Things to look out for:
If a child with Asperger Syndrome is NOT given the appropriate level and type of support there is the possibility they can become aggressive, have sleeping or eating issues, begin to self-harm, withdraw from life and refuse to leave their rooms. We do not say this to scare you, we say this to prepare you for the things you will need to consider as your son or daughter ages.
When you are ready……
Once you are able to move past the initial shock and grief of a new diagnosis you will soon see there are many transitions that your child is going to go through before they reach adulthood (and still many more after they do), such as puberty, high school, dating, sexuality, employment, parenting a child themselves and so on. You will need to learn how to be a crystal ball. By this we mean, you will need to begin to think about these things way in advance and plan for them. This does not mean that you are expected to have THE answer every single time. You can not possibly plan for everything, and do not try to – all you will end up doing is driving yourself and your family mad with all your stressing out. But by planning ahead you may be able to reduce the anxiety and problems around change for some of the things your child will need to face. This will make life for all of you more bearable.
You are your child’s best advocate! It will soon become clear to you that the world isn’t built for people with Asperger Syndrome; that they will come upon many obstacles on their way through life. You will need to go into bat for them on many occasions, after all, you know your child best and you know what they need!
You will soon find yourself having conversations with your child’s school, local services, GP etc. Knowing how your son or daughter operates best will mean that you can make the best possible suggestions for services for your child.
Unfortunately school is not made for children with Asperger Syndrome as they are:
- Often required to be in large social groups
- Expected to be able to do two things at once (listen and write)
- Expected to change topic regularly (i.e. move from maths to English)
- Expected to tune out irrelevant sensory information.
These things are really hard for a child with Asperger Syndrome who generally likes to work in silence, prefers to go slowly, doesn’t like change and distractions, doesn’t like people moving into their space and becomes confused or anxious in social situations.