Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Love Your Asperger's

Yesterday, the boy and I were leaving his appointment, and I talked to the counselor for a few minutes. We were discussing his progress, and she said "the proof is in the pudding."

As we walked out, the boy looked at me with his big, brown eyes and asked where the pudding was. I hugged him and told him how much I love his Asperger's. Of course, he still didn't quite get where-- or what-- the pudding was, but he felt a little better.

As we were driving home, I got sentimental about the impending end of elementary school. He put his arm on my shoulder and reassured me that he would be OK in intermediate school. This physical contact was a big breakthrough, and one I didn't realize was even missing until it happened.

Yes, he will be OK in intermediate school and beyond. I love him, and, yes, I love his Asperger's.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Finding Help After An Autism Spectrum Diagnosis

The latest estimate from the CDC is that 1 in 88 children will be diagnosed as on the autism spectrum.  Even in the midst of an epidemic, many parents struggle to find treatment options for their children.  When my son was given his diagnosis, I spent weeks digging through the Internet and making phone calls to find help.
Resources and treatment options vary by area, but here are some tips to get you started on your search:
  • Your pediatrician.  Surprisingly, many pediatricians are not aware of many treatment options available in your area.  Most children see specialists for their autism spectrum disorder, but your pediatrician may be able to recommend a few resources.
  • Your local children's hospital.  I found the local children's hospital to be my most valuable resource.  That is where I chose to have my son evaluated, because I knew they have a highly respected autism research department.  The hospital, however, is an hour away, so it is not practical for weekly therapy appointments.  Even if your children's hospital is far away from you, their neurodevelopmental pediatricians or autism specialists will be able to help you find therapy centers in your area.
  • Your school district.  The school district may be responsible for helping your child receive therapy services if the child is three years old or older.  Your school psychologist or principal will be able to tell you how to start the process to get your child evaluated for services through the school.
  • Early intervention.  Early intervention is available in all states, but it may be called something else in your state.  Early intervention will evaluate your child and help you find therapy centers and other resources.
  • Other parents.  The biggest resource I have found to help me find therapies and treatment has been other local moms.  I was about to find online groups specific to my state, and ask them for referrals and advice.
  • Child psychologist.  Some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder also have comorbid conditions, and a psychologist or psychiatrist can help with social skills training and cognitive behavioral therapy.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012


We have an official diagnosis.

Even though I went to the first appointment armed with occupational therapy records, school records and his personal history, I didn't want to hear it.  I don't dispute the diagnosis, but I don't like hearing the a-word.

Asperger's Disorder.

Next year, it will just be autism.  Another a-word.

Now we start the doctors appointments and therapies that come with the diagnosis.  So far, so good, but we are only in week two.

It's no wonder moms of children with autism are showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Special Needs Binder

I have quite a thick special needs binder for my oldest, but it occurred to me last night that I don't have all the specialists phone numbers in one place.  In case of an emergency, my husband or mother would never be able to guess how many specialists we have appointments with or where to even begin!

I create this simple document in Google Docs so anyone can print it.  Just click the link here and print as many as you need.  Please share the document by pointing friends to this post.

If there's something I forgot, leave a comment.

Is anyone interested in pics of my binder and how I stay organized?  The doctors and nurses love that I have everything with me at every appointment, and it helps me when I need to find something.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Testing to see if I can finally post again.  My old laptop wouldn't let me post to any of my blogs, but I was finally about to upgrade my laptop a few weeks ago.  So, hopefully, I am back into blogging!!