“Now I’m not bragging babe so don’t put me down.”
As do many others with Asperger's, ~K~ exhibits above-normal intelligence and language development. Her vocabulary rivals that of someone twice her age. She has an amazing capacity to remember facts and trivia especially about those topics that currently hold (preoccupy) her interest. I’ve learned not to argue a point, as more often than not, she’s correct when it comes to her specialty fields.
Despite these, and other, positive attributes, she has marked deficiencies in social and communication skills. Among her many symptoms, ~K~ has difficulty “reading” emotions or taking social cues and frequently behaves inappropriately in social settings.
While she has been developing physically, my 10 year old child is mentally immature and socially naïve. She has an incredibly hard time fitting in with her peers. So naturally I’ve been quite concerned as she is moving up to a different age group in summer camp. Instead of being the oldest of the 7 - 9 year old group, she is now the youngest of the 10 - 12 year olds.
Yeah, yeah, I know how the average 10 year old child acts. And I fully understand that kids are supposed to behave like kids. But she acts more like someone half her age. The behaviors that she normally exhibits, and the ones we try to limit, are going to be completely unacceptable to her peer group at camp.
(And have you seen how the average 12 year old girl looks and acts these days? Wow!)
We’ve been preparing her for this move for the last 4 months. We’ve been repeatedly pointing out inappropriate behaviors and explaining to her that she has to try hard to act like a 10 year old. NOT LIKE A FIVE YEAR OLD.
So today was the first day of camp. I was quite nervous all day. As expected, her counselor reported that ~K~ had difficulty being quiet and following directions. No surprises there.
Upon questioning ~K~ about her day, she related the story about one of the boys in class and his baby-ish behavior for which she was teasing him. Behavior for which I admonished her and she replied, “But Mom, he was acting like a FOUR-YEAR OLD.”
Uh, HELLOOOO. There’s a Mr. Pot on line one for Ms. Kettle.
“~K~,” I said, “that’s a pretty nervy thing to say considering you often behave like a little child too.”
“Yes,” she stated, “But I act like a five year old. That’s a whole year older.”