Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Difficult Child has a couple of New Labels

Do you remember the fuss my post called 'The Difficult Child' caused?
I nearly gave up blogging after some of the comments on that one.
That post showed my how supportive and unsupportive the blogging community can be all in one!
Well, it seems sometimes children are difficult for a reason.
Do you remember the label I heard and was very unsure about recently?
Gifted and talented.
I've just come home from helping in the classroom this morning and after an impromptu discussion with my 5 year old boy's teacher I learned his Maths is so far off the scale for his age they are getting someone from the university to come and discuss possible learning and extension programs for him.
And, while she was skirting and toe shuffling around terminology, I stated I'd suspected he has had ASD tendencies for quite awhile.
She looked mighty relieved because she wanted to say Aspergers to me but (being someone she used to work with and socialise with) was finding it difficult to come out and say it.
He has not been officially tested nor diagnosed with either.
But there you have it.
Gifted and talented children with Aspergers are often 'difficult'.
Do I feel a little vindicated, well yes, I think I do.

The lesson:  If someone is trying to manage a difficult child, cut them some slack instead of crucifying them.  Who knows what issues they may be dealing with.

Now please excuse me while I try to process all of this.


  1. Holy wow. I missed the Difficult Child post. What a mountain out of a molehill, eh?

    Mindblowing stuff happening for you Thea. Huge *hug*

  2. I am here, a little useless atm, but if you have any questions, want to scream, collapse in relief at finally knowing or whatever, feel free to. Might stop me wallowing in self-pitiful land...

  3. My youngest brother was diagnosed with Aspergers (He also has ADD, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia) He was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was 6.

    He is extremely bright especially in the science area, however he struggles in English...that is down to his dyslexia.
    sure, he can be difficult at times, impulsive, no regard for personal space, repetitive and obsessive over some subjects, he is the kindest, most sweetest 17yr old and we wouldn't have him any other way.

    If you have any questions or just want to chat, my email is on my blog.


  4. I just read your 'Difficult Child' post and WOW! My daughter ticked almost everything on that list, I know where you're coming from. I love my daughter immensely, nothing makes me happier than her thriving but sometimes... sometimes I just wish she'd stop! I don't think there's anything wrong with expressing that as a child. Any attitude disorder has a list of traits that a child suffering might display. Sometimes we just need to vent, especially when you know other children aren't 'difficult' to the same extent as your oldest.

    I'm glad you finally have some (sort of) answers about your sons behaviour. I'm also glad that those comments didn't stop you from blogging.

  5. My goodness, Thea. That's a lot to take in for you.

    I missed the Gift & Talented post (not sure how!).

    Try not to panic. Take one step at a time. Next step: have the tests done and see.

    In any case, he's your little man no matter what, and if you know if there is an issue, I'm sure there's an amazing network out there of people who can help you process all of this (those in a similar boat).

    On a personal note: if you just need someone to chat with or some support - a virtual cup of tea maybe - I'm here.


  6. Was just thinking about I and wondering whether the testing had returned - OMG!!! Now for the hard stuff - reality and dealing with it.

    As you know labels make everything easier in the G&T / ASD world, be thankful that its has happened so early.

    One day at a time, One day at a time xoxox

  7. Hi Thea :) I'm a new follower, I found you through Lori. I just went back and read your 'Difficult Child' post, and I just wanted to send you a HUUUUGE hug in response to all of those horrible comments. I think there are two ways to look at the list they're banging on about, and they are obviously all reading from the view of a child with no problems.

    I may not have children, but my husband has Asperger's - undiagnosed, but he ticks so many boxes its not funny. I read that list and it all sounds like what he's told me of his own childhood. And he freely admits he was a difficult child!

    You have a long road ahead of you, but I can tell that you're strong enough, and you WILL cope, even if you hafta take it minute by minute sometimes :)


  8. No advice here (right now) just to say you are a great mum, your boy will be okay and thank god for the net where there is (usually) lots of support and encouragement. And if anyone talks smack I'm here all gloved up for a boxing match ;)

  9. Wow - went back and read. Some very interesting comments from some I would never have expected to react so, hmmm, weirdly?

    Seeing as I let both my boys read any blogs about them, I guess I have already done all the damage, lol.

    Question though, has this prompted you to go down the diagnosis path next?

  10. Hi Thea, as a parent with a child that has (quote from pead) "is at high risk of autism but probably hasn't got enough autistic features to diagnose him, with that, but he really does need extra help." (???) I understand all your musings in both 'A difficult Child' and this blog. The crying/questions/lack of comprehension is not understood by anyone unless they have experienced this sort of child, themselves.

    We're still trying to get our son fully diagnosed and are on the wait list for the second time to have him assessed for autism or Aspergers.

    Hang in there and like you've said before: we wouldn't have them any other way!

  11. Hi Thea, I read the difficult child post just now.. I can't believe some people: dropping by your blog for the first time and tearing you apart?? What does that tell about them? You were just honest about how you felt at times and you certainly didn't deserve the bad comments - the ones giving them should really look up honesty and truth in a dictionary.
    Not knowing is the worse thing... if he is diagnosed you'll be able to help him and find help.
    Hugs all the way from Slovenia

  12. Thanks everyone. Your comments mean so much to me.xx

    Madmother - I am so happy to see you here! Not sure what to do next. I think I'll see what his teacher thinks about diagnosis.
    What do you think??

  13. I'm only new to reading your blog so didn't see the original post - but rather shocked ast some of the replies.
    Some kids ARE difficult for a reason, and while we don't want to go around constantly labeling them, sometimes it IS required, and sometimes we need to keep telling people until someone listens. I completely agree, until you've walked a mile in someone's mummy slippers, you have no right to crucify them.
    I hope you get yours answers, and help if it's required, even just to know what you're dealing with.

