Homeschooling a child with Asperger’s: The hardest part of Kari’s homeschool year

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Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

I held my breath as I looked at the list. Every single item. It described him to the T. How had I never known? Wordlessly, I slid the laptop over to my husband. His eyes widened as he scrolled down, just as amazed.

You mean, this is a thing? 

There’s a name for this? And it’s legit?

Relief and grief often go hand-in-hand. On the one hand, I was overwhelmed with relief, finally freed from the crippling belief that all my son’s challenges were the result of my own inadequacies.

Terrible handwriting? Clearly my fault. Can’t tie shoes? My failure. Strange social behavior? My mess-up.

Lack of eye-contact, emotional maturity, empathy and a dozen other “typical” behavioral benchmarks?

All mommy-fails.

The hardest part of my homeschool year

But now, here, with one word I was freed from this Mommy-guilt prison.

His challenges weren’t my fault. This … was a thing.

Then, of course there was also grief. Online research can be helpful and horrible, and there were plenty of worst-case scenarios out there to make me imagine a grim future for my boy.

There was a also a bit of grief in swallowing my pride. I’ve always avoided labels, leaned toward unconventional methods, bucked against etiquette and social norms, and boasted in our delight-directed, do-our-own-thing style of school.

Deep down, I assumed a lot of these A-diagnoses (allergies, autism, Aspergers, ADHD) were merely figments of fretting parents’ imaginations.  

If we relaxed a bit and let our kids eat bugs and go barefoot, I figured they’d probably be fine.

Right?

But there was no denying this was a thing, and no amount of barefoot, Wild-and-Free homeschooling would change the fact that this kid had special challenges.

Special Challenges

While I’m now a firm believer in the legitimacy of the autism-spectrum, I also believe that every child has special needs.

In fact, most of us are probably on the spectrum somewhere. *smile*

Although our son is quirky, I can still trace most of his behavior to my husband or myself, and our parents. It just seems that all of our tiny streams of Asperger-ish tendencies were all funneled together into one gloriously unique little boy, who baffles and dazzles us daily.

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For us, the challenges are primarily in two areas:

  • Emotional/Social Immaturity

From day one, playdates were a nightmare. Starting with our son’s toddler-days, chaotic social situations quickly caused melt-downs. Instead, he would gravitate toward encyclopedic-books, documentaries, and adult-interaction. He clearly could not comprehend the unspoken social-norms that his peers naturally understood.

I found myself constantly explaining: “When the girl is crying that means you need to stop chasing her. When that person walks away it means they want to be done talking. When someone is hurt you need to stop and say, ‘Are you ok?'” 

Emotionally, things can go south fast, over unpredictable things. He has gone ballistic over the trauma of a haircut. His emotional attachment to things is intense.

When his favorite garden hose sprung a leak and broke, he sobbed, overwhelmed and disillusioned with life, lamenting that he’d never use another garden hose as long as he lived.

He forms intense emotional attachments with cardboard boxes, certain pillows, his carseat (he might be the first kid to drive a car while sitting in a carseat).

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  • Scattered Skills

The other challenge is widely scattered skills. On the one hand, his reading comprehension is sky-high. He has read hundreds of books. He owns 38 encyclopedias and has read them all cover to cover. His knowledge of science and history is astounding.

But his handwriting is barely legible, and I’m not sure if he’ll ever spell well. So our main challenge with homeschooling is discerning how to capitalize on his strengths while still working on his weaknesses, without a heap of tears.

This year I had to deal with my tendency to become angry with him over these areas of weakness, coupled with his emotional immaturity. I am constantly having to slow down and carefully determine when to push him and when to back off. I’m always praying for wisdom!2015-06-03 12.59.29

Special Blessings

Sure, I’ve cried more over this boy than over any other thing in all my life. He has brought to the surface every fear and insecurity, every weakness and selfish tendency.

