Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What Is Asperger's Syndrome Anyway?

This is what Asperger's Syndrome (ASD) looks like.

"Asperger's is a neurological condition that causes one to become overwhelmed by sensation, be unable to connect socially with their peers, and withdraw into a world of their creation. Now if you look and ask a doctor, the term Asperger's has actually been phased out, it's now been replaced with Autism Spectrum Disorder. And you can look in the new DSM, the DSM V, to find that.

But it essentially means the same thing, it's just a different label for the same thing. Nothing has really changed at all. Autism Spectrum Disorder is just now diagnosed either as mild or severe (mild meaning Asperger's, or severe meaning full-blown autism). But it's just a different name for the same exact thing.

Many people still use the word Asperger's because it still holds a lot of meaning to people. They still identify with it and they still know what it means and they're familiar with it." - Asperger Experts

And this is what Asperger's Syndrome looks like.

My little boy was diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of nine, older than most cases. The reason he went un-diagnosed for so long is primarily due to his "high-functioning" abilities. Basically, the kid is smarter than his dad and I put together. Scary. And he is able to put up with the rest of us pretty well, most of the time. 

At other times, he gets overwhelmed, over-stimulated and under-secure (my own made up diagnostic term). And then he has a meltdown. This sweet, adorable now-twelve year old has a full blown, volcanic explosion-tantrum-meltdown that can make the strongest of men go weak (mainly his dad). The other night we faced a monumental meltdown over the removal of a sliver. I learned that my pre-teen can kick harder and flail more deadly than I ever thought possible. He also has the shoulders of a line backer. 

Yes, we still deal with meltdowns. Yes, we still deal with sensory overload. Yes, we still deal with lots of schoolwork and home issues. Yes, it's still hard. It's brutal actually. It's also incredibly glorious. Raising my son, being chosen to be his mom, is one of the most important and rewarding jobs I'll ever love. And he's worth every moment.

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