I think my son has aspergers. I have written this blog entry four times and started writing about other inconsequential happenings. But all the time what is screaming in my head is that first sentence. I think my son has aspergers.
I am overwhelmed by it and lost at the same time. I thought he was immature, techy – okay nerdy with his interests. He had two left feet, but sure not everyone is good at sport. He played by his own when his friends came over – he still enjoyed them being here. He is 8 and still has stabilisers – he is overly cautious I told myself.
A year ago we met up with my family and he stayed 3 hours in their living room watching Titanic on DVD and re-winding ‘the sinking’. At the time I thought he was super intelligent, that he was so much more ‘cerebral’ than other kids his age. Which is true, apparently. But when I look back at that day now – I see a nervous, anxious boy, socially lacking fundamental skills. I see a boy using his obsessions as his comfort blanket.
My husband (and more recently me) started to think he was spoilt, cheeky, getting away with too much. He had ‘ruined’ countless family occasions – Christmas, Mothers day and Easter. I had to ‘brief’ him on behaviour that would be acceptable at a birthday party he was attending – he was 7 then. I had to run through possible outcomes and what could go wrong and how he could best react to it.
I saw him entrenched in his own opinion, that no one could waiver him. I listened to him wake up with nightmares for most of his life. I tried desperately to get to the root cause. Now it is clear.
I am relaxed, funny and before I had kids – could roll with the punches take everything in my stride. I assumed my kids would take after me. I feel SO bad that its only in the last few days that the fog has cleared from my eyes and I see an anxious, confused and often stressed child.
He is best in his class at English, History, Geography and a real whizz at Science. But put him in a school yard and he walks around alone. If someone approaches him, he will tell them some random fact about Titanic. He is great in the classroom, a disaster in the playground.
I took him out of school for today as it was his birthday. He had a few instances of unruly behaviour at school, which confirmed to myself and my husband that he has what we kind of knew all along. So after a stressful few days, we took the day out just for us.
We got the bus into Dublin. I asked him as we snuggled on the top deck if he knew how people were feeling just by looking at them. No he answered ‘I just know how they are feeling by how they react to me’. I could have cried. A wee soul, with no idea. Hoping and waiting to see if someone was going to be cross or happy. Waiting to see if his joke was funny or not? No clue, just waiting and hoping.
I have a referral now to see a clinical psychologist to get him assessed. When I think of all the anxiety and stress he has carried around in his small body and I am the person who is supposed to know him best. At the moment every time I look at him I have to wipe away the tears. I have cried more in the last 5 days than in the previous year.
But we know now what he has, we are making big changes and getting all conventional and alternative help to make him as happy a wee man as he can be. x