He can push my buttons like nobody’s business, but his unique make-up has also been an incredible blessing. And since every child has special needs, I believe every child’s special needs are also a special blessing. 

Here are some blessings my son has brought my way:

  • Forcing me to forget what people think

For all my supposed disregard for social norms, I still care a lot what people think.

The truth is, it often feels embarrassing to have a child who looks normal, but behaves bizarrely.

Plus, I still like to avoid labels, and although we have talked openly with our son about this “trait” (we like this term better than “syndrome” because we firmly believe his uniqueness is as much as a strength as it is a challenge), I still rarely share this with others.

My fierce love for him has forced me to care less about what others think and more about what really matters.

  • Forcing me to tailor-make our own home-education

There’s just no nice-and-neat boxed curriculum that’s going to work with this kid.

We’ve done a lot of trial and error. Mostly error.

I shudder when I think back to my over-eager self pushing him into My Father’s World kindergarten curriculum when he was barely three-years-old.

Now, five years later, we’ve settled into our own messy hodge-podge curriculum concoction that I like to call Classical Unschool. I’m fairly certain the founders of both those movements would never claim us as their followers, but it works for us!

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Our homeschool is neither Pinteresty nor neat-and-tidy. I still find myself frustrated a lot. But this special child is gloriously unique and I know I am a better person because his quirkiness has caused me to grow.

He is thriving (and learning to spell!), has a few close friends who he loves deeply, and drinks up knowledge like no one I’ve ever known.

Yes, this has been the hardest part of my homeschool, but it is an incredible privilege to be his mama.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

How have your child’s Special Needs been a Special Blessing to you?

This post is part of our Hardest Part of my Homeschool Year series.

About Kari Patterson

Kari Patterson and her family live out in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. As a 2nd-generation homeschooler she espouses the same philosophy her own mom did in the 80s: Cultivate a love for learning and one's education will never end. She bakes bread, brews kombucha, speaks at conferences & writes at Sacred Mundane. Her new book Sacred Mundane is available now.

Comments

  1. Kari, it’s like you cracked my head open and scooped out my thoughts. Yes to everything in this post. I have two children on the spectrum and they are amazing and truly challenging and I wouldn’t change any of it.
    Thank you for this post.

  2. Thank you, than you, thank you!!!

  3. I can’t thank you enough for this post. My youngest is very similar and just received his autism spectrum diagnosis last month. I really appreciate your thoughts on the unique challenges and blessings of homeschooling on the spectrum.
    Tara McGovern’s latest post: Wheelhouse, Population 1

  4. Kari, your post really spoke to me. When our son was 5 and at school at the time, he exhibited very similar behaviors to your son. I went online, as you did, and read so many things that scared me so much. Then we took him to our beloved, like-minded pediatrician who said not to label him but read the book The Out-of-Sync Child which had some good strategies. We now unschool our children which really helps our son. He still has traces of his earlier behavior (lack of eye contact, invasion of personal space, poor coping skills) and his intensity has barely lessened but overall things are much better than when he was your son’s age.
    Good luck to you. A caring, involved parent is the best thing there is, in my opinion.

  5. What a beautiful post. And I laughed over this: ” I’m fairly certain the founders of both those movements would never claim us as their followers, but it works for us! ” That’s what I always think when I refer to our homeschool style as Charlotte Mason/Unschooling. 😉 Again, this post was beautiful and as a mother of biological and adopted children and just observing myself – yes! everyone has special needs!

  6. I love how you’ve embraced your hardest part as cause for greater freedom!
    Cara@TheHomeLearner’s latest post: Day 26: Our Block Schedule #Back2School in #31Days

  7. Thank you for be real & honest. It’s encouraging to know that I’m not the only one. My son’s special needs have caused me to confront issues in ME; guilt, fear of what his future will be, embarrassment for his behavior, pity for my child, jealousy of other moms with socially “normal” boys. He’s also reminded me to trust God and remember that it’s my privilege to raise my son, that he’s on loan to me. It’s not my job to “fix” him, he doesn’t need that, he needs unconditional love & parents who help him improve in the weak areas & celebrate his strengths. God bless your family.

