A is for Aspergers, B is for Blog

8 Aug

Welcome to Aspergers:  A Mom’s Eye View!

So, what is this blog and why am I writing it?  Simply because, this is my life – struggles and triumphs – and if someone else might benefit from my experiences, good and bad, then I’m happy to share. That is my wish.

I am the mother of three great kids, aged 7-12, who are mostly the joys of my life and sometimes the bane of my existence!  My now 10-year-old son, Gregory, was finally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was 8.  He is bright, talented and funny, but he has significant challenges as well.  This blog deals with how this neurological disorder has impacted him, me, and our entire family.  It will discuss our trials and errors, and even mis-directions as we’ve attempted over the years to figure out and then ‘treat’ his problems.

I have no particular background in this field (with degrees in finance and marketing, of all things!), but over the past two years I have become an ‘accidental expert’ out of necessity.  I am ’that mother’  who is reading, taking classes, attending seminars and learning as much as possible about autism, in all its forms and symptoms, and various therapies.  My primary goal has been to help my son overcome (and/or cope with) his challenges and reach his full potential for a happy, enriching life.

However, my wonderful husband – that funny, insightful, geeky guy, who supports all my crazy obsessions with merely a raised eyebrow – convinced me of a secondary goal.  He is the impetus behind this blog.  Barry is ‘all things techy’ and has been dragging me (kicking and screaming) into current technologies and social networking trends ever since we met 15 years ago.  He has twisted my arm once again, insisting that all the knowledge that I’ve been collecting might be worthwhile sharing with others in our situation, and that a blog would be a great way to get the word out.  And so, Aspergers:  A Mom’s Eye View is born!

Although normally very reticent about myself, I’m a firm believer in the old adage that ‘knowledge is power’, so the more we can share with and support one another, the better for us all!  With that in mind, I welcome any comments, suggestions and anecdotes from all of you….bring ‘em on!  And in the meantime, happy reading!

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16 Responses to “A is for Aspergers, B is for Blog”

  1. houldsworth August 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    Hooray! Congratulations, and thank you for listening to me :)

  2. Tricia August 8, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Hooray! thanks for listening to Barry. I have learned more from talking with my friends than I have learned from doctors and books combined! Thanks for doing this.

  3. capriwim August 9, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    I have Aspergers and write a blog for a similar reason — to raise awareness and help people understand what it’s like. There are lots of people with Aspergers, and also parents of children with Aspergers, who write blogs, so you can get a good support network.

    • Joanne Houldsworth August 9, 2010 at 7:36 am #

      Thanks capriwin….I look forward to hearing about some of your experiences.

      • Will Lukang August 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

        Hi Joanne,

        Welcome to the blogging community. I applaud you for doing this. Your experience is other people’s treasure. In problem solving, the act of finding the problem is half the battle. It does not mean that it is solve, at least you know what is going on.

        Your blog post will raise awareness and help many families dealing with the same challenges.

        Keep up the good work. More power to you.

        Regards,

        Will Lukang

      • Joanne Houldsworth August 9, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

        Thanks Will! I agree that identifying the problem is a critical step in moving forward. It changes from trying things blindly to enabling a targeted game plan.

  4. Shiroi Tora August 19, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    I am the father of an Aspie. We have known about his condition for many years. He had extensive ABA therapy and his mother has done a great job following through. He is doing exceptionally well now. He is presently being home schooled only because school cannot keep up with his academic needs (he is profoundly gifted). As with you, his mother is the powerhouse of knowledge on my son and his condition.

    • Joanne Houldsworth August 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

      Thank you for your comments Shiroi Tora. Parents can have a profound impact on the quality of life of their children…your son is lucky that you are providing him with such great opportunities. All the best!
      Joanne

  5. Erika Bonnevie September 30, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Thank you for the blog! As a sister of the most wonderful (autistic)brother, it is comforting and interesting to read your entries. I appreciate the fact that you have shared so much about your experiences. Will be checking back often!

  6. Munin January 27, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    I was so glad when I found your Blog, there is so little knowledge and many myths. I will follow you blog. I am a mother to an Asperger girl

  7. KristinaKitty June 13, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    Hello there. I really love your entire blog! I have an older brother with Aspergers and, whether thanks to genetics or growing up imitating him, I have some quirks myself. I owe him so much for his part in forming who I am, and now he’s about to head out on his own to college… It’s an uncertain time, and I love all that your blog has to say. It’s given me ideas for ways to help ease his transition out of the safe-haven of our home into that big, scary world out there. Thank you.

