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Sunday, February 16, 2014

My daughter has Asperger's Syndrome

My daughter has Asperger's Syndrome.  For those who don't know, a short definition is it is the social and behavioral aspects of Autism.  There are children who have this and are high functioning while others are low functioning.  If the child is high functioning, they seem to be very bright, intelligent.  Low functioning can have a lot of other issues such as not talking for example.  Luckily, my daughter is high functioning and extremely intelligent (ok I'm mom, what do you expect?).  Actually, her school said she has one of the highest IQ's they have seen in awhile at the school.

Asperger's Syndrome is characterized by not looking people in the eye, disliking routine changes, don't understand changes or tones in voices by other people (ex recognizing sarcasm), not recognizing facial expressions,  or talking about their favorite subject.

My husband and I first noticed something was different about our daughter.  A few things we noticed is she would not look us in the eye, always talked about bugs, wouldn't know if we were joking or not and would get upset if her routine would change.  For awhile, we thought she would grow out of this and be a normal little girl.  One day at church, a friend of ours came up and said she suspected something was wrong with our daughter and should have her tested.  She is a principal that deals with special needs children.  She explained that our daughter should be looking people in the eye when speaking, but wouldn't no matter how many times you asked her to, called her name or anything.

Our daughter was tested and was placed in a special needs preschool.  Her teacher called my husband one day and told him she thinks she figured out what was going on with our daughter.  She said she suspected she had Asperger's Syndrome.  The teacher said this is the best news out of all the news she could be giving us.  She went on to explain about how some children have high intelligence even though they would have social and behavioral problems.

Before we found this out, my husband and I couldn't figure out why she would not listen to us, would do the same thing we told her not to do, wouldn't talk to other kids, etc.  Now we found out why.  We didn't know what to do to help her except try to understand.  There were times, it would be World War 3 around the house trying to get her to listen, behave or anything.

After our daughter started school, she was mainstreamed because if she was in the autism program at her school, it would be below her intelligence and do more harm than good.  For awhile, she was ok with interacting with some children.  I think it was some time in first grade she started having major problems.  At this point, I told the school to get her an aide.  About a week or so later, she had an aide and this seemed to help.  As she went up in grades, her behavior got worse.  It was nothing to be called to the school a few times a week because of her behavior.  She was suspended several times because of her behavior.  This was while she was in second and third grade.  During third grade (this year), it was required she be removed from this school and placed in another school that could handle her.  She went there for a visit and after class, came up to me and said she wanted to go and loved school.  This is the first time I have heard this from her.  She has started that school and really likes it.  We don't know how long our daughter will be attending this school, but we are hoping it is a while and will not return to her old school.  They didn't want to deal with her even though according to the state they were equipped to deal with her and handle her problems.

Just because someone has Asperger's doesn't mean they can't do anything or become anything.  There are some very famous people who have Asperger's or suspected of having it.  Some famous people who have or suspected of having Asperger's include: Dan Aykroyd, Darryl Hannah, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Al Gore, James Taylor, just to name a few.  Look at what all of these people have done.  A lot of amazing people and amazing things.


  1. Very interesting and helpful to know that your daughter can have a bright future. Thank you for the explanation.

  2. I'm glad that you were able to get a diagnosis for your daughter and the help she needs to excel. Now that you understand a little better how she thinks and why she behaves the way she does, you are better equipped to handle the challenges. Keep educating yourself and be sure to find a supportive group or friend to lean on now and then.

  3. I'm glad you found a school that is right for her. My daughter's friend has a daughter that was just recently diagnosed and she's in high school! Your daughter is lucky to have such loving and determined parents. Wishing you and her all the best!

  4. My son has been unofficially diagnosed with Asperger's as an adult. He was quite a challenge to raise, but he turned out to be a fine young man in spite of what most of the teachers thought.

    The most important thing is that you are an advocate for her, because you may be the only advocate she has. That doesn't mean she doesn't have consequences for bad behavior, but to make sure she isn't treated unfairly, which is so common in schools where they want cookie-cutter kids.

    My daughter, who just got her masters in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the one who unofficially diagnosed him. She has been doing ABA therapy with kids on the Autism spectrum, and believes that it is very successful. It basically trains them in areas they are having problems with. Your daughter could probably benefit from ABA therapy.