Reflections of and on a probably Asperger's parent parenting an Asperger's kid (or 2)!

dragon pups

dragon pups

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St Patty's Day...

On this day of O'Ness... we have celebrated Irish culture with a discussion about the Holy Trinity symbolized by the Shamrock, whether or not leprechauns will tickle to the death, Guinness Stew & Colcannon...

And some BIG insights of the "Gift of Gab".

We awoke to pinching and tickling as we decided who had green "on" (my kiddo wasn't letting me get away with green nail polish, but he was naked, so he was on the defense...)  Then we settled into Irish traditions like the shamrock (being the Holy Trinity) and the kissing of the Blarney Stone.  After pretending to be a leprechaun for a little bit, we moved on the to Gift of Gab!

We talked about how we (the family) have the Gift in different ways.  For some the Gift of Gab has to do with Woo (from the Strengths Psychology - the idea that everyone is a friend  like a politician or salesman has) while for other the Gift of Gab is about story telling and dramatic narrative, but it can also be just having lots of detail and information to share, saying things n a way that people can understand, "words they can hear" so to speak...

my Aspie wandered off for a second, and then came back and said

"I don't know why the children at school said 'alert' every time I sat down to eat"

Ah - this has been haunting him a lot these few months, trying to come to grips with the bullying just before we started homeschooling, but he has not been so clear in his expression  declaration of the events or his concerns, and he was not agitated, but thoughtful.    Just yesterday we had discussed the Native American story in which the the elder tells the young brave that there are 2 wolves in each of us, Love and Fear; the one you feed is the one that "wins".  He had tried to show me he was "feeding" his Fear Wolf by looking for things to break. Time to think carefully, Mom.

"Well, I think that some of them thought that it really was a joke.  A____ clearly did it as a joke, but X____ clearly did it to be mean.  You knew that.  That's why you hit X____."

"But I was the one who was mean! I hit X____!  I was supposed to tell a trusted friend!"  NOW he's agitated! the high pitched screech, the shaking...

"Yes, that was mean, but X____ was mean first, so we know you had a reason to be mad. 

And you could have used your gift of gab. You could have looked at X____ and said 'Don't say that to me!'  You could have said to X____ 'Please stop, it is NOT funny.'"

A HUGE, deep genuine smile beamed across his face, his eyes continued to look far away, his body got still, and he slowly, quietly said, "yeah...."

Then he moved in for a cuddle.

I think this indicates that he forgave himself, and I am sooooo thankful!

Then he said, "I could use my Gift of Gab to come up behind them ,and then"

I interrupted him, "God loves you just as much as he loves those other kids.  The Gift of Gab can also be called self advocacy.  You have the ability to tell them that they should be nice to you, to please stop, and to go tell an adult. The more you talk, use your gift of gab, the more you be a friend, the more they can see your Love Wolf, the less they can hurt you"

He just kept beaming that smile, and his body was stayed STILL, and he muttered "yeah"...

I watched that smile, and for the first time in 2 years, I started thinking, "he'll be OK to go back to school.  He will be able to tell them to treat him with respect and not feel forced to act out"

If only we kind find adults he can trust. He did NOT say that he should have told a "trusted adult"....  

We have told him before that part of the reason we homeschooled is because we don't feel like the adults at the school were doing their best job to protect any of the children from bullying, but he has carried guilt about how he was bad, and how he had hurt others...  

And he is right to feel bad, but only within the context of forgiveness.  

And it is the Gift of Gab, that thing that pushes us and allows us to communicate with others, that will help us build forgiveness...  we have been discussing all this in different terms for over a year, and only now seem to have hit on the vocabulary that enables forgiveness...

I will readily admit that a lack of verbal skills/ ability would be a significant "handicap" in using your Gift of Gab - but I have studied abroad (just can't meet the vocabulary), and struggled with strange cultures (learning about new families, moving across the country), and communication is NOT always about words.  (usually it's about food when words can't be found - wink wink)

Genuine, True Friendliness is clear across whatever barriers.  If that Woo is there, that drive to connect, that faith that there are no strangers, only friends not yet made - then connection will occur!  But you have to be OPEN to it - because the format can be surprising.  I think this is the essence of the "intuition", the "collective consciousness" that psychics are talking about... the unconditional love, the magic moments, new awareness that Autism brings...

Maybe the Gift of Gab isn't about words... maybe it's about self advocacy.  Maybe it's about acknowledging the magic/ divine in you as much as you do in others... maybe it is about finally being brave enough to love yourself as you love others, not just love your neighbors as yourselves... expecting miscommunication and misunderstanding is part of the process, but it seems like that faith in humanity is part of it too.  

I have worked from the time my children were infants to help them believe the world is their Friend, to automatically assume the best of people. Apparently It is working?

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