Hey everyone , I'm back for a blog and to say hi since it's been awhile due to the computer issues . I cannot wait until we get the laptop back in another week or so.
The last 10 days or so have been one big blur for me . I have been working a LOT ~ and this was supposed to be the week Aaron and I would have time off together to spend just the 2 of us . It hasn't seemed to work out that way unfortunately . But we did get yesterday and today together , and the weekend . He has to go back to work Sunday night at 11:30 p.m. I guess that's one good thing that came of my car not starting today . 🙂
We took Zachary to see the clinical child psychologist on this past Tuesday , and my head is still spinning from what she had to say . He doesn't have ADHD after all . Not even close . My son has Asperger's syndrome ~ a type of autism that's can range from severe to mild . In Zachary's case he's very lucky ; he is very high-functioning and appears pretty normal to most people , just hyperactive and over-dramatic at times and timid . Thepsychologist said that truly our family is blessed in his situation , because like many Asperger's children he is extremely smart and learns certain things very fast: like reading , writing , etc. My son often reads parts of my blogs to me when he's looking over my shoulder and he's not even 7 yet ! I have to run him off so that I can have a little privacy , lol .
But there are down sides to this too .Luckily in his case he doesn't seem to have a difficult time with socializing with other kids , at least not to the extent that other children with autism spectrum disorders have . He makes friends fairly easily in class and at thebeach or wherever we seem to go . But his difficulty lies in how easily he gets his feelings hurt , because unlike most children he has a very strong sense of right vs. wrong as well as seeing things as either white or black , no gray areas in between if you know what I mean. It's why we have so many issues with him screaming at us that something " Isn't FAIR!!! " , it's typical for Asperger's syndrome kids to have a hard time understanding why things being "fair" doesn't necessarily mean that 2 different people get the same thing .
Another big one that really affects Zachary is the clumsiness associated with Asperger's syndrome . I had no idea that it was an aspect of the disorder . But apparently they have a very hard time with fine motor skills for numerous reasons, one being that their cartilage and ligamentsin between joints and bones are overly flexible which causes them to appear to be very clumsy . She pointed out to us the way he was seated on the floor at that very moment ~ sitting on his bottom with his legs in front of him but bent almost backwards at the knees with his feet behind him and lying on their sides . ( Imagine 2 upside-down V's lying flat on the floor and you'll getthe idea … ). Zachary hasn't been able to master using a fork ( I think I mentioned something about that before ) and we just thought he was being lazy and defiant , but it turns out that he can't do it quite yet because of this stuff . I feel awful that we've been on his case about using his fork like a "big boy" . It makes my heart hurt so much for him that he really couldn't do it and we picked at him about it . I've never understood why at about 3 all of a sudden our fearless little boy became afraid of everything . . . slides he'd ridden down a million times became overwhelming to him , if he walked across a playhouse bridge that were made of boards that he could see gaps through , he would get down on his knees terrified and crawl slowly and cry as we worked and talked him through it , reassuring him that it was no big deal and that he was ok . He's almost 7 and he hasn't been able to learn to ride a bike without training wheels , even though we've been trying to teach him . Again we thought he was just being over-dramatic about not wanting to fall and scrape his knees in the grass , but that's not the case .
I guess I've always wondered because there have always been little things that seemed off or unusual behavior for a child ; like the fact that anytime he hears a loud noise he scrunches his face up something awful and covers his ears with his hands clamped to the side of his head . He'll actually shake if it's loud enough and unexpected and continues for any length of time . But this is also a hallmark of the syndrome ~ over-sensitivity to certain types of sensory information . For him it's sound and things on his face like water and over-stimulation from a loudand/or busy environment . This in turn makes itimpossible for him to focus on anything and in turn he becomes overstimulated himself- causing hyperactivity and then themeltdown when it stops .
I have to schedule the real diagnostic testing next week sometime , because she's sure of the diagnosis . She also said he was the highest-functioning (most normal) Asperger's childshe'd ever met in all the thousands of kids she's seen . She doesn't seem to feel that he'll need therapyother than occupational to work on fine-motor skills and chances to socialize with other families dealing with the same thing .
I'm such a mess of feelings.At firstI was relieved and enlightened suddenly , and then terrified ofa diagnosis ofANYtype of autism-related disorder , and then angry ashell at the world for giving him this burden . Hasn't this familybeen through enoughalready ?!
Butthen asI got to talking with Aaron about it and my feelings he clarified my thinking for me . Zachary is still ourZachary ~ the child we love and adore and would gladly give our lives for , the child that I almost died tobring into this world , the reasonfor my will to live eachday because I know I'll get to see and spend time withmy loving , funny little boy . The label is just that , it'sa categorization of a set of problems that some children develop . It is not who heis or what he is . Who he is is MYSON that I love more than anything, and as forwhat he is it amounts to this ~ a beautiful , sweet , affectionate , intelligent , amusing , silly, caring and wonderful child who amazes me every single day .
And this morning Aaron, his Dad and I sat and watched as my "Asperger's" child walked across stage and shook the principal's hand ashe was given an award~ for "Most Outstanding Student" in his class this semester , my heart so full of pride and joy at his accomplishment that I could have cried .
Moral of the story~ never let a label tell you who you are supposed to be . 🙂 It's a lesson I'm continuing to learn on my journey every single day, withmyself as well as Zachary .And regardless of what other people think he should be doing at this age ( riding his bike without training wheels, able to handle a fork well and not have an awful time trying not to knock his drink over at the dinner table numerous times each night or being able to swim well ) we are going to do it according to his pace and make it enjoyable and fun with a lotof love and support and "great job's!" and clapping and giggling .Forget the label ; it's useful only to a small extent . Everything else is up to you. 😀
Love you all and miss you lots . Big hugs while I'm away for a bit longer . . . be back as soon as I can!
with love ~ Key