if you have aspergers can you lead a normal life?

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well im 36 and have been sick since i was little just diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. but had some ocd and other stuff when i was younger. My son is 7 after he was 2 months old i had a major breakdown. at 1 to 2 years old he started showing strange syptoms, like rocking, humming alot and fustration and anger. he is behind in his gross motoe skills and speech. they say hes doing good in school. i had him to docs before but they never picked up anything. its hard for me because with my syptoms i have fatigue pain confusion bad memory and ect. not sure what to do with him just brought him to a doc and they thought he migh have aspergers but he only saw him for a short while. Could he have just anxiety from my situation or i wonder if maybe i could have this to because i had some syptoms when i was young. what are the syptoms of aspergers. Can you lead a normal life with this and where can i find out where to get a whole evaluation done on him? Thanks Michelle

-- Michelle Cervera (cuteangel54321@yahoo.com), February 20, 2000


I'd say, first, find a doctor who knows about autism spectrum disorders in your area. There should be some children's hospital or something, or maybe try www.autism-society.org and see that the local chapter has going in your area. (I hope it's OK to suggest this here...) Speaking as someone with it, I'd say you can lead a pretty normal life with it, but your life can be pretty abnormal if you don't know you have it because it was never diagnosed and you go along trying to be normal without the insight that learning about this gives and without the training in adapting that you'll have access to if you're diagnosed and working on it. In other words, don't try to gloss things over and pretend to be normal, because you won't be able to do it very well! Luckily, since he's still a kid, it will be much easier to find resources for your son. There are special strengths to having AS, too, like getting *really* interested in things, usually technical things, which of course can put a person ahead in the job field - IF - the person with AS learns how to deal with the social stuff, which needs to be taught, as it does NOT come naturally to a person with AS. Now, after a lot of anguish and unhappiness in life, I have finally found out what works for me (self-employment in the technical field, with reletively little human contact ) and only after I mostly figured things out the hard way, did I find out about AS and that I have it. How ineffecient! How much easier it could have been for me, 100 times easier, if my family had not wanted to try to sweep the problem under the rug, and I'd learned about it and gotten some of the training that AS-people need. I actually used to think that rocking, humming, staring at my hands or at other things, and lots of frustration and tantrums were normal! It's only by learning about this that I've been able to see myself from the outside. I don't think families ought to try to ignore AS any more than they'd ignore nearsightedness, allergies, or other physical things. You get these things assessed, diagnosed, and then you deal with them, it's just like getting glasses for your kid instead of watching him squint and fall behind in school. BTW other people in my family have or had some symptoms, although they didn't have the impairment I did, or anything near it.

-- Alex Carter (carter@goodnet.com), February 20, 2000.

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