Sunday, January 6, 2013

Son Has Aspergers- Infancy

Note: For the privacy of my Son, I will name him Michael from here on.

I knew from the beginning that something was "different" with Michael. Little did I know then that it would take 13 years to finally find out the correct diagnosis of Aspergers.
His constant cries were unconsolable. With my first Son, born 4 years earlier, I would pick up when he cried and most of the time, unless he was hungry, he would stop almost immediately. With Michael, picking him up would lead to only louder crying. My husband, his Father, and I would spend hours pacing the room cuddling him, to no avail. His cries were often piercing. Often I would sit with Michael and begin to pull him to my breast to nurse, yet he would arch his back and pull away from me. I nursed my first Son for 3 1/2 years ( yes years, not months!) I had went to LaLeche league meetings during his pregnancy and continued for several months after his birth. They advocate baby led weening, which made sense to me, so that's what we did. Nursing my first was a wonderful, bonding experience and from the beginning I had no problems. He thrived, weighing in at 20 pd.s at 6
Months and 30 pd.s at 1 year.
I nursed Michael for 11 frustrating months. I often felt like I was force feeding him, as he pulled away from me. With my first Son, I was a great Mother in my estimation. With Michael I felt like a failure. The guilt I felt at times was often overwhelming. Was I doing something wrong? I thought that Michael might have allergies as he developed a rash all over shortly after birth, and after that eczema. His Dr. poo-poohed the idea, yet I believed that could be the case. If his "colic"
Which the Dr. called it might be caused by the food I was eating, getting into my breast milk, I had to at least try something. That begin a period of several months with my diet consisting of little else other than brown rice and lentils! It didn't help and I became more discouraged and frustrated. What was wrong with my Child, and as his Mother, how could I make him happy, or at least stop fussing? It seemed the only thing that kept him calm was putting him in a baby carriage and start walking. He would be content for long periods, until I stopped for any reason, and then the crying and fussiness would start. For
My own sanity we walked for miles every day!
Michael's constant fussiness and crying took a toll on my marriage, which was strained to begin with. It also took a toll on his Brother, who was used to getting a lot of my attention before Michael's birth. It seemed like most of my time and energy was spent on trying to comfort my "un-comfortable" Son. Guilt....
again. I think one of the lowest points in my life came on the day I decided to try bottle feeding Michael, at 10 months. I got the best non-allergy formula I could find and sat down with Michael to feed him. He fussed and cried for some time before I asked his Father to try. For several minutes he attempted to get Michael to suck on the bottle without any success.
At that point my husband threw the bottle against the wall, said I give up, and handed Michael back to me.

My Son has Aspergers- Pre-diagnosis

My 26 year old Son has Aspergers. He was not properly diagnosed until the end of 8th grade. By that time he had been told he was deemed "un-teachable" in public school and had just completed his first year at a Private School for children who were diagnosed as behaviorally, and emotionally challenged, or struggled with a learning disability.
This Private School informed me after his 1 year there that my Son was a "challenge" that they were were not equipped to handle. During that 7th grade year, they had become convinced that he had ADHD, and so I took him to a psychiatrist to see if indeed he was ADHD. I want to add here that this was not the first, nor was it the last time my Son had been to a Dr., therapist, Social Worker, or other Mental Health Facility, in search for answers, nor would it be his last.
After many visits and tests this psychiatrist was convinced my Son did not have ADHD. He was depressed, anxious, had OCD, and more than likely oppositional defiant disorder, but in no way, was she willing to put him on a drug for ADHD, which the school felt he needed to be on. Of course, I realized then that what the school wanted was for my Son to be "drugged" into a more cooperative,
student. He was often belligerent, and out of control and they became frustrated with him on a regular basis.
At the end of 7th grade the director of the School let me and my Sons Step Father know that they would not be able to have him back the following year. As we talked this director said that he reminded her of a student they had taught a few years prior, who had Aspergers. This was the first time I had ever heard of Aspergers. It was 1999, and Aspergers was fairly unknown then.