The Now

14 01 2008

My son is now 6-years old and is in Year 1 at a private English school. These are some of his quirks at the age of six:

  • He is obsessed with cars. He counted how many toy cars he has and I think he’s up to 107. (Spoiled, much?) He talks about them constantly. When he’s not talking about them, he’s playing with them. And if he’s not playing with them, lining them up, or talking about them, he’s playing Gran Turismo on the Playstation – not really racing the cars, but going through the menu and looking at all the different cars. He can tell you where each car is manufactured. He knows every make and model. He takes pictures of them with my cell phone and digital camera. Naturally, he has them all lined up on my formal living room couch. When we took him to the Christmas Bazaar last year, he deleted all pictures of people (including him and sister with Santa) and walked around the parking lot to take pictures of car emblems. He also deleted all pictures of people on my Dell laptop and replaced them with car logos. He’s not allowed to be on the computer by himself anymore and I gave him my old cell phone to use for picture taking.
  • I have to constantly tell him to go to the bathroom. Even when he gets up in the morning, I have to remind him to go to the bathroom to pee. On one rather busy morning I forgot, and he ended up holding it all day until he came home from school, and then only after I told him did he go. Last year, he started having “accidents” with bowel movements. He still has accidents on a regular basis. He never flushes the toilet.
  • He still comes to our room in the middle of the night. He told me he senses in his sleep that I’m not with him and that’s why he comes to my room to sleep. This is probably wrong of me, but recently I’ve started sleeping in his bed because the way it was working was leading to none of us getting enough sleep. I’m trying to leave and sleep in my own bed every other night until he gets used to sleeping alone. I don’t know what else to do.
  • He freaks out if a drop of water or food gets on his clothes while eating. He cries and runs up the stairs to change. I’ve been making progress on this by purposely dropping water on my shirt and telling him to see how I don’t make a big deal out of it.
  • He’s extremely picky about eating. At this point we’re down to sandwiches (cream cheese or peanut butter and fluff, only), pizza, chicken nuggets, fries, macaroni and cheese, apples and white rice. When his lunch or dinner is plated, he cannot have different foods touching one another; i.e. fries must not be touching nuggets. Last year we ordered him a “Happy Face” pancake at IHOP and he had a meltdown because they weren’t just pancakes but pancakes with whipped cream on them in the form of a happy face. He will only drink KDD Passion Fruit juice, Actimel or milk.
  • He still flaps his hands/arms when excited or nervous.
  • He wraps tissue (Kleenex) around his fingers (one on each hand) and twists his hands constantly, pretending the tissues are girls. He does this when bored or nervous.
  • He has a hard time focusing on homework and his teacher told me that he has a hard time going from one task to the next.
  • He knows nearly every country in the world, the capitals of each country and their flags.
  • Last year, we were at Chilis having dinner and he got bored, went through my purse, fished out a Stephen King book and started reading it out loud. His reading level is at adult level.
  • He has problems with anger, shouting, moods and sharing.
  • He has an over attachment to one parent (that would be me) and might explain his inability to sleep on his own.
  • He doesn’t like to be cuddled and doesn’t like to be held for too long.
  • It’s hard for him to be loving towards anyone but me. We were shocked when he displayed attachment to my cousin Kerrie last summer. My husband says it’s because we look and act alike. (I don’t know how much we look alike but I often say that Kerrie and I are one soul in two bodies.)
  • He doesn’t like talking on the phone and when he does, he usually shouts or swears.
  • He doesn’t like big loud get-togethers. Birthday or children’s parties are a nightmare.
  • Fire alarms and store security alarms bother him.

I have no idea if any of the above points have anything to do with PDD, I just listed out where we are now with my son. Some things I’ve mentioned are personal and it’s been hard to share them here. I’m doing this to help him, me, and anyone else out there who is dealing with a child with Aspergers/Autism/PDD.

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17 responses

14 01 2008
Angela

Wow! I am so glad you started this blog, Stinni. I’m going to forward the link to a friend of mine, whose son has Aspergers. I know she’ll love to visit you here. I hope you gain a lot of support through this blog.

14 01 2008
'GreY'

I cried ! I have never read something so heartfelt in a long long time ! What a blessing you are ! Please keep writing !

