View Full Version : Aspergers syndrome
Was wondering if anyone has any personal experience with this. The only information I have so far is off other internet sites and I was really looking to hear a more personal spin on it.
[This message was edited by emmy on 02-18-01 at 07:27 PM.]
02-17-2001, 01:42 PM
Aspergers disease is in the autism spectrum. I have worked with some of these kids and while they are wonderful children they have great difficulty with social interactions. Most of the ones I have met are smart kids. The are very sensitive to noise and confusion. Are best on a schedule. Changes must be presented to them before making them. We have several fully mainstreamed Aspergers kids at school as well as 2 classes of partially mainstreamed ones. They take patience and love. One thing I have noticed is that they are easily picked on by bullies.
Btw 2 years ago our PE teacher had bike training and all the Aspergers students did well and were able to go on the biking field trip with the supervision of their teachers and aides. I brought up the rear in my power wheelchair and a few stragglers 1 Aspergers and 1 deaf child. They can be wonderful kids when they know you. I sub for them and the deaf kids often.
02-17-2001, 04:54 PM
Im very interested in learning more myself please :) Id never heard about this handi untill this afternoon whole at work... I learned that one of my co-workers has this.... anything you can tell me and others about this would be very welcomed! I'd like to be able to understand this young man a little more. :)
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02-17-2001, 09:20 PM
It is part of the Autism Spectrum. Some people think of it as mild autism. You can find out just about anything you could ever want to know at http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/
The amount of disability can vary widely, and can even seem like the person is just eccentric, aloof, clueless, or rude. It affects mostly what we think of as social interaction, but language can also be an issue, too; for example they sometimes don't understand jokes or sarcasm. Sometimes the person can seem so smart about one topic, but be absolutely confused about another; like why it is important to wear different, clean clothes every day, or be sure your fly is zipped. It is usually the odd things like that, or like rocking in their chair all the time, that make them seem odd
02-17-2001, 10:01 PM
Emmy - there are several kids with aspergers at my 6yo DD's school. It can vary but seems to be considered mainly a social issue. Personal space and body language are hard for them to understand. Often discribed as a "touch" of autism. Withdrawn some but not as sever; usually intelligience is normal or above average. I have a neice who after I heard about aspergers I thought she fit descriptions. She's always seemed different. Motor skill problems, little interaction with other people. Focuses on certain things to excess; she's a teenager and doesn't do well at school and is in some special classes; but spends hours looking at & catching butterflies and moths. She can identify them and knows more about them than anyone I've heard of. Her parents aren't concerned with the social issues and she hasn't been treated or diagnosed.
We have a small parents e-mail list from the school and I could ask there if someone can give you more specific information. I could also ask one of the teachers if they wouldn't mind answering questions if you have some you think they might best answer.
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Thanks everyone, this has been the latest term used in our 3 year olds evaluation process and although he fits some of the symptoms, there are some he does not. I am at such a loss and thought maybe some more personal experiences with it may help me in exploring all my avenues.
02-18-2001, 07:51 AM
I work in disability support services for a college and Aspergers seems to be the diagnosis de jour. I would get a second opinion if you are concerned.
My daughter's best friend has Asperger's as part of her diagnosis. We also know other kids with this disorder, and I happen to know one adult DISer who has this as well. One of my former bosses had classic Aspergers,and he was a very high-ranking physician at a prestigious hospital. It is considered part of the Autistic Spectrum because it indicates a developmental difference in the way that a person engages and reciprocates with others - they may seem a bit stiff or odd at times. But they do relate, they do make friends, they work and have families and they are just as intelligent as anyone else. As with other people with the Autistic Spectrum Disorders, they often have some problems with sensory processing, sometines with motor planning skills, and sometimes some language and learning issues - but not the severe type of expressive and receptive language problems that characterize kids with Autism and PDD. They tend to develop obsessions with certain topics or themes, such as becoming experts on trains, or weather... Often, people with Aspergers are just thought to be eccentric or odd people, which can lead to social issues. Not the end of the world.
"My brain takes a vacation just to give my heart more room..."