  14. If you had asked six months ago I would have said "diagnosis", but now am wondering if those without the label who are forced to learn adaptive behaviour to fit in are not better off in the long run.

    With Boy 1 we had no choice, he was too severe in his behavioural issues to "fake it 'til you make it." But others who are definitely ASD but higher functioning in there actions... well, I no longer know if a diagnosis helps them.

    The Boy 1 of today would be able to, but in true Catch 22 style, he would not be at this amazing level of functionability without the diagnosis or intervention.

    In other words, yes, ask the teacher.

    And those 3 loooong posts of a month or so ago (The Road Less Travelled) can give you details of what, where, how, etc, it was with us.
    Am here to answer any questions anytime.

  15. Hey Thea!
    You brave woman! I am proud of you for continuing to share with the rest of us knowing there will be some ASS out there that will try and knock you down. Good for you! The more we women work TOGETHER, the better of we all are!
    I would like to offer some info - as I have been a special education teacher for over 10 years - and have lots of experience with autism. First - the DSM was recently longer will there be Asperger's...just Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism is autism - and by it's very nature, every person is different.
    Next, now you may have a label - and aside from making you feel relieved, be ready for another hit. You will go through the stages of grief - because autism is not "fixable". It is a life long battle - much like bi-polar or Down's syndrome. Knowing can make it much better - but just watch yourself....
    Last - there are some kiddos that DO grow out of their issues. So much so, that the DSM is looking at a new "label" along the lines of dysregulation of temperament. It describes the behavior - and kiddos due mature out of much of it...
    Best of luck to you -
    I think you are doing a GREAT job!
    Again - thanks for sharing your life - you will help others that are experiencing difficulties. Ignore and DELETE the jerks!!

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  17. HI Thea, I just read the difficult child post and got halfway through the comments before I gave up. All I can say is that you clearly have a lot on your plate and wish you and your fabulously difficult child all the best.

  18. Hey Thea, I'm publishingmy own 'difficult child' post in the next couple of days. About myself ;) Keep an eye out.

  19. You know I think you're awesome and can handle anything life throws at you...... xx

  20. What Madmother said had alot of merit to it. My boy is ADHD and ODD, and has been at 2 schools. At the first, we let his diagnosis be known.... and it was HELL.

    In moving him, I decided not to tell the new school, and while it hasnt been smooth sailing by any stretch of the imagination, it hasnt been AS bad. By a long way.

    Its definately something you need to consider. I know ADHD/ODD isnt Aspergers, but behavioural issues often have similar outcomes re: others opinions.

    Can he "fake it till you make it"? If he can, I'd go with that. Do what you can with behaviour modifying methods at home, teach his teachers, and hope "boys will be boys" will cover any problems.

    Once he is "classified" there is no going back, and not everyone is understanding or accepting.... as I think you have seen!

  21. Thea, firstly, let me say you are in my thoughts, you and your lovely family.
    I am wondering what to put in reply here, I have a lot I could say, you know what I do for work. But I will just say this... one step at a time, one day at a time...

    Sending you love. xxx

  22. Holy Cow, I just read through the comments on "the difficult child" post.. Some people are so freaking mean.. I too have a difficult child, and i totally feel for him, Im sure it sucks to have a stressed mum.
    He is pretty smart for his age and remembers EVERYTHING, starting to wonder if he to is a little Aspergers, He's def a bit OCD already!
    Kids, Life would be a tad boring without them eh!!

  23. You are a stronger woman than I!! Just read your Difficult Child post for the first time ... WOW! People suck!! And you deserve much better! I understand and appreciate what you mean. I wish you all the best with your child, whatever the outcome of any tests you get done or not. And I am *convinced* when your son grows up he will be grateful for your love and support all the way through his childhood and beyond :)

  24. Been there, walked that road, my son was never diagnosed as ASD officially as it was before they even talked about it unless it was in the extreme - you know sitting in a corner rocking - totally non-communicative. Some times I agree - if you label them then the label sticks - but with a label you also get lots of (maybe some) doors opened that without the label are not offered - we did it the hard way. Either way - I am here to support if ever needed (well in an advice on blog sense). Hugs always.

  25. Oh Thea I was in this position with my son around this time last year. With the testing/diagnosis in our experience we got it done so that we would know. I am the kind of person that needs to know things though ;) . It has done nothing for him in the way of funding or aide time as he is high functioning. But it has brought about changes in the school. After I made a complaint about two teachers reports at the end of last year (where they wanted to see him change those things he cannot do!) the whole school staff has recieved Aspergers/Autism PD). His teacher and I have an individual learning plan for focus areas which we keep an eye on. He has his own individual learning plan/goals the same as all the other children in the school for him to track to. The school does not treat him differently to the other children because of the diagnosis but they are mindful of it, if that makes sense.

    For us though I am grateful that we have the official diagnosis. It changes nothing about my son, he is still the same boy he always was but it gives sense to the quirks he has, to the way he reacts. There are things I never noticed about him that I now do and can work with him on (like greeting people, manners, social situations). The professionals he sees now have also helped us significantly to understand Aspergers and to help him to hopefully overcome those things that will be of most concern in the future. This is just our experiences so far though, I'm not trying to influence your decisions. All my posts about him are labelled with Aspergers on my blog :) . Oh and I think the difficult child post was the first I ever read on your blog and it scared the shite out of me reading your comments as I had never seen such comments on blogs, I thought they were reserved to forums ;).


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