Monday, August 22, 2011

Rejecting the label

You may remember some of my posts on this but I've pretty much decided that at this year's school case conference for Nathan, I will be rejecting his label of Asperger's syndrome. First, of all, I am positive that he doesn't have Asperger's. Mainly because people with Asperger's have above average intelligence and while Nathan is very smart, he just doesn't exhibit the signs of this. Also, people with Asperger's don't tend to have the language delay that Nathan has.

Asperger's wasn't actually the latest "diagnosis". If you look at my latest post in the Asperger's section, his official diagnosis is Mild Autism disorder. I plan on rejecting this label too. And here's why:

First of all, I am not one of those mothers who thinks that their child is perfect. It is plainly clear that Nathan has speech delays. We've known this from about 18 months (seriously have a look at my letters to Nathan from around that time, I knew something was up) and we got proper therapy and treatment for him. I know that he also has some sensory issues. We've also known this from very early on.

However, I am 100% positive that he does not have Mild Autism Disorder. He exhibits no signs and symptoms of this outside from the speech delay. Nathan doesn't do any sort of repetitive behaviors or flapping. Nathan looks you into the eye when he is talking with you, is capable of conversing in a back and forth manner, and shows affection readily. He responds to his name every time and is extremely social when he gets to know people. All of these things do not add up to Autism in my book. I'm comfortable with his speech delay diagnosis and even now, he has come so far (talking to us in paragraphs and saying things like "Mom, I would like to go outside, I'm going to get my shoes on, please and thank you".) I am not comfortable with the autism diagnosis and I don't think that this is my "mamabear" speaking.

So, I'm hoping that it won't be a battle with the school. I'm looking forward to the conference this year because I'm far more prepared and I understand Nathan better so that I can be a better advocate.


Staci said...

Good for you! As a teacher, I firmly believe in my observations in the classroom... but above all: a parent knows their child best! Good luck at your meeting. :)

villemezbrown said...

Good luck at the meeting. Your children are lucky to have you for an advocate. Please let us know how it goes.


Stacy said...

Mandie, you would know better than anyone! I work in the public school sector and his eye contact and his ability to be affectionate in my opinion are not on the autism spectrum. I think that too much emphasis is placed on milestones. You should read the book Zippy, a girl growing up in Mooreland IN. It is hilarious and she had some speech delays (she just chose not to talk until she was older).