While we are a bit sad about our son Stephen's diagnosis of Aspergers, we are also actually somewhat happy to find out. Finally, we have direction and some understanding!
Just like you read about kids with Aspergers or PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified), Stephen has a lot of idiosyncracies, practices, attitudes, etc. that get him in trouble and teased and ridiculed.
He's also very sad at times, very depressed to the point of talking about suicide at least every other day.
We had problems with him being attacked at school, over and over again, and after much screaming and threats of lawsuit over the lack of safety contributing to Stephen being repeatedly assaulted we were finally granted a meeting with the Director of Pupil Services, the District Psychologist and the Principal and Vice Principal of the school.
After reciting Stephen's history to the District Psychologist she then asked us if anyone had ever mentioned Aspergers in regards to Stephen's difficulties.
As soon as that meeting was over and we got home I started researching Aspergers online and it wasn't long before I was convinced that this is what Stephen has been dealing with all this time.
I downloaded information from online, highlighted sections and made notes that were specific to Stephen's issues and scheduled a couple appointments, one with a psychiatrist (med doctor) and one with a particular psychologist whom Stephen is familiar with and connects with.
Our suspicions were confirmed and Stephen was officially diagnosed with Aspergers in November 2005.
After his diagnosis, his depression subsided quite substantially. I think it's because of a few reasons...
1. I think our son somewhat realizes that we understand him better and sees that we are fighting for him to make life in school smoother for him.
2. The psychiatrist that he has started seeing (he was seeing just a behavioral doctor for behavioral issues) has changed his medication, he eliminated the Risperdal and put him on Prozac.
3. We are able to understand him better and we now realize that he's not necessarily purposely breaking rules, not necessarily purposely hurting feelings and not necessarily purposely 'bugging' people and because of this new-found understanding we are working with him differently now.
4. Mark Hutten’s eBook entitled My Aspergers Child has given us the tools to deal with Stephen’s meltdowns. We had no idea what to do about these intense temper tantrums before. But the information in the eBook and videos has made a tremendous difference in how we react to our son, which in turn has made a big difference in how our son reacts to us – his parents. There is much less tension in our home now, which gives everyone more energy to focus on the really important things.