The Dark Side Of Asperger’s Syndrome

Claire's 19th Birthday 16.08 (36)

Happy Birthday Cake for Aspie D (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Tomorrow my daughter, Aspie D, will celebrate her 22nd birthday and I will have all my chicks back home in the nest together again for the first time since Christmas.  Hip hip hooray!

The plan is to go out to lunch then return home to open presents, eat cake and play board games.  No doubt there will be plenty of silliness and laughter too.

Last year we went to Thorpe Park for her 21st and although she had a great time, the stress from being around so many people exhausted her both mentally and physically, to the point of needing to spend several days afterwards hibernating and recuperating in her room.

This is called a ‘shutdown’ and this is just part of the reality for someone suffering with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

A shutdown is in direct response to sensory overload caused by too much external stimuli.  My daughter’s sensory awareness of her surroundings through noise, lighting, even colours and taste, are already on high alert even under the calmest of circumstances, so if anything else  is added to the mix, her internal responses explode into orbit.

The need to seek refuge and block everything out are reactions beyond her control and are not designed to seek attention or sympathy. She has no choice.

My daughter can’t go to parties, clubs or pubs.  She doesn’t have a social life outside her home and online community because the price she has to pay both emotionally and physically cased by the stress of doing so is just too high.

She desperately wants to go out like her friends but she is trapped by her own limitations.  She tells me of times when has spent hours crying into the night while I sleep, in utter rage and frustration at the unfairness of it all.  She would give anything to change her life but at the moment, she simply can’t.

Aspie D attended childhood parties like any kid but I often sensed that something seemed slightly off kilter with her. I couldn’t put my finger on it, she seemed happy enough yet when I look back at photos of her with other smiling kids she looks strained, her eyes hollow.  I now know that she was silently pleading with me to get her out of there because she couldn’t stand another moment in that room.

She copied her social cues from the other kids and did her best to join in but she just wanted to be left alone.  I used to watch as other girls would try to grab her hand so that they could skip down the street together but it was plain to me that she hated doing it.

She much preferred her brother’s friends, feeling much more at ease with them (but usually to the great annoyance of her brother).

Middle son Nicky often had friends over for sleepovers. I had to smile one Saturday morning:  I came downstairs to make a cup of tea only to catch sight of one such friend (but not Nicky who was still in bed asleep) and Aspie D sitting on the sofa together in their PJ’s eating out of bowls of cereal laughing their heads off at ‘Sponge Bob Square Pants’ on the television.  I grabbed my own bowl of cereal and joined them.

Aspie D happy serving tea for Nicky - California 1990's (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Aspie D happy serving tea for Nicky – California 1990’s
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Aspie D makes her choices socially because it is impossible for her to maintain composure and false social graces (she doesn’t do small talk) for long.   It drains her and of course she is mindful that she doesn’t want to come across as rude.  She will hold a conversation of course, she is articulate and smart but communicating her feelings, explaining what she means gets her in tangles.

This is part of the classic ‘social communication’ disorder that defines ASD and has other repercussions: for instance, she could never tell anyone outside the home that she is ill or had some kind of problem or ask a stranger for help if she was out alone, got lost and needed directions.   This, of course, makes her vulnerable.

She so often feels like a stranger residing in an unfriendly world where everyone speaks in a foreign language that she can’t understand.  It is a sad, lonely place for her and therefore one that she avoids travelling to as much as possible.

So often she felt invisible and disregarded within her peer group when she was at school and college because misunderstood efforts to communicate on both sides often caused problems.  This is where those with ASD can struggle so badly.  While today my daughter has a wonderful support network of online friends (and blogging taught me the value of online friendship, helping me understand her community so much better), anything more than that right now isn’t going to happen.

My daughter slipped through the cracks and wasn’t diagnosed until she had already left sixth form college when she was eighteen. As the years went on and Aspie D’s anxiety increased, she became more socially avoidant but nobody would help us despite repeated visits to the doctor.  Diagnosis for females with Asperger’s is notoriously overlooked, so often misunderstood.

According to the National Autistic Society, the three main areas under which Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis is made are:

  • Social understanding
  • Social communication
  • Social imagination.

Yet girls and women on the spectrum are more often missed, because they learn to mask their social difficulties by observing and copying what to do rather than acting instinctively.  This is why they are so often overlooked when it comes to diagnosis.  They can be astute, sociable and say and do the right things, but the effort this takes throughout life is exhausting and often leads to mental health problems such as severe anxiety and depression later on. (Tony Attwood, 2007.)

In their paper Good Autism Practice (May 2011), Dr Judith Gould and Dr Jacqui Ashton Smith of the NAS Lorna Wing Centre for Autism explain further by quoting:

 “The fact that girls with undiagnosed autism are painstakingly copying some behaviour is not picked up and therefore any social and communication problems they may be having are also overlooked. This sort of mimicking and repressing their autistic behaviour is exhausting, perhaps resulting in the high statistics of women with mental health problems.”
(Dale Yaull-Smith, 2008).

This isn’t meant to be a dark post as its title suggests. I  merely hope to highlight some of the struggles that those with ASD live with every day through writing about my daughter’s and my experiences and some of them aren’t pretty.

Or maybe playing together in the mud would be fun!  Me and Aspie D - California 1993 (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Or maybe playing together in the mud would be fun! Me and Aspie D – California 1993
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Yes, it’s true, some days my heart grows heavy in my personal struggle as naturally I worry a lot about Aspie D.

Sometimes,  retreating from the world and doing nothing but curling up on the sofa watching back-to-back episodes of ‘Sponge Bob’ sounds pretty good.  Or ‘Breaking Bad’ for something slightly more gritty.

With Aspie D of course.

But (and it’s a big one) dear friends, you know how it is and I know I can park it here. No sympathy, just telling how it is because that’s life isn’t it?  Life’s rich pattern, onward and upward and all that.

Ultimately, I believe that life is good and each day is to be savoured, given to us as a gift, enjoyed to the full.  We are greatly blessed and I am eternally grateful for all we have.  Love, Life, Laughter. Tomorrow Aspie D will have a great birthday celebration I’m sure and I am confident that she will find her own, unique way in life one day at a time.

But first, let’s get this party started! It really is ‘Alright Now’. 

