Site Map

About Roger

Presentations (New!)

Curriculum Vita

Contact Me

Description of Business

Copyright Issues

Articles and Writings

Bee Baxter Meyer


Portland Oregon Adult Resources

Current Research Projects

Hubert Cross Website


Roger N. Meyer "...of a different mind "
Puzzle Pieces Image


Copyright 1998 Roger N. Meyer

Comment 2005



[This post was made to the St. Johns University ASPERGER MAELSTROM listserve group, a discussion group composed mainly of parents, in early 1998.  I was one of the few adults who wrote regularly to the list, sharing my "what's it like to be an AS adult?" observations with parents just as eager for answers as I was eager to share my thoughts.  It is typical of the very personal posts I made when my diagnosis was still fresh and I was developing the basis of my career as a special education consultant.]


     Roger wants to share a story.


     On Saturday night I talked with my wonderful tax lady.  She is a self-made person, and just had her second child as a single mom.  Her eight year old Adam is the one for concern.


     Here is this gentle, loving single mom who has great parents.  Her mom baby sits during the time IRS audits and filing times come around, and has done so since the boy was an infant. Mom and Adam were and still are inseparable, except for the time taken for Jonah, the 6 month old.  Adam has always been a homebody, but mom has wonderful gentle friends who come and go, come for massage and quiet visits during nap times  (Mom is a LMT, and a certified Shiatsu practitioner.)  Adam started Waldorf School some three years ago.  Part time at first, and now full time.


     Mom and Adam go for long walks, and before the baby this summer, overnight camping and canoeing by themselves or perhaps one other person.  Adam is an attention-demanding child, and for years had a substantial speech impediment that now seems remediated by a good SLP.


     Adam, at eight, is incredibly bright, creative, and imaginative.  Adam cannot read.  "Nothing to worry about," say the folks at his school.  A lot of kids there don't read at that age in the unstructured environment of the school.  Adam gets frustrated and upset easily, and has periods of what could be called unremitting depression.  Adam's play with other kids at school is odd,   Even in group events, he is alone. Yet a lot of the kids there are odd.  "Nothing to worry about."


     At school, Adam seems to drift away a lot.  Communication between Mom and school has always been friendly and polite.  Not too enlightening, however.  You see, there is a mystique to the Waldorf philosophy, one that fits closely to the child rearing philosophy of the mid-sixties of free spirits.  If there ever was an institution that lives those values still, and to the fullest, it is the Waldorf school.  And for a youngish mom (she's 36), there are many comfortable reminders of those days, days when she was as young as Adam is now.


     Adam is having a little trouble at school.  He seems overwhelmed a lot.


     For long periods, he kind of folds himself into a ball, rocking almost imperceptibly, arms clutched around his knees, oblivious to the efforts of teachers and other students to arouse him.  Adam is doing the same thing at home.  His new "dad," (a wonderful boyfriend) doesn't understand Adam.  He says Adam is defiant and stubborn, and it hurts him when he can't communicate when Adam is that way.


     It isn't that Mom sees nothing wrong.  Mom has raised him totally by herself.  Men --wonderful men--come and go in her life.  This man is seriously committed to the Mom and the two boys.  He really wants to understand Adam.  For the first time in Mom's life, she has a friend and a mate who wants to bond with her and her children.  For the first time in Mom's life, she is hearing genuine puzzlement and hurt by an outsider very much wanting to be an insider.  And she has begun to wonder.


     Because Adam was raised at home until he was five, Adam was not noticed by people who are a part of the Child-Find Early Intervention and Education program.  Adam went to a part-time school where, with others, he was tended by loving, creative aides and teachers.  Because it is a private school, Waldorf has not connected much with the public schools.  As a matter of course they don't focus on disabilities or deficits.  That isn't a part of their positivist philosophy, and besides, many of the kids are a bit odd or eccentric, as as their parents.  As a result, its staff is uniquely unknowing about developmental disabilities and how to spot them.  Adam has never had a multidisciplinary team evaluation.  He has never had a full developmental pediatric workup.  Adam has no IEP.  Adam is lodged between the cracks of the system.


     Adam is eight and doesn't read.  Until a year ago, Adam's speech, eholalic and broken, could not be understood.  Adam was and is a gentle soul, but insistent on the total attendance of others.  He loves adults; and they love him back.  Since so many children at the school are encouraged to "do their own thing," what is missing, what is slow, is not such a noticeable matter to the other students and the teachers.


     My friend's mate senses something wrong.  Anyone coming from without the cocoon of closed-family love and solicitude can sense something not quite right.


     And so we talked.  I propounded some questions, and her answers were "yes," or "yes, a little."


     The answers, most of them, were "yes."


     So, now I find myself in the same position that many caring and observant parents have found themselves on this list.


     We will get through this.  There is no denial here, just lack of knowledge, and the light is breaking gently.


     Please wish us a good sunrise.







Copyright Issues


This article is copyright, all rights reserved by the author, Roger N. Meyer.  It may be reproduced in single copy once for personal use, and in no more than ten copies total for educational purposes.  Fair Use is authorized for all purposes and under conditions established by US Statute and the International Copyright Convention, to which the United States is a signatory nation.  No person shall publish, distribute, copy, or by other means make this material available to others for purposes of personal gain or professional self-aggrandizement.  Individuals wishing permission to exercise other than fair use or limited distribution as outlined above must contact the author, in writing, and receive explicit written permission from the author prior to engaging in further use of this material.

Go to the Top