Learning that someone has a disability or a learning disorder might alter your perspective of them before you even meet them. But what happens if you learn about the difference after you meet them? Does it change your perspective of them? Even after you’ve gotten to know them and their habits, it could explain a lot…or it could just get in the way. When this girl learned about her boyfriend’s diagnosis, she found herself surprised at her own reaction.
When I was 16, I met a guy in math class. He was intelligent, caring, funny, but a little “off” somehow. We talked every day and hung out as often as we could. With him, I could talk about anything. He didn’t judge. He was very logical. I liked that about him.
We got to know each other very well and eventually I gave him my phone number, and we talked every night. Then, a couple months later, while talking on the phone one night, he just randomly declared his love for me! I literally sat there in my bedroom, no idea what to say! As awkward as it was at first, I kinda started to realize that maybe I love him too. We started dating.
I’d go over to his house after school nearly everyday. One afternoon, I was chatting with his mom and she mentioned him having “Asperger’s Syndrome.” I had no idea what it was. She explained that it’s a form of Autism, and I couldn’t have been more shocked.
You never would’ve known by the way he acted. He didn’t have repetitive movements of any kind, he talked to everyone. He was very logical, and didn’t like certain feelings or touches on his skin, and he absolutely hated being dirty, but these are the only signs that there was anything different about him. Apparently, his mom had seen signs of it when he was just a year or two old. She tried to put him in grass and he freaked out and started crying. That was the signal that made her take him to a doctor.
She took him to therapy for years to help develop his skills. Because of what she did for him, he is now 20 years old, fully functioning, and a really great guy. We are married now and he is a wonderful father to our child! He has a great job and works hard for us. His Asperger’s can still make things difficult at times and I have to be patient with him, but it’s so worth it.
I’ll say this: people with Autism can be the most loving, caring, wonderful people you will ever meet. I love being with him. It’s been four years, married for almost two. I wouldn’t change him for the world.
She met him at a young age, and it helped her to be more accepting of the boy she fell in love with. After learning about such a personal struggle, it made her respect him more. It gave her a better appreciation for his mother’s sacrifices. It gave them hope for the future.
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