Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Socially... Antisocial

Iraq had her ballet performance last Saturday. Everything went beautifully... for the most part.

As the mother of a child with an autism spectrum issue (namely Aspergers) it is hard knowing that my high-functioning daughter will always have issues with social interaction. Knowing that she has Aspergers is a huge step in the right direction for me as a parent. It means I can more easily identify her weaknesses and do my part to teach her HOW to interact.

The problem comes in when little Iraq has little interest in learning HOW to interact because she just doesn't care. She doesn't care... until she has been completely alienated by her peers. Then she wonders why they won't play with her, or for that matter, even speak to her.

I have tried to explain social grace to her on occasions too numerous to count, but she doesn't think my reasoning is valid. It's much like trying to parent Spock from Star Trek. "I find your explanations lack reason and logic... "

How do you explain to an almost-7-year-old that her female peers often act based on emotion and not logic? Of course my own little Spock does not lack emotion in any sense... she is far too easily incensed if I do not allow her to act exactly as she pleases. And unfortunately, she often pleases to do some wildly strange and bizarre things (as far as I can see).

So here are some "social interaction" pictures I took backstage during the final dress rehearsal for the ballet...

Initially all is well when nobody is too close... but when the adorable little girl on her right leans in to the shot...

Hey! Too CLOSE!

That's better but you have ruffled my little, blue feathers!

I will now physically distance myself from you, and my prickly vibes will frighten the little girl on my left and she will leave...  quickly...

When I am alone, I can adhere this endearing smile to the frontal quadrant of my cranium...

For today, I am a bluebird...

And I do not require your presence in my territory!

But I will concede to playing with your toys... provided you do not touch me, look at me, or ask me why I like to line them all up in little rows after I have dressed them all in the same color...

And now I will take up as much room as possible so that you may not approach...

And I will use a frightening expression as I lunge outward to vanquish any thoughts you may have had about trespassing into the territory that I have marked...

I will now look unconcerned... so that you will know that I am superior...

I have completed my posturing at this time, and you may take my photograph.

What more can I say? The photographs are posted in the order in which they were taken. The performance went beautifully, but no photos could be taken during the actual show. Iraq played her part to a "T" and loved the applause. She did not suffer any jitters as her little peers did... I suppose it wouldn't have been logical seeing as how she is our superior and all.

AND... She's not afraid of lions or tigers or bears....      Oh, *sigh*

In other news, Iraq was able to pick her first piece of home-grown food - in the form of this delicious strawberry...

And it was superior to any strawberry you may have grown, I'm quite sure!    LOL!



  1. Oh,I love the pictures and the analogy to Spock. I have to come up with one for Ben and Sam. She's beautiful!!!

  2. Thanks, Sue! I think she's pretty cute too, but I may be just a little biased - LOL!

  3. I love the pictures, it takes me back to when my son was in dance. He was in for 5 yrs, then he must have found out that he was a boy. lol. My son has no idea how to function socially with his peers. It was about Jr high that kids his age started to shun him. He now goes to a special needs high school & does do better, but is still socially isolated. I feel for him, because he is a remarkably social child, but cannot relate with peers & his school cannot offer sports or dances & says he can go to his districts school for those things, but he can't. He no longer knows those kids even if they would accept him. Tyler doesn't have a large 'bubble', he has no 'bubble'. I know that seems odd, but he is an 'in your face' kid & has no idea of the average bubble. I often have to remind him to respect peoples space by saying that he is popping someones bubble. He usually interacts with younger kids better than kids his own age, because his social behavior is more that of a 10 yr old than a teenager in high school. I even offered to head up a school dance at his school but I was told there were only 2 girls in the entire school. Awkward!

    1. Nina - it's actually very, very common for kids in the autism spectrum to not recognize other people's personal space... at... all! My kid is the same. Yet in certain situations, she doesn't want anyone near her or in her bubble. She simply doesn't have a natural ability to see other people's needs or emotions - or empathize with others. For our kids, it's a learned ability. They can learn, but it takes time and lots of patient teaching.


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