A few years after Simon's ASD diagnosis, I feel comfortable that he has had the help to adapt. I think his different wiring may be an advantage in some ways, and beyond the occasional struggle around inflexibility, he's working it.
Unfortunately, there are two more recent challenges to deal with, and they're stressing me out. The first is that he has allergies, and they're pretty bad. He's been snorting for a month now. He's on a nasal spray, which doesn't appear to be having any impact. It's frustrating, because it's hard to even be around him when he's sniffing constantly. He also freaks out any time you ask him to blow his nose, as if it's the worst thing ever. He rolls with it, but he sounds miserable.
Then there's the thing that we've kind of been monitoring and I've been in denial about. He may in fact have an attention deficit problem. The reason I've been in denial is that I've seen him exercise extreme focus for things that he's interested in. He's been heads down for hours creating his "amusement rides" in the playroom. If he gets it in his head that he's going to build something, the rest of the world doesn't exist. (I can relate to this.) But his teacher sent home blank pages of work, and she's observed him drifting off into this own world when he should be working. We've seen it too... while eating, doing homework, putting on shoes (that he still can't tie), showering... he struggles to stay on task.
The bottom line is that there is likely more medication in his future, for allergies and probably the attention issues. For the latter, I'd like to see a combination of therapy and drugs, but we'll see what the doctor recommends.
I'm feeling a lot of parental guilt lately, because it's my perception that Simon isn't getting what he needs from me. I can't really quantify that, other than I feel pretty self-involved with a new job and the strong desire to spend more time looking out for myself. Plus he's growing up at an alarming rate.