  8. Bethany Fegles says:

    Yes, traits. I love that Kari. Challenges mixed with many blessings for sure! I could relate all over this post! 🙂 Love you Friend!

  9. Oh my goodness. Yes.
    I started crying at the beginning when you said, “Relief and grief often go hand in hand.”
    So well said. Thank you from another special needs homeschooling momma!
    Shawna @NotTheFormerThings’s latest post: Sometimes I Just Need to Say a Prayer and Eat Some Chocolate

  10. Anne Marie G. says:

    So true, so true. I still struggle with the constant guilt of what an imperfect mother I am. No matter how much patience I think I’ve been blessed with, there are days like yesterday when I just want obedience — please, kiddo, just say “OK, mom” without any arguing! Yesterday I made the mistake of setting up our work-together desk (2 tables put together) in our new home in an “L” shape instead of the “T” shape we had in our old home. Major meltdown, everything had to move. I feel like I’m constantly compromising with this differently-abled child. I’m hoping my patience and perseverance serve as a lesson for the rest of the family, but every now and then I sure would like to be able to have things my way. (insert weak grin) It’s so reassuring to know we’re not alone in this struggle.

    • I love your weak grin 😉 and YES the furniture arrangement is huge! Our son almost lost his mind when we got a new dining room table. He absolutely could not handle getting rid of the old one so it’s just sitting on the back porch to make him feel better. 😉 bless you girl! You’re not alone!
      Kari Patterson’s latest post: The hardest part of my homeschool year

  11. Wonderful article! I have two on the spectrum and this could be the biography of my oldest, who had Aspergers, for sure. God gives us those special challenges to being us closer to him, they are truly blessings!

  12. Kari,
    This is so life giving. Thank you for sharing your experience, I have some women I know are going to be encouraged by this. Praying for you and your boy as the school year begins. 😊

  13. I love this article! Even though my son Jordan has visible special needs (Down Syndrome) – it has been his invisible special needs and his differences from other children with DS that have been the most difficult for me. Also, as a homeschooling mom, it took multiple pride-swallowings to enroll him into public school, where we have been enormously blessed to be partnered with a really wonderful team that is truly a godsend for Jordan. Thank you for sharing and keep rocking your unique boat! If you haven’t read the story about going to Holland, you might like the analogy… umm…. google “holland story special needs”
    Also – I think your blog post would be an encouragement to other moms who read the blog “The Mighty” (dot com). Consider submitting it there!
    Rachel Davis’s latest post: Garden Harvest 2015

  14. I believed so much that was labeled, such as ADHD, was bunk, too, until I had an ADHD child. School was a horrible experience for him, for me, and for his teachers. He did not do well academically, even though he is extremely bright and knows more about almost everything than most people, he could not stay on task and with the class. The best thing I ever did for him was to remove him from public school and homeschool him. I just wish I didn’t wait until he was in the 7th grade to do it. After we started homeschooling, he slowly reverted back to the happy, loving child he had been before kindergarten. He is grown now, and has children of his own who are homeschooled. I am happy you will miss the horrors of public school with a child who has special needs public schools are just not equipped to handle. Best wishes!
    Linda Sue’s latest post: Teach Home School Students Typing (or Keyboarding) for Free

  15. melanie lawn says:

    I am laughing, sobbing, and fell so connected to this post, all at the same time !
    I bet I am not the first Mum to whole heartedly relate to this, and I sure won’t be the last. We are the luckiest Mums of all and I believe our awesome kids have been sent to teach us something special.

  16. Kari,
    I’m still trying to decide whether homeschooling is right for my children. We’re having a hard time fitting in work/school. I have one “typical” child and one child who has a delay. How do I know that I can teach him how he needs to be taught? How did you know? Do you have a special education background? I’m just asking as a scared mother 😉 Best to you and your family.

