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Old 06-26-2007, 11:17 AM   #1
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Asperger syndrome

Hi everyone

My son was just dx with a mild form of Asperger's syndrome today. I have just started reading about it. He is almost 10. I am trying to not cry, I know that will not do any good. I am looking for information, help, ect.. anything really. I just got a book by Tony Attwood called The complete guide to asperger's syndrome and a information sheet from the doctor and some websites. Anyone here who is my shoes? Thank you for reading.

 
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:48 PM   #2
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Re: Asperger syndrome

Hi Jenny! Such an amazing part of our body the brain is! If everyone thought and acted exactly the same...it sure wouldn't be as interesting!

I teach in a vocational school...the kids are 15 to 18. I've had quite a few Asperger's kids the last few years. They are usually very bright...and, after they learn to trust me, a joy to have in class. Asperger's is a higher form of autism...more often found in boys than girls...and sometimes is not even diagnosed until adulthood!

This past year, we had 3 students with this syndrome.
Read, read, read everything you can about this. You'll come to understand that actions and behaviors you thought were something YOU caused are just the way this effects your son. One girl showed obvious signs of social challenges, but by the end of the year was accepted as a "normal kid".
(What IS "normal" anyway!)

I participate on a weather forum also. A while ago, one of the posters brought Asperger's up. It was amazing how many of those who often posted there had this also...and had a great interest in weather. That's exactly what I've noticed...the child has a keen interest in one main area....and what's wrong with that?!?

I went to a workshop last year that was put on by a lady with Asperger's. It was very interesting. Look up... Temple Grandin...another lady with this. I even read that Bill Gates has Asperger traits.......................such an interesting thing the brain is! Hope this helps a bit.....Pam

 
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:43 PM   #3
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Re: Asperger syndrome

Asperger's can be a very positive experience. It can be rough at times, but overall, the good outweighs the bad. In my opinion, it is a blessing, not a curse. I am very proud to have Asperger's. I have lived with it for 20 years, now. Only been diagnosed for one. I wish I had known about it earlier, so that I could have gotten more understanding and knowledge about my quirks.Your son is lucky to live in an age where Asperger's is both recognized and diagnosed. He will be able to get the accommodations he needs from a relatively early age. Good luck, God bless, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:37 PM   #4
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Re: Asperger syndrome

Thankyou Pam for your reponse. I am doing just that reading everything I can get my eyeballs on. He was originally diagnosed with ADHD, was not to eagar to medicate. I did start him on meds a year later after diagnoses. But was not happy with just having my son on meds, I wanted to be able to really get to the bottom of what was really going on. Started working pediatrician and psycholgist ( sorry spelling ) and this is was has popped up. I am happy to know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am just so hungery for any and all information on this subject. Thanks for responding to my post.

GatsbyLuvr1920, Thankyou for your post! I am blessed that we are in a day in age that this recognized by professional and parents alike. I just want to do the best by my son. I do believe that the good does out weigh the bad, he is a great kid! again thankyou I am sure I will be talking to you soon.

Rose

Rose

Last edited by xzx; 06-26-2007 at 07:42 PM. Reason: Adding on

 
Old 06-26-2007, 09:13 PM   #5
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Re: Asperger syndrome

jennii4200- I'm always here if you have questions! And, besides Tony Atwood's famous book, I'd recommend a book entitled: A Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive. It's by Dr. Sally Ozonoff, Dr. Geraldine Dawson, and Dr. James McPartland. Both my mother and I found it very helpful, along with Atwood's book.
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"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

 
Old 06-26-2007, 09:28 PM   #6
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Re: Asperger syndrome

my youngest son, was diagnosed with PDD-NOS when he was three. He didnt talk and was very frustrated with alot of things, noises, haircuts other different stimuli....well, with some great preschools and me his mom not letting anyone limit him, he progressed greatly on his own. His non verbal IQ was extremely high so when he learned to talk, things started rolling for him. He was less frustrated...and even now gets his haircut like everyone else, he still does not like the buzzing sound but he deals with it. He is 11 and is so funny, he is like a LEGO maniac and has always done things like that way over his age group. He reads almost in high school level. He is so smart..! scarey sometimes, but his is literal, very literal...he used to think the saying of "raining cats and dogs" was so wrong, how could cats and dogs come out of the sky??? He still says stuff sometimes, or hears sayings that he takes literal...
I used to cry when he was small, not knowing what /who he would end up being and doing for himself, I am not afraid anymore!! he will be the one who probably takes care of me in my old age
Oh by the way he won the geography bee in the whole school this year! he was so excited...All things are possible.
Tonishere