    • Joanne Houldsworth June 13, 2011 at 7:55 am #

      Hi Kristina – nothing wrong with a few quirks! :-) Keeps the world interesting, I say… How wonderful for you to be so supportive of your brother – I’m sure both your lives are enriched by the shared love and understanding. I’m glad you found the blog helpful; transitions are always difficult. Best wishes to you and your brother both!

  8. joani jackson August 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    Thank you for your wonderful resource – I just discovered your blog this morning. I was smiling and tearful at the same time! You have provided amazing insight about the challenges you face. My son, Max, was not diagnosed with Atypical High Functioning Aspergers until he was seventeen. I was surfing the internet this morning because our amazing and talented young man of twenty continues to struggle so much with his transition to his post high school world. I wonder if you have any recommendations about how we can help Max with explosive outbursts that are so intense that he tears doors off their hinges. Max has a wonderful psychiatrist who he trusts. We have tried all kinds of medication combinations that have negatively impacted Max’s ability to process information. When Max wakes up this morning, he will be mortified about his destructive behavior. Max’s upsets are clearly connected to built up emotional overload- however – Max detests our attempts at identifying building stressors that might become overwhelming. My husband and I are open to any suggestions! Thanks, Joani

    • Joanne Houldsworth August 19, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

      Hi Joani,
      Thanks for your comment – and my apologies for taking so long to respond.

      I sympathize with your difficulties. It is so difficult to see your child (of any age) in so much pain and angst.

      I have been thinking hard to come up with suggestions for you, but we haven’t yet faced some of the challenges you and Max are expressing. Gregory has melt-downs, but they tend to be inward oriented, instead of outward, destructive demonstrations. Having said that, here a few suggestions for your consideration:

      1. Sleep – Being well-rested has proven to be key to helping Greg maintain his equilibrium and resiliency. When Greg hasn’t been sleeping well, you can see it in his body tension, motor tics and general ‘touchy’ behavior. Melt-down occur much more frequently when he is in this state. This is typically an issue for kids on the spectrum, and Greg continues to struggle with it. Does your son sleep well at night? If not, perhaps that is contributing to his melt-downs. Things that have worked for us to help Greg ‘settle’ are: melatonin, quiet/calmness before bedtime, soothing music and massage. (Please refer to my blog “Catching ZZZs” for details.)
      2. Time Out – I talked to Greg about your son’s challenges and asked for his thoughts. He relies heavily on a quiet area where he can retreat to be alone for a while to regroup, when he feels the stresses building too much. At home, this is his bedroom (which he doesn’t share with any siblings). At school, he has a ‘fast exit pass’ which he can hand to the teacher without explanation when he feels a melt-down coming on. He then goes to Guidance to talk to the school psychologist and work through his feelings. The trick to this being effective however, is that either Greg, myself or one of his teachers has to recognize the melt-down ‘in-the-making’ and initiate the “time out” before it is too late. It sounds like you have been trying to identify the triggers already, so this is easier said than done…
      3. Activity – Does your son enjoy any physical activities? Greg has always enjoyed swinging and jumping on our trampoline and this he will do several times throughout the day. The physical activity, sensory input, repetitive action and ‘alone-ness’ are very therapeutic for him. I have heard other kids on the spectrum enjoy long-distance running for much the same reason. Perhaps there is an activity that your son may find soothing? (This might not be useful to deal with a melt-down once it has started, but it may help reduce the general stress level so that he is less prone to having the explosion.)

      I wish I could be more helpful. None of what I have listed is new or earth-shattering, but perhaps this will give you some food for thought. Keep up your hard work and research – I am sure this is very difficult for your entire family, but you will find a way together.
      Best wishes,
      Joanne

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention A is for Aspergers, B is for Blog « Aspergers : A Mom's Eye View -- Topsy.com - August 9, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Will Lukang, Barry Houldsworth. Barry Houldsworth said: A is for Aspergers, B is for Blog: http://wp.me/p11lqT-d [...]

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