New Here

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2006
New Here
10
Wed, 07-19-2006 - 7:44am

Hi all.

I am an expecting mom and I have always come in high on these "nerd" tests and recently, as it became an official diagnosis, I took the Asperger's tests (online, not going to pay for a diagnosis as I'm already grown and don't need any follow up) and not surprisingly came in very high in the Asperger's / autistic spectrum symptoms. As a kid I was put in for testing at different times for autism, dyslexia, and ADD, but my mom never let them test me as she felt I was doing well enough without being diagnosed with anything.

Although I've always been unusual (and known it) I haven't had any major issues in life or rather, let's say, my life has not been fraught with more difficulties than anyone else's, so I figure, if I do have some "condition", who cares?

But I thought that there is a big chance that my kid will also be like me and then I'll really get to see what kind of issues I had as a kid. So I just thought I'd introduce myself before I started commenting / reading.

Thanks for being here!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: izobelle
Wed, 07-19-2006 - 4:22pm

Hi and Welcome......is your name Izobelle? Isabelle? Belle? What can we call you? Glad you found this board.....I think it will be very interesting to see what your take is on the topics/questions we discuss. I believe there is another mom here who is (undiagnosed) aspie.....I can't remember who.....sorry, I don't seem to have much of a memory these days.....I must have left it with those car keys I can't find......hhhhhmmmmmmm.....where are they?

Anyway......again, welcome and I look forward to learning more about you and your family.

(SMILE)
Christie - 38 yr old SAHWife and Mom to two boys (Vaughn - my 8 yr old aspie and Jack - terrible 2 monster) - we live in Ohio

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
In reply to: izobelle
Wed, 07-19-2006 - 8:28pm

Hello and welcome!


I am Paula I am a WOTH mom to two kids: Peter is almost 8 & HFA, and Siobhán (DD) is 6 and ... well, we're not sure exactly what her diagnosis will be.

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2006
In reply to: izobelle
Thu, 07-20-2006 - 3:35am

Hey there, thanks for the kind welcome!

I was reading some posts and I think that definitely, I would have a much milder version than what most people's kids here have. But that's obvious, because most parents are willing to deal with a lot of idiosyncrasies and don't go looking for help unless it gets pretty serious... whereas this whole thing was something I started to wonder about as an adult, reading the media thinking, "Dude, they are describing people like me as if we have some kind of disorder. How funny!"

Of course it's not funny if it causes more problems than gives advantages.

Good luck with the car keys ;-)

Izobelle from Washington State

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2006
In reply to: izobelle
Thu, 07-20-2006 - 3:53am

Hi Paula!

People are so welcoming here. How nice.

LOVE the name Siobhan (though much too lazy to get the Irish characters). I once met a great young lady with that name in the UK. She was severely physically disabled but mentally totally there, and just had the best attitude. Had to take her vacations with a bunch of old people due to the fact that only the special vacation areas had the right facilities, but she did make the best of it. I only knew her for a week but she stuck in my mind. I'm sure whatever dx your DD has, she'll make the best of it as well. :-)

I am definitely quirky but I don't consider myself disabled... for me a disability is when you have some condition with more minuses than pluses, not counting of course the pluses of the different people you meet, etc. Like, missing a leg is a disability, but having an extra toe is just an extra toe. So, I might have taken a long time to learn to write forwards, but the benefit is, I can write backwards- in any language- and this has also helped me to learn to write beautifully in Persian as well since I had so much practice writing from right-to-left in the first place. Heh. You never know when these weird talents are going to come in handy.

I'm not so much "concerned" that my kid will have some kind of AS type symptoms- in fact I hope that he or she will also learn to read at three, sit quietly and nicely and play by him or herself, and be able to write music at a young age. I just thought I'd get mentally prepared for the other side of things... bad temper, stubborn, a bit slow to get jokes, etc.

I'll have a green tea, thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2006
In reply to: izobelle
Thu, 07-20-2006 - 9:05pm

Welcome!!!!!!!

