This has been a very hectic week for all of use here at Jim's Autism Blog. Jacob hasn't had the best behaviour at school and he's had home work every day. But he always finishes it within the first hour of being home. On Monday and Tuesday Jacob and I walked to the mall after he finished his homework for something to eat. After both trips we were exhausted. Which helped us both fall asleep right at bedtime. Jacob and i have wanted to play in the snow all winter, but our ground is bare. At least this way, Jacob has been able to enjoy some time outdoors taking in the cold winter air.
There was a major milestone achieved this week, but it wasn't something Jacob did. My wife Shannon, created her first post on Jim's Autism Blog. She spoke briefly about how depression quietly crept into her life. I'm so proud of her for sharing her feelings and emotions with everyone. this has been a long time coming. One of the reasons we started Jim's Autism Blog, was so we'd have a place to share our feelings and help take some weight off our shoulders. It took a while, but Shannon finally got the courage to talk about her feelings. And I can partially thank Bell for initiating the Mental Health Talk Day here in Ontario.
There is a little stress here still because tomorrow, on February 10Th, we have to go to court for a settlement conference to discuss what happened to us on Christmas day 2010. (Check out our post "A Christmas to Forget" for the full story here http://jimsautismblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-to-forget.html) We've been waiting for this day to come for months and it's almost here. Shannon is extremely distraught about this day. I think it's the fact that she may be asked to relive that fateful day and explain word for word what happened. And in doing so, i know, she will most likely shed some tears. I try to be as supportive as I can towards Shannon's situation, but it was one she had to endure alone. I wish I would have been home that day to help and protect my family.
When I think about the upcoming court date, i can't help but wonder if Jacob's behavior can be attributed to this upcoming event. Mom and I haven't told Jacob about it directly, but I'm sure he's heard us talk about it repeatedly. It seems that Jacob has the ability to greatly feed off the emotions of others around him. I've heard that this ability is evident in many children with an ASD. Even if we try to put on a smile, it's like Jacob's Asperger's has implanted a device which allows him to see through our false front. It's like he knows exactly what's going on, which is amazing to us. Even though Jacob has Asperger's, it's like he has empathy towards us. And empathy is a feeling that most Aspie kids have trouble with.
Hopefully, Friday's court appearance will come and go without much issue. I have experience in presenting appeals in my work setting, so I'm confident in my abilities to produce a positive outcome for our family. I just worry about Shannon testifying. I know Shannon is very strong and brave, but i know she's going to her some things that may cause her to get upset and have an outburst, much like Jacob would. So I've spoken to Shannon and we've decided that she'll be our official note taker. This is a good tool to help regulate your emotions and control outbursts. If the defendants say something to make Shannon upset (a tactic I may use towards the other parties), Shannon will less likely say something detrimental if she's writing down their response. By writing down information, it gives your mind a chance to process what's being said and will lessen the chance that Shannon will say something inappropriate. I know she has self control, but given the circumstances, I might not be able to control my self, let alone Shannon. It's difficult as a man because all I want to do is protect my wife, but I couldn't on Christmas and I won't be able to tomorrow. We just have to hope for the best.
It's amazing how Aspie kids have an incredible ability to use and recognise other people's emotions. This can be both good and bad for us parents. Since February hit, we've been focused on our old dog Max and what happened to him on Christmas. And obviously, so has Jacob. We try our best to shield him from our sadness, but he's too astute to not notice and feed on them. I wonder if Max will be watching us from my dad's lap in heaven? Mom and I hope that once this court day goes by, that this weekend will have a kind of a let down/relaxed feeling. Not a bad one, but a good one. And this is something I think all of us here need.
Tomorrow, we'll draw courage from the memory of our old puppy Max. And once the dust settles, I know we'll be victorious.
WELCOME TO JIM'S AUTISM BLOG
Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog. My wife and I created this blog to chronicle our experience while raising a son with Asperger's syndrome. Since our son was diagnosed with an ASD at age 5, we've had a lot of questions. Lucky for us we have a great support network in place. And our blog gives us an opportunity to share what we've learned with our readers. We hope you find our blog informative and interesting. Thanks again for visiting.
"It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." Dr Hans Asperger 1906-1980