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Boy Meets Osmosis, Part 1

Photo Credit: Immanuel Brändemo

Photo Credit: Immanuel Brandemo

 

Several times in the last few months, our boy has mentioned that he seems different from other kids his age. He feels they think in a different way than he does.

He isn’t wrong, since he’s on the Autism spectrum. If the DSM-V hadn’t changed everything (okay, not everything), he would be diagnosed as having Asperger’s. In fact, his earliest diagnosis listed him as an Aspie.

We have never told him, concerned that it might make him feel different, or that he might use it as an excuse. “Well, I just act that way because I have Autism.”

However, since he already feels “different,” we’ve been thinking that maybe we should tell him.

A couple weeks ago, the kids and I were watching Girl Meets World, a spinoff/sequel to my childhood favorite, Boy Meets World. In this particular episode, one of the characters had testing because the adults in his life suspected he might be on the spectrum. He was agitated and concerned over the idea that he might be Autistic. I didn’t really like the way they portrayed that part because the tone made a diagnosis sound a little scary. Test results showed the young man does not have Asperger’s and he seemed relieved. However, one of his close friends was disappointed because she is an Aspie and was hoping his diagnosis would make her feel less different. The show ended as the kids assured the girl that they all love her just the way she is.

Overall, the episode does a pretty good job of showing kids how to be inclusive. The portrayal of nervous tension about the testing, both for the parents and for the child, seems fairly accurate.

I wouldn’t really know, because we didn’t tell our boy we were getting him tested (yearly psychs are run of the mill here, so he didn’t even notice) and I was ECSTATIC to receive the diagnosis.

Still, I felt they could have done a better job of portraying the diagnosis as something less scary—or even cool, because truly, Spectrum Kids are gifted.

As the show closed, our boy stared me square in the eye and asked,

What do I have?

Not quite ready to have the conversation, I hedged. “What do you think you have?”

He thought for a minute, then said, “I think I have the illness of aaaaaaaaaaaa(thought he was going to say it)aaaaawesome!”

 

 

Continued

Adoption = Stinky, Part 2

Thankfully, we’re out of that smelly hospital room!

So, we got the results of the EEG and, as expected, there is no seizure activity. On one hand, it’s great, because we’ve ruled out yet another potential cause of some of the girl’s behaviors, which means we’re able to better zero in on the actual problem. On the other hand, it’s still pretty frustrating to have wasted 24 hours sniffing glue.

The good news? I spent time this weekend researching Reactive Attachment Disorder support and found this video by Christine Moers on therapeutic parenting. Most of what she says applies to “regular” kids as well, but as the parent of a RAD child, I found myself shaking with laughter. My abs got a better workout than at Gold’s Gym. I checked out her website, and while I don’t subscribe to all her views, she has some great insight.

I really needed that laugh today. Maybe you do, too. Enjoy!

***Video belongs to Christine Moers.

Adoption = Stinky, Part 1

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