First of all, hello, I have lurked for many months but have only just plucked up the courage to post on here. I am hoping that someone on here may have some ideas as I am feeling like the very worst mother in the world tonight.
I have four children and my eldest son was diagnosed with dyspraxia at the age of 8/9, and up until three months I ago I totally agreed with this diagnosis. Only in the last last three months, we are starting to notice some classic asperger traits and we are now very concerned and worried for him.
He has started talking in robotic voice, and moving his head from one side to another, the only way I can describe it is as being similar to C3PO is Star Wars. If you ask him a question, even a basic one, he will not answer he just stares at you blankly. The only response he will give to any question is "I am indifferent", and he uses this to answer every question, all the time.
Throughout years 7-11 he had a very small friendship group and I thought he was happy, in Year 10 they started socialising at weekends but he was never invited, now they are all in sixth form together, only he is not friends with them anymore. I was worried, but his siblings tell me that they seem with the same group of people every day and he seems very happy. Only thing is, he is still not doing anything socially at weekends and evenings and he is so very lonely.
So, everything came to a head because I took him to the GP to ask for a referral for an assessment for Aspergers, my actual words were "I think it may be Aspergers, Autism or Social Anxiety" but that I was worried about my child as he is so depressed and lonely. The GP blamed me, saying that I had not encouraged him to do things enough (I know I have), he said that most cases like this were due to poor parenting. He also said he did not believe me that it had not presented earlier, to which I replied that a lot of the symptoms of dyspraxia and Aspergers are extremely similar, which he denied. At the end of the appointment the GP agreed to refer him to the teenage Mental Health Unit for an assessment, but it could be months before I hear anything.
So, tonight I had a chat with my Son and I am really proud of myself that I was having what I thought to be a constructive conversation about his referral, I was asking him questions. I was sitting on the end of his bed and he was sitting up leaning up against his headboard. Anyway, the look on his face was really, really disturbing, it was almost like he was going to attack me. I was petrified. His pupils were really dilated and all I really got out of him after thirty minutes was that he hates me and always has, he also hates his step-father and siblings, hates everyone and hates school. He admitted that he is lonely, has always felt lonely and that he hates the fact he is different to everyone else and does not understand why.
Help me please, I don't know whether to wait for this referral to come through or just to take him to A&E and ask to be referred that way. I am truly, truly worried about his mental health now, he is clearly a lot more depressed than I thought. I feel incredibly guilty that he has obviously felt this way for a very long time but all I saw was him working hard for his GCSEs.
Any help or input would be greatly appreciated, even if you think I am dealing with this in completely the wrong way I would appreciate the feedback because I really think that I am being a completely useless Mother at the moment.
Firstly your GP sounds like a jerk, Aspergers is not and never has been caused by poor parenting, it is a neurological condition and you are right of course there are many similarities to dyspraxia.
Your GP needs retraining
I think you would be better posting this on the special needs children board, I know your Ds is older but this board is soo quite and you are missing out on really fantastic support.
In the meantime can I just say, my Dd1 who is undiagnosed but I believe she has Aspergers, really struggled in 6th form. She found the step from yr 11 very difficult. The skills required for A'levels are very different to GCSE's and being clever is not enough anymore. Sorry if that didnt come across very well. My Dd1 found working independently very hard and didnt always understand what the teachers expectations were.
Please come over to SN children we are really friendly and have loads of experience.
Zipadee - I couldn't read this and run. I have an 18-year-old DS with dyspraxia and a co-morbid condition (though not AS), so I have walked a little way in your shoes.
I absolutely agree that a lot of the features of dyspraxia and AS can be quite similar, and it would not be at all your fault for not picking things up earlier - we had something similar. It sounds as though your GP does not know enough about these conditions.
My experience was also that Year 12 was a terrible one. I think that children with SENs may hit some of the emotional changes of puberty later, so are a bit 'out of step' with their peers. And the much higher demands on them in Year 12 make this a really bad time to be full of teenage emotion. If you look over at the Teenagers board, teenagers can be extremely intense and hurtful for a while, especially to their parents - they hit out hardest at the ones they love and trust the most. So, and of course I can't be sure, in the moment that he spoke to you he felt that he had hated everyone and everything for years. But the things you say about the friendship group he has had, and his siblings seeing him looking happy, makes me think that that might not be 100% true. It just felt true to him then.
But I think that the feeling of being lonely and different does need to be addressed. I have zero experience of this, but other people on these boards talk about referrals to CAMHS - is that something you can investigate, unless that is what the doctor has put in train? Hopefully someone will come along with better advice on that. Or you could try reposting, as Ineedalife suggests, either in Special needs and/or on the Teenagers board.
I am not sure that I have helped, but I am also really sure that you are not a bad mother and that your son knows that deep down.