 
Old 06-28-2007, 11:00 AM   #7
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Re: Asperger syndrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyLuvr1920 View Post
I have lived with it for 20 years, now. Only been diagnosed for one.
GatsbyLuvr, Can I ask you a question? You say you were just diagnosed with Asperger's a year ago, but have had it for 20 years, so I imagine you're about 20, which is just a few years younger than me. Well, my question is, when did you start suspecting you had it, and how did you go about getting diagnosed? I had never heard of Asperger's until a couple of years ago, when someone I know online mentioned that her son had it. So I looked it up, and a lot of it sounded just like me. And then I found out that someone who I went to high school with had a pretty bad case of it. We always knew he was different, but we didn't know he had an actual "syndrome"...anyway, ever since I read about Asperger's, I'm almost convinced I have a mild case of it. I know that I've learned some better social behavior over the years, but I think about my insane shyness, and it's all because every time I interact with people, I'm very awkward. I did so many "wrong" things, socially when I was younger (like one time I went on a school trip in highschool, and this guy was trying to be alone with this girl because he liked her, but I kept butting in because I totally didn't get the subtle clues, until he had to come out and say to me, "Can we talk alone, please?!!" and other things like that... I can read peoples' faces, but I don't always understand when they're trying to give me subtle clues about things), that I'm always afraid of making a fool out of myself. It's like, from those bad experiences, I've either learned what not to do, or to keep my mouth shut if I'm not sure how to act around people. I can keep conversations with people, but only with people I know really well (because I'm not afraid that they'll make fun of me if I'm an awkward conversationalist). With people who I don't know well, I feel like I don't know how to keep a conversation going, and am so self-concious that I freeze up and CAN'T keep a conversation going. It's extremely hard for me to make friends and to get to know people. I panic at the thought of going somewhere where there'll be a lot of people who I don't know. I used to own it up to extreme shyness, but I wonder if I have Asperger's.
I also have been known to become an "expert" on something because I get obessed with it and just want to learn everything about it. I haven't really done that in a few years, though.
So it's hard for me to say if I have Asperger's and now that I'm 25 years old, is there really a point to finding out? But I am very curious about whether I do have it, and I would like to see if there's some way of making myself less socially awkward, because that's the thing that frustrates me the most about myself, and it would be good to know if there's actually a medical reason for it, and if I can get help for it. So, how did you go about getting diagnosed?

Thank you!

Last edited by SentenceDoing; 06-28-2007 at 11:08 AM.

 
Old 06-29-2007, 10:33 AM   #8
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Re: Asperger syndrome

I bet, when they said "autism", all those images of severely handicapped kids rushed into your mind, didn't they? Those are the poster kids, the ones that get the publicity; but the fact is that the most impaired kids are the ones that get sympathy and money for the research people... but autism runs the gamut from severe disability to near-normal. And, of course, autistic kids learn and grow just like any other kid; as adults, they're compensating way better than they did as kids. Kids with Asperger's generally learn enough to be employed and living decent, productive lives as adults; they're as likely to go to college as the general population... it's been said, in fact, that Asperger's is more of a problem because people see you as "different", than because of the differences themselves. (I can attest to that myself.)

I have Asperger's. I'm 24, living in my own apartment (three states away from my parents), and going to college for an engineering degree. My AS has been rated as "moderate to severe".

Asperger's is about as hard to manage as ADHD, from what I've heard. It's just the "autism" label that gets parents so upset; but the fact is, it's a spectrum, going all the way from "nonverbal with an IQ of 20" to "quirky, intelligent physics professor".