Happy Birthday Darling Daughter!!  Love Mum 🙂 xxx

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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101 Responses to The Dark Side Of Asperger’s Syndrome

  1. Great post Sherr! It wasn’t dark at all but instead shed a lot of light on what our kids deal with all the time. It’s hardly ideal but we muddle through it. She blessed to have a mom like you! A lot of undiagnosed girls are suffering with no support. Hopefully, this post will make a few people think about people they know who just may be on the spectrum and struggling.
    Enjoy the birthday celebration and here’s to many many more! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      I hope that by sharing the reality of how difficult it it is for girls and women to receive the proper diagnosis for ASD that just maybe even if only one other person is helped by it then I have at least offered some kind of support.
      The constant struggles our kids face, boys and girls, bring stress and exhaustion for the family as a whole but the lack of understanding makes it even worse. Until my daughter was diagnosed with Asperger’s my only understanding of ASD was full blown autism which of course is different again. Although I always knew that my daughter needed different handling, I just didn’t understand quite why. Writing posts like this helps me gain more clarity as another piece of the puzzle fits. I know you know what I mean by that.
      We had a lovely birthday celebration, thanks so much Lilka. Always wonderful to have my chicks back home in the nest 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve Rebus says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! 🙂
    Sherri what a beautiful and informative post! Thanks for sharing just a little of how hard life can be with this struggle, what an amazing daughter you have! She is also blessed with a super mum and family. I love the photos too! 🙂
    I can relate a tiny bit with the “Shutdown” as when i go to a social event and everything is blurry and noise is coming from every angle, it really exhausts me, and i feel low on the next day.
    Thanks once again for this great post, and i’ll look forwards to hearing about all the celebrations and fun times you’ll share this weekend! God bless you all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Steve! You are too kind but I’m so glad that I was able to shed some light on the ‘Shutdown’ aspect of Asperger’s.
      Aww…yes, I can fully understand how that must be for you at social events and I’m sorry for that 😦 I have come to understand myself a lot better too as I travel along this path with Aspie D as although I love a good party (as you know!) and social events, I can only take so much and the next day I crash and burn from the mental exhaustion. Not sure why, I’ve always been like that, but nothing like my daughter of course, how much worse it is for her…
      We had a wonderful family time together, thanks again Steve and also for the lovely birthday wishes for my daughter 🙂 I love it when we are all together and just hanging out. We definitely have lots of silliness and laughter and I’m all the better for it 😉
      God Bless you too Steve for your beautiful, heartfelt message 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing such a personal and intimate post Sherri. I know very little about Asperger’s Syndrome but you do such a wonderful justice on your blog by sharing and explaining. I hope you all enjoy celebrating Aspie D’s birthday tomorrow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Your lovely, kind message warms my heart Heather, thank you so much, because I just want to be able to help others by sharing our experiences. It can be a lonely place sometimes and I do feel isolated as I don’t know any other mums personally who have Aspie daughters. I am learning more and more of the unique struggles girls and women with ASD suffer. I hope to be able to share more as I continue to blog as this subject does seem to have hit a nerve. Until then, thank you again, we did indeed have a wonderful birthday celebration 🙂

      Like

  4. suej says:

    Here’s hoping your daughter has a wonderful birthday tomorrow… You have written an excellent, insightful and very personal post, well done. (Seeing that album cover takes me back….)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Sherri,

    What an amazing post you have written – thank you so much for sharing what is true for Aspie D. I had no idea the struggles and I really appreciate your taking the time to invite us into your intimate world. I am so sorry your daughter suffers so much, I really am. I can’t imagine how hard it must be at times.

    And despite everything, your story is still filled with light, love, and strength. SO inspiring! You and your daughter are such treasures.

    It struck me deeply to hear that girls are better able to copy and hide their symptoms and this prevents being able to help them at earlier ages. I was thinking what a huge lesson this is for all of us about all girls – how much they hide their truth to try to fit in, not just those with Asbergers but all of us. We can learn from their stories.

    I hope your day tomorrow is a brilliant one, celebrated in just the way Aspie D enjoys. Sending you both love and peace – and cheers!!

    Big hugs!!

    Allison xoxoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Alison, your beautiful message blesses me so much. As I learn more about Asperger’s and the way it affects girls and women in unique ways, there is no doubt that we females, with our without ASD, do indeed learn early on how to hide our true feelings which can cause us harm in the long run. Having ASD magnifies these problems and having experienced my daughter’s struggles all these years (and which, understandably, affect the entire family) I can only hope to share what I’ve learnt to highlight these problems. It also helps me in the writing of it, gets my mind straight as sometimes I am weighed down by it all. There is nothing worse than watching our children suffer is there?
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about this post because I did so want to try and explain just what it’s like sometimes so that others reading can get a clearer picture of the often harsh reality of life with ASD. Also for your beautiful birthday wishes for my daughter – we did indeed have a wonderful family time and I’m so very grateful for that 🙂
      Love, peace and hugs to you dear Allison…and again, thank you so much for your heartfelt and beautifully touching message…means a great deal to me… 😀 xoxoxo

      Like

  6. Oh Sherri, you expressed your daughter’s daily struggles so beautifully. We hear so much about Autism, but that’s not the case with Asperger’s Syndrome. You my friend, are the perfect spokeswoman.
    Aspie is blessed to have you for a mother and you would be a different person, if it weren’t for Aspie. I wish her the happiest of birthdays! I’m thrilled all of your chicks will be in the nest! Celebrating life, that’s what it’s all about! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, dear Jill, I am always lifted up and my heart warmed by your beautiful, heartfelt messages, thank you so much. I so often feel inadequate in trying to explain what it’s like sometimes for my daughter and our family, so in writing posts such as these, I’m able to set my mind clearer too! If just one other person reading it is somehow helped or realises that they are not alone in these struggles then I feel I’ve done something right 🙂
      We had a wonderful weekend thanks Jill, you know how much I just love having all my chicks back in the nest and we did indeed laugh and get silly and now my house is very quiet indeed…but time to get back to writing and blogging 😉
      Hope you had a great weekend too my friend, you and DFD, and here’s to a great week ahead 😀 xoxoxo

      Like

  7. Happy 22nd Birthday, Aspie. You’ve written from your heart, Sherri. I don’t find this post dark or heavy. It’s informative and loving. ❤ Hope lunch goes well and then more fun at home. I'm sure your daughter will find her special place. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you hugely Tess, I’m glad you didn’t find the post dark ❤ I suppose I was thinking that in sharing this side of Asperger's I was highlighting something that isn't easy to write about when it's my daughter but then I want to let others know who might be experiencing similar things that they aren't alone. We had a lovely birthday weekend and I sent on your lovely birthday wishes…she had a great time 🙂

