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.