    • Nancy, oh thank you for your vulnerability in sharing & asking. I firmly believe that we, as parents, are the best equipped to teach & train our littles, although of course that may include seeking outside help in certain areas. I don’t have any special education background, I’m just passionate about reading & researching & praying & trying & erroring 😉 to see what works best. I was on the fence about homeschooling at first but saw that traditional classroom setting prob wouldn’t be the best for him; I just started teaching him to read (that seemed easy enough) and then took it one day at a time, one year at a time. It doesn’t hurt to give it a shot & be super patient with yourself. If you know an experienced homeschool mom you could sit down with her & share your fears & thoughts. That’s what I did. Praying you know exactly what to do! I’d love to stay in touch with you, please send me an email if you don’t mind! Bless you!
      Kari Patterson’s latest post: The hardest part of my homeschool year

  17. I struggle a lot with knowing when to push my kids and when to back off. With my oldest I push and push and push. With my kindergarten guy I don’t push at all. I’m worried constantly that I’m just messing them both up! Honestly, I feel like even though you have clear challenges, it’s nice you know what his strengths are. I’m still working on knowing what my K. guy loves and is great at.

    Thanks for the post and good luck this school year!
    Katie Laws’s latest post: Homeschooling in a Small Space

  18. Rebecca Hunter says:

    Well, I don’t have a child yet…
    And I didn’t have parents since the age of three. So, I Don’t know what my challenges were then. But reading through this article, there’s a number of things that I can relate to because I struggle with them at campus. I know, I can’t fix what I missed and also what is lost. It’s good to know that those weakness are also blessings. Our strength is made perfect in weakness. …just don’t forget that!

    Thanks for sharing!

  19. My son is only 2, but was also diagnosed with Autism a few months ago. I know exactly what you mean about having to stop caring about what other people think. Public meltdowns are really hard to handle in general, but when you start worrying about what other people think, it is only worse. I never considered myself to be someone who cared about these things until I did. I’ve since learned that the only thing that matters is we get through it all safe and with as little trauma for Drake as possible.

    We plan to homeschool as well, and I can relate on the scattered skills thing too. Drake can identify all the letters of the alphabet, upper and lower case and number 1-10 (which is pretty awesome for just turning 2), but there are so many simple social or emotional or just common sense things he just doesn’t get yet, and we can’t explain to him yet because his communication skills aren’t quite there yet.

    Also your son is absolutely adorable! That charm is going to help him out.

    • Kelly, Wow I’m so glad you have figured this out so early! I didn’t know until my son was 7 1/2 and I look back and wish I had done so many things differently. What a gift to have this insight into your son at such a young age! I’m cheering for you as you navigate the years ahead! You are the best one to educate and nurture your son for his future!
      Kari Patterson’s latest post: The hardest part of my homeschool year

  20. Torri Betts says:

    Thank you for sharing this Kari. So much of what you said are my thoughts every day. As I prepare for another homeschooling year, there are equal amounts of dread as there are excitement. I tell my girl that Jesus made her extra cute for a reason. He knew the challenges that would lie ahead for a spectrum beauty. So thankful His mercies are new each day. He knows we need them.

  21. Beautiful and true–thanks for sharing so openly about your struggles and experiences, Kari! To my knowledge none of our kids is on the spectrum, but I grew up with a sibling who although undiagnosed, we are pretty certain is classic Aspergers. Homeschooling was awesome for him, and he’s just completed a computer science degree and is looking forward to finding a job in the IT industry. As for my own kids, my oldest is just 6 and we’ve barely begun our homeschool journey, but I’m feeling drawn by Charlotte Mason, classical, AND unschooling–so it’s nice to hear someone else out there finds themselves in the same weird collaboration of approaches! Finally, how true about relief and grief going hand-in-hand. Unrelated to this topic, just walking through one of those times right now, and so helpful to hear this articulated. Bless you! <3
    Elisabeth’s latest post: M.O.M.: Slow and Steady Wins the Race?

