnosed. Searching and reading articles, books, or whatever else I get my hands on. Looking for something to improve his life. Not that it is terrible, but I worry. I worry and then I worry some more.
One of my favorite movies is Steel Magnolias and I can quote it verbatim!! Shelby says, “In fact, I never worry ’cause I always know you’re worried enough for the both of us.” That would be me….
I was talking to a friend the other day about what I wanted for Noah. Which that list is endless like any mama, although we were talking about in the social sense. Sometimes, if I let it, it can be devouring. Anyway, we were talking about the little boy from Michigan who has a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and didn’t want to have a birthday party. He had told his mom that no one would come and that he had no friends at school. People from all over the United States have sent him birthday cards and gifts.
Don’t get me wrong, it is a great and wonderful story, it bothered me still. I have said that I would rather my Noah have a few close friends than him be “popular” with the kids. Teachers often say, “Everybody likes Noah” which I believe, but I worry. (There’s that word again) She said, “You can’t make them be his friend”. Which is true, more than I want to admit, but I just wish we could teach children a little open-mindedness.  Maybe. I don’t know really.
A disorder such as autism has become so wide-spread. Whether it be in your church, school, friend group, or neighborhood, it’s there. Or, even if it’s not, the tendencies are in many children who do not have the actual diagnosis. Why not be more hands-on and vocal about teaching about differences?
My biggest issue is that I don’t want you to tolerate my son bc he has high functioning autism. I want you to give him a chance and see that he enjoys things just as other kids do he only has a harder time with things that are natural to yours.
Of course, he makes it hard for other kids who aren’t skilled in their own right to keep a conversation going. But, I feel if you as a parent knew of Noah’s situation you could motivate your child to say hi to him again next time even though he seemed rude and distant.
For example, a little boy from our neighborhood, who Noah plays with every day that the sun is shining, made the effort to come over and say hello to him at Wyatt’s basketball game on Saturday. Noah talks about this boy all the time and is thrilled to even see him in the hallway at school, yet he said no more than “hi” to him and then looked away. I could tell by his body language that he was nervous and excited to see him, yet he didn’t know what to do. I made small talk and the boy told Noah goodbye then left. Noah was beaming, but it hurt me for him that he couldn’t interact beyond that hello. I guess my fear is that next time he sees Noah he won’t say hello because of what happened last time.
Then, before you know it, he is alone.


Oh me, I can’t police the world but I can sure as hell try….
                                   Sweet Noah around the time of his diagnosis.

2 Responses

  1. mandi says:

    Henry genuinely likes Noah, and has never referenced him being "different" in any way, possibly because Henry is different and doesn't have many friends either. I'm terrible about making arrangements for my kids to play, but my boys would love to play with your boys.
    And I'm not just saying that.

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