This is very hard for me to type and talk about it :( I haven't even discussed it much with my DH, my Mom or any family member. I'm distraught.
Basically, my daughter needs to see a developmental pediatrician. She has been seen by early intervention and I don't have the full results yet, but I had shared that I had some concerns that she had Aspergers and the ladies who held the meeting couldn't say whether she did or not, but did tell me to get her checked out ASAP.
So basically my weekend was spent researching Aspergers and what I found out was that there is a link between depressive disorders and autism. My paternal Grandmother and my father suffer from bipolar and I think I carried that on to Carmela, which means she may be diagnosed with bipolar when she gets older, and in the meantime Aspergers is likely.
With all that said, if she does get diagnosed, there is NO WAY I would have another bio child. NONE. I couldn't do this to another child. So basically, adoption is the only way I can add to my family -- if we choose to add to it :)
I am wondering if anyone else has been through anything like that and moved on to adoption???
Our oldest bio child is adhd and has some aspie tendencies.
So sorry you are going thru this. It is a very stressful time. For me getting a diagnosis was also a bit of a relief. I knew parenting him seemed much harder than others and I wasnt sure if it was because I was a totally crappy first time mom. Finding out he was indeed a more difficult child for a reason that was beyond my control was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders (granted I still have a long ways to go in being a great mom to an adhd kid).
He saw developmental doc, child psych, neurologist, and in the end was finally diagnosed by a neuropsychologist at age 5.5yrs. He got into Early Childhood thru the school which is basically special ed preschool (along with speech and OT) at 3.5 and did that for 2 yrs. Hes in first grade now, in a normal class but still with speech and they actually increased his special ed help this year.
Our second son does seem to also have a short fuse but I dont see in him the struggles we had with the first. Hes still a tough kid but developmentally on target which helps.
As others said, you have no control over whether or not an adopted child has any developmental, etc issues either. Only you can decide whether finding out one of your children has issues that may affect them for life is too much of a burden of parenting to even think of bringing another child (bio or adopted) into the family.
I know I think every day if Im going to be able to handle 2 other kids AND Ryan.
But we decided that while Ryan is definately difficult now at times, that in the future we hope as he matures he will gain new coping mechanisms that will help him be a successful person in life.
Theres lots of adults Aspies and bipolar people out there leading happy successful lives. Its not a death sentence.
Good luck. I know dealing with it is hard.
I don't have exactly your issues--but I do have a child with special needs (bio) and we have adopted two. Our second child has Down syndrome. I wondered whether that would be an issue in our adopting, with the sw or the agency. It was not a problem either time, with either one. This despite the fact that Wes decided to "liven up" our home study with comments such as "I'm going to carry the baby to school in my backpack!" "Kelly (then aged 9) is a vegetarian!" (I think this comment was because Kelly ate vegetables and Wes didn't.
We haven't had any problems, either, other than sibling issues, between our sons.
Good luck to you! I think one of the reasons I wanted to adopt was that, much as I love my son, I didn't want to risk another of our children having Down syndrome. And I knew that we ran a greater risk, having had one child with Down syndrome. So I took a deep breath, went ahead and got pregnant with dd #2, but after that decided I was done with having bio kids.
It sounds like you're doing a great job with advocating for your daughter--I am sure that you will work to help her have the best prognosis possible, regardless of the circumstances.
Please try not to be so hard on yourself! As the others have said, there are no 'guarantees' with bio or adopted children. Just different, precious children with their own special personality, characteristics and needs.
I will keep you and Carmela in my prayers.
