[quote="Amber"]I think maybe if people had experience of this they might find it a bit too personal to post it on a forum such as this? Just a thought, kindly meant. :
It is interesting isn't it how this issue, maybe as concerned with mental health, seems somehow more personal than discussing any other issue regarding our children. I'm with Umsusu on this one, it shouldn't be more or less personal than what level they are at, or how disorganised they are, or issues with bullying ( which are rife on this forum sadly), but somehow it seems that it is still taboo.
I agree that society, with all its desire for conformity, and the evils of the media, has perhaps made it harder to be ' different' but I also remember many kids who were unusual at school and had a hellish time.
One of the good things about diagnosis ( especially for adolescents) is that it helps to make sense of an experience and allow them to see both the very real gifts, as well as the challenges that such a label brings.
Secondary school is tough for children on the spectrum - wide and varied though it is. But in our desire to not label - are we perhaps trying to ignore difference and smooth it over when frank discussion may be a better option?
The girls I see in my practice, and my own DD, have often suffered terribly through feeling different - whether through Aspergers or just being a bit 'odd'. This post was prompted by a weekend of ' mopping up' my gorgeous, bright, kind, beautiful, funny 18 year old who had once again had a revelation of her ' differentness' and the pain it can cause. I wouldn't swap her for all the neurotypicals in the city, but my heart bleeds for her when I see the raw pain.........I imagine parenting with her will continue to be focussed on keeping her feeling as safe as possible at home, as supported as possible and reminding her of her strengths at every turn. She is off to Cambridge in Oct so I'm hoping that a) she will meet even more people like her and b) am worried that the work load etc will hugely add to her stress levels......
The irony is, she seems to everyone else to be the ideal girl - attractive, clever, articulate, socially skilled but inside life is hard and confusing for her. Girls on the spectrum don't present in the same ways as boys, and I was interested in some discussion of this. I'm also interested in boys experiences too.....whilst professionally I've worked with children on the spectrum for years, when issues are personal it all feels rather different.......
Thank you for those that have replied....useful discussion.