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Deva - posted on 02/10/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My boyfriend & I were just told that our son has Asperger's syndrom. I think that I am okay with this, but at times I find myself trying to figure out if or what I could have done differently during pregnancy. My son is 3yrs old and very intelligent for his age, but he can not communicate as well as he should, which is why we figured something was not right in the first place. Can anyone tell me what are we suppose to do next?

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Melissa - posted on 02/13/2010

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Grainne (Great name, btw!! ♥ ), my son was also diagnosed at a young age. He was put on a watch list when he would (could?) only say 2-3 words at 2 yrs old. He did therapy and it was determined at age 3 that he does in fact have classical autism.

Deva, the feelings you are having are perfectly normal and nothing to be afraid or ashamed of! Having a child with an ASD will change your life, but I hope it changes for the better. Every single child I have met who lives on the spectrum has been a sweet, gentle-hearted person. Sure, there will be days when your child is screaming or flapping, or packing, or picking, and that's okay. The wonderful characteristics of these little guys far far outweigh anything that would be seen as negative or challenging.

I too have blamed myself for my child's autism every-which-way, but it didn't change anything. My little guy is still the same quirky little cuddle-bug he was before his diagnosis and before I started wondering where I went wrong. The important thing is that you take steps (as early as you can) to help him out in whatever way you can. This is a sensitive time for your little guy's development. You are on your way!

It sounds like you are already in touch with your local school district, If they have some sort of a school-readiness program, usually they will screen in the fall. When that happens, you will want to have at least one copy of your son's official diagnosis from the doctor's office. I like to keep all of my "Autism paperwork" in a single folder, becuase it makes it easy to grab it and go. Your doctor's clinic may have references for you to contact (for therapy or more information), and if you hit up your local bookstore, you will find tons of great books on ASDs.

I hope that helps. I understand what you're going through. Message me anytime!

Amanda - posted on 02/11/2010

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Put him in every social program you can find! Library programs, parks, YMCA, sports,swimming. The more socializing you do the better. My son was diagnosed with Moderate Autism. He only communicated by echoing what we said (thats called being echolalic) and hating other people and had all sorts of sensory issues. So I had him do everything and he hated everything. About a year later his communication expanded by leaps and bounds and he began to smile (never really did before unless he was watching tv) and interact with other kids.
I also don't let him watch too much tv (maybe an hour a day, 2 times a week). The tv allows him to zone out and then he has a much harder time communicating or interacting with us. He used to watch a movie after school and then at dinner he wouldn't talk even if we asked. Books are great because you can stop and ask questions. Especially questions that require more than one word to respond (i.e. What are those dogs doing? Or " how does that boy feel?" Instead of "What is that?")

Good luck!

Renee - posted on 02/10/2010

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Absolutely do not blame yourself. Don't second guess what you ate or whatever, but I think we all through that at some point in this process. I would do as Natasha suggested, get a speech theapist, contact your social services, contact your school district special education department some even have an autism department. He is eligible for developmental preschool if they have it. The earlier the therapy the best chance for success!

Amy - posted on 02/10/2010

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I am not sure what state you are from but there are resources out there to help. I am an ABA behavioral therapist. There is nothing YOU have done wrong or could have changed! Please know that first and foremost!!! Check with your insurance about coverage for speech therapy. You can also look for guidance through your school district... just know that some are better than others. If i knew what state you were from that would help! Best of luck and let me know if you need anything!

[deleted account]

First thing you should do is stop blaming yourself. There are a million and one theories as to what causes these things and nobody's got it all figured out yet.



Get a speech/language pathologist as soon as you can, and try everything. There are several options to help expand communication, don't be afraid to try them. They all require your hands on participation, Dad too!! The more you two help at home, the faster your boy will communicate with you.

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Sarah - posted on 11/06/2011

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I was told that most likely it has to do with genetics. When I was born 55 years ago, not very many doctors new much about it. My family concentrated on positive aspects of it, like your son I was very intelligent for my age, so they supported my intrests and tutored me in my special intrests. Proper discipline, lots of encuragment and very stacktured life went long way in making me well rounded child. They did a such a god job that I was only diagnosed at 44 when my life became very complicated. There are something taht we always be upsetting to him, I cant stand Cynical or practical jokes and hate when I am interupted while talking. I often stare into space and found yoga to be great help. Keep in mind that this kids have mind that will work twaice as fast compared to normal kids or people. Most comon coment I hear from friends is that my brain way ahead of my mouth and that is true, I still sumble over some words or it comes out all jumbled like I had one to many drinks. One of ladies that left a coment is right enroll him in as many social activities as he can handle, sports realy do help. He will realy apriciate if you and family work with him one on one, reading is very important activity for children like him, so is having discution about what you just read. Later on public speaking will do wonders for him, I remember how much i hated it at first, but now I am glad they made me do it. I started school at age seven that was geared for gifted children and excalareted learning, but that was in Europe and free of charge. By the way I didn't have most of childhood vaccines because they were not avalible where I grew up so I don't think that is a real issue.

