for the past several years we’ve found ourselves struggling with s11 and social issues. and my response to these struggles has been totally appropriate – that is if it’s appropriate to blame him. “what are you doing?” or “you know better than that” or “that’s just rude” are just a few of the positive reactions that have been elicited from me. that kind of helpful parenting has gotten me nowhere, but that hasn’t stop me from continuing to use it as my primary approach to curbing the inappropriate behaviours. and then, last spring, it was mentioned to us that perhaps we should have him tested to see if he is somewhere on the autism spectrum. and i sort of filed that tidbit away, because wouldn’t someone have noticed something like that before he made it to his 10th birthday? and then this past summer, when we were at the beach, another of the moms there asked me if he had asperger’s syndrome. and, remembering that i’d heard something similar in the fairly recent past, i started researching it. for me research = google – it always equals google. what i discovered was interesting. i found that every single social marker for asperger’s is a perfect fit for s11. not just one or two of them, but every single one. and that many of what i consider to be nonsocial markers also described s11. this fall, while i was still knee deep in totally reliable research busy googling away, the new counselor at the kids’ school asked me if s11 had a diagnosis. and that’s what it took to finally get me moving. i discussed the possibility of asperger’s with michael and we decided that it couldn’t hurt to look into it.
which we have now done. and the doctor has come to the conclusion that s11 most definitely has it. and this has brought up a whole host of new things for me to worry about – one of the top ones being that this doctor is in bangkok. we aren’t. well, we are for the next day or so, but that’s because we’ve combined the testing with a partial family mini vacay. (partial family because there are only 3 of us here and mini because it’s only 3 days long and we’re already 2 days in.) i did ask the doctor about a referral to someone in chiang mai and she did give me the name of some one at chiang mai university. which was helpful. but she also let me know that i would probably find trying to locate resources very frustrating. which wasn’t at all helpful.
i also find – just a few hours into this new diagnosis – that i’m just not exactly sure at all of what to do with it. not knowing just what it changes. today we went to ocean world and as we were making our way through the aquarium there were many opportunities for me to say “don’t do that, s11”, “that wasn’t very thoughtful” and the like. and i didn’t know what to do. i can’t imagine that knowing he has asperger’s is to not call him on these behaviours, but i’m also maybe beginning to see that constantly pointing out these behaviours might not be totally beneficial. and on top of all that there are little things that we had just sort of accepted as just part of how and who he is and now i know they are part of what asperger’s is, which is part of who s11 is. and i’m not sure how – or even if – that changes things. i guess i’m in need of a paradigm shift, but i don’t really understand the new paradigm. and i know there are all kinds of websites and books and even a friend in chiang mai (thank God) who will have many answers for me, but not understanding just what this means for him and our family makes it hard to know what questions to ask. i know it’s still early days and it will get better. and i know that there is power in knowing what we’re dealing with and that answers will come and progress will be made, but right this minute everything is still so unknown and i don’t really care much for the unknown.
and you wanna know the biggest question i’m asking myself right now? just how could i not have caught something like this before he turned 11?