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Do YOU see Aspergers as a disability?

(27 Posts)
Buckets Wed 17-Sep-08 14:31:43

Just wondered what different people with experience of Aspergers think. Feeling slightly guilty as have just calculated that DS's condition has increased our household income by 25% and yet we don't consider him disabled. We just think he's a baby superhero learning to live with us mere mortals!

Niecie Wed 17-Sep-08 14:36:08

No I don't think of AS as a disability. My DS1 has it mildly but his problems stem more from the dyspraxia side of his dx.

In my head, rightly or wrongly, I think of a disability as a physical thing not a behavioural one.

I suppose it depends on the severity with which a child suffers as the impact can be huge in all areas of a child's life.

Don't feel guilty though - you wouldn't have the money unless you were entitled to it. They don't give it away lightly.

"We just think he's a baby superhero learning to live with us mere mortals!" - what a lovely way to think of

nikos Wed 17-Sep-08 14:54:02

I think Aspergers brings with it a lot of positive traits but overall I would think life is much harder with it and therefore I think I do regard it as a disability for social interaction. Even high functioning aspergers can make passage through life hard.

Marne Wed 17-Sep-08 15:14:50

In some ways it can be a disability but dd can also do things that a Normal child her age could'nt.

We don't claim any DLA etc for dd1 (as) as her AS is only mild, we hav'nt even tried to claim. We claim for dd2 (asd) and i feel her asd is a disability compared to dd1.

Like Niece said, you would'nt have the money unless you were entitled to it.

twocutedarlings Wed 17-Sep-08 15:55:02

DD1 (6) Is very high functioning therefore does find some things easier than her peers, at this stage. However her social skill are serverly impaired therefore this effect most areas of everyday life for her. She also has lots of sensory issue with makes new situations very difficult. So yes i do see AS as a disability as it effect her quality of life every day.

SammyK Wed 17-Sep-08 15:58:50

My DS has aspergers, trying to get a dx at the mo.

I agree with other posters who have said that although it is't a physical disability, it does affect their everyday life, and ours.

I am considering claiming for ds as he needs constant supervision and encouragement, doesn't sleep through the night, suffers anxiety, is physically and emotional demanding, etc.

We too see ds as very talented, his brain is extroadinary and just works in a completely different way to ours. smile

Peachy Wed 17-Sep-08 16:09:39

depends n the child

ds1 is much more care than either ds3 (this weeks possible dx.... pdd-nos) and nt ds2. this is because he is so very aggrssive etc. he gets gigh rate care and low rate mobility (attacking people in shops) as a result. he also has severe dyslexia which probably doesnt help, and spd.

ime a dx of aspergers says you have asd without language delays- clinically tats it. So some kids are very able and do amazingly well; thers sadly like ds1 dont eem to. DS1's biggest issue I think is a complete lack of empathy with massive aggression issues and a total self belief in his own superiority... hey if he want to sneak down, take the syringe used to fill the ink cartiridges, fill with chemicals and hand to ds3... why not? sad sad

SixSpotBurnet Wed 17-Sep-08 16:17:45

I think it varies massively from child to child, but as Niecie said, it's not easy to get DLA, so if you've got it, then you deserve it!

hecate Wed 17-Sep-08 16:18:07

dunno. I think that a person has a disability if they are unable to do, without help, all of the 'normal' things, or if they feel that they have a disability.

That can be anything - not being able to walk, not being able to put the kettle on, not being able to understand what people say or mean, not knowing how to cross the road, and so on and so forth.

So if your situation means that you are not able or not easily able to function independently on a day to day basis, at an age appropriate level, or you need help with something or some things that most people take for granted, or things are significantly difficult or painful for you etc etc, then you have a disability.

dustystar Wed 17-Sep-08 16:26:57

I've always felt weird about ds being entitled to DLA too but according to their criteria he is. Actually filling out the form made me realise just how much more help and supervision he needs to compared to his peers. For us he hasn't changed much in the last few years so its easy to forget that his peers are now needing less and less help and supervision in areas he still needs almost constant supervision in. Reapplying this year was quite sad as the differences between him and his peers has grown and become more obvious.

cory Wed 17-Sep-08 17:53:49

Dustystar puts her finger on it. It's not about whether you feel your dc is more or less gifted than his peers; it's about whether he can have the same level of independence. If you are having to supervise more and help more than the parent of an NT child, then that is what the DLA is for.

Buckets Wed 17-Sep-08 17:55:51

I guess it does very hugely within the DX as Peachy says. I'm now thinking about all those kids/adults out there with similarly poor social skills etc due to neglect or abusesad.

