Aspergers Syndrome

For those of you who have been following the highs and lows of our home education life, you may be interested to know that for the past few weeks I have been doing quite a bit of reading about Aspergers Syndrome/ASD/HFA, with regard to M’s behaviour.

Lately I have been finding it increasingly difficult to navigate M’s moods and to communicate without misunderstandings, which invariably leads to anger and tears of frustration on her part.

A good while ago, my cousin Z tentatively asked if I had considered Aspergers as the reason behind M’s behaviour, but when I looked into it, none of the descriptions seemed to fit.  However, I am a frequent user of HE groups on Facebook and recently found Aspergers mentioned a few times in relation to behaviour that was similar to M’s.

So, I started to read.  I can highly recommend this book if you need a general introduction that’s easy to understand.  After reading the whole book, I probably had listed about 10 behavioural traits that resonated.  It doesn’t sound very much, but these aspects are huge in our lives and affect us on a day to day basis.

J and I (J has been taking all this in his stride) discussed whether a diagnosis would be helpful and we decided that it would be, partly to help her understand herself better, partly to help with her self esteem (she doesn’t think she’s clever and is becoming aware of differences between her and her peers), and partly so that we can all learn strategies to help her.

I then chatted to M about my thoughts (had I been able to get a referral without her, I’m not sure I would have done at this early stage) and she was stoical about it but admitted she didn’t really understand it.  I feel I only have the bare minimum knowledge myself!

To prepare for the GP, I then listed all M’s traits that I think are Aspergers related.  Not wanting M to feel uncomfortable while I chatted to the GP, I asked her if she would like to see the list before setting off.  She agreed and listened while I read it out but when we got to the fourth point (‘masquerading’ at school and unleashing all her pent up emotions on me and D at home) she said “I don’t like that one” and got tearful, which set me off and we both had a cuddle and a cry. 😦

I’m anxious that she sees Aspergers as a positive thing and not ‘we need to take you to the doctors to get you fixed’, but rather ‘you’ve got it, so let’s learn about how we can help you’.

Overall, I feel a huge sense of relief that there may be help for us if she is diagnosed.

And relief that I feel the puzzle of M may finally be solved.

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11 thoughts on “Aspergers Syndrome

  1. I think getting a diagnoise is good. It helped us with our kids (they have spd) in many ways. I have learnt lots about what to do to help, how to structure their day. I totally agree with finding ways to make it postive for the kids. With ours we talk about super senses – kinda like super heroes and the kids like that. I also have learnt that when people ask me questions about it I always ask the kids if it is okay for me to talk about it. They mostly say yes but a couple of times they have said no and then I just tell that person sorry I do not want to upset them.

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      1. That was a hard one for me. Had a hard moment last week when I asked the kids wait for me while I go and chat to their soccer coaches and my daughter looked at me and said “you are going to have that chat aren’t you ?”. Tried to explain to her that it would help her little brother if the coaches understood better but always find that part difficult.

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  2. I’m in the process at the moment of finding out whether I might have Aspergers, and honestly I want to be told that I do because then I’d have some explanation for issues which are causing problems in my training and also some legal protection that would require reasonable adjustments, rather than writing me off as being incapable. I wish I’d been assessed as a child, it would have been so much easier to know either way ten or fifteen years ago than to be struggling as an adult. I hope that you get some answers and some support soon.

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  3. I don’t know if this will help, but in the last twenty plus years that I have owned my software company I have employed many staff with Aspergers, at all ends of the scale. They have all been brilliant and happy people. We have had many intense discussions in the office over the years on Star Wars, Doctor Who, physics, programming, religion (hey, we are all IT geeks together)…whatever. It has been fantastic.
    Once used to it, there is no problem in the office environment and their ability to focus is a huge asset.
    Hopefully this will not come across as condescending, because that is not what I mean. What I mean is that, often because of their Aspergers, these staff have been easily among my best staff. I know from experience that the syndrome can assist with a fantastic career in technology or science and I am sure there are lots of other areas where it is actually an asset. If diagnosed, you will be that much more able to take advantage of it and minimize the downsides.

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