MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

In the Beginning (part 1 of our journey with Asperger’s)

Posted by mbamommy on July 18, 2010

Note: this is the first of 3 posts I plan to do that describes the past 8-9 month journey of getting Z diagnosed with Asperger’s.  My goal is that by putting my story out there, it may be of some help to someone else in a similar situation.  Going through the diagnosis process was probably the hardest, most emotionally draining thing I’ve ever been through.  It’s scary, overwhelming and all encompassing.  But, it doesn’t have to be because no one is alone out there.  Part 2 is here.  Part 3 is here.

So how did all of this start?

Back in late October/early November 2009, Z was attending a 3 day a week, half day preschool, partly because I thought he needed more interaction with other kids but mostly because I really needed a break during the week.  I had been a SAHM for over a year with a difficult baby (S) and an even more difficult toddler (Z).  I desperately wanted to go back to work and was finding it difficult to find a job (thank you, economic downturn).

And then, it happened.  I got an offer from BBI for a Director position that was an amazing fit.  I mentioned it back here.  It was a quick transition; Brooks called me on a Monday and my first day was the following Monday.  Luckily I had everything tee’d up in terms of full time child care and I quickly rearranged our lives so I could start immediately.

The Beginning came while I was on my way to the BBI office for the first time the Friday before my start date.  Z’s preschool was having their parent/teacher meetings and even though he wasn’t going to continue going to that school I decided it would be great to get some outside feedback on how he was doing.  I figured I’d stop by, meet with his teachers for 10 minutes and then head to the office to bring cupcakes to the team, introduce myself and fill out some paperwork.

Nothing they told me in that meeting was a surprise.  Z didn’t like being around other kids.  He didn’t like getting dirty.  He didn’t like wearing hats.  He took inappropriate risks on the playground.  He was defiant.  Well, yeah, sure.  That’s Z.  He’s an independent little guy who loves to run, just like his Daddy.  And he’s a helluva terrible two.  What did surprise me was that all of these things were warning signs of potential sensory issues.  The teachers suggested I contact Project Enlightenment to set up an evaluation and to read the “Out of Sync Child“.  Out of Sync?  Who the hell are you to call my kid out of sync?  And what the hell is Sensory Processing Disorder?

I left the parent/teacher meeting numb and a little shell-shocked.  On my way to BBI, I called J and told him what they had said.  Both of us were (to say the least) a little perplexed and unsettled.  BUT, I had to put my game face on and walk into my new office fired up to meet them and ready to take on the world.

Looking back I find it ironic that at the same time my “MBA” life gets back on track, my “MOM” life gets derailed.

Next up: Hurry Up and Wait (part 2 of our journey with Asperger’s).

13 Responses to “In the Beginning (part 1 of our journey with Asperger’s)”

  1. Jess Alter said

    Oh Ms. B,

    I’m so sorry to hear of the rough stuff you’re going through. However, I can only echo what others have said, this is definitely NOT the end of the world. Nor does it mean that Z’s prospects for the future are any less expansive. I know autism/aspergers from the other side of the table – that of the teacher. Trust me, I have had many students with this diagnosis, and I see them at a particularly rough age – middle school. We should talk as Z gets closer to school age so that you can make sure you are getting everything you need/deserve/are legally entitled to, etc from his school. Of course, we should talk before then too. I miss you much. 🙂

    • mbamommy said

      Hi darlin’,

      Thanks for reading and responding. I know it’s not the end of the world. Not even close. I have enormous faith and confidence in Z’s future and I’m just trying to help him as much as I can as early as I can. My goal is to give him the tools he needs so he can be successful in his life – whatever he decides that means to him.

      Of course, I didn’t always feel that way, which is the reason behind my posting all this stuff. And, there is a bit of mourning that comes with hearing “your son isn’t perfectly normal” but, hey…who said normal’s that great anyway, right? I don’t think anyone can, with a straight face, call me normal. 🙂

      I miss you much too.

  2. Wow… I wish someone had noticed such things about me 23 years ago, and clued my parents in on some of things that ought to be checked out.

    While I can definitely understand that it must have felt like someone just tugged the rug from under you, your son really was very fortunate that such attentive carers spotted that he might need some help with things. AND that they told you and advised you on the direction in which you might want to proceed.

    Your son’s also very lucky that he has parents who are working with his reality, rather than deny his problems out of pride.

    • mbamommy said

      I agree wholeheartedly. My immediate reaction was of vehement denial. “She just doesn’t like Z. Z never clicked with her. No way…she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Not my kid.” But then, the more I (we) got comfortable with it, the more we realized that we couldn’t just sweep it under the rug. At the very least, we needed to follow through with her recommendations and have him evaluated. We wouldn’t be doing our job as parents if not. So, we swallowed our pride and moved forward.

      It must have been extremely hard for the teacher to tell me her thoughts. And I am forever in debt to her.

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  6. MK said

    MBA Mommy,
    I came across your blog post by accident while reading the Denver Post online. I’m so glad I did. My son is six years old and has been having significant behavior issues at school; unlike your situation, his teachers have viewed him as a “problem child” and not one with sensory processing issues. The principal even mentioned suspension… for a gifted first-grader… in week 3 of the school year. It is so difficult to get people to understand that the issues he is having are NOT the result of a lack of discipline at home. I believe he has Asperger’s and have for sometime, but nobody else seemed to agree with me, so I thought maybe I was over-reacting. Needless to say, I’m actually glad he’s had such a rough start in first grade; after several meltdown situations where we had to be called to come peel him off the floor because he refused to move, I’m confident that my suspicions are at least going in the right direction. And after reading through some of your blog posts, I’m reassured even further. It sounds like you are describing my son at that age (your son is 3?)

    We have our initial evaluation with a behavioral psychologist this week and are on the waiting list for a diagnostic evaluation at Children’s Hospital, and I guess we’ll go from there. One day at a time, right?

    Thank you so much for putting your words of wisdom out there for others to see – I, for one, appreciate it more than you know.

    • mbamommy said

      MK, thank you thank you thank you so much for your comment. I’m so sorry that your little guy is struggling but I’m really thrilled you found my blog and that it’s helped. Your one comment has made it worth writing. 🙂

      A couple things I’ve learned: trust your gut and experts will see what they’re trained to see. You’re the expert on your son, so you more than anyone see him and what he needs. While you’re waiting for Children’s you may think about starting OT? If he has sensory issues, OT can help immensely, it’s usually covered by insurance and you can get an eval much quicker. We did that while waiting for Z’s eval.

      Good luck, you’re doing a great job already.

      • mbamommy said

        One more thing….that post was originally written over a year ago. Z was diagnosed a few months after his 3rd bday. He’s now almost 5. Intervention, age, and J’s and my education has truly made a remarkable difference for him.

      • MK said

        🙂 Thanks for the advice!!

  7. […] I’m still telling the story of Z’s diagnosis (haven’t read that yet? Here’s part 1, part 2 and part 3). But, I’m excited to get further into what it’s like living with […]

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