Since 2013, Asperger’s Syndrome is technically no longer a diagnosis on its own. For whatever reason, the medical profession has decided it’s now part of a broader category of mental disorders called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and this was the diagnosis we were given.
But, if you separate it out, Asperger’s Syndrome is what doctors call a “high-functioning” type of ASD which means the symptoms are less severe than other kinds of Autism.
Although it doesn’t exist as a formal diagnosis any more, we prefer to tell people that our daughter has Asperger’s Syndrome, rather than Autism Spectrum Disorder. When you mention Autism, most people probably think of someone that’s non-verbal, and who may have odd mannerisms like rocking back and forth, or flapping their hands, and neither is true of our daughter, T. Most people have some idea that Asperger’s isn’t as severe as Autism, so they have some idea what to expect from T. Continue reading “Asperger’s Syndrome for beginners”
Yes, it’s been very quiet from me recently! Life has been getting in the way of blogging with a combination of a ten day vacation taking us out of the country earlier this month, and we’re also just a few days away from moving. Buying and selling our house was keeping me busy, and now we’re in the middle of packing up and heading off to the new house.
In the meantime, we’ve been really impressed with how T has been coping with the idea of moving house. We had to stage our current house to sell it, which meant transforming it from the cosy home she was used to, to a less personal and more generic-looking house that potential buyers could see themselves living in. After some initial resistance, she adapted to her new surroundings, although once the house sold, we could “un-stage” the house and we could go back to kind of living “normally” she was a lot more comfortable. As for moving, she’s definitely a little nervous about this and we’re often asked exactly when we’re going to move to the new house. I’ve probably told her a dozen times when that is, but it’s clearly something that she needs to constantly reassure herself about.
Continue reading “Long time, no speak”
I’m sure the question “Is there a cure for Asperger’s Syndrome?” is probably Google’s most asked question about Asperger’s. For me it’s kind of a tricky question.
Let’s look at how the word “cure” is defined. According to Dictionary.com, it includes:
- a means of healing or restoring to health; remedy.
- a method or course of remedial treatment, as for disease.
- to relieve or rid of something detrimental, as an illness or a bad habit
Looking the first two definitions, for me these are about treatment, and not cure. I find the third definition resonates most with me as to how I would define a “cure”. My thinking of what a cure is, is more that the underlying illness is treated, healed, and is no longer present. However, some people may see a cure as simply not having the symptoms of whatever illness you previously had.
Continue reading “Is Asperger’s Syndrome curable?”
You know the saying: “Don’t sweat the small stuff”? Well, that doesn’t really ring true with T. Often it’s the small stuff that has her really, really stumped.
Take for example, a couple of weeks ago when she went to log onto her school website to do her homework on Google Docs. When she went to log in, she got a pop-up window saying that her password had expired and she had to select a new one to log in. Stumped, she tried the old password again. And again. And again. When she realised she wasn’t getting very far very fast, she asked for help, but told us that her password couldn’t possibly not work anymore, because her teacher hadn’t given her a new one to use. In her mind, if her teacher gave her the initial password, it had to be the teacher that gave them updated passwords when they were going to expire. She hadn’t been given a new password, therefore her old one couldn’t POSSIBLY have expired. And she couldn’t POSSIBLY have to come up with a new password herself. Continue reading “Sweating the small stuff…..”
When we first got T’s diagnosis, we had three appointments with the Developmental Paediatrician, Dr. Huber, within the space of about a month for her to question us, observe T, and then deliver her opinion and diagnosis. At the final appointment, we were given her diagnosis, given a few suggestions for programs to enroll her in that might be able to work on areas of her Asperger’s that can be improved, and given a follow up appointment in six months.
When the six months rolled around we went back to Dr. Huber for the follow-up. It was nice to touch base with her and fill her in on where T’s been going and what programs we managed to sign her up for, but we weren’t sure that the appointment felt productive. After all, Asperger’s and Autism can’t be cured, so while Dr. Huber may (or may not!) have been able to see some improvement in T’s behaviour, there wasn’t a lot more that she could suggest that she hadn’t told us about on our last visit. Continue reading “Do we need to see the Doctor…. again??”
With a formal diagnosis for T the question we’ve faced a few times recently is: “do we tell teachers, counsellors and leaders at the activities she does, or do we only tell them if they raise her behaviour as an issue?”.
We’ve decided to go with telling people up front as it can be pretty obvious that T’s “quirky” if you spend any time with her. After letting the school know, we’ve also told people like her Guide leaders and counsellors at the day camps she goes to when she’s off school for the summer. We haven’t told her swimming or Tae Kwon Do instructors, as there’s less social interaction needed from her at these classes and it’s not that obvious she’s a little different.
Continue reading “How open are we about Asperger’s?”
This image pretty much describes how T reacted when she was told she had Asperger’s Syndrome. And it also highlights how Asperger’s is pronounced differently in the UK and North America.
Here in Canada it’s pronounced “Assburgers”. Unfortunately. T looked horrified and thought she had some sort of illness that had something to do with her having an a*s made of burger meat. Naturally, she was confused that “Assburgers Syndrome” was actually a form of Autism and is why the world sometimes feels challenging to her. It had nothing to do with her butt, or what she was eating and we had to explain to her who Hans Asperger was and how he related to Asperger’s Syndrome.
In the UK, it’s pronounced more like “Asperdges”. Which seems a whole lot more sensible to me. And much less likely to be misinterpreted. Shame there can’t be a universal pronunciation that everyone uses!