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mamabear87
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29 Jun 2014, 2:38 pm

My 15-year-old son, who is dyslexic and has ADHD, has recently been diagnosed with autism. I'm struggling with how to tell him. He knows he learns differently but has always felt out of place. I want to help him embrace his quirkiness and recognize his strengths. How do I tell him without him thinking there is something else "wrong" with him?



AspieUtah
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29 Jun 2014, 2:57 pm

Well, if _I_ were 15 years old, I would definitely like to know that I was in the same group of people as those who are famous and have Asperger's Syndrome (AS) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) like filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, musician Courtney Love and high-school basketball player Jason McElwain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_p ... _disorders). Of course, there are some historic individuals who are included on these lists who "might" have had AS or ASD (http://www.autismmythbusters.com/genera ... tic-people).

And, there are even television, movie, book and comic-book characters who have AS or ASD (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_f ... m_spectrum). BBC Sherlock is my favorite, despite what "professionals" say.


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Diagnosed in 2015 with ASD Level 1 by the University of Utah Health Care Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic using the ADOS-2 Module 4 assessment instrument [11/30] -- Screened in 2014 with ASD by using the University of Cambridge Autism Research Centre AQ (Adult) [43/50]; EQ-60 for adults [11/80]; FQ [43/135]; SQ (Adult) [130/150] self-reported screening inventories -- Assessed since 1978 with an estimated IQ [≈145] by several clinicians -- Contact on WrongPlanet.net by private message (PM)


Norny
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29 Jun 2014, 10:08 pm

Along with the above post, briefly explain to him all the positives about having autism (but don't say it is 'because of autism', say it is because of him), such as:

+ Fantastic attention to detail
+ Expertise in fields of interest
+ A different and valuable perspective on life

He can learn more about himself, and that will help him feel stronger. Personally I wouldn't celebrate the fact that he has autism, as it may highlight unwanted difference. Adolescence is a time where identity (psychosocial stages) is a mess and individuals do anything to develop self identity. The last thing you would want is for him to feel restricted in terms of identity. He has autism/he is autistic, but his whole person is not 'autism', and that's very important for him to know.

If he ever feels there is something 'wrong' with him, you could easily convince him that there is something 'wrong' with everybody. Every human has their problems, and whether or not they have diagnoses is irrelevant. When I have being told serious things about myself, I feel more comfortable if the person talking to me sounds relaxed and gets directly to the point. I appreciate a lack of lathering.. by which I mean I wouldn't want a great deal of information pasted all over me, as it blows it all out of proportion and makes it sound more intimidating than it really is.

Unfortunately he's likely going to encounter bumps along the road (as everyone does), but ultimately I doubt it will affect him any more so than another individual, provided you're always there for him, which I'm sure you would be. No parent likes to see their child struggling (cliche, I know), but it's going to happen at one stage or another.

If necessary, you could buy him a book about ASDs, as they tend to describe the positives very well. You'll always be his #1 source of support though. =)


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nick007
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29 Jun 2014, 11:11 pm

I'm also dyslexic & have ADD in addition to being an Aspie. My mom suspected me of being autistic as a toddler but my GP quickly dismissed it. Between 9th & 10th grade I saw a psych to recertify me for accommodations for dyslexia & he told my parents he thought I had Aspergers but wasn't qualified to test. My parents didn't have me tested because they didn't think the diagnoses would change anything with my school accommodations & they didn't tell me anything about Aspergers or autism till I graduated high-school. They didn't tell me a whole lot about it & I didn't think that it was something else that was wrong with me. I thought it might explain some stuff & I researched it alittle & felt it fit but didn't worry about it. Years latter I joined WP after thinking that lots of problems I was having & had could of been related to my Aspergers. Joining WP helped me out alot. I would suggest telling your son alittle about Aspergers & suggest he come here to research it.


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29 Jun 2014, 11:19 pm

Considering he has already lived with it for a good time, I don't think it really matters how gently or bluntly you go about it.

That's kinda the thing with being born with a disability. You don't really know any different, so it's not as bad as it seems to the person who actually has it as it does to others.