I can’t remember if I’ve ever said it point blank in my journal or just said it in a comment to some one else’s journal, but for this particular entry to make sense to any of you reading it, you really need to know this one thing. DeeDee has Asperger’s Syndrome. She fits nice and neatly into the Autism Spectrum. She is high functioning, but never the less suffers from an abundance of social problems. I saw the very typical “red flag” symptoms when she was only 6 months old, although I must admit the signs were present all along.
By 18 Months old she was diagnosed, enrolled in Early Intervention, and received 15 hours of occupational therapy a week. Spotting it early and giving her the necessary coping mechanisms was crucial. Most parents aren’t so lucky to spot it so early. Most kids with Asperger’s are diagnosed around age 7 or 8 when it really sticks out.
Deedee is a very advanced and mature teenager. She never gets in trouble. She has friends (in school), but flat out refuses to hang out with them outside of a school setting. She’s had exactly one boyfriend. The relationship lasted 4 days. She broke up with him because he made a derogatory comment about My Chemical Romance. That’s DeeDee for you. After that, she’s decided dating is gross in general, and now claims to be a sexual.
She has very limited interests and what she considers worthy of her attention she will fixate on. Emo life, Japanese culture, manga, lolita fashion, music (very limited genres though), cats, creepy pastas, and horror movies. Her diet is very exclusive as well. Chicken strips (not nuggets), pasta Alfredo (has to be Newman’s Own), chocolate ice cream, cosmic brownies, and Rice Crispy Treats. I can’t get her to touch a vegetable.
Her latest big idea is that she wants to be an exchange student and live in Japan for a year. She’s scouring the internet for programs. I’m all for amazing once and a life time opportunities, but this is the girl who clings to me, can’t order her own food, and hates talking to strangers. I can’t even get her to spend her allowance money without me having to deal with the cashier for her!
If she can break the barriers of her social anxiety, this opportunity is a dream come true for her. I’m trying to help her. Today at Zaxby’s I made her ask for her own to go box. She has about 2 years before she’s eligible for the trip. So now it’s time to foster independence for Deedee.