God has blessed me through two marriages with seven incredible children. Each of the seven is as individual and special as the other. Kari and I are very lucky parents knowing that God would not entrust us with seven if we couldn't handle it.
As Bill Cosby likes to say, God also has a sense of humor. Rather than just plunking down seven "normal" Brady Bunch-style kids–(and now that we know Marsha was a sex pot druggie one has to wonder if that was all that great after all), God threw us a few curves.
The biggest one is with the oldest child who has Asperger's. It's a high-functioning form of Autism. Our son is incredibly book smart. He's a wiz at math and is taking three AP classes this year in high school. But when it comes to being socially adept, well, it isn't happening.
He's largely argumentative about everything with almost anyone he comes in contact. Here lately, I seem to be the one who is being head strong about it because frankly, at 16 years old, I'm tired of him using his Aspie situation as an excuse for why he can't talk softer, why he has to argue with everyone, why he has to be disrespectful particularly to me and his mother, why he can't get up on time in the morning and take his medicine, why we have to remind him to take a shower, why we have to do things for him we should not have to do for a 16-year-old boy.
I know he has a disease, but the logical progression for me is that by 16 years of age, (and he keeps telling us he wants to get his driver's permit) it's time to start showing you're ready for some things that 16-year-old kids are doing. We clearly are not anywhere near that stage in life and coming to that realization for me, is getting more and more frustrating. It's compounded because he doesn't get it, and so he keeps bringing up the subject about driving, about why he can't wear his jrROTC uniform to the dinner table when we're having spaghetti or any other meal, or why this or why that.
And let's face it. I'm your typical man when it comes to having a conversation over and over and over. You see, once I talk to with you about something, I generally get the conversation. When you bring it up with me three or four times a day, or in an hour's span, by the third or fourth time I'm not going to be as polite about it as I was the first time; If I had been then.
On Twitter last night, I posed a few aspects of the issues we've been having lately and how I continue to struggle dealing with it. Several parents quickly joined the conversation and we're going to begin doing some online chats here on The Dads Center on the subject of Asperger's. I'm going to ask all which time would work the best for them. And well go from there.
So if you want to join us, provide a comment below. It will send me your email address so I can get back to you. We can keep names anonymous in the group if you'd like or we can all use our Twitter names. Which ever way you want to go. I'm good with it. You can also DM me on Twitter @daddyclaxton.