Sunday, March 18, 2012

Your Not Alone: The Adventures of Parenting a Teenager on the Spectrum

My name is Anne. Patrick asked me to start a guest blog on his amazing network and although I am honored I am not really sure what to share. Today I will give you a little background on me and my family. I have always worked with children who have special needs in some capacity. First in recreation as a teenager and then in the classroom as a special education teacher.  Currently, I work in a school district that is entirely special education. I work 2 days a week in a school and serve as an Instructional Tech Specialist providing professional development to adults on different tools for teaching and learning. 

My son Corey is 13 (God help me) and has been labeled or diagnosed with many different categories over the years. I noticed that Corey was special right away, but I waited until others could see that his activity level was not “just a boy” thing. Once others started pointing it out (age 4) I immediately took Corey to be evaluated by a pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist and a pediatric neurologist. At the time they were all so hesitant to tell me what was “wrong” with my son. The first label was ADHD with hyperactivity disorder, later they threw in OCD (which I never saw) and Pervasive Developmental Disorder...a few years later it became a non verbal learning disability combined with a sensory motor impairment until finally at about age 10 it became what it is now...on his IEP the label is Other Health Impairments but in documents, Corey (now 13) is a teenager on the spectrum with high functioning Aspergers.

Corey has a younger brother, Nathan age 10, who is competitive, socially popular, funny, bratty and acts as a parent and “older” brother in most situations. My husband is amazing! I know how lucky I am. Not only is he an amazing person but he is a great father to both of our boys.

These blog posts will detail the struggles, challenges and successes that we go through in next few years. I often feel like the worst parent in world! I hope you will find solace in knowing that you are not alone.

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