School District pathologizing my child

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

My son has some issues like with social and communication and he may have some quirks like going around in his underwear at home, being a picky eater (are most kids?) and he will do something for long periods of the time but in the school district, he got a 32 on the CARS-2. I was shocked, I thought it would be negative because he isn’t autistic and doesn’t even seem to be close to being on the spectrum. Sure we all do things that are on it but it’s all about degree. Biting nails isn’t always an autistic stim or running around (that is also an ADHD thing) or chewing on sleeves or on the top of your shirt or chewing on ties on your coats and a kid doing the same thing all the time isn’t always an indication of autism nor is having strong interests. But anyway I read the results and they said he was eligible for Autism Spectrum Disorder for the IEP and it wasn’t a diagnoses they said, it’s only to get help in school and in another three years they will reevaluate him again and he might not qualify and he will do fine on it own after the help he got. They only sent me a copy of the draft and said they will mail me a real copy. My husband read it and he said “According to this, I am autistic” because he felt he was reading about himself except for the over affection part and the hyperactivity. My mom read it this morning and thought it was a bunch of bull. These were not specialists, they were just speech language therapists and they were putting a label on him. I told her it wasn’t a diagnoses but she told me it will become a label and follow him through school and it was hurt him and affect his career choices and told me I needed to call my son’s pediatrician and make an appointment to discuss the school district results. My son’s doctor saw no evidence of autism.

I honestly thought they were going to find other things and see what other services he qualify for but instead they focused on ASD and looked for “proof” so I feel they might have pathologized his behavior. They saw *Michael things he did and said it was autism. But this does prove my opinion of how quick people are to diagnose autism and see it and no wonder autism has gone up, is it because quirky kids are being diagnosed with it and kids are being pathologized? He did fit every area for autism too and I wonder if they exaggerated it all so he could fit the legibility for ASD so he can get help in school? None of it were lies what they wrote about him in the report, it was all true but what I mean by exaggerating is saying it’s all autism there instead of just normal things that are not holding him back. Like I say, it’s degree. I had a therapist in training I saw who liked to tap her fingers together when nervous, she was not on the spectrum. I wonder if the school district would have counted that as an autistic stim if she needed services in school as a kid?

But why couldn’t they look for other things in him like ADHD, or any behavior disorder, communication disorder, sensory processing disorder, etc. Even the doctors at Kaiser who tested him when he was three didn’t think he was autistic but they said he had some delays. They didn’t label him. But because he is now going into kindergarten, the school district had decided to start looking for ways to make him be eligible to get help in school because developmental delay isn’t considered a disability and they are not eligible for special education services in the state of Oregon but for preschool, yes.  So my mom told me to call my doctor and have him get tested by them for other things because this ASD thing will hurt him and it will turn into a label. I do want my son to get help in school but my mom says this is not the right way to do it so we have to dig in our heals and now it’s time to get my son tested for other conditions I guess to fight against this label.Could my son have AS traits, possibly. But he could also have ADHD and I don’t know what at his age is normal but they are saying it’s something that is found in autism and that autistic kids do. But even when my youngest brother was little, he wanted things done a certain way and would always cry “start over” and my grandma would have out all different kinds of bowls and plates and forks and knives, cups, etc so she wouldn’t have to put it all away again and take it back out because of my brother’s quirk. Then he grew out of it. I wonder if the school district would have said it was autism. They even said his needing to run around and be hyper was a self stimulant thing? Is it? I even wonder about myself how much of things I do is autism or what is just me being me. After all it’s all about degree and I am sure people out there read about it and think they have it and score high on the tests because they are pathologizing their own behavior which is why I am not fond of self diagnoses and doctors who quickly diagnose this. But hey if they are indeed having problems that are giving them roadblocks and they hold them back, they should then go try and get help and it doesn’t always mean it’s autism they have but yet they seem to feel satisfied with that label. But not everyone can afford help so they don’t get tested for it.

I think this is all about getting him services in school and they are just playing by the system to get my son help because of the laws we have so they had to make him qualify and they even told me they would make sure he qualifies but I didn’t know they were going to be focusing on ASD, I thought there would be other services he would meet. When I was in school, my IEP category I had was “other health impaired.’ When I was younger it was “multiple handicapped.” I don’t know if I was ever under autism but I was once in 7th grade and I think my mom got that fixed because she didn’t want that label on me and have it hurt me. My school did try to limit me in high school because of my diagnoses and I had to fight it. I didn’t like being told I couldn’t do this or that because of X Y and Z. They tried to get me from taking Driver’s Ed, they tried to talk me out of taking Drama, they said working at a McDonalds would be too overstimulating for me because it’s will be noisy, crowded, you would have to work in fast pace. I don’t like limitations. Why must people use labels to hold a kid back instead of letting them try and see what they can do and handle? This is what my mother wants to avoid for my child. Maybe someone from the school district should have come to our house for a couple months and watch how my son interacts and plays and how he spends his days and what happens at night so they get the right picture in their heads but maybe they would have still found autism because they could think he was on his Nintendo 3DS for too long or he is too fixated on Legos and him having tantrums when he doesn’t get his way is him being inflexible and it would “prove” it’s a characteristic of autism. He is also impulsive and when he gets bored, he has behavior problems and gets into trouble because he gets real hyper and then crabby and whiny and has tantrums and does his fake cries. He also cannot wait in long lines. My mom thinks it’s ADHD but I haven’t labeled him with anything because he doesn’t have a diagnoses. So my mom thinks he should be tested through professionals for everything and get the right label and use that in school.

And also according to these people who work for the school district, if you show too much of the behaviors that are found in autism even if they are just normal stims or normal interests, etc, it’s autism. Most people would have one or two things from it they said. So apparently it doesn’t matter how strong or normal your traits are, they will just say it’s autism. My school counselor had that same mind concept too about it so everything I did was Asperger’s to him and I would point out my brothers do it too and he would say they may have some of it too but they don’t have enough to have Asperger’s. He even said the same about my parents. My mom fired him and told him to stay away from me. She acted like he was some predator. I don’t think she liked how he was pathologizing me so she called him an idiot because she was so mad at him. But my mom was upset with the report about my son. She wasn’t mad. She thought it was a bunch of bull.

But the results I got were he is very close to normal, he doesn’t need to be in a self contained room, he can be with normal kids in regular classes and in a few years he might not need help anymore. He has made a lot of progress in the last two years since he started preschool. They said his traits were inconsistent. He has social issues but yet in other social areas he is normal in them but in other areas he struggles. He can do eye contact and then he doesn’t. We know more about autism now so it’s not all black and white as it used to be 30 years ago. He is social and then he wants to play alone. He is flexible but isn’t in some areas. That is what they mean by inconsistent. I guess that is what it means by it coming and going. It depends on the situation. Even mine come and go but I go extreme when it happens. Like I say, it’s degree. If my moments didn’t cause me any issues or didn’t hold me back or cause me roadblocks, then they wouldn’t have been symptoms and it would have just been normal human traits, not autism.

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