When you get into the "mild" high-functioning autism/Asperger's, range, what you see is basically the "geek" stereotype: Socially clumsy, introverted, fascinated with a single subject. There have been geeks among us ever since somebody invented fire (and who wants to bet THAT was a geek?); only recently did we recognize they're part of the autism spectrum.

Seriously: don't worry about it. Asperger's is almost a gift, in some ways. Being fascinated with a single subject and becoming an expert on it... being immune to following the crowd (because you have no idea where the crowd's going, or why); having a brain that works on logic and order... All those things can really be a benefit. It's a matter of figuring out where your weak points are, working around them, and then using your strengths to accomplish what you want.

Your son's still the same kid you loved before the diagnosis. It's just that now, you have a name for it; and you can find out what helped other kids with the same kind of brain. The point, basically, is to find a way to close the gap between his brain, and the brains our society's designed for. With Asperger's, it's not a huge gap; and it's a matter of teaching a lot of skills that are hard for him--social, emotional tolerance, distress tolerance, that sort of thing. Stuff he doesn't learn naturally. But if he has Asperger's, his intelligence is normal and he can learn them, just like any kid learns math.

By the way, most important thing: Asperger's doesn't keep people from being happy. Your son's no exception.

Last edited by Callista; 06-29-2007 at 10:36 AM.

 
Old 06-29-2007, 12:33 PM   #9
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Re: Asperger syndrome

Thankyou Callista

Your post is worth its weight in gold. I thankyou for your wisdom and insight. I will love my son no matter what is thrown his way, I just want to be able to help him and give him the right tools he needs to be a happy little boy. He is a smart, wonderful little guy. I would not trade him for the world. I wish you the best of luck with your enginnering degree, you sound like a very smart young lady. Take care of yourself. Again thankyou.

Rose

 
Old 06-29-2007, 01:57 PM   #10
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Re: Asperger syndrome

I'm glad I was able to help. You sound like a mom who really does care... no kid can ask for more.

Last edited by Callista; 06-29-2007 at 02:52 PM.

 
Old 06-29-2007, 07:24 PM   #11
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Re: Asperger syndrome

Callista.....I loved your sentence...

"The point, basically, is to find a way to close the gap between his brain, and the brains our society's designed for."

Perfect explanation! Good for you working hard to fullfill your dreams!.....p

 
Old 06-30-2007, 09:08 PM   #12
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Re: Asperger syndrome

Hello, SentenceDoing! Yes, I will be 20 in about a month. I believe that I went undiagnosed for so long because, one, Asperger's wasn't in the DSM until I was 7 (in 1994), and two, because, using Callista's severity scale, I would place myself on the "mild-moderate" end of Asperger's. I can "hide" it quite well, really. I can pass for normal with people I don't know very well. This often leads to some trouble, though, because people think that I'm functioning much better than I really am. And it's frustrating at times because I think that maybe I'm faking.

Anyway, I just read a book about Asperger's that said that there are three classes of adult Aspies. I would be put under the category of: "Passive but friendly." These are those Aspies who are quiet and nice to people they don't know well. They hate being around people, but they can tolerate it for a short amount of time. It isn't until you begin to know them better that the Asperger's begins to shine. The only people who are subject to my Asperger's are my handful of close friends, my family, and people who know what to look for (experts in the area of Asperger's or people who either have Asperger's themselves or have a family member with it). So, since I have always been the "goody-two-shoes" in school, the quiet one who always does her work and never gets into trouble, and since girls manifest Asperger's differently to begin with, I "slipped through the cracks," so to speak.

I also have comorbid OCD. I discovered the OCD long before the Asperger's. In fact, it was the OCD that helped lead me to the Asperger's diagnosis. I self-diagnosed myself with OCD after reading about it online at age 15 1/2. I received an official diagnosis at age 17. While researching OCD to see if I truly did have it, I read a small article about Asperger's in Good Housekeeping. It focused mainly on the social deficits, and since I'm not horribly deficit, I really didn't see myself. I thought, "All I see is the obsessive interest in topics," and I quickly abandoned the topic. (What I know now is that the obsessive interests is the main symptom in my Asperger's presentation. I am first and foremost a rambler, which I am sure will be evidenced in the length of this post. )

I started CBT the summer before my freshman year of college. It failed. I began a new round of CBT that fall, with a therapist up near my college. It, too, failed. First of all, I'm a pure obsessional, and pure "O's" are often very resistant to CBT to begin with. Secondly, as it turns out, the Asperger's was inhibiting my progress. My therapist suggested to me in the beginning of '06 that there might be something else going on besides OCD. She asked me if I had ever considered Asperger's. I said that I had but that, from what I had read, I didn't think I had it. She got out the DSM. I qualified for a diagnosis.