  22. Wow, Kari, this hits home in a lot of ways. Lots of similarities with one of our boys. I wish I could sit with you and pick your brain! I’m going to read those links you shared. Btw, your Dutch is one handsome boy!! Wowza! 😉 HUGS!

  23. Thank you so much for sharing this honest look into life with a special kid! Our oldest also has Asperger’s, too, and our other 5 kids each have their own educational needs/quirks. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is just how incapable I am of doing any of this life on my own: I don’t have the special needs knowledge, the teaching tools, or the endless patience apart from Christ. But we keep pressing on!

    There are advantages of having a personal Walking Encyclopedia: he inserts random facts about science/history into dinner conversations, answers the other kids questions about subjects I don’t know, and even filled in as substitute teacher when I was sick a few weeks ago!

    • Haha amen to that Julie! We are lost apart from Christ. And YES, for all the challenges I feel like having a walking encyclopedia makes a lot of things way easier. Actually just today I just had an extended family member say (upon observing Dutch), “so, he just pretty much teaches himself huh?!” I had to admit it was true! I just try to keep up. 😉 bless you on your homeschool adventure Julie.
      Kari Patterson’s latest post: The hardest part of my homeschool year

  24. Do you have any favorite books that you have read regarding Aspbergers? This post really describes my 12 yo at times!

    • Simplicity Parenting, The Spark, and The Complete Guide to Asperger’s (like a desk reference: huge but worth wading through). I’ve heard The Out of Sync Child is excellent too but I haven’t read it. Look Me In The Eyes has some good stuff in the first 4 chapters but I don’t recommend the rest. I’ve heard Following Ezra recommended too but have to read it. The Spark isn’t fav for inspiration & the complete guide my fav for understanding the details of what the trait/syndrome is.
      Kari Patterson’s latest post: The hardest part of my homeschool year

  25. Alicia Ferguson says:

    I enjoyed this post so much! I remember reading when you first wrote about discovering that your son had Aspergers (last year or the year before?). My heart broke for you with understanding all the “relief and grief” you were likely experiencing. Our oldest was diagnosed at 4. He also has mild cerebral palsy on his right side which provides extra challenges for him on top of much that you described in your post. We have been very blessed to have some talented professionals on our small island to help with Speech, Occupational, and Physical Therapy, along with a loving church family , the gift of homeschooling, and a lot of prayer:) But, the road is long and sometimes very hard. Hang in there brave Mama and thanks for sharing your heart so openly with the body of Christ.

  26. Amber Metcalf says:

    Even though intellectually I know I’m not alone, sometimes it just absolutely feels like I am. I needed THIS article TODAY. My son is 13. He is wonderfully brilliant and deep and funny and loving. Everyday presents some sort of struggle. Many days we cry together over math. But I also get to marvel at how absorbed he gets watching a college level Apologetics video course. The world we live in sees Holden as odd and unsociable. But I know he is amazing, and I thank God for him, just the way he is, every single day. Blessings to you and your family!

  27. I have just in the last few months realized my son has Asperger’s. I knew he had issues, but, like you, Kari, didn’t like labels and I really didn’t want him labeled ADHD and have meds pushed at us. The Lord literally put a book in front of my face (at the library in the area where my kids were playing) called Bright, not Broken. It focuses on kids, like many of yours here, who are “twice exceptional” – extremely bright, gifted, often genius, but also on the autism spectrum. I just kept saying, that’s him! No wonder! So that’s what’s going on! We always knew he was special, but now we’re just beginning to see how special. His favorite books are also those Usborne encyclopedias! I’m so thankful that God had us planning to home educate before we had kids, because a classroom would have been horrible for him, and I would have had a hard time sympathizing because I’m a former communications teacher and major extrovert!
    If anyone has any recommendations for resources, I’d be grateful to hear. We haven’t had him tested or anything yet, but I’m thinking some speech therapy to help with social situations might be beneficial. We’re in the Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA area.

