Monday, March 7, 2011

A Passion Shared By Father And Son

Michael has Asperger's syndrome, which is at the higher-functioning end of the autism spectrum. Now 8, he attends a mainstream class and has a very high math competency. His problems are in social interaction. He has trouble recognizing body cues, so having a reciprocal conversation with him can be difficult. We had to teach him how to have empathy for others. It's because of the amazing efforts of my wife and Michael's physicians and therapists that he has progressed as much as he has. Michael now has a best friend. It's our hope that one day he'll be independent, have a job and drive a car. Michael loves electronics, especially his Nintendo Wii. To my surprise, he fell in love with Wii golf. The way the game is scored, the numbers of the clubs and how loft affects distance--it all feeds his passion for math. Because he liked the video game so much, we bought him plastic clubs. The day I gave them to him, he broke them from swinging too hard. That afternoon I took him to the range so he could try real clubs. He did so well I asked him if he wanted to take golf lessons, and enthusiastically he said, "Yes!"

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