Friday, August 5, 2011

From the Wolf Den: With the Freedom Comes the Pain

As we are joyful at Wolf's presence back to Alaska, we are also reminded of how difficult this transition is for a young man with Asperger Syndrome.

Arctic Manor continues to be a fabulous option for Wolf, if he will allow it to be so. In a typically Asperger Syndrome sort of manner, Wolf is struggling with both the loss of old boundaries and the tightening up of new ones. There have been so many signs that perhaps he did indeed absorb some of the skills taught to him by CHYC, but, when presented with stressors in a very real world in which he now lives, his coping approach doesn't exactly match the situation. Unfortunately.

I cannot even to pretend to know what goes through Wolf's mind as he tries to manipulate in the fashion he is accustomed; in this case it is a staff member to whom Wolf finds a little too direct (bossy, as we are told) in telling him what to do, when, and how. In Wolf's mind, as in that of most people with Asperger Syndrome, he assumes this person, and all people, will submit and see things "his way." It is an extremely difficult existence, thinking one is the master of all and yet, it is actually the other way around.

Wolf knows he has freedom, but like a dog who escapes from his fenced-in yard and runs amok in the neighborhood, he has no idea how to safely and appropriately use it.

In looking at behaviors that are so immature, it becomes difficult to match the antics to the face we see. This is Asperger's at its most painful, and watching Wolf muddle his way through this most important time of new freedom reminds us further that the sand is slipping further and further into the base of the hourglass.

We can only take one deep, cleansing breath at a time, and wait for tomorrow.


Natalie said...

Oh, Erin. :( Hugs. Here's hoping for the best.

Marge said...

Hugs and prayers for Wolf's safety as he tests his new boundaries and freedoms, and settles into his new surroundings. I imagine it's a bit scary for him, too, as he is finding his way in this new program.

Is he excited to be back in Alaska? I know you are thrilled that you no longer have a 4 or 5 hour plane ride to visit him.