Finally diagnosed - nearly aged 8 - what age do u tell them?

Diane - posted on 10/19/2009 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Hi- what a long journey we have been on to get here!!! With various professionals and school staff telling me over the years he didn't have Aspergers, it also took a second assessment as the Autism team couldn't be 100% last year!! They have now formally diagnosed and said although some of his symptoms are subtle that doesn't mean he is mild.



What do i do now though? I have no idea when and what to tell him? Would it be too hard for him to understand and make him worry or would it help him realise why he is different.



Any advice would be good.

Thanks

diane

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Alice - posted on 11/16/2009

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Hi Diane, I have a 13 year old grandson who was diagnosed with aspergers in approximately 4th grade. We've been told it's very mild. He was teased and made fun of in public school. He doesn't realize he's different. The kids who didn't make fun of him he thought were his friends. He was physically abused also. He's a great kid, but, he hated school and even told the principal he didn't want to go there. He was abused so much by the other kids that the principal finally told my daughter he couldn't protect my grandson all day. He goes to a wonderful therapist who talked to my daughter about home schooling him. She decided to put him in a local private school where the classes are smaller. My grandson makes As and Bs now and even has a good friend. He recently went to his first sleepover. We've never mentioned aspergers to him. If he sees the differences he never mentions them and do you want him labeled? Get a psychologist to guide you and to spend time with him from time to time. The psychologist will help you decide if you should have that talk with him. The aspergers kids/adults are wonderful in their own right and with some guidance I believe they can live full and wonderful lives. We know Trae may need to stay close by as an adult so we can help him, but, hopefully he'll live a wonderful life. Not long ago a lady posted on here that she is married to a man with aspergers and has a son with aspergers too. Remember these kids need a routine. They can learn anything, but, it takes a rigid routine for them. They are also very literal people so be exact with what you want them to do and remember routine, routine, routine. Good luck to you and welcome to the aspergers "family".

Julie - posted on 11/16/2009

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My son is 11 no. We got a diagnosis when he was almost 9. We didn't tell him at first, but it was an elephant in the room. We finally decided to tell him last year. It made all the difference in his self-esteem. He knew he was not like his peers. For example, now he knows exactly why he "freaks" at loud unexpected noises and that it will pass. He can tell himself it is just his AS. It is a reason, never an excuse.

Debbie - posted on 11/13/2009

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Hi Diane, Explain it in a way and time that your child can understand. My son is 7 and was diagnosed at 3 yrs, so ASD has been in my home alot. We haven't always used the word Autistic, but he has always know he is different to other kids. I have 2 nephews the same age within 3 months of him ,so differences are very obvious at family gatherings. If he can understand it, keep it simple. I also have a 4yr old boy and find explaining to him is a lot harder as his comprhension is just not at that level yet but can't understand why his brother can do things that he would get in trouble for. I just try to keep it simple for everyone and make sure that they all feel loved and accepted for the truely unique little people they are.

Brenda - posted on 11/03/2009

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Hey Kim,

My son (13) knows when he is being teased, but doesn't understand why. He is pretty verbal, but doesn't connect that it is him that is different. In some ways I look at as a blessing, because I don't have a child coming home in tears, because he is being teased. He just gets mad at them and then when they stop its okay and forgotten. Ignorance is bliss sometimes. I do worry what it wiil be like for him in a year and half what the Middle school is going to be like for him. He is really blessed to have such great teachers and administration who support him at the elem. They all love him.

Thanking God :)

Kim - posted on 11/02/2009

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Hi Brenda,



My son is 7 and sounds and acts very similar to how you described, he has no clue. He is oblivious to other children treating him differently. I know this may change but for now he has no care about what other kids think.

Brenda - posted on 11/02/2009

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My son was dx at 4 with PDD/NOS with autistic tendencies, He is now 13 and was redx with mild to moderate Aspergers/Autism and does not have a clue he really is different. He has never asked and we use his dx freely when we talk to other people. I think he knows he is different and I have had to explain why someone treats him differentlty, that they just don't understand him. So it looks like every child is different in their ability to understand their own situation. Don't hide it and only you know if he could understand. Good Luck and God Bless and much patience :)

