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Sunday, 11 May 2014

The tricky co-existence of Apergers and children

We were treated to a delightful greeting from Ethan as he arrived home from the early shift at work today: 'What's going on?' he enquired in a slightly irritated manner as he walked through the door to find us all home. He was referring to the fact that we weren't at church as we 'should' have been - it being Sunday morning. 'I decided to give church a miss,' I replied airily - too much going on today, and we're all a bit tired...Have we messed up your plans to come home to a nice quiet house?!' This last bit said in jolly jest.
'Yeah, you have.' came the surly reply - his tone was far from jovial and he avoided eye contact with me. Sometimes, the aura Ethan gives off makes me feel that I and the kids irritate him simply by existing. Not conducive to happy family relations.
Speaking of which, the kids seem to annoy Ethan more and more - simply by being kids. The noise, chaos, mess and lack of control over them seem an almost impossible combination for an Aspergic, middle-aged man to handle.
A few nights ago, Sam didn't come the first time Ethan called him. A minute later, I came across Ethan pinning Sam down on the bed and, in a frighteningly angry, venomous whisper, spitting out the words 'If you ever ignore me again, you're going to be in really, really serious trouble.' Is it just me or is that a bit over-kill for a 6-year-old child who didn't jump instantly into obedient action at Ethan's command?
A couple of days later, Sam (again - poor thing, he seems to be on the receiving end of Ethan's short fuse quite a lot - probably because he's the most like Ethan - I think he may well be showing some signs of Aspergers himself). Anyway, Sam plonked himself down a little too exuberantly on Ethan's feet during a maypole dance at a fete. Ethan, instantly angry at having his personal space invaded, took the opportunity of giving Sam a slight kick up the bum as he slid his feet out from under him - making Sam whimper, and making me blow my top: in front of the gathered throng of happy maypole dance admirers.
He just can't cope with the kids being kids. He doesn't like being interrupted, noise and mess stress him out, he gets irritated when his body space is invaded and he really, really can't handle not being in control of them and what they do or how quickly they do it.
As teenage-dom approaches with our eldest, I feel the conflicts between Ethan and the kids, and between Ethan and I over the kids, are just going to intensify. Either that, or he'll just retreat completely from having  anything to do with them. I'm not sure what would be worse.
As a complete aside, I do so appreciate your comments and feedback. It's so nice to know there are lots of us all going through similar things. And I'm really sorry that I'm only able to post replies sporadically. Whilst I'm apologising, I'm sorry too that the blog itself is pretty uninspiring to look at. I just have so little time between work, the kids, Ethan and life in general to do anything more than write a few disjointed thoughts once a week.

Oliver starts school in September (woopee) and I'm hoping that one of the things I'll do with my extra time is become a more gripping, attentive blogger! Until then - thanks for sticking with me!

3 comments:

  1. Again, I can totally relate. As our children have gotten older (pre-teen and teen) he seems to have a harder and harder time relating to them and their new-found opinions and moods. If it's not what he wants or agrees with-watch out! I'm struggling with helping them respect their dad while still allowing them to make mistakes and voice their opinions. So much of a teen daughter's tone and attitude, in my opinion, needs to be handled with grace and tolerance in order to maintain the relationship, but that is almost impossible for him when they have, in his words, an "attitude." Praying for wisdom and strength to not lose my mind! Hang in there, stay strong, you are doing an amazing thing, supporting those of us out here feeling like we are handling it alone. Thank you!!!

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  2. Hi Laura, I know that Mr H found my boys very difficult to relate to as teenagers, because he wasn't able to control them, ( always difficult to control teenage boys when they discover sex and alcohol, but you have to try to appeal to their better nature rather than bully). He had the most conflict with one of my sons who I have always thought has asperger traits but is very high functioning, probably because of their similarities, Mr H always said that my son R had no thought or regard for the rest of us living in the house; well I would say that Mr H has no regard for me living in the house with him now. when his daughter became depressed at 16, his concern was mostly that she wanted only minimal contact with him at that point, rather than the fact that she was depressed and on medication. Yet again his concerns were about how her illness affected him, rather than real concern for her.
    Please keep blogging Laura,your blogs are a joy to read and it's wonderful to know that we are not alone!

    Hannah x

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  3. So glad to have found you. Sitting here reading, relating and crying but also feeling a little less alone.

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