Asperger's Syndrome - Columbus,OH

Updated on September 29, 2010
C.R. asks from Manchester, NH
15 answers

hi there
Just wondering what any of you Mamas can tell me about Asperger's.
I'm relatively sure my oldest son has this gift. he is very sweet with me, but not so much with everybody else, and even with me, he does have his moments.
He will be tested once school starts so we know for sure, but right now I am just looking for info/advice from Moms who actually have experience with this. I've already googled & wiki'd it, so I have all the textbook info, but I need real life info.
thanks so much in advance. the Mamas have never let me down before!!

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answers from Dayton on

I have worked with a few Asperger kids, and found them all to be delightful. I found it very helpful to read the book Look Me In The Eye by John Elder Robison. It is insightful as to what someone with Asperger's might think and feel and how successful they can be.

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answers from Boise on

If your son has this, I would look into social counseling classes and music therapy. I don't have a son with it, but a nephew, and I worked with kids with aspergers.
As a mom, I think the best thing you can do is make sure the school doesn't group him with the kids with mental retardation because there is nothing wrong with his IQ. At home, I would make all your rules and routines written down in a cartoon comic strip form. Like squares with pictures of stick figures doing things. This is not to insult his intelligence, but because kids with aspergers are visual learners, their brain picks up pictured instructions much faster and easier than verbal instructions.

So let's say your son is not so sweet to people in certain social situations. He needs help understanding what he should do instead in picture form, and you need to understand how to teach him social skills visually. He will need extra help reading facial expressions, understanding sarcasm, etc. The great thing about aspergers is that he can learn all these things if he is taught in the right way.
When he is stressed out, if you can, let him have breaks before he has a meltdown, and the breaks should be physical activities that relax him, like swinging, running around outside, etc because that will calm him down neurologically. Or a quiet, darker room where he can do deep breathing. I doubt he would want to do that but it is worth a try.
Hope this helps!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

What I know about Asperger's is that the kids who have it begin speaking in complete sentences much earlier than their peers but they tend to have a harder time understanding social nuances, other people's theory of mind (what other people may be thinking and why), and when it is appropriate to say certain things to others and when to keep quiet. They also maybe hyper focused on certain subject matters and may dominate a conversation, talking about the few subjects that interest them and not pick up on the cue that they are boring or annoying others with their one-sided conversation.

This is what I know from my reading. I have a son with high functioning autism who, although he has always had a language delay even to this day, we've worked out a lot of his behaviors and I'd like to think that, except for the communication part, he's probably more Asperger's than not. But the information I have given you in strictly from what I have read. I'm sure there are a number of other moms out there that can share with you their own personal experiences with Asperger's. But I do want to commend you on referring to Asperger's as a "gift". My son's autism has been a gift as well. It has taught me a lot and I couldn't have asked for a better son.

Hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My 8 year old son was diagnosed at age 4 by a developmental pediatrician after the school district tested him and said that everything appeared to be fine. They actually looked at me like I was crazy for even bringing him in to be tested. I tell you this because if your son is being tested by the school and they tell you they don't see anything, trust your gut instinct and take him to a developmental pediatrician if you still believe there is something there.

My son is going into 3rd grade this year and has been doing a great job! He still struggles socially but he is making strides every day and the "special gifts" that come along with the Aspergers make life so interesting. My son's memory and his math skills just amaze us every day. Currently we are on a baseball kick so every morning when he comes downstairs he watches sportcenter for the baseball scores. Throughout the day you can ask him any team's score from the previous day and he can tell you who they played and what the final score was.

My son's curiosity and NEED to know the detail about things is so inspiring. He'll see a bird or a bug that he can't identify and will want to look it up right away. He genuinely gets excited to learn new things and share what he has learned. Of course sometimes his audience is not as excited to learn what he has to share so we need to work on that as well.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Where in Columbus are you?

I would say, if you have met one child with asperger, you have met one child with asperger! They are very different really. Since you are in Columbus, I would highly suggest that you put your child on the waiting list for Oakstone Academy. It is a Charter-private school in Westerville that accepts the autism scholarship. You will not be sorry you did. My Aspie goes to the high school and she has a full set of peers and has relationships with people with whom she shares much in common. The every day social faux pas mean nothing because they all understand that aspect of their functioning. She is thriving there, and I do not worry about her future now, becuase she will never be lonely or alone.