      Like

  8. cardamone5 says:

    Lovely message to your daughter, Sherri. I also benefited from the information you provided about Aspergers. I felt your daughter’s pain and triumphs through your words, and also your unconditional love. It made me cry.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      I’m so pleased to know this Elizabeth, thank you so much for letting me know that you found this post beneficial. That is what I hoped it would be and I am deeply touched that even though it made you cry, you read of the love through the pain. Bless you ❤

      Like

  9. Happy birthday to your darling daughter, Sherri. How fortunate you both are to have one another, Sherri. Asberger’s must be awful to for our daughter to have to live with, but with your support and positive input, I’m sure she finds it easier than it would be otherwise. Have a wonderful party. Hugs and love from me. Love this song. It makes me feel young again. 😀 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Sylvia for your lovely message and kind birthday wishes for my daughter, which I sent her way! She had a lovely time, it was a wonderful birthday weekend 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the song too…love it every time I hear it 😀 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. thirdhandart says:

    Happy birthday to your lovely daughter Sherri! Hope her 22nd birthday is the best one ever… filled with silliness, laughter and the calming comfort of an understanding, supportive family 🙂

    Aspie D is truly blessed to have you for a mom. And, you both deserve to celebrate your achievements.

    Best wishes… from one of your many online friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Aspie D’s birthday was indeed filled with all those things and we had a lovely day 🙂 You are so kind Theresa and I do take great comfort from yours and everybody’s messages, kind wishes and loving thoughts, I really do. I am bowled over actually by the love shown. I hoped to be able to share this side of Asperger’s as I learn more about it and how it affects daily life for those with ASD and their families. I’ll take all the positives and the achievements any day 😉 Thank you so much, and also for your lovely birthday wishes which I have sent on to my daughter 🙂

      Like

  11. Luanne says:

    Sherri, happy birthday to your daughter. Your kids were/are darling! What a thorough and enlightening post. I learned so much from reading it! It’s heart-breaking that she wasn’t diagnosed before. We had a similar situation with my son who has myoclonus dystonia, a movement disorder, and they repeatedly misdiagnosed it for years. He was 26 when they diagnosed it! It must feel good to be able to look backwards through the Aspergers filter and look at your daughter’s life and be able to understand things more now. How tiring it must have been for her to negotiate life the way she did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks Luanne! I do love that middle photo. That tea set had ‘magical’ cups I remember, so that when cold water was poured into them from the teapot, they turned pink! I’m so heartened to read that you learned something, I was so hoping that by sharing our story this would be the case, so I am very encouraged to read this, but I am so sorry to read about what your son went through with his delayed diagnosis. I do hope he is doing better now…
      You have hit the nail on the head, now that I look back and write about my daughter’s life through the ‘Aspie filter’, it really helps me better understand why she struggled the way she did. I remember mentioning a few times over the years to teachers some of my slight concerns but I was always told that she was a ‘dream’ child, never got into trouble and was a ‘delight’ to teach. That is because she was quiet as she never wanted the attention. She was labelled ‘shy’ but she tells me that she never was. She chose to be quiet! She started having problems around the age of 11 which I’ve since come to understand is typical for girls with ASD. I knew none of this at the time of course.
      Thank you so much Luanne for your lovely message and kind birthday wishes sent to my daughter…we did indeed have a wonderful family weekend 😀

      Like

  12. Oh Sherri, I can see the tremendous love you have for her in your words. She is so blessed to have such a supportive Mum and family. Thank you for shining light on the struggles if Aspergers, it is so important for all of us to have a better understanding. I wish her a lovely birthday and wish you happiness as your nest goes back to being full, if only temporarily. A fantastic weekend to you! 🎂🍰🎈🎈

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Maria, I am so blessed by your lovely message, thank you so much 🙂 I’ve felt for a long time that I want to try and share our story here in an effort to encourage others experiencing the same or similar thing that they aren’t alone as it can be very isolating. There is so much misunderstanding about ASD but particularly in girls and women. It’s getting better but a long way to go yet…
      I’ve sent on your lovely, kind birthday wishes and we did indeed have a wonderful weekend full of family fun and silliness, I revelled in my nest being full once again 🙂
      PS Love your darling symbols, so cute 😀

      Like

  13. Happy birthday to your daughter Sherri, here’s hoping you have a wonderful day together. And thank you for giving us this personal view of the struggles she faces every day, which helps me, for one, to understand a little better. This wasn’t a dark post, Sherri, just a truthful one and I’m sure she would appreciate her mother helping to raise awareness.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      We had a wonderful birthday celebration, thank you so much Andrea for your kind birthday wishes, duly sent on to my daughter 🙂 I really appreciate you letting me know this, it really is important to raise awareness of ASD, particularly in the unique way it affects females. The all-too common late diagnosis can have far-reaching and detrimental consequences and the more understanding we all have about it the better. I’m privileged to be able to share our experiences here and deeply touched by yours and everybody’s responses and support. Once again, thank you 🙂

      Like

  14. Heyjude says:

    I’m sure you will all have a lovely day tomorrow, without the stress. I must say a day at Thorpe Park would stress ME out! It must be frustrating for her not to be able to go out and enjoy socialising like others her age do, but that’s not the only way to be happy and crowds of people getting drunk all the time gets very boring. I’ve always preferred my own company or that of one special friend all my life – crowds and gangs aren’t always necessary to enjoy life. Maybe she will meet a special friend through social networking who lives locally and whom she can meet up with for days or evenings out. She needs to just take one day at a time. She is a special young lady and one day she will find her niche. It may not be the same as ‘everyone else’ but with the love and support from you and your family it will be the one which suits her and makes her happy.
    Jude xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Jude, we did indeed have a lovely weekend and it was a good choice by my daughter to do what we did. Thorpe Park was fun for her and her brothers at the time but it was exhausting and she was a wreck afterwards 😦 It was nice not to have the long drive too. She hates the thought of hanging out with groups of people getting drunk which I’m so glad about (she doesn’t drink as it doesn’t agree with her) and yes, one special friend would be wonderful for her. That has been my hope for a while now and I’m sure as you say she will find that when it’s the right time. Just someone to go to the cinema with or maybe have a meal out with sometimes would be nice. Meanwhile, she’s stuck with me 😉 xx

