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

Thursday, 14 June 2012


Yesterday was in fact Jacob's second, in home grief counselling session.  Both Shannie and I went upstairs to give Jacob and his counsellor some privacy.  Which during the first session was rather difficult because all parents want to protect their children, and we knew the first session would be tough.  But the second one was much different than we thought.

It started out simple enough with some quite question answering, but after about 10 minutes, Jacob began to get very angry.  He said things like;

"I hate Roxy the big dog."  "I hate that she hurt our Max."  "I want to take out all her teeth so she can't bite anyone."

We've never heard Jacob talk about Roxy the pit bull like this before, so our immediate reaction was to run down stairs and give Jacob a big hug.  But we decided not to, even though it was hard.  This was a first for him in a couple of areas.  This was the first time that Jacob was vocally angry about what happened, and this was the first time that he talked about what happened without crying.

This is our new screen saver

Shannie and I sat in Jacob's room in complete shock.  When we went back into our living room, we cautiously asked how things went.  And the grief counsellor said that Jacob's reaction was normal even for regular kids.  And that they can often become angry after a couple of sessions.  Since we don't have a regular child, we though that Jacob's Asperger's had taken over.  But we were both pleased that his reaction was typical.

Since our last session, we decided to put a picture of Max up as our new screen saver.  We didn't know if Jacob would like it, and since he's changed the screen saver before, we expected him to get upset upon seeing it.  But he didn't.  We did spot him sitting calmly at the computer, just looking at Max's picture.  So we know that he's progressing well.

During our court hearing on Friday, the judge sort of criticised us because Jacob wasn't enrolled in grief counselling right away?  We then expressed our concern to the counsellor.  The counsellor told us that it's quite common for kids to suppress bad memories for up to 2 years before they become willing to talk about their issues.  And This is because sometimes kids don't have the ability to express their emotions properly at a young age.  The counsellor also said that with ASD kids, that wait time can be even longer, so we're all pleased that Jacob is at the stage where he's willing to talk about it at all.

The next session is in 2 weeks and at that session, the counsellor is going to talk with Jacob about forgiveness.  Shannie and I have tried to explain that Roxy was a dog who'd been mistreated herself.  And that's why she chose to bite Max that day.  But that only made Jacob upset even more.  So we're hoping that since it's been a while since the attack and that Jacob is older, he'll better understand.

What a journey it's been.  We knew that the road to recovery would be long and bumpy, but I think deep down, we'd hoped that it would get better much sooner.  But we were only fooling ourselves.  As with any ASD, there's no sure timeline for anything, and dealing with sad emotions is no different.  We are thankful for the sessions and they're going quite well.  And as long as they're headed in a positive direction, we'll continue to have them.


  1. I'm so glad that Jacob is starting to talk about his feelings and how angry he is about what happened. I'm sure you're feeling some of that anger as well. It must be heartbreaking to have to sit and listen to your little boy hurt so much and not be able to immediately make everything better for him. His hurt about what happened would make me terribly angry. But that's me. Anyway....I realize you're not on Facebook, but you can make a quick account, for free, just to get on there, and come directly to the Pit Bull Regulation Project Group and join us. Please, Jim, I think it'd be good for you and for us. We always need new people, more people, even though we hate that there are so many victims. I know you could use the support. That's what we're about. We are trying to get these dogs regulated, and in the process, we support one another. I've already told the group that I've invited you and we're all hoping you show up. The other members have expressed their sorrow and condolences for you and Jacob and really want to be able to talk to you. Hope to see you there. Tell Jacob to keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Jewel. And I will definitely be joining soon. It's so hard for us to hear Jacob upset, which is why we leave the room. Our crying would likely lead to Jacob crying, which is okay, but would hinder his progress through his grief.