Tommy was my first child and I had nothing to compare the experience to until I had my second child.  Tommy almost never slept in utero.  He was so active that when I was pregnant with Sarah I was convinced there was something wrong with her because she didn’t move constantly.  Move so hard that total strangers commented on my stomach’s movements that they were able to see.  As an infant Tommy only slept in the battery swing or while I rocked him.  People told me he was just colicky.  Tommy was a human cyclone as a toddler.  Never still, never quiet, never satisfied.  He was 3 before he spoke at all. 
     By this point I was complaining to anyone who would listen that something was wrong with Tommy.  I was referred to multiple parenting classes.  Classes that told me to lock him in his room whenever he was upset and out of control.  Classes that told me to count to three and then give consequence.  Class after class saying that I wasn’t parenting him correctly.  Family, friends and strangers all had advice but nobody wanted to do anything to help.  At four I enrolled him in a preschool desperately hoping for three hours twice a week of calm.  The third day I went to pick him up they said “Don’t ever bring him back.  There’s something wrong with him.”  I had him evaluated by the local public school system.  They put him in their speech therapy program and told me to get an appointment with someone who would give him Ritalin.  I went to a psychiatrist who told me that Tommy was Autistic and would never read or function like other children.  He looked at my infant daughter and said “You may want to consider finding a group home that can help him.”
     I cried a million tears that night but I never went back to that doctor.  I could accept that my child was different but nobody would tell me what he couldn’t do.  I found a new doctor and we started trying medications.  In Kindergarten he was put immediately in a “we dunno” class with the other children who didn’t fit anywhere.  He never made it into a regular classroom until 7th grade.  In the meantime he went entire years without a single textbook or academic lesson.  When he did get lessons it was worksheets which he hates.  Tommy has been in and out of nearly every hospital in this state.  He’s been diagnosed with Autism, Schizophrenia, Bipolar, ADHD, Tourette’s, OCD, ODD, Depression and finally Asperger’s.  We have the right diagnosis and he has doctors who care.  It is frightening to think of someone so intelligent, loving and wonderful not being a participant in life.  Tommy deserves the best and nobody is sure how to help him find his way.  But we try.  We go through the seven stages over and over, but we try.

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  1. It floors me so much to think that doctors could say such a thing (the whole group home thing).

    Anyway, I found you by way of… another project blogger, and saw the word aspergers and continued scrolling through (I’m fascinated by autism spectrum disorders, and am blogging for Cure Autism Now)

    But yeah, long post shorter, good luck with the rest of project blog! 1.5 hours left! YAY!

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