To not want to tell the other school mum's that DS has Aspergers

(154 Posts)
thegirlinthebed Mon 08-Jun-15 22:25:00

DS just turned 6.

He's been diagnosed with Aspergers.

I'm sure the parents of the other children in his class might guess he's a little different - but I'm afraid to say anything to them as I don't want to label him forever

He's almost 'normal' but can get very upset suddenly. Normally he gets over it pretty quick and gets on with things.

Sometimes I worry if I have to leave him at a party by himself in case he gets upset and I'm not there to calm him down quickly. I feel on edge until collection time.

If I tell people then everyone will know forever - and they'll always view him as someone with Aspergers. There's so much more to him

What would you honestly think if you heard someone in your child's class has Aspergers? Would you assume that child would find similar types of children to play with and wouldn't be joining in with your child?

If you don't know someone with aspergers / mild autism what would you assume my DS is like?

If you were me would you say nothing?

LittleMissIntrovert Mon 08-Jun-15 22:31:24

A parent I met at school has a son who has autism, as a parent it honestly doesn't bother me.

I guess it's up to you if you want to say, but remember if anyone has a problem that's their issue, not yours.

TheTroubleWithAngels Mon 08-Jun-15 22:34:23

It is your and your DS' information to share and you don't need to do that overnight, or at all.

I do think most people are kinder with quirks when they know that it isn't 'being spoiled' or 'being odd'.

Maybe a good tactic is not to hide it, but not to bellow it from the rooftops either. Just calmly mention the diagnosis if you need to.

Good luck flowers

UniS Mon 08-Jun-15 22:35:26

There is a danger that if you keep quiet he will be labeled as the werid kid, or the angry kid or the cry baby. If you are open about his ASD he may be cut a little more slack by other families when his reactions to life are not neuro-typical.

soapboxqueen Mon 08-Jun-15 22:37:16

My ds has aspergers and everyone knows it. For my ds it is obvious. I think being aware makes it easier for people to be supportive.

Sometimes it's hardest for the children who seem 'normal' because people judge them based on usual expectations which they can't always live up to.

I'm not saying broadcast it but if it comes up, I wouldn't be afraid to say it either.

oddfodd Mon 08-Jun-15 22:41:50

I do understand your reluctance but I also think it's nothing to be ashamed of. I tell my DS his SN are like him having blue eyes or the fact that he's great at spelling. Just one of the things about him.

I think if you're going to leave him at parties etc, you do need to tell the adult so that they can adjust their expectations accordingly.

You may not have too much of a say in the matter in a few years - both my DS and his cousin announce it pretty much as soon as they meet new people grin

meg76uk Mon 08-Jun-15 22:42:47

A friend's son has autism; he's 4 years old--no speech yet, in nappies, only eats red purée, repetitive behaviours but affectionate and not physically awkward so not 'obvious' iyswim. She gets mixed reactions--more tolerance from those who know his diagnosis, disapproving tutting from those who don't. I think given the increase in diagnosis that you're more likely to encounter people with a degree of understanding from personal experience than even a few years ago, so I'd mention it in conversation to other parents/children if called for. My son has grown up with this boy and accepts him as he is, it's not the scary thing it used to be for lots of us.

PHANTOMnamechanger Mon 08-Jun-15 22:43:25

I think people are more clued up thesedays and will be more understanding if they know the truth.

He IS going to have that label forever, you cant change that, and I do genuinely feel it is better for it to be out in the open rather than appearing to be something you are embarrassed or ashamed about. I'm not saying you do feel that way, just thats how it could be percieved. Its also better for him that he is not incorrectly labelled the naughty/odd/immature/one and parents generally want to teach their kids to be tolerant and understanding of thsoe with AEN.I would have thought most families know/know of someone with autism/aspergers.

Hassled Mon 08-Jun-15 22:43:43

I think you're underestimating both his classmates and their parents. Telling them means that if he doesn't respond to a situation "appropriately" (for want of a better word) then they'll know there's a reason, and they'll understand. His Aspergers is part of who he is - embrace it. There's nothing wrong with a label - in my DS3's case it helped him come to terms with his different-ness, and to stop blaming himself for stuff. He has plenty of friends.

ChocolateBreakfastBalls Mon 08-Jun-15 22:45:27

Tell them, when it becomes relevant or appropriate. I don't exactly have a flashing sign over my DS's head to advertise his Aspergers, but I do tell people. He deserves to be understood in context, and without it people do judge, sadly.

Bonkerz Mon 08-Jun-15 22:49:08

It's so difficult! My son is 14 now but we started noticing issues around age 6. Hew adjudged the naughty boy for a long time and a diagnosis changed that. He is high functioning but really struggles socially. As he has got older we have let him decide who to tell about his autism but sometimes his differences and issues are so obvious that it's caused him to be bullied or caused him huge anxieties because he hasn't understood social policies! I've had to step in a lot especially with peer groups and 'educate' his peers on why ds is sometimes over attached or says strange things.
Telling people about a diagnosis does make a huge difference
I strongly believe that if everyone KNEW enough to make tiny changes when with my da then da could function 'normally'!

MayPolist Mon 08-Jun-15 22:51:04

Gosh, I really don't know.It is a double edged sword.The thing is once you tell people, you can never untell them- it is out there forever.I would keep your options open for now and sit on it a bit until if and when your hand is forced.

NiceAcorns Mon 08-Jun-15 22:55:38

My DD (6) has a genetic syndrome & the school know plus a few close friends & family, but so far, that's all.

It's still new to us at the moment & quite rare, so I'm not ready to tell people yet, partly because you can't un-tell them.

