Sometimes our little girl says insightful things that break my heart, just a little bit, and this morning was one of those times. After a frustrating attempt to make a bracelet which was pretty tricky for her not-so-nimble fingers, she screamed and shouted for a bit then burst into tears. A huge hug (which is not always forthcoming) and some calming words got her to a better place and she simply said “Is there anyone else out there like me?”…crack.
She is not aware of what Asperger’s or ASD means but she is starting to realise that she is ‘different’ from everyone else in her class (or as she says in the middle of an ‘overload’ or ‘meltdown’ – “I am a weirdo idiot”).
She feels the odd, confused looks she sometimes gets, the conspiratorial smiles of others, the whispers behind hands and the fact that the joke that made rest of the class howl with laughter, is incomprehensible to her. She feels every slight, every barb and every minute facial expression that could be interpreted as an insult, even if that was never the intention.
Does she have friends? Of course she does…A few, who she adores and loves and has known since very young (well in neighbouring wombs in one case as I went to antenatal classes with her mum!). At school, the older children have a calm appeal, a reliability and predictability that comforts her and I assume to them, she seems ‘cute’. I always feel that those in her class are tolerated, a necessity of going to school, she wouldn’t really be bothered if she never goes to their place for a playdate but on the other hand, she craves their attention, desperately wants to be in the group and her attempts, I think, make her feel even more isolated when she gets knocked back.
So, one of the very reasons for setting up this blog/website/idea is the hope that there are other bright girls and boys of a similar age, living near us who feel this all as much as us, who could benefit from realising other people are going through the same thing and maybe, just maybe there is a buddy out there that will make our daughter know that yes, there are lots of people out there who are like her…