I can remember when we got the diagnosis of our son (both times as we got a 2nd opinion), I was absolutely heartbroken. I poured through the research and was sure my son would end up like XYZ or ABC (and he hasn't so far). I finally had to stop and remind myself that this is just what makes him, HIM. This is who he is. It isn't a death sentence and in many ways it's a blessing (I would LOVE to have even a little bit of his fantastic memory)! He is a wonderful child that brings so much joy to our lives. After mild therapy he functions as a normal preteen and most people don't even know he autistic. I can honestly say I wouldn't change one thing about him. He was created perfect in God's image and we are so blessed to have him...just as he is. We, without hesitation, went on to have 3 more biological children. (Our dev ped also told us how unlikely it is to reoccur within siblings.) None of them are on the spectrum, but I can say that each one of them have their own set of "issues" we have struggled with. I'm quite certain that our adopted daughter will have her own set of "issues" as well. We all do, even as adults. It may be heart disease, kidney problems, sensory issues, IBS, you name it! I know there are cases far more severe than we have experienced with our son, and I cannot speak for them. But our son has opened our eyes to a world we never knew and that isn't a bad thing.
I can understand how hard it is to realize your child could be on the spectrum, but you should relax a bit until you have gotten an official diagnosis. We were absolutely positive our youngest bio daughter was on the spectrum because she had more of the typical characteristics than our older son. We obviously had a lot of experience with autism and had done a lot of research in that area. She wasn't at all. She was diagnosed with a very high IQ and another small disorder relating to adjusting instead (which shares a lot of the characteristics of of aspergers). It's very hard to diagnose Aspergers with a cookie cutter set of criteria and even harder to predict at this point in the game what other issues she will have in the future. And if she is diagnosed with Aspergers, there are far worse things to be diagnosed with is how I see it.
You're probably no less likely to have a child with aspergers through adoption as you are through biological means, especially since adopted children have a slightly higher risk of having autism (not sure if that's proven, I just read that on an attachment website and I don't remember the study). There are many possible factors going into aspergers, genetics is only a very small part and even that is still a big debate. My son is the only person in our entire very large family, immediate or extended, with autism. Just try, as hard as it is with a mother's tendency to worry, to relax and enjoy your time with your daughter. She'll still be the same person with a diagnosis that she was without one.
One of my nephews is full-blown Aspergers & another on is on the spectrum, but not diagnosed w/ it.
Both my sis & SIL have them on gluten-free/cassien free diets & have seen LOTS of improvements.
PM me if you want more info.
My SIL has a 7yo with Aspergers. PM me if you'd like her email address. She is very nice and struggles, but adores her son.
I am a special ed para at our Elementary school and there are about 15 kids with autism and or aspergers. They are all boys, and 3 are from the same family. They are all a delight to work with. The numbers go up every year. Now they are wondering if all the lead in the toys kids have been exposed to may be a contributing factor, as well as the vaccines, and the environment.
I was told by our social worker that her adopted daughter was bi polar and that I should be prepared for something like that when adopting, especially international adoption. Well, my daughter is not bi polar but she is legally blind in one eye. She was since birth and it was just caught last month. She passed 5 eye exams prior. Like the other poster mentioned, each child, and adult for that matter has something. That's what I tell Blanca. If they don't as a child, they will as an adult. Your daughter will be perfect for your family. Relax.
I'm sure that most that read here know that my bio DS (almost 5) is on the autism spectrum with PDD-NOS. I believe in talking about it. 1 in 150 children are diagnosed on the spectrum and 1 in 94 are boys.
I also want it to be made perfectly clear that our reasons for adopting have absolutely NOTHING to do with our son having autism. Not one ioda. I am an adoptee and have always wanted to adopt. After 6 miscarriages, we knew that it was the perfect way to complete our family. My son is amazing!
Just as the jury is still out on the causes, I see some families that have more than one child on the spectrum and I also see several families that only have one child on the spectrum. I also have friends that have adopted children on the spectrum (some international, some domestic).
Life is a crap shoot and there are no guarantees especially when building a family. Having a child on the spectrum (Asperger's, PDD-NOS, Autism) is NOT a death sentance. Sure, life isn't always rosey or easy for us but in the grand scheme of things, it could be something much more devastating. I have learned so much about life by looking at it through Logan's eyes. I've met wonderful friends that struggle like me and it has strengthened my marriage. I wanted to say that everything that Kelly (cashcrew) said is 100% true and honest.