  28. Toni Shearon Atherley says:

    Wow! I felt someone enter my mind and put to words exactly what I was feeling! When I found out his behavior and “quirks” had a name? When I went down the checklist and noted he exhibits 90% of these traits? What a lightbulb moment! Thank you for this! I LOVE my son even more and, I feel he is a blessing who was sent to teach me something!

  29. Sonya peria says:

    I sit here weeping as I am reading this. I feel like I could have written this. This is my son to a T!!! We live in a small town in Ohio and while we are surrounded by people, my kids are very alone. I’m so glad your son has friends. That makes this journey so much easier

  30. I love this post. My daughter has Cerebral Palsy and I could relate. Than my son who is “typical” has his own issues. The neat thing is figuring out how to hone in on their own unique learning style. Thank-you for sharing 🙂
    Candice’s latest post: Where Did This Summer Go?

  31. What a wonderful blog post!

    Our son has autism and we homeschool. Most days are challenging, but he thrives at home where in the public school he did not. It’s worth it all to see his face light up when he learns something new, to be there when he wrote his first paper, etc.

    It’s hard and amazing, challenging and rewarding. All at the same time.

  32. Wow, we are living parallel lives! I could have written the exact same thing 🙂 Glad to know we are not alone!! Blessings to you!

  33. This describes my son exactly. He was just diagnosed at 8 years old, and we’re homeschooling. I would love to be in touch with you some time. I don’t have a website, so am not sure if my comment will come through, but your article is the closest I’ve seen to anything that reminds me of our experience, and I agree about labels. We haven’t told him anything about it, yet. Thank you for taking the time to write this. It really helps to find something that I resonate with.

  34. Thank you for sharing your journey, Kari! To say I can relate, is an understatement. I only wish I could have known of other homeschool mom’s with this challenge earlier. I was much like you; as you describe your sons kindergarten year. Only I stretched out the drudgery for about 3 more years before finally realizing, ” Houston, we have a problem!” I felt so helpless and alone, then. My challenging learner, is now 16 and we are slowly taking on the highschool years. I have seen some growth and that encourages me, but beyond that, I believe, as I’m sure you do, that his gifts and talents, though much different from the “norm” will benefit him in a future only His creator can see. I’m resting in that. Be encouraged, you are miles ahead already.💗 God bless you and your handsome gift!

  35. Larry geyer says:

    Help I’m a 66 year old granddad of a grandson who has aspergers he is in fifth grade and doing Terrible my wife and I have talked about home school I have a 7 grade education my wife is a college grad in banking this boy is so smart it’s scary but he just can’t take school we will do anything to help him we just don’t no what to do I will not let this child go to waste lm sorry to bother you folks but we are looking for any idea

  36. Hello Kari! I just read your post. I’m the Mexican mom of a special needs boy.
    In Mexico being a homeschool mom is the weirdest thing in the world. I chose what I thought it would be the best school for my kid, and during kindergarten was almost perfect, but now in 2nd grade, things are not going as smooth as it was two years ago.
    I’ve decided to homeschool-unschool Lucas and I’m scared to death.
    But my love is bigger than my fears and I believe that no one else could help to learn life abilities better than me just because nobody loves him more than myself.
    Please cheer me up! I’ll need all the strength to cope with this task and to close my eyes and ears to all the comments against my decition.
    Thanks for writing so we feel we’re not alone!

  37. Jacqueline says:

    I could help but notice his arm severely hyper extending. Have you herd of or looked into hypermobile ehlers danlos syndrome or hypermobility syndrome? Austistic spectrum disorders aren’t uncommon in that realm a month other diagnosis. That’s for sharing your experiences!

  38. Thank you for this post. It really resonated with me. I’m just beginning to consider homeschooling my daughter who has suspected Aspergers. I’m still waiting for a formal diagnosis, but finding this post is like a blessing.

