Max

In late June Max’s pre-school teacher called my husband and I in for our final parent -teacher conference. It had been a year of back and forth and we had gotten used to these meetings. According to Max’s teachers he was not a very social boy. He never tried to make friends and for some reason his peers never really tried to make friends with him. At recess he’d become noticeably upset when his peers made attempts to engage him in play. Not that he didn’t enjoy playing, just that he’d rather play his game, alone. I assumed Max was shy. Teachers described it more as ‘self-centred’. Still, it didn’t overly concern me. Max was a smaller boy, and soft spoken. He probably felt intimidated by his peers and any behaviours he had were just probably out of fear. There were never any concerns about Max’s academics in the school. He was a smart boy. His teachers and I knew this. Max could count well past one hundred and loved to be read to. The only concern was that Max did not respond well to following direct instruction, this lead to tantrums and fits of panic. At our final meeting Max’s preschool teacher, suggested we take Max to see a paediatrician. Three months later our son had a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome. This ‘diagnosis’ knocked the wind right out of me. Max before ‘Aspergers’ was just a quirky little boy. Now Max’s ‘quirks’ are his symptoms. A higher I.Q., narrow interests, clumsiness, poor motor skills, and most disheartening are his substantially lacking social and non-verbal communication skills. I wanted to hear about life with a child like Max from a parent’s perspective. I have joined a few Moms of ‘Aspies’ support groups. Many of the mothers I have spoken with have told me the benefits of having received his diagnosis at such a young age. That their children hadn’t been diagnosed until about 7-8 years old and that there are adults who have only recently been diagnosed as having had Aspergers their whole lives. Now we can prepare for Max’s future. We decided it would be best to quit my job so that I can make Max my full-time priority, I will volunteer in his school. Money will be tight but we hope to qualify for some financial services through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services he is eligible for. For starters we will begin saving for Max's future with a “Registered Disability Savings plan”and we can apply for financial aid to cover any other therapies we decide might be best for Max. I have heard of things such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Involvement in Social Groups, and even Medication to curb anxiety and Obsessive tendencies. I am not sure which would be best, but these are choices my husband and I will have to make for Max... until he is old enough to make them on his own. Right now I’m just reeling over school options. September is approaching too quickly. What will his peers and teachers expect of him and how will he be treated, as Max enters school system as a child with Aspergers?

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