My 1st bit of advise would be stop being afraid of the diagnosis because of what you fear that you will be "losing" with your daughter now that she is not "typical". Start talking (especially to DH because a high percentage of parents that have children with a disability end in divorce because of the stress). Join a parent support group through your local ASA. Take the diagnosis, if there is one, and plod on and do everything that you can for your daughter now. Although people have varying opinions on the "why" it happens, one thing is agreed on. Early intervention is the only plausible "cure" for a better adjusted child/teen/adult.
Best to you!
EDITED TO ADD: I would NEVER, EVER want my son to think for one second that his diagnosis led us to adoption. Like he wasn't perfect enough for us. I hope I am making sense with that.
My nephew is on the "spectrum" and he is an absolutely amazing person. He is brilliant and quirky and may take some teasing as he gets into middle and high school (if it hasn't already started - he's 11). But he has a terrific sense of humor and a zeal for life. He believes he knows why God placed him on this earth - how many 11-year-olds are even beginning to think about that? I couldn't imagine our family without him in it. I know he was, and is, extra work for his mom; this is probably one reason she decided not to have any more children (she is older and not in great health herself).
I do think my nephew gets it from his dad (my brother) - or maybe both parents (his mom is quite shy). My brother's situation is milder - quirky and smart, but neither as much as his son - and I will note that nobody else in our immediate family is remotely on the "spectrum," so I'm not sure there is a great risk that your son's sibling would have the same problems.
Another point: it is believed that Bill Gates has asperger's. Clearly he is a high-functioning businessman and humanitarian. So, as others have said, a diagnosis is not a death sentence.
But, I don't want to make light of your situation. I wish you the best with the diagnosis and for the future. Meanwhile, enjoy your own special miracle!
Again, I just want to add that I don't think this is a death sentence. However, hearing those words about your child is downright scary! I KNOW life will go on and I'm not saying I want to adopt to REPLACE my daughter. I mean come on! I just said that I had heard that your chances of having another child with bipolar/aspergers is like 25% according to the research I've done. Adoption was in my heart WAY prior to this, and to me, it's like a sign that its the better way to go.
Again, I understand that an adopted child may have their own set of issues, and I am absolutely 100% ok with them.
My son has a spectrum of autism called PDD-NOS. When I received his diagnosis, I was relieved. I knew in my gut that there was something wrong, but was told time and time again that he was fine. We received our diagnosis 5 years ago and just last year, he started making honor roll in school. It is a lot of work and you need to be aware of what frustrates them and help them work through it, but it is so worth it.
Also in our family, my husband's nephew is autistic and I have 2 cousin's with PDD-NOS.
No parent wants to hear their child has an "issue" (for lack of a better word right now) and I fully understand your feelings. As I see it, you have already started researching. Learn as much as you can, but also use your gut and don't be afraid of it. I was concerned that my son would not be able to function in the world, but then I look at my one cousin who also has PDD-NOS. He will be graduating high school in two years and already has a position waiting for him at a welding company. He has only been welding at school for the last two years and had surpassed even the seniors while he was a freshman. My son is an artist and dreams of drawing characters for Yu Gi Oh cards. My other cousin with PDD-NOS has a more severe degree and he can work, but can not drive (his parent's decision). He wants to be a professional diver and is taking lessons as well as foreign language lessons.
If you want to talk, you can pm me any time.
On a side note, I'm not sure if you watch America's Next Top Model, but there is a girl competing there who has Asperger's. She is very inspirational.
I have a 26 yo son with Autism and had two other children after him. While being the mom of a child with Autism (or any special need) is challenging, it is also very rewarding. My other two children did not have Autism and in some ways were more challenging :D However, I can certainly understand your concern regarding the genetic component of the Autism spectrum. While we still don't know the cause, research has shown tendencies toward a genetic link and had I known that 26 years ago, I may have seriously questioned my decision to have two other children. However, that was 26 years ago and what we know now and the programs available for those on the Autism spectrum is very encouraging. So, make that appointment and see what the doctors have to say and go from there. Remember, there are no guarantees with our children whether bio or adopted. We all have to make decisions on what we're capable and willing to handle and then move forward with our decision.
