I'm new: my 5-year is suspected of having mild Asperger's

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mastik
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21 Feb 2008, 7:50 am

Hi,
I hope this is where and how we're supposed to introduce ourselves. It's been quite traumatic to find myself making appointments at psych clinics for my son and learning about Autism and Asperger's. I'm sure it is for everyone. My son has a preliminary diagnosis or mild Asperger's. It was shocking for me to look at him through a completely different lense, and I'm so scared by the idea that I won't be able to take off these new glasses. I long for a rediagnosis, with some other answer. It was my wife who insisted he's a bit different and eventually overcame my pooh poohing and took him to a doc who happened to specialize in Asperger's. This of course makes me suspect the doc is "biased" somehow...but having read a good deal about it now, I guess I know where she's coming from.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi. I suppose it will be good not to feel all alone in this.

The thing I'm most scared about is will he be able to function? We've told three friends. One said _we're_ the crazy ones for thinking such things. One said "come to think of it, he has had some strange reactions". His grandmother says he's normal, he's just a bit hypersensitive. Every single one of those opinions makes me look at him differently. It's driving me crazy.



Tim_Tex
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21 Feb 2008, 7:51 am

Welcome to WP!


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SilverProteus
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21 Feb 2008, 7:54 am

Welcome mastik! :)


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queerpuppy
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21 Feb 2008, 8:01 am

Welcome!

I hope you find, as you read through this board, that those of us "on the Spectrum" vary wildly, and are all different - and can all achieve and partake in life in different ways - and your son will too!

He hasn't suddenly been replaced by a different model, you simply have a view on his neurology that can enable you all to better understand him, and he can better understand himself as he grows.

To be told one has Asperger's can be a liberating experience for some, and it can be helpful as long as pathologisation is kept to a minimum.

Anyway, best wishes to you and your family, and I hope you find what you need here.

Robin



JerryHatake
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21 Feb 2008, 8:07 am

Nice to meet you, mastik. :) 8)


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RudolfsDad
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21 Feb 2008, 8:43 am

Hi! I have a 6 year old son with Aspergers. Many people with AS have a lot of difficulties that the rest of us don't face. The good news, though, is that this need not be the end of your hopes and dreams for your son. People with Asperger syndrome have a lot of virtues to go along with their deficits and I believe that we must help our AS children to succeed the way any parent helps any child to succeed: We should help them to use their strengths to their advantage and minimize the problems that result from their weaknesses.

For example, most people with AS have a special interest that they pursue with unusual dedication and intensity. Many are able to find a path to success by finding a way to channel that interest into a career. You might be interested in this book:

Look Me in the Eye: My Life With Asperger Syndrome

It was written by a man with Asperger syndrome that faced greater childhood challenges than your son is likely to ever face. Yet, his special interest and talent in electronics led him to a successful career, a wife, and a family.

For more general information on Asperger syndrome, I would highly recommend:

The Complete Guide to Asperger Syndrome by Tony Attwood

I think that reading these two books will help you to understand the challenges that persons with Asperger syndrome face and will also help you to find a path to success for your son. It is certainly not an easy road that your son will have to travel, but I think that reading these books will help both of you to see that it is not a hopeless one.



greendeltatke
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21 Feb 2008, 9:32 am

It's probably too much to expect your family to accept your diagnosis right away, especially if some of them are of the Broader Autistic Phenotype, meaning they have alot of Aspie tendencies themselves. They'll say stuff like "Obsessions? You call that a symptom? Your Uncle Rick has memorized every line from all the Monty Python episodes and he is perfectly normal!" You have to either develop a thick skin or a sense of humor. A sense of humor is more fun.



LCMom
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21 Feb 2008, 9:39 am

Greetings!

I have to say, "me too, me, too!"

As usual, some friends are very supportive, others don't want to know. I have learned a lot in the past few weeks just reading as much as I can on this website. It's one thing to hear and read what the doctors say; but the views of everyone living with AS are so much more helpful

I think the really important thing I've learned since the diagnosis is that really old idea...you are not alone. This may be the end of everything I assumed about kids, parenting and the whole wide world, but I am seeing this as a new beginning. I think my whole family will be better off in the long run. But there is much I have to learn, and I feel a lot of pressure to catch up. I have to remember to take time, keep perspective, and let my son show me what needs to be done and when to do it.

The shock does wear off. Things do look better after a while. Be good to yourself. All the best!



iceb
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21 Feb 2008, 10:14 am

Welcome to Wrongplanet :)

Wot queerpuppy said:

Quote:
I hope you find, as you read through this board, that those of us "on the Spectrum" vary wildly, and are all different - and can all achieve and partake in life in different ways - and your son will too!

