Special Olympics for AS people

My son, now 36, was not diagnosed until the age of 30 as no one seemed to be aware of anyone that could diagnose this condition. he has been involved in Special Olympics for several years now, was on the Gold Medal Curling team, has attended several Provincial games for soccer, slopitch, and curling. He is hoping to attend a World Games. Special Olympics is a wonderful organization for athletics but also supplies the athletes with socialization. There are a vareity of ages, mental disabilities, etc. and it also shows all athletes how to be tolerant. Some of my friends that have gone to sporting events have been surprised at the calibre of athletes, the fact that people they assumed were coaches were actually athletes, and how great the socialization is. I would recommend anyone take their child to see if they are interested in any of the sports offerred. I believe they can join when they are 10 or 12. Michele Martin

Forum Moderator!

I would just like to introduce myself as the new moderator for the adult forum. My name is Jenefer. I am 26 years old and an ABA therapist working with 2 boys who have AS. I live in the Vancouver area. Thank you to Marianne for this oppurtunity to have some involvement with the site.

We Need Some Kids Getting Into the Youth Forum

Hey Guys We'd love to have some of your children to participate in the youth forum. Tell your kids not to be shy. Its totally anonymous and no one will know who they are if they don't want to. Graham Kendall Youth Moderator

adults with aspergers

Hi, I am an adult who was diagnosed with asperger's last year. My daughter has autism. Are there any people (preferably female) in the Newmarket area who are adults with asperger's. My support worker and I are trying to set up a social group for adults over 30 with or without their spouses. I want to meet some other women with same diagnosis but there has been limited response. Mandy Klein

My 5 3/4 yr old Daughter has Asperger

My daughter Maya is 5 (5 3/4 she insists). She was diagnosed with Asperger in August. Her year of junior kindergarden (last year) was very hard on our family and especially on her. Now she is in kidergarden (jardin). She goes to a french school in Ottawa and they are now aware of the diagnosis. This said, we still have to endure judgment from the school pricipal who will not be so specific but always implies that the behaviour that comes out at school is a result of our action or lack of actions at home.Recently she had her whole class following her in a chaos of running around in class. When she was physicaly removed by the educator she hit the educator. Then in the office she hit the VP. This resulted in a 1 1/2 day suspension. The pricipal is convinced that her manipulative behaviour shown in the office is a result of lack of discipline. So few girls have Asperger we are looking for ways of dealing with these kinds of situations as I am sure they will continue. If anyone has any experiences with girls and asperger I would be interested in their stories. Chris.

Talking To Schools

I want to go into schools and talk at parent teacher counscell meetings. Talk to them about what is going on with kids with autism. I know this is what our mission is but wouldn't it be helpful in going into schools and actually talking about it. Possibly show this movie then or before talk to them about personal experiences and statistics. I don't know. It a rough idea but I'm sure we could all come up with some ideas. Graham Kendall Youth Moderator

Looking for guidance

Unfortunately I only caught the last ½ hour of A Boy Inside and cried all through the program. I am a single mother of a 12 year old son in grade 7 with Aspergers. What I found so upsetting is I know my son is going through the same issues at school as Adam. I started having my son tested at age 3, as he was not talking very much. He has an older sibling with an identified language disorder. I was advised to put him in nursery school where he could be monitored by Grandview, an agency for identified children. By grade 2 the school suggested I have my son tested for ADHD. With that diagnosis my son was sent to another school for grade 3 and placed in a smaller class setting of 15 children with multiple exceptions. In grade 4, at yet another new school with many suspensions for behavior behind him, I had him retested again at the urging of the school. This time he was diagnosed with Asperger Spectrum. It was not until grade 5 that he was placed with a wonderful teacher who took the time with my son to teach him. It was his first successful year at school with no suspensions. Unfortunately he had to move on to another school for his senior years of grades 6 through 8, even through his teacher and I both wanted him to be held back to stay another year with her. She offered to come to my house to tutor him once a week and that has been in place since grade 6. With the new school came the same problems of meltdowns resulting in suspensions. He was in a class of 13 children, 4 of which were autistic. His tutor advised me near the end of grade 6 that he had lost much of what he had learned in grade 5. I questioned the principal if his teacher and EA had training teaching autistic children and was told they attend workshops for special needs children in general. The school and school board have now taken the approach to “invite” my son to do school work but they are not pushing him to do any. I have supplied them with a small white board to answer questions on as he likes the smoothness but my son tells me the teacher has not let him use it yet. I also discovered recently that he does not have a full-time EA to help him, which I thought was in place. I have looked into private schools that have training with autistic children but at a cost of $13,000.00 per year I can’t afford this. I don’t know where to turn. Like most Asperger children my son is very bright and with the right support could do well academically. I am located in the Durham, Ontario region and would appreciate any suggestions on what to do next. Kathy McClure

