One facet of aspergers syndrome that is commonly mentioned in the literature is having a rich fantasy life that can sometimes seem as “real” as the rest of the world. I noticed that my daughter did have a vivid fantasy life, and I often wondered if that is a part of her aspergers, or more an adaptation to it.
We all tend to daydream and let our mind wander form time to time, especially when we are bored or feel unhappy in our lives. In our fantasy life, we can have control over outcome that we simply don’t have in our day to day real lives. My daughter’s daydreams tended to focus around this idea.
In her day to day life, she’s often misunderstood by others, and finds it just as difficult to understand them. Though she tries to fit in, she finds it hard, and s quite sensitive to being hurt, though she doesn’t always show it. In the world she created in her own mind, she could take on a different persona that, though misunderstood, had great value. I think that’s much the way she sees herself.
In a way, this became a valuable coping skill for the times when she was being #bullied or was otherwise unhappy. She was even able to harness her vivid #imagination and write a series of #books where she explored the ideas of standing up to #bullies, being different than others, and how the pain that the victims of #bullying can have long lasting detrimental effects, not only for them, but for the rest of society as well.
This was all good, until things got so stressful that she escaped into her fantasy world too much because facing the real world was so difficult for her. While in her day to day life she was facing both emotional and physical pain, sadness, #loneliness and fear, in the world she created, things were stable and she had some control over her life. Unfortunately, the hurt began to cross over, and she no longer had that escape to turn to anymore. To her, it seemed as if the last vestige of peace and calm in her life had been taken away from her.
This was very difficult for my husband and I to understand at first. We saw her hurting, wanted to help, but didn’t know how. By luck, we live in a pace where there is a children’s hospital with an excellent #mentalhealth program, and her psychiatrist and therapist have expertise in treating kids with both #autism spectrum disorders and mental health issues. While she did need medication to help her cope with her #depression, they focus more on other forms of therapy, such as talking with her counsellor, encouraging her to find her “creative self’ again, and equipping her with real life strategies that have helped her to help herself.
They’ve also worked with her to find ways to still maintain her creativity and fantasy world without letting it be her main coping strategy and taking over her life. It’s been a long road for her, but we’re starting to see the positive results. It’s so nice to see her smile and hear her laugh again.
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I'm a freelance writer with several years of experience in writing blog posts, advertising copy, product reviews and other web content. I have an undergraduate degree in Political Science, and a diploma in plant science technology. While that may be a strange combination, it's given me a wide knowledge base that I can call on when I write.
When I'm not writing for work, I enjoy writing pieces about mental health advocacy, sustainable living, gardening, autism, birds, animals and the environment.
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