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Old 07-08-2011, 08:57 AM
 
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I agree with Skatergirl. A lot of good advice, opinions based on years of experiences and food for thought has been given and met with a dismissive and almost smug attitude. Time will help with what you're feeling Syracusa, you can only work with the present for now. It's difficult not to feel overwhelmed and worry about how this each small action now will effect that step later. So take one thing at a time. The years ahead may be very different, and in a good way. You cannot control everything good or bad that your child will encounter.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwestmom View Post
I agree with Skatergirl. A lot of good advice, opinions based on years of experiences and food for thought has been given and met with a dismissive and almost smug attitude. Time will help with what you're feeling Syracusa, you can only work with the present for now. It's difficult not to feel overwhelmed and worry about how this each small action now will effect that step later. So take one thing at a time. The years ahead may be very different, and in a good way. You cannot control everything good or bad that your child will encounter.
This is very good advice but again, I don't think it's what the OP wants to hear.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatergirl View Post
Again, what good is high level mental math if your son cannot hold a job?
This is the most on target sentence I've read in a while. It's super important for parents of special needs children to learn how to redefine success.

Even though I was on the ball from day one with my son's learning disability in the language arts, I was not prepared whatsoever for the anxiety disorders that developed years later at the start of 9th grade.

I was fighting with the school district to provide appropriate placement for his newly surfaced school phobia. He was a college prep/AP/honors student. Super intelligent. But the school district didn't have a college prep placement for students with mental health disorders.

In my new fight with the school, all I was focused on was protecting his academic future (while ensuring he was being socialized and not closed away from access to other students).

And I was so offended when my sister told me that I needed to accept that maybe he would only be able to flip burgers at McDonalds. My child? My brilliant child!!!! My other sister had the same mental health disorders and she was wildly successful.

Fast forward five years later. I have a 19 year old who graduated high school with an associate's degree. The appropriate placement available was to send him to college in place of high school. He did well in that atmosphere.

But where are we now? He can barely leave his room!

Hubby and I went away camping last weekend. I talked about worrying for his success and happiness. My husband said he would settle for FUNCTIONING!

There it is again: McDonalds slapping me in the face again!

To clarify, there's no way my son will only achieve McDonalds, but the point is clear: the bar has been lowered from law school and medical school to something else.

And that's okay. I can deal with that. I wasn't needing a lawyer or a doctor to feel like I was a good parent. I merely wanted him to reach his potential for his own happiness. If he wanted to be a musician, I would have supported that 100%!

I'm not a terrible mother for wanting more than functioning. But I have to accept that functioning is the absolute first goal. No other goal can come before functioning. Functioning is the base line foundation. Happiness and/or success can't come before functioning.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
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We have a parent who REFUSES to allow her two boys to go into an IEP. Her constant refrain is "I know they're no angels, but..."
No, they aren't angels. They are violent, abusive, rude, self-centered, spoiled little brats, and that is exacerbated by their highly-excitable behavior. They have been prescribed Ritalin, but mom only makes them take it when they get on her nerves. (Imagine what that hit-or-miss medication does to those kids.) They steal things from the kids in their class. They hit any and everyone, from adults to tiny children to bus drivers. They mouth off and frequently shout at the tops of their lungs. They lose things and accuse others, loudly and repetitively, of stealing them - and when the objects are found, they say that their classmates hid them on purpose. They refuse to follow any classroom, bus, or activity rules. Their father and mother in public settings either drop them off and expect others to take care of them, or ignore them if they are around. Several times adults have told these parents that if they can't control their children, they will. Instead of taking responsibility, the parents tell them off, try to get school-system-employed adults fired, start rumors about them, etc.

As difficult as it is to be around these children, I feel sorry for them. They will have literally no future, because their parents insist that their boys have no problems, and that everything is everyone else's fault. While the school psychologist, SPED teachers, OT, teachers, and other professionals try to help these boys, they cannot cross the lines set by their parents - who do not want the "stigma" of having SPED kids. (BTW, there is no stigma - our SPED students - the full-time ones as well as the part-time ones who just need a little more help and structure - are treated as equals and befriended as well as protected by all of the students.)

