Is your mind closed to the possibility that your child may have a handicap? For many years there has been a stigma regarding seeing a psychiatrist. Most of us would never hesitate to take one of our children to the doctor for any physical illness. For some reason many of us refuse to admit we need help from a doctor whose expertise is in emotional and mental issues. If your child exhibits the behaviors we have observed in Ben, surely now is the time to forget your pride and do what is best for the child. There is help available.
Even after diagnosis and treatment begins, one can never stop being vigilant. Ben has had many outbursts or “meltdowns” as some call these episodes. These outbursts are usually because he felt someone mistreated him or that he was bullied in some way. In some cases there were dangerous fits of rage. It could take as long as one hour to get him to calm down. That is when we would teach that this world is not always fair, but violence is never allowed.
During Ben’s middle and high school years were his most difficult so far. He spent a great deal of time pitying himself because he had Asperger’s Syndrome. He also spent much time blaming teachers because he felt they did not understand him or his disability. In some cases he was right. However, our objective was to teach him that in spite of these difficulties, he could still rise above them and succeed.
Some of his severe negativity was related to his depression. However, we were aware that he definitely enjoyed blaming his bad grades on the teacher or on Asperger’s Syndrome. Knowing how far to press him was always difficult for us. Finding the right amount of pushing or backing off where his classwork was concerned was always a challenge. We knew that Ben had at least average or above IQ. He loves history and reads history books for fun. Yet he could not do the work required to make a good grade. This fact reinforced in my mind that his brain has trouble processing oral language. He was better at following written instructions than oral directions.
One very noticeable behavior that I have not mentioned is that it is very difficult for Ben to make eye contact with the person with whom he is speaking. Counseling has helped this problem but we never stop reminding him the importance of giving eye contact.
Also I have not mentioned before now about his lack of organizational skills. All of his life his room has been a mess. He never returns anything to its rightful place. If we told him to go clean up his room, he might go but would be so overwhelmed that he would have no idea where to begin. Usually, I go with him and tell him everything to do, one thing at a time, and he will finally get it done. His desks at school were always the same-messy. He might have completed a written assignment at home, but would not remember to give it to the teacher.

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Filed under: Asperger Syndrome

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