The Joys of Aspergers

Can I just say that more often than not, I hear the “horror stories” of Aspergers. I hear about all the trials and troubles all the time.

It’s kind of depressing….

But what about the joys?

So far, I can honestly say that Aspergers has been a joy for our family. That’s not to say that we haven’t had our trials and troubles, but the joy… the utter joy I find in my son is overwhelming sometimes, and I know that a lot of who he is comes because he has Aspergers.

Just a few examples:

  • The other day I was humming the opening lines from a piece of classical music (Il Donna Mobile, from Giuseppe Verde’sRigoletto). I sang it once. Ever since, Myron has walked around the house repeating the very familiar opening lines. The pitch, not so great with a shrill voice, but it is unmistakeably this piece. Each time he sings it, he looks my way, smiling. I’m not sure if he expects me to join in (I do) or if he wants me to just recognize it and be proud of him (I am).
  • Myron is completely devoted to his family. When we drop him off in Primary, often a very traumatic experience for him with the noise and chaos, he will constantly ask “Where’s [fill in the family member]?” I think it’s his way of gaining control, figuring out that all is normal. I’ll patiently go through each family member, including baby Carolyn and the two of us at least two or three times. Then five minutes later, he’ll do it again just to make sure.
  • When I come home, he is the first person to greet me, often with a shout. I’ve never seen him fail to greet someone he knows without a big smile. Sometimes people talk about Aspergers as being a social deficiency. That’s true in some ways, but when you get to know Myron, there is nothing deficient about his social interaction. He is more open, more willing, and more immediate in his affection than anyone else in our family.
  • And he cuddles. Katherine never did. I don’t think Carolyn will either. But Myron… Myron can still melt into just about any lap. And he loves to do just that. He loves to be held, to be tickled, and to be hugged. Courtney and I really missed the cuddle phase with Katherine. Myron cuddles enough for anyone.
  • Myron is the most gentle person I know. He’s cautious and careful. He plays rough (like any boy) and uses his size roughly (he’s massive), but he is emotionally and spiritually gentle. He likes to hold your hand and just hold it. He likes to touch and just touch. Gently.
  • Myron laughs faster, harder, and more easily than anyone I know. With all but the rarest exception, I can get him to laugh and smile. An honest belly-busting, earth-shaking laugh.

I don’t know that all of this is Aspergers-caused, but it is Myron, and he has Aspergers. And we have our trials (potty training… still coming. Food issues… still trying. Language… he’s right there….), but honestly those all just kind of…

… fade…

… when the focus becomes him instead of his illness. He’s only as sick, troubled, and afflicted as we deem him to be (and that goes for you, too, world). Frankly, I don’t see the Aspergers in him. It’s there, the tests prove it’s there, multiple specialists have confirmed it, and I don’t deny the reality of it. But when it comes to the glue that holds our family together, I think the unspoken consensus is Myron. Yes, Courtney and I provide the foundation and Katherine and Carolyn are wonderful building blocks and additions, but the glue? The mortar? The thing that just kind of ties it all together? Myron.

If our family is a home, Myron is the spirit and light that pours out of it. All while shrilly singing Il Donna Mobile.

Whether that’s the Aspergers or not is irrelevant. I’m just glad he’s here.

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One Response to The Joys of Aspergers

  1. Emmerin says:

    Some of those illnesses really can be positive too. Every boss Kiffen has every had LOVES him. In some ways, it seems counterintuitive because he has ADHD and some of the difficulties that come with it. However, the same “disorder” also means that he thinks differently than everyone else, and that can be a real bonus. He’s fun to work with, and they all adore him.

    I think it’s helpful to know when someone has Asbergers, autism, depression, ADHD, etc. because you can find strategies that will work without so much trial and error. I wish I could label some of my struggles so I could find solutions more easily. However, I agree that it’s not all bad. We all recognize that savants (sp?) have positives to offset some of the negatives they face, but it’s high time to realize that the same applies for other disorders.

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