Thursday, May 06, 2010

love, friday (aspergers edition)

Love finally coming to the end of a very long journey, even though we know it's actually just the beginning of a new one.
Love having answers about our son's quirks, abnormalities and otherwise atypical behaviors.
Love Willow House preschool for the gentle ways in which they worked with Jackson and first alerted us to some of the things that seemed unusual.
Love our school system for the intense evaluation they provided and the loving embrace with which they delivered their findings.
Love our pediatrician's office and the connection to a first-rate developmental/behavioral pediatric doc who concurred with a medical diagnosis after spending time with our boy and reviewing page after page of interview detail and school reports.
Love that Jackson will receive placement in a private, mainstream preschool next year with our public school system footing the bill, since he qualifies for special services now. Love that there will be a special ed. teacher on staff to support him with his specific IEP to achieve his goals for the year for 20% of the time, but the other 80% of the time will be spent just acting like a preschool kid.
Love that busing is included in this incredible gift for us so that Amelia will get her afternoon naps since I won't be shuffling her brother all around town.
Love the spectrum.
Love my son's brain and finding new ways to learn how it works.
Love this blog post about toasters and hair dryers. (Read it. I'll wait. It's fascinating.)
Love finally knowing that Jackson is an Asperger's kid. Asperger's cannot be cured, it isn't a disease and it's not even a defect. It's a brilliant gift that provides another way to see this world.
Love that my boy isn't flawed, but rather, is enhanced. Love that his memory capacity is almost off the charts. Love that his cognitive ability is extremely high. Love that he's predicted to excel in academics. Love that his language is beyond his years, even if he does sound a little weird to his peers. Love that his capacity to love is deep, even if he has trouble finding ways to share it. Love that his hearing is so amazing that he notices the faintest songs playing in the background when people are talking and starts to sing along. Love that his intense focus (INTENSE FOCUS) on whatever he's doing suddenly makes sense.
Love that we have such a huge network of friends and family who are already reaching out and showing their support for us in person, over the phone, via email and yes Dad, even on Facebook.
Love that Jackson's future seems brighter now, not darker. He's the same exact boy now as before we received the diagnosis, but now we can better understand how he learns and help him grow and love and be happy and successful in this world.
love, friday (aspergers edition)


sprite said...

Congratulations on getting answers. I imagine there isn't much that's more frustrating than not knowing.

I have no personal experience with Aspergers, but I read an amazing novel earlier this year that featured a main character who fell close to that diagnosis on the spectrum -- Marcelo in the Real World. I recommend it highly -- even without today's news.

Kelly B. said...

That's a beautiful post, Catherine! I truly admire your strong, positive attitude and outlook. You're an inspiration...seriously.

LauraCap said...

I'm a longtime lurker who has a friend in common. Congrats on finally getting answers for Jackson. We just went through this with my four-year-old son. It is such a relief to know!

Senja said...

Love your bravery and positive outlook. Glad you have some answers, raising kids is hard no matter what their issues. I'm sure it will help to have reasons for the behaviors and strategies to deal with the positive and negative ones. Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the diagnosis. I work at my daughter's dance studio and one of the dancers little brothers had a diagnosis of asperger's syndrome. He always sat at the desk & would play cars & trains with me & some of the other dancers. I was unaware of his diagnosis, but he was such a sweet little charmer and one of my favorites. Bright, smart, sweet, extremely sensitive and always called me friend. I am sure that Jackson has a bright future ahead of himself.

Clare said...

My grandson has been diagnosed with this condition and has received the best care in the preschool at school that he qualified for. My daughter has also noted that removing dairy from his diet stabilizes him ALOT. She hasn't removed glueten yet, but it's on the horizon and seems to offer benefits.

But you know what, just like you, I see my little Buddy Boy as PERFECT in every way. Perfect. We just love them and help them to be the best they can be.

Glad you have answers, Catherine.

christina said...

i think that you have an absolutely amazing attitude about his diagnosis! it's great that you get all those services to help him!!

perhaps this explains his steel trap memory about the paper trains ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled you have answers and now that you can work with him to the best of his abilities. Part of the challenge is knowing what you have to work with and the tools you need. With this discovery, you are able to move forward. I also admire your positive attitude.

Jen Zimmerman said...

I LOVE this post! Wonderful, inspiring, so happy! Clearly you and Jackson are very blessed to have each other!

Lisa Anne said...

Wonderful that you are finding answers and such a supportive network, these children really do bring light to the world.

Aunt Jenny said...

So glad you got answers and that you are being such a wonderful POSITIVE parent...such a great attitude will do wonders for Jackson through his whole life. I have worked with kids at school with aspergers and my youngest son sure does have most of the symptoms (enhancements!!!!) but not the diagnosis. Some of my favorite people have aspergers. I love the brutal honesty and the vocabulary...just awesome. Dalton, my son, will read 5 books over and over...obsessed by a series until I finally can gently get him to try another series. Awesome that you get the extra services for him...that will be so helpful!!!
I sure LOVED this post!

LaVerna said...

Congrats on finding your answers so early. We went through years of not knowing.Then last year when my youngest was 12, the school psychologist asked if anyone had ever suggested Christa may have Asperger's. They had not. So now we have an official diagnosis and alot of things make sense now. I immersed myself in lit about the subject and so did Christa. She hasn't changed but the way we deal with certain situations has. It has made a world of difference for the whole family. Anything you can read by Temple Grandin is good.She has autism but has such insight into the spectrum and has some great info and suggestions.
Welcome to the world of being the mom of an Aspie. I have been doing it 14 years now but have only known for a couple of years what I was really dealing with. It is a challenge, a joy, a heartbreak (some days) but overall-an adventure.Just like being a mom but with a few surprises thrown in. If you ever need anything, just give me a shout.

Day to Day Tripper said...

LOVE this post...I love how you mixed in the photos of past in present with your new info and old memories. It must be nice to have answers to some of your past frustrations about some of Jackson's behaviors.

I am so glad you have services and that you are learning everything you can about aspergers. Some parents don't want to hear a diagnosis and don't let their kids have services.

This was really an inspiring post. Thank you for sharing.

Ruth's Place said...

Glad to hear that you received the answers that you have been looking for. Your school system sounds amazing!

I've taught a number of students with AS and enjoyed every minute of my time with them.

Beth said...

Love your post and love your boy ... had so much fun seeing you at my graduation open house. I will send a few pics via
e-mail ...

love you, Aunt Beth

Tricotaine said...

Found your blog through ravelry and I want to thank you for that post. We have been struggling with our son's Asperger. His meltdowns have increased in the last month. Reading your post made me realise the positives of our son. Of how he is amazing and perhaps we need to focus more on that. thank you