I’ve gone to home visit this morning. The mother is worried that her 13 year old son with High Functioning Autism/Asperger who refused to go to school in the past two months, may not be willing to talk about his school problems. Actually, her son is very transparent, perceptive and expressive that he tells me how he likes learning and sees school as an important place to learn things. He is admirable. He simply doesn’t know why he gets anxious and feels stomachache before he goes to school. In retrospect, he had that experience when he was in senior primary school. I am optimistic that he will develop some skills and personal resources to overcome his anxious experience about going to school. The ultimate goal should be how to manage anxious experience, enjoy learning and develop adaptive skills through school life.
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For the sake of family unity, we try to communicate our expectation and needs. The endpoint is understanding differences and reaching a resolution most acceptable to all. If, as family member, we don’t pay our effort to communicate and negotiate, how can we come to a win-win situation in the family? I think this is family education important to share with young people on the high functioning autism spectrum.
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During today’s Sunday mass, I was inspired by the Altar boy who was identified as Asperger’s since early childhood.
This boy used to sit near me when he attended Sunday mass, fidgeting quite a bit, giggling every now and then. Today, he acted as an Altar boy, attentively attending the mass and keeping his closed palm on his front chest through the Eucharist liturgy.
I could feel God’s presence through him. What touches me is the observation that the altar boy acted solemnly. While we know it well that most people with autism don’t connect well with other people, I find him connecting well with God.
Regarding the difficulties I find in daily life, I should offer these difficulties to God and become a medium of God’s love. Just like the altar boy.
Image source: http://www.cea-ace.ca