You will get many respnoses, so I won't add any. But I do have a very BIG suggestion for you. First, let me ask you, if you thought that your child had a problem seeing, would you be waiting until school started for an evaluation? Developmental disablities are in the same category. While they effect academic progress and have an element that is the school districts responsiblity, the lions share of his treatment and care, as well as the comprehensive evaluation of his nuerobiological medical condition, is your responsiblity. You should not rely on the school district to diagnose him or do all the treament that he needs, and you should never know less about his functioning than the school does. Make an appointment with a Developmental Pediatrician through Nationwide Childrens tomorrow, it will take several months to get in. He may need speech, OT, cognative behavioral, play, and physical therapy, and will need social skills classes in addition to any educational services he recieves. Educational services are only designed and required to make him "functional" in the school setting. That bar is REALLY low, so make sure that you access everything he needs to maximize his functioning both at school and at home.

The biggest issue that I have seen in educational functioning is writing output and fine motor delays that cause large gaps in written expression and verbal ablities, these, and behavior that impedes educational progress are the two most likely educational needs that you will find.

M. (we are in Bexley)

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answers from Columbus on

From someone else in the Columbus area who probably falls on the spectrum (AS wasn't even a diagnosis when I was a little kid, and my interests and reading skills made me gifted so no one ever caught it), please do your son a favor and read about the autism rights movement. What you read might go against your common sense understanding, but keep reading. Understand what it is like to live in a world designed to minimize NT people's flaws and not ours. Realize that the quirks that make up our personality are part of who we are and shouldn't be pathologized (unless stimming becomes self-harm, for example, but that usually means that we need help in some other aspect of our lives, it's a symptom). Let us show you why cure-based organizations only make us feel like we are unwanted. Autism is a large part of what makes up our personalities, and if it were possible to get rid of it, you would also be getting rid of the person with it. (This is why members of the autism rights movement do not like 'person-first' language.) Treatment should focus on coping skills and on tailoring education to fit the person's strengths and weaknessess, not on making an autistic person act like a neurotypical person (which only drains our energy that we need to handle the social interactions that are not first nature to us). Consider going to one of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network meetings in Columbus (



answers from Louisville on

I just had to jump in and add a quick comment. Please, if your son is diagnosed with Asperger's at some point, try not to refer to him as "my little Aspie". I think this is akin to calling a child with a physical disability "my little gimp"- offensive, right? Your son will not be defined by this diagnosis. It will just be one dimension of who he is.
My son was diagnosed with Asperger's 4 years ago. This syndrome has meant that my son faces some challenges that many of peers do not- but with appropriate therapies and plenty of patience and understanding, it has not been what I would call a hardship overall.
Anyway, just had to put in my two cents about the whole "Aspie" nomenclature.



answers from Lafayette on

I agree that you want to have him evaluated by a medical professional who knows the condition as well as having the school evaluation done. My son with Asperger's is now 18. The obsessons are always there and have changed over time from Credit card logos at one year of age to trains, bottle caps, and now the capacitors on computer boards. He is better socially after much therapy, but still struggles with eye contact, and turn taking in conversation. He sometimes has a monologue rather than a dialogue. Also, many of them are double jointed in the fingers and have handwriting issues. He also was late learning to tie his shoes. They are gifted intellectually. But common sense things elude him. Such as when he spills a glass of milk, he will watch it in amazement rather than grab something instinctively to mop it up. He must be reminded to brush his teeth, take a bath, etc. even though he has a chart and we do these things in the same order each day... Good luck!


answers from Minneapolis on

My 8yr old has mild aspergers. He's very meticulous... everything has to be done by the book. Rules are rules and by golly you'd better follow them! He's also kind of socially inept, but he does ok once he's with people he knows or kids he gets to know. Its meeting new kids heh as a problem with, he's not very social but loves having friends to play with... kind of a catch 22 for him.

He's obsessed with things for a length of time and sponges up every drop of information having to do with his obsession. For a while it was trains, then he moved onto buses (school buses, city buses, transit buses, etc) adn now its ships. He can tell you how much fuel, the lenth, number of passengers, etc of numerous fleets of ships. Its crazy the info he can sponge up. Crazier the stuff he remembers and repeats back to us. He has a photographic memory.

He's extremely smart, been in gifted ed since Kindergarten, reading since he was 4, and he's really excells in math and science. He also enjoys social studies and history, and still reads many grades beyond his age. (last year he was reading at a 6th grade level and 5th grade comprehension, he will be in 3rd grade this year).