Terri - posted on 11/02/2009

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My son has high functioning autism and was diagnosed at 2 years and 4 months. He is 7 almost 8 years old and attends a mainstream school. His teacher and classmates were aware of his situation but I chose to tell him this year as I felt he was probably old enough to understand and also because he was noticing he was different. I was actually watching a piece I had taped on Today Tonight about Autism and he was interested and watched it with me. I just explained to him wat his diagnosis was and that is why he has trouble with his temper and social issues. He actually took it quite well, probably because he is aware of all the extra help he gets and also because he has seen the autism brochures arriving in the mail. The only backlash I have had is that he is now at times trying to use the label "my Autism" as an excuse for his behaviours. I made a point of telling him that even though he has autism it is not to be used as an excuse for bad or distracting behaviours. Autism SA or Disability SA can offer you some strategies on how to break it to them gently. Good luck. Terri

Monika - posted on 11/01/2009

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Hi,

There is a great book called "all Cats have Asperger's" It has great pictures and relates AS to the behavior of Cats... That may help. My 9 year old liked it.

Monika

Amanda - posted on 11/01/2009

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There are a lot of great books for children about autism that highlight the good aspects of children with autism, my son is almost four and although he probably doesn't understand yet I'm trying to teach him from a young age that he has autism and make it as positive as possible. My nephew who is 5 knows Lukas is 'different' and sometimes gets frustrated with him, so I try to explain to him that Lukas doesn't realise that what he is doing might be considered rude or annoying, I figure by teaching other kids about autism it will give them a better understanding and hopefully make them more accepting.

Kelly - posted on 10/29/2009

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Hi, My son is 10 and was diagnosed when he was 5. We didn't mention the autism word until rather recently, and basically we told him he has autism which makes it hard for him to control his temper. We also tell him that he goes to therapy he help him overcome his difficulties. In the past, I didn't let anyone know that he was autistic but now I don't hide it. In fact, sometimes I have found it easier to explain his behavior to others. We have gotten wonderful therapy (we have been very lucky) and he seems to fit in pretty well.

Amy - posted on 10/28/2009

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Diane - I just told my 8 y.o. this year. I don't think he understood most of it yet. We use the words autism and Asperger's around our house easily. I explained to him that he sees and feels things differently than his little brother and Dad and I do. That some things are easier for him (he is also gifted) and some things are harder than for other people. That his autism is not a bad thing, it's just who he is. That it will never go way, it's not something that can be cured, but that we can help him find ways to deal with it and ways to make the hard things easier to do. We've also taught him that his autism is not an excuse for bad behavior. He was originally diagnosed PDD-NOS at 4-1/2, then I made the autism diagnosis with the help of his school therapists about a year ago. We asked his ped. for an "official" diagnosis earlier this year. He's known for a long time that he was different, now he has an explanation for it. Tell him as much as you think he can handle and make it a topic that he can always discuss with you. Bring it up periodically to make sure his questions are being answered if he's not asking you directly. I've found moms of autistic kids are always willing to help one another so we're always here for you, too. Good luck.

Crystal - posted on 10/27/2009

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Hi Diane. My son was diagnosed at age 9 but we has ADHD diagnosis at age 4. I think it depends on the individual child & their understanding. My son knew he was diferent around age 7 & thats when we began talking about his differences. When we got the autism diagnosis we sat him down and discussed things, tried to answer all the questions he had. he has even read a book on aspergers but we let him make the decision to read it. I think its important for them to know about their diagnosis and I always let my son know he can talk to me about anything anytime.

Kim - posted on 10/20/2009

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I think that it is good for him to know now. However, also to reinforce always that Aspergers is not an excuse to do things. I treat my son as if he is just like everyone else. The only differences are how we discipline and redirect behaviors. We found out when our son was 7 he is almost 12 and things become easier to handle everyday.