      Like

  15. TanGental says:

    Blimey, Sherri, I’m just coming to term with you and your dad and then it’s Aspie D. I know you aren’t looking for either sympathy or praise (even though you deserve both in bucket loads). What’s great about this post, to me, is how you lift your middle finger to fate and tell it to sod off. You’re here, you’re fine, and you and your darling family are going to milk every ounce of fun and goodness out of life’s sponge, just see if you don’t. Well good for you, girl. Me and your many supporters will be standing in the crowd as you drape yourself in your flag and do your lap of honour. Just remember to stop and sign our programmes, ok?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Wow Geoff, I don’t know what to say, but I do know what I’ll be doing from now on when I have my down days. Yes, that’s me, middle finger and all…love that 🙂
      Thanks so much for your great message, you’ve just given me an awful lot of strength… 🙂

      Like

  16. Wow, S. Informative. How painful not only for her but for you. We are as happy as our children, yes? A lot of new info for me. Didn’t realize, but makes sense, females slip under the radar for the ways they force themselves to compensate socially. Hope it’s a special bday and am glad for your safe, happy return.

    Love,
    me

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh yes Diana, so true this: if our children are happy then so are we. Simple! If they’re not, well…
      That ‘social compensation’ becomes exhausting and can only last so long. I’ve come to learn that Aspie girls start to really struggle around the age of 11 as they find it harder to mask their difficulties with keeping up socially. Yet, these problems are not picked up so often until these girls reach adult hood. In the case of my daughter, it wasn’t until she had a complete meltdown when she was 18. Diagnosis is getting a bit better but we have a long way to go and late diagnosis has long-term, detrimental repercussions.
      Still, I’m privileged to be able to share our story here and hopefully raise awareness of ASD and help us all gain a better understanding.
      We had a great birthday weekend, thanks so much D, lovely to hear from you as always.
      Love right back… 😉

      Like

  17. Charli Mills says:

    Happy Birthday both to Aspie D and her marvelous Mum! I always think mums should be involved in their children’s birthday since we were there since moment zero. 🙂 Ah, if I could find magical spectacles that could tone down the world to Aspie eyes, that would be the gift I’d bring to the party. But it seems to me, Sherri, you’ve already found the gift that is loving your daughter as she is, where she is right now. Your essay is not only informative so that others can understand, but encouraging, too. With this rising awareness of female Asperger’s (and women’s ability to mimic “proper” social behavior) may help others. Maybe someone else reading your story will have a break-through. I think of Temple Grandin and all the good she has done in the world. But it began with first understanding her condition. Sometimes what we think are our limitations, are simply the design of the wings given to us to fly. May your daughter find her wings to be who she is uniquely created to be. Have a beautiful day of quiet celebration!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thanks so much Charli and yes, I definitely agree with you about our children’s birthdays 🙂 Have sent your lovely, kind wishes on to my daughter (and thank you too for your beautiful gift, what could be better?).We had a wonderful family birthday celebration, although the house seems awfully quiet now the boys have fledged the nest once more…!
      I am so pleased that you found this post to be an encouraging one as I am only just beginning to learn more about the unique way that females are affected by ASD. Temple Grandin is an amazing women isn’t she? I mentioned her in a post I did a while ago about Asperger’s and the love of animals. She is a true inspiration and has done more than anyone I know in bringing knowledge and understanding of Autism to the forefront. But you are so right, yes, she had to come to that place of understanding and then acceptance of her condition. My daughter deals with a lot of anxiety and also anger and frustration at what she sees as her impossible limitations. Last year we had an awful time of it but at last I was able to find her proper support from an Asperger Psychologist who, I believe, is helping her along with the support of her family, to ‘find her wings’. Once she does, I do truly believe she will fly. Thank you so much for reminding me of that hope 🙂

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  18. sknicholls says:

    Thank you so much for this informative and insightful post. My youngest son has Asperger’s syndrome and his family has such a hard time wrapping their head around it. He lives with his dad. They feel shunned when he can only bear to spend a few minutes around them, then has to retreat. He’s not lazy, he’s smart, but he has never been able to work. Their home burned down Monday and everything was lost. I am grateful he got out alive! His computer is his window on the world and I want to help him replace it and others think I am enabling his laziness to do so. I so wish there was more education available and posts like yours really do help. I’m Facebooking this one in hopes some who need to will read it. Happiest Birthday Aspie D. ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi S.K., it’s a pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much for leaving your message here. I write about Asperger’s from time to time as I hope to be able to share my daughter’s story in an effort to raise awareness of this so often misunderstood spectrum disorder, but of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I want them to know that my daughter, like your son, isn’t lazy or stupid (she is smart and creative and bright) but that she can’t help it.She hasn’t been able to work or do anything for three years now. All this to say, I totally understand the problems you share here about your son and his family and I feel so much for you and what you are up against. I’m so sorry to hear of their house fire, what a terrible tragedy, I do hope that everyone escaped, thank goodness your son did. I can imagine he will be bereft without his computer as his online community is his lifeline as with my daughter. She often tells me how awful it must have been for Aspies in the days before computers and I agree. I’m so pleased that this post helped you in some small way, I plan to write more regularly about ASD as I can see how by sharing our personal experiences, others are encouraged and feel supported, reminded that we are not alone in this. I’m so grateful to you for letting me know all this and I can only wish you and your son the very best but I know it’s far from easy. Do keep in touch. And thank you so much for your kind birthday wishes for Aspie D 🙂
      PS Many thanks for sharing on Facebook, I do hope it encourages somebody.

      Like

  19. Gosh, Sherri, you’ve just described me to me! I’ve been suffering from CFS/ME for about 15 years now, but it never gets any better and the social phobia stuff just keeps getting worse. I never go out anywhere unless I really have to, not just because I have no energy to do so, but also because I can’t handle people. It always seems like a nice thing to do until I come to doing it, then I find I’d rather be on my own and cancel. I don’t mind having visitors, as long as it’s only for short periods and not very often. Thankfully, this aspect of my illness happened to me when I was much older than Aspie D, and it doesn’t frustrate me, although I can perfectly see how it does her; I’ve already done all my going out and not fitting in without realising that everyone didn’t feel the way I did about it. The internet provides me with the only community I can interact with regularly, and I’m sure it’s because it’s all on my terms, nothing has to be responded to immediately so my reactions and sociability aren’t called into question, although my memory is atrocious so I have to remember to reply before I forget altogether. Maybe that’s why writing is my thing, I can get as lost in a little world of my own creation and talk to my characters as if they were real because they actually are more real to me than real people, as are my online friends.