He makes funky noises, all the time. In the car he will just suddenly belt out some random loud noise. He also flaps his hands some, but its not noticeable as he only does that at home. He listens well and is now old enough to understand taht the noises are not appropriate in public. All it takes is a 'Zan, slow down' and he gets what that means. He also can't tell a story without making sure every minute detail is included. If he forgets something, the story must be started over until its totally correct to the last detail.

He does have some sensory issues...he gags when he eats something like yogurt, pudding, oatmeal, jello, etc.He doesn't like ot touch playdoh or play with the sensory table at school when in preschool (which has rice, beans, shaving cream,etc in it).

He has little imagination. He's getting better and can now actually play and have fun but boy for years he just couldn'ts tep outside his box of reality and play like a little kid. Everything had to be correct and sized right and placed right. Now he can play and enjoy some things that kids his age like, but he;s still not super imaginative, everything has to be by the book and correct or its just not fun for him.

Overall, he's just a quirky kid. He's funny and so very smart, and he's a joy to be around. People who meet him don't know there is anything 'wrong' with him as many of his quirks are common to a boy, but once the yget to know him its obvious his quirks are a bit more than the average boy.

If you feel your child may ahve aspergers, talk to his pediatrician, talk to the school psychologist, get some questions answered and research. And relax, aspergers kids are amazing! :)



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! I have a 6 year old daughter who was diagnosed with Asperger's at 4.5. I write a blog about it. For one of my posts, I wanted to list some of the common symptoms, and I did research on the web. I was pretty appalled at how bad the information is out there on sites like Web Md. They just don't get it! I think the info others posted here is pretty good. I came up with my own (incomplete) list. I can't believe I left scripting off the list! That was a huge one for us! Here is the link to that post.

Good luck! We found that behavior therapy has been extremely helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions!

After reading Riley's response, I just had to say that my favorite Aspie adult on tv is Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory!




answers from Kansas City on

The kids I have worked with are usually very sweet but don't have a lot of friends. They don't make eye contact very well at all and are socially behind in almost all the ways. Their behaviors are somewhat similar to your "typical" autistic child but I think they "blend in" a bit better with their peers.



answers from Asheville on

Check out the work at the Institute of HearMath - - It has been helpful for Asperger's, not just for the person with it, but the family as well. If you have difficulty finding a discussion directly about Asperger's on their website, let me know. - Even if he doesn't have A's , you'll love the HM work!!!!!! (It's what I do!!)



answers from Seattle on

I LOVE Aspie kids!!! (adults, too).

Of course, I'm biased, because I'm adhd. Adhd'ers and Aspies tend to get on like a house on fire. There are some *major* differences between adhd and aspergers, but there is also a LOT of common ground... and the areas where we differ (I don't know for aspies) but for adhd'ers the differences are CALMING. (intense interest in one thing, for example, lets us hyperfocus on that area with them... the logic translates to honesty so we don't have to guess about what's going on... etc.) As a matter of fact, one of my adhd-c son's best friends is an aspie. He's the only kid my son turns off the "class clown" act with, and just gets really exited about working on whatever they're working on or playing whatever they're playing.

The list on Little Bit Quirky is the best I've ever come across.

Speaking of which: For probably the best portrayal of an Aspie adult I've ever come across... check out Chloe in the show 24. <laughing> And actually, for the adhd + aspie connection, she and her husband (in the later seasons) are just classic interactions.



answers from Indianapolis on

I'm not sure what exactally you are looking for info wise since you have some
info already...but what can tell you as a past teacher and person who has worked with children on the autism spectrum is that you will learn so much and be blessed. Aspergers is basically high functioning autism. Some people who are labled with Aspergers are able to be in a general education classroom but may benefit from services outside the classroom like a resource room if they need quiet to work or need help with a certain subject. Some school systems actually have 'Autism Consultants' who work with students who are on the Autism spectrum. One thing that is big for me and for students that I have met and worked with who had verbal skills....ALL told me about person first language. They are not " AUTISTIC" or "ASPERGERS" they are a PERSON WITH aspergers or a person who has autism. One man told me ( since i wear contacts), " We don't call you 'contacts' :). He said, " you are a person who wears contacts. Makes sense and is very respectful if you ask me. :)

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