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Being the Mother of an Asperger's Child

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Being the mother of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome is difficult. It can be even worse when parents don’t know their child has it. Although an official diagnosis can hit hard it can also be the key to understanding the neurological disorder.

Asperger’s Syndrome is part of the Autism spectrum with symptoms and characteristics that vary from child to child. It’s difficult for parents to understand why their child is off by his or herself while the rest of the kids are playing together and having fun, or why even though the child seems incredibly intelligent he or she may not be doing well in school.

Asperger’s patients can present with symptoms taken from other disorders that may include OCD, ADHD and PDD. They may be sensitive to taste, light and sound, or they may have an aversion to water. Most Asperger’s kids have a very hard time dealing with any change or transition.

It can be maddening trying to string together symptoms that just don’t add up leaving parents puzzled and frustrated. Even trying to explain the child’s series of issues to a doctor can be difficult. In addition Asperger’s kids can be very high maintenance individuals requiring more time and attention than the typical child which can make parenting overwhelming.

The good news is that Asperger’s is finally being recognized as a neurological illness. Until recently kids with Asperger’s have are often been misunderstood in school and viewed as disciplinary problems, causing many to suffer from low self esteem but the tide is changing.

Finding a good pediatric psychiatrist is vital and the right medication can make all the difference in the world – especially to a struggling child. One good place to learn about Asperger’s is the Asperger’s Association of New England in Watertown, Mass. (www.aane.org).

Add a Comment21 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Recognizing Aspergers symptoms is the initial step in treating aspergers and charitable your outcome a habitual productive life. Even if it has be converted into reasonably common these days even doctors aren't reasonably sure what causes it.

June 2, 2011 - 2:15am
EmpowHER Guest

We have a son, age almost 14, who is Aspergers, ADHD, ODD, and suffers from extreme bouts of depression (since age 5), because he figured out very young that he was different and people (incl. adults) did not like him. The comorbid conditions are tough ones and he may even be bipolar (not just depressed)
Instead of crying on the floor, he gets frustrated which then turns into ANGER & RAGE. No abuse in his past, but to say he has learned to be a bully and unfortunately has the size and stature to back it up.
He is way to smart for ABA "101". Because intensive ABA therapy is so unaffordable to parents and is a team effort (psychiatrist, private school, psychologist, which is not free either), he will most likely struggle for the rest of his life until the Depression or Anger, gets the best of him.
Sad but true. Been seeing people steady (no breaks) since he was 3 years of age.

November 30, 2010 - 11:10am
(reply to Anonymous)

It's tough when they're young and almost impossible when they go through puberty but it does get better.I think their minds just run a little behind and they have to get to the next level in their own time. My son has was first treated for depression and OCD in second grade and finally Aspergers at 13. We finally accepted that whatever normally works for a typical kid won't work for an Aspergers. I think you just have to take one step at a time or you'll drive yourself crazy.
I can understand his rage. No one understands why they're different, especially a kid. My son is now 20 and has learned to appreciate being different. There are new challenges be he's developing coping skills. A good psychiatrist is vital and perhaps a school for kids on the spectrum, but you'll get there. Best of luck.

December 1, 2010 - 6:38pm

How do you find those special schools for children with aspergers?

November 17, 2009 - 7:12am
EmpowHER Guest

I'm sorry if my comments have upset anybody (I was the one who drew the black-white analogy). As an Aspie, I often find myself wading in and saying things which, although true (I believe), might not have the desired effect in the wider context. I hope I wasn't simply rubbing in a point that had already been made enough times, I just thought maybe my analogy might make things a little clearer. There's a lot of anger in the AS community about being labelled as ill, and it's not always easy for neurotypicals to understand. I hope we all learn from the experience and can still respect each other.

May 5, 2009 - 2:48pm
EmpowHER Guest

I know you may not read this, but I feel the need to comment anyways.

Teri, no one is saying or insinuating that you are a bad parent. It is absolutely wonderful that your son is doing so well and that he got the help that he so desparately needed. When I was a child, I didn't have that option. (I am also extremely lucky because I only mildly lean towards AS and was able to overcome major obstacles on my own.) Your son has a family that loves him dearly and will give him the best, and that is the absolute most important thing that you can provide.

Unfortunately, many of us with AS have a tendency to take things a bit literally. I think the original person with AS honed in on the word "illness" which implies to many of us that we need "curing." Many of us (especially adults with AS) feel that it is a condition and not an illness. Certainly it can prevent major obstacles for kids growing up.

In fact, you didn't even state your opinion about AS being an illness. Your statement that it is "finally being recognized as a neurological illness" meant to highlight that there are now so many more resources for people with AS then there once were. And we all agree that is a wonderful thing. It's obvious to me by the tone of your original post that you would never try to "cure" your son of his AS completely; you simply want to help him get over his obstacles as much as you can. What parent wouldn't want to do that?

May 5, 2009 - 7:08am
EmpowHER Guest

I will no longer be looking at these comments, i said that i thought my son was getting worse, and i get that it is because of his surroundings, i will have you know that i am very patient with him and he has a two parent household with very loving mommy and daddy, and very loving brother and sister, so apparently you are the one that doesnt know what you are talking about, this boy gets more attention and love than most, and i have been told i deserve the mother of the year award. Thanks for making this even worse considering i thought i found a good place to go for help!!!!!!

May 4, 2009 - 12:47pm
EmpowHER Guest

I fully endorse the comment that Aspergers Syndrome is best not described as an illness - it's a *difference*. People with AS are every bit as sound as neurotypical people. In a sense it's like being black - when it was left to the whites to champion the black cause, their white-centred thinking could never quite cut it somehow, black voices were essential before any real progress could be made. Ditto with AS: there are plenty of neurotypical "experts" on the condition, but nobody without AS can really know the condition from the inside, however many they've met. Their insights can be valuable, but if you want the full picture, ask the Aspie.

May 4, 2009 - 12:34pm
EmpowHER Guest

Aspergers is not a neurological illness or a disease, Teri your an armchair expert who thinks she knows the answers on this condition.

May 4, 2009 - 12:25pm
EmpowHER Guest

One more thought - there is no "frustration" unless there is first "ambition".

Lose your ambition. Lose your need to force this child to do what you want, on your timetable, at your pace. Adjust your life to allow more of his own pacing and his own time to happen. With less ambition to make him do it, you'll be less frustrated.

May 4, 2009 - 11:28am
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