So many questions, just looking for answers

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mom2aspie10
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18 May 2007, 1:09 pm

Hi...

Im the mother of a 10 year old son who was very recently diagnosed as having Aspergers. I had had a therapist tell me she believed that he was a few months back, but never "diagnosed" it as such. I began looking up just what it was, and had no doubts that my son had aspergers.

I guess my first question is this... Should I tell him that he has aspergers, so that he can talk to other people that have it and learn more about it? He has asked me on many occassions why he was so different from other people, and until now I really didnt have an answer for him.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can handle his fits of anger (they seem to explode over the smallest incident... and no matter what I do to try to remedy the situation, it seems he has to just be mad for as long as he wants.)

Ill post more a little later, when I get back around my computer. Thanks in advance for any answers I receive.

Fran



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18 May 2007, 1:18 pm

As for whether you should tell him or not, I think it would definitely help if you did. Especially if he's already aware he's different. I can only see it from how I would have been when I was his age though, so I guess everyone's different. I only found out about Aspergers last year (I'm nearly 19 now) but I'm certain that if I'd known about it earlier, that woul have made my life in high school significantly less stressful. I was always concerned about why I was different to everyone else my age, and that just led to depression and other problems. I now have social anxiety which developed out of my isolation when I was around 13/14. I think explaining it carefully to him will help prepare him for any other prolems he could have as he gets older. It will also give him an explanation as to why he is different, which I'm sure would be beneficial. I was incredibly relieved when I found out I had Aspergers. I just wish I'd known about it a few years ago.
It would probably help him to talk to other kids with Aspergers as well, I find it much better being able to come on here and talk to other people who can relate more to any problems I've had or am having now.

I'm not really sure what you can do about the anger though. The best thing is probably to try and find out exactly what it is that triggers them. If it's sensory things like too much noise, or if it's to do with routines being disrupted, that will make it easier to prevent them rather than waiting till they happen. And, when they do, with me it's usually best for me to just have some time and space to calm down - somewhere quiet where I can relax.

Whatever you choose to do, I hope things go well with your son. :)



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18 May 2007, 2:01 pm

I think you certainly should tell him his Dx. This may help him recognize that his difference, which is already well aware of, is verifiable. On this forum, there is a special section just for kids! Would your son like to communicate with other Aspies and make friends? Recently one boy posted for all of us, not just the kids, his drawings of alien dinosaurs (creative)! Plus, while being autistic - AS is hard, let him investigate the qualities that define Aspies.

As to his "outbursts of anger," I do not know. Do you know of the term Autistic Meltdown? (Yes, that's a real term, ask your neuro/psych practitioner) I have these often, which are sort of a combination of an anxiety attack, petit mal seizure, disassociative state, hysteria, temper tantrum minus the temper, etc. I am nearly mute anyway but I cannot speak during a meltdown. My prescription is Clonazepam, which is a mild anti-seizure drug and anti-anxiety. Please note: I am not indicating this for your son, but just relating this drug, or an equivalent, may be a consideration. I do not mean to be presumptuous; I know nothing of your son's health. Incidentally, I am not an epileptic, but a meltdown may have parallel triggers and manifestations.

Anyway, for me, when I feel overwhelmed with external stimuli (I sort of have a saturation point), a weighted blanket is calming. Everyday, I use a digital metronome with a visual pendulum, which really helps pace myself. I have an enhanced sensory modality and this is likely true for your son too. For me, excessively bright/harsh lights (fluorescent especially - I feel the cycling of micromoles-2/sec-1), "endless loop" screensavers, and white noise (such as from my laboratory instrumentation), can be too much. Stress will exacerbate the effect too, I promise.

Well, I cannot anticipate if this information will be helpful to you. You seem like a very caring parent - you will be an invaluable resource for your son, I am sure. Say hi to him from the very shy Lab Pet, okay?

If you want, you may PM me, if you have specific questions (which I may or may not be able to answer)! Good luck.


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nutbag
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18 May 2007, 4:44 pm

1. Thank you for obviously caring for your aspiekid! That is so wonderful.

2. Check out "nutbag's blog" in this site. I wrote it to assist in avoiding stuff that happened to me and that I have done poorlu as a result. I have received several positive comments.


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mom2aspie10
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18 May 2007, 5:28 pm

Thank you all so much for your advice. This forum has been a god send and Im so grateful someone sent me a link to here!

I decided to sit down with him today and gave him as much information as he wanted to know. He wasnt really interested in what i had to say, but listened as long as he could.

Most of his "meltdowns" are caused by someone doing something he doesnt want or expect to happen (like his brother moving stuff around his computer... he HATES that). While I try to keep his area, just his area... Its hard to make an 8 year old understand why he cant touch his brothers things.

Im learning alot from this forum, and I thank you all for posting your stories and ideas. I was completely lost until I came here.



SteveK
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18 May 2007, 11:06 pm

*****TELL HIM*****

If I knew about this 35 years ago, or even 6 years ago, my life would be VERY different! Give your son the benefit he can have, and deserves.

Steve



JCJC777
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20 May 2007, 7:04 am

Hi Mom, there's a great book on AS tantrums - I mention it on the Belt & Braces page of my website below. all best



SteveK
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20 May 2007, 7:52 am

mom2aspie10,

PLEASE take what JCJC777 says with a grain of salt! In fact, you might be better off totally disregarding it!! !! !! The very first paragraph in his "introduction and disclaimer" in the site in his sig is GARBAGE!

I hope the moderators keep this up because, although it is inflamatory to him, it is TRUE! The "software" is NOT suboptimal. In some ways it is often BETTER! It is NOT large, it tends to be smaller. Most of all, and this is important, the basic theory is just GARBAGE! A lot of Aspies stim, seem to over react, are hyper or hypo sensitive, etc... and this has NOTHING to do with systemizing. I COULD mention obsessions, thirst for knowledge, desire for stability, etc... but JC would claim that is systemising.

Besides, I WISH it was something you could just switch back and forth. A LOT of people here do! Even the people that don't want a cure would welcome that.

The fact is that this affects the entire persons personality. In some ways it is ADMIRABLE, and ANYONE would love that attribute. In some ways it hurts, and NOBODY really wants that attribute. In others, it is like you are a robin that can't chirp quite right. Nothing wrong with it, but you just don't fit in.

Many autistics don't mind most of the bad. They LOVE the good, and want to keep it. Most AS people really just hate the last one. That is the one I hate. Alas, JCs theories won't help me.

Steve