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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: 03-26-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Mon, 05-08-2006 - 11:09pm

Lin,

I understand. It is wonderful to hear stories of kids that are doing so wonderfully for whom things have worked really well. I love hearing that. But it couldn't be further from the truth for me either.

I think this is where Paula's advice comes in as great. To only compare our kids to themselves and what progress they have made. Sometimes it is hard to see but if I really go back and look at some of the old reports, it can be amazing in it's own right. But sometimes it is frustrating. My SIL has a son with autism. My friend has a son who was diagnosed with autism at 3. They are the same age. They started out with similar profiles at 3 years old and similar abilities. They recieved almost identical services. My nephew is still very autistic and struggles greatly. My friends son is indistinguishable from his peers and went off an IEP last year.

Big kudos to those doing well. No one knows the hows or the whys. We just hope to find what works for our particular kids and to help them meet the highest potential and have a happy life.

Renee

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Mon, 05-08-2006 - 8:11pm

Wow, this is an amazing story -- certainly not the typical situation for a child with AS or Autism.

Our son is 12, and he has done nothing but struggle with academics, behavior, peer relationships, etc.

My DH & I are both college graduates, intact family, etc. We have given our time, effort, money, not to mention blood, sweat, and tears to help our son, and our results could not be further from yours.

Lin

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2005
In reply to: katie9394
Mon, 05-08-2006 - 11:15am

Katie,

You mentioned that you worked (informally) with a speech therapist with Jason. Did Jason have any delays with his speech when he was younger? Just curious. My son is 3.5 and scary bright sometimes, but he has been delayed in his expressive speech by about a year (receptive speech seems to have a delay, too, buy only by a few months or so). Kiki (my DS) has always been a watcher and a thinker, and I'm betting that your Jason is very similar (or maybe it's just hopeful thinking, since Jason sounds like such a great kid and you are obviously so proud of him).

Glad to meet you!
Gemma

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Sat, 05-06-2006 - 7:42am

You have just given me hope -- My DS Adam is 9 with PDD-Nos (thinking Aspie) and in 3rd grade this is our turning point year -- he has grown so much and I have learned so much from him this year as well. A different child.

Your post shows that if you allow your child to do all that they can do, they will succeed -- it sure seems like you have a pretty great kid and that you are doing all that you should with him. You owe yourself a pat on the back for that. Raising a child with autism isn't easy and it takes a special kind of person to be able to do that --

Thank you for sharing your storie -- it gives newly dx kids parents hope that their child will be just fine.

Thank you again!

Amy
 
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Sat, 04-29-2006 - 10:33pm

Thank you Renee for explaining Camp I Can for me.

Katie

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: katie9394
Fri, 04-28-2006 - 8:35pm

Anandhi,

We are very lucky here. Camp I Can is a local thing that is sponsored through our local autism society of america in conjunction with the local YMCA. Many areas may have camps for specials needs kids. Check with your local Autism Society chapter or if you have access to state services check with your service coordinator.

Check with groups like the YMCA or local parks and recreation program to see if there are any special camps for kids with autism or special needs.

I just found out about a camp for kids with epilepsy that is over night and totally free. To bad it is the same week that I signed Cait up for Camp I Can. Oh well.

Renee

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2004
In reply to: katie9394
Fri, 04-28-2006 - 7:29pm

Hi Katie,
Welcome and congratulations with all your achievements. I am really glad to hear. My son was recently diagnosed. What is the Camp I can and how do I get info?

thank you,
Anandhi.

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

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: 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

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