    I so hope that one day Aspie D will be able come to terms with the absence of a normal social life in a way that makes her feel special, beautiful and very clever too, and please wish her a very happy 22nd birthday from me! I’m sending her some very special friends of mine who make me feel better about myself when I occasionally have cause to remember that I’m different; she can play with them as I do: one’s a dragon called Penny, the other’s a small, cheeky cherub called Bud. They’re excited to meet her because, just like me when I first met them, she has a blank canvas upon which they can do whatever she likes with her – dance, sing, write stories, walk, just hang out, whatever, and they won’t expect anything from her at all. Sometimes, that’s all we super intelligent types really need, to be left alone with our dragon and angel friends, so they’re my birthday gift to her.

    Thank you for sharing and showing me another aspect of understanding in my own life, Sherri, and lots of the brightest blessings to you, Aspie D, and the rest of your family,
    Tally 🙂

    PS: I have my flash fiction contribution all ready to go, just hope I remember to write the post and press the send button before Tuesday lunchtime, Carrot Ranch time!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Tally, I am honoured that you shared your very personal story with me in response to this post and I thank you so very much for doing so. The key to true contentment in life does seem to be being able to come to terms with ‘our lot’, whatever ‘out lot’ might be, and really being settled, comfortable and happy with it. In your case, you have obviously found contentment in the way you live your life as you know what you can and can’t cope with. To some degree, Aspie D has found what works for her but because she hasn’t come to terms with the anger and frustration, not to mention terrible anxiety that limits her so much she finds it hard to understand how she will be able to live the life she wants to. I’ve come to a place of better understanding which helps me to not worry like I used to, which used to get me very down, thinking only of all my daughter was missing out on and wishing she could do the things her friends were doing, like travelling, going to uni, driving, socialising. Yet, when I stopped that and looked at all she has done in her life (not least of all lived in America and the UK) and travelled with us a fair bit as well what she has achieved in her art and through her writing, blogging and role-playing online, I realised that it has to be her life and the way she can live it in the ways that work for her.
      I’m so pleased that this post shed some light on certain aspects of your own life and I’m glad that you have found your way. The online community is a very powerful thing isn’t it? Thank you too for your sweet birthday gifts for my daughter, I shall tell her all about them.
      Blessings and shining light to you too Tally – take good care of yourself 🙂
      PS Back: I’ve yet to do my flash for tomorrow…hope I get there, but see you over at Charli’s either way 😉

      Like

      • I’ve just found this one now, seeing as I was checking in and searching for replies! Sometimes I can be sooooo dim, fancy not ticking the notifications box yet again! Did you watch the first episode of Chasing Shadows last Thursday? If you did you’ll know what I’m talking about, if not, you probably will anyway: Reece Shearsmith plays a copper with Aspergers; no one can relate to or communicate with him, except the character played by Alex Kingston, who is his partner. It’s really quite an eye-opener. While I was watching it I was reminded of Aspie D and the factfile you’d compiled in this post on how women try so much harder to fit in and copy the actions of others to do so, and therefore go undiagnosed for so much longer, but how hard it is for them to keep living this life of what amounts to lying really. I used to think I was becoming social phobic as a result of always being so tired and listless because of the ME/CFS thing, but it made me think that it’s not actually social phobias that I present, rather that it’s social preferences; I’m just becoming happier and happier with my own company. Which raises the question: who made me think I should feel bad about being an antisocialite?! 😛

        More Bright Blessings and all kinds of angels,
        Tally 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Oh darn, I completely forgot about Chasing Shadows but wanted to watch it having read up on it. I’ll try to get it on catch up, thanks so much for the reminder!
          Yes, that’s the thing, Aspie D in many ways doesn’t want or need to be sociable in the way that society dictates a young woman ‘should’ be. It is this acceptance of the way she is that would help so much, so that she wouldn’t feel like some kind of ‘freak’ by being ‘different’. You get that Tally! You are happy with who you are and the way you live your life…I would say that’s a darn good thing and not too many these days can say that. Far too many pressures. No wonder so many people are so unhappy is it?
          Great to read more from you…and brightest blessings and myriad angels to you too Tally 🙂

          Like

  20. Blessings on you both, Sherri. A child’s birthday is also a mother’s celebration.
    Such a touching and honest post. While your heart hurts for your daughter and her limitations, your response as a mother is an affirmation of true love. Especially the story about the two children laughing at Sponge Bob and eating cereal…and you getting a bowl, too, and joining them. Whatever happens, you’ll settle in and join your darling daughter and be there for her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      A mother’s celebration indeed! We had a wonderful birthday weekend, always lovely to have my boys home too 🙂 Thank you as always dear Marylin, so very much for your message of encouragement and support and I’m glad you picked out the part about Sponge Bog…sometimes all we need is a little bit of silliness don’t we? It’s funny, because I’ll do silly things or say silly things to get a laugh out of my daughter but she fake pretends to be embarrassed by me and tells me ‘grow up Mom!’. With a huge smile on her face of course. I tell her, ‘Never’!!
      Bless you Marylin and thank you for the smile you’ve given me today 🙂

      Like

  21. Fabulous post! Thanks for your honesty and heart-felt words, as well as the insight and education. May you enjoy a blessed birthday celebration with your daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Suzanne for your lovely message (so glad to know that it gave some insight) and kind birthday wishes for my daughter. We did have a wonderful family celebration and that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? 🙂

      Like

  22. Mabel Kwong says:

    Happy Birthday to your daughter, Sherri. I hope all of you have a great day. And thank you for the enlightening post. I never knew ASD could be that tiring and some of us tend to mask our anxiety by copying others. But it sounds that she has loved ones around her to pull her through thick and thin. You are right – life each day is a gift and we should look for something positive to make us smile, no matter how small 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Mabel for your lovely, kind message and birthday wishes for my daughter – sent on and very much appreciated! We had a great time as a family and it was lovely but it all went by way too fast…now the house is so quiet!
      I’m so glad that I was able to highlight this particular aspect of ASD in females. I find that by writing about it I also help myself in better understanding some of the many complicated facets of how we as females in general can find life difficult in coping socially at times and how this is magnified for a female Aspie.
      You have made me smile today with your lovely words and I hope that I have done the same for you in saying how much your message means to me. A lovely gift indeed 🙂

      Like

  23. jennypellett says:

