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I'm new, I don't know what to do!

Posted by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 10:53 PM
  • 7 Replies
My son is 12 years old and I've been wondering if he may have Asperger's. I don't know for sure and if he does, I think it's mild. He's always been an indoor kid, doesn't like change, needs to know what the "plan" is all the time. He is the sweetest kid with the biggest heart that he wears on his sleeve. He has few friends. He has intense interest in subjects. Two years ago it was dinosaurs and he read a Princeton University textbook about them, every page and checked out every book the local library had on them. He also likes to talk incessantly about whatever his current interest is. You would not believe how much I know about dinosaurs! LOL! Right now he's focused on Kung Fu and dinosaurs are history (pun intended). He says the kids at school call him "weird" and it breaks my heart. I know he's a little different, but I "get" him and his sense of humor, he's a lot like me (which at times makes me wonder if I have Asperger's). I don't know what to do. Should I just let it be? There's quirky ppl everywhere. I haven't mentioned this to him because I don't want him to think he can use it as a crutch, but he's told me himself he feels different. Would it help him to know that there's a name for how he is besides just being "weird"? THEN there's my DH...we've talked about it and he just wants to pretend that it doesn't exist. I wouldn't even know where to begin to get him diagnosed or what to do after that. My husband would have a fit about therapy (there's nothing wrong with his boy!). Does it sound like he may have it? What do I do?
by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 10:53 PM
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by Silver Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 11:00 PM

It's amazing that you're asking these questions. I would say that at this point, what services would a diagnosis get him that he could use?

He sounds amazing. I am also an expert on dinosaurs and ocean animals. The obsessive behaviors and inability to deal with spontaneous changes might affect him when he becomes an adult. Seeing a psychologist or behavioral therapist might teach him skills that will help once he moves out.

He could, he could not. Quirky, dorky, nerdy seem to come about on the spectrum. it does not mean he has it. discuss it with his pediatrician or get a referral to see a behavioral pediatrician. if nothing else, you know the answer to your question.

by on Jul. 28, 2013 at 4:21 AM

Given that he's a very smart 12 year old I'd say discuss it with HIM.  Ask him if he wants to learn about Asperger's see if he feels that he has it, and if he wants to go forward with some basic testing with a child psychologist who could diangose him.  Because really if he's excelling in school and isn't miserable there or at home despite having only a few friends, then it's really for him to better understand himself.  If he IS having issues at school or cannot make any friends and is being bullied or teased and is unhappy then seeing the psychologist for testing might be good as well as some potential therapy sessions and maybe recommendations for social skills groups. 

My younger brother has Asperger's and he's now 26 and studying for a PhD in some program that I can't even remember the name for.  Something about genetics and mental illness but it's very long and complicated:)  I've always thought of him as Jane Goodall with the chimps only we NT's are the chimps and he is studying us all - he likes us very much, would love to know more about us, but has forever felt "apart" from us.  For him the secret to success was joining acting and drama clubs to (as he put it) learn how to act like a human being.  It let him try out all the emotions, social behaviors, and have scripts while he was doing it.  Now he's a decent actor, a very good singer but a terrible dancer so no broadway for him but it let him have friends and an interest that he could continue on in college and beyond.  I think he wanted to know why he always felt different - I mean most teenagers feel different in their angst and parental injustices but some TRULY FEEL IT.  And if he wants to know why then I'd help him find out. 

Anyhoo, my $0.02, he sounds like a great kid:)

by Darby on Jul. 28, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Love the advice these ladies gave you:)  Hugs mama!

by Gold Member on Jul. 28, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Have him diagnosed by a child psychologist.  Your son sounds like he has high functioning Autism or mild Autism.   If he is having difficulties socially there are support groups for them.  You would have to do a search for those groups in your area.  Does he have any difficulties in school other then social challenges? I would see the school psychologist.

by Kari on Jul. 28, 2013 at 2:59 PM

One of the things that my son has really benefited from (he has aspergers and is 9) is the social group they have at his school. They do a lot of role playing and "what would you do in this situation?" kind of stuff that gives him some tools to be more socially successful. Some of this stuff just doesn't come easily to him, he doesn't pick it up the way most kids do. I work with him here at home too but it is tricky for him to learn it from me now that he is getting older :)

I recently saw a college graduate with aspergers speak at a lecture on spectrum disorders and I asked him "when did you find out you had aspergers and when do you think is a good time to know?" he said the sooner the better because for him it was a relief to know there was a reason he felt different and ways to work on fitting in better. It helped him with the bullying he was encountering too because he knew why he was different. 

Anyway, that was one young man's perspective. It is a tough one, I know many people have grown up without any intervention and lived very productive lives never knowing they are aspergers but I think I would want to know so I could do research myself. Your son is so driven to learn he might be the very one that comes up with some break through as to why this is happening to so many kids....

Good luck whatever you decide. 

by on Jul. 28, 2013 at 4:20 PM

 Do we have the same 12 year old???!!! LOL!

If he's never been dx'ed and has never received any therapy or extra help at school, I don't see the benefit of doing anything now unless he actually DOES need help in school. Try to take his interests and put that into a social situation with other like minded kids. We put my 12 year old in a bowling league because he went once a week anyway and he LOVES it. We also take his interests....we were obsessed with dinosaurs a couple years ago also...and took him to every museum on the East coast.


by Platinum Member on Jul. 28, 2013 at 5:58 PM

I think that asking your doctor about a referral wouldn't hurt. I would talk to your son and see if this is something that would make him feel better. As for dad I think his reaction is normal. No dad wants anything to be wrong with his son. As for it sounding like he has it or not I am unsure. Autism is a spectrum. There are so many variables to autism

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