Not the Average Teenager
Or, A Blog Post In Which I Embarrass My Eldest Child
My eldest saw a pediatric neurologist a year ago and was diagnosed with Aspergers. Well, he would have been diagnosed with aspergers had the pediatric neurologist been willing to officially diagnose him based on her own observations and my observations, but she felt she needed one of his school teachers "who sees him every day" to fill out and evaluation as well. We homeschool. I'm the teacher that sees him every day, but she needed an independent evaluation - as in, independent from family members. So he has a diagnosis, but not a diagnosis, as none of his medical paperwork says he has aspergers.
At the time I was going through a lot with my health and we decided not to pursue it further. The question now is - to label or not to label. We can revisit this with medical professionals and seek a formal diagnosis, or we can let it be.
There are pros and cons of giving him that label. Would it do more harm than good? More good than harm? It's difficult to know. It could get him services he needs should he decide to attend college, but it could also interfere with being hired for a job.
What does Alex's aspergers look like? It looks like a kid who didn't - who couldn't - write very well, but could read at grade levels equal to his age starting at age two. A kid who came out of fan fiction homeschool co-op class at age 12.5 and started writing, and has pursued creative writing with passion ever since. It looks like a boy who still wears long pants and a coat, even though we're well into June , because he has trouble transitioning to shorts and to not wearing a coat upon leaving the house (he started wearing the coat in early December, because it took a couple months to get used to wearing the coat!). He's a kid who is incredibly loving toward everyone, although he has trouble showing it to anyone over age three. Hand him a baby and he lights up - so gentle and caring you can see what's in his heart flow through his eyes as he teaches even the youngest infant about the world. It looks like a boy with long hair because the sound of scissors, especially near his ears, it too much for him to take. Alexander is a child who thinks deep things, and conveys his views on his life honestly, even if he knows they don't quite mesh with what he "should" think or do.
He looks like the kid in all these photos - although most of the photos we have of him are like the one above on the left side of the page...or this masterpiece:
Label or not, he's an incredibly awesome kid. His creativity inspires me. His capacity for love and gentleness moves me. His sense of humor makes my day. And should he ever offer me a hug or (gasp) a kiss, I know I must have touched his heart the same way he touches mine every day.