Alice - posted on 02/14/2010

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Hi Deva, my name is Alice and I'm the grandmother of a 13 year old with aspergers. You didn't do anything wrong, I think it's from the shots because my grandson seemed very normal but had a lot of ear infections so he missed a lot of his shots. Well, he had a lot of shots at one time and it was like someone turned his "light" off. Get him into a good psychologist, understand that he is a wonderful little boy that can learn everything he'll just learn differently, and, be proactive in his education. My grandson doesn't have and may never have people skills and a "real" sense of humor. He doesn't get jokes and things like that, he can't tell if someone is kidding or if they are being serious. Be prepared to demand what he needs in school. My grandson doesn't like to be touched so we don't hug or kiss him and he's ok with that. He doesn't like haircuts because he doesn't like to feel the tiny hairs on him, but, he does it, he just puts it off as long as he can. He had a difficult time in grade school with kids being mean, but, by the time he was put in middle school he hated it. He was physically as well as mentally abused. He's now in a small local private school, just made the B honor roll and is doing great. Just know how special your son is and know that you'll have to stand up for him when he can't. You'll do fine and so will he. We actually have a psychologist here who has aspergers. These kids can and will succeed. You'll learn as he grows what kind of things he doesn't like such as my grandson with hugs and kisses. That was a hard one for me. Just love him, love him, love him! He's wonderful in his own right. By the way that's him and his little brother in my picture icon.

Tina - posted on 02/13/2010

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Deva~ Please do not ever think you did anything. It sounds like you are heading in the right direction. I am a instructional asst for a child with aspergers. He is in the 8th grade now and is very social but was not at the younger ages. Keep your son involved with regular ed students and always remember that you are his voice. I am here for you if you ever need to vent. Speech Therapy and music therapy has helped my nephews.

[deleted account]

First of all, there isn't anything you could have done during preganancy or for the last three years to change it. So far, ALL studies are inconclusive. Even the ones that point to vaccines. Some families refuse to do any more shots for their little ones. I don't blame them... but NOTHING the research has so far is concrete. So relax and just love your little one.

Research and Read. But don't fall of the cliff -- so to say- about any one "therapy" or "treatment" or "way to handle" things. Each person is an individual. Each child on the Austism Spectrum is an individual. Don't let people who don't understand autism tell you what to do ( family and friends).

Your next step is check out something that is often referred to as Early Intervention. At the age of three your little one might qualify for special education preschool-- paid for by your local school system. Also there may be some county programs that you can participate in-- play based therapy. And speech therapy is something that might be started.

Again, read read read. THe more you know the better! Enjoy your son.... he is a lucky kid to have such a great Mom!

Lisa - posted on 02/12/2010

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It is hard no matter when you learn, but you can do so much more for him because you know while he is so young. We didn't find out until my daughter was much older. I wish I'd known sooner.

Elise - posted on 02/11/2010

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Hi Deva,

My son was diagnosed with Autism right before his third birthday. He communication was extremely limited, but with speech therapy he has made amazing strides in just over three months. I also consistently read to him and watch Sesame Street with him. I used dvds or on-demand so that I could repeat the same episodes over and over and one day he just started repeating what he heard. Our children are absorbing what they hear so make sure that you speak slowly and try to say things in the same way everytime. Use motivating things to get him to respond. For Kai it was a car, so I would say "car, car (pause) car." One day he said car and is now on truck, choo-choo and telling the cat to get down. Don't worry, you'll figure out what your child needs.

Grainne - posted on 02/11/2010

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that was a quick diagnosis, at age three!?.
This did not happen because you did something wrong. Not at all. My son is 10 and his aunt has three children - autistic from aspergers to severe autism.
Speech and language thereapy is very good, so try to get his name down on a list to access this service.
I know you were probably very upset when you first heard this, but as he gets older, he will be a wonderful individual.

You will when you have had a bit of time to read up on this, relax, and realise that Rome was not built in a day. So step by step. And hav lots of fun together.

Melanie - posted on 02/11/2010

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I agree with Natasha the first step forward is to stop blaming yourself. It's no ones fault. I went through the anguish of thinking it was my fault (i had a mild stroke at 29 weeks). the most important thing is you have a diagnosis. Many of us have to wait years before we know what's wrong. There is plenty of information on the web about Asperger's so try and get urself as educated as possible. See a speech therapist as soon as you can. There are quite a few different ways to help him communicate. For instance we use baby sign language because our son can't talk. xx

Tammy - posted on 02/10/2010

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hi deva my son is also three and has aspergers and at first ill be honest i was in denial and blamed myself. Then i started doin research on the net and found site like this really helped. I have also started him in a child care centre for a couple of hours twice a week to help wth social skills and speech but i still have a long path in front of us. Get some flash cards with pictures which can help and puzzles things like that. Good luck :)

Deva - posted on 02/10/2010

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Thanx Ladies! He does receive speech therapy @ school. I'm waiting on the full report from the IP team @ his school, his teacher has agreed to take some classes inorder to learn alternative way to teach him, and his father and I are doing alot of research. We live in Flint, Michigan and so far there is not many resources avaliable here, but how ever far we have to travel we will for the sake of our son.

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