My old CBT therapist is friends with my current therapist, who is an Asperger's specialist. My old therapist called my new therapist and told her about my case, and my current therapist responded, "That's Asperger's," to everything my CBT therapist told her about me. So, from about April-August of '06, I read everything I could about Asperger's, and since books show many more symptoms than websites and the DSM do, it became quite clear that I did in fact have it.

After my "pseudo-diagnosis" in the spring of '06, I received an official diagnosis this past September when I went to my first visit with my current therapist. She said that it was "very obvious" that I was an Aspie, and again, to people who know what to look for, it IS very obvious.

In response to your question, yes, I feel that there are lots of good reasons to get diagnosed, even if you're getting diagnosed late in life. I think just the relief that you can actually know that the things you struggled with throughout your life has a name is a very positive thing. Plus, knowing about it makes you be able to educate people about the subject and show them that you cannot always tell autism by looking. That's my biggest stance- I don't have the stereotypical manifestation of Asperger's, and I can use that to show that all cases of Autism Spectrum Disorders are different. I wish you the best, and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

Oh, and Callista, your comment about how geeks/Aspies discovered fire was priceless!
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"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:33 PM   #13
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Re: Asperger syndrome

Thanks for your reply, GatsbyLuvr!!

 
Old 07-03-2007, 04:34 PM   #14
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Re: Asperger syndrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonishere View Post
my youngest son, was diagnosed with PDD-NOS when he was three. He didnt talk and was very frustrated with alot of things, noises, haircuts other different stimuli....well, with some great preschools and me his mom not letting anyone limit him, he progressed greatly on his own. His non verbal IQ was extremely high so when he learned to talk, things started rolling for him. He was less frustrated...and even now gets his haircut like everyone else, he still does not like the buzzing sound but he deals with it. He is 11 and is so funny, he is like a LEGO maniac and has always done things like that way over his age group. He reads almost in high school level. He is so smart..! scarey sometimes, but his is literal, very literal...he used to think the saying of "raining cats and dogs" was so wrong, how could cats and dogs come out of the sky??? He still says stuff sometimes, or hears sayings that he takes literal...
I used to cry when he was small, not knowing what /who he would end up being and doing for himself, I am not afraid anymore!! he will be the one who probably takes care of me in my old age
Oh by the way he won the geography bee in the whole school this year! he was so excited...All things are possible.
Tonishere
Sounds SOOO much like my Asperger son! He is almost 15 now and still a lego maniac. He would cry if I threw out any of his lego collection! I had to buy an extra large container to keep them all in! He still takes things literally and he is so funny when he tries to be sarcastic! When he was little he put me through hell, and I probably also put him through hell because I didn't understand him. Thought it was ADHD until he was 13! Now that I understand him so much better a relationship has finally started to develop. I have allowed myself to really love him, even his eccentricities!

The best advice I can give you is to just love, love, love your child and give him what he needs!

 
Old 07-04-2007, 06:40 AM   #15
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Re: Asperger syndrome

My older brother who is in his 40's was only just dx'd with Asperber's Syndrome 3 years ago.

He went to college, medical school and now is a general surgeon and has always had tight relationships with others or he seemed to anyway. I know a lack of empathy is suppose to be a common trait but I never noticed that with him.

I honestly think the only difference it would have made had he been dx'd in childhood is how my parents dealt with him. My mom said he was a difficult child who never seemed to learn from being disciplined. They certainly would have approached him differently I'm sure. Who knows though. One the other hand, it's probably better they didn't know as they would have treated him differently and maybe he wouldn't have become a doctor and now be so successful.

My brother having Asperber's Syndrome didn't seem to negatively affect his life I guess is my point.

 
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