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Friday, August 23, 2013

Aspergers, Emotional Disability...Or Fearfully & Wonderfully Made?

Friday afternoons for me are a good time for reflection. A time to sit in the quiet for just a few hours before the mixed up pile of jumbled noise begins once again. Mostly I can handle it. Mostly I embrace it actually.
I've learned over this summer to see my glass as half full . Instead of calling my life chaotic and full of noisy kids all day long, every day, I call it full of life and energy and fun. Mostly.
Generally during the summers, I have my 3 kids, plus two to four extra kids in my house that I babysit.
It keeps my kids mostly occupied and happy to have friends to play with. But right around lunch time,
it gets extra noisy, extra busy...and well extra full? Suddenly the kids break out in some sort of debate over some silly thing and are tattling on one another. Suddenly I am making lunches for seven, eight or nine people in the house.
But on Friday afternoons, my husband is a peach. I lay my two Friday kids down for their nap, 
and he takes my three kids out of the house down the road to the park or to a local coffee shop...
and I can just sit. I can breath for a good two hours or more.
It's heavenly to say the least. And that is what I am doing right now. 
Breathing and reflecting on the course of events this summer has taken.


Today I'm reflecting a bit on something I wrote last night. I was asked to write a post for a website that will be launching soon called Women With Worth-W3. I wrote it in my usual nature, thoughtful and encouraging in something that I have been learning. I won't really get too much into it right now, but it affected what I'm about to say. We have a big change happening for us this school year. My oldest son, Wesley will be attending a public school for the first time.  He is going into Fourth grade. You might think, no big deal...but he has been at his school for five years now. All his friends are there...So honestly, this did break me, just a little bit inside. Mostly for him.  Partially for me. 
Feeling a bit sorry for myself, the details leading up to the switch. Feeling a little lost.
For years, Wes has had problems with emotional outbursts. He's just very emotional, which causes him to get very upset and in his words "angry" very easily. Anything from a missed word at a spelling bee to an annoying little sister can set him off and up until this past year or so, we always just chalked it up to a 'bad temper.' 
Or people would tell me he is being "naughty."


Which I agree, he definitely needs discipline, but more than anything, he needs to learn to control himself when he gets frustrated. And when he was in second grade, the words Aspergers Syndrome were brought to our attention by his teacher. After several tests were conducted during third grade, the conclusion was that no, he is not autistic, but carries a lot of similar traits and rather has a emotional/behavioral disability.   

Part of me wanted to take those words and go around to any person that has ever given us subliminal grief over our bad parenting or his behavior and shove it in their face. But the bigger part of me refuses to give my child a name that associates him being anything other than who 
God says he is. Which is what I wrote about last night. Not identifying ourselves with the negative....but with the people who we are created and promised to be by our creator.

Wesley is created in the image and likeness of God. 
Wesley is fearfully and wonderfully and intricately made. 

And yes, the recent letter that was on the news made me furious and horrified 
at the heartache this mother must have felt.  

Wesley's school since K3, being a private school and ill equipped to deal with some of his behavior, asked us to perhaps try a public school for at least this year, where there are counselors and special ed teachers trained to give him time to just talk out some things when he gets upset. They seemed genuine in their concern for Wesley's well being and they are hopeful for his return in his future.
Initially, I wanted to aim word fire at anyone who played any part of this decision, out of frustration and stress and offense. But I stopped, I breathed, and I prayed for Wisdom. And I felt ok.


Now I am looking at this as a positive thing. 

He cried when I first told him, but now he is excited for a fresh start. He gets to go to a school where no one has any preconceived ideas about how he will behave. No kids from his new school have ever gone home and told their parents "what Wesley did today" so he doesn't have to feel embarrassed. Wesley is well aware of how the outbursts looks to others. It's sad when he questions to me why he is not normal. And I reaffirm to him that he is. And that everyone has issues they have to work on.
Every single person in this world does. I know I do. 
It's an opportunity to prove you can work through it.
Not to mention that, Wesley is one of the brightest, smartest kids I know.  As a nine year old,  He doesn't necessarily love that "being smart" is one of his outstanding qualities, he'd rather be funny like his sister, but that brain power will come in handy one day. Man that kid can figure out things on the computer that I still cant. 
The ability to get good grades have never been an issue.. emotion and will to do it have been.

Anyways, as I look over this change in his life...and in ours (since the girls will still be going to private)...
I'm choosing to see how much this will help Wesley and help us. It's nothing to be embarrassed about.
But I tell Wes all the time, that I am so thankful that God gave me the chance to be his mother,
because when he loves, he loves BIG. 
It's part of that extremely emotional thing, it comes in handy when he is in snuggle mode.


On a side note: I was laying with him in bed the other day and he was gripping his "Moosey-Moose"
and Wesley kept kissing him as he snuggled him with his eyes closed and all I could do was
stare at his hands.
Those hands that in just 3 1/2 years will be teenage hands...
and I wanted to pause that moment forever...

_________________________________________________________

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.
Psalm 139:13-16



5 comments:

Lena B, Actually said...

"He loves BIG." I can totally relate... as you know, there are quite a few similarities between Wes & Memphis and I totally "get this." Hugs! I hope school goes well this year! ♡

AbsoluteMommy said...

This was so incredibly beautiful. Good luck to Wesley and his new adventure! To slay me with your writing!

TicoTina said...

I'm so glad God has given you peace with this transition. I will pray that much good will come from it!

Nikkiana said...

I think you've got a great attitude towards this and you're making the choices that you feel are in the best interest of your son.

I feel like Asperger's kids kinda end up getting a bum rap because there are so many behavioral issues early on, and that often overshadow all the positive attributes that they bring to the table.

My experience with Asperger's has largely been from the perspective of being a friend and colleague of a couple of people who are on the spectrum, and they're brilliant people who are thriving and I'm so thankful to have in my life.

Miss Angie said...

You are such a great mother. ♥

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