Brennan was diagnosed in 2005 with Pervasive Development Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), a form of autism. As he's gotten older and is talking a lot more, that diagnosis has been changed to Asperger's Syndrome.
Understanding Brennan's ways of doing things and helping him deal with a non-Asperger's world has been quite a journey. I initially realized something was different about Brennan at 18 months. Once we moved back to the States from Mexico, we had more resources to help us understand what was going on and what we could do to help. The therapists in Columbus are fantastic. We've been so lucky to have the support we needed.
My current concern though is about how NOT to change Brennan too much. Every day presents us with opportunities to teach Brennan more appropriate social skills or ways of expressing himself. And he eagerly learns these things and tries again. He wants to do the right things.
But, Brennan is a very special kid, and I mean, "super great" when I say special.
He is creative - a cook, an inventor, an artist, a musician. He can pick out favorite songs on the piano and gets the relationship in keys, notes, and pitches very well. He's taking drums and will whisper at church when a song is duple meter or triple meter, much to my surprise.
He is very smart - ask him about scientific elements or geography. You'll be impressed.
He is sensitive and affectionate - I love his hugs and how he still holds my hand. He likes to be with me, and it makes it fun and easy to enjoy him.
I don't want him to change. I want his future in this world to be as easy as it can be for any of us. But I want what is super great about him not to be eclipsed by the "right way" of doing things.
I want to enjoy his uniqueness and encourage it because - Asperger's or not - he's an incredible kid.