02-18-2001, 12:56 PM
It's not a disease. It's a disorder. We don't want anyone to think that you can catch it or that it's a deadly thing. The mind is wired differently. Intense fascination with objects, to the point of obsession. There are language disorders such as not reading faces or emotions. Language is usually not delayed, but can be sometimes. I would suggest visiting parentsplace autism board. Everyone there is very happy to answer questions.
02-18-2001, 02:43 PM
I am in graduate school and a fellow student in my classes has Asperger's. He is extremely bright, and does well. He gets very intense into the work, examing every detail until he understands the material. He usually sits by himself in the front row of class, but will come and talk to people when he needs to. Very friendly once he knows you. So children with Aspergers certainly can do well in academia and beyond!
Sorry I am not up on all my terminoligy yet, I just feel like they are throwing labels at us and am trying to do my own search for information etc. to make sure Chase is given the proper help at this time.
Between all the information they are giving us and the range of emotions I am going through It is difficult to sort it all out at times, So Thank You all for the great information!
02-18-2001, 05:30 PM
Didn't mean to sound so harsh. We've all been through all of these emotions. Please go to the link above and you will find tons of support and answers.
02-22-2001, 10:58 AM
I had just typed out a long reply & then lost it because I forgot to put my name at the top ::grrrrr::::
Anyhoo, lets see if I can do the quick version.
My son just turned 6 and he was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (AS) in August by a pediatric neurologist after much Dr. hopping. It's very hard to get diagnosed correctly, the biggest problem being it's a fairly new diagnoses and it's often misunderstood by the professionals.
Myself I had a hard time understanding how my son could be considered even remotely Autistic (very smart, very verbal with a huge vocabulary, sweet, funny). I have read everything I can get my hands on, been to several seminars & talked to countless other moms both on message boards & in person and I am comfortable it is the correct diagnoses.
It's hard to explain in a few words but a cute thing I heard one Dr say it's like High Functioning Autism with pizazz. Another simplistic way to look at it, and part of why it's hard to get diagnosed is that AS "borrows" symptoms of several other disorders. If you disected my son's behaviours you would see parts that looked like classic Autism, some ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive disorder and even Tourettes. None of those diagnoses fit though when you look at the whole picture.
And the worst part for me is that when I try to describe some of his behaviours (very picky eating, fixation on objects, inability to focus, and many more..) I hear "Oh, all kids do that". Yes, all kids do some of these things some of the time. My child does all of them, does them often and to the 10th degree. When I get questioned by well meaning friends who aren't around him that often ("but he's always seemed normal to me...") I tell them you may not notice anything when you spend 10 minutes with him but spend a whole day and you won't have any doubts. Heck, if you are there for the right 10 minutes you'll have no doubts, lol!!!
The Oasis site has tons of information and a great message board. http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/
Another good site is www.aspennj.org (http://www.aspennj.org)
Hope that helps!
02-22-2001, 03:37 PM
I am sitting here absolutely awe struck. I don't even know what made me click on this post. I've never heard of it before, however, it is my son! He is 12 and has been diagnosed ADD, with depression, and is on medication, however, there was always more to him that what any of these disorders included. This Aspergers has it all. I am going to look into this further with his doctor, but I would like to say thank you in advance for these posts. You may have helped us more than you'll ever know.
Just another normal day on the DIS. :)
It is amazing what you can find here.
You should meet these people sometime! :) :)
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02-24-2001, 06:12 AM
I'm glad this may help you get some answers :-)
Good luck & be patient. See if there is an Aspergers support group anywhere in your area, if there is, the moms there should be able to point you towards a Dr familiar in handling this. If not and you are having trouble, check with the closest children's hospital. So many AS kids are initially misdiagnosed with ADD or ADHD. A lot of Drs. don't understand that while this is considered in the Autism spectrum it's very different from "classic" Autism, the biggest thing being AS kids are very verbal and often have an advanced vocabulary for their age.
Just this week we took my son to a Psychiatrist to be evaluated for medication. She tried to tell me it was not AS but "only" ADHD.
