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Registered: 08-22-2003
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Wed, 04-26-2006 - 1:16pm

Hello everyone! I just found out about this board and am excited to see all of the parents of older Aspeger's children.

Just to introduce myself... I am Katie, mom to Jason, just turned 13 AS, and Ashley 11, and soon-to-be stepmom to Brandon 7, and Aaron 3 (yikes!) Jason was diagnosed with Aspeger's in 2000, two months after I moved to San Diego. My mom, a Special Education Teacher, always knew there was different with him, but never could place her finger on it. When I decided to move to San Diego, from Lincoln, Nebraska, she researched the schools in her area and decided on this particular school (A California Distinguished School) and was pleased to learn that Mr. Grey was the only 1st grade male teacher. Within 2 months, we had our first IEP meeting and it was suggested that we test Jason for Asperger's (Mr. Grey had 3 boys in 3 previous years diagnosed with AS and knew how to teach them effectively). The doctor we went to was well-known for treating children with AS (he was featured in TIME that year for his work with As - what a find!) and was able to diagnose Jason pretty quickly. 2nd grade was difficult for Jason - new mediciation, new friends, adjusting to his differences, but was still included in the GATE testing (Gifted and Talented Education) and we were shocked to learn that he was accepted into the program (the only Special Education and Gifted student in that school EVER). Third grade was the turning point for Jason - he was with other children just like him, and they accepted him no matter what. He became quite active with youth baseball and boy scouts and made alot of new friends. His teacher was the mentor teacher for the district and taught Gifted Ed at UCSD and National University. He still says that she is favorite teacher! She was "lucky" enough to get Ashley in her class a couple years later and then she retired.. hmm coindence?

Middle School was an easy transition for Jason - his first semester was a 3.8 while taking band, boy scouts and soccer. I had more problems with his case manager who felt that she didn't need to include on her list of cases because he was so high functioning... ugh! So here we are close to the end of 7th grade.. a 4.0 this past semester and probably another 4.0 this semester - just returned from a band competition in FL for 4 days (during his birthday) and 2 basektball teams and a soccer team at the same time, and working toward his eagle in boy scouts.. gosh a busy kid! In between -- he has realized girls.. I am not ready for that! He is already talking about which college he would like to attend also - Berkeley and UCLA are a couple of his top choices.

He is also is adjusted pretty well to the addition of my fiance living with us and we still live with my mom (we have been living with her since we moved to San Diego so I could finish my education debtfree - a godsend for sure!)

He is also currently involved with a study at UCSD for children with Autism and will attend Camp I Can this summer (for children with Autism). We particated in the Cure of Autism walk earlier this month and will walk again in June.

I took a class at San Diego State last year (with the help of my mom who was taking classes there to get her special ed certificate) on Issues with Autism and found it while informative on Autism in general, not alot of information on older children with Aspeger's. Found alot of information on my own to share with the class.

Boy... that was a little longer than I hoped.. but as you can tell I am VERY proud of my son. Everyone who is involved with his treatment, education and activities are so impressed by the work my mother and I have done.. I pat myself on the back everyday.. I was very proud, when on Saturday when I was helping with a band competition on Saturday, I learned that a school district employee who works with children with Autism and her daughter goes to Jason's school and attended the FL trip, saw his name on the flight manifest and had to ask the Band teacher who he was. She will be working with him next year to help him transition to high school...

Well..time to close this novel

Katie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2005
In reply to: katie9394
Wed, 04-26-2006 - 2:08pm
Welcome Katie,
My name is Teresa and my son Jake(3yrs old) was diagnosed with high functioning Autism last year. It was very reasurring to read your description of your son and all his wonderful accomplishments. It gives me hope for my sons future!
Teresa
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Wed, 04-26-2006 - 2:17pm

Teresa ~

You are welcome!

One thing that I didn't mentioned and might be critized for it... I didn't tell Jason he had had Aspeger's until right before he went to 6th grade. He knew that he was different from everyone else, but at the same time, I didn't want him to use his disability as a crutch. He actually identifies himself more as a Gifted Student than the Special Ed student.

