On Thursday 28th, my only child, Tom, turns 16. He's ever so excited to be reaching this milestone. In his mind, he's now a man and able to learn to drive, surely the definitive benchmark of independence for any teenager. Never mind that he has to do the first 120 hrs with Mum or Dad beside him. He'd better hurry up and study the online tests or he wont be driving anywhere.
All this confusion is coloured in my son because he has Asperger's Syndrome This just means that he has to try harder to fit in with 'normal' behaviour (what ever that is) and has difficulties understanding social cues, body language, eye contact and written work. Tom prefers to be at home where he is comfortable and safe. He has a really good friend that has stood by him since creche to whom he is very loyal. No wandering the streets or staying out in unknown places for Tom. I am always going to know where this kid is because he is going to tell me, often, or he's going to ask me to go with him.
Tom prefers to watch engineering programs, Mythbusters, and Top Gear and YES, he is a very big and committed military gamer. He tells me that inside the games he is not Tom and he is by all accounts very very good. Its amazing to see a boy that struggles socially in real life put a headset on and start commanding troops (of other online gamers from around the world) through a strategic battles using all the military jargon and codes and be totally in control. It’s surreal
|Junior Rifle Club|
Tom is working part time at Hungry Jacks (Burger King) for 12-14 hrs a week after school and on weekends. His motivation is purchasing military games, DVD's and consoles and at the moment i am greatful that he is able to finance his own interests. His Manager tells me that he is a good trainer and he is very detailed in his guidance of new staff. I am very proud of him for going outside his comfort zone and making an effort.
Tom loves his dog, Peppy, and has a special relationship with his Dad, also an Aspie. They understand each other which is more than i can say, but i try. They have their own special brand of humour and laugh riotously often.
|Iron Man Dad|
|Tom and his dog, Peppy|
|First Day of School - its a mother's right to embarrass their son on their 16th!|
|Tom in full Aussie national costume.|
So in closing what can i say to my funny, loud, interesting & clever young man who will be sweet 16. He's just gone to bed giving me a kiss and telling me he loves me, so tonight its all good.
Happy 16th Birthday Tom
Love Mum XXX
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