Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

When is the right time to tell your child.. maybe there isn't.



This morning, I was stuck home due to a mix up in minivan time, and I thought I would use this time wisely and catch up on some shows while the kids are playing with their friend Brock that I watch once in a while.

I really wanted to watch, "Parenthood".. which is a show that is about a family and their children, and one of the grandchild en has Aspergers. I know I have posted about this show before, they did a walk for Autism with Autism Speaks, they have touched on issues like ASD Support Groups, behavioural challenges, and how to even throw a birthday party for someone with Aspergers. Aspergers is a type of Autism, a high functioning Autism.. they are quick with communication when they are a toddler, and usually is not diagnosed till school age. The children are very smart, but lack in social development, which is different from a person like Owen, who has classic Autism.

This week, they depicted what it is like when their regular behavioural worker needs to leave, whether that be on vacation or permanently. It showed how the child would handle the change, which usually is not too well. What the family has been also struggling with since finding out that Max has Aspergers, is when to actually tell him, and I think I struggle with this as well. Some children with ASD, might not really understand they are a bit unique, but when some children who can mentally handle it, may begin to notice a difference from themselves compared to other children.

So when is the right time to tell? Max found out by accident, his father was yelling at Max's uncle, when the uncle claimed the behavioural worker was just a babysitter.. so like I would do, the dad became angry and yelled, "Max has Aspergers.. not needing a babysitter.. he has ASPERGERS"...with Max standing on the stairs who softly said, "I have Aspergers..whats Aspergers?".

I wonder if Owen will realize if he learns and functions different from other children, if he sees he might excel at math where a lot of children have issues, like I always did.. but Ryan didn't. Is there ever a right time? and when do you tell their siblings? I guess you will know when the right time comes. For me, I want Madelynn and Ben to be prepared.. I want them to know they need to look out for their brother, and that he is unique and learns differently..but is super awesome :)

4 comments:

  1. I just finished watching myself and bawled like a little baby. When is the right time... now there is a loaded question?

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  2. For sure Kelli... I have no idea.. and I wonder if Owen will even grasp the concept of it all...

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  3. I don't find Max to be a realistic autistic child at all. However, there is another family with an autistic child in the show, and I find they've totally hit the nail on the head.

    It was as if the show's makers didn't want to confront the audience *too* much with the reality of autism, but they somehow managed to sneak in a realistic family as minor characters.

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  4. TOTALLY agree.. the other family is very realistic.. I think we all struggle when they start portraying someone who has Autism.. when I was watching Criminal Minds - NOTHING like what I have seen in a child with Autism..

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