  39. Thank you for articulating this. We were also homeschooling long before we figured out that my husband and three children all have Aspergers to varying degrees. It is relief and grief and relief and grief. I’m still reeling from it honestly, but it comforts me to know that I’m not alone in this crazy journey.

  40. While it’s hard to see others going through the same it’s comforting to know we aren’t Al ne! We are also in the PNW and have 2 children with aspergers as well as a third in the spectrum. All 4 of our children were adopted. The three with these traits are from orphanges over seas.

  41. It has been day three since sending our son back to school. Today he is home because he had a meltdown at school yesterday. Our son is un-diagnosed Aspergers/Autistic, his paediatric appointment is not until October. My husband and I have gone back and fourth on the idea of home schooling him this year. I home schooled our son two years ago because he would have a meltdown from having to go inside from playing…everyday. I would expect a call at 10am and a very upset child who refused to go to class. Seeing our son this way was not normally how he acted. Looking back I realized that he didn’t act out like that at home because I was giving him everything he needed, lots of one on one time, play time, etc. So we homeschooled him… it was a disaster, he didn’t want to do anything, he only wanted to play. He could play literally all day, every square inch of the house was not spared his wild imagination. It’s a cool thing…. but he still needs to learn. Last year he was in grade 1 and I was a nervous wreck. The principal or his teacher would tell me about an incident about twice a week. Just as an example, our son was extremely upset when a boy decided he wanted to just scream at a mud puddle. Our son found that to be quite upsetting and tried protecting the puddle, ending in a yelling match. He is nothing short of a genius, he has a memory I envy, very creative and articulate, could run a marathon and has a heart of gold, but socially he was struggling very much. It’s not like he wasn’t being socialized. He could talk to adults and pay for his own treats at the cash registers, never has an issue while playing with new kids at the park, he was in swimming lessons and I would take him to see his father at school in between teaching classes. Being away from me was hard on him, it probably made things worse. At this point we had no idea that our son had any type of Autism, just that he was a bit different than the average. So when we were approached about the possibility that he was on the spectrum, we started look for help. Back to the present day, with summer over and school open again, my anxiety is very high and was having mixed emotions about sending our son back to school. So I tried to find relief and valadation online, I have no one to really talk to or who gets it. I came across your article and was just amazed at your honesty and openness to share. Your son is very similar to ours, it’s just amazing. From your article I realized that our son would be better off learning from home and that I need to find more help in that process. I am not seeing any benefit from him being in school. Thank you for the read, it made my day. I now know what I must do.

  42. There is a free ebook (pdf viewable on a cell phones as well) called “Aspergers – An Intentional Life” that has an interesting take on Aspergers. It describes a neurological variant and why it would result in Asperger symptoms.

    http://ems-publishing.com/ebooks/atil_09_2017.pdf

  43. Thank you very much, we are going through the same, my aspie is 10 years old, I am starting home school him, what you describe of your son is as if you were talking about mine, it’s good to know that we are not alone, because there are moments that I think It’s my fault and I do not do enough, thank you very much for your words, without much help.

  44. Thank you so much!!!!! I am homeschooling two with special needs, but my youngest who is 9 is going through the testing for autism now. I can relate to so many of your thoughts here, including the self doubt (did I cause this?) and the hodgepodge curriculum. You gave me permission to stop beating myself up and know that I am not alone. Blessings!

  45. Heather says:

    Thank you for writing this extremely relatable post. Like many others who have responded, my 11yo son has Asperger’s. It has been a challenge even with family members to explain that yes, he looks completely normal, but he’s not. It took me a while to even get him tested, because of my pigheaded-ness, but when I finally did, I felt just like you, relief mixed with grief. I am thankful for that diagnosis now and appreciate that I can see the amazingness of my son that isn’t regular or average but so far beyond. His brain is extraordinary and the way he processes problems and situations sometimes makes me feel like the one with an issue. Thank you for this post again, came when I really needed it.

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