Asperger Stories: My Asperger's Autistic Son, The Story Of Daniel's Autism

Daniel is Asperger's Autistic

Dan has mild Aspberger’s autism. He always was an enigma and such a quiet baby. His first words were ‘car’; I guess these beasts had a marked impression on him. Even as a baby, he had signs of obsessional behaviour. Of course, we now know of his health and social issues. You see, Daniel has special needs and this is our true story of living with asperger's syndrome - part of the autistic spectrum disorders or asd. You might be able to spot the symptoms of asperger's syndrome in the behaviour he displayed; however, you can always take a look at my hub 'Do You Think Your Child Has Asperger's Syndrome - Which Way Now?' for further help.

They told me he was ‘a textbook baby’ in the hospital as he was dying of dehydration. He refused to drink. It was as if he didn’t know how to drink. Fortunately, he did learn that this basic task. He is now an adolescent. He has somehow got through. However, he is still a bad drinker.

I remember him spinning and making noises as a pre-schooler. He was obsessed at dressing up - a policeman, Darth Vader, a fireman. He was always a loner but because his behaviour was always chaotic and disorganised, he dominated all his teacher’s attention. This happened right through his early school life. He learned that he could control his environment, particularly women, through manipulative behaviours in order to get one to one attention.

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Silly Billy!
Silly Billy!

Studying Psychology Helped Me To Get A Diagnosis!

It wasn’t until I started studying Psychology with the Open University I found the answer. Daniel was showing classic Asperger’s signs under the umbrella of 'Autistic Spectrum Disorder'. To confuse the issue further, Dan had re-occur ant glue ear.

As a contributory factor, this had an effect on his development I fought for him to have surgery for grommets on three occasions during his primary school years. This seemed to help. If you want to read about 'Glue Ear', click here.

Asperger's Can Be Genetic

Dan had a difficult relationship with his father. Paul could not cope with his difficulties. I think he is undiagnosed Asperger’s. It is difficult to know how to support a child with a condition that you have yourself. It has taken my husband a very long time to understand himself. Daniel in his diagnosis has helped Paul to understand his own issues.

If you would like to know more about Asperger's Syndrome and genetics, I recommend these books to help you on your way.

Study Psychology and Gain REAL Insight!

Inside Out: Introduction to Psychology
Inside Out: Introduction to Psychology

Inside Out offers a comprehensive introduction to psychology that goes beyond key concepts and principles to provide viewers an up-to-date look at the evolving world of psychological science.

 

Daniel's School Wanted to Label Us Dysfunctional!

It felt that the school he attended were doing their utmost to label us as dysfunctional. They even brought in a behaviourist to develop programmes for him. They didn’t understand his dreamy, irritating behaviour.

It felt like they were blaming us, the parents. I took action to help my son. I invited someone from the deaf society, a speech and language therapist and a clinical psychologist to help. They provided education to the school and put individualised plans in place for Daniel.

Finally - A Diagnosis!!

It was 2004 when Dan finally was diagnosed. The battle with the system and the hard work that I put in finally paid off. However, it wasn’t easy to contend Dan’s daily obsessions. People with Asperger’s lack social skills and have difficulties in understanding what other’s really mean.

Communications, such as body language, verbal tones and semantics are difficult for these people to read and they find it difficult to put across what they mean. Things like sequencing and spacial awareness can be hard for these children.

The following song by Gilbert O'Sullivan, says it all for me... take a listen and you might have some idea.....

Juvenile Diabetes AND Asperger's Autism!!

Our situation was complicated further because my youngest son is an insulin dependant diabetic at the age of 18 months – but that’s another story. Through my OU courses, however, I learned techniques to help Daniel and I got that magic diagnosis that he needed.

This meant he could get additional funding from school and have extra help. I don’t like ‘labels’, but I certainly think that this has helped him to understand himself and the world around him.

Every day is a battle to get him motivated now he has reached adolescence. Dan has to be kept to task as he finds it difficult to sequence, remember and direct himself. We have lots of school reviews, assessments and letters. Daniel gets into trouble a lot. It can be exhausting and frustrating for parents, but Dan just thinks... 'Don't worry, it will be alright'.