I know we'll have to one day, maybe quite soon, but not just yet

OneWaySystemBlues Mon 08-Jun-15 22:56:40

My son has ASD. I have never shied away from telling people because right from the start I'd rather people know he finds things difficult and why; I felt that if he's going to have a label then I'd rather it be 'autism' than 'naughty' or 'weird'. I think it's important for parents to show a positive view of ASD as you don't want your child to grow up thinking it's something to be ashamed of. It is just different wiring in his brain. Just be matter of fact about it. You don't have to tell everyone, but you may find it helps to tell some people as they may cut you all more slack.

CamelHump Mon 08-Jun-15 23:00:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz Mon 08-Jun-15 23:03:04

Tell them.

If they are nice people, they will include him, and make allowances and be able to manage him.

If they aren't, they won't include him anyway because he is "different".

I have a son with AS. In all the school years I only came across one mum who treated him worse (left him out in her case) because he had a diagnosis. Every other person asked for advice as to how to deal with him, and managed him well.

Better to be the child with AS than the "naughty" child or the "weird" child.

KohINoorPencil Mon 08-Jun-15 23:06:42

He deserves to be understood in context
wise words.

SnapesCapes Mon 08-Jun-15 23:13:20

DS1 is 9 and has Aspergers. We don't tell everyone, it tends to be those who need to know. Parents who take an interest in him, who I consider friends know. The rest probably think he's a bit quirky (he's very high functioning, so can mimic very 'normal' behaviours to the untrained eye).

I don't hide it because it's nothing shameful or undesirable. The only person we've encountered who has treated him differently is one of his friend's Mums. She made some ill-advised comments to her DS, who repeated them to DS1. I spoke to her directly and explained that kind of behaviour was vile, and she was shamed to death and has avoided me since.

I'm very upfront with teachers, leaders at clubs and family, though. They need to know that he's not "naughty" or being spoiled; there really are situations he finds dreadful, and knowing means they're better equipped to handle things. I do have a family member who doesn't believe in Aspergers or Autism, who says it's all just an excuse for poor parenting. She is no longer welcome at our house.

bellybuttonfairy Mon 08-Jun-15 23:14:25

You wont be labelling as having aspergers - he has aspergers and that is part of him.

Some situations will be difficult for him and you wont want these mismanaged. I think that being open will a) provide him with carers/friends who will be understanding. b) help people to view aspergers in a positive light.

A little girl in my daughters year has autism and her mum has been very open. On the basis of this - she's given us info on what works best for her daughter and what things she finds difficult. Also, my daughter now knows about autism and knows that social interaction is difficult for her. She knows that she has to be patient and kind to this little girl.

My daughter is dyslexic and Ive explained that as she finds writing words difficult - this little girl finds being sociable and saying the right things difficult.

My daughter is very open about her dyslexia (she is 8). She is happy to say 'Im finding this difficult because im dyslexic' - whereas before she was diagnosed she would worry terribly about any situation where there was a book or a piece of paper and a pen involved.

Nobody is perfect - I bet your little boy is wonderful. I definately would tell people.

Does your little boy know of his diagnosis?

comedancing Mon 08-Jun-15 23:17:37

My ds had a boy in his class who had asd . They were never told as they got older . We didn't know so couldn't explain to ds. They went away to an overnight camp and my ds sat on his bed. He was probably overwrought from being away for the first time. He went into a complete meltdown and attacked my ds. They were 11, The poor guy got so upset they had to call his mom. My ds got into huge trouble for upsetting him by sitting on his bed. I was called in after week end and they said my ds should have known. I just couldn't get it. He had never been told. Nothing had ever been explained to him. My ds really liked this kid as they were both chess wizards. I strongly felt all the kids should have been given the language to know and understand. I know that down the road but bit by bit do tell people. It's for your boys good. Not knowing makes people judge him in the wrong. Other children who grow up alongside him will accept him as he is.

BarbarianMum Mon 08-Jun-15 23:18:53

Ds1 has a friend with autism. If his mum hadn't told me, we wouldn't have asked him round a second time because he so clearly didn't enjoy his first visit. But because I understood that a lot of anxiety came from the newness of the situation and wasn't personal we tried again and things got better from there on.

Frenchmustard7 Mon 08-Jun-15 23:26:21

For me it's really obvious which children have high functioning ASD. Even before they are formally diagnosed. I work with secondary aged children with SEN and have two close friends with children who have high functioning ASD.

I think you need to do what ever you feel is best. If I was an unaware fellow parent and our children were good friends though, I'd prefer to be told so that Id know how to interact in a helpful way.

BunnyFint Mon 08-Jun-15 23:26:39

My ds has Aspergers. He was diagnosed last year whilst in reception. I was wary about telling other parents at first. Ds1 struggles socially it took a while before he began to join in and play. He has a few friends now and his 'best' friend is very protective of him. I was worried that the other parents would treat him differently, the ones we were open with couldn't have been more supportive and whilst we don't shout it from the rooftops we don't hide it either.

Andro Mon 08-Jun-15 23:28:03

One of ds's friends has ASD, prior to starting to develop their friendship we were not aware of his diagnosis and that lack of knowledge made everything much harder at first (one child's ASD triggered the other's PTSD...that was fun for a while).

The 'label' isn't a bad thing (at least in the case of the boy I'm talking about), rather it acts as a warning to be a bit more aware. DS and his friend are a few years older than your son, but knowledge is power - for your ds so that he can learn to manage his AS and for others so they can be supportive in a wider sense.

Frenchmustard7 Mon 08-Jun-15 23:30:33

Maybe tell the parents of your sons closest friends? The nice ones anyway.

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