I'm currently reading Look Me in the Eyes; My life with asperger's by John Elder Robinson. (It's written by the brother of the author of my least favorite book in the whole world, Running With Scissors. I didn't realize that when I found it in the library).
The book is interesting, not because of it is well written. The author has asperger's, which does not always translate into literary genius. BUT, its still a great story. What I found so refreshing about it is that it describes a little boy most of us wouldn't want to teach. He struggles socially and makes up for it by playing tricks on his teachers and classmates. He shows no empathy for others. His parents take him to many different people in the mental health field and most say he is just obstinate, rude, and social maladjusted. If he doesn't get better, they predicte, he'll be a future serial killer with his love of violence and lack of empathy.
He ends up dropping out of high school and finds himself working for KISS as the electrical engineer who designes the flaming guitars and crazy light shows KISS is known for. He then goes on to work for Milton Bradly where he works on the first talking handheld video games.
Despite the predictions of his doom and gloom future, his horrible home life, and his lack of formal schooling, he still made valuable contributions to society. Maybe not in the happy warm-fuzzy way we like to think of as becoming a teacher, a pastor, or even a lawyer, but in a way that advanced science, added products to the market, and created a building block for future products to improve on.
It gives me hope for my smart cookie. We worry about where she will end up. She seems to enjoy making adults angry. She sees no need for school, authority figures, or how she is viewed by her peers. Yet there is a very brilliant little girl in there. If she drops out of high school, I'm sure we'll shake our heads and say, "we're not surprised" but I'm not sure that will be the end of her. Not fitting into our school mold may not be the worst thing in the world. Maybe despite all she has against her she'll be able to pull through and put her brain to use. Perhaps as long as she stays away from drugs and does not get pregnant in high school, she might be ok.
A good friend of mine said, "I just think I'm not a good twenty five year old. I'll be a much better 40 year old when the time comes."
Some kids just aren't made to be little kids. They'll grow up and be happy, well adjusted people, they just need time to grow. Being 8 isn't everybody's cup of tea.
Or am I just trying to put a positive spin on a situation I don't want to think is hopeless?