The other day, whilst escorting my youngest son to the bus stop, I managed to get him to eat his fromage frais for breakfast prior to leaving. As you have to be very black and white when talking to autistic people, I told him to go upstairs and get ready for school. He needed to be ready to leave by 8.10 am. When I arrived home at 8.15, I went upstairs. There he was, lying on his bed with a broken coat hanger. He was using this as a gun, shooting in mid-air. Great imagination, granted, but he wasn’t focusing to the task in hand.

I said 'Dan, you need to be ready and gone for school, I told you this before I left'. As a parent, one goes through 'last straw' days. Today was one of them. When one has this day in and day out, there are times when… well there are times! That day, I broke down and cried. He said 'Don't worry mum, it will be alright!’ 'No Dan, it's not alright.' I replied, weeping.

He went downstairs and brought up a cat that has adopted us. He gave her to me. 'Ginger will make you feel better.' He said. He just didn't 'get it'. Ginger was a sweet gesture, but he just didn't get it! That’s Asperger’s!

Recommendations:

I have found these products particularly good and would recommend these. You can never do too much research, so information like these are essential when living with someone with A.S.D.

I hope that you have found this hub useful and that you might bookmark this article so as you revisit and refresh. Thank you for reading x


Essential Material to Help You On Your Way!

The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome
The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome

The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome is the definitive handbook for anyone affected by Asperger's syndrome (AS). It brings together a wealth of information on all aspects of the syndrome for children through to adults.

 
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's

Robison's thoughtful and thoroughly memorable account of living with Asperger's syndrome is assured of media attention (and sales) due in part to his brother Augusten Burroughs's brief but fascinating description of Robison in Running with Scissors.

 
Asperger's From the Inside Out: A Supportive and Practical Guide for Anyone with Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's From the Inside Out: A Supportive and Practical Guide for Anyone with Asperger's Syndrome

Michael John Carley was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at thirty-six-when his young son received the same diagnosis. This fascinating book reveals his personal experience with the confusion and trauma associated with this condition-and offers insights into living an independent and productive life.

 
Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence
Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence

Luke Jackson is 13 years old and has three sisters and three brothers. One of his brothers has AD/HD, one is autistic and Luke has Asperger Syndrome. He is the author of A User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HD, also published by JKP.

 

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Comments 28 comments

Georgiakevin profile image

Georgiakevin 6 years ago from Central Georgia

What a touching and brave hub. You are among the heroes around us like the ones I write about. I believe that God has special parents in mind when he gives them special children. Only special parents could be so loving when they are so weary. Please know that that there are many of us in special education that recognize and admire parents like you. On behalf of Public Education. Please accept my sincere apologies for the pain you had to go through as you tried to work with us and our lack of support for you. One more thing,what is glue ear?


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Hi my friend! Thank you for your lovely wordsx Glue ear is when there is fluid that cant escape behind the ear drum. This makes the sufferer deaf in that ear. Grommets are inserted in the drum to drain the ear of the fluid. The grommets eventually fall out and the procedure may have to be done again. Most children are more affected in the winter with colds and flu. Dan has had 3 sets of these grommets, but without, his development would have been hindered further. Wishing you well, my friend x


Jerami profile image

Jerami 6 years ago from Houston tx

Very well written and informative. I am at a loss for words except to wish you many blessings and to express my admiration for your strength and understanding.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thank you form your support. You know, at times I don't feel strong. It is Daniel who has it harder than anyone when he just can't work life out.

