Ya'll know Jakes has Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD and Epilepsy. He is my only child and I have come to think of him as “normal.” I don't know any other way of raising and dealing with my child.
I have learned to tell Jakes it's time to leave in 5-10 minutes to give him time to transition and adjust to the upcoming change. I have learned to block out his incessant chatter, his repeated phrases (‘cheeseburgers & applesauce, please’ is a favorite of his now). I have accepted that he is ok with hanging around the house with us adults. I know he doesn’t make and keep friends. I wish things could be different for him but it just isn’t to be right now.
Jakes is very immature for his age. This is not necessarily a bad thing or a reflection on my parenting. He has been sheltered by me definitely. He's my baby and always will be.
There are so many things about Jakes that I have come to consider "normal" but are not necessarily "normal". They are normal for Jakes but not necessarily for other kids.
Since JR has come to live with us, I see differences between him and Jakes. It might not be right to compare the kids, as they have had completely different upbringings.
JR is much more mature than his 15 yrs. His life has been very different from Jakes. Where I have bombarded Jakes with attention and therapies, JR has not had strict parenting influences and lots of freedoms. Some of those freedoms landed him in a lot of trouble. But he has done his "time" and seems to have learned from his mistakes. JR has had to fend for himself in so many ways and that makes a boy grow up into a man quickly.
Hanging with JR has opened my eyes to the differences in Jakes, the definite Asperger's/ADHD symptoms that show themselves. I didn’t really SEE those differences, just accepted them as part of Jakes, and didn’t really label them as Asperger's or ADHD, just The Jakes Way.
Watching JR on his cell phone with friends, coordinating his schedule for visiting his friends and girlfriend, the nights he spends at friends and his friends coming over for the night, shows me that Jakes is definitely lacking in the social aspect.
Jakes was telling me that on his field trip today, he signed up to be with Mrs. B and he hoped no one else signed up to be with her. Jakes prefers to be with adults than peers. JR prefers to be with peers than adults.
Should I be worried about Jakes and his lack of social skills? Should I be worried that he prefers to be with me and AZ or the G-parents?
Probably. But for now, since it’s not causing any issues at school or in his home life, I’m not going to borrow trouble. I'm not going to worry about MY normal child.