Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Heart Is Breaking... I Am So Angry And There Is Nothing I Can Do (Parenting Teens Is Hard)

My son is seeing some struggles lately. HUGE struggles! There is just so much crumbling around him and I want to make it all better. But I can't! And my heart is broken.

As I wrote about previously, my son has Asperger's Syndrome. We always thought this would be his "hurdle". So, we taught him to embrace it, to own it, to believe it does not have to be such a negative thing. And up until the past 2 years, his education and getting the educators to understand him has been the biggest part of any negativity.

High School has fucked with my child's head. Oh, I do not mean the school itself, although that is a huge problem that will be rectified soon.

I mean he is literally watching his Grandfather battle stage 4 lung cancer.  And school issues are the last thing he needs. However, the battles include

  • Teen angst
  • Hormones
  • No Self-Esteem at all
  • A child who feels like a ghost within the school's walls because very few will even talk to him
  • Lack of Acceptance for just how amazing he is
  • A Lack of connection on the peer level
  • "Friends" not living up to their end of the friendship
  • His very best friend blocked him from all levels of communication at the directive of a boyfriend
  • No confidence
  • Depression
  • Panic Attacks
  • Very likely agoraphobia

And this amazing kid, heartbreak after heartbreak, keeps trying! Trying to find people who will just fucking accept him!

Now, yes, he is a little awkward and a lot introverted and introspective. Yes, he has social anxiety. And yes, he dives right into a friendship a bit like one plunges into a pool from a high diving board. All in, laying himself bare, not an ounce of self preservation and trying so hard, so fucking HARD!

He is the one the girls go to when they have issues. He is the one who stays online with them telling them how much better they deserve. He gives love and caring and acceptance without judgement.

When the fuck is someone going appreciate all that HE deserves!

This young man embodies empathy and understanding. Yet when someone discards that, he believes there is something wrong with HIM. How very wrong he is! He is deep, articulate, intelligent, and free with his love. No. There is nothing wrong with him. The wrongs are in a society, especially our youth who value popularity and image more than they do substance, which my son has in spades.

We talk of anti-bulling and acceptance, but these are not taught at home.  They are lectures and random mandates as the kids of today see them.  They have no meaning to our kids. As parents', I can only speak from what I have seen first-hand,  you have failed and failed miserably in this area. How is it that with all of the rhetoric thrown about that our young adults are filled with cruelty, judgement, and apathy? Hmmmm, could it be that they learn what they see?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Autism Is..... World Autism Day and My Family

Both my son and I have Asperger's Syndrome. I thought I would share a poem he wrote in 6th grade that shows both how deep he was at a young age, and his knowledge that his Asperger's make him different.

I am an odd child whom takes interest in many things
I wonder where time originated
I hear the wind billowing through the overgrown plains of the Savannah
I see the light shining through a dark, dank forest
I want to understand the concept of life
I am an odd child whom takes interest in many things
I pretend that things always turn out right
I feel the light of inspiration overcome the abyss that is thoughtlessness
I touch ideas that have remained untouched for a long time
I worry that when death washes over us, we simply fade into oblivion
I cry, when someone dear to me passes away
I am an odd child whom takes interest in many things
I understand that true peace may never be achieved
I say that time cannot exist without space and that the same holds true for space
I dream of variation of things I've experienced
I try my hardest to never fail
I hope that I can do something with my life
I am an odd child whom takes interest in many things
                 ~Jaycen B

We do not need Awareness, we NEED Acceptance!

My son feels like a ghost in the High School he has attended for 3 years.  He is not spoken to by most unless he tries to start a conversation (Which is very difficult for many on the spectrum).  He has been bullied and the school denies it.  He has suffered major anxiety attacks within the walls of the school only.  His IEP is ignored even when I rail and fight so hard for him. 

My child who thought he was the center of the universe for so many years, is depressed, riddled with anxiety, and never told us!  His self worth is constantly challenged. This is not the happy go lucky child I had for 13 years prior.

NO MORE! He will no longer attend this school after the end of his Junior year. There is a wonderful program for non traditional learners at the local Community College, and he would also earn college credit!

And if that does not pan out, I will Home School. What I will not do is send him back into an environment which cannot accept him.

So, yeah- this is Autism in my house.