So now my son has been officially been diagnosed with aspergers. Now I'm starting to wonder, do I have autism? Many of the characteristics and traits that my son has are also present within me. Just typing that sentence took my breath away. When I was 7, I was diagnosed as being intellectually gifted. I spent a few years in advanced curriculum, but in grade 8 I went back to regular schooling. I had outbursts, indescribable feelings and lack of focus. The same issues my son has, just not as frequent. Like my son, I remember everything. If someone had upset me 20 years ago, I still remember. I can even remember the initial feelings I had at the exact time it occurred. My son remembers every time I get cross with him. He even remembers why. Jacob's memory has always been advanced. He can recite movies, books or commercials word for word. So now I try to not be so harsh. I don't want him to think I'm mean 20 years from now because I took the computer away when he was 7.
When I think about Jacob having aspergers, I start to get nervous. I love my son and accept who he is, but somehow I feel guilty. Did I give him autism? Then I think about my wife Shannon, and how Jacob's diagnosis affected her. I've asked her if I had been diagnosed with autism, would she have had a child with me? Shannon insists that she would, but she wishes she could have been prepared for what might have happened. I'm very thankful for her experience and knowledge and she is a great mom. She has sisters who are handicapped and she is college educated in dealing with handicapped children. In spite of all that I still feel guilty. I've read that males with ASD, who've had a child with ASD, have a 50% chance of having another child with ASD.
If I was guaranteed another child like Jacob, I'd have more children right away. But that may not be the case. My next child could be non verbal or worse. That's a risk I'm not willing to take. I feel bad for my wife because she has many siblings and always wanted a big family of her own. I feel responsible for the stress. I know it's not my fault, but I can't help my feelings. It's possible that our next child may not have ASD at all.
I've taken a few on line tests for "Do I have aspegers?" and each time I fall into the "see a doctor right away" category. So now I'm going to see my son's doctor to see if I have aspergers. But what does that mean for me, Shannon and Jacob? I don't think it will change anything, but I'm 32 years old. A diagnosis of aspergers would explain why I am like I am. Jacob and I both hold a grudge, we only like to eat certain foods and we both have fine motor issues. My handwriting is atrocious and so is his. I've tried all through school, but nothing worked. Jacob is going to start getting 1 on 1 help for his handwriting. Luckily for me that my own personal insight is a valuable tool when helping Jacob learn or understand something. When I think of my ability to help Jacob, I'm glad I think like him. I understand why he does certain things. I couldn't imagine trying to parent a child with ASD if I wasn't in some way, like that myself.
WELCOME TO JIM'S AUTISM BLOG
Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog. My wife and I created this blog to chronicle our experience while raising a son with Asperger's syndrome. Since our son was diagnosed with an ASD at age 5, we've had a lot of questions. Lucky for us we have a great support network in place. And our blog gives us an opportunity to share what we've learned with our readers. We hope you find our blog informative and interesting. Thanks again for visiting.
"It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." Dr Hans Asperger 1906-1980