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My son is autistic

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Hi all, first post, so please be gentle!

My son is 8 years old. Since he was pretty little, he has always had his challenges. He's always been naughtier than other kids, a bit more manic, over the top in the way he interacts with people. We generally put this down to his being immature (he's an end of August baby), in comparison with his peers. At infants, he was bullied by a group of boys, but his unusual reaction (reasoning with them, seeking them out, getting retaliation in first) meant it wasn't picked up for several months. As he grew older, the behaviours cemented somewhat- and when asked why he was being silly/ naughty, he would say that he found it hard to listen to his brain.

Fortunately, my wife is a teacher at an SEN unit, and works with autistic kids alot. She began to suspect a couple of years ago. We had not really considered autism before, as he is so outgoing and loves interacting with people. So we began the diagnosis process, flagging with school and local services. It's taken this long to get to the formal diagnosis, and it's been hard at times, but we are there now. 

I always thought that I was ok with it, as for me as much as anything it explains him, and gives us a disorder that ties up all the odd things about him. it's also a relief to have the diagnosis for the same reason, and also because it will open more doors in terms of what help we can access for him. At the same time, though, I find myself going through the sort of mourning for some of the 'normal' life experiences that I had that he is unlikely to. There is also the spectre of stigma lurking out there too, as for any kid who is different, I suppose.

So what was the point of that? I'm not quite sure, but it feels good to have go it out there. For clarity, our son is high functioning, what would have been classed as Asperger's in old money.

Thanks!

Alex.

Hi,

My brother got diagnosed at 8. and I got diagnosed 12 years later. I have only had this diagnosis for a short time but as you say it is fantastic to have an explaination. And his education will be made easier because of this, I wish I had it earlier.

I just want to put your 'mourning' to rest. I am finishing my first year of university and due to my austism I have not been able to really go on night outs, I have been on one. I have not being doing what people view as a "normal" university life. However, I could not have had a better time. My time at uni, and going through life has been fantastic, and because of my differences I have experienced so amazing things. And I have seen the consequences of my friends "normal" lives. I can tell you that at those times I veiw it as a blessing for saving me from that.

Now Im not saying it has been all good. I have been bullied in primary and high school. But with the right family support it has only made me stronger. He will find amazing friends because they will be people who will understand him, accept him, and stand up for him. I thank my autism for all of this or I know I would have had the wrong kind of friends.

My brother had a more difficult friends as he doesnt disclose his ASD much. But when he was 8 they tol my mum he wouldnt even get to university. He has a degree, a full time job and is trying to start a band. So do not worry about what is "normal" or the stigma. He will face it but with your support and the right friends he will get far. With our difference perspective of the world, it is different and can be difficult. But I find that we get amazing times when we see something beautiful, or acknowledge all we have accomplished.

So try not to worry. He will be fine.