This morning was like every other school morning. The alarm goes off, and I hit snooze. The alarm goes off again, and I reluctantly roll out of bed to go wake my youngest son for school. I then turn on the TV, straighten up the kitchen and living room and get my son breakfast while I listen to the news.
As I wiped the counter-top in the kitchen, I listened to the reporter describe the Connecticut massacre shooter’s personality and what they knew of his home life. My heart sunk as I started to recognize the personality traits: “Socially challenged” “Anxious” “Painfully Shy” “Intelligent” “Nerdy” “Remote”
I couldn’t help but think: “He had Asperger’s.” Within seconds, the reporter echoed my thoughts.
As a mom of a child with Asperger’s, I know what it is like when you PUSH. I’m not saying the shooter’s mom pushed, I’m just saying that I know what it’s like.
As a mom of a child with Asperger’s, I know how it makes the child feel to be made fun of. To feel like he doesn’t belong. To feel alone in a room full of people.
I’ve been accused of being too easy on my son. Of protecting him. Of enabling him.
I’m possibly guilty as charged, but I’m guilty because I have witnessed what happens when I push. I’ve heard the rants, the anger, the disappointment and sadness that he feels when no one can relate to him. I’ve watched my son curl up in a ball on his bed for days on end because his anxiety left him feeling like he just. couldn’t. face the day.
It’s a balancing act with these kiddos. A fine line that begs consummate care while treading upon.
Patience. Compassion. Love.
Though my first reaction to the massacre was “unfathomable,” I have to confess that I now somewhat understand.
MSN reports, “Experts: No link between Asperger’s, school shooting.” Regardless of what the experts say, the shooter was, no doubt, mentally ill. I dare to guess that he felt ‘pushed.’
As the stories continue to surface, I pray for compassion, understanding, love and forgiveness for all.