How a Teenager Spreads Autism Acceptance


My son has suffered from anxiety, depression and bullying in the past. It was so sad that other kids did not accept him. Lately he seems to be less depressed but he honestly doesn’t talk to me as much as before due to teenagitis. Anyways he spends a lot of time playing video games online.

Based on the conversations I overhear he seems to do very well with talking to the other kids. He seems very happy and increasingly seems comfortable in his interactions. He also seems much better with accepting defeat and being teased than in the past. I have been very proud of all the progress he has made 🙂

As a bonus I have also heard him get better at advocating for himself. He will tell people they are being too loud & even explain his Aspergers. Sometimes this has been really funny, I can still hear him saying “damn you autism” in a funny, self advocating way.

The other day he was playing with some new people. I think he was playing with older kids or maybe even young adults. I think this because when he needed to buy something in game they razed him for needing his mom. My son took it well and just explained he was 14. They laughed and said yeah but we are still going to harass you. They didn’t seem mean just joking around with him. That is fine, he needs that!!

I don’t know what they were doing in the game but I distinctly heard another kid (let’s call him M) say:

“It is such a struggle with my autism”

To which my son responded:

“Hey, I have Aspergers!”

Complete silence, I could have heard a pin drop. Oh crap the other kid meant it as a joke. Like maybe he just saw 21 Jump Street and now thinks Autism is the new “R-word”

I held my breath. The tone of the other kid did seem like he may have been joking. But I hadn’t been sure and clearly my son hadn’t picked it up. What was my son thinking now.

Sheldon: “M, it is okay, I understand. I have Asperger’s”

M: stammering, sheepish maybe even?? “I don’t have anything”

Sheldon: “But I heard you say you have Autism” (true Aspie he is :))

M: Now really sheepish “I’m sorry”

They moved on. My son didn’t need to say anything else. They had been playing for a while & they continued to play for hours in total. I think the kid was truly sorry he made the joke. I think the kid and everyone else playing learned something very valuable. I think they also realized he was just like them in a lot of ways. Maybe they had never been told that Autistics can do things like everyone else. My son didn’t explain this, but he didn’t have to. He was just himself. Laughing, joking, and playing video games with a bunch of people.

Look at my son spreading Autism Acceptance!

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Comments

  1. Video gaming does have its uses : )

  2. AlysonRR says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this experience. I’ve been nervous about online gaming for my just-turned-13 yo son who has Asperger’s. Do you have any suggestions for what game he might try? He loves video games but has been limited (by $) to Wii games and I’m sure he’d love to branch out. Thanks for any advice you can share.

    • A great online game is Minecraft. That seems to be very popular among Aspies :). It is a PC game but they’re also coming out with a version for Xbox. In minecraft they mine stuff and then build stuff so it is also encouraging creativity. They can play by themselves or with others. My son communicates on the PC using Skype. (they don’t use video)

      Minecraft seems complicated to me but I know others that have younger kids that play. It is very addictive though! He seems to find friends then go to other games with them.

      He also recently found steam http://store.steampowered.com/ and plays many games on there. I guess they play with groups and buy different games to play with groups there. He is sleeping or I could ask him more but that is how instructions read. So your son could pick games to play. (For PC games I use PayPal to pay for stuff). The games there cost 10-20. I don’t know which ones in particular he plays but could find out if you needed me to.

      He also used to like kingdoms at war a lot. not sure why he quit.

      He also plays PS3 games online little big planet is good game.
      He also likes shooter games but he doesn’t do as well playing them online. It gets to intense and if your son has only been playing the Wii I doubt he would do well going into an online game of call of duty. They are very intense. Violent & swearing – avoid if you can.

      Sorry for length, let me know if need anything else 🙂

  3. Life and Ink says:

    I guess as a parent of a child with Aspergers I am in a different camp than a lot of parents who believe the computer and the online gaming world is a horrible place for their kids. But when my son was Sheldon’s age he began interacting with people both through the game Runescape, Minecraft and IRCs (internet relay chat) and he started using words I had never heard him speak before and they sounded so beautiful, and natural. Ted had begun saying, “my friend.” Well, how could I not support that!!! He is still in contact with several of the guys and girls he has met, 5-6 years later. They are his friends. They share their lives and their interests in their way.

  4. Mrs. MOM4AutismSERVICES says:

    At 14, I think your son handled himself quite well. It was about at 14 when I first started observing risky behaviors in my Aspie son. Your share was refreshing to read and sorta made me smile. Thanks.

  5. How fabulous that your son is so strong and proud! Go Aspies!

Trackbacks

  1. […] so he gets something.  And as stated previously when he is playing online he is working on his social skills & advocacy so it is not a total […]

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