The name Asperger always reminded me of Limburger, the smelly cheese.
Yes, Asperger’s Syndrome also stinks but in other . . . let me count the ways. Socially, developmentally, organizationally, motivationally. Sick of the Ly’s yet?
That’s okay, because I’m done with the intro and moving into the heart of the cheese, if cheese has a heart. My son has a heart, as well as Asperger’s, although I’m omitting the word, “syndrome,” since it’s rather ominous sounding like the “plague.”
My husband and I didn’t know that our son had Asperger’s until several years ago, as he was first diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarten.
A very kind teacher, who also had a son with ADD and wanted to prevent our son from going through the elementary school torture chamber, noticed my son’s aberrant behavior, like dancing on desktops and sticking pencils up his nose. Not really. He just didn’t pay attention and would stand up and jump around when he was supposed to sit down and focus on his ABC’s or other inert learning objectives.
Playground play and social interaction wasn’t much better since my son was always rather impulsive. If he wasn’t the first kid in line, not a problem, he would push the kid in front of him out of the way. If he wanted a ball another kid had, he would just take it. Parents, teachers, and kids did not take kindly to my son’s actions. My husband and I wondered what the hell was going on, which brings us back to ADD and fifth grade. Did you notice how I not so subtly moved this post ahead in years?
In roughly 2002 when my son was in fifth grade, if my memory isn’t warped like the rest of me, while my son attended a rather unfriendly LD (learning differences) elementary school in Westchester County, New York, he suddenly developed an aversion to school. We consulted countless psychiatrists and alleged ADD experts but got few satisfactory answers. Meanwhile, every morning getting my son dressed and ready for school was equivalent to a WWE wrestling match.
This culminated with me carrying my son to the car and throwing him in it. I’ll leave out the agonizing details of what happened when I finally got him to school and left him in the “care,” I use the word loosely, of the school psychiatrist, also used loosely. Let’s just say a lot of screaming and crying went on as I left the building, and I’m not talking about my son. Yes, I am, but inside I was screaming and crying with him while driving to work two hours late.
I know this all sounds rather cruel, but my husband and I didn’t know what else to do. Years later, I read somewhere that when Asperger’s kids reach puberty they begin manifesting the symptoms of the disorder. I also read that someone can have both ADHD and Asperger’s, which is also known as a comorbid condition, which is like hitting brain Lotto.
Stay tuned for more on “Asperger is not a Cheese.”
Do you have the tee-shirt?