How do I tell my son he has autism?

Page 1 of 1 [ 12 posts ] 

lilmissnobelong
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Gender: Female
Posts: 3

01 May 2014, 7:16 pm

My son is 9. He has been labeled ADHD since kindergarten. That's when he started his meds on Ritalin, which changed his world and ours in positive ways. Now, he has been given the educational label of high functioning autistic. I knew there was always something else going on. Social issues are always an issue. He is school smart but it's a treasure that he has one friend.

This said. I really need some help and advice on how to tell a 9 yr old boy he has another label. He already knows he's different and doesn't want to tell anyone about his ADHD. Please help.
Any advice is appreciated.

I am planning to set up an appt with a child psychologist he has seen in the past but first I want him to know about this recent diagnoses.



YippySkippy
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Feb 2011
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,986

01 May 2014, 7:44 pm

Does this mean he will not be labeled ADHD anymore? If so, that might be a point you could emphasize; that he doesn't have another diagnosis, just a different one.



OliveOilMom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,447
Location: About 50 miles past the middle of nowhere

01 May 2014, 8:14 pm

"Oh hey, you got aspergers. Google it. It's not all that bad. It'll explain a lot". Thats exactly what I'd say.


_________________
I'm giving it another shot. We will see.
My forum is still there and everyone is welcome to come join as well. There is a private women only subforum there if anyone is interested. Also, there is no CAPTCHA. ;-)

The link to the forum is http://www.rightplanet.proboards.com


Aharon
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Dec 2011
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Posts: 745
Location: Kansas

01 May 2014, 8:36 pm

If the ADHD is a comorbid condition, and he's sensitive about that, I could see where he might not take the diagnosis of autism so well. I don't know how a young mind would take that. Does he feel he is different from most people? If so, you could possibly use that to point out that while he is different from most, there are a lot of people like him, that he is not alone. I felt like the only one like me in the world for so long, and that was really hard. Maybe feeling different but not alone would be a good thing for him. Best of luck with this delicate matter.


_________________
We are not so different from potted plants in that, if given everything we need to be properly nourished, the outcome can be incredibly contrary to when we are not. A flower won't grow in flour, and neither can we.


Ann2011
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jul 2011
Age: 50
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,843
Location: Ontario, Canada

01 May 2014, 8:38 pm

He already knows. I'd do some research on the traits of autism, like sensory processing and language challenges and such. Bring these up to him and see what he has to say -what his experiences are.



1401b
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 May 2012
Age: 121
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,584

01 May 2014, 8:42 pm

Son, you're a dork. Just be glad we didn't also name you Sue.


_________________
(14.01.b) Been there; Done that; and wow am I embarrassed.
Our Project- https://sites.google.com/site/StabilizingAutism

What's wrong with Humans?
https://sites.google.com/site/Stabilizi ... troduction


1401b
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 May 2012
Age: 121
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,584

01 May 2014, 8:46 pm

Oh, yeah, also, labels are for cans of peas so that you don't mix them up with the spinach.

If you label him, you limit him, and there goes your 'Albert Einstein.'


_________________
(14.01.b) Been there; Done that; and wow am I embarrassed.
Our Project- https://sites.google.com/site/StabilizingAutism

What's wrong with Humans?
https://sites.google.com/site/Stabilizi ... troduction


Eureka-C
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Sep 2011
Age: 48
Gender: Female
Posts: 586
Location: DallasTexas, USA

01 May 2014, 9:09 pm

My son was about 10 when we got the diagnosis. We talked a lot about the testing and how it helped us (parents and teachers) to understand better and learn new ways to be helpful. We gave it the name ... Aspergers as a type of autism and talked about how everyone with autism is different. We watched the Arthur cartoon on YouTube about Arthur's friend with AS, read all cats have Aspergers, and watched a great video Through My Eyes - Rosie's story. My son was so happy to find out there were others like him. He enjoyed pointing out what was and was not like him.

These conversations happened over a couple of months and let him ask questions. We also talked about the good things.

At 13, he wavers between liking having AS and wishing the hard stuff would go away.


_________________
NT with a lot of nerd mixed in. Married to an electronic-gaming geek. Mother of an Aspie son and a daughter who creates her own style.

I have both a personal and professional interest in ASD's. www.CrawfordPsychology.com


zette
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,183
Location: California

setai
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 9 Oct 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 116

02 May 2014, 12:02 pm

Maybe you could find some other kids his age with HFA and introduce him. If he was introduced to other amazing, interesting, quirky kids his own age who also have the same thing he does, maybe it wouldn't be so hard on him. It will also give him a good support group.



lilmissnobelong
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Gender: Female
Posts: 3

04 May 2014, 10:00 am

Hey everyone,

I just want to thank you all for the links and advice. I am really learning a lot about Asperger's and seeing it in my son.

YippySkippy, he is still labeled ADHD and just had an increase in his meds for that. It helps. He doesn't have the hyper part of ADHD just the trouble focusing part.