Thanks for dropping by x


Denno66 6 years ago

Hi Shaz, me again. In my last job I actually worked with a nice kid(22) named T.J. with Asperger's. He was moderately functioning. A great young man, but sadly, his comprehension with concepts such as monetary values and personal relationships were a bit lacking. He is very close to his mother and helps her out in ways I'm sure she never thought possible. Hang in there, the rewards are well worth the trials and tribulations. Be well. Always. :-)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Denno.. thanks mate! Problems every day! This week I had to contend with him being temporarily excluded! He had 'lost it' with a kid at school and hit him. The poor boy was desperately scared. Daniel didn't understand that the boy meant him no harm. He finds social situations difficult and usually excludes himself from interaction during break times - avoidance doesn't lead him to trouble, so he copes that way. He has no friends and has recently met up with some boys that are no good for him. He has learned a great lesson from this - they used him, prayed on his vulnerabilty because he is desperate for friends! He just doesn't understand. Hey ho! Just another week in the life of Asperger's!

Thanks for reading and, as usual, your support xx


Denno66 6 years ago

Just reread this again. I would never have guessed that you go through this every day by how you carry yourself with such easy joy on the forums. That, I must say, is one of my regrets of leaving the forums, but I get too sidetracked by them :-)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

You cant keep away from them, though! Admit it! You miss me! hehehe x


Denno66 6 years ago

It is such an inspirational story. I still cannot fathom how you deal with this adversity from day to day. And, yes, I do miss the interaction with you on the forums, but the people in there are getting more hostile by the day, sadly. That's too bad, it used to be a great place to go, but, it daunts even my tough soul every time I visit.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

You are too kind denno.

We should start a few forum threads for chit chat, love and silliness. Then people who participate are only there for those things!

I have noticed lately, that people are getting nasty - not just here but all over. I think that there is a general horrid vibe around.

Thanks for reading again xx


Denno66 6 years ago

Hmm, maybe there is a ring of truth to this 2012 rumor? :P


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

err... it did cross my mind. If it is true then there must be an existance of the Devil and if this is the case, an existance of God. And if that is the case, Jesus must have been true and he died for our sins... so, in theory, we are all saved! Why worry! x


Denno66 6 years ago

You should speak at a Catholic Mass; they wouldn't even catch the subtle sarcasm. :P You would even perhaps be Deified. (Lucky You) :) Your Pagan mind may be a bit beyond their comprehension so, it may not really be a good idea after all! You're too funny! :-)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

I live by the principals of love. Is that what Christ preached? I think if you truly love, then you are emotionally crucified because no other bugger actually gets this idea. Maybe that was Christ's message? Love. It's easy, isn't it?

I love Catholics because they have the theory of love but it is up to the individual to follow that. It is only when in your heart you are TRULY sorry about an improper action that you get true redemption. I dont think another human can be ordained to do this.

As for the label of pagan? Who cares about labels. I used to advertise my paganistic tendancies, then I realised that you didn't actually need ritual to send out love, this can be done by just thinking about it. So, I gave up the label!!

xx


Denno66 6 years ago

Hmmm, I'm guessing that this wasn't your idea of a Forum, huh? ;P Well, I didn't mean to label you by that comment (It was in jest, actually) but, you do bring up a good point about that. Even though I'm Catholic, my beliefs would be considered toxic even by the most Anti-Catholic Protestant denominations. I believe in the Karmic Debt Theory that all good actions balance out any bad that may have been acted upon in this or any earlier lives. Simple really. :-)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Hey babes... Im not offended by any label. Labels are only terms for us brainless monkeys to understand communication. Im never offended.

I believe in karma too and past lifes. I think that was the symbol of Christ on the cross, dying and the resurrection. I cant understand why other people cant understand this message.. the resurrection is a symbol of reincarnation. Oh well!

He also said 'forgive them, they know not what they do'. This is what I try and think of with others.

Babes.. forgive them, they know not what they do.

Love ya hon x


Denno66 6 years ago

Babes, I get a kick out of that! :-) Well, (groans), if I have to put my wooden stake away... Actually, there are a lot of things that Christians don't understand about what Jesus was about. Too bad, but I'm not surprised; hence the animosity on the Religious Forums. Always a pleasure to speak with you! :-)


beccas90 profile image

beccas90 6 years ago from New York

It really doesn't matter what the label is as long as you get the help you need. I've been close to Asperger's for a number of years and its the social aspect that is most difficult to overcome. I hope you find ways as the world can be tough place for people with this diagnosis.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thank you. I think it is a tougher world without the diagnosis. I hope that people might learn from this hub and that way, I have helped to make a difference.