15 01 2008
Stinni

Angela, nice to see you here. I’m sure in the States there are plenty of support groups for parents of Aspie children, but I don’t know of any in Kuwait yet. I suppose that was the reason why I started this; to see if there’s anyone else out there, to learn about resources, and to meet other parents (like your friend) who may be worlds apart but experiencing the same emotions as me. Thank you for spreading the word. 🙂

Grey, thank you. But the true blessing is that new baby of yours. 🙂

15 01 2008
Carla

I don’t know much about you Stinni, I have no idea what you look like but I still consider you my friend. All I wanted to do when I read this post is give you a big hug. I think you’re doing a great job as a mum. I think mums just need to hear this sometimes even when it’s all you can do to get a decent meal on the table and your child fed and dressed and husband out the door for work on time. YOU ARE A GOOD MUM. And your husband is a good dad too, from what you’ve said of him he’s very kind and works very hard. I hope you have some support to fall back on, I know it’s tough when you’re so far away geographically from your own parents. Sorry for such a personal comment I just felt it on my heart to share and I hope you feel encouraged a little bit to keep on plodding.

15 01 2008
Kerrie

Okay, this just made me cry…especially the part about him displaying attachment towards me. We bonded!
Glad you started this blog!

Kerrie

16 01 2008
Hasan.B

I do not know what to say to be honest, all I can say is that this post shows how lovely parents you both are. God bless you all.

16 01 2008
Soupprincess

You might try looking into childhood symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. It is genetic, runs in families, and the tendency to marry within a tribe makes this genetic disorder more rampant in areas where that is a common cultural practice; it ups the odds. I am unfamiliar with the symptoms in children, though I know there are children that have OCD (Oprah did a special on it and there is a cable show out there produced about the children that appeared), but the symptoms sound awfully similar to the childhood of someone I know whose OCD became severe in early adulthood.

17 01 2008
Lisa

My son had all these problems and more. Here it was Sydenhams Chorea caused by strep. We were told he had Tourettes/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/Anxiety/ADHD and other things. We got him in to see a neurologist and she figured it out after the 2nd time seeing him. You should do a search on it and compare your son’s symptoms with the symptoms from this. I think you will be amazed. My son is off all his meds except antibiotics and is doing a lot better now. One way to figure out if it is this is blood work and a strep test DONE THE LONG WAY at the doctors office. (STREP TEST CAN NOT BE THE RAPID TEST THEY DO AND COME BACK IN 5 MINUTES AND TELL YOU IF THEY HAVE A STREP INFECTION OR NOT. IT HAS TO BE SENT OUT AND DONE THE LONG WAY!) Hope this helps and good luck and God bless!

17 01 2008
Stinni

Carla – Your comment touched me. I feel like we’ve known each other for a while now and I have to apologize for not being a good friend with respects to e-mail. But I think you know how crazy life can get once you have children. I rarely have free time but I have appreciated all your wonderful comments and e-mail. A big hug back to you, my friend, and the compliment returned in being a fabulous mother.

Kerrie – Now you understand how it touched my heart to see Mishari RUN for you last summer. How he cried when you left for the last time. How he snuggled up to you on the porch swing. How he got jealous over Dan! (“She’s NOT your princess…”) You are very very special to him, my wonder twin! 🙂

Hasan B. – Meshkoor, and God bless you too.

Soupprincess – There are subtypes within Aspergers; i.e. the Angry child, the Paranoid child, and yes, the OCD child. I can’t categorize my son into a subtype because I’m not a professional and also because he has a touch of each subtype. Believe me, I looked into OCD and ADHD but the lack of eye contact and self injury and awkward social skills led me to PDD. Thanks for the input. I appreciate it. (Have you made the journey to Kuwait yet?)

Lisa – Thanks for the comment. I looked up Sydenhams Chorea and my son just doesn’t fit the profile. He’s been different since infancy and like I mentioned in my above comment, the social difficulties he experiences are due to Aspergers/PDD. He doesn’t have ticks, but he will flap his arms/hands when excited or nervous. Thanks again for the input and God bless you too.

17 01 2008
Carla

I sent an email to you in your hotmail account, since it’s the only email I have from you….

