Obsessions Became the Norm
So what’s it like to be the mum of an Aspie with obsessions?
If you didn’t already know, people with Asperger’s have obsessions and Alfie is no different.
His first real obsessions started with Star Wars. I mean it when I say he could and still can answer any question about the cast or the story line you ask him. He could also repeat many scenes word by word which was ok, but if you hadn’t seen the film before it was a bit of a pain.
Next came Shotokan Karate. Alfie was so good at it that he went from nothing to being a black belt in less than 2 years.
He was just 9 when he started to take and interest in Karate. The groups were small which meant he did not have to interact with many people which made it bearable for him. He never missed a training session and worked as hard as he could.
Alfie thrived on the discipline which was taught in the lesson and had a lot of respect for his Sensei. I have never seen anyone so focused and he never ceased to amaze me. Alfie always gives 100% in everything he does. Anything less is not good enough. I knew fixations like this would serve him well moving forward.
Only Fooling Around….
Following on from this came Only Fools and Horses which was quite funny to start off with but soon became tiresome. Alfie learnt the scenes off by heart and would walk around the house repeating full scenes from the show in the voices of Boysie, Granddad, Del Boy and Rodney! Funny at first, but it soon wore off.
When Comic Con came to Wrexham (not far from where we live) he got to meet his idol John Chalice who plays Boysie. Although Alfie did not have much to say, (even though he wanted to) John could see how happy Alfie was to meet him.
John was amazed that someone as young as Alfie could have such an interest in the show. He signed the back of Alfies T-Shirt and gave him signed pictures of himself and Marlene. Later on that evening John Chalice started Tweeting about him which really made Alfie’s day. The programme was more than 30 years old and John found it hard to understand the adoration a 9 year old like Alfie had for him.
The obsessions continue…
Next (currently) came Freddie Mercury and Queen.
Now I’m not saying Alfie lost interest in everything else up to this point. He just became less fixated on them. Alfie still knows all his Star Wars stuff but doesn’t talk about it as much as he used to and he still recites complete scenes from Only Fools and Horses, just not as often.
Karate has fallen by the wayside, at least for the time being. He achieved his goal which was his 1st Dan (Black) belt and decided to stop there. I hope he will go back to it in time because he was very good. I think the problem was he lost focus and knew it would take at least 18 months before he would get his next award and he didn’t want to wait. By this time he had already discovered music or should I say he discovered a particular band.
Now don’t get me wrong Queen and Freddie Mercury were a great band and still are even with Adam Lambert at the helm but he really struggles with the fact Adam Lambert has joined them. As far as he is concerned Freddie Mercury, Brian, Roger and John were Queen. Alfie really doesn’t like change especially when it comes to his personal life or something he loves.
If you ask him what he thinks about Adam Lambert, he will tell you he is unimpressed as no one can fill Freddies shoes. He is impressed deep down I think because we went to see them on tour recently and the smile said it all. He doesn’t fool me!
To be honest I don’t mind Queen at all but it’s not something I would choose to listen to on a daily basis and I have never bought their albums. If this is the case you may be wondering how someone as young as Alfie found Queen to start with? Well it’s quite simple really, he heard Bohemian Rhapsody on a compilation album I bought a while ago and this was where his fixations on Freddie Mercury and Queen began.
Alfie had been having guitar lessons under protest for a while and was on the verge of giving up but I made him stick with it. He did not want to learn chords and scales, he wanted to be playing Bohemian Rhapsody and didn’t have the patience to wait. This time I put my foot down. We had paid far too much money to see him give up now and I knew it wouldn’t be long before he was playing the things he wanted.
Well I was right! His perseverance paid off and he is now the best guitar player in his school for his age group and to cut a long story short he can play Bohemian Rhapsody which is a complicated piece of music. His tutor is amazed and once again his focus paid off.
He then started to sing along to Queen songs on Karaoke and I don’t mind telling you it was painful to start off with however, I could hear something in his voice that sounded promising. He comes from a musical family so I wasn’t surprised and thought I better investigate it further. I set out to find a vocal coach and found a lady in Welshpool willing to take him on.
Everything started of great but then took a nose dive because he refused to sing anything but Queen! His vocal coach could hear that something special in his voice too and was devastated he wouldn’t sing anything else and eventually gave up his lessons. Before he gave up he took part in a concert organised by his vocal coach. He was in his own little world up on that stage and his performance was met with a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd.
The video can be seen at the bottom of this page for anyone interested. Alfie performed Radio GaGa on two separate occasions because he was recently nominated for student of the year and won!! He is 12 years old in one and 11 years old in another. One of them has over a 1000 hits on Youtube which is pretty impressive.
He did learn a lot from her though and his singing did improve as he continued on by himself.
I want to be Freddie and famous.
By this time he was studying Freddie more and more and watched Youtube video after Youtube video. He researched, read autobiographies and watched interview, after interview. Alfie bought albums, games and Queen 3D. He even has the 4oth anniversary edition box set and limited edition picture disc that we bought him for christmas. Although these things are expensive we know that as long as they are kept in pristine condition, they will only increase in value. An investment for his future.
He has decided he wants to become a rock star and while this is brilliant, it’s also very noisy and sometimes I wished he had found some different obsessions. Not very often though! I often start a sentence with ‘Well IF you become famous’ and I always get the same reply “There is no IF about it mum it’s WHEN I become famous’.
There is no doubt in my mind he wont become famous either. His sheer determination will get him there and music is and will continue to be a huge part of his life.
He often Quotes me Freddie Mercury
“I wont become a rock star. I will become a legend”
Do you know what? I believe him. We have already had an email from the Phoenix Trust (Aids Foundation). They want to use his Video on their website for the next Freddie for a day Campaign. This has made him absolutely ecstatic because there is a good chance it might get seen by Brian or Roger. That would be his dream.
So for now he is focused on becoming a Rock star.
Freddie Mercury and Queen have become a very large and influential part of his life. So much so that sometimes I think he is Freddie reincarnated…well apart from the teeth that is. I’m sure Freddie wouldn’t mind me saying that because Alfie tells me he would never have had them straightened in case it affected his vocals.
Alfie is a walking encyclopaedia full of knowledge when it comes to Freddie Mercury. In fact he can tell you what Freddie wore to which concert and his favourite tree. Apparently Freddie always kept a keyboard next to his bed incase he got inspiration for a song during the night. He can tell you which song is from which album, who wrote it and when it was written.
Alfie was given a keyboard for Christmas and has already written some brilliant stuff without having any lessons. I think he will be as determined to learn Keyboard as he was learning the guitar. His obsessions are paying off already.
He’s pretty awesome when you think about it and I Know I am biased but I really couldn’t be prouder!
An average day consists of…….well…… of obsessions!
Alfie wakes up and even before he has got dress goes straight onto youtube to look up queen songs.
He goes to school and finds ways he can bring up the subject of Queen into his day.
He comes home takes his iPad upstairs to change out of his uniform. It’s not long before Queen can be heard coming down the stairs.
Once dressed he comes down stairs to sit at my desktop computer and opens Youtube to find Queen Karaoke. He then takes hold of his makeshift bottomless mic stand and starts to sing and dance like Freddie Mercury!
After this he might take a break from singing and get out the red special. The Red Special is a replica of Brian Mays favourite guitar for those who didn’t know. It is another of his obsessions. My mum bought him it just before she died earlier on this year.
Along side all of these obsessions ran his love for Minecraft. I don’t think there are many people reading that wouldn’t know Minecraft is. Read my blog on Minecraft here to see what he got up to. Prepare to be amazed.
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