He hasn't suddenly been replaced by a different model, you simply have a view on his neurology that can enable you all to better understand him, and he can better understand himself as he grows.

To be told one has Asperger's can be a liberating experience for some, and it can be helpful as long as pathologisation is kept to a minimum.

Anyway, best wishes to you and your family, and I hope you find what you need here.


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kattoo13
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21 Feb 2008, 10:42 am

queerpuppy wrote:
Welcome!



He hasn't suddenly been replaced by a different model, you simply have a view on his neurology that can enable you all to better understand him, and he can better understand himself as he grows.

To be told one has Asperger's can be a liberating experience for some, and it can be helpful as long as pathologisation is kept to a minimum.





VERY well put. as a mom whose son was diagnosed 2 days ago, i can say i was extremely relieved to have that affirmation for what i had known for about 6 months.

i'm no longer in that place of "why is he reacting that way?", because now i know..



mastik
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21 Feb 2008, 11:08 am

kattoo13 wrote:
queerpuppy wrote:
Welcome!



He hasn't suddenly been replaced by a different model, you simply have a view on his neurology that can enable you all to better understand him, and he can better understand himself as he grows.

To be told one has Asperger's can be a liberating experience for some, and it can be helpful as long as pathologisation is kept to a minimum.





VERY well put. as a mom whose son was diagnosed 2 days ago, i can say i was extremely relieved to have that affirmation for what i had known for about 6 months.

i'm no longer in that place of "why is he reacting that way?", because now i know..



You see, for me, it's the opposite. I thought his reactions were "normal" until this doctor told us otherwise. And in a horrible way, it all just dawned on me and I saw him in a totally new light. I asked my wife if _she_ were relieved, but she said no. Only in the sense that the first person she saw with our son told her he was messed up because she'd basically been horrible to him. He had trouble with potty training, for example, which was sometimes frustrating.

Needless to say, we now feel horrible for many of the parenting methods we used until this. But I still think it was out of order to blame all on my wife. Especially since it appears there may be more systemic things at work.



kattoo13
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21 Feb 2008, 11:15 am

mastik wrote:

You see, for me, it's the opposite. I thought his reactions were "normal" until this doctor told us otherwise. And in a horrible way, it all just dawned on me and I saw him in a totally new light. I asked my wife if _she_ were relieved, but she said no. Only in the sense that the first person she saw with our son told her he was messed up because she'd basically been horrible to him. He had trouble with potty training, for example, which was sometimes frustrating.

Needless to say, we now feel horrible for many of the parenting methods we used until this. But I still think it was out of order to blame all on my wife. Especially since it appears there may be more systemic things at work.


I understand...see, i didn't think much of my sons reactions until they started becoming more apparent and more unusual..ie- crying at the smell of my potato chips or wanting to save the sandwich wrapper from his subway sub.

i too, felt and still feel some guilt when i look back on how i reacted sometimes. teaching him to tie his shoes was so frustrating. he just learned 1 month short of his 9th bday. but when i was first trying to teach him about 4 years ago, i couldn't understand why he couldn't just "get it". his initial diagnosis of NLD (nonverbal learning disability) and developmental coordination disorder, brought light to all that, so i stopped pushing it and he finally was able to learn when HE was ready.

all i can say is besides the shock and guilt you may be feeling, just love your child for who he is. it will be a learning experience. patience is one thing it's taught me, as well as looking at the world through his eyes. is he in any therapy? maybe you all could join a support group for yourselves..



Last edited by kattoo13 on 21 Feb 2008, 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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21 Feb 2008, 11:42 am

You shouldn't feel horrible about the parenting methods you have used. The only thing you will probalby need to do different, than you would had he been neurotypical, is to be more patient with him.


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21 Feb 2008, 11:59 am

When I first got my daughter's diagnosis, I only got as far as the word retarded, and then I went into shock and did not hear what the doctor said for the rest of the hour. I had a mental image of myself with a big word balloon overhead that said, "Mother of a handicapped child" and I was trying to stuff the words inside myself. It took years for the words to get inside and become comfortable.
I didn't think that much about her not talking at the age of two. I didn't talk until I was four. And my eldest son did not speak until three..................... A decade ago I found out why everyone called me weird when I could never see what was weird about me. My retarded, autistic, bi-polar, OCD daughter came by her autism honestly. I have asperger's!
Maybe because I had the most decent mother in the world, I grew up thinking I was normal (just smarter than everybody) and got a college degree and married and gave birth to three children (one bright normal, one bright asperger's, one retarded autistic) and adopted two children (one bright normal, one fetal alchohol affected) and am now grandmother to three.
Read the books the other posters mentioned here and stick around. You will feel better. You will come to terms with the new view. And your son will be fine. I mean it.



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21 Feb 2008, 7:18 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet!


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