Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Motherhood - Aspergers?

As mentioned, I have a wonderful son, so cute (biased of course but he really is).  He has been challenging from the age of about 18 months.  We surmised it as being a boy, terrible twos, hyperactive...normal, 'that's the way it is'.  However it was not until I noticed that at the age of 4 his ability to comprehend and converse was not in alignment with his peers that I started to question.

I spoke to his teachers, they said he has an excellent memory, he is extremely smart, he will develop in due course.  I kept in touch with them several times a week.

Then one day out of the blue his teacher said she feels he would benefit from Speech therapy.  She reiterated what I had mentioned months back and said she felt he should be more advanced in his speech.

A therapist was recommended. We went to see her.  She immediately said she thought he has Aspergers Syndrome (AS) and was on the autistic spectrum after his first assessment.  Not clinically positioned to make this diagnosis I was apprehensive to accept this.  Also what on earth was Aspergers anyway????   Not to mention I was horrified that someone would suggest my boy was Autistic.

So what is Aspergers?  A definition I have found easy to memorise is:

Asperger syndrome is often considered a high functioning form of autism. People with this syndrome have difficulty interacting socially, repeat behaviors, and often are clumsy. Motor milestones may be delayed.

Read more:

KC (my son) displayed the difficulties with social interaction due to his language development delay, as well as repeat behaviours.  Earlier on, he had tantrums which he no longer has.  This suggestion was still a very bitter pill to swallow nonetheless.

So as I was saying about the Speech Therapy....He proceeded to have sessions, and I questioned everything.  Her approach, her methods, and applied my rule of seeking to understand before seeking to be understood.  

She didn't appreciate my questions and I didn't appreciate her inability to empathise, so I sought another speech therapist.

KC has been seeing a new speech therapist, she is great.  However she too mentioned her suspicions that he has the same.  I guess I have been toiling with this and somewhat in denial.  I have in fact read up on this syndrome since the first therapist mentioned it.   However with the sanitizer eating episode I have decided to find out more about this disorder.   I have not decided if/when I will seek formal diagnosis yet - but I sure will educate myself to the Nth degree.....

My new motto being 'Acceptance and Go with the Flow'.... I have chosen to acknowledge that my Son may have this and accept it if is so.  I have sought friends that have sons with similar disorders already (coincidentally I have two friends already within my social circles).  I am a book fiend, so I have already bought a few books on the topic today since making this decision.

He is a very bright boy, so I know he will be ok.  Nevertheless I fear how it will impact his future if he does have AS.  However I realise that by educating myself and those around us, it will not hinder but will benefit him.

If there are any parents out there that are willing to share their stories of your journey's I would love to hear.

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