Wednesday, November 30, 2011

To be like him

I spend a lot of my time, no matter what I'm doing, with the thought of what it is to be the essential core of my son. Not just Morgan, my sonwithAspergersSyndrome as I feel I now spit out sometimes- I hate that and myself for it, he's not the syndrome, he's Morgan, dammit.

He's Morgan, the seven year old first grader who loves Thomas the Tank, Optimus Prime, cars, trucks, swimming, his "Babe" (my mom), his Granny (Thomas' mom), his little brother, his dog, cats, kids, math, books, Halloween, Christmas, and millions of other things. He's smart, my Lord is that child bright. He's genuinely a sweetheart of a child. I'm not saying this as his mom, I'm saying this as the person who has spent more time around him than anyone else in his life.

Morgan loves people and all he's ever wanted is just to simply be loved in return- that's all. He doesn't want to be hurt or to hurt anyone or anything else. He's a little boy. He wants to know he has friends. He used to assert to  us last year who all  his friends were (though we were never sure of it), up until about September, he was still doing that.

Then, the vortex fired up. By vortex, I mean whatever this thing is that is AS that has come along and taken my slightly off kilter kid and made him uncommnicative to his peers. The vortex that has made Morgan think that he's being teased and bullied far more often than he actually is (who in their right mind is going to pick on the 5' 100lb kid??)... no, no, Morgan- the child who, his daddy observed during lunch today, apparently has a lot of school friends and has no idea of it now.

Thomas, his daddy, told me that the kids were very friendly to him during lunch, yet Morgan's been crying about lunchtime since his lunch schedule has changed. Thomas told me that Morgan might be the one being rude sometimes- even on accident, which we've thought before.  He also had to explain to our son that when a little girl made a silly face, she wasn't being mean- she was just being silly and trying to make him laugh. After that, Morgan smiled.

He keeps telling me "everyone laughs at me" or "he says I'm rude!" or the worst refrain "I feel left out" and yet I've wondered, how much of this is Morgan's perception?

What's it like to look at someone and have to ask them if they're having a good day, evening, lunch, class, car ride, etc- all because you can't read their face and they aren't screaming, crying or saying to you "I'm having a wonderful _____".  Lately, I've noticed Morgan is coming up to me asking me "Mom, are you liking to mop?" Or, "Mom, are you not enjoying that book? Or "Mom, is Bailey liking that movie?" It's like he's lost his ability to discern. Did he ever have it though is my question. Did I always assume and now my son knows how voice the question?

What would it be like to look at 100 faces around you and think that everyone dislikes you - even though they don't - seeing their smiles, hear their laughs, and think they're laughing at you, all because you've just spilled a tiny drop of something on yourself? Or thought a sad thought and it made you cry or frown? A very familiar refrain from Morgan is "Hey, you stop laughing at me!"

How awful it must be that, because of a neurological disorder, your voice comes out with an insane lack of volume control (too low or too high), monotone no matter how you intend it to sound (if you give it any thought- even when Morgan does voices for characters, they all sound the same) and quite rude sounding most of the time, even when you back up requests with "please" like your momma taught you.

How does it feel to be my son when he's in class? NTs like me walk into a room, sit down at our desk, chatter with our friends as we're taking out our work, complain about what's coming up, all the while thinking about a test that might be next week or tomorrow, then teacher comes in and it's times to hush- just like that. Not my son. My son comes into class like a bull in a china shop, I'm sure, because that's how he enters most rooms, lol. He finds his desk and is hearing all this racket around him. He can't separate the voices from one another, there's too many. So he sits. He might get out his work. His progress report in math says he's doing better at this. He talks to the kids around him,  but he's labeled disruptive due to the tones of his voice. The teacher starts the lesson and he tries to pay attention but the sweater I put him in today is scratchy and the kids three and five desks over are whispering and someone is squeaking a shoe and the denim from his pants is rough on his legs and did he forget his homework from last night- is it in his purple folder? Okay, yes it is. "Morgan!! Pay attention to the lesson!" He snaps to, realizes that todays lesson was already done as a game on the computer days ago and he's now bored. Papers are handed out for deskwork. Oh God, scissors, his hard thing. He tries so hard to do the good work that the other kids do, but it's HARD. His hands feel like rocks- they don't move right at all. Why don't they cut on the lines like everyone else's do? Tears of frustration start to slide down his cheeks. "Crybaby," someone whispers nearby. "It's okay, Morgan," says the little girl next to him, "just calm down. But Morgan now is twitching. His stimming is coming out as bouncing his legs, wanting to twirl his hair, making his train sounds.... He thinks, "if there wasn't so much noise..."

Morgan told me and his resource teacher two weeks ago he hates his math class both because it's too loud from all the yelling and it's boring (he's holding a 98 average). When doing the homework (unfinished work from class or work he's correcting handwriting on) he starts stimming whenever there's noise other than music. Not much I can do for him in a classroom other than teach him coping skills. But still.... to be seven and not really know what the world's doing around you, to you, or for you?

1 comment :

  1. I'm glad you are doing the blog. I hope it helps. Morgan is a wonderful child.