Monday, December 6, 2010

From the Wolf Den: "Who Am I?"

Wolf told us last week he wanted to be somebody else. Didn't matter who, he assured us, just somebody not afflicted or affected by the disabilities surrounding his own person like a black cloud. Teenagers, as I recall from my own moody years, is often full of doubts and despairs and little moments when kids wish they could have someone else's life. But probably not like Wolf.

One of the challenges Yukon and I face is addressing the backstories behind Wolf's behaviors, digging and digging until we see a glimmer of understanding. Past bullying from kids back here in Anchorage, either real or perceived (you must understand Wolf does not totally understand the concept of "bullying" when often he, too, could instigate an incident with the worst of them) weighs heavy on Wolf's mind.

We reflect with him, debrief, and then encourage a move out of the past and into the future, hoping that Wolf will see his progress at CHYC as a stepping stone to positive relationships with peers in the future. But with a penchant for not remembering or using the skills he has learned these past few years, it is no wonder Wolf sees himself as a pretty hopeless case.

This, as I understand it, is pretty common; for although kids with Asperger Syndrome see the world as not complying with their expectations and desires, they are still indeed children who are incredibly sensitive to treatment by other people, even if they do not understand those feelings. It is a paradox, and it is one of the most frustrating parts of AS.

The blank looks and muttered "yeah, yeah" when we try to explain drive us nuts. But I also must remind myself that the words I say probably drive Wolf nuts, too.

The happy medium must be out there, somewhere.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

I am torn about this post. After all, if we don't wish to become someone else we can never improve, but we also have to learn to accept and love and forgive and appreciate who we were, and are. A hard time for your son, I hope that it will be a hopeful time for him as well. Hugs to you all.