Well my husband swears he is aspie since we had our ds dx'ed with pdd. AS for genetics, there is a rise in the odds. HOWEVER, I do stress however it doesn't mean it will happen to you. My best advice to you is follow your gut. I was in denial my dh wasn't. If I weren't so stubborn I could of gotten my ds early intervention at least 6 months sooner that we did. He still is bitter nor can I blame him either.
My ds has done AMAZING since we gotten help. My point here, if you suspect consult the doctor and get evlauated to see if your child could get early interevention.
Best success is getting services early.
My ds didn't speech sentences 3 months ago. I can't get the kid to pipe down now.
My mini miricals and my mirical workers. They are worth it.

Enjoy the green tea
I prefer a cold draft beer

nora

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2006
In reply to: izobelle
Fri, 07-21-2006 - 2:51am

Nora, thanks for the advice.

Anyway I hope to be following my kids' development closely regardless, though as for "Asperger's", a great many people who have been diagnosed or who have come up as "aspies" on tests live perfectly happy (albeit slightly quirky) lives without any special interventions. I certainly am glad I wasn't labelled as a child, except as a nerd. I never wanted to be cool anyway, so that didn't bother me, and I was able to develop other talents and a level of independence that a lot of people don't.

Obviously PDD is an entirely different story and if those symptoms start to show up, we will go in for the earliest possible help.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
In reply to: izobelle
Fri, 07-21-2006 - 7:16am

Hi and welcome.

I do feel that the dx of Asperger's means that those "quirks" are interfering with the ability to live a happy, quirky life without intervention. Otherwise they wouldn't need the dx. Many Asperger's people have severe difficulties with functioning well socially and emotionally at great detriment to themselves and those around them.If Asperger's were just a matter of not being "cool", there really would not be a need for this support group. I am glad it was that way for you, but should your child develop Asperger's, there is no guarantee it would be the same for him/her.

PDD (Pervasice Developmental Disorder) is a general term that covers Asperger's and other spectrum dx'es, PDD-NOS another dx under the general PDD or ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) heading. As I know many children both PDD-NOS and Asperger's, there is no necessarily as much difference between them as you might think. Each child is different, degree of severity also different, Asperger's is not always mild at all. And many Asperger's children I know are going to have a very rough time being independent as grownups, happy, quirky without constant support...

My own son (now 9, PDD-NOS) may or may not end up being independent. He has lots of strengths, language, humor, independent and unusual creativity, but struggles very much with feelings and social interactions. He is learning, however...

Congrats on impending baby!!! How exciting. I look forward to hearing more about you and how things are going for you and your new bundle of joy!

yours,

Sara
ilovemalcolm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: izobelle
Sat, 07-22-2006 - 12:04am

I have to beg to differ on some of your points. Actually it is kind of a sore spot with me. There is always the assumption that those with AS are just a little quirky and grow up fine. If that were the case there would be no need for a diagnosis.

Actually, according to the DSM and other diagnostic criteria, the only difference between full autism and aspergers is that people with AS don't have a significant delay in language and cognitive skills though they still often have significant difficulty with communication and cognitive differences and challenges. They often do not learn the same way as thier NT peers and often do need educational supports.

It can be a severely debilitating disorder that is pervasive through out all areas of life. Your right to be glad not to get a label in childhood. I think being different aught to be allowed. Being quirky aught to be ok. We are all different. I honestly don't believe that folks who don't need special interventions or supports should need a label or diagnosis. The reason for a label is to access needed supports.

The reason it is a sore spot is because the prevailing assumption that you mentioned makes it very hard to get support services for those with more severe AS. It also gives the wrong impression to those on the outside. I get alot of flak from family about that kind of stuff because they don't believe it is a severe disability. Meanwhile both of my kids are in specialize special education programs with aides. Cait shares and aide and Mike has a 1:1 in a special day class. Both are significantly impaired by thier AS and are more than just quirky.

