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Asperger's Syndrome

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by Shann, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Shann


    Sep 2, 2004
    My 14 year old son was just "diagnosed" I guess is what you'd call it as having asperger's syndrome. Does anyone have any experience with it?

    His standardized testing revealed overall high ability with the composite score being in the 98th% of all 9th graders with reading and writing comprehension and math knowledge at the college freshman level. He gets D's in english and can barely pull C's in everything else but math. My wife and I were on him every night to study and do homework. He wasn't left to his own, thats for sure.

    In some ways its a relief. We knew he was smart but couldn't apply it and hopefully we can now get some information that we can use to help other than just yelling at him to work harder!

    Also, his socialization skills are poor. Thats another "symptom". He gets along great with everybody but his peer group. He gets bullied a lot. It used to kill me when I went to pick him up at school and he was sitting at a cafeteria table all by himself.

    I'm not really looking for anything specific; just wanted to express myself to my friends here. Thanks for any info if you've got it though.
  2. cavetech


    Nov 25, 2005
    I feel your distress, Shane.

    It sounds like you have a good son and basicly a very good one. You are a lucky Dad.

    The bullying at school may be taking more of a toll than anyone suspects. Children of that age are incredibly cruel to others. More than he lets on.

    If he could get away from the cruelty he might do better and feel better.

    Heck, give him a big hug.
  3. Kismet


    Jan 30, 2002
    My best wishes to you and him, Shann.

    You can do the same on-line searching I did. There is a group called "OASIS*" which seemed to have some insights...on defining the syndrome, at least.

    *On Line Asperger's Syndrome Information and Support
  4. TomFetter


    Dec 6, 2004
    I come from a family with Asperger's (mom, brother), and am a bit "aspergery" myself. The same is true of my wife's family - both parents. It's a common enough condition in some circles that it's been called "the engineer's disease," and many folks with it are very bright indeed. Essentially, one's grand at focus, at problem solving, at many logical conundrums ... and poor at reading emotions, reading between the lines, and knowing how to respond effectively to emotional and non-verbal communication.

    It DOES NOT mean that the individual HAS no emotions themselves (some make that mistake!). It DOES mean, though, that folks have a very hard time dealing with others' emotions ... or even recognizing them. And often don't know how to express their own feelings in reasonable ways - it's like there's a language gap. Being on one part of the Autism spectrum, Asperger's folks are self-focused (distinguish from selfish, please!), frequently really not seeing how others are affected by things ...

    It can be very challenging indeed to have intimate personal relationships with an Asperger's person ... though it's possible. But typically, undiagnosed Aspergers' folks don't make great parents, as they have a very hard time recognizing and responding to their kids' emotional needs.

  5. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    As you said Shann the good news is now you know. Its hard news to hear, but may relieve some of the internal family pressure. My sisters boy has this. Now, of course she married mister millionaire, but they got him into some training programs, and he's doing really well now. This isn't hopeless. Prayers for your family from Atlanta, though. I agree with the hug thing too.
  6. Krull


    Aug 18, 2005
    Sound's a bit like me!...but I don't care I was always,and will always,be a loner-never had any friends and really still don't prefer to stay to myself then go and "mingle" in a gathering or some-such.

    And I don't like kids...at all (it's just short of detest) so score two for me.

    Kid of yours don't need "treatment" he just needs to be taken care of and left alone....but of course that don't buy the doc's new car or million-dollar house ;) so do what you will,but I'd ether home-school him or get a private one so he can work on the right thing-getting smart.
  7. mtnfalcon


    Feb 24, 2006
    My brother-in-law has it. He's a whiz with math, finances and video games, but has a little trouble expressing himself. Speaks in a British accent for no apparent reason. Shakes his hands frequently when he's excited or thinking about something. Busts out with foghorn-like laugh bursts when he finds something funny. Otherwise, he's a sharp, handsome, normal young man. He just graduated from college with a Finance degree and due to previous-mentioned video-game obsession, isn't focusing too well on finding a good job. But he gets by just fine. We love to have him around. He's great with kids. As mentioned previously by TomFetter, he will have a little trouble finding a mate when he's ready to start a family, but he has dated fairly successfully in the past, so I know it's possible.

    I think ya'll will do just fine.

  8. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Shann, I hear about this pretty regularly at home as my wife is a school psychologist. As a matter of fact, she seems to think I have the condition a little myself. I have to agree with her in that regard. She has just had MULTIPLE training courses with the most current information on this condition since she just broke into the field in the last 2 years. If you would like to send me a PM, I would be more than happy to pick her brain of whatever questions you might have or set you up with her email address. She will be more than happy to help out if she can. She has a special place in here heart for the asperger's kids since they REALLY want to be socially adjusted, but lack the means to do so. In spite of what you have heard, not all people in the psychological field are in it to get rich...or are even capable of getting rich;)
    Take care, friend. As you can see, you are not alone. Like I said, feel free to drop me a PM.

  9. powernoodle

    powernoodle Power Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Shann -

    You may wish to find a local or state chapter of NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, or whatever entity is appropriate for Asperger's. I am more familiar with bi-polar, schitzophrenia, etc. (which are quite different than Asperger's), thru Mrs. Powernoodle's involvement with a state chapter of NAMI. She is a board member, has taught classes to families of those with the aforementioned disorders, and thinks a great deal of NAMI. Asperger's may be outside the scope of NAMI, as it is more akin to high functioning autism I believe, but it would be good to associate yourself with others similarly situated.

    See this link: http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Books/Asperger_s_Syndrome__A_Guide_for_Parents_and_Professionals___Book_Reviews___Coping.htm

    best regards
  10. TomFetter


    Dec 6, 2004
    There are a bunch of web-resources now for parents of Aspergers' kids - and there's actually quite a movement within this group to see Aspergers as being "different," but not "disabled." Citing lots of desperately successful folks (from Jane Austen through to Einstein) as likely Aspergers "sufferers."

