Monday, February 8, 2010

I really should write in this more huh?

So, the big thing around here has been Aislinn's diagnosis. She has been diagnosed as ADD, as we knew, but she's also been diagnosed as having Aspergers. As you can imagine, this upset Tony and I very much. Yet, upon reflecting on it, we can't help but to agree that it only makes sense. It explains her maturity level, which is behind other kids and always has been. It explains her clothing issues (and here I thought she was being a pain in the ass). It explains her bossiness and need to control the play with other kids. It explains why she wants to talk to everyone and doesn't get when they're done talking. With an Aspie kid, as they're called they lack empathy more so than another child.

They can't put themselves in other people's shoes. Aislinn controls the play because she can't understand why no one else wants to play lions when she thinks it so freaking fun. Who wouldn't want to play? Even though the clerk asked her a question to be polite, Aislinn can't see that, and therefore will go on and on while the clerk is trying to do her job. Aislinn likes being comfortable and can't understand why she has to look "nice". To her, Pokemon are the coolest thing ever, why does mom and dad not want to talk about it everyday? (we have actually told her no Pokemon talk allowed a few times because we were so sick of it)

Aspergers is one of those disorders that seems misunderstood. The best way I can describe it is an extreme lack of social skills. Boy, does that describe Aislinn to a "T" People think she should be like Rain Man or something, because it's linked with autism. I expect people to throw down a bunch of toothpicks and have her count them when they hear. It's not like that. Especially for girls. She will not need to be put in special ed, or need to live in a home as an adult, or be under our care forever. She can go on and live her life, get married and have children if she so wishes.

Basically, Asperger's makes her a natural rebel. I'm not trying to make it seem super cool or anything, but Aislinn because she thinks differently will always be that argumentative kid that is going to question everything. She doesn't heed societal norms. This can be both a hindrance and a blessing. Aspie kids are also usually very bright and smart, but because they think differently they may have a hard time at school because they don't fit the "mold" which is something I've always complained about in the past with her.

We're working our way through the process. Her teacher has been super helpful, even though Aislinn thinks she hates her. When I told Mrs. N that, she was really upset and sounded like she was going to cry. She's really trying to help her. She allows Aislinn to sit at the island when she needs to work alone, whenever she wants. It's hard because Aislinn has developed a verbal tic. One that is very distracting and loud. Because her ADD is best treated with stimulants, it brings out the tics and makes them worse. Without the stimulants she can't focus, but with them we get tics. Aislinn has always had tics, but I never knew that's what they were. I just thought Aislinn was weird. She's on another medicine to control the tics, but we just started that so I don't know how well it will work. I noticed them a lot less in the last few days, but she also wasn't on her Concerta.

So, all the things that I used to complain about with Aislinn wasn't just because she wanted to make my life miserable. It was because she truly had a medical reason. I feel guilty about that sometimes, but I try not to dwell on it too much. Right now, I'm trying to find the right balance for discipline. One of the hardest things was trying to ignore the verbal tic which is a high pitched screech in her throat. It really just jars you when it's quiet and I can see why the other kids are getting pissed in her class. That was the reason we decided to medicate this tic. The other kids are making fun of her for it. The more they do that, the more she needs to do it, and it's a vicious cycle.

Hopefully, with the right meds and support, Aislinn will achieve greatness in school. She's so smart and her teacher said if we can just get this all working right, Aislinn could easily be a straight A student.

1 comment:

Coops said...

You know Sandi, if you fleshed this out with some more of her background, you could submit this to parenting magazines...