All parents know that each of our children is unique. The way that we communicate with one may not be the best way to communicate with the other. For a child with Asperger’s Syndrome – well, they pretty well re-write all of our rules. Even though Aaron is almost 27 years old, we still find ourselves having to stop before we speak and remember the best way to approach him on his literal, concrete terms.
An example of this fact happened several years ago. Aaron had done something wrong – I don’t even remember what it was. As we ate supper that night, Gary began talking to Aaron about it. “Aaron, I know you did such-and-such today. Let’s talk about it.” Aaron: “I did not, Dad!” Gary: “Well, Aaron, I know you did that today.” Aaron: “No I didn’t!” Gary: “You may as well quit denying that you did that today and let’s just talk about it.” Aaron: “I did NOT, Dad!” This continued on for a few minutes and soon Gary realized that he was getting nowhere with Aaron.
There are times that it’s best just to pull back, regroup, or maybe even just drop the subject altogether. This was such a time. So Gary quit talking and we sat there a minute, eating and hoping that Aaron would calm down. You can probably guess what Aaron said next. “Dad, I didn’t do it today. I did it yesterday!”
It’s one of those “I want to put my head in a pillow and scream” type of moments! And somehow whatever he did – did NOT seem as important anymore.