School or not to school this is our Questions and FINALLY our answer...

Why seems to be a big question lately? There are many why’s, for many reason’s and many times those why’s have answers, I’m hoping my why does too. Why is it that my 10 year old, wonderfully high functioning autistic child, has no place in the school system? Why is it that since my son has no place, the special education funds, allocated to the board for an identified student, is not being forwarded to his current educator? Why is my son, who has had nothing but negativity at the hands of a board that believes in full inclusion experiencing nothing but EXCLUSION? Two years ago and for the three years prior to that my son was offered 2hrs a day in school. During those two hours his anxiety was so high that he had a minimum of 3-4 melt downs and had to be restrained, removed and put in an old empty book closet to cool off. I spent far too much time defending my son’s diagnosis, which was handed to us by CAMH, Trillium, Peel Children’s center and a private psychiatrist, and still the board refused to put him in a special class. They brought in their own therapist who claimed Joshua was not on the Autism Spectrum but only presented as ADHD and that he should be put in a sensitivity classroom. We decided to put him in the Peel Children’s Center’s Sensitivity class on the basis that there was a discrepancy in his Dx. (Sensitivity classrooms do not take children diagnosed with any pervasive developmental disorder) He lasted 1 and a half days and was kicked out. The Psychologist at PCC diagnosed him, yet again, as being on the spectrum now we had no place to go. I home schooled Joshua that year and he did very well however the isolation was hard on him as he wanted so badly to have friends and peers. Unfortunately he does not know how to do that and really needs to be with other children in order to learn social skills and relationship building skills. Last year we went back to the school and tried to transition him in slowly. He had an exceptional teacher who had a special education background and he had a relatively successful year. I wish I could tell you that this is how it remained! This year grade five was a living hell for my son. The school year began on Sept 6 2006 and by Oct 6 he had been removed from the school 9 times and then they threatened to call the police on him and have him arrested HE IS 10 YEARS OLD!!! And a special needs student, I feel this was utterly ridicules. I vowed he would not go back there. The following week we had a meeting with his new school, as we have just bought a house and will be moving to another area in peel region. They informed us that they would only be able to offer him ONE hour per day between 1:30pm and 2:30pm and we would have to make due with that! Well I am not making due. As much as the school board would like us to believe that Joshua is an enigma and that our case is an isolated one I KNOW THAT IS NOT TRUE! I know there are other parents experiencing similar situations to ours. I know that parents are taking out second mortgages on their homes to pay outrageous tuitions to specialty schools that will accept our children. $4000.00 to $5500.00 per month in fee’s for aba and IBI schools. Joshua is not a menace or a danger to anyone. He is very loving and has quite a funny side to him. At home he is self sufficient and mild mannered. We have not had to restrain Joshua in over 4 years and he just wants a chance to learn and make friends. I have decided that I would like to take this opportunity to help not only my son but other children similar to him, who have the ability and eagerness to learn but no place to do it. I have spoken to professionals in the area of autism and a few primary grade teachers who would be more than willing to help out. These children are extremely bright and eager to learn; however, as much as the school board claims there is a place for everyone, there is not always a place for them! Many HFA/Asperger children suffer academically because there disorder is either not recognized, misunderstood or simply mistreated. Unfortunately HFA/Asperger’s is an invisible disability to the untrained eye. Where these boys and girls "look like" they should be capable of socializing and learning under the same circumstances as all other boys and girls this is not always the case. The social aspect alone is a never ending battle field, not understanding social norms, cues and etiquette can make life confusing and unbearable for both children and adults alike. I have witnessed HFA/Asperger's children excel, to not limits, when they are educated in smaller controlled environments. There are other Aspie kids out there, suffering at the hands of a school board who has not real place for them. Autism classrooms are available as are PDD and sensitivity classrooms, however Asperger’s children are too high functioning, too unpredictable, too violent THEY JUST DON’T FIT THE CRITERION. These are the excuses I have heard for years ‘so lets make them conform’ this is the boards great idea, Inclusion inclusion inclusion. IT DOESN’T WORK!!! And ends in EXCLUSION EXCLUSION EXCLUSION OUR PLAN I would like to open a small private home school for Asperger’s children in primary grades. APSERGER SOLUTIONS Inc. • Our school would consist of 8 to 10 children • One full time educator and two classroom support workers (with Autism spectrum experience) • An Occupational therapist and Speech and Language Pathologist to help implement continuous programming (not just bi weekly visits) • Self defense and social skill development • Sensory integration, music therapy etc. • Over all, a safe place for our children to learn, excel and grow into productive members of society. WHAT WE NEED TO MAKE OUR PLAN A REALITY Funding to; • Convert our brand new unfinished basement into a welcoming learning environment (approximately 1000 Square feet) • To buy textbooks, notebooks, paper, pencils, chalk boards, chalk etc. • Purchase O.T. supplies Oh and we would also like to know how much the school board would like to allocate to this program considering the fact that they had no resources in there public school system for us? Donations of • School textbooks grades 1-8 all subjects • Trampoline, hanging bag • Book shelves, desks • Desk top or Lap top computers • Sports equipment Any and all help is greatly appreciated. For further information please email me at aspergersolutionsinc@yahoo.ca 416-827-7093 Thank you Michelle Mack (Joshua’s Mom)

