Explaining Aspergers to your child

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2003
Explaining Aspergers to your child
8
Mon, 08-04-2003 - 9:07pm
Hi,

Can anyone give me ideas on what and how much to say to my dd about AS? I have tried to explain to some extent, she is very perceptive and gets annoyed when I talk to her teachers at school. Of course I don't speak to them in front of her but she doesn't miss anything and is aware.

I have mostly spoken to her about different ways of learning and processing information but am not sure what more to say. I'll appreciate your suggestions.

Thanks,

Cathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Mon, 08-04-2003 - 9:26pm
I found this and started reading it. I wanted to copy and paste it

but it was a little long and I didn't get to the "copyright" place to tell if

it was ok to do that or not.. so, Here's the link to "I've got A Burger Syndrome"

it talks about telling your child. I hope it's helpful

http://homepage.powerup.com.au/~josies/conference_paper-diagnosis.htm

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2003
Mon, 08-04-2003 - 11:11pm
Thanks a lot for that information it was very helpful.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 5:44am
Great link...you've been holding back on me, huh? (wink)

Candes

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 8:46am
We told Christopher (now 10 1/2 and going into 5th grade) about his AS when he was in second grade, I think. We got a book called "Asperger's Huh?" that is written for kids ages 6-12 that explains about AS. He was so relieved to realize that he wasn't the only kid in the world with this thing. We explained to him that his brain is "wired differently" than other people's and that makes him experience the world differently. In some ways, that's better and in other ways, it's worse. We alway try to play up the good points (his uncanny artistic ability, his math prowess, his "eagle eyes" and "super-sniffer nose", his utter honesty) but also acknowledge how AS can make his life difficult.

Chris is not ashamed or afraid to tell anyone that he has AS. In third grade, he and I gave a presentation to his classmates about AS. His teacher had read the class parts of "Asperger's Huh?" and then we talked about AS and how it affects Chris. His classmates were very understanding, and in fact, many of them admire Chris because "he knows more big words than anyone in our class" and "he's super smart at math."

Occasionally, Chris will ask "why did God make me with Asperger's Syndrome?" and says he wishes he didn't have it, but usually he's okay with it. We try to point out possible AS role models for him (Vincent Van Gogh, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Bill Gates) and tell him that he can make his AS work to his advantage. (We also try to speculate about other folks who may have AS--like Dexter in the Cartoon Network show, "Dexter's Laboratory." there's an aspie kid if ever there was one.)

Every once in a while, he tries to exploit it (by trying to "get away" with something by explaining that he "couldn't help it" because of his AS) but we try to nip that in the bud by telling him that he's been given tools to help him when he gets into difficult situations and he can't use AS as an excuse.

I've just bought the kid's book "Of Mice and Aliens: An Asperger Adventure," which has a kid with AS as the main character. I think it's good for Chris to see kids like him in books and such.

Hope this helps.

Elizabeth

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 9:02pm
Hi Cathy,

The link Becky gave you was great! I really can't add much to what was said on that page. All I have are a few book suggestions:

Asperger's: What Does It Mean to Me? (formerly titled "What Does it Mean to Me?")

A workbook explaining self-awareness and life lessons to a child or youth with high functioning autism or Aspergers

by Catherine Faherty

Asperger's Huh? A Child's Perspective

by Rosina G. Schnurr, John Strachan (Illustrator)


Of Mice and Aliens: An Asperger Adventure

by Kathy Hoopman

I am Special: Introducing Young Children and Young People to their Austistic Spectrum Disorder

by Peter Vermeulen


There are actually a lot of books out there that are designed to help introduce and explain ASDs to our kids. All of these books are available through amazon.com (should you have a hard time finding them in stores). Also, Barns and Knobles will help you research and order any book or kind of book you might be looking for. The people at my local B&K have really gone the distance for everyone I've reffered to them for assistance.

Also, I just wanted to say that I know what you're going through. Ayla and Jade both know that they are on the Spectrum. Ayla took it fine, she was in the 'relieved' catagory. Jade is still trying to absorb it, but she accepts what she understands, which really isn't much. To tell you the truth it has been my NT children that have had the hardest time with the dx's. Sam still doesn't understand why Jade won't bend a tiny rule (like walking into the house with wet feet) in order to accomplish something needed (like getting a towel to dry those feet). As such, Sammi is still trying to understand why Ayla and Jade are finicky about doing things in the right order(like hunting for the perfect towel BEFORE going outside to play in the pool), no matter who is waiting on them.

Just my copper pennies :)

Peace and good luck,

Candes

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2003
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 10:25pm
Thanks once again for sharing your information. I guess I kinda had my head in the sand for the last couple years thinking things would get more "normal" instead of less "normal". So it sure is great to find a place I can ask questions and get answers.

Thank you,

Cathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 7:28pm
Thanks for posting the names of those books. I will definately be getting them.

Good ol' Dexter, my son loves him. Watches him every day and wants a laboratory just like Dexters.

Angie

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 7:31pm
Thanks for the info.

Angie