Thursday, October 30, 2008

In the Great Land of Undiagnosed Aspergers

We are here, with the in-laws.

And I have to give credit where it is due, the girls were absolutely great, both of them, with the travel. We left our house and took a cab to the airport. Then we flew to O'hare, had breakfast, and got on another plane. Then we took a bus to the car rental place and picked up our family minivan and drove a long way to our hotel. Except for refusing to sleep the entire time, the girls were wonderfully behaved. Through all the changes, and boring parts, they were great. It helped I think, that I put them both on those cutesy animal- backpack leads from Wal-mart. They kind of had no choice in the airports.

We had to wake up the girls early in the morning to make our flight. We had to wake them. I get a great pleasure out of that! Both kids are dreadfully early morning people and many a war has taken place over their morning behavior. Genea cannot stand to be alone and will go to extreme lengths to get someone to wake up with her. Now, mind you, she shares a room with Teena who is also a morning person. So she wakes up Teena if she is not already up then the two of them proceed to be pains in the butt and destroy the house if someone in charge does not get up with them to take names.

Never one to let an incidental learning opportunity pass by, I asked them all day how that felt. Was it fun to get up before you were ready? NO? Why not? Hmmm, how do you think other people feel when you wake them up.
So, was it fun when you had to get up early? Hmmm?

Where the in-laws live, is a place I like to call Aspergerburbia. It is a small town where everyone knows everyone and then some. There are a few places in the United States where the most scrambled of all the Egg-Heads gather and this is one. My fil is a nuclear physicist and mil teaches music here.

If you have ever heard of Tony Attwood, he is an expert in Aspergers Disorder, which can also be called high- functioning autism. He is a great researcher and educator, I have seen him speak. This quote is directly from his website to describe what makes an autistic person a person with Aspergers:

"The person usually has a strong desire to seek knowledge, truth and perfection with a different set of priorities than would be expected with other people. There is also a different perception of situations and sensory experiences. The overriding priority may be to solve a problem rather than satisfy the social or emotional needs of others."

When I went to his seminar in Milwaukee a few years ago, he started with a funny story. He said, he plays a little game of picking out the Aspie in a crowd, with ranking and points etc. Then he said, when he is with a group of scientists/ accountants/ engineers the challenge then becomes to pick out the person without Aspergers. It was really funny the way he told it anyway.

So to summarize, I am visiting with a pair of people who don't have 2 social skills to rub together to make a fire. And no one else here does either. And no one thinks anyone else center. They live with their own kind here in what they call "academia".

Lest anyone think I am being mean, or making this up, or exaggerating I will give you an example. One mere hour into this visit, my fil brought up the future love making abilities of my daughters. Yes, yes he did. At dinner, the mil brought up her problem bladder infection, how she got it, and then discussed her subsequent yeast infection. At dinner.

But actually I enjoy brief visits with them. The mil is the type that scoots around telling you all day how she just wants to make everyone happy, which is code for I have to control every single facet and its possible outcomes or I will die. So, that can be fun. Did I mention the OCD yet? There are no strangers to pharmaceuticals here! So really, we fit right in.

There are a few things I want to do here. First, I must go yarn shopping. I must knit, knit, knit like the wind! Second, I must go to the Coach outlet and Liz Claiborne outlet. Third, I want to go to the church with the Holy Dirt.

I'm gonna assume the first 2 are self explanatory.

I am totally cranked up about the chance to take Genea to visit the Holy Dirt, and Teena too. There is a church where a miraculous event occurred a bazillion years ago. Water appeared as a stream or something, and then disappeared, leaving just the dirt. People who visit this spot have reported medical miracles, there are braces and crutches lining the walls with little stories about how people were healed. I am not trying to be disrespectful in my description, I just don't remember all the details, it has been more than 10 years. Anyway, I cannot wait to take Genea there. I am going to bring some dirt home too, just in case it doesn't take right away. And Teena, I think I will set her right into the hole (in the ground where the dirt is) and tell her to sprinkle it over herself. In the olden days when this was discovered people would eat the dirt, but I will save that for an emergency.


  1. Wow. Sounds like an interesting few days you have ahead of you. Good thing you have a sense of humor too! Sounds like you will need it. :)

  2. Sounds like you're making the most of a stranger than strange situation. I guess you have to. ;) Glad the girls have been good. Bonus!

  3. Thanks for the support! I honestly start to wonder if it is just me after a few days here!
    The girls have been great. Even when they have been totally overwhelmed they have both held it together, or come to us for help.


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