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Asperger's Our Story - Part 2

Our daughter was diagnosed with Asperger's Disorder when she was 13. This is Part 2 of a 3 part story about our struggles.

The rest of her primary school years were not easy. She was bullied incessantly and because she has a penchant for saying whatever comes into her head and not pulling any punches, she didn't help herself. The year after we had the psychological test done, she had a teacher who actively disliked her. I was called to the school a number of times as Jess was not co-operating. Initially I felt empathy for the teacher but as time went by and the teacher wanted me to "gang up" on Jess, I really started to question where she was coming from and felt very defensive and also quite helpless. Lots of things happened which are now difficult to remember as there were so many and we really just lived through day to day.

It was during this time that we noticed her intense interest/obsession with certain things such as James Bond movies, the Parent Trap movie which she watched 52 (note the exact number - she counted) times, Pokemon and flags of countries. She was also fascinated with all things Scottish and at 6 years old taught herself some Gaelic. She was also able to recall dates with amazing ease. When she got a little older her obsession transferred to the rock group Queen. She got on to the Queen forum and was one of their most prolific posters. If you were to ask what Freddie Mercury was doing at a certain point of his life she would be able to tell you. Actually not just Freddie Mercury but any member of the band!

It was when she was in Year 6 and 11 years old that something happened to prompt us to get some help. Every day we provided her with lunch and every day the lunch came home uneaten or was I suspected thrown away at school. She absolutely hated anybody in the family going through her school bag or her room. Her sense of privacy was and still is of the utmost importance to her. On this particular day, I did go through her bag as it was the beginning of the holidays and school bag stank. What I found would have turned the strongest stomach. There were literally a dozen or more uneaten mouldy lunches, some so old and mouldy they were just dust. This prompted me to look in her bedroom, also smelly. We found numerous lunched hidden under her bed, her bookcase, her chair and anywhere else where she could reasonably hide things. What we couldn't understand was why she hadn't just thrown them away at school when we would have been none the wiser. This seemed like a cry for help. That day I took her to the doctor who recommended that we phone the local health service. We got in to see someone fairly quickly and spent the next 2 years and a bi-weekly or weekly basis talking with a rather nice but ineffective lady.

One of the first things the counsellor recommended was that we attend a Social Skills group run by the local University. I asked her after the first session what she thought and she said "it's ok but they're all weird." We had our funny times too!

Look out for the third and final installment of our story.

Submitted by:

Sue Taylor

This is our story of living with a daughter diagnosed with Asperger's Disorder - a high functioning form of autism. To read more about her story go to http://www.naturalautismrelief.com and http://www.chanceofalifetime.usana.com




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