"Autism & Memoirs of an Old Maid"…C'hele's Story

August 14, 2013

Autism: What Spock Can Teach To An Asperger Individual (no kidding)…..

A conversation between my Asperger daughter and I one day after school……

Setting:  At home, approximately 4:00 p.m. My daughter Michaela is in a major verbal and emotional melt-down state. Michaela had just got off the bus from school.

 

Conversation:

 

(Explosion)

“Mom, I’VE HAD IT! You know, I just cant believe HOW STUPID people can be!!!!! “

“And you know?  People can be SO MEAN!!!!! I JUST DON’T GET IT!!!!”

Me:

“Uh-oh.  What happened?”

Michaela:

“Get a load of this (Michaela says this phrase alot-  a hint to me to always pay attention).”

“During our math block today?  “B” gave us our questions and we coulden’t do it. So when I asked for help?  He accused me, saying that it’s not that I don’t get it, I just don’t want to do it!!!!”  “CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?”

“And then, one of the E.A.’s said outloud that he agree’s with the teacher and that we are just being lazy!!!  GET A LOAD OF THAT!!!!!!”

Me:

“So what happened then? Did the resource class say anything? Did they agree?”

Michaela:

“Mom, I got so mad so I stood up from my desk.  I stood up and pointed my finger towards that nasty, freaking E.A. and told them both how OFFENDED I was! I told them HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME OF LYING! Because I truly did not understand the questions!” I DID NOT LIE!

“HOW DARE THEY!!!!!”

Me:

“Did the class say anything?”

Michaela:

“YEAH.  They actually stood behind me and told the teacher they truly did not understand the questions either.”

Me:

“So then what happened?”

Michaela:

“So then, I turned around in front of the teacher and told him he needs to learn how to teach better.  You know?  Learn different ways to teach kids.  GET A LOAD OF THAT!”

“Then I walked out of class I was so mad. I needed to cool off.”

Me:

“Ummmm.  Where did you go?”

Michaela:

“I just walked to the bathroom, hung out there for five minutes.”

Me:

” What did “B” say?”

Michaela:

“He told me I needed to relax. So get a load of what I did?  As I got up to go to the bathroom?  I took my worksheet, walked by him, looked him in the eyes and threw the questions in the garbage can!!!! Then I went to the bathroom. Then I turned around to look behind me and GUESS WHAT?”

Me:

“What?”

Michaela:

“The rest of the class doing the same questions? Got up and THREW THIER WORKSHEETS IN THE GARBAGE TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Get a load of that hey?”

Me:

“So did the teacher become angry with you and the rest of the class?  Did he say anything to you all?”

Michaela:

“Nope.  He diden’t say one thing at all.  Instead he told me I could read my novel (Michaela loves reading books).”

Me:

“Wow.  Exciting day hey?”

Michaela (now even more elevated):

“Mom, I’ve just SO had it!  The next time, I’m going to freak on “B” again the next time he says something so stupid to us.  It’s clear mom, he doesn’t get it.  He doesn’t understand us.  AT ALL!!!”

Me:

(Thinking to myself, Oh, Crap.  How many times have we had this discussion about self- control, self-monitoring? She just doesn’t get it.  She is so emotionally elevated right now, if she could, she would go back to school and smack the teacher herself).

**Note to the Reader:  Michaela is one of those very rare, emotional/social Asperger individuals.  Not at all like the introverted Aspies.  She may be emotional/social, but that does not change the fact that she still displays obvious social/communication difficulties.  Theory of Mind difficulties still apply here!

(I then think to myself, it’s time to try a new tactic and I’m going to wing it!)

———————————————————

5 minutes later:

Me:

(I decide to revert to humor to handle the situation).

**Note to the Reader

:  Never, never, never resort to giving advice to an Aspie individual on what to do when they are so adamant about something. Unless you want to suffer thier wrath.  And believe me, they can give it because (they think), they are always smarter than you. They will not tolerate such insult! And they can be incredibly verbose about thier opinions!!! So consider yourself warned, lol. 

The Setting:

Michaela is now sitting at the kitchen table, calming down with juice and a few potatoe chips.  I am puttering around in the kitchen talking to her and making dinner at the same time attempting to handle the situation with some placidity.

Me:

“So Caela, how do you think Spock would of handled the situation?”

Michaela:

“Mom, what the heck are you talking about?”

Me:

“Seriously, how would Spock handled the situation?  Does he flip out in stressful situations?”

*(Now Michaela is crazy about Star Trek)

Michaela:

(Giving me a very wide, deer in the head-light look), “Not at all.”

