I am a pagan mom.

I am a pagan mom with Asperger’s Syndrome.

I am a Pagan Mom with Asperger’s Syndrome who has a child with Asperger’s Syndrome.

I have an 8 year old boy who has struggled with any organized “anything” in a group setting since he was 2. I did not think much of it, then, as you know they all talk about the terrible twos. Yeah, he does not like other kids, neither did I. So what?

Further down the road, I would hear he does not play with other children, and my response was: “Well, perhaps he feels the other children are beneath him?” Now, I know that this sounded a bit snooty, and coming from an American woman in the UK, I had the double whammy going. But what I meant was: Don’t you think that he may feel his peers cannot “get” what he is doing and he prefers to play alone? Of course, as a woman with Asperger’s I have very little filter between my brain and my mouth. Yes, now and then, it WILL kick in. But there are times, biting my tongue simply hurts.

After Xan and I moved back to the US, about a year later, he began Kindergarten. Things did not go well for him. He butted heads with his teach, I butted heads with his teacher (whom I suspect lost her joy for teaching a while back, and she showed it) and I had him put into another class in the middle of the year.

In first grade, he still struggled. While he is very intelligent, has a great knack for speaking to adults like a 40 year old midget, he had trouble focusing.

I had him enrolled in a martial arts before and after school program, but it did not seem to work for him. The Martial Arts are great for teaching discipline, but this particular one, I cannot say a good thing about. They ignore bullying, the adults are bullies, and I would NEVER recommend them to another parent in the Eastern Shore Area. If anyone moves here: Avoid Mitchell’s Martial Arts. I had Xan in there for 3 years. It got worse as the years went on.

When Xan was at the end of his 1st grade year, his doctor diagnosed him with ADHD. I also fought to get him special education concessions, and he now has an IEP. I had been trying to go by a natural means of treating him. By the beginning of 2nd grade, Xan was on a stimulant for ADHD. It worked for a while. When he grew, it stopped working, and the Doctor decided to try a different medication. This one after 10 hours, gave him a frightening Tic, and made him manic. I took him off of these meds immediately.

About a week later, I was let go from my position at work. While they say the position was eliminated, I believe it was due to my having to leave suddenly to care for my child. While I was covered under FMLA, they could not fire me. So they came up with a creative solution. Position Elimination.

Back to the subject of meds… As Xan was having a terrible reaction to the stimulant meds, his Doctor made a referral to see a neurologist. We had to wait 2 months for this visit.

Within 10 minutes of seeing Xan, the neurologist proclaimed: “He doesn’t have ADHD as much as he has Asperger’s Syndrome.” I asked him a few questions, and he said to me “The apple does not fall far from the tree, you have it too.”

Wow, just wow. But having done a tin of research on the subject, a LOT of things make sense about the way I was and still am, AND the way Xan is about certain things.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for parents, and aspies, as well as other people with conditions that are not NT (Neuro-Typical) seek a support group. It is really helpful to become an advocate for your child, as well as yourself.

While I am fortunate that both my son and myself are high functioning Aspies, I have to view it as a gift.

A is for Aspergers

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About Sophia

Where do I start? I embarked upon this life 45 years ago, where I was raised as a wolf cub in Ohio. Well, the 45 and Ohio part are true. I was raised in a Catholic home, but my mother had pagan leanings that my father was unaware of. My maternal grandmother is an incredibly accurate astrologist and my great grandmother was known in her Russian village as the local witch. I am Sophia.

When I was a child I was always drawn to the mystical things in life. I think I played with my Grandmother’s tarot cards when I was 6 years old. Somehow, I think that may have been a small springboard toward my path. Grandma often used herbal remedies and taught me many of them as well as teaching me astrology.

I began to study witchcraft seriously when I was 15 years old. Often writing book reports on the Salem witch trial and how unjust they were, much to the dismay of my Catholic School teachers.

When I was 19, I came out of the broom closet to my family. My Mother confessed to me then, that she had been a practicing witch for some time, but due to the custodial issues, she never came out, for fear that my Father would cease visitation rights, and she would never see my brothers and myself again. After I told her that this was the path I had chosen, I found out more about the family lineage. My witch roots going back 4 generations that we know of, and all the witches named Sophia (A coincidence, perhaps).

I moved to Massachusetts in the late 80’s, with my then boyfriend, now ex husband. I attended the Massachusetts College of Art, where I studied Photography and Graphic Design. I also worked with a couple of witches there, and found that I enjoyed group work.

In ’92 I moved on to New Jersey. Digressing, after we first hit the Garden State,I remained a solitary witch for 2 years.

Then in 1995, a wonderful thing happened. I got hooked up to the internet. I could have networked at the local witch shops, that I frequented for ritual supplies, but I felt a little pushed, that I could not get to know people first. The internet gave me the opportunity to post a message seeking local witches. I DID get a few kooks answering my post, but when you plant grass seed, sometimes the weeds still come up. Finally I found those of a like mind to chat with.

We began e-mailing each other, and finally decided to meet as a group in a local diner. Originally there was 8 of us, and we seemed to get on well. Laughing, eating, talking about ritual. And what we all wanted to learn from each other. We began meeting bi-weekly as a circle and held rituals for the high Sabbats. Eventually, our circle, a little “c” word, became a big “C” word: A Coven.
I was named as co-founder of Coven of the Eclectic Quilt. A group of women from many traditions: Celtic, Dianic, Hereditary, Pictish, Gardnerian, and of course, the Eclectic variety.

Eventually witch wars broke out. There was malicious gossip and just plain negative energy flying around the group. I found that some members took it upon themselves to hurt another sister, and found it unforgivable, so I bowed out. Two weeks later, the coven disbanded, and there were a lot of hurt feelings for quite a while. After a healing time, covenmates became friends again, All but one, and she knows who she is, and what she did. This story could be much longer, but I am sure it would bore you. Perhaps I shall write a page on what NOT to do in a coven and the definition of Bitchcraft. Hahahahaha!

Mari, my best friend, and former covenmate from the quilt approached me one afternoon about starting a new coven. She and her Soulmate, the Handsome Doc, had worked in a Gardnerian coven and became disenchanted with some of the politics. We had children and most covens don’t allow kids to be part of the family tradition, if there is one. We wanted to form a coven that welcomed children. Teach them the craft, instead of hiding it from them, Children have such light, energy, and curiosity, that will enable us to learn from them, as well.
Thus, Tuatha de Almha was formed in light love and laughter. These people became family to my sons and myself. We love them very much, and always will, no matter how far apart we are. You Guys are my family!

Covenwork is not for everyone, but I find it most fulfilling. For me it involved sharing ideas, working in the community to prove to the world that witches are not evil, and sharing holidays together.

In December 2000, I had moved to the UK and married a Brit. He was agnostic, but he was ok with my beliefs (not like that ever mattered to me). I met another sister in the craft and continued practicing. I miss my sister, Joo, but we have Facebook and visits.

In December 2006, my son and I moved back to the US, where I am somewhat Solitary, but still working with my coven in New Jersey.

I married a wonderful man on the Autumnal Equinox 2010.

It is my hope that faiths will learn to co-exist someday. Not all paths are the same and we should definitely embrace the differences.