    Hi Sherri, this is a fantastic post, thank you so much for posting it. Firstly, happy birthday to C, I hope you all have a lovely day of celebration. Secondly, thanks to your honesty about your family situation, you are able to show the us what it’s like day to day, living with Aspergers. These personal accounts are so valuable to those of us who work with children and need to understand how they tick. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to print this post off and have my colleagues read it at the start of term – we keep a file of information on all sorts of disorders in children and it’s so useful to have first hand experiences to draw on. Girls generally get overlooked, I think because they do learn coping strategies very early on – it’s what females do – but sometimes these strategies display as something else entirely (disruptive behaviour, for instance), and then the underlying problem is ignored. Thank goodness I work with a great and dedicated team not to mention our Senco who has a wealth of experience with these sorts of kids. So much so, that she has fought for a specialist unit in our school, for high functioning autistic kids and those with Aspergers, so that they will be able to study in small groups or simply withdraw there when things in the classroom get too much. We are hoping to have this area up and running by Sept 2015. It’s been a long time coming but already there is a list of potential students to fill it.
    Thirdly – great taste in music- hope you’ll all be rocking to this one at the celebration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Jenny, I read this and all I can think is ‘how I wish that C could have gone to a school like yours with a specialist unit for kids with Aspergers and higher functioning autistic kids’. Being able to study in small groups in a quiet, organised and structured environment will make the world of difference to these kids and would have helped C so much. Having the option to withdraw too if things get too much will help incredibly. I think I might have already told you this so forgive me if I’m repeating but she often told me that her favourite times at school were when it was exam time because it was dead quiet and she could concentrate and get her work done unhindered. That says a lot doesn’t it? It’s wonderful that you have such a great team with such experience and insight. I’m honoured that you would want to print this post off, and yes, of course, please do. I wrote it to try and raise awareness of ASD, particularly in females, and I find it helps me as much as anyone in putting it all down in words like this. I truly hope that your colleagues find it helpful in some small way. I just wish that we knew this when C was younger. Things are improving but slowly. With schools like yours I am so encouraged for other families. I can imagine that you will have end up with a waiting list for pupils as it seems that ASD are very much on the rise.

      Thanks so much Jenny for sharing all you did, it strengthens and encourages me greatly as it helps me know that we aren’t alone and there is help out there. Also for your lovely birthday wishes for C. I’ve sent them on and she of course says ‘thank you’ right back! We had a lovely time with all the kids back home together and yes, much silliness went on 🙂 Also, glad to know we share the same great taste in music – but then that comes as no surprise 😉

      Like

  24. Rachel M says:

    Happy birthday to your daughter, Sherri. Great post! The more aware people are of ASD and the struggles they face then the easier it will be for them and also for those they interact with.

    My son is on the spectrum as you know, and he’s also got Tourette’s syndrome. This is much more obvious since he has lots of vocal tics. Every year his teacher at school gets him to talk in front of the class about his Tourette’s (he quite likes doing this). He explains what it is and that he can’t help it. This means that the other students in the class aren’t surprised when they see and hear his tics and consequently they’re very understanding of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      That’s my hope Rachel, that by sharing our personal stories others can gain a better understanding of the struggles for those with ASD.
      That is wonderful about your son and his teacher, how very fortunate that there is this kind of education and understanding. Everyone wins, the kids learn to be tolerant, thoughtful and kind and your son is accepted for who he is, tics and all, and so his self-esteem isn’t diminished but increased as he is able to educate his peers. Also, this prevents bullying. You must be thrilled to know that your son has this kind of support.
      Thank you so much for your lovely birthday wishes for my daughter, we had a wonderful time as a family but it all went by way too fast 😉

      Like

  25. Tom Merriman says:

    Happy birthday, Aspie D!
    Very informative post, Sherri, it explains a lot, and has caused me to think more about how we all have our own trials and tribulations to go through… and we do… and we do very well, all things considered.
    Great post once again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Tom, so kind of you, birthday wishes to Aspie D duly sent on! I’m so glad that you found this post so informative which is what I hoped. It helps me too to write these things down as I gain more understanding of my daughter’s struggles and of course my own. But you are so right, we do indeed have our unique ‘crosses to bear’ and yet, somehow, here we are 🙂

      Like

  26. Jade Reyner says:

    I am so pleased that I found your post. My son is 9 and he has severe ASD and learning disabilities – no communication etc… and it is immensely difficult for us to know what he wants out of this life. Your comment here about the shutdown really interested me. Recently we came back from holiday and when we returned, he spent a lot of time sleeping, much more than he ever did before. Interestingly, he did this when we were on holiday as well. We just assumed that he was tired due to the travelling but I am wondering if he had this shutdown scenario as well. I have never known it to happen before as he is usually so vocal and active but maybe, this is something that he is just starting to experience. Thank you for telling me something about Autism that I didn’t know. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Jade, many thanks for taking the time to read this post and share your story. I can only say that I am delighted that you found something here to shed some light on an aspect of your son’s difficulties and that perhaps this has helped you in some small way, although I am so sorry to read about your darling boy’s struggles and of course your own. I hope that you will be able to find out more about this recent development with his apparent ‘shutdown’ response. It would seem that he needs this time to recover from an overload of sensory stimuli but then I’m no expert. I wish you and your son only the very best, do keep in touch and let me know how things go for you. It is a great comfort to know that we are not alone. Bless you, lovely to meet you – Sherri 🙂

      Like

  27. Ste J says:

    Please pass my birthday wishes along…I did a couple of posts about a friend of mine with M.E who hardly has the strength to get out of bed a lot of the time…Awareness is good and makes us all look at what life is like for others and what we should truly value. Like your daughter, I prefer to get down to the nitty gritty of conversations…small talk is good but it doesn’t exercise the brain!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      That is so very kind of you Ste, thank you so much and yes, I have duly sent on your very kind birthday wishes to Aspie D, who says thank you right back 🙂 M.E. is awful. I will have to read your posts about your friend (and how kind of you to do that) as I’m sure you helped raise a lot of awareness about an illness that a lot of us know only very little about. It certainly is good to gain better understanding of what others have to deal with on a daily basis.
      As for small talk, I don’t blame you…I don’t have much time for it either 😉

      Like

  28. restlessjo says:

