It's hard to ever look at Nathan and think he is missing something. I mean the little guy scored a few points below a genius level! He taught himself to read, he writes, he does math, he asks complicated questions, is super observant, and probably smarter than I am! So how can I ever look at him and think something is missing. He looks "normal". He is a handsome and he smiles and he talks with EVERYONE! He is super friendly.
But with Aspergers I think you get what people would view as "small" losses.
Sometimes I feel like my husband has lost more than I have...if that makes sense. Both Chris and I believe firmly that Nathan was born with Aspergers and did not develope this from vaccines. Why? Because he has always been like this. As a baby he hardly ever slept. While others moms talked about these 2-3 hours naps their babies took I looked at them like they had two heads! Nathan would sleep for 15 minutes even as a small baby and if I got a thirty minute nap out of him I thought that was awesome! He was always so alert and I remember to this day how after he was born the nurses commented constantly over my two days in the hospital how alert he was.
Anyways, that being said...
There are certain things we feel like are lost to us or to Nathan. Nathan doesn't seem to notice or care so maybe it is no loss to him! Chris used to talk when Nathan was small about doing those "dad" things with Nathan. He talked about playing ball with Nathan, teaching him to ride a bike, and working on cars with Nathan the way he used to do with his grandfather. Except with Nathan he has narrow interest and he is not interested in cars and he is not physically coordinated enough to even kick a ball. Nathan tends to stiffen when Chris hugs him. If you say I love you, Nathan he often answers, "Yeah I know." Occasionally he will reply with "I love you" and we love it when he does that.
Nathan does not get jokes. Trying to get a laugh out of him by tricking him or joking with him will only get him really mad! Chris wants to joke with his son and it's hard to understand that he can't do that with Nathan.
Nathan can't do things that other kids his age can. He still can't button his pants and do zippers very well. He can't kick a ball if you roll it to him. During his PT (Physical Therapy) eval the Physical Therapist labeled him as "floppy" His muscle tone is too weak and his motor skills are lacking and his hamstrings are too tight and his arches pronate....also why riding a bike is really hard and he doesn't want to do that with Chris either.
If you talk or play with Nathan for even two seconds he assumes you are his best friend...for life. The other day at the YMCA Super Stars Program a little girl named Katy played with Nathan on the trampoline for a few minutes. He assumed they were best friends of course and tried to follow her around and play other things with her and was oblivious that Katy didn't want to play with him anymore and was getting annoyed by him. Katy even said "I want to do it by myself" but that goes over Nathan's head. "But we are friends so we do it together" he says. This even carries over to the fact he has such a good memory he won't forget her and will try and "be her friend" when he sees her there next time. Nathan even asked the next day if Katy was coming to a play date with us!
We are not complaining though! We have a brilliant little boy who CAN do all sorts of things, who thinks an Atlas, the planets, and the Presidents are the coolest topics ever. He ask hard and constant questions that makes us think. He is healthy and we know other kids who suffer physically and I can't imagine how hard that is for the parents and the child! He is super friendly and will talk with anyone.
I feel bad for him because part of having Aspergers means he is super emotional and some days are hard on all of us to see him get so upset or cry his little eyes out over such "small" things.
I can't help but believe that despite Nathan's "special needs" God has big plans for our little boy. Some might see him as a little boy lost.....we see him as a little boy God made and shaped and formed just for us in my womb. He is the little boy I got on my knees and begged God for. And of course there is that beautiful verse.... "His strength is made perfect in our weakness"...so whatever "weakness" Nathan might have...whatever "weakness" we might show in dealing with some of his quirks...God strength will carry us through and through God's strength Nathan's weakness will be strengthened. And on the days when we feel a little too tired to "deal" with this we remember we can rest because God will carry us through.