Thanks for reading x


GeneralHowitzer profile image

GeneralHowitzer 6 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

A heartwarming story, this reminds me of the movie, Front of the Class a must see movie for you, the synopsis of the movie is about the Tourette's Syndrome that never overcome its victim which is the main character of the movie, this is hearwarming and informative and could help you my dear shaz...

BTW I recall, you posted in the forums asking for some help, and this is what I observed from that HUB, the first paragraph should be at least 150 to make the most of the keywords or tags, make sure that your desired keyword or phrase should be in the first paragraph as much as possible, most Hubbers would certainly put their pics on the middle or at the rear of an article, to not cause a bit of troubles with keyword... A standard hub should be at least 300 words and more than 1,000 words in a hub will certainly rocks especially if it is original. Make sure that you are giving due credits that you are borrowing especially the pictures. I hope this helps shaz...

A parting words you have a great avatar awesome indeed don't change that for me hehehe, I am getting married soon if our God permits and that gives me a bit of giggles...

Happy New Year my friend!

Just rated this up!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Hi General. Thanks for your wise words and the time for reading this. I will certainly make some changes. We need people like you to just write it as it is. Sometimes it feels like you are Inspector Cluso, searching for the right formula!

I will look out for the movie. Sounds good and perhaps watch it with Daniel - it might help.

Good luck with the wedding and a happy New Year to you and yours! xx


marieryan profile image

marieryan 6 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

I have been teacher to several children who were finally diagnosed as having Aspberger's Syndrome, but the process of arriving at a final diagnosis was torturous!

I found in my experience that parents were always in complete denial (perhaps understandably)in the initial months of the process but these were (as you obviously are)

extremely supportive parents. I have been honoured to help them in thetask of educating their child


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

@marieryan. I have felt that I have had to 'fight' the system for years now. It is like being on a rollercoaster.

Every assessment always have counter arguments and anything can be jusfified, whatever the behaviour. This is the difficult thing. It is dealing with a multi agency with differing opinions that makes bringing forth a plan and the implementation of it difficult. Many counter arguments are made with alteria motives which aren't brought out in the open (budgets, biases, emotional attachment or not etc). It really is a minefield!

Before having children, I worked as a therapist with people with severe learning difficulties and challenging behaviour. Being part of a multi-disciplinary team is nothing like being a parent. You can go home and shut the door to it. As a parent, you have to live with it.

My husband is a nurse who specialises in special needs. We both know the system and its faults. The point here is that if we find it difficult, what about those who haven't had the experience and training that we have had?

Of course Dan's story is ongoing. He is now adolescent and we are looking into post 16 asperger's establishment to help him to become independent. He really is complex (his personality mixed doesn't help him) and he is keen to get out into the big wide world.

Thanks for reading and keep up the good work! We all rely on people like you!

xx


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Shaz, my friend also has a son with Asperger's (high functioning) and he is an inspiration to me. He is one of the reasons I started blogging so as to help highlight Autism and Asperger's. Thanks for sharing such an intimate and personal story.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

MPG - You have to keep your eye on them all the time. I am hoping that the college he will be attending in September will help him. Thanks for reading :)


MotivateMe2012 profile image

MotivateMe2012 3 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

OMG! I could cry! this is soooooo my son! I had fought so hard to get others to believe me something was wrong with him. Now I'm fighting to get help for him without people enabling his "I'm so cute and slow" play he has on others. SMH everything you've posted I see my son.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 3 years ago from Great Britain Author

MotivateMe2012 - welcome to the club! Have you read my other articles about how we managed to get Dan help? Take a look and remember to keep a log of his behaviours and any paperwork that might help you to get help in the future. First and foremost, it might help to get a formal diagnosis as this is the ticket to specialist education support.

Hope this helps and blessings x


Mary 3 years ago

very ineresting material.thank you. I learnt a lot.

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