Friday, September 26, 2014

When Anxiety Conflicts with Routine - An Asperger's Journey

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)
 
Living in a home with a child who has Asperger's disorder makes us very aware of how important routine can be. Due to this fact, we try very hard to maintain a pretty predictable routine. However, certain anxieties get in the way of those schedules sometimes. 

One of the hardest things at this point in our journey is dealing with the obsessions. The obsessions of Asperger's are positive and negative ones. The positive obsessions revolve around a like or desire of some kind like Lego's or Lord of the Ring's. The negative obsessions revolve around anxieties. Both ends of this spectrum of obsession seem to consume my sweet child's thoughts daily. It must be 
exhausting for her.

Back to our family routine; We decided that Friday nights would be pizza and movie or game night together. This could be a fun thing for kids who thrive on schedules but in our house it causes yet another problem. You see, my sweet aspie child currently has a strong fear of throw up. Any sound, smell, reference to, or act of throw up or gagging causes her great discomfort. 

What does this have to do with a movie night? Well, because of this phobia, we have paid attention to many movies and shows and a large number of them include some sort of gagging or throw up. Isn't that crazy?! Because of this, my sweet girl has much anxiety during family movie night. 

The above picture is a contract that my girl wrote out in order for us to get her to watch the family chosen movie. She holds the controller so she can pause it if she thinks this may happen and watches along according to the contract. It is a strange part of our family but it gets her watching with us and is helping her conquer her fear. 

I know anxiety is often just a part of Asperger's disorder for many people, yet I also believe this Scripture posted at the beginning. When we are with Christ there will be no more fear, no sin, no shame. Until that day when all things are complete I plead this verse in prayer for her very life. I pray her mind will be sound as to not fear anything because Christ's perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). I pray that she will cast all her anxiety on Him because He cares for her (1 Peter 5:7). One day when we are with HIM, all this anxiety will cease.

This is a good verse to continually pray because fears always come, prior to this present fear obsession it was the fear of storms. Fears come and go but the Lord remains with us forever and there is nothing that can separate us from His love (Romans 8:35). I don't understand why she has to go through these hard things here and now but I do know I can trust the One who loves her more than anyone else. He will never leave or forsake her (Hebrews 13:5).

No matter what you are going through on your special needs journey we must remind ourselves of these truths that God is for us and our child (Romans 8:31), and he is good, He is in control, and He will never leave us or forsake us because of His great love.

Prayer:  Father help us rest in your love. Help us to know and see you as enough. Help us to cast our anxiety on You. Help us to best help our children in their times of need. Help us to stay focused on your unstoppable, unshakable love for us. IN Jesus Name. Amen.

~Angela

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