Tuesday, March 25, 2008
As early as kindergarten there were indicators that my son Alec was a little different then the kids around him. He was always a well liked child, polite and very loving but when interacting with kids his own age he didn’t quite fit in. As he grew older the kids in his school singled him out more and more realizing there was something different about him. By about grade 4 he no longer had ‘friends’. The kids couldn’t understand why he acted the way he did and tended to either stay away from him or pick on him. It was then that I first heard the word Aspergers. For years I had heard many different people try to fit him to many different ‘diagnosis’; the most common was ADHD. Each time I would read up on the subject and know that wasn’t my child. When Aspergers was mentioned and I read the literature I was sure this was my child. There was no denying him missing the social cues, obsessing with one subject and the way the kids noticed he just didn’t fit in. Unfortunately, in British Columbia, Canada where I live the wait list to get a child diagnosed and any sort of help was so long that he would be long grown before we knew for sure.
Our only saving grace was that in 2005, when my son was 11 we moved to Vermont in the United States. Within a few month of moving there the school system had him completely tested with professionals and we finally had a firm diagnosis. Not only did he have Aspergers but he was designated gifted with a very high I.Q. I was fortunate to hear from the experts that my parenting skills had naturally worked to help raise him in a way that compensated for the area’s that he needed help in. They said that he was as far advanced as they would expect to see in a child that was diagnosed in his first 5 years of life. God must have been leading me.
After a year we moved back to BC armed with the paperwork that explained everything to the school system that they needed to hear. He has received such a warm welcome now that they know what they are dealing with and has found a love for the animation & film/television programs in his school.
Things are never easy when dealing with children…even more so with a child with Autism. He can be very trying at times as you try to make him understand how the world around him works. At 14, along with the Aspergers we have hormones and other teenagers to deal with. He is learning to fit in with memorizing social cues. I am teaching him to be a listener rather then a talker so that he can ‘appear’ more normal and with that have come a few friends to hang out at school with. It has been years since he’s had a new friend come to the house. His main relationships are with his cousins but I hope that as he grows he will find people his age that he can relate to and them to him.
I’m very proud of my son and who he is and is becoming; any struggles are worth the effort. We talk often about his struggles and enjoy listing the rich & famous people who have Aspergers so that he can see that in the end he will make it.
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Posted by Betty Refour at 12:09 PM