How We Have Coped With Our Child’s Spectrum Disorder
Is It Real?
One thing that always occurs to parents like myself who have a kid with a Sensory Spectrum Disorder is “Is It Real?” I have heard this from other parents. At least we want it to not be real. We question if it is real, because in fact most kids with this very mild (I mean almost undetectable) form of Ausbergers Syndrome can actually seem to have nothing wrong with them.
So, that guy or girl is just a little off we used to say.
How many people do we work with, especially in technology, that seem introverted, unable to socialize or just don’t have any common sense when in public. We all know these people. Trust me, at least half of them are on the Spectrum! Things are different today. 40+ years ago most schools would just tell the parents of kids who just can’t get started that they are either disciplining them or kicking them out of class or school. So, it is only in the modern era that these oddball kids are being diagnosed.
I mean I am assuming they grow up and find their way in life. I did. This is the part that is difficult to cope with. As parents we don’t want kids who are not totally independent. We question whether or not we are the issue ourselves.
Did we cause this syndrome by our actions?
The answer is no. We are great parents. Will my son grow up and get mature and work his way out of his issues? I believe so. He is doing well in school and turns out he is quite smart. It took us a while to figure out that he needed to be diagnosed. Pre-School kids can be wild, so we just thought he was a little different.
In kindergarten the teacher will let you know right away if there is an issue. Well that depends if they really care or understand Spectrum Disorders. We found out because our son just could not use his fingers properly. He could read very well at 4 year old and was very intelligent. I lucked out because I have a good friend who asked me if he has problems handwriting, can not tie his shoes and hates labels on the inside of his shirt and does not like tight clothing. The answer was yes to all the questions. He told me to enroll him in Pediatric Occupational Therapy immediately. How did this guy know this? Well, his mother worked in the field as a professor 50 years ago and he was the subject of much research personally. We went for it and it really helped out. He went for 2 years and 2 summer camps. And of course I was $20k broker at the end of it all.
2 years later our son was able to stay in regular elementary school. A lot of parents have to enroll these kids in special schools or private academies. I personally think the public school is fine, as long as the school understands his idiosyncrasies and issues. His academics are excellent. Finally we got a diagnosis from the county school system that he is officially on the Spectrum. We are getting help at school as well and it seems to be working.
So how are we coping with this?
It is not easy. We know there is an issue, but we work with him every day to be normal and act normal. Does he have to go on meds? Honestly, I am doing everything I can to stop that, but the day may come for this. He is still young and working things out. The kids I really feel for are the ones whose parents completely ignore any of these symptoms. In particular some kids just have a very slight version of this. Because boys are likely to act out and get in trouble, they get attention early on for Spectrum Disorders because of their behavior. Girls on the other hand can often be ignored until they are older and figure some of this out themselves.
So let me know if you are in the same boat. It is real, and you need to something about it, if you can.