He knows he is different. It's hard but I think understanding what being an Aspie is will help me and him. It is painful for me to know socially he is becoming labeled different. He was even ganged up on at school this year because he found a paper on the ground at recess. Another boy said it was his. My son L said it was against the rules for papers to be outside, my son, L wouldn't give it to the boy since it was against the rules. He ended up getting chased down by 3 boys and punches were dealt. The other day he went to school with blue teeth and tongue from vitamins I gave him. After school, I asked him if anyone asked why his mouth was blue. He said yes and I asked what he said back. He at first said he said nothing then said he said, "I don't know." I asked why he didn't just tell them the truth. He said because then they would ask more questions about how the vitamins turned his mouth blue and the questions would keep coming. My son thinks too many steps ahead in social issues. I tried to tell him how it's okay to not know the answers kids ask him and that they are asking because they don't know either. I thought it was his dislike of not knowing an answer. He really dislikes having to guess which he has to in MAPS testing. Now I see this may be a characteristic of being an Aspie. Anyway, he knows he is different. His Dad doesn't want L to know he has this new label and at first I didn't either but now I think the truth would be a good thing. He is in 3rd grade and next year class sizes double(from 16 to 30, I'm bracing for it). It will help him know why he feels different. He's extremely smart in math and science, he's very honest, unlike so many kids out there. I just want to be a help to him and not add to the burden he carries already. I love him very much.



zette
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,183
Location: California

04 May 2014, 12:53 pm

If/when you do decide to tell him, it would be interesting to hear back how you did it and how it went. Best of luck!



BuyerBeware
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,471
Location: PA, USA

13 May 2014, 2:40 pm

I like Dude, I'm an Aspie.

Don't just have him Google it. There is so much poison out there that it's STILL a daily battle just for me to believe that I'm a human being and should go on living instead of having a nice DrainO milkshake and relieving the world of my presence.

There's no sheltering-- he already knows he's different, and not in a good way.

The label didn't exist when I was a kid-- and I still knew that I was, to quote my cousin, "Kind of weird, not in a good way," and nobody liked me. Having hope that there was, really, nothing wrong with me just made it hurt more when I found out that, actually, yes there was.


_________________
"Alas, our dried voices when we whisper together are quiet and meaningless, as wind in dry grass, or rats' feet over broken glass in our dry cellar." --TS Eliot, "The Hollow Men"


Ann2011
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jul 2011
Age: 50
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,843
Location: Ontario, Canada

13 May 2014, 2:45 pm

BuyerBeware wrote:
Having hope that there was, really, nothing wrong with me just made it hurt more when I found out that, actually, yes there was.

I had the opposite reaction. I was so relieved. Instead of fighting a losing battle to "correct myself" I could just say I'm autistic and leave it at that. My friends and family accept it.



ASDMommyASDKid
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,666

13 May 2014, 2:50 pm

lilmissnobelong wrote:
Hey everyone,

I just want to thank you all for the links and advice. I am really learning a lot about Asperger's and seeing it in my son.

YippySkippy, he is still labeled ADHD and just had an increase in his meds for that. It helps. He doesn't have the hyper part of ADHD just the trouble focusing part.

He knows he is different. It's hard but I think understanding what being an Aspie is will help me and him. It is painful for me to know socially he is becoming labeled different. He was even ganged up on at school this year because he found a paper on the ground at recess. Another boy said it was his. My son L said it was against the rules for papers to be outside, my son, L wouldn't give it to the boy since it was against the rules. He ended up getting chased down by 3 boys and punches were dealt. The other day he went to school with blue teeth and tongue from vitamins I gave him. After school, I asked him if anyone asked why his mouth was blue. He said yes and I asked what he said back. He at first said he said nothing then said he said, "I don't know." I asked why he didn't just tell them the truth. He said because then they would ask more questions about how the vitamins turned his mouth blue and the questions would keep coming. My son thinks too many steps ahead in social issues. I tried to tell him how it's okay to not know the answers kids ask him and that they are asking because they don't know either. I thought it was his dislike of not knowing an answer. He really dislikes having to guess which he has to in MAPS testing. Now I see this may be a characteristic of being an Aspie. Anyway, he knows he is different. His Dad doesn't want L to know he has this new label and at first I didn't either but now I think the truth would be a good thing. He is in 3rd grade and next year class sizes double(from 16 to 30, I'm bracing for it). It will help him know why he feels different. He's extremely smart in math and science, he's very honest, unlike so many kids out there. I just want to be a help to him and not add to the burden he carries already. I love him very much.


I am going to ask something that may sound weird to you, but why was it not a good response to choose not to answer the vitamin colored mouth questions? As an aspie, I have a bad on handle on this kind of thing myself. I totally understand why he did not want to engage a bunch of stupid questions. Is it that you think it looked weirder not to answer, or is it b/c you want him to practice conversation?



BuyerBeware
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,471
Location: PA, USA

15 May 2014, 5:12 pm

Start with the positive traits. "L, these are the great things about you. I love these things. They are attributable to Asperger's syndrome."

For the sake of honesty, of course, you also have to talk about some of the traits that trip him up.

It isn't simple, and the discussion probably isn't ever going to be over.

It's going to add to the burden he carries. It already has, and it always will. He does not get to be free of carrying a burden-- no one does, and for some people the burden they're dealt is heavier.

What you have to decide is, what burden would you rather see him carry?? What burden do you think he would rather carry?? What burden do you think you are better equipped to help him get a handle on??

The burden of information?? Or the burden of ignorance??

Both of them suck.

Personally, I would rather carry the burden of information (though I very much resent having to carry the burden of misinformation as well).


_________________
"Alas, our dried voices when we whisper together are quiet and meaningless, as wind in dry grass, or rats' feet over broken glass in our dry cellar." --TS Eliot, "The Hollow Men"