Friday, January 30, 2009

Dadd and Daughter with ASPirations

I've talked on this blog about learning that I have ADD and I've mentioned my daughter having Asperger's Syndrome. They are both related in the sense that they are part of the very wide Autism Spectrum.

Now, the more I learn the more I believe that EVERYone is on the spectrum, but that's another story.

My daughter started college this year and her first semester was less than successful. Her mother and I encouraged her to be clear about her disability and to seek out every resource that she could. But she wanted to try on her own and though she wouldn't hide her condition, she didn't want to be thought of as an "Aspy".

So much for that. Her GPA was awful and it was almost entirely due to things she missed completely despite working for her classes and enjoying them very much.

What followed the reception of her grades was a serious family meeting and a lot of coaching and help from her mother, her stepfather and me. A real team family effort.

SHe's back and slowly getting herself up to snuff on her resources, but we find ourselves having to stay on top of her a great deal. This generally results in hostilities with her mother.

Today I had a good long talk with her on the phone. A slow, methodical laying out of what has to happen, why I understand her frustration but also that she needs to understand that our nagging efforts now are to avoid more and more nagging later.

Asperger's Syndrome is a tough thing to live with and I think of my daughter as a Pioneer. She is part of the first generation since AS was even recognized. She is of the first group of AS people going to college.

I might be a crazed, nagging father, but at the core, I believe my daughter is a hero.

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