I just don't see what it can hurt if parents go to the staff and honestly tell them what any child's weaknesses and strengths are, and together they can figure out what can be done to keep the child on track towards his or her future. Like Hopes indicated in her post - you don't know what future problems you and they might be able to forestall, help fight, or even prevent, just by starting early with a little extra support. Parents sometimes try too hard to keep their children as children, without understanding that the whole ideal of having children is to raise them to be functioning, self-aware adults in a very difficult world. Mommy and Daddy eventually will die - who will care for those adult children then? The prison system?
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:53 AM
 
613 posts, read 489,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatergirl View Post
Again, what good is high level mental math if your son cannot hold a job?
Her son is very young. How can anyone possibly predict now whether he will be able to, in the future, hold a job or not?

What concerns me is her son received a dx of mild Aspergers. MILD Aspergers? Is that even a REAL dx?
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
OK.

And I am not talking about "accommodations" here. I am NOT interested in a "forgive him, he's an AS, what did you expect...?" kind of approach.
You don't actually understand what accommodations are, do you? What you describe so dismissively is a modification, which is not the same thing. Modifications are meant to change one's expectations of a child who cannot function at a standard level. Accommodations are ways of helping a child who can function, do it. For instance, teaching 2+2=4 to a sixth grader is a modification for a child who has decreased intellectual capability. An accommodation for a sixth grader might be to put him in sixth grade math (or advanced math, if he's bright), but teach him to cover half the page with a piece of paper so he's not overwhelmed by the "busy"ness of the math book's design. Or it may be a case of sitting in the front row so he's not distracted by classmates' antics, or giving Mom the option of letting him do twenty problems on his math homework instead of fifty (though he's still required to show mastery-- he just may not need as much repetition as his classmates). It may be something like letting him use an AlphaSmart for note-taking in Social Studies class if he has poor muscle control in his hands which hinders handwriting his notes. And one child may need accommodations in one area and modifications in another. A child could have classroom accommodations but adaptive (modified) PE. Or modifications in music, for a child with a tin ear and no rhythm.

In other words-- nobody's trying, by offering necessary accommodations, to make Junior sit at the Dummy Table.

Last edited by Aconite; 07-11-2011 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
From the "Frequency of AS success stories" thread:



Hopes,

So, let me ask you this, just for confirmation purposes. 'll give you this scenario:

In 3 weeks, when we enroll our son, say we disclose the dx to the school. They say "OK", then they bring their own staff (school psychologist) to evaluate him. They conclude that "no, he is fine" and assert that he does not need an IEP\ or any special services.

Is this a scenario we are likely to encounter?
If your child already has a diagnosis they are unlikely to repeat testing. (Why should they spend their money when you have already spent yours?)

What they will do is call a meeting with specialists, the classroom teacher, usually the principal, an LEA (local educational agency) representative, you, your husband, and-- if you want one-- your advocate. There eligibility for services will be determined. If you don't want services and he's doing fine, you don't even have to do this. If he needs speech, or OT, or PT (and many Asperger's kids do; often OT for motor planning or executive functioning skills, or speech for social skills work), then you'll need to determine eligibility. So at that meeting, the team will say "yes, Fernando needs an IEP. We'll set an IEP meeting for <date>." Or, possibly "well, Fernando is an odd duck, but he really does not, in our opinion, meet criteria." In which case nothing more is said, and he follows the same plan as any other kid in the school.

But let's assume he does. Then on that date set, the same folks will get together and create an educational plan, which includes therapies and accommodations (because modifications are almost never needed for these kids, except maybe in PE). Then the IEP is signed, copies given out, and the plan is followed for the next year, though if something doesn't work out it can be amended before then.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,459 posts, read 4,086,281 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsop View Post
Her son is very young. How can anyone possibly predict now whether he will be able to, in the future, hold a job or not?

