Would you know he has Aspergers?
I sometimes get looked at like I am the natzy Mum. Always in control, always on his case, but I only know too well what happens when his world spirals out of control.
Sure he generally manages it fine when he is out in public, or at school, but behind closed doors it is a different matter.
My Master 12 has only recently had the proper diagnosis of Aspergers, High Axiety, ADHD (inatentive), Dyslexia, and ODD (oppositional defiant disorder)
To me, they are just words, he is still the same son I have always had, (it does explain a few more things though.) I have always known he was a little different, he handled things differently, he was articulate, but had trouble expressing and explaining things, we also noticed that when his brother came along, he had little empathy, or he showed empathy differently. In saying this he is a very loving a caring boy, he just does it all differently. So I mentioned it to the doctor when he was about 3, and again, when he was 6, we also saw a paediatrician several times. He seems OK and you handle him fine, were the common responses, they made me feel awful, like I was making up bad stuff about my child. So we just continued on with life.
In grade 2, I had to move him to a different school because the teacher wouldn't let him go to the toilet after lunch, and he came out everyday with wet pants, even after I explained that he seems to have very little notice before he needs to go, she said he is at school now, he will just have to get used to it.
The new school was fantastic, his teacher had experience with children who had additional needs and she attentively listened to my concerns and was very willing to help and work with him, also each classroom had a toilet right outside the door. For months he sailed along fine, until one day when she called me in after class. She said, I see what you mean with Master K, today he got in trouble becuase he wasn't listening and following directions, only I could see on his face that he was trying, but it was like he was stuck and no matter what I said he physically couldn't do what I asked. Master K was waiting outside, fidgiting and nervous signs which I had seen many times before. We went home, and he just couldn't function, when it was bath time I emptied his shorts pocket to put them in the basket, and their was a gotcha (class reward from school) in his pocket, he looked in pain, and started twisting his hands, I asked him was there something wrong, he looked at the gotcha and pointed to the line through it. I suddenly knew what the problem was, he couldn't figure out why it had a black line threw it. I expalined that it was last weeks and the teacher needed it do that so she knew and so you could take it home to show your parents the good work you have done. And with a deep breath it was over and he went back to normal. I explained it all to his teacher, and she said to me, I think we need to call in someone to assess him.
There was some relief, someone finally saw it and it wasn't in our heads. Soon the school had him tested but he was so frightened of the tester, it was of little use. After three days of testing a frightened 7 yr old, we met with the assessor and he told us our son was an imbicile and wouldn't amount to much. After containing my husband (as he really wanted to let off some physical steam of his own) we decided to ignore his report and go about our business and manage the ups and downs as we always have.
This year he gratuated year 7, and yet again we were blessed to have a wonderful teacher who understood children like Master K. She pulled me in class one day and asked me why hasn't he been diagnosed, I explained we have been down that road, and she replied, but I can see he is struggling, and his moods are shifting more with hormones and the change as he gets ready for high school, I think you need to try again and get him the support that both you and him need.
She wasn't wrong, his moods were getting harder to manage and he seemed to be angry and acting out more physical. Afternoons of a 74kg, 174cm 12 year old child screaming in my face obcenities was not fun. Watching him as I knew there were problems but he couldn't just get the words out to tell me. Tears flowing down his face and mine, as I felt so lost in this world, in his world, I could only imagine how confusing and confronting it was for him. So with the help of his teacher, we went down this road again, and finally we hit the right pead, the one who really listened, looked and saw the truth, and said what we had known for years. He needs help, you need help in managing him now, and with the changes and the high anxiety we need to get this under control NOW.
Then comes the killer, he said "if only" I had got this child by age 3 we would have made some real differences to his situation now. I couldn't not stop those tears from falling.
Had I failed him as a mother, did I not try hard enough. For the next few days tears were falling a lot.
But we are here now, and the road is long with lots of bumps along the way, but I am thrilled to walk it with my son beside me, because while sometimes the pain is real, and the days are long and hard, he shows me incredible strength, as he fights his way through a very confusing and sometimes overwhelming situations that he simply can't make sense of.
If you ever thought life was tough, all you need to do is think of all the special children in this world, who stuggle with issues eveyday in their daily life just to survive and make it though each day one step, one breath at a time. Life is a journey, live it. I am learning not to get caught up in the little things, and focus on the bigger more important things like family, showing them my love and together enjoying every bit of our life together.