I have 2 kids with ASD.

I am so relieved to see that I am not the only one going through handling kids with ASD and struggling with it. Both my children have PDD-NOS, but we have very similar problems. I have 3 children in total: Bradyn, age 8; Kyle, age 5; and Amaya, age 3. Bradyn and Kyle are the ones who were diagnosed with PDD. Our family lives in a small town setting - about 2000 people. We just moved here about a year ago. It was a very good move for us because everyone here seems to welcome us with open arms. Almost everyone knows our children and their disorder. Bradyn actually has friends now and even some best friends. We used to live in a city where Bradyn started kindergarten. He was very lonely. No one invited him to their home for play dates or for birthday parties all the way through grade 1. I would definitely recommend moving to a smaller community if possible. Now Bradyn is always at someone elses house or his friends are here. He has an aide in the classroom, but I am told that she hardly works with him - only to keep him on task. He is very smart, but needs help with social skills. I totally related to the movie in this way. We have worked so hard with Bradyn that a lot of people don't even notice that he has pdd. He tries very hard to control his obvious tendencies from his disorder and the teachers and peers do not seem to have as many problems with him. Kyle, the 5 year old, on the other hand is just starting out with school. He seems to be developing very similar to the way Bradyn developed. My concern with him is that he is not as intelligent as Bradyn was. We have a lot of daily struggles with him. To add to this he is very shy. I am really afraid for him when gets older. He is just so innocent right now. When I watched the film, I was in tears. I was so moved to see someone actually put themself out there like that. People just don't understand how hard it is to parent children with Autism Spectrum disorders - especially the patience needed. I, myself, have been very stressed out over the last 5 years. I have been medicated for my migraines brought on by stress and trying to stay one step ahead of my children. My mind is having to be constantly aware of my kids. Things are beginning to get a little easier now that I am beginning to get the support I need.

Treatments and Therapies

Marianne here. I am getting lots of emails from parents who are working with different kinds of treatments and therapies. While not all treatments work for all people, it is good to be informed and know what options are available. With that in mind, I am encouraging folks who would like to share their experiences with different therapuetic models to write about them here. The usual disclaimers apply.
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