Hello everyone...I just found this topic and I am so happy to know that there are many others right here on SCS that know all about the joys and frustrations of having an ASD child. We are fairly new to all of this, but are learning so much as we go.
Our son was formally diagnosed with Aspergers this February at the age of 5 almost 6. We paid to have him evaluated at an Autism Clinic here. The school was beginning to go through their slow process of going through a SAT team, etc, but they would NOT formally evaluate him even though we requested they do so several times. Because they weren't moving as fast as we thought they should we decided to do something ourselves and looking back we are so glad we did. After receiving a medical diagnosis the school proceeded to do their evaluations of our son. He received an IEP at school in early April. While not a lot could be done since we were nearing the end of school, we felt relieved, that at long last we had set things up for him to begin receiving services. At his school he could only receive OT if he was "identified"...and that made us crazy (and his teacher too) because we all KNEW he definitely needed OT.
He is a very bright, high functioning child. He spoke VERY early and VERY clearly. He was reading environmental print at 2 and books at 3 1/2. We were amazed, but didn't really think much about it. I did worry a bit about his social skills and large/fine motor skills during play group, but was always reassured that he was probably just catching up in those areas since he was so strong in his verbal skills. He could out talk all the other kids his age...he knew his colors, numbers, etc. way before they did. We all just thought that they couldn't all relate because he was talking "above" their heads...and that eventually the playing field would level and all would be ok. We knew nothing about Aspergers or for that matter an Autism Spectrum. I have a El. Educ. degree and had worked as a Special Ed. Aide for several years before having my son. I worked with a young boy with Autism but he was nothing like my son. I remember thinking so many times the past few years that our son had "autistic" qualities, but thinking that he didn't have "autism" because he could speak, read, had a high IQ, etc. Wow...we have learned SO MUCH the past year and a half.
I read in another post that someone said they wouldn't want their child any other way...because then their child wouldn't be the child they love so very much. I couldn't agree more!!!! Why change these beautiful, smart, funny, quirky kids...they have so many "gifts" that the "neurotypicals" don't and never will. We are so lucky in so many ways to have them for our children.
After saying that...please don't think every day and minute is easy for us. It MOST certainly is NOT. We have our moments here too...many of them. We have just come out of a very difficult year of finding the right doctors, convincing school officials to get him the services he needs, all the while dealing with him and his frustrations. We have shed many a tear and tried so hard not to alienate people at school. We really believe in working together with the school to help our son. We don't have all the answers and desperately wanted to work WITH the school. In a "perfect" world this would happen, but believe me...it has not been the case. It costs the school district money and time to work with our son...or any child with special needs and they will do a lot of things to slow the process or delay providing services. I can say that it would be great to always do the "honey thing" but it truly, truly does not always work. IMHO...and in our experiences we have had to push and then push some more to get to where we are today. I hope that we haven't caused damage in relationships at school, but it is a two way street. We never set out to do that...if it has happened at the expense of getting our son what he needs...then that is the way it has to be. It is unfortunate, but true. Like an earlier poster said, we are not out to "make friends". Don't get me wrong...we are not the our way or the highway kind of people at all. Far from it....we have always been and would much prefer to be the kind of people who don't rock the boat. This has been a very hard year for us to come out of our "shells" and rock that boat some for our son. He is so worth it though. We wouldn't change a thing.
So...now that I have rambled and rambled....I will end this post. I hope that it is somewhat readable and not too confusing.
I am looking forward to learning more about you all and will check in frequently. Thanks for starting this thread. No one can understand our situations as well as we do. I look forward to offering whatever support I can and hopefully receiving some as we go too.