parenting fail

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?

5 thoughts on “parenting fail

  1. All I know is that you are an AMAZING mum and in no way is this a parenting fail….I know that I am not qualified in any way to say anything profound or helpful to you. He is a wonderful kid who has done so brilliantly in the changes and transitions you all have had to experience – THAT is down to you guys and all the time/support and love you have given to him. Just praying for strength and peace for you as you walk this road. Big hug xxxxx

  2. I had a friend that found this out about herself when she was 40. Her childhood issues make a lot more sense now. Hopefully now that you know you can start to move forward from here. You know God has gotten you this for and he will carry all of you the rest of the way! Keep your chin up!

    Hugs!

    Carroll

  3. Let that one go. You were too busy seeing it as S11, which is true. Asperger’s is part of who he is, so you were seeing him and you were seeing his differences, you just didn’t have a name for it, and as you’re discovering, that’s not all bad. There’s a little boy in our Cub Scout Den with Asperger’s, in his case, it’s not a glaring difference, he’s just a little different, as we all are in our own ways. He doesn’t do well with loud, or lots of stimulation, or transitions. He needs practice in social situations. The important thing is the kids don’t know how exactly he’s different, and they don’t really care. They just know Nathan’s Nathan and sometimes things really bother him and he needs some space to calm down.

    None of that is which to say that’s S11’s story, just that you’re a great mom, you shouldn’t feel guilty for not ‘catching’ it and that it will all be all right.

    I pray for you for your journey. I hope you get the tools you need to help him and to help you keep parenting him. (((hugs)))

  4. So not a parenting fail! It is such a new diagnosis that even doctors have a tough time seeing these. (so I have heard in my intense google research and also the television series Parenthood where there is a kid with aspergers in the family) Anyway, aside from my highly qualified opinion, you are a great mom/parent. You obviously love your family so much and that makes up for “missing” any diagnosis. Love to you and prayers your way.

  5. I don’t know of any parent that hasn’t had a parenting failure. It’s the hardest job in the world. And, when it comes to children’s behaviours or learning issues, I know I for one have held on to the ‘they’ll be OK in the end’ method. Luckily they are OK, but all could have gone very pear shaped.

    One was diagnosed with slight A.D.D, which I refused to cater to (label her) and the other had a vile, stubborn temper, which I put down to being 62 in a toddler’s body. I could have been very wrong in the way I approached both problems.

    Don’t beat yourself up! He’s only young and your onto ‘it’ now.

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