Ah yes. Another school week is in the books and another weekend is upon us. This week has been very intense for us all. So we all need a definite break from the daily grind. This week hasn't been too great for Jacob at school. For the week he has received:
3 OUT OF 10 STICKERS
The week at school has been pretty uneventful, other than Jacob's behaviour, but today when I picked up Jacob from school, his teacher revealed something about Jacob's behaviour, which in turn, gave me a good idea for a post. Today Jacob allowed his classmates to have physical contact with him. To parents of "normal" kids, this isn't a big deal. But to Aspie kids, this is huge. In the past, if a child tapped Jacob on the shoulder to show him something, jacob would explode with anger and scream "WHY DID YOU TOUCH ME?" His ability to vocalise his concerns is great some times, but not in a classroom. We try to explain that it's okay when someone taps you or bumps you, but Jacob doesn't relate. As I stood in the doorway of his class, I saw a girl gently touch Jacob's arm. And all Jacob did was look at his arm where she touched. That was it. I've read other blogs and I've learned that many Aspie kids has issues with physical contact from others. You can imagine what I felt at that time. I was in shock. I've never seen Jacob show such restraint or compassion or acceptance in his life.
Sometimes at home, Jacob and I will wrestle or engage in horseplay. But I'm the ONLY one he does this with. It seems that when we wrestle, Jacob really commits to the point where he believes that we're actually having a confrontation. He's gotten better over time with the whole "I'm not trying to hurt you" idea. I'm not sure, but this could help explain Jacob's lack of desire for physical contact from others. It's strange because Jacob is very affectionate towards everyone. He gives high fives to boys and hugs all the girls. But that's only when he wants to initiate the contact. Otherwise he's like a cactus. He doesn't want to be touched and it's in your best interest not to engage in any unwanted touching. And believe me, this aspect of Jacob can make frienship very difficult.
It's a strange world with Asperger's isn't it? All it takes is one ray of light shining through the black clouds to make a parent happy. Jacob's had a horrible week at school. He absolutely refused to do his spelling test today. When I asked him to do it, he said "I'm not going to spell yellow, square or triangle." Really? I almost started laughing at his response. His teachers don't push him too hard though. They know he can spell all the words on the test. He just won't do it. But when I heard about his acceptance of casual touching, I completely dismissed his resistance to spell. We even gave him a sticker for not getting angry when someone touched him. It's nice to know that in spite of a tough week, Jacob was still able to demonstrate his ability to adapt and understand certain situations.
When I think about all we've been through with Jacob's diagnosis, I love that Jacob let his friends touch his arms in class. Hopefully this is a sign that Jacob is adapting to the classroom setting. And we also hope that this is a sign of Jacob's evolution into a more productive student. Maybe one day, Jacob's Asperger's will evolve into something that isn't as obstructing in Jacob's life. And maybe next week, Jacob will do his spelling test.
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