I knew once I explained Asperger’s to my son it was only a matter of time before he would be sharing his knew found information. I of course looked forward to hearing his version of the conversation. As it turned out, I didn’t have to wait very long.
Just a week after our talk (see previous post for that story) I took both boys and a friend each to the zoo. (Off the topic but when you take four boys close in age by yourself to the zoo you get a lot of interesting looks.) After being there a while we sat down at a table by the playground for snack break. We settled down with popcorn and drinks and the chattering began.
My oldest son looks at his friend and says, “You know, I have Asperger’s. Do you have Asperger’s?” His friend looks a little confused, shrugs his shoulder and says, “I don’t know. I don’t think so. Maybe?” I chime in and assure him he doesn’t have it and it’s not like a cold he can catch. My son says, “Well Asperger’s means my brain works in many different ways and your brain probably works just one way.” Implying his friend was at some kind of disadvantage. At this point my youngest sons’ friend, Jayce, wanted to know what we are saying. He didn’t recognize the word Asperger’s. Gabe says, “Haven’t you ever heard of Asperger’s?” Jayce again wanted clarification of the word. Were we saying Ass –pergers?
At this point all the boys took turns pronouncing the word putting emphasis on the beginning of the word. So ass was said over and over again. I was just getting ready to stop them when my son (who has to have things right) interjects and sets them straight. It’s pronounced as-pergers not ass-pergers. Then he gets philosophical and turns to his friend and says, “We all grow in different directions but remain rooted as one.” This came from a wall quote I recently had put on a picture wall. His friend says, “Okay now I have no idea what you are talking about.” The conversation had officially gone over their heads but it was pretty entertaining to witness.
A week or so later I was talking with Jayce’s mom who said she had a story for me. Jayce had asked her if she ever had the bad A word – burgers. She didn’t understand what he was saying. It took a few tries and finally he said, “Have you ever had ass burgers? Gloria said she does at their house.” She asked him to tell her more about that conversation so she could understand what he was talking about. He re-told his version of the conversation at the zoo. Then it clicked with her that we were talking about Asperger’s not ass-burgers. She explained to him that I was saying Asperger’s and went on to explain what that meant.
This just cracked me up. My conversation with my son turned into an entertaining conversation with friends at the zoo and that turned into a conversation about ass burgers. I laugh every time I think about Jayce going a week wondering about us eating ass burgers. Our journey with Asperger’s has been very interesting and often times entertaining to say the least.