I hope you'll keep us posted.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Hang in takes a while to resolve this in your mind.[/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]We just went through testing through the school district with my DS (adopted.) I was certain they were going to label my DS with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) most likely Aspergers. Even the program they were talking about was created for children with autism/ASD. My son has some tendencies and has sensory issues which are common in autistic/ASD children. My son was struggling and I knew he needed help...sooner rather than later. [/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]I will now share my feelings on this and any label placed on my child. [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS]The label does not change anything about the child. The label in many cases helps the child get the services they need...especially when dealing with autism/ASD - government funding comes into play in getting the child services. I readily admit I WANTED my son to get labeled with autism/ASD if that was the way to get him into the program that we knew he needed. [/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]In the end, he was labeled as significantly developmentally delayed at age 49 several categories he was listed at a 28 month level. This was the 2nd full evaluation he had...the first was 4 months after he came home at age 12 months old and he only qualified for speech at that time. His psychologist and I both fully believe that he slipped further and further behind in development due to healing his attachment issues and his health issues. They also think he's is a very shy child...he is borderline for ASD and is being watched...but they do not expect that label. And it doesn't matter because he got into that program we desprately wanted anyway.[/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]The best news in all of this is that my son, just 2 weeks into his special needs preschool/pre-K and on his IEP, is a totally different child. (I have posted about this on the Russian boards here or PM me if you want details.) Being in the proper setting is a miracle...we are already seeing huge strides...even one of his therapists is utterly amazed. [/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]I will also second diet playing a huge role in helping many kids and their symptoms. Gluten/Casein free diets work wonders...Feingold works for some. We took DS off cow's milk a while ago and it helped some. However adding DHA/Omega 3 supplements (PM if you want the name of the ones that my oral issue and very limited diet DS will easily take) in May of this year has been a miracle, for us, this made the biggest impact on him prior to starting this school and everyone, including the psychologist was certain he was going to be diagnosed as ASD prior to that. [URL=""]Omega Research[/URL] Finally this may be of interest... [URL=""] - Biomedical[/URL] I kept digging deeper and deeper because I knew something was wrong and it seemed liked no one wanted to believe me...until we finally found the school district and more importantly the psychologist who agreed that something certainly was going on with DS. [/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]All the best to you and your family...[/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Karen[/FONT]
[INDENT]My son was diagnosed with "semantic-pragmatic language disorder" which is basically Asperger's minus one criteria. We did several years of speech, occupational and physical therapy.
He is mainstreamed in kindergarten, he is gorgeous, bright, funny, compassionate - probably the sweetest child I have ever met (not that I'm biased of course! LOL!). He also has an amazing ability to concentrate (part of the spectrum-y part of him) - so he is a great little golfer already and he has a way of learning that is different than my other kids - but extremely dynamic.
He loves to really delve deeply into a subject so I think whatever he puts his mind to, he will really excel at.
Don't get me wrong, when he was little and we received the diagnosis, it was devastating. But I literally would not change a single thing about him so I can't say that if I could go back in time with a magic wand and change things I would - I think he's that amazing.
I know it's hard initially to deal with a diagnosis like that - but she's the same little girl you've had all along. Whether they say it's asperger's or something else, she is the exact same sweet baby girl you have been loving and living with all this time. :) :)
Feel free to pm or email if you'd like to talk more. :)
My biological son has asbergers. I had suspected it from early on. I know that many have concerns that the MMR shot could cause it but in our case we know that was not the case. My two nephews on my husbands side have asbergers too. So we know it runs in the family.
As far as any concerns my son is off the charts academically. He struggles with social skills, fine and gross motor skills. He not very athletic and does not care to be in sports.
He is such an awesome child and is beyond affectionate. He has his moments but so do all children. We had early intervention at the age of 3.5 years old. That was our saving grace.
I know that the information seeking and finding out is the hardest time. Just know there are many of us ouot there who are can help support you.
God Bless,