April 2018 -

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Ben Throop

On Tangibility

 One of the really difficult things about having a kid with Asperger's and also asthma/allergies is that not only does he get sick a lot, but it is very very hard for him to understand that, yes, he will get better. 

Once again, and it always seems to happen at the end of a season (summer camp is almost over) he has some kind of bronchial infection. Today was rough. He was moody, irritable and feeling miserable. The bossiness levels spiked, as did the annoying levels. 

Now here is the thing that I struggle with. It seems to be a very, very Aspergian (is that a word?) trait to only be able to see the moment in front of you. So when P. gets sick, he is convinced he will "be sick forever". When a friend plays with someone else "he is no longer my friend". When something is lost "we will never have it again".

I am thinking this is connected to the struggle so many on the spectrum have with symbolic thinking. "Tomorrow" is not a tangible thing. "Right now it is raining", is. P. often asks "is it tomorrow yet?" "No", I will say, "that is a long time off. When you wake up it will be tomorrow, but then you will call it 'today'." I kind of get the feeling that he hopes if he wakes up at just the right moment, in the middle of the night, he will be able to "catch" tomorrow and prove it once and for all as being a tangible, after all. 

So we are going to the doctor "tomorrow", instead of his going on a day camp field trip. If he can feel a little better, he may not even mind that much. But I do hope I can strive to find ways to explain to him, in a way he will understand, that even though he is sick now, it won't last forever. If I can someday help him picture that, I will be a very grateful mom. 




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