Monday, November 9, 2009

helpless and hopeless

I imagine that there is a time in every parent's life where they feel hopeless and helpless when they have a child with disabilities.

Our oldest is high functioning, but only in some ways. Her asperger-y, black and white thinking has put her in a strange position...wanting to find love and romance, but without the social skills and understanding that most teenagers, however primal, have acquired.

Enter the internet.

There are entirely too many wierdos out there. Potentially dangerous ones. Don't believe me? Check out and plug in your zipcode. Bet you pull up a list. And these are the registered ones. No accounting for the ones who have gone undetected or failed to register.

These creeps, ranging from the mentally ill, quasi-harmless types, that you would prefer your children to NOT hook up with, to the really deranged violent type who would toss your child into the nearest receptacle with the same amount of care and concern as tossing a used tissue.

High functioning kids on the spectrum are so susceptible to these creeps, who present themselves as loving, nurturing, sweethearts. They crave the love, romance and attention that they don't get from the opposite sex in real life...a need that a parent can't fill.

Despite my best efforts, our oldest has fallen into this trap...of a man who trolled cartoon chatrooms looking for such a girl. He tells her she's hot, beautiful, gorgeous, smart, and he wants to marry her.

She's planning the rest of her life around this and cannot be dissuaded by her family, therapists, school resource officers, the police. We who have spent our lives providing for, protecting, and loving her, have become the enemies who keep her "locked in a cage."

She can't believe that anyone who tells her such wonderful things can be bad. Black and white aspie thinking at it's worst. And our worst nightmare.

She'll be 18 soon, and there will be nothing we can do legally to stop her. I can only pray she survives the experience intact.