I have written before about my grandnephew Tristen who has Asperger’s Syndrome. He has not had an easy time of things. His mother had to fight the establishment to even get a correct diagnosis for him. She was on Medicaid after she was dumped by her husband with three children under the age of six with $15.00 and one suitcase of clothes for all of them. No home. No food. No anything. She refused to give up and finally got the Asperger’s diagnosis and was able to start trying to help her eldest son.
I took a long time for Tristen to come to grips with his emotions and learn how to function with his Asperger’s. He had many meltdowns and more than one hospital stay. He and I were always close but I had to be a distant presence in his life because I was caregiver for my Mom. Tristen missed out seeing his great-grandmother when his Mom and the other two children came up with her then fiancé. Tristen was in the hospital after a major meltdown and his maternal grandmother was taking care of him.
After Mom’s death I moved down to be closer to Bernadette and the children and her new husband. Tristen and I have a special bond. We have been close since he was born. As he has gotten older Tristen has started to show interests in many of the things I am interested in. He is a good artist. He did a great picture last Christmas of Nathan Fillion of Firefly on black paper with white pencil. He loves computers and is the family’s tech support. He got involved in technical theater. I have my degree in theater. He has started to watch Shakespeare. I love the Bard.
Tristen is now a Junior in High School. He is Treasurer of the National Honor Society. He is one of the senior tech persons for the school’s theater. He is doing incredible art.
He was just named “Student of the Year.”
So for anyone who has Asperger’s, for anyone who has an Aspie child, for anyone who loves an Aspie like I do let Tristen be a shining example. Aspies can succeed. Aspies are incredible people. And for my Tristen a great big Woo-Hoo! I am so proud of you.