I find myself thinking alot about Roman and how I could have possibly missed the signs for 20 years. I wonder if he hadn’t been my first child, if I could have identified it sooner.
I remember experiencing things with my second son that never happened for Roman. I just figured my kids are different, and Sam was just much more advanced when it came to things like catching a ball, playing organized sports, making friends effortlessly, initiating conversations with me.
Aren’t we told to never compare our kids, that each of us is different in our own special way? Roman was always a little different. I just never realized those very differences should have added up to something called Aspergers.
The thing is, Roman is actually gifted. He always did very well in school, had very good grades. His 3rd grade teacher recognized his giftedness and encouraged us to have him tested and placed in the gifted program. That was one of the best things we ever did for him. The gifted classes were smaller and offered a resource room at the high school level where he could “escape” during study hall.
It always frustrated me that he never wanted to be part of the organizations that recognized his giftedness. He should have been in the National Honor Society. He enjoyed the AP classes, but when it came time to take tests that could translate into college credit, Roman never took the tests. And any time there was a chance to be placed on a competition team, Roman wanted no parts of it. He wanted no parts of being singled out. He just wanted to blend in.
Even at that, I still find myself thinking and usually crying over the fact that I was always waiting for things to change for Roman. Maybe I’m still waiting. But I’m now realizing that they probably won’t.