As the snow is now starting to fall I start to think about how regardless of labels or diagnoses we are all very unique like each snowflake. My son has Asperger’s, ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression. This year I started taking medication for Anxiety and I clearly have traits of an Aspie. To me those are just labels and I try not to get caught up in them. The labels may lead me to the correct classification of snowflake but it does not describe all of the unique crystal formations that exist within that unique snowflake.
The snowflake is a beautiful unique creation in nature. No one complains that all of the snowflakes should be the same as all of the others. Why do people try to say that my beautiful snowflake must act a certain way?
My son has always been a brilliant, inquisitive, compassionate person. He taught himself to add at age 4 and spoke of patterns everywhere that we went. He always seemed wise beyond his years. As he started school it became clear that he had difficulty with other children. He would become upset in class and he started having behavior issues. It was clear to me, that these behaviors occurred because he became upset about something. We have had to work with him to help him understand what was making him uncomfortable.
We needed to help him find the way to still be the unique, beautiful individual without having full blown meltdowns on a daily basis. As parents we always want to do what is best for our children but sometimes it is hard to know what “the best” is. Sometimes “experts” will tell us what we should do based on success with another child. We have really had to work hard at figuring out what his exact needs are.
Now that my son is a teenager I can see how much amazing progress he has made over the years. First he had to accept himself for the wonderful, unique person that he is. He then had to learn what he needed to be comfortable in his environment and how to recognize when he was becoming uncomfortable. He also had to accept that he has different needs than others around him and that is okay. The other kids in class may not be bothered by the loud pep rally but it is okay to say that he is.
I am so proud of him for learning to self-advocate, even with his friends. One day he was playing PS3 with his friends, someone was being loud and my son said the following: ”Please keep it down, I have sensitive hearing… No really I have sensitive hearing…Damn you Autism! … or Asperger’s”.
He said it in a laughing mocking tone. He was making a joke while being self-aware and self-advocating in his own unique way. I am so glad that he is finally learning to accept himself for who he is. He is the most brilliant sparkling snowflake that I have ever seen.