    I’m partying hard with you, Sherri, but discreetly so as not to cause alarm. I so hope your daughter finds happiness and a place in this often difficult life. But for today, simply Happy Birthday, Aspie! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…well, you know how we love to dance Jo and I’m sure you wouldn’t cause alarm, any more than I would 😉 Thanks so much for your lovely, sweet message and birthday wishes for Aspie D, all sent on to her! We had a wonderful family get together. Love it when all my chicks are home. Not so sure what the neighbours thought though… 😉 See you soon over at your pad to catch up… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Happy Birthday, Aspie! And to you, Sherri, a happy day. Children’s birthdays are a little bit their mom’s birthday too. This is a very moving post. Your attitude toward Asperger’s Syndrome is so positive that it makes parents who don’t face such difficulties thinking twice before complaining about minor issues. Kudos to you. Enjoy this special day with your family. And to Aspie, many more birthdays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Evelyne for your lovely, thoughtful and kind message not only to Aspie D for her birthday but also to me. You’ve really made my day and now I’m smiling from ear to ear. I’m so glad that you gleaned a positive message from this post as sometimes my heart grows so heavy for my daughter, but I’m so glad now that I shared it to bring more awareness of Asperger’s. We had a wonderful birthday celebration (and yes, definitely a little of mom’s birthday too 🙂 ) but now the house is very quiet again…time to catch up once more with blogging and writing 🙂

      Like

  30. Amy says:

    Happy birthday to your darling daughter, Sherri! Thank you for sharing. The important thing is that your daughter have your love, support, and understanding. Many more happy birthday to her.

    Like

  31. Oh what an insightful, wonderful & in depth description of Aspergers. Your writing, once again, invited us all in to your lives. It let us, the readers, understand more fully what you and your dear sweet Birthday girl have dealt with all along the way. I was deeply moved by the courage you two both display and by the real hope that permeates this article from beginning to end. It goes without saying I am proud of you two and love you both very much! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh..dear Diane. You know the sweet girl of whom I write and of her many struggles but also of her joys and victories and her smiles and kind heart. How many wonderful memories we share, the years of laughter and fun and happiness. Then the times when it isn’t so good…
      I’m deeply moved by your lovely message and by your love, support, encouragement and prayers. Means the world to know you are ‘there’ and we love you too, oh so very much 😀 ❤ xoxoxoxo

      Like

  32. Hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday surrounded by her loving family. You have really opened our eyes Sherri into the struggle your daughter goes through daily. What a wonderful thing social media must be and how hard it must have been before it existed. It gives her the ability to have friends without the pressures involved. Thank you for writing such an informative post and again say I am looking forward to the book when it is out. Have a great day and see you after the celebrations for a walk – you’ll need it to shed those pounds added by the birthday cake. Lots of love to you both ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Irene for your lovely message. We had a wonderful birthday celebration, so good to have all the kids home and also just to hang out together – and yes, be very silly at times 😉 My daughter often says to me how hard it must have been for Aspies before the advent of the internet. I agree. In this way, it is a wonderful thing and helps her stay connected in so many ways. She writes, blogs, role plays and does her art online too. As you say, the friendships online are perfect for Aspies because they don’t have those other social pressures which are so hard for them.
      I’m so glad to think that this post has brought some small measure of what life can like for those with ASD. It helps me clarify things too, and I felt lighter after I posted it strangely….
      Now it’s time to get back to writing and blogging and yes, back to the book. You spur me on, means a lot that 🙂 But most importantly, time for a long walk as I’m sure I’ve gained weight if not from the cake but from sitting down too long at this laptop 😉
      Lots of love to you too my friend…now get your shoes on…here I come… 😀 ❤ 😛

      Like

  33. mariekeates says:

    I hope your daughter enjoyed her party and didn’t suffer too much as a result. My boss’ son has autism and he poses her a few challenges. Recently he decided it would be a great idea to strap a tea tray to each foot and ‘ski’ down a hill. It didn’t end well but he was convinced he would do better ‘next time.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Marie! Thanks so much, yes, we did have a lovely family time. My daughter was pretty exhausted that night and slept until well into the next day but the main thing is she had a great time with her brothers. It’s not often I get all three of my kids home at the same time, although I do enjoy it when they visit separately too 🙂 Ahh, bless, that is one of the problems with autism, not always thinking these things through as with your boss’s son. I’m sure he thought it was perfectly reasonable to expect to be able to ski quite safely down the hill on the tea trays. Hopefully he won’t try it again…

      Like

  34. Seyi sandra says:

    Thanks Sherri for this informative post, I didn’t find it dark, rather, in a matter of fact way, you gently opened my eyes to things I didn’t know much about. Also, please accept my heart-felt apologises for missing Aspie D’s birthday, I’m positive, being the warm hearted person you are, you organised a wonderful birthday to your equally lovely daughter. My love and warm regards to her, and your family Sherri.
    Love and hugs to you my friend!
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks so much sweet Seyi, and absolutely no apologies necessary! I will be sure to send on your kind, loving wishes to Aspie D, it’s always so lovely to read your messages at any time and I’m so glad that you found the post enlightening rather than dark. That is what I hope to achieve as I know that this is something about which not much is known so I hope to try and change that in some small way! With the rise in ASD, particularly in females, the need to raise awareness is very important so your reply encourages me greatly.
      Much love and hugs right back to you my friend 🙂 😀 ❤

      Like

  35. I hope you had a lovely celebration Sherri! Your daughter sounds like a sweet girl. She is lucky to have you as her mom. curling up on the sofa watching back-to-back episodes of ‘Sponge Bob’ actually sounds lovely. I could do that all day! 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this! Both of you are quite an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Jhanis! We did, it was a wonderful time. Ahh…you are so kind. I just loved your last post. Sorry I haven’t been over to you as much lately, I’ve been away for a couple of weeks and then manically catching up….just about there now, phew! I’m with you and Sponge Bob – sounds like a great idea! Have a great week and thanks again for your lovely message 🙂 ❤

      Like

      • No worries Sherri! I haven’t been able to visit you as much as I want to as well. My daughter was admitted at the hospital last week so it was just crazy. She’s well now! No worries about that, she’s back to her old self. So my husband and I are trying to get back into the “groove” LOL

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          Oh no, so sorry to hear that about your daughter Jhanis but so relieved to know that she is all well now, phew! Glad too that you are your husband are finding that old groove again.. 🙂

          Like

  36. Oh, I SO get it. My reasons for needing to withdraw from social situations and over-stimulations are not the same as your daughter’s, but the consequence is the same — loneliness.

