Do I tell my son he has aspergers?

Eliana - posted on 09/02/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My 10 year old son was recently diagnosed with a mild case of Aspergers. The Dr was great and he had fun completing the "tests" We are considering biomedical treatment, however his case is mild and at this time we have decided to keep him in his mainstream classes at school, no changes are since required. He did question why he was there and we said it was to see if we could help him with school. We do want him to participate and try to be as "normal" as possible. We are worried that if tell him, he will use this as a crush and it will make things worse. His behaviour is not bad and he is excellent at school, so they have not complained about him. He brings up going to the DR every once in a while and insists he did not need to go as there is nothing wrong with him. I am afraid if I tell him it is going to lower his self esteem even more or if he will continue to feel alienated by his friends. I am also worried about telling the school as I am worried they will label him and instead of helping him succeed , they will label him a "special", (ie dumb/problem) child. He currently gets A's and B's and I worry that will change.
So I am looking for opinions and comments on if I should tell my son? Did anyone have positive feedback when they told their child? negative? What about response from the school? Did they change toward the child?
I am struggling with this so any help is appreciated.

4 Comments

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Shauna - posted on 09/06/2009

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Ten years old is, in my opinion, old enough to know. I've had problems with socialization when I was in school, and even though I am not an Aspie, I know how hard it is out there.

I think that if he's going to use it as a crutch, he'll act like that whether or not he knows the name of his condition. Personally, I think it's more important that you talk to him and keep him informed so that he knows what's going on. After all, Aspies tend to be much more intelligent than most other kids (although their social development is problematic). If he understands what his challenges are, he'll understand what sorts of coping methods he'll need to develop in order to succeed and how he can alter his behavior in order to be more accepted in school socially.

Believe me, even though I had problems making friends at first, I still had a good drive to do well in school even after I made friends. Personally, I think that talking to him will empower him as long as you are direct and open with him about what is going on. I personally think that the best person to talk to him about his diagnosis might be the doctor because doctors know how to explain things in a way that a kid can understand and also make sure that you don't mix anything up since you're not a specialist in the area.

Casandra - posted on 09/06/2009

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Hi Eliana,



My son was diagnosed with a mild case of high functioning autism/Aspergers when he was in 2nd grade. He is now in 5th grade and he will be 11 later this month. When my son was diagnosed he heard the doctor tell us. This has been a double edged sword in our family. He is on some medications to help him with focusing and keeping him from having extreme behaviors. (For many years he was thought to have ADHD and not Autism) I believe him knowing has been good for him. He knows he is a little different from his classmates and he has learned to embrace it. He is in a regular classroom and like your son does very well in school. The social aspets of the disorder have been a struggle when it comes to his interactions with some of the students at school. Having the school know his disorder has helped. We have had great teachers that have helped him with these social aspects and they continue to assist him when he needs it. Many of the teachers were taught special techniques to assist kids with ADHD, Aspergers, and the like. My son tells me he is fine and does not want to take meds (because he knows other children do not have to take meds like he does) and I remind him that they help him have good days every day. He is aware that he is different, but we embrace his being different as much as we can. He's smart, creative, athletic, and I have very high expectations of my budding scientist. I think trying to keep your son "in the dark" could hurt him in the long run if you are not careful. Especially if the disorder worsens any. If he feels different but does not know why, it could stress him out. Something that we did that helps my son is we go to a behavior specialist/therapist once a month, so if he has something that happened at school etc. he has a trusted grown up he can talk to about it and learn ways to manage uncomfortable situations when mom & dad are not around. I have also had discussions with the therapist regarding behaviors at home and he has been amazing with giving my son and my husband and I tools to use to work through issues without brealkdowns. It has been pretty positive because we have kept an open line of communication about it.



I hope this helps you. It is hard to hear when your child has a diagnoses like this. I didn't want to accept it. Once I did, our lives were all easier. I love my son. He is an amazing kid and I love watching how his mind works. I do not know anyone who thinks the way he does. It's fascinating. I am proud of him and I cannot wait to see how my son with this "special diagnosis" will impact the world as an adult. God made him special and wired his brain different than the rest of us because he is important. That is what we tell him. He always smiles when we tell him and remind him how unique he is.



Casandra



Quoting Eliana:

Do I tell my son he has aspergers?

My 10 year old son was recently diagnosed with a mild case of Aspergers. The Dr was great and he had fun completing the "tests" We are considering biomedical treatment, however his case is mild and at this time we have decided to keep him in his mainstream classes at school, no changes are since required. He did question why he was there and we said it was to see if we could help him with school. We do want him to participate and try to be as "normal" as possible. We are worried that if tell him, he will use this as a crush and it will make things worse. His behaviour is not bad and he is excellent at school, so they have not complained about him. He brings up going to the DR every once in a while and insists he did not need to go as there is nothing wrong with him. I am afraid if I tell him it is going to lower his self esteem even more or if he will continue to feel alienated by his friends. I am also worried about telling the school as I am worried they will label him and instead of helping him succeed , they will label him a "special", (ie dumb/problem) child. He currently gets A's and B's and I worry that will change.
So I am looking for opinions and comments on if I should tell my son? Did anyone have positive feedback when they told their child? negative? What about response from the school? Did they change toward the child?
I am struggling with this so any help is appreciated.





 

Stephanie - posted on 09/05/2009

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Pardon my nosiness, but why did you have him tested for AS if he had no trouble at school?

As for "labeling" if he has any geniune problems grasping the material as school he may need the extra help which the school will only provide if he is labeled. I have heard that so many kids are getting "extra" help these days that there isn't the amount of teasing I remember.

Brittany - posted on 09/03/2009

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honestly, if he's 2 young 2 know wat exactly is goin on then he's prolly 2 young 2 understande what that is. then again if he understands that something is wrong w him he could change his behavior, thats common among young kids. and im goin 2 say that IF he doesnt understand it then just let it b but if he acts like he does when the docs r testing, go on and explain it but let him no that it will b okay.

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