Misdiagnosis and the Consequences almost killed my son with Aspergers

Laurie - posted on 08/20/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son was not diagnosed with Aspergers until he was thirteen he was told in school starting in kindergarten that he just had learning disabilities in reading. It was so frustrating dealing with the school system and how when he was with me that he would do very well with all his schoolwork then go to school and just totally withdraw. I would ask and ask the teachers what was going on and they would tell me he participate when he wanted to but not when asked and he would constantly interupt when it was certain things. He would sit alone at recess and play by himself but at famlily functions his older cousins( who are at least 8-10 years older) he would interact with just fine. It was so frustrating finally after my son was in middle school we had an incident that made us open our eyes to more serious things. He locked himself in the elevator for two hours and all the administors could not find him. He stopped it between the floors and would not answer anyone when the called into him. when they got it open, he was sitting cross legged with his shoes off banging his head against the wall. This did not even get the school to do anything. They acted as though it was our fault!. Actually after telling me I was lucky they found him and suspending him for three days and telling me he should be committed. It did not stop at this incident the next year in the very same school and the very same administrators another incident occured. In the mean time I had been working on finding doctors to try to help me find what caused him to do this. I had taken him to specialist he was in therapy sessions. I was getting calls from the school on a daily basis telling me my son was missing his classes to sit in the counselors ofiice and he was sick to come get him. He would get sick right before the bus came in the morning and then be fine the rest of the day when he stayed home. Finally, the call came that shook up everything. They told me that my son was in the bathroom at school and that he had taken a pair of scissors and had tried to slit his throat due to all of the kids in his gym class making fun of the way he was talking and they way he rocked back and forth.All signs of autistic behavors. I had finally had enough with this school and I went in there and told them things had to stop. I found a psychologist who evaluated my son and finally told me he saw these autistic tendencies in him and it seemed like a huge weight had been lifted. There was a real reason my son was doing these things. The interupptions with these enormous facts but not knowing which way to write a b and a d. How to hold a conversation with all these adults, and never even notice that there were kids his age in the building, rocking back and forth. and so many other things finally it all made sense. The psychologist also said that they had a program which was a partial hospitalization program that my son would fit so well into because of the suicide attempt that he thought we should send him to. I can tell you now my son is 15 and will be entering into the 10th grade. He won an award for the highest grades and won a $250 gift certificate last year. We are working on this year transitioning him back to public school. He has learned so much and has developed the coping skills and His most prized possesion and time was we got to meet and talk to Temple Grandin and she signed his book. So everyone out there with autistic children, just be there for them and give them as much love and help as you can. Even if it gets frustrating never give up. Don't fall into the trap of not pushing them because they have autism because they need that to keep them reaching farther and farther. And by all means watch or read something by Temple Grandin she puts things in to perspective. It is not an easy journey but it is so worth they ride!
Thanks for listening!
Laurie Holmberg

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Liza - posted on 09/20/2012

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Wow it sounds like you really love your son and have had a long road filled with struggle, My nephew has the exact opposite situation his mom is fighting with an attorney for her school psychologist to diagnose her son with aspergers so she can get in home help, and a shadow at school. He has not displayed any symptoms until last year when his parents separated. I feel its more behavioral issues than autism. I have tried to convey to her the real struggles families of autistic children face, and how they worry about there childs future, but it all seems lost on her. I hope your child gets the help he deserves and I hope they stop over diagnosing because it just seems to dilute the issue and assistance for those in real need.

Thomasine - posted on 08/27/2011

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Thank you soo much for sharing your story , I have a son with Aspbergers and he is succeding in college, I offten share his story with others, the other day I talk with a man who's son a the age of 12 killed himself , yes he had Asbergers... may heart broke as i listen to his story he was misdiagniosed...thank that God for all the help my son recivied his teachers was wonderful i wish that there was more support out there for kid like ours.These kid are misunderstood , because they are different. when my son finishes colleges he hopes to work with disabled..in educastion or is some way to help kids like he was ...yes it is worth the ride.... never give up ...keep telling your story ,it may help someone who is strugging.....

Sheree - posted on 08/23/2011

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Laurie, I cried when I read your message. That is so sad that he had to go through all of that and that he wasn't supported better by the school. It is good to hear that there is some light at the end of a darkened tunnel. I have a 5yr old boy who is in the middle of being assessed for aspergers - who's behaviour can be very challenging and your message has given me more hope for him to cope better.

Laurie - posted on 08/23/2011

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Thanks everyone It has been a long hard road but it has all been worth it to see the smile and happiness on my son's face. He is my world and to hear him say he wants college and he wants to move on his own and have a wife and children it makes my heart swell. There is a great hope for us all!

Karen - posted on 08/23/2011

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What a great story and I wish all the best to you and your family, Great advise keep pushing them forward. From a mom with a 15 years old son with ASD and is main streamed in High School. He is doing great, but still he has to work harder then most to overcome issues that do happen.

Twyla - posted on 08/23/2011

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your story is sad and very inspiring.....my grandson is 4 and was diagnosed with autism at about 13 or 14 months, he's in his second year at our local school in early developement classes, he is still non verbal as far as speaking but is beginning to form words and try, he has made lots of progress, I am appalled at your treatment by the school, I would have attempted to sue them, that is totally uncalled for.....I am so happy things are goin so well for you now, we have high hopes for Draven, he is high functioning but is still not potty trained and doesn't speak and has his occassional frustrations but is doin better each year......God moves in mysterious ways......God be with you and yours. I watched Temple's movie because of Draven, and shared it with our family.....we all did more research on her, she is a remarkable lady....God speed

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just wanted to send you {{{{hugs}}}} and say we love Temple Grandin as well - she's amazing. My daughter is 16 now, and has been diagnosed a long time with Asperger's Syndrome.

Bettie - posted on 08/21/2011

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wow your story is really eye opening about any things. For one Bullys and the problems they can cause their victims, also schools unwillingness to help kids who really need the help they should have realized first that your son had autistic symptoms and not blamed you, and also that we are the only help our kids really havee cause if we don't then who will? Thank you for writing this i really wish there was some way to get your story published so that all parents could read it and not just those of us with Autistic and Asperger children. I myself know the danger of bullys and schools who preferr to ignor the victims crys for help. I was bullied in school numerous times and often went to the teachers for help but things only got worse then i fell into a depression and it was my mom who got me help not the school.

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