Michelle - posted on 10/20/2009

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hi my name is michelle let me start off by saying that all the other advice u have been getting is one i would suggest myself to. i to have a child who is seven he has been going through a behavior prob since age two he is seven now and has been put in a mental ward hosp twice.. he has been on all kinds of meds u can think of he has been to all types of specialist and he to is diag with adhd and autism with borderline bi polar and he also has been diag mildly mentally handicapped they even metion he has asperbergers to.. but first of all my son is a very smart boy he not stupid he is a very off the wall bouncing around hyper kid who is out of control in school .. u stick to ur guns and make them listen... have all ur ducks in a row and tell them what u want done.. i did it and my son is doing alittle better now he still misbehaves he is running away from sitters now and the ymca.. i know how u feel i have had restless nites and have lost alot of weight just trying to keep up with him.. he has a temper that i have to watch i have to keep alot of things lock up so he cant get into them.. he killed our kitten and tryed to stab my dog and even went after me with a knife.. its hard for me being a single mom and hearing all ur stories.. and hearing ur stories is like telling my story.. i wanna give up cuz he just wont listen but i think of him and what it would do and i go on.. i feel for all of u and if u ever need someone to talk to i am here.. i have been through it all and still do it every day i live my days walking on egg shells.. i just would like to wake up on day and say i can let my son go out and play and not worry if i have to go looking for him cuz he is there where i can see him or i wake up and say i cant believe he his acting like any other normal kid would act.. its hard and i am so stressed each and every day.. i am up everyday at six thirty someday earlier cuz he gets up.. i never get to sleep in and the only time i get to do anything around the house is when he is asleep.. so i am up later to get that done good luck and again ask me any thing anytime.. i will be glad to help i know how u feel and i am walking in all ur shoes as well.. again good luck and god bless u and all ur families

Taimi - posted on 10/20/2009

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hi there, my daughter is 5 and we got her diagnosis about 12 months ago, she has been told she is autistic and this helps her to understand that she is different and maybe can't do as other children do ie play out alone, or take a bath without being monitored, sometimes though i will say she uses it to her advantage often doing something wrong and saying she can because she's autistic so be careful in youre explanation of things, we talk openly around her and to her. i hope this helps in your decision .

Teresa - posted on 10/20/2009

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my son was diagnosised early in life but he knows that something is different about him. We have told him he has aspergers and he kinda understand. He knows that he looks at thing different than other ppl and he knows that he is very smart. He is ok with that. My son didnt worry or nothing like that. I say get used to it first then talk to him aobut it and just answer his questions as well as you can.

Ashley - posted on 10/19/2009

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Quoting Diane:

Finally diagnosed - nearly aged 8 - what age do u tell them?

Hi- what a long journey we have been on to get here!!! With various professionals and school staff telling me over the years he didn't have Aspergers, it also took a second assessment as the Autism team couldn't be 100% last year!! They have now formally diagnosed and said although some of his symptoms are subtle that doesn't mean he is mild.

What do i do now though? I have no idea when and what to tell him? Would it be too hard for him to understand and make him worry or would it help him realise why he is different.

Any advice would be good.
Thanks
diane



there is alot of good books at the library to help ! my 5 year old realised early she was diffrent and she loves the pre- reading books about special people like her!

TaKeysha - posted on 10/19/2009

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I understand how you feel. My son is 9 and he was just officially diagnosed with PDD-NOS. I try to be as honest with my son so I did have to tell him why he has to see an occupational therapist and a speech therapist, and why he has to go to the resource teacher for assistance. I tell him that he has a condition which causes him to learn differently from most of the other students, but that does not mean that he is not as smart as the other children. I also told him that he might hear the word "autistic" when there is a discussion regarding him. He responded to me with the fact that he understood what I meant. Now that we both understand the situation, it makes school and social situations better to deal with.

Paulette - posted on 10/19/2009

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Hi my son is 5 and has just been diagnosed with PDDNOS. I am not sure how to really explain it to him properly. So far I have just told him that he is very special and his brain thinks differently to most people. He seemed quite happy with my explanation and smiled at me and agreed. It was almost like he realises and is aware that he is different and he seemed to like the acknowledgement.

Becka - posted on 10/19/2009

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My son is 9 and was diagnosed in May, The only thing I have told him is that sometimes not everyone understands you, and that in his mind its likea puzzle and it is often hard for him to get the pcs together I have not come right out and told him about the aspergers he wouldnt understand

Noah knows that he is very special because he has a wonderful heart not because he has aspergers.

Sheila - posted on 10/19/2009

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Hi Diane,



We are in a different boat in that our diagnosis came at age four. We use the word autism in conversation....he is completely verbal, so he will say, Why do I??? So, I say things like, Well, people who are allergic to ? sneeze, people who have a sore leg might have crutches, and people with autism do all sorts of different things like flap their hands, or run back and forth. Sometimes autism makes you get really upset and sometimes autism makes it so much easier for you to figure out your puzzles...



We have always used the language around him, so it is part of our lives.



Good luck!

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