"Autism & Memoirs of an Old Maid"…C'hele's Story

May 14, 2007

Autism: I’m Not A Bad Parent! I’m A Parent Of A Child With Asperger’s Syndrome ~ Part I

Filed under: Aspberger Syndrome, Autism, Special Needs — C'hele @ 16:18

Part One ~

Children with Asperger’s Syndrome have the simple yet innocent tendency “to make their parents look like they are the one’s that should be labelled with a disability and not them“. It is exceedingly frustrating that after eleven years, I still have to explain this disorder and my management of it, to eliminate any possible harsh judgments in order to avoid looking like some overly paranoid, strict, or mean parent to the public.

As a Paraprofessional, Early Childhood Educator, Respite Worker and parent of a child with Autism, I have worked with and observed many children on the PDD/NOS field (Pervasive Developmental Disorder/Not Otherwise Specified) and low to high functioning autistic children. Spectrum and a few others here on Blogsource will be knowledgeable in this area but for those who are unaware, there are many labels utilized to characterize different levels of Autistic disorders. On the left side of the spectrum disorders continuum is PDD/NOS. This is a formal term for labelling a child who displays criteria of some kind of neurological disorder, usually discovered when a child is around three or four but not yet formally diagnosed. It “may” include: Autism disorder, Rhett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD/NOS (if a child shows symptoms of some neurological disorder but professionals are not able to make a formal diagnose). In the middle of the spectrum disorders continuum, there is Moderate to Moderately Severe Autism (otherwise known as Kanner Autism) and on the right side of the spectrum disorders continuum, is low functioning Autism classified as Mixed Autism (associated with other conditions such as Mental Retardation, Fragile X Syndrome and so on).

My daughter Michaela was labelled from the ages of three to seven with PDD/NOS/Autism and it wasn’t until she was eight that she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (a common age for AS to be formally diagnosed). It took all those years for the paediatrician and psychologist to “weed out” the other disorders that express similar characteristics as AS. For years, Michaela underwent observation and testing to see where she was on the Autism Spectrum Disorders Continuum. She was also tested for Tourette’s Syndrome, ADHD, OCD/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Expressive/Receptive Language Disorder and other additional learning disabilities. In my readings and experience, I have learned that children with Autism normally have additional disorders. One child I had worked for in the past had a formal diagnosis as moderately Autistic with OCD issues and Tourette’s Syndrome. Some children with Autism may have an additional label of ADHD and just recently, I have read somewhere that Autism has its own version of ADHD. So it appears that a child with an additional label of ADHD may be suffering from a “double-whammy” or so to speak, of this disorder. *Whew!* Autism also has its own version of neurological ticks similar to ticks expressed in Tourette’s Syndrome. A psychologist or paediatrician will then have to observe to determine whether the neurological ticks may be related to Tourette’s Syndrome, another developmental disability, or schizophrenia. Crazy isn’t it? There’s more, but I don’t need to elaborate any further to prove my point how difficult it can be to sort out, diagnose and distinguish effectively, the high functioning side of autism.

For years, Michaela confused her professional team as she displayed all the criteria for Aspberber’s Syndrome save for one thing: she displayed a very social personality. Asperger’s Syndrome children have the tendency to be anti-social, or loners. Michaela is a social butterfly; she just did not know how to socialize appropriately and preferred to socialize with children much younger than herself. Today, Michaela has been formally diagnosed with Aspberger’s Syndrome, ADHD, A Mixed Expressive/Receptive Language Disorder and an Anxiety Disorder. She also has been labelled with other minor learning disabilities not characteristic of AS. If you saw her today, despite all these labels? I’m almost sure that you would look at me in disbelief.

To be continued…

C’hele

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3 Comments »

  1. I love this post ashaving a son with Aspergers i can so relate to this.
    I wrote not so long ago a blog post about the same subject. Sometimes it all gets me down but im learning to brush peoples comments a side my children are what matters most.

    Comment by clairelouise82 — January 30, 2009 @ 01:28

    • Claire? The attitude you possess is what matters the most. One day, other’s will see the sacrifices and dedication you have towards your son (and children). Focus on taking one day at a time for yourself personally- this attitude will be a God-send in the long-run.

      We are all brothers and sisters together in this realm. Don’t forget that you are never alone in spirit. You should be damned proud of yourself.

      Hugs 🙂

      Comment by C'hele — January 30, 2009 @ 06:27

  2. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d
    like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

    Comment by Parmita Nagy — August 2, 2012 @ 20:55


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