Me:

“So let’s talk about Spock. Let’s discuss just how many ways Asperger Syndrome and being a Vulcan/Human Hybrid are alike.”

The Break-down of our conversation:

We have some crazy humor in our family.  Michaela caught on immediately that this was going to be a light-hearted conversation with a point! Making a very long story short, we discussed the challenges Spock has being half human, half Vulcan. The Vulcan side of him must control emotions. However, the human side of him constantly provides him challenges in order to control those emotions effectively. Yet Spock must accept his humaness too.

I pointed out in the first Star Trek movie, that Spocks own father tells him that emotions run deep within Vulcans, even deeper than in humans.  So Spock kind of has a “double-whammy” of emotions to control. I pointed out to Caela that this might feel like her when she’s “really” upset. She agreed. 

Lesson:  Accept the emotions you feel.  But learn, like Spock, how to control them in social situations.  It is ok to stand by your convictions, it is not ok to “freak-out”. 

Vulcans are quite logical.  Humans not always. Those illogical people? Are Klingons.  Learn to accept that there will always be people out in the world who don’t think before they act.  Instead of worrying and trying to figure out “why” people act so carelessly, tell yourself that they are simply being “illogical.” Aspie individuals can obsess trying to figure out certain social situations.

Lesson: To teach Caela “how to walk away or let it go” and get on with life.  It’s not worth obsessing over, or having to figure some Klingon.

Vulcans do not raise thier voice when discussing a particular subject.  They don’t hesitate to give facts when trying to make thier point.

Lesson:  Instead of making a scene in class, go up to the teacher and respectfully educate or remind, him how Asperger individuals think, in private.  I told Caela that she should advocate for herself and not fear it (she does).  There is no harm in educating others on the complexities of the Asperger’s mind. It will provide huge benefits for her in the long run and maybey the for other person.  It’s quite logical!

Vulcans do not lie.  Neither do most Asperger individuals. 

Lesson: Don’t change and continue to stand up for yourself if you are called a liar.  But learn in social situations “when” it’s ok to be truthful and when it is not.  Learn how to be strong enough to tell people “you would rather not talk about it or, you would like to speak to them privately, etc.” If it becomes totally illogical?  Walk away.

Yep.  We are convinced that Aspies and Vulcan’s are distant cousins and all “illogical” people are Klingons. 

After talking like this for about an hour and a half (no kidding), our stomach’s were in knots from laughing. Though I am not a “huge Trekkie” and some of my facts may be incorrect, I don’t think I was too far off. Michaela would have reminded me to be sure.  The main thing is, she got the points that I was making and I think she will remember the Spock analogy in challenging future situations.

After our long, humorous talk, Michaela and I went to watch Star Trek. Michaela is a huge ET, UFO buff.  Comparing her to another alien being (no kidding) and an intelligent one at that, was the best thing to do in order to teach her a few social rules.  She would die should I confess this to others, but Spock really is, a good teacher for her! *laughing*

So far things have been going much more smoothly at school.  Now, Michaela comes home with a smile on her face, chuckle and say, “I met a Klingon today” or “I had a Spock moment” as she walks to her room.  Its now our own personal joke. So far, the melt-downs have lessend considerably. And believe me, her teacher is feeling it- Michaela is constantly in his face asking about the “logic” in his actions (in a respectful, joking way)!

All I can say? 

You Go Girl!

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5 Comments »

  1. You’ve gotten wonderful knowlwdge on this site.

    Comment by social Media Marketing — August 15, 2013 @ 21:34

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my rants! (jokingly said of course) 🙂

      Comment by C'hele — October 3, 2013 @ 09:09

  2. I really feel for your daughter. I struggled somewhat in high school due to my dyslexia. At one point in high school, I decided to take a test in the lab instead of in class. This is a more isolated environment, in case you need extra help. When I asked someone for help on a question, and they reacted nastily letting me know that people couldn’t come to the lab and have the tutors do all the work for them. I was shocked. The teacher in my class was infinitely more helpful when I was struggling. The second I allowed myself to be labeled dyslexic and sought help for it, I was treated as if I were stupid and lazy, throughout my education. She is so very, very blessed to have a mother like you. She definitely deserves the teacher’s respect when she has a question, I love your suggestion to her think like a Vulcan.

    Comment by waxingstrange — September 28, 2013 @ 22:05

  3. […] either weren’t ready for sex yet or didn’t have a clue how to get any. He suffered from a kind of species-wide Asperger’s Syndrome before any of us had ever heard the […]

    Pingback by Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock, and boldly going | Sandra Hutchison — March 1, 2015 @ 06:54


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