APE – the Asperger Parenting Experience

The Life and Times of one Asperger Parent

Asperger’s Syndrome Buys a House

Posted by Patrick on 1 May 2008

What a wonderful experience it is to buy a house. It’s oh so painless, and every possible thing that can go right always does, especially on the selling end of making a move.

If you believe those 2 sentences, sorry; they’re meant to be a bit of cheek versus the deplorable tasks involved with selling and buying a new home. Combine those daunting chores with AS and, well, you’ve got a proverbial party for sure. In this post, I’ll describe some of my own experiences.

Our realtor’s name is Steve. I tell my AS son that “Mr. Steve is coming and we’re going to see new houses today”. How do you think that was interpreted? Well, first it was alleged that we were actually going to the doctor and he didn’t want to go because he didn’t want to get any shots today. When I explained that Mr. Steve is not a doctor, we were then subverting him into going to the dentist, which he also will not be attending today. Then, rather flatly, I was informed “I am going to the TV doctor, do you understand?” (the TV doctor is the eye doctor – different post)

Of course we understand; he has AS, so every new event is first catastrophic as the typical AS child first aims for the worst and then improves their outlook slowly as situations become less ambiguous.

Mr. Steve arrives – wailing tears ensue. It’s one of those uber-loud shrieking fits that’s normally equated to a harpy or pterodactyl. But – and lucky for us – when Mr. Steve whipped out pictures of houses instead of a blister pack full of syringes and vaccines, the wailing stopped. In fact, it didn’t just stop – it ceased to exist as if I’d pressed his mute button not a moment before. AS Parents, we have all been in this situation.

So, as AS children often do, our son found his comfort with Steve and proceeded to be his little helper for the rest of the day. By the time we visited our last house, he was running up to doors to show Steve where the lockbox is, and then showing Steve how to retrieve the key once the combination was entered. Yes, he’s 4, but he’s a pretty smart 4.

***

I wrote the above parts of this post in March and never finished it, so I’m here to finish it now. We are still house shopping, and we are still selling our place as well. Not much has changed there. AS has decided that when we have a showing, we’re going somewhere so “Mr. Steve can come play inside”.

The point of this post is to further demonstrate that typical AS children are both rigid in their minds and also hugely in touch with their surroundings. Where we parents find our center with our AS children is when we can provide a pleasant blend of both form and opportunity.

There is no “mold” that can be broken on children with AS; they won’t just wake up one morning and suddenly not be afraid of new stuff and be completely open-ended kids. If we parents try to set that as a goal, we fail before we begin raising them.

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