Thursday, May 2, 2013

A New Journey

I've always written more about K than B. In the context of a special needs blog, he's never been the child that worried us. He has his quirks, but for the most part seemed like a pretty typical kid. His issues never seemed to interfere with his life. All the kids liked him. There wasn't a shortage of play dates or birthday invitations. He seemed happy.

But, lately, things have changed.

I'm now seeing the reason why Aspergers is diagnosed later in childhood. Really, at 6, Ben is still younger than most. Not all smart kids, who are a bit difficult, have Aspergers. Throwing a label on a child isn't something to be done lightly, and sometimes things can be explained away with age and maturity. It just depends on how things progress over time.

But, B's little quirks? Yeah, they started getting bigger, and getting in the way. I had a kid who went from happy-go-lucky, to always frustrated. A kid who had always been surrounded by his peers, struggling to fit in. Struggling to understand simple social situations. A kid who can't ask enough questions, or learn enough things, but who started hated going to school.

A couple days ago, B came home and told me that recess was "horrible" that day. He told me that none of the kids wanted to play with him. They had "other plans". He told me he only wanted to play the time machine game, the game he plays everyday at recess, but no one else wanted to join him. In his mind, they weren't his friends. They didn't like him anymore. He couldn't understand why they didn't want to play his game, and it didn't occur to him at all to join one of theirs.

It made me sad.

He will be 7 in September. He's getting older, and his friends are getting older. They are less willing to give into him. Less willing to let him run the show. His natural charisma is now overshadowed by his inflexibility, and his low frustration tolerance. They are starting to see that he is different. I am thankful that he is a boy, because in my experience it's harder to be a girl and be different. Boys forgive more easily. They aren't catty, and mean. But, they can also choose to just not play your game, so either way B is alone, without the necessary tools to navigate the changing social scene.

This is why Aspergers shows up later on. It isn't glaringly obvious early on, like classic Autism. I've watched You Tube videos comparing a child with Aspergers around B's age (and younger), when you can barely tell, and then several years later, when it's unmistakable. B might only be in kindergarten, but I feel we are slowly getting to that unmistakable stage.

Because of what we've dealt with in regards to K and school, I am determined not to let things get that bad for B. We'll have a new IEP meeting soon to discuss the results of his neuropsych, and I need to make sure everything recommended in that report happens. I need the school to listen to us this time. I need them to understand that helping B now is the only way to ensure we don't end with a kid who implodes down the road. Part of me, a big part of me, truly believes that if our concerns hadn't been pushed aside all these years, K would be in a very different place. Hopefully we've proven to everyone that we aren't afraid to fight for our kids, and B gets what he needs, but you just never know.

For the first time, I am more worried about B, than K. Seeing things get more difficult for him is breaking my heart. Aspergers isn't the end of the world, not at all, but he needs support, and we need to get this right for him, now. Not 3 years down the road. Now.

Ben, with his most favorite thing ever. 

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree more. I feel for you - my B younger but I can see this happening to him as time goes on.

    The awkwardness, the inability to "read" the situation, inevitably saying the wrong thing, etc. I hope you can get your IEP team to follow your lead.