The following is an excerpt from a sermon I gave on Rosh Hashanah called, Bible Bullies. You can read the sermon in its entirety on my blog:
The pediatrician who supervised the assessment that our son had Asberger's Syndrome broke the news to me gently as though he was waiting for me to burst into tears.
But the son I brought home that day was the exact same child I've loved his entire life. In receiving the diagnosis, Bobby (my husband) and I strode right past denial, anger, bargaining, and depression and went straight to acceptance of Yonatan's condition. What we really wanted to figure out was how he was going to make his way in the world.
The answer to that question appears to be, “With difficulty.” Yonatan is spectacularly imaginative, awkward in his speech and movements, and very obviously intelligent. In short, he is the kind of kid who's just asking to be picked on. One of the early books I read on Asperger's Syndrome offered two hundred cheerful tips on raising children with the condition. But in the midst of the author's optimism and good humour, she reflected darkly on the school experience. School, she commented, was something that children with Asperger's Syndrome could only suffer through, not enjoy.
The closest thing she could offer to a ray of hope was the observation that kids were only in school for a relatively short period of their lives, and then they could get on with the work of enjoying themselves. I was not impressed. I want Yonatan's school years to be something more than a misery that will eventually pass, and I'm sure all parents want the same for their own children.