As far as PDD, that isn't a totally different thing because the whole PDD-NOS label is SOOOOO vague. It can range from kids who are mentally delayed with some autism symptoms but not the full criteria to kids who are incredibly mild and don't meet the full criteria for AS.

Sorry. You caught me on a cranky day when I am just plain sick of autism and the hold it has on our family. Cait can now pass as "quirky" often because I am behind the scenes providing social coaching and interventions to make things work out. However, she still has no friends she has called this summer. She has huge problems with clothes. Needs help washing her hair and self help skills. Needs an aide at school and a long IEP. Can't go to regular camps due to her nievity and lack of common sense as well as a seizure disorder. Most of the kids her age are babysitting, going to the mall with thier friends or riding bikes to each others house, and I can barely leave her home alone for an hour if I am lucky and I just let her sit on the computer the whole time and she is only just now able to walk the dog right in front of our house and otherwise isn't allowed out of the yard. She has target written all over her and no problem solving/self preservation skills.

Renee

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2006
In reply to: izobelle
Sat, 07-22-2006 - 3:07am

Hi Sara. Thanks for writing and your warm congratulations. :-)

You wrote that "I do feel that the dx of Asperger's means that those "quirks" are interfering with the ability to live a happy, quirky life without intervention."

I would have to agree, but I also think that different doctors and different families have different tolerance levels for what requires outside intervention. From what I've seen here it looks like most people are putting up with a LOT before they go to the doctor... but I'm not sure that's the case among the general public, based on what I've seen in the media. I guess it's the same as ADD/ADHD: there is DEFINITELY a disorder which requires specialist help for people to lead fulfilling lives. However I know a lot of kids who were put on medication and diagnosed whereas I would have felt that it was just a personality thing.

When I read articles about Asperger's, what always stood out to me was that the people who had the Dx who were interviewed were almost always working in good jobs (I mean, maybe not top lawyer but something that looked meaningful and fulfilling), were able to relate reasonably normally to the interviewer, not to mention that of course getting to an interview was not even mentioned as something of a problem. They sounded perfectly normal to me, and one of the reasons I thought I could have AS was because I thought, "hah, we have a lot in common!" Most of these people were not diagnosed until adulthood. Nearly all of them were married (as I am) so you have to assume that they somehow managed to fall in love and get a good job without meds and without a psychologist, which I think that nowadays in the west is a big accomplishment even for "normal" people. :-)

Anger, outbursts, social awkwardness, and obsession are all things that I have dealt with in my life, but when I consider the alternative (no obsession = no art, no anger = no passion to solve the problem that has helped me so much in my non-profit career, no social awkwardness = makes travelling harder because I would have had a harder time adjusting to new cultures whereas I've never experienced "culture shock" because my whole life has been an experience in not understanding the culture, no outbursts = well, yeah, that would definitely be good and I'm working on it).

But I would emphasize that while I went through a tough time as a teenager, so did everyone else, and I wouldn't trade my passion for anything. I'm sure as your son finds himself he will feel the same way. :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2006
In reply to: izobelle
Sat, 07-22-2006 - 4:01am

Renee,

There's no need to apologize for sharing your ideas and your situation!

I guess that I was under the impression that AS was a diagnosis that described a spectrum of disorders / abnormalities, and that some of these bordered on or were pretty much equal to being quirky- were they not so unusual. I didn't meant to imply at all that most or all people with AS were "only" quirky, or that the people on this board were all wrong in believing their kids needed special help because of their individual diagnoses.

The unfortunate thing about psychological disorders is that it's harder for us to "see" the spectrum and thus understand what constitutes a disability and what doesn't. I do think that there exist a lot of people like me who have a lot of the personality traits which would put them in the AS category, and many of us have also been halfway diagnosed, but as for me, I'm glad I wasn't labelled, because it wasn't so severe that it needed to be.

I was also trying to emphasize the positive... again I would say that the difference between a disability and a difference is that the disability means the problems outweight the benefits, and you are the judge of that for your daughter for now, not me!