husband and Asperger's kids in class

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    husband decided he wants to teach Sunday School, so today is his 1st day with-8th graders. A cpl wks ago, he told me he was upset and concerned that there was a kid in his class that may have Asperger's and the parents don't have a clue. They believe that if they pray hard enough, his problems will go away. In addition, they personally came up and told him how excited they were that he was doing the class because as a chiro, he's an authority figure and health care provider and can solve everything.
    Yeah, right.

    He described the boy, who is a gr or 2 behind, as being totally antisocial, to the pt where he sits on the other side of the rm, turns his back, and hunches over. husband sat in on the class for 3 wks b4 he actually taught (good planning). One day, the boy propped his feet up on the desk in front of him and refused to put his feet down, after being told by 3 adults and his brother (he has one brother, who is a pleaser). Finally, someone came up with-the idea of removing the desk altogether. husband said the boy clearly had something wrong with-him, in addition to which, he's very, very angry.
    husband also said that when you touch him on the shoulder he grunts and yells. He just hates being touched. I think husband said something about his gait, too.
    I'm not sure how he got this far in school.
    I have met the parents and, well, the dad's okay but very passive, and the mom is narcissistic and fanatic. Very, very pushy. And that's putting it nicely. So I think this boy is suffering from depression as well.
    His parents do not have any $ for a proper diagnosis, so I gave husband my Asperger's books, and he's going to stick his neck out and suggest this to them.

    husband met another kid in a diff class who definitely has Asperger's. husband observed him throughout the class, and then afterward, the parents came up and told him. Then he was all about educating the other teachers about Asperger's, and why don't you tell the teacher b4 you teach the kid instead of finding out by accident?

    husband said this boy is very high functioning. He, too, sat apart, and hated being touched, and wouldn't make eye contact, so husband gave him paper, pencil and crayons, and the teacher proceeded to give a lecture (not a good way to teach younger easy child kids, either, by the way). husband at least knows enough that if a kid isn't making eye contact, maybe he's more of a listener, or he'll look at a book or paper, or needs to do something with-his hands. You know, kinesthetic, or auditory, or visual learning, etc.

    At the end of that Sunday School class, the teacher asked for comments and no one, not a single kid, was paying attention. No one spoke up. Then the Aspie raised his hand. You know what happened next. The whole time he was doodling with-crayons, he was memorizing her schtick. He parroted back the entire thing!
    husband would much rather have him in his class than the un-diagnosis'd kid, but, c'est la vie.

    The funny thing is, husband was the one in denial about our difficult child for so long, and he wouldn't have known about this if it hadn't been for my pushing for a diagnosis. Even though our difficult child isn't an Aspie, we've discussed it enough, and the diff between that and ADHD/ODD, the lack of eye contact, etc., and husband has enough of a background in neurology and biology that he knows when something isn't right.

    I'm curious to find out how it goes today.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wish you luck and glad hub understands. However, not all Aspies sit alone and won't be touched. My son has "Less" than an Aspie (Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified) and is very talkative and friendly. He doesn't like being touched, but he won't pull away if you touch him. There are all kinds of kids on the spectrum. My son prefers to be alone at home and do his obsessions (mostly what seem like normal stuff taken to the extreme--videogames and computers). But it IS extreme and not within the normal limits--that is all he'd do unsupervised. However, at school, where he knows everyone, he is talkative and friendly and extremely compassionate, especially towards peers who have obvious special needs. Aspies are not all the same. The ones who are less obvious, you probably wouldn'[t know about.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, MM.
    This difficult child didn't show up today. His brother was there and said difficult child was at home having a meltdown.

    Yes, I shouldn't have painted such an extreme picture in reg. to being antisocial ... we have a friend who is 17 and he is quite the motormouth and a happy guy. Well, he did have his meltdowns, but that's part of the bigger picture. Plus, he's ADHD.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's good that husband is able to use his own experience (and gradual acceptance) to want to help these boys. Worksheets are often good for these kids in Sunday School. It does depend on how each child ticks, however.

    When I taught Sunday School I used to act out the stories and sometimes get very graphic about the lesson (such as the story about Naaman being told to bathe in the Jordan - we have a very smelly creek outside our Sunday School room, I used that as the Jordan). The kids always remembered the lesson. Not easy, though, with a wide range of abilities and ages.

    The parents are praying for God to fix it - hmmm. It brings to mind an ancient MAD magazine and their spoof of the original "Poseidon Adventure" (which MAD called "The Poop-Side-Down Adventure"). In the spoof the two ministers of religion are arguing about what the people should do. "God put us here, I think we should stay here until rescue arrives," says the old preacher.
    The new preacher is a firebrand. "No, it's going to be hard, but the only way to be rescued is to save ourselves. This is a test by God, we must meet that test. We will have to claw, climb, do dangerous things, it will be hard but God wants us to do this. See that Christmas tree? We can climb up it to get to the floor up there. I know it's dangerous, there are electric lights shorting out everywhere, but this is what God wants us to do."
    Another character pipes up. "Why don't we just use that ladder over there?"
    The preacher turns round and snarls, "What are you, an atheist?"

    My point is, God helps those who help themselves. We have been given brains to learn, to collect knowledge, to learn to use that knowledge. Collectively the human race has resources which we can always trace back to God's gifts to us. Surely it is an insult to God to not put these gifts to good use?

    I remember a Sunday School teacher I had as a child. A zealot. A nice person, but determined her way was God's way.
    Her daughter was born with a turn in her eye. The doctors told her the baby needed surgery to bring her eyes back but the mother said, "No, God is telling me I must let Him heal her."
    And so she prayed. For two years. I don't know what made her finally let the doctors operate, but at two years old there were already problems from leaving it so long. So there were complications. I remember this woman telling us in a Sunday School lesson how the doctors were worried because there was an infection where they had stitched, or something, and they couldn't get the stitches out. The little girl was in a lot of pain one afternoon and crying a lot, "So I cupped my hand over her eye and prayed, and prayed - and the stitch fell out, right in my hand."
    Although I was still pre-teen I was already enough of a scientist to want to say, "Maybe it was a combination of her tears lubricating everything plus the warmth of your hand, that helped the stitch fall out," but I already knew enough to shut up. We'd heard the other side of the story from our parents - who were always happy to pray, but never expected God to do EVERYTHING for us.

    We are as God made us, we can celebrate that - but that doesn't mean we do nothing with it. It's like the parable of the talents - you've got to DO something with what you've been given, not just tuck it away safely and expect good things to still happen.

    I wish husband luck with this one. Not easy.

  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    LOL! I hadn't heard that joke b4. husband loves jokes like that. I'll tell him tonight.

    You are a pragmatist after my own heart. Stitches, indeed!