He knows what his disability is (he read "The Curious Incident..." and saw himself in it)and told me that he wants to be a scientist so he can work on a cure for autism. We will see if that happens...

Katie

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Wed, 04-26-2006 - 4:46pm

Katie,

So I am wondering... have you worked with any of the autism specialists in SD? If so, who? AND.... the course at UCSD, is that the one with Laura Hall? It is a very small world. I know alot of folks in San Diego City Schools.

What week are you doing Camp I Can? My kids are going the first week I think. End of July, I have to check my schedule.

Renee

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Wed, 04-26-2006 - 5:00pm

Renee (that is my middle name) ~

Yes the class was with Laura Hall - absolutely loved her!!!!

We have not worked with any Autism Specialists to date -- Jason's doctor, Dr. Stein, has been working with him, although 2 years ago, he said that he didn't feel that he really needed to see him that regularly since he is doing so well. Most of the work we have done with him, is through my mom and her friend who is a Speech Therapist. Almost scary that we haven't worked with anyone, but at the same time, yeah!

Jason is going to Camp I can with the week of Aug. 7th. I had signed him up for the last week for camp which was just of As teens, but that filled up too quickly.

I take it you live in San Diego?
Katie

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
In reply to: katie9394
Wed, 04-26-2006 - 5:35pm

Dear Katie,

I want to welcome you to this board and it is great to hear such wonderful success story of your cool sounding older AS boy.

My own son is 8, PDD-NOS and sadly not able to be mainstreamed because of high sensory needs and poor special education programming -- however, he is excelling in very academically challenging private special needs school, where he is aheaof grade level in all areas, and is slowly learning to control his temper and sensory reactions, just recenly we have actually added amild anti-depressant to help these and so far so good.

We also have not yet told Malcolm of dx, although we have had many discussions about his specific challenges. He may be ready soon for this, but we are still waiting, discussing with his psychotherapist, etc. Our son is also friends with many children who are like him, other high functioning ASD kids, so he doesn't yet see such a big discrepancy between himself and the much larger NT world he lives in... And he doesn't really think of himself as exactly "different" yet, because in his world, inclusion means everyone (NT, ASD) are just friends.

Anyways, I hope you stick around. It is so cool to hear about older ASD kids.

Sara
ilovemalcolm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Wed, 04-26-2006 - 8:13pm

N. County. Vista actually.

My DH is one of the San Diego autism specialists. He is also on the advisory commitee for the autism masters program at UCSD. I believe he presented at one of her classes last quarter. He usually does and I know he went at least once. In San Diego, the specialists go to IEP's, consult to classrooms and train teachers. I know them from christmas parties, social gatherings, etc. He also has gone to a few of the ASA meetings in SD. I can never make it there because of the commute. We belong to both the NCASA and SDASA. One of the autism specialists there is also on the SDASA board and president of the psychologist association (CASP)for the area. We are thinking of asking her to do an indendent testing for our daughter privately.

I am a lucky girl. I got good connections, lol. We wanted to sign the kids up for the last week (aspergers week) but they start back to school before that. However, we heard that AS kids go to all the sessions so we signed them up for a week that worked for us.

Renee

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Wed, 04-26-2006 - 10:37pm

Renee ~ Those are some great connections! :)

I look forward to hearing about your kids experience at Camp I Can.
Katie

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Thu, 04-27-2006 - 10:56am

Katie,

Welcome aboard. I'm Samantha, mom to Kyle (asperger's age 11) and Hannah (anxiety age 7). Its great to hear about how well you ds is doing. I look forward to hearing more about what you and your Mom are doing with him.

Samantha

Samantha
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Thu, 04-27-2006 - 2:51pm

Hi Katie and welcome here! It sounds like you have a wonderful son and some amazing supports in place for him.....that's awesome!

Christie

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2004
In reply to: katie9394
Thu, 04-27-2006 - 7:57pm

Hi Katie,

Welcome to the board! My son is only 7yrs old, so it's nice to see mom's who have older kids. Sounds like Jason is doing really well!!! I'm hoping our middle school experience won't be a difficult transition for us....but I know that time will only tell!

michelle

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