It’s a family tradition?

Today I found out that it’s likely that my child, diagnosed with ADHD, may actually have Asperger’s Syndrome. Those necessary psychoanalytical tests have not begun so there is no diagnosis at this time; but considering how much his behavior is like mine, I would be surprised if the diagnosis is different. The speculation about AS being genetic could have some true manifestation right here.

I’ve probed through some blogs of parents of children with Asperger’s Syndrome on several blogging websites and I don’t identify with their point of view. They are people who do not have AS parenting a child that has AS. If that is my child’s diagnosis, that would not be my situation. Nor am I interested to read the plethora of books available by AS authors who want to tell everyone about their childhood woes. My childhood woes can be summed up as thus: Even if AS was a popular knowledge when I was a kid, my parents would not have considered it; I was mislabeled “lazy” and “stubborn” for most of my childhood and never responded to negative feedback; it was difficult to learn to function on my own, especially since most of the scorn came from my family, not my peers, but I did manage.

I still have some self-esteem hang-ups. I hate being mistaken for snobby or lazy. You see, if you forget to do a load of laundry, wash the dishes or some other chore, you’re called lazy. Nobody notices that you also forgot to drink the coffee you bought, forgot to brush your hair before leaving the house, and forgot to eat all day. My ex-father-in-law actually used to call me “princess” because he was so clueless as to why I needed stability, routines and things done a certain way to not feel completely lost, frazzled and stressed out. I can only be grateful that my husband is interested in understanding who his wife is instead of ridiculing me based on impossible expectations. Having someone that close to your heart be your rock of support is important for anything, not just AS.

So despite having the childhood experiences I had and continuing into adulthood with some of the same issues, I was still surprised when Asperger’s Syndrome entered the conversation. Autism Spectrum Disorders are, in a way, the Amway of Behavioral Evaluation discussions. The word is left unspoken until it’s impossible not to say it. I think a lot of parents – such as those with blogs who don’t suffer from any condition themselves – may freak out when they hear AS or any ASD. I was surprised but my surprise was silly because I should’ve seen it myself and, obviously, I have no stigma with ASD. I don’t see AS as the end of the world. If it was, my world would have ended long ago.

This is very exciting for me. My child has the privilege of being evaluated by professionals who can double-check current diagnosis and suggest further testing if they suspect a different diagnosis is needed. My child will be spared a lot of the troubles that I had and will side-step the mislabels and cruelty. My child will have a better life. Whether it’s AS or something else, my child will have support, treatment and self-awareness that can build into confidence. That’s incredible.

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