Dear Jason –
My son has been diagnosed as a hyperlexic (I prefer to think of it as
something he is rather than something he has). As my wife and I have been
meeting with his language therapy instructor it has been suggested that I
might be an Aspie. I’ve taken an online test (which is hardly conclusive nor
properly controlled) and scored quite high. If a formal diagnosis concluded
that I have some form of Autism it would explain much about my life and help
me help my son.
We live in New Mexico and I don’t know of any quality specialists in this
area. To be frank, most of the so-called experts freak me out. My wife and I
have excellent medical insurance and we’re looking for a clinic that could
properly evaluate us (via the internet if possible. We have both Skype and
iChat). Could you assist us with a recommendation?
This email was sent to me a while back, but felt a lot of other people can also benefit from this question Justin asked me. First off, don’t feel freaked out when seeking a professional who can help you or your son. A professional who is very well trained in Autism Spectrum Disorders can and will be able to help.
By the way, Thanks for your email Justin! I really appreciate it and I am happy to give some advice. I would not be surprised if you yourself might be an Aspie when searching for answers about your son since Autism is genetic. Since you do have excellent medical insurance, I would suggest seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist who is an Autism Specialist to make the determination. If your area does not have Autism Specialists, you may have to travel to the nearest city where there is a better turnout to find someone who can make the determination for diagnosis.
For many others looking for a specialist to determine if you or a loved one is on the Autism Spectrum, there are many institutions in the United States including the New York City area and even at Yale in Connecticut who give free diagnoses when joining a research study. It might be more simpler to find a research study. If you have any questions about an Autism Specialist, click on Dr. Richard Perry’s website where he can answer some of your questions. Not every one lives in the New York City area, but many people should go to GRASP because they are building a network of diagnostic sources for people living in the United States. If you happen to live out of the country, research your area on the internet for a source for diagnosis. If you can’t find one in your country, you may have to travel.
The earlier you can get a diagnosis for you or your loved one, the more you or your loved one can begin to feel better and get help for any problems which persist when having an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The earlier any one can be intervened with therapy, the more any one can become as successful as any one else. Just remember to be patient in the process of raising a child who is on the Autism Spectrum.
I feel people like Justin are headed in the right direction because they are finding answers why their children are different. A lot of times, the parents need to examine their whole family tree to try and help a child who is struggling in their life. Just remember any one who is different should not feel embarrassed about who they are, they are just as special as any one else.
Again, thanks for your email Justin! You are voicing for many other people as well who are struggling too.
Mailbag from jessica:
Good morning. my name is jessica, I am 33 yrs old and I have a 5 yr. old little boy with Aspergers/Autism. His name is sunne. Like the Sun~ne. Sunne is my sunshine!! Sunne was diagnosed in october 2009. I was very confused,scared, I felt hopeless!!! Until I started research and found how common Aspergers/Autism is. We saw you on t.v., while we were getting ready for work and school. I couldn’t stop watching. lol!!! I just wanted to say thank you for being brave, and speaking up and out!!! your mom is very strong woman. Merry Christmas to both of you. please keep in contact if you have the time
I put this mailbag up after Justin’s email because Jessica is a perfect example of what many other people should be doing when they realize their child is on the Autism Spectrum. Jessica, I hope you and Sunne are doing well this year. Your son, Sunne is on the right path to success because you are determined to help him succeed. Like many others including myself, he will always be on the Autism Spectrum. Just continue to let him know how much you love him and let him make his own path in society to succeed. Thank you for watching This Emotional Life and being a fan of my site. I appreciate your kind words about me. I hope I am influencing you to tell your son to always be brave, speak up, and be a self-advocate!!
Mailbag from a fellow blogger, Kristi:
I am a fellow blogger (Kristi) at http://www.momsownwords.com. I just wanted to write to you to tell you that I saw you on that PBS special on Relationships and I loved seeing your story, in particular how you live and thrive despite having Aspergers. My nephew Oliver has Aspergers Syndrome also. He is 12. He is actually on You Tube quite a bit. He loves elevators and makes a ton of videos on the elevators that he visits. I will certainly tell him about your blog! I am a new follower of your blog and I hope you visit Moms Own Words sometime.
Hey Kristi, Thank you for sharing your blog and watching me on This Emotional life. I am glad I was be able to help you and your son find inspiration from my story. I hope you continue to read my site from time to time and I will definitely check out your site as well.
Hope you are having a very good new year,
That is the Mailbag for this week and I hope you enjoyed it.