With a son who has ADHD and aspergers justification is something we have become very use to doing. Justification is defined as:
To demonstrate or prove to be just, right, or valid: justified each budgetary expense as necessary; anger that is justified by the circumstances.
It is not a nice thing to have to do.
His aspergers is mild so to observe him in a room full of children you wouldn't immediately pick him out as different. It is only on observing him for long periods or getting to know him that you would realise he has his quirks, his obsessions.
One of my earliest memories of having to justify his actions was at a farm where there was a handle which could be turned to make a tractor back up and tip a scoop of feed into the pen for the pigs, you paid 20p for a small scoop. He just wanted to stand and turn the handle regardless if whether it was actually tipping anything. Totally unrelated to our visit, another little boy came over and was fascinated by this as well. He stood there flapping his hands and making a strange sound - between this other little boy and Little Man there was a little battle for who would stand continually turning the wheel. A family close by voiced their opinion very loudly that my Little Man 'should of known better, and the other one was obviously autistic so it was understandable why he was wanting to turn the wheel'. In their eyes they were showing compassion for the child with needs, never for a moment wondering if infact the 'normal' looking little boy was indeed normal.
Another instant was while in nursery school. The school was very affluent and 85% of mothers didn't work. At this stage we were pre-diagnosis and Little Man was having a tough time (as were we) as everyday he had done something else that wasn't acceptable. I had 2 mothers corner me and tell me that perhaps if I didn't work and was there a little more for my children, Little man would not be crying out for attention,would behave better and learn more acceptable behaviour'.
it has been hard over the years. As soon as you say actually my son has aspergers, ADHD and learning disabilities, people will accept him more.
What amazes me most though and I think this is why I now feel the need to constantly justify Little Man, is children who don't know him will just accept him. They work out very quickly he is a loner, or prefers to play next to, rather than with them, that he can;t read very well, or write very well, that he has one topic of conversation. The children immediately realise he needs guidance and give it without question.
Adults though are a different kettle of fish. I hear them comment on him not being able to read or the standard of his writing. There are never comments about him perhaps having a learning disability, instead they tend to ask each other if he is behind or if he is at a school who don;t perform well, if he is seen doing something he shouldn't or not responding to something like 'Can you shut the door' - in his mind he is thinking 'yes thank you, I can shut a door'. adults are thinking 'look at that child, blatantly ignoring that request. Nope, say 'Please go and shut the door' and off he will trot and do it. Outwardly you would never know there was anything wrong.
We always feel the need to explain and justify incase anyone sees some odd behaviour. As a society I find we are very judgemental of people and not as accepting as perhaps we should be.