Recently, I discovered that it is extremely possible that I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I have a higher functioning form than some, but I’ve always know that I’m different and don’t completely fit in.
With time, I’ve developed better social skills. I have my voice in my head telling me (during most social interactions) how far away to stand from someone, how loud I should speak, if maybe I should stop speaking (but it’s hard to listen to that one), etc etc. I really still can’t believe that other people don’t have that same (their own) voice in their head instructing their behavior during each interaction.
I have a YouTube series now, but I’m not as articulate there as I am here. I can’t speak the things I want to, verbally. So, that’s why I’ve decided to blog about why I worry about Chloe and the possibility of her having Asperger’s Syndrome. I’m sure it will be a mild version, just like I have, if she does. Or I hope, ya know?
I would list each reason I have for worrying about her, in this, but I’m going to leave it to the Zs to examine her behavior. They know her better than I do, now.
Why I worry, though, is the fact that my childhood was rough. Not only because of my family and the abuse, but because socially, I could not fit in. I had a hard time wanting to try to fit in, after a while. I felt like I was the most strange kid out of most of them (excluding the kids that were in the special education class). I felt like I was somewhere in the middle of the special education kids and the Neuro-Typical (“normal”) kids. There was one girl in the special education class that I had a conversation with in 2nd grade. I should have continued being her friend, but I was scared of being shunned even further by the Neuro-Typical kids. Deep down, I knew I would never be apart of the “normal” kids’ cliques. I knew it. I had a desire to be, but … no.
I remember in 5th grade, I thought if I bought all of the popular girls some Corn Nuts (a popular snack, at the time), they would be my friends. I watched them eat their Corn Nuts and I watched them walk away, not understanding why they weren’t my friends, still. I let them leave and never tried to be apart of them again.
I wanted to have friends and I did, at times, have friends. And I can’t explain why those friendships died out, but they did. I’m friends with one or two of those old friends now (on facebook), but because they live far away, I can’t use my new found social skills on them – except for trying to take an interest in their families and activities.
I would rather that Chloe not have Asperger’s, or even have any traits of it. I don’t care if the 2 and a half years of me raising her is blamed. I don’t care if people roll their eyes at this right now. A mother worrying about her children cannot be extinguished by people’s indifference of the mother’s worry. A mother worrying about her children is constant, say what you might.
I love Chloe and I worry. I’ve asked the Zs to watch for traits of Asperger’s. Here’s a list of traits that young children (that have Asperger’s) might display:
*Many children with Asperger’s Syndrome are preoccupied with a single or a few interests, and focus on them for hours on end.
*Little girls with Asperger’s may speak as a “Little Philosopher.” Children with Asperger’s may also speak more formally than usual for their age, or prefer talking to adults.
*As a result of their social difficulties, children with Asperger’s may seem isolated from their peers.
*Children with Asperger’s have a need for routine.
*Many children with Asperger’s can’t handle routines-or-plans going awry.
*A sign of of Asperger’s is a seeming lack of empathy for others.
*They may take words very literally and be unable to understand sarcasm or jokes.
*Other signs of Asperger’s Syndrome include unusual facial expressions or postures, and either staring a lot at others, or avoiding eye contact altogether.
*From handwriting to riding a bike, poor or delayed motor skills of many kinds could be a sign of Asperger’s.
*Many children with Asperger’s have heightened sensory sensitivity. As a result, they can be easily overstimulated by certain sensations, whether it’s strong lights, loud noises, or textures.
*Uncoordinated movements are a common symptom in Aspergers. Kids may be seen moving clumsily and be unable to coordinate movements of the hands or feet.
*Toddlers may talk incessantly about one subject, without acknowledging the listener.
*An example of joint attention is looking at a picture in a book together. A toddler with Aspergers may have a hard time getting this concept.
*In some cases, early language skills are retained, but the lag in motor development may be the first sign that something is different than “typical” 3-year-old behavior.
*One of the most apparent symptoms of Aspergers in toddlers is their intense interest in a single topic, such as trains or maps. Kids with Aspergers want to know and spend a lot of time trying to learn about their hobby or interest, and they may use an advanced vocabulary and exhibit a high level of expertise on the subject.
*Toddlers with Aspergers are often not diagnosed until later in childhood as they sometimes learn to read very early. The perceived advancement overshadows the fact that the youngster with Aspergers often cannot comprehend the words he is reading.
*May be bothered by physical stimuli (e.g., they may be sensitive to the way certain clothing or material feels or need their socks to be on their feet in a particular way).
*A common aspect of Aspergers is demonstrated by poor social interactions. Toddlers with Aspergers may seem to have one-sided social interaction and limited ability to form friendships.
*Although most teens place emphasis on being and looking “cool,” teens with Asperger’s may find it frustrating and emotionally draining to try to fit in.
*Asperger’s syndrome is a lifelong condition, although it tends to stabilize over time, and improvements are often seen. Adults usually have a better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. They are able to learn social skills, including how to read others’ social cues.
*Some traits that are typical of Asperger’s syndrome, such as attention to detail and focused interests, can increase chances of university and career success. Many people with Asperger’s seem to be fascinated with technology, and a common career choice is engineering. But scientific careers are by no means the only areas where people with Asperger’s excel. Indeed, many respected historical figures have had symptoms of Asperger’s, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Thomas Jefferson.
^^^^ compiled this list for the Zs.