The woman was rude & completely uninterested in listening to what I was saying. She had a copy of the neuologists report, a summary from my son's psychologist and copies of the reports from the special ed team at school, all who agree that he has AS. But because the few minutes she saw him he was really wound up but cooperative and talkative, that's all that counts. Needless to say we are not going back and I'm not filling the prescription she gave. I was so glad my husband came to that appointment with me. Usually the Dr visits are my job. He's the most easygoing guy & tends to accept what a Dr says without questioning it (I tend to overthink, lol!) He was totally disgusted by this Dr and told me afterword that he wanted to walk out 1/2 way through so I know it wasn't my imagination!
I guess what I'm trying to say is read up, talk to people if you can & go with your gut. Of course I have no way of knowing if your son has AS or not but you are his mom, and I really belive in mommy instinct. If you feel it could be AS and his Dr doesn't, make sure he can give you a correct reason why it isn't.
02-25-2001, 05:18 AM
Holly, thanks so much for writing to me. I really don't know what to think. I have spoken with a receptionist at his pediatricians office. She said to print out the info on AS and highlight all the things that go along with my son and send it to the doctor. He will then hopefully give me a referral to a pediatric neurologist.
My son has been seen by a psycologist for a few years now. He is on 2 different anti depressants. He has seen 2 different counselors, and gets nothing from speaking to them. I'm not real psyched with his psychologist myself. When everything is ok with my son, it's easy to forget the bad times, so if it's a good day when we go to the doctor, it's hard to explain to him how bad some days can be. My son has these unbelievable mood swings. It's like someone can just flip a switch in his head. It can turn on and off that fast. That is the only thing that doesn't seem to coincide with AS. He is 12 and has no friends. Kids can not get along with him, nor him with them. Adults think he is the greatest kid, very smart. I've been searching things for years, trying to find out exactly how to help him, because it seems like we can never quite get there. I feel like I was told to click on this original post for a reason. I hope so. Sometimes I feel he is suffering so much, like he has no control. Sorry to go on so long, just needed to vent I guess. Thanks again.
Dawn- I can understand where you are at, only difference is our son is only 3. Noticed that you are also from MA- Chase was just referred to a DR. Eugene D'Angelo at Boston Childerns Hospital- he is supposed to be one of the best in the field etc. etc. Our Pedi's reasoning was lets find out yes or no NOW- why go through all sorts of other doctors in the middle.
I am also reading a book by Dr, Greene called The Explosive Child, and would highly recommend to any parent of a child with mood swings.
If you want further info or phone numbers for Dr. feel free to email me
03-08-2001, 04:42 PM
My son who is 12 1/2 has ADD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Learning disabled, and the big one is Oppositional defiant disorder. He was seen at childrens hospital over three months before they could tell me what was going on. I also thought it was Aspergers. I had gone to a work shop for parnets and teachers and it sure sounded like that's what he had. So I guess what I am trying to tell you is that it takes a good doctor some time to tell what is going on with your child. My son has been in special ed since he was four years old. He also has a problem with having a friend and keeping friends. :)
From what you describe, I wonder if AS is the right or only diagnosis. Low frustration tolerance and tantrums are common in many disorders... but there are other disorders that have the wild mood swings and explosive behavior that should be considered as well. There are treatments for those that could improve things for the whole family.
At some point you should arrange a complete multidisciplinary developmental assessment in a center that specializes in developmental and behavioral pediatrics. Not just psych assessments. I have long since learned that psychologists and many psychiatrists often don't get it, and talk therapy is not helpful for these kids except when to comes to adjustment issues and specific behavioral techniques. You can't talk a kid out of a neurological disorder, whether it is one of the autistic spectrum disorders, Tourette Syndrome, Manic Depressive Illness, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and you can't just tak them out of other anxiety disorders, childhood depression, and other mental health issues. But most have treatments that are specific to the disorder, that might be more effective than just the antidepressants or stimulants which are commonly prescribed.
"My brain takes a vacation just to give my heart more room..."
[This message was edited by teri on 03-09-01 at 12:36 AM.]
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