The Unnamed Beast: Aspergian Childhood, and Diagnosis in Adulthood

An undiagnosed childhood, or the “unnamed beast”…

That’s how I thought of it at first. That is, when I first realized it had been there all along, without my having realized what it was to begin with. I’m talking about Autism. Yes, you can define it through technical or psychological means. But I’ll tell you what it means from the perspective of someone who was born with it.

Christopher Seltzer

It means you see, think, look and feel differently from what most people expect of you, and, unfortunately, for many, it means feeling a little awkward at best, oftentimes left out on the average, or being utterly ignored at worst. But when I was a child, like many adults who are now being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, literally no one had any idea what was really happening in my brain. Misunderstandings, misdiagnoses and misfortunes tend to follow any dealings with the unknown.

Hygiene and Social Skills: Mom seeking help towards a diagnosis

Q&A with LisaRogers

Q&A with Lisa Rogers

Q: Dear Lisa,

We think our daughter has Asperger’s. It’s all only her way and she bursts out laughing at very awkward times. She has no friends and doesn’t’ seem to care about her hygiene or people skills. I’m not sure where to go or what to do. We live in a rural area in Tennessee. Does the school or doctor’s office help? I’m reading online and found aspergers101 and it seems the closest to finding what is wrong.

-Mary Andrews, Greenbrier Tennessee

A: Dear Mary,

While I live in Texas, there are some federal guidelines that mandate certain functions at the state level that should provide some guidance to you and your family. Go to the following link for some initial information:

Living with Aspergers in Positivity

Autistically Speaking with Stevan Eveleigh

In 2013 I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at 40 years of age. I wasn’t surprised that I had Asperger’s Syndrome, in fact I already knew before my assessment results were completed, because I always feel  different to everyone else in the world. There are times when I feel like an alien to this planet, and always feel out of place and socially awkward.

The reasoning behind my video was a way to shout out to the world that I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I wanted this video to help myself overcome my childhood’s trauma of being bullied at school from both the teachers / lecturers and pupils.

I was always called the lazy one, the day-dreamer, the worrier, the person who doesn’t listen and the person who struggles with math; these are just a few examples. I also felt the need to get my message across to other people with Asperger’s Syndrome and to tell them that everything is alright. Take myself as an example, I am happy and living my life to the full as possible and trying to make a difference in the world.

Looking back at the struggles and finding peace with the successes

Forward: Many years after childbirth the memory of the pain subsides and the first embrace of your child remains strong. You don’t forget the pain…but the thrill of your child’s arrival occupies the majority of your feelings.

The same has occurred with the maturing of my autistic son Sam. I found this brief blog (below) that I had written when he was still in early grade school. The feelings were still fresh and I thought I would re-post as many will relate to the raw feelings that have seemed to fade and the years roll on.

A doctor once told me, “With aspergers and high functioning autism, it gets easier for them, socially, as they age.” I have found this to be true!

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The story of Sam cannot be told with just a list of positive aspects. It is their lifetime of physical and mental struggle that you work to overcome for your child. Such is the daily journey of my son…one that my husband, youngest son and I take with him daily as he lives with a form of autism titled Aspergers.

The issue behind Autism as a “trend setting” diagnosis

I recently read an article about Autism, as I do many that pop onto my radar via social media. I don’t often agree with everything I read, just as you may not agree with everything I write. Heck, maybe you are upset I even suggested Asperger’s was Autism. I am simply using the term because today many different disorders are considered to be on the spectrum, not because of my personal opinion about it. That aside, the article was focused on the large increase of children considered to be “on the spectrum”. This is isn’t the first time I have seen ASD painted like some new up and coming trend that had far too many people jumping on the bandwagon. Is the awareness and the number of diagnosed cases greater than before? Yes. Does that make it the cool new thing that any parent wishes for and would do anything to have to face? NO!  Look, we all love our kids unconditionally and every person has their own set of strengths and struggles. With that said it’s time to clear up a few things about “Autism Parents” and the idea of a trend setting diagnosis:

Paralysis By Analysis

Becoming a parent means that you have a lot of extra things to worry about. All kids are unique and need help in their own areas, but what happens when you find out that your child needs more help than most? What goes through your mind as a doctor tells you that your child has a developmental delay of any kind? What will having Autism Spectrum Disorder mean for your son/daughter? Why do you grieve at first like you lost a child that is sitting right in front of you?

What If copy

Fear and worry can often be more limiting to you than something that seems limiting to your child. If you are the parent of a child with ASD, it can be incredibly overwhelming in the beginning. There are lots of decisions to be made right away. After all, time is of the essence and you may feel like you already lost some before your child had the diagnosis.