On to other, more exsqueeciting things. And things.

I have some very cool news to share with you in the next week or so. Well, it’s exciting to me, but I’m jazzed when my socks match (I’m a cheap date).

I have a couple of things I need to complete (hint) and I am woefully behind on responding to comments, but am reading every one and have a backlog of emails in my inbox reminding me that I am going to respond to as many as I possibly can in the next few days.

I also am working with my son to prepare him for state standardized testing this next week. He is high-functioning autistic, but there is a little extra effort entailed as a result, especially as he is a home schooled kiddo this year. I brought him home last year when, for the fiftybillionthtime the school people begged me to get him on medication (and for the fiftybillionthtime I told them heck no). I knew he didn’t need medication, but wasn’t sure why. ADD is a very easy diagnosis to make, and it’s easy to assume that those ‘hand puppets’ or those rocking motions are meant to aggravate overworked and underpaid teachers (in fact, they are coping mechanisms). A friend saw my frustration and told me she thought my son could be autistic (she was thinking Asperger’s–her son is also high-functioning autism). In November, a team of experts tested him, and he is high-functioning. In was literally so happy, I was in tears. He was in tears. Finally! An answer!

That should be a shout out for parents to never back down and to be your own advocate!

Having a diagnosis doesn’t make things easier, but it does help us to understand how to work together smarter as a team. And while he looks forward to going back to school next year, my job this year has been to instill in him a sense of pride for a job well done, and personal responsibility in completing tasks.

Of course, when I told some folks about the diagnosis in the school, I was told, “Yeah, I thought it might be that.” My mental response won’t be published here because it’s too early for incredibly caustic jibes. I’m sure the look on my face spoke volumes. Thanks… a lot.

I don’t know what life holds for him beyond high school, but he has made me proud this year. It’s not easy being a teenager and not knowing why you can’t tie your shoes, or write legibly. When changes are taking place in your body and you still can’t catch a ball, and you obsess about World War II while other kids are talking about American Idol, you’re not fitting in with your peers.

Still, remarkably, it is a testament to the kids at school that he is very well liked despite his differences. He has everyone rolling during talent shows, and is a very capable actor. He’s a ham to the nth (as you can see by the picture in “Easter for your Keister”), and even when he is making jokes that make no sense to me (I’m just average) that he thinks are hilarious, I smile and hug him and tell him that he’s awesome.

We laugh about the Hessians being invaded during the Revolutionary War because the commander played cards while his aides tried to warn him about the onslaught ensuing (“Go Fish, Der Commandant!“). We both cringe at story problems when there is more than one step involved (we’d rather theorize why Mr. Barker needs to cut a board into a piece that’s 7/9 of 18”).

He is a fine young man. A wise person beyond his years, and a caring individual with a lot of promise and big visions. Now I wish he’d pick up his socks.

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  1. dangergirl says

    Jamie, not only are you an inspiration to those of us who are trying to lose weight, you are an inspiration to any of us who strive to be better people. I am not a mother, but if I were, I would want to have half of the patience, compassion, and strength that you have. The more I read your blog, the more fantastic I think you are. Do you have a big, ‘S’ on your chest? At the very least, you should have the cool Wonder Woman bullet proof cuffs!

  2. Anonymous says

    About the folks at the school suspecting the diagnosis and not telling you – nobody wants to be the one to break the bad news. Not an easy thing – “uh, have you ever considered maybe your kid has autism?”

    The potential of parent freak-out likely hampers them.

    So yeah, they didn’t do you any favors but don’t be too mad at them. They were just (low-carb) chicken.

    Allison (newcomer, love the blog)

  3. Roy and Hazel says

    When our son turned 15, he became insular, hostile, aggressive, and constantly in trouble at school, falling out with classmates. When we went to family therapy sessions, he was assessed and diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. It was such as relief in some regards and a real explanation. He wasn’t being wilfully naughty! It did make me angry that in 15 years, no teacher thought to mention that there might be a problem: “Oh, we thought that might be the case!”. Anyhow, attitudes at school have changed and now he is doing so well. Homelife is so much more relaxed, as we have learnt to adapt to his needs, although he can be quite reticent. Girlfriends – making up and breaking up is quite traumatic. But we are very proud of him. He’ll never be a nuclear scientist but he’ll be an artistic caring individual. He’s thinking of being a fireman when he’s older. Not that I would want to rely on him rescuing me – he might get distracted!! (Ha. sorry).

    Didn’t mean to ramble on. Just that your post touched a chord. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    PS Get used to the socks, and much more besides (don’t ask!) being left on the bedroom floor!!

  4. Anonymous says

    How the heck do you consistently lose those pounds?! 7 pounds last week… please explain! 😀

  5. Well Done!!! for sticking to your guns, now your son will grow up happy and full of life instead of in a drugged partially zombied state. Good for you, Jamie.

  6. My son has ADHD and its often kind of difficult.

    On our travels to find an answer to how to manage this, I have made a friend whose daughter has Aspbergers. She tried many things until finally she too got a diagnosis.

    Her daughter had some reasonably significant issues but she now takes her to a homeopath who has very significantly improved quality of life for them all(her daughters OCD type behaviours, ODD and bed wetting have all largely resolved themeselves). She still has Aspbergers but the bi-monthly medication has had a huge impact.

    If you could afford this it might be worth a try. My son is now having homeopathy for his ADHD. Its early days but we have seen some improvement.

    We have the opposite problem here – schools are only too happy to tell you your child is a problem (usually by the time they are six!) and put pressure on you to resolve it or remove them. (This includes children that are nothing more than distracted – he cant sit still like the other children, he wanders off). Ridiculously, if you do get a diagnosis of ADHD and the school system finds out – if you have to leave the school for any reason, it can create a real issue for gaining acceptance into other schools. So here we have loads of people with their kids on Ritalin, sneaking around trying to hide it from everyone.

    But do look into homeopathy – it is safe and has made such a huge difference in my friends childs life. She now gets to be a little girl like all the other girls.

    Just one other thing – have you heard of GAP (Gut and Psychology?) syndrome? Google it – basically wheat and dairy problems and gut dysbiosis have all been found to be present in a reasonably high % of autistic children. If you havent looked into this – its an issue that can be resolved without drugs so again may be of help.

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