    I can’t imagine having to go through this in my twenties. I was almost 40 when I had to make the decisions your daughter faces — active social life? or sanity/health?

    Give her a big hug from me, and tell her I understand. Also, reassure her of this — there is a hidden blessing in all of this. Really. I DO understand the trial and frustration; but I’ve come to see that, actually, God is taking care of us (of me; of your daughter) in deeper, more loving ways than we can possibly understand. I pray that she’ll soon see and feel the truth behind what I’m saying, and be remarkably comforted, and fell less sad/frustrated about what she’s missing.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Sherri says:

    Dear Tracy, I do so much appreciate you taking the time to leave your comforting and encouraging message here when I know you have had to cut back on your blogging.

    Through writing about ASD I’ve been astounded by the number of responses I’ve had from other young people expressing their upset that their parents don’t understand what they are going through. What I wanted to try and show in this post was that my daughter isn’t being lazy but that she can’t help it, that this is a very real disorder affecting her mentally, physiologically, psychologically and physically. If it were a simple case of just telling to get out of bed, go out with her friends, find a job, then I would be doing it and, more importantly, so would she.

    It is always a profound relief when someone tells me they ‘get it’ as you have done. For the truth is Tracy, not only is it a very lonely place for my daughter but also for me. I battle my own frustrations, anxiety and yes, grief and I know that I can share this with you as I know you understand this also. In my prayers for my daughter, I also ask for wisdom and strength for myself as I ask for those ‘hidden blessings’ to reveal themselves for there are times when I am not sure of much at all. So you can see why your message here is more than timely and yes, deeply comforting.

    You can be sure that I will send on your loving, kind message (and your big hug of course 🙂 ), to my daughter, bless you. I know that my daughter will also be deeply grateful for your prayers. I really needed to read this message today, more than you know, thank you so much. I am keeping you in my prayers also… ❤

    Like

  38. Imelda says:

    Happy birthday to your daughter. I wish her all the best, and you too. Thanks for the information about Aspergers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Imelda, and apologies for the late reply – you know how it is! We had a lovely family celebration. I’m glad to be able to share as much information as I can and hope to continue to do so as I learn along the way 😉

      Like

  39. Steven says:

    A very late but sincere happy birthday to your daughter, Sherri. I hope you had a wonderful bash! What a great tribute too – I didn’t find this heavy. There are so many people who know very little about this sort of thing, and really have no idea of certain behaviours – though it may be hard at times, to say the least, it can only be good to hear real people honestly telling and discussing such matters; it’s the only way we are going to raise awareness and move forward. Inspirational! Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much JG, and now I’m saying sorry for the late reply to you…and yes, we did have a lovely time together. Seems ages ago already 😉 I’m glad you didn’t find it heavy. This post was originally much longer so I took a lot out and I think that was heavier but I’m glad to be able to share what I did here. I really do want to try and raise awareness so that others can better understand what having Asperger’s is really like and by writing posts like this it also helps me come to a better place of understanding. If that makes sense, I hope 🙂

      Like

  40. Denise says:

    In the picture of tea party, Aspie D looks so happy. There are things that make all of us happy. That wish and ability unite us all and I wish we lived in a world where people were more able to accommodate difference so that we could all be happier.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…yes, I love to see the photos of her looking so happy like this and she was such a happy little girl. I am still part of her little-girl (and young woman) happiness now and we do share laughs and jokes and silliness but when the bad times come and I need to give her the space to recover, I find it so hard because I am immersed in my own sadness for her. It is hard to explain to others that she isn’t being lazy or purposely awkward like a sullen teenage girl. And believe me, we had all that too 😉 I wish the same as you Denise and thank you as always for your sweet and kind comment…and understanding that goes beneath the many layers… 😉

      Like

      • Denise says:

        I remember my daughter being happier when she was very young. The whole process of schooling can be very stressful and it’s sad that feeling different can gradually crush so much happiness out of children. My friendly daughter quite likes school and gets the most out of it that she can, but she still prefers to be at home.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          So true that. That is what pains me the most, to have witnessed that crushing of the once upon a time happiness in my daughter’s life. Home is safe and secure for our daughters but I hope they will find a happy home for themselves one day…

          Thanks Denise for your understanding. I hope things are going well with you for your move…and I meant to tell you that I didn’t get anywhere with my poetry submissions to Myslexia. All 6 rejected. Oh well…that’s life… 😉

          Like

          • Denise says:

            Yeah, I feel the same way. There’s something about that happy open smile your lovely girl has in the picture that touched me, because my daughter used to smile in the same way, and never does any more. (The other one does still, and that is a source of joy to me.)

            That’s a shame about your poetry. I think everyone is bound to get a large number of rejections compared with acceptances, just because of sheer numbers.

            I am thinking of submitting a story to them, but when I went to their competition, I just couldn’t understand why the winning story was the winner! It just seemed so… unremarkable. So we never know what criteria they are going on.

            Keep going with your submissions.

            Like

            • Sherri says:

              Well, I read some of the winning poems from last year and I didn’t understand them! I’m just not literary enough but I’ll keep writing how I write, I’m doing better about that all now and thanks for your encouragement, I do appreciate it. I loved your story and think you should submit it, if not to them but definitely to someone else. I’m going to try for a travel piece next for a writer’s mag I get with the Writer’s Bureau. Worth a shot at least. But still working on the book too, slowly! Hope your novel is going well too.
              Ahh, that is so sad about our daughters and I’ve just read your post about your LD who is going through a difficult time at the moment. Oh can I ever relate to that. I just want to take all the pain away. Our girls will smile like that again I hope and pray…and yes, how lovely to have those open smiles in our other children. Gives us hope all around. Sending hugs… ❤

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  41. Pingback: Two Year’s Blogging And Still Standing | A View From My Summerhouse

  42. OMG, Sherri, I can identify with so many of those difficulties your daughter had as a child, that I’m beginning to wonder about myself. Do you think that a lot of girls who are classed as tomboys, might also have ASD? I’ve always preferred boys for company and hated parties, noise, crowds, and too much stimulation. My mother used to make me do calming exercises before I went to kid’s parties. Even now, I get exhausted by big events and need to retreat for a few days afterwards. As for travelling, I will only do it willingly to meet up with a special friend or member of my family, or to visit my daughter on the Isle of Wight.

    What I can say is that females have more hormonal fluctuations than males and these must impact much more heavily on someone suffering from ASD, but hopefully settles with age (apart from a few glitches midlife).

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