Niecie you can just imagine how frustrated a little Clark Kent would have got with all those idiot humansgrin.

streakybacon Wed 17-Sep-08 18:22:42

It does depend a lot on the child, and to an extent the amount of support they have. Some AS children will have few obvious characteristics, cope very well and not need much additional support, in or out of school, although technically they still have an AS dx. Others need masses of input, have lots of sensory needs, have difficulty functioning in social settings without loads of guidance. A child with multiple social needs but who has been successfully taught self-management strategies may need less support than one with the same set of problems but who hasn't had the guidance and tuition. Yet all would have the same dx of AS. Each parent would undoubtedly have different opinions as to whether the child was disabled.

My ds is very high functioning if he is able to stay calm, in the right environment, and at those times you'd almost call him 'normal'. But he has huge issues with emotional self-control, particularly anger, and this most definitely inhibits his quality of life and social options available to him. I'm in no doubt that he is 'disabled' but those people who only see him when he's calm would disagree. What they don't realise is that his skill at staying calm is learned behaviour, painstakingly taught over several years - none of it is natural.

So I don't think it's about whether or not Asperger's itself is a disability, rather the individual presentation and combination of traits within each child. IMO it's too complicated an issue for such a straightforward Yes/No question.

coppertop Wed 17-Sep-08 18:44:41

It's nice that ds2 (5) has some of the gifts that seem to go with AS but I personally feel that for him it's also a disability.

At the beginning of the new term the school sends home a list of after-school activities that are available. I looked down the list, saw several groups that he would enjoy in the right environment, but it hit me that there was no way I could sign him up for any of them. He loves music and singing but there's no way he could tolerate 20 other children around him all making that level of noise each week. He loves art but would only want to draw or paint something to do with his current obsessions. He loves sports but team games would be a disaster waiting to happen.

He's very good at a lot of things but will always be at a disadvantage in those situations where he is expected to co-operate with others and do things in a particular way - ie most of the time.

sarah293 Wed 17-Sep-08 18:56:39

Message withdrawn

Niecie Wed 17-Sep-08 19:19:33

Buckets - it would certainly explain why DS puts his pants on over his trousers - and there was me thinking it was just a question of his lack of coordination and trouble with sequencing.grin

bullet123 Wed 17-Sep-08 19:52:18

With myself, there are disabling parts and parts that just make me different. My difficulties communicating and interacting with others in real life, the fact I would not be safe to drive, the way my body doesn't react, or reacts too slowly sometimes (not all the times, but sometimes), my clumsiness and the fact I almost certaintly would not be safe driving are all disabling things.
But I love my obsessions, I see no harm in my stims and my long term and good rote memory and hyperlexic traits have all served me well.

Troutpout Wed 17-Sep-08 20:46:58


Buckets Thu 18-Sep-08 08:09:44

LOL My DS's latest hobby is stuffing his pyjama trousers with cushions, blankets and toys and waddling around completely spherical!

Niecie Thu 18-Sep-08 08:59:52

LOL He's just modelling how his future muscles will look obviously. smile

Does he think it is funny too or is he studying the cause and effect of having things stuffed down his trousers?

Widemouthfrog Thu 18-Sep-08 13:43:28

I used to think that AS was only a disability because of societies difficulties in understanding the disorder, and that our social rules are so oblique and complicated that we neurotypicals were the cause of the problem.

As my DS has got older and i have realised the complexity of his difficulties especially wrt sensory integration I realise that actually this is very disabling.

I just read this post by AMBER on another thread and I think this describes very well why AS is a disability. Thanks for your insight Amber!

amber32002 Thu 18-Sep-08 16:16:44

WMF, thanks blush

Depends on the individual. I'd respect anyone's right to say "I don't think it is for me", but for me it's a disability for the reasons in that post, and because although I think I'm coping just fine, I've been through hell with bullying, with people taking financial advantage of me, and with putting myself in physical/sexual danger because I trusted people too much.

There's things I can do better than others, but there's so much I honestly can't do... and it hasn't stopped me earning money or having a family, but every part of my life is different/needs support from someone even if it's friends/family. Sometimes the support is very subtle, but if it isn't there, I'm stuck.

So yes, it is a disability for me. And I wish there was more help for us generally, at every level whether very disabled or not.

Widemouthfrog Thu 18-Sep-08 16:43:16

No need to thank me Amber. I love reading your insights and I am sure you have helped a lot of parents in understanding their children. You also demonstrate that our children, with the right support, may have the potential to grow into capable and well adjusted independent adults.

Keep up the postings!

amber32002 Thu 18-Sep-08 18:55:34

Well, it's either that or I've horrified them into needing strong drink. grin And I'm not entirely sure about the well adjusted bit either blush but it's generally good fun. We just needs to get past the teenage years before we start thinking vaguely sensibly about things, mostly.

sarah293 Thu 18-Sep-08 19:06:25

Message withdrawn

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