17 01 2008
pearls

He’s a smart kid mashallah and you’ve been a great mum to him, not all mothers are like that, so he’s lucky to have you

don’t quit blogging just yet, I’m sure you’ll give a lot of hope and inspiration to others who share the same thing

20 01 2008
zachlassiter

Hello,

I hope you dont mind but while creating my new webpage I have devoted a section to information About Sspergers Syndrome. In it I am creating a page for Aspergers Syndrome Blogs and included your blog.

If you would perfer to be removed from the page please let me know.

17 03 2008
Q8Sultana

Hello,

These entries were very touching. If I’ll ever be a mother, I hope to be as good good a mother as you.

By the way, does being bilingual cause any difficulty for your son?

19 03 2008
Desert-Roses

That was interesting to read ..I have long comment about…

I shall enjoy typing untill the movie I wanna see finish uploading…

Your son is smart …beyond his peers level of thinking…is he cancarian ?:P
Since I am obssessed with my horoscopes I kept wondering what is his starsign?!!

I loved your son alot…I wish I Have a one like him when I marry one day 🙂
well…
What you said in the post remind me of something or experience I have been through last semester when I was doing my 3D modelling class.

I had to do a short animation for like hmm 2 minutes..I needed help for sound editing..since my mind was messed with mnay things beside the graphic’s shit…
I asked a freind of mine help, which I recently knew, his family is kind of open and it was ok for me to go to his house to finish the sound editing together..my freind is 19 years old, he is amazing in sound engineering…his mother is a good friend of mine..I like her way of talking and her mentality…in a preceious visit to his house, I was sitting me and his mother talking…and I don’t know how we ended up there but I remember that I told her you son is very smart…she smiled and she said :
when it was the iraqi invasion he was almost a year and something…and after the invasion had done..and school began I took him to his first day at kindergarten…when the bills rang..he put his hand on his ear and began to scream…I was scared and I took him immedietly to a physiatrist(mom said)..after sitting and talking to him..the physiatrist discovered the he mentality is beyond his peers..ya3ni means hes 4 and think as 9 years old kid…
the guy was able to tell scense that happened during iraqi invasion which he remembered when he was just a one year old…wallah I Sat with him..hes 19 and he thinks as 26 years old as I can assume…hes smart and talented..
when I was reading about ur son…I assumed that he is sensitive and talanted and that u should shape your son and help him to go ever further away with his mind which is a thing i wont doubt from a person as you…I assmued that he has 12 years old mind….the good thing he will let u suffer less as a mother of a teenager :P…hehe
anyways my GOd bliss him and protect him :)!
Hope u enjoy reading my long comment 😀

7 04 2008
Stinni

zachlassiter – Thanks for the add. 🙂

Q8Sultana – Thank you for the compliment. My son isn’t bilingual yet. We noticed he was a bit delayed with language and I thought it was because he had so many different languages around him, so I asked my husband to keep it exclusively in English with him so that he wouldn’t be confused. Now that he’s in Year 1, he’s learning Arabic and doing really well with it – speaking, reading, writing.

Desert-Roses – Thanks for the long comment. 🙂 My son has savant traits, i.e. knowing nearly every country of the world, the capital, flags etc. All cars in the world, model, make, even the approximate year the car was made. He also has an amazing memory. He remembers things from when he was a toddler. At this point I try my best to have him think of all the things he could do i.e. design homes, design futuristic cars, and things like that. We’re even talking about writing a book and publishing it within Kuwait.

8 04 2008
carly

Hey Stinni,
Wow, I never knew…I am sure that this blog will be of great comfort to many here who may feel isolated in dealing with these issues.
One of my favorite, I know I am not supposed to have them, but, one of my favorite students, when I taught in a school for children with leaning differences, was a boy with Aspergers. He was so ‘intuned’ to things that others weren’t capable of being. He was so lovely in so many ways. I still think about him.
Have you found that your son’s school is abreast with current research and pedagogy in this area?
Best wishes to you and your family. 🙂

12 03 2010
stinniq8

Hey everyone. I stopped blogging – no time. But I’m on Facebook now, so if you’re interested in adding me, you can find me by my name: Christine Coleman Al-Qattan. Cheers.

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