My son was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome at the beginning of Seventh grade. He’s now a Senior in high school.
But, let’s back up just a bit. In Second grade he was diagnosed with ADHD. I wouldn’t have considered him hyper at home. But, while at school he couldn’t sit still and would blurt out the answers to questions before anyone else had the to chance to even think about the answers. In hind-site I would say he was probably bored and just wanted to move things along. So of course we had him tested with the recommendation of his school teacher and along with his pediatrician’s recommendations we put him on ADHD meds. He’s since stopped his meds.
At the end of Sixth grade he had to have emergency surgery for Appendicitis. I could tell almost immediately after he awoke that something was different about him, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. He said that while he was lying in bed recovering he had time for reflection. He started thinking about just how beautiful this world is, and about God and all of His creation. What this means to him. Where his life will go. (pretty deep for a Sixth grader).
At the beginning of Seventh grade he started showing traits of someone with Aspergers. He had a hard time with all of the noise in the hallways, he would put all of the seats in the cafeteria under the tables and other things that made his teacher take notice. He slept through most of his classes, didn’t do his homework but would still get 100% on his tests even without notes. One of his teachers even asked him if he learned by osmosis – ha-ha. His teachers thought it would be a good idea to have him tested again. After a couple of weeks of testing they diagnosed him with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (Aspergers). Most subjects he tested about five to six grades higher than his actual grade. Everyone knew he was smart but now it was a reality. He was even able to attend a couple of GERI classes at Purdue, and that was really fun for him. It also was a chance for him to be around other people that were just as smart.
Being smarter doesn’t mean being better or doing better in life. There area other issues. Social responsibilities, becoming a productive citizen, being able to function in society with some normality.
He doesn’t like being labeled and it’s true that he doesn’t have most traits that other Aspie’s do. He’s fairly social, he actually enjoys public speaking and is really good at it. He has a heart for God and I really think he’s being called to go in to some sort of ministry, so it’s a good thing he likes public speaking. If you ask him his opinion he’ll clearly tell you God has blessed him with intelligence for a reason. He just needs to find out what that is.
Really there are a lot of people who have traits of someone with Asperger’s. Just look at Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Tesla, Tim Page, Benjamin Franklin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Bill Gates, just to name a few. In my opinion, and I’m sure my son would agree, maybe these people are just blessed with a deeper intelligence. All of these people have contributed to the world in a special way and it takes everyone to build a village. Why do we feel the need to label people that are unique?
Thanks for listening.