Let me preface this post by stating: Yes, I realize I am blessed and yes, I realize things could be worse. It's just been one of those days.
Today, I HATE Asperger's. I hate the word. I hate the condition. I hate the stigma. I hate what it does to my son, my husband, and our family as a whole. I hate that I can't just take my kids to a public place and let them all just play. I hate that I have to plan and pre-think every activity and prepare for each one with social stories, calming technique reviews, and then keep a close eye on my son's every move. I hate that I can't just relax and just go out by myself without worrying about what is going on at home. I hate that I can't have just any of the girls willing to babysit able to just do so, because they won't know how to handle my son. I hate that I can't talk to my husband and have him understand how I feel. I hate that my husband won't actively get involved in therapeutic techniques so I am not carrying the entire burden/load, because he has the same issues as my son and doesn't see a problem. I hate the fact that I live, sleep, eat, and breathe autism and SPD. I just want to be a mom. I just want to be a "normal" family and be able to have people over and my son able to go to other people's homes without worrying if he is stimming or hyperfocusing. I could go on and on . . . . . .
Why this rant? Because it was a beautiful weather day outside. "Huh?" I hear you say. Well, let me explain. On beautiful weather days, kids and their parents go outside to play. They smile and interact with one another and kids play together and run back and forth from one house to another doing all the things that kids do. However, this is not the case in our world.
In our world, my son is ignored or shunned A LOT! For example, when we first moved into our neighborhood a year ago, a family across the street came over one day to introduce themselves stating that they had all boys and my son was more than welcome to come over and play "anytime." One day we happened to be outside the same time as them and we walked over to talk and say hi and doing the neighborly thing. The mom then invited my son to stay and play with her boys. I said sure and told her we would be back in an hour to pick him up, but if he became too much to not hesitate to send him home.
After the hour went by, my husband went over to pick him up and the mom stated that he was fine and there were no problems. Later that day, my son told me that he had gotten into their van and was pushing all the buttons in their van until the mom got mad at him and told him to get out. (We had just bought a Toyota van and the neighbor's had one as well so he was "checking to see if it was the same.") Of course, I wanted to die a thousand deaths, but figured it must not have been a problem because they didn't say anything when my husband picked him up.
A couple of weeks went by and these same people were no longer friendly. They would go in their house as soon as we would come out front and they would not acknowledge us or say hi if they drove or walked by. I finally decided one day that I had had enough of the silent treatment and wanted to get to the bottom of this, so I went over to talk to them and to apologize if that was the issue. The husband answered the door and I asked him if there had been a problem. He said no. That my son had been fine and he did not know what I was talking about in regards to the van, because what my son said he did did not happen. He then said they were busy playing in their backyard and he did not have time to talk to me and basically shut the door in my face. We haven't talked since.
In fact a couple of days ago we arrived home from going somewhere and my son saw them outside playing. He hurried and got out of the van and went out front and yelled "hi", but was ignored. My heart sank. He said it six times before FINALLY one of the boys would say hi back. He is too little to understand their rudeness, but I couldn't help but be sad and angry. So much for the golden rule and Christian values from these people.
We also have a situation where there is a boy around the corner from us who is the same age as my son and they are in the same church class. At church my son and this boy talk nonstop about playing at one another's houses and what they want to do. Myself and my husband have talked several times with both of the boy's parents about having a play date and every time we talk to the mom we are given excuse after excuse as to why they can't.
One day my husband saw them outside and invited the boy to a movie with our son. The mother then texted me asking me if it was okay if she came as well. Of course, I said yes and we all went to the movie and home without any problems, or so I thought.
A couple of weeks later I met with the leaders of the children's program at our church and explained to them what was going on with my son. Unfortunately, the mother of this boy is one of the leaders. After I was done, she immediately went into this lengthy explanation as to why she hasn't allowed her son to play with mine using the "it's not you, it's me" speech stating it was not my son's behavior she was worried about, it was her son's. I explained to her that if I could handle members of the Bloods and Crips in Las Vegas (which I used to do in a job I had), I think I could handle two four year old boys just fine. The mother has not talked to me since. In fact a couple of weeks ago, I overheard her talking about a party that she had had for her son and all who was there, to which my son was not invited.
The heartbreaking part in all of this is that my son begs me to let him to go over to these kids' homes to play or to have them come over to our house to play. I have had to come up with reasons and excuses as to why it's not going to happen. I mean how are you supposed to explain to a four year old that sometimes people just plain suck and these kids' parents fall under that category? As a parent, I go back and forth with being angry and being sad. I want to yell and scream at these people and tell them how unchristian they are and so much for being kind and accepting to everyone as I know their religion teaches since we are all of the same faith. I mean they haven't even given him a chance.
Instead, outwardly I try to be the bigger person. I smile and make a point to wave or say hi. I even take over treats every once in awhile and always make a point to greet their children by name. The only neighbor kid who does come over (who is a girl his age), I make sure that we have fun play dates by doing activities and letting her take home something she creates at our house. Because I know these mother's talk and I figure maybe, just maybe, the mother of this girl will tell them that my son is not the scary, horrid kid that they are so afraid of.
I don't know. I just wish he could be "normal" or there would be some magic pill that could help him to be that way, especially in public and we could just put all of this behind us. It just sometimes Asperger's is soooo exhausting and overwhelming and mean people just plain suck.