    Bottom line is, in many of the ways that the world measures success, they can be incredibly successful. My father-in-law, for instance, recently received the Order of Canada (like being knighted) for his contributions to science. But his capacity to recognize and respond to others' emotional cues is very limited indeed ... and as a result, his capacity to be a really involved father to his two daughters was hugely limited. They've paid for it. It all depends on what you want to measure ... and recognizing the limits we have.

    We each have limits, that dovetail with our strengths. It's a matter of recognizing, and compensating ...
  11. Nasty

    Nasty Chief Cook & Bottle Wash

    Nov 11, 2003
    As a former Special Ed Behavior teacher...there are skills that can be worked with. Keep up the active parenting...
  12. Shann..My wife and I have a 16 year old with Aspbergers syndrome. My wife is also a links coordinator with all Austistic kids on our school district.

    Aspbergers syndrome is a classification of Autism that falls in the category of High functioning Autism. ( You will hear the term ASD which stands for Autism spectrum disorder) Autism is a large and varied symptomatic disorder.

    I have many suggestions for you if you need. You and your wife could call me or my wife anytime..I will send you a PM with my niumber..

  13. Shann


    Sep 2, 2004
    Thanks all so very much for the kind words and offers of help. I will likely be calling to ask a couple of you some questions due to your kind offers. Its kind of too bad that the diagnosis finally came in just as school was ending. I think that there would be a lot more socialization and educational things to put right to work if he was in school.

  14. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster www.kosterknives.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001

    Friend of mine has a son with Asperger's. It's not hard to cope with once you understand it and how to work with/around it...not like full-out autism or down-syndrome.

    I have a younger brother that for years people thought was either autistic or retarded. Turns out, he's just a slow learner.

    I'm not playing devil's advocate here...I support research on autism and other syndromes, conditions, etc.

    I just always feel a little knot in my gut everytime I hear a parent say their kid's got Asberger's...because it's getting diagnosed a lot...it's the new ADHD..."everybody's got it" at some level.

    Like I said...I am in no way downplaying your diagnosis (or anybody else's here).

    Just wanted to let you know that it seems to come in many different flavors. Kids are kids...hard to raise up right...takes work/effort...no matter what they have. My 4-year-old would break Super-Nanny in two...he's just amazingly loud, angry, devilish and downright violent sometimes. He's also sweet, helpful, kind and cheerful other times. We endure the former and enjoy the latter. But there's no name for his condition...just "kid". My friend's son with Asberger's is tons easier to deal with.

    So, I guess what I'm saying...is that the label doesn't necessarily mean "problem child". Just means different - aren't we all?
  15. DaddyDett


    Jan 9, 2006
    My G/F, LilBit, works at a school where some of the kids have Asbergers.
    I am sure she would be a willing resource as well.

  16. Sylvrfalcn


    Jun 4, 2002
    Shann, I can only offer prayers, but I can and will do that.

  17. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999

    My nephew has autism. His mother was pretty worried about him at first. I kept telling her he was smart. His language skills developed very slowly though. Then they found out he was hyperlexic. He taught himself to read very well before he ever hit a school. His reading is now far far advanced over his age group, but his language and social skills are behind. I still think he is going to be just fine, and his parents are coming around to that view now too.

    Watch for your son's potentials. We all have strong and weak points.
  18. cliff355


    Apr 19, 2003

    Will send best wishes and some smoke too if I can manage it.

    If I were you, one thing I would be reflecting on is who exactly is this Pro from Dover who diagnosed your boy as having mental problems? I went a few rounds with my boy's Principal over very similar issues and was strongly urged to put him on a regular program with a psychologist to straighten him out.

    Instead I paid a psychiatrist (MD) $175/hr to analyze the situation (and take his sweet time about it) and the conclusion was there is nothing wrong with him.

    Armed with this new insight I put #1 Son in another school for more $$$ and everything is just fine - no daydreaming, no fooling around, no sitting in the corner, etc.

    If they tell me my boy's arm is broke I won't argue with them, but if they try to tell me what is going on inside his head - well that is tough for them to call.
  19. delbert ealy

    delbert ealy

    May 3, 2004
    I have heard the term before, but was not familiar with the definition. The description you gave would fit me exactly 20 years ago. Down to a tee. I have never seen a psycologist, but at 13 I failed my first year in junior high. They tested my IQ and it was high(I won't give the number). I found out later That all the faculty of the school had a meeting specifically about me. You have my deepest sympathy. Fel free to contact me if you like. I am now a very happily married man with 3 beautiful girls of my own and a wonderful wife. The only thing I will say here is love your son for who he is and don't treat this like a curse
  20. Pack Rat

    Pack Rat Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    Our grandson has been diagnosed with everything from add, adhd, slight autistic, and aspergers.

    He is now 13 and it has been a long hard life for him and his parents as well as relatives and friends. At times he has been totally out of control, defiant, learning difficulties, special services in school. and extremely poor social skills.

    He is bright enough if he will apply himself. Just ask him anything about the Astros. He is easily led astray by classmates, and is frequently in trouble at school for talking openly about school taboo subjects.

    I think a lot of the symptoms of the diagnoses I listed all tie together on these kids. One thing, he is much better if on medication. But for some reason his parents won't keep him on it.
    He is much more pleasant to be around when he is on it. And he is more of a normal boy, not one that is drugged up.

    We just hope that he will learn to be productive in society enough to be able to support himself some day.

    Interestingly enough, his Dad was in the first Gulf war.

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