What concerns me is her son received a dx of mild Aspergers. MILD Aspergers? Is that even a REAL dx?
Nope. And 70% of parents with any autism spectrum disorder will tell you their child is "high functioning" (also not a diagnosis), even if they're non-verbal and required a modified diploma from a special school. (Another ten will tell you their child is the most "broken" one in the world, even if he's in regular classes without an aide.)
What may be the case is that folks with Asperger's who are also gifted-- and many are-- can self-accommodate to a certain extent. It's usually exhausting for them, but they can learn to impersonate neurotypicals for a certain period of time at a pretty young age. These are the kids who seem fine at school, but melt down the minute they get home because they just. can't. hold. it. together. anymore. So it's not a problem from an outsider's POV, but it is, for the individual. It kind of depends on if the goal is to actually help your child have the best life possible, or just not be embarrassed by him.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:53 AM
 
3,569 posts, read 3,229,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsop View Post
Her son is very young. How can anyone possibly predict now whether he will be able to, in the future, hold a job or not?

What concerns me is her son received a dx of mild Aspergers. MILD Aspergers? Is that even a REAL dx?
wsop,

Don't get me wrong. My son does have a few issues. They do correspond to some/many of the traits on the AS list as well as the ADHD list (very strongly).
I have had my doubts, now I know he has some of those traits, but I also believe that many are related to a possibly severe ADHD case...I don't know. As I said, we will schedule a second opinion.

At the same time, I continue to worry about how the label and the pigeon-holing in the eyes of classmates and their parents will affect him in the long run. This is a REAL, not imagined issue.
I know the school is officially prohibited to disclose info about any child, but many people confirmed to me that this kind of info DOES leak.

I am also a member of another forum and I have read disgusting stories about how parents of NT-s literally gossip at the corner about the AS classmate. The father of the girl in question saw a group of moms pointing to his daughter and saying "she's the one!!". The attitudes and mentalities of parents out there can be beyond juvenile; and these patented idiots pass down the vibes onto their kids and then the kids "take care of business" accordingly, at school. Whoever denies that this happens should go and tell the parents of AS kids on said forum that they are delusional.
This is what this thread has been about. Not about denying that my son has some issues.

I recently asked the psychologist who saw him again where exactly would she put my son on the AS (not ASD!) continuum: mild, moderate or full blown?
She said this (cut and paste):

<You had a question about severity of Asperger's . Children do move up and down on the spectrum as they gain skills or encounter situations in which they need to gain more skills. At the present time, I would see X at the mild end of the spectrum and anticipate he will need some interventions, but has many strengths to build on. I hope that this is helpful>.

I can only hope this mild AS - meaning whatever group of traits that make him stand out a little at times - will blend in eventually towards the NT continuum. For now, he needs to work on those traits.
The ADHD-like ones are those that seem to cause most problems. At this very moment, as I type this, I hear him outside the window playing hide-and-seek feverishly with a bunch of kids ranging from 3 to 12 (my parents are there watching, hence the luxury I have to type).

When the other kids are not jerky and dominant, you could not tell him and an NT apart. Then of course, we all know the kid world is not made of
sweet children only. He will meet jerky/dominant types all along.

For ex, he has a miserable time with another child next door because the darn kid truly is terrible, in and of himself.
He is the grandson of my parents' neighbors, and my parents are really good friends of these people - so we can't completely cut him off right now.
But we'll only be here for 7 more days, so no biggie.

But you are right: mild AS...often blending in with "normal"?...
What kind of dx is this...and how much stress I have been through just for this label only. Sometimes such things are really not worth it.

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Old 07-11-2011, 04:30 PM
 
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The "label" is just a diagnosis...it is the assessment with the teacher that drives placement, and services. And it is fluid. Sometimes more support is needed, so a smaller classroom for more direct attention, than back to mainstream, or the child is never out of mainstream classroom, and just gets support in the classroom.
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