We found out we were pregnant with Poss the week of our wedding. It was a Tuesday in June and completely unexpected. A happy surprise, the ultimate wedding gift to ourselves. Or that’s how I remember it. I’m not certain, but I think that might have been when Husband’s hair started to fall out.
That night we went out to dinner to celebrate. And as soon as we were done, we stopped at the grocery store on the way home and I bought every single magazine they had that related to babies.
Over the coming weeks, I devoured everything I could lay my hands on. Forewarned is forearmed. Or something like that. Swapping bridal magazines for a world of baby; soaking up knowledge like a sponge.
Each week we’d read up about what size she was, what was growing, measuring her against random pieces of fruit and vegetables and counting down until she was born.
Then came the baby books, the toddler books and eventually, the parenting books, because try as we might, she wasn’t doing the things in the other books the way they said she should, and maybe if we just parented her differently it would be ok.
Eventually the diagnosis of Autism was made, and the books made more sense. Turns out they weren’t for us. So a new set of books was bought. Doctors, therapists, dieticians, teachers and other parents all offering their advice.
I read them all. Soaked it in and learned the new language of ASD. The more I knew, the more comfortable I became and I started to work out, that just like the baby books, some were better than others; some were simply more ‘us’ than others.
Books like The Complete Guide to Aspergers Syndrome by Tony Attwood became a guide to navigate our new world and they’ve served me well over the years. Acting as references and reassurances, my well thumbed copies sit on my bedside table all this time later.
And now (you might be sensing a pattern about how I deal with life…), as we approach a new stage, tweens and teens, I’m in search of a new set of books to help us.
I’ve grabbed copies of these two: The Asperkid’s Secret Book of Social Rules and Aspergers Rules; How to make sense of school and friends, as well as a copy of Special Girls Business.
Each has it’s own benefits, but the first two are quite similar. Lots of tips and quizzes, easy to read with lots of information on everything from how to make friends, to how to keep them and they’re written specifically for the kids themselves.
We’ve been working our way through them with Poss and she seems to be finding them as useful as I do. While she’s no doubt learning things, there’s also been a few lightbulb moments for me when I realise she doesn’t know something that I just assumed she would know.
Poss has them both on her bedside table and she’ll often pick out bits to read to me, checking if she’s understanding it right.
The other book is a bit different and is focussed on puberty and hygiene. Poss refuses to read it, and despite me subtly leaving it on her bedside table, it’s been shoved back into the linen cupboard multiple times. I’ve stopped asking her about it and I’m hoping she’ll come it on her own terms.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep scouring the online book stores and trying to find the ones that will give me the elusive keys, or just the words to follow, as we step into this next phase.
Do you have any favourite books to recommend? What should I be reading?
This post originally appeared on About a Bugg.