One of the things that happened while we were vacationing from the blog was that my first-born, Allen, had a psychoeducational assessment done at the school. A psychoeducational assessment is a psychological assessment of learning and academic skills. You can read a bit about what it entails here.
We have long thought that Allen had some, well, issues, for lack of a better word. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 5, but we weren’t completely sure that was the correct classification. He’s always been incredibly bright, but had some key social deficits. As I started to read more about Andrew’s (number 2 son) autism, I was pretty sure that Allen was somewhere on the autism spectrum.
This year, in grade 5, his social deficits and some learning difficulties manifested themselves in a big way. The school put him on the list for an assessment and we got the completed report sometime at the end of April.
Official diagnosis? Asperger’s Syndrome
In other words: On the Autism spectrum.
The Mayo Clinic defines Asperger’s as:
a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Children with Asperger’s syndrome typically exhibit social awkwardness and an all-absorbing interest in specific topics.
So what exactly does this mean?
For educational purposes, it opens up a lot of doors for him. He’s been placed in a Resource class for middle school, where he will be able to work on social skills and get help with other things that might hinder his academic progress (he has poor organization, rigid thinking, among other things). This is a good thing for him, a really good thing. He cannot wait to start at his new school (and he gets to play in band…yay!).
As far as Allen is concerned, with all honesty, it really doesn’t change a single thing about who Allen is. He’s still the same boy he always was before he had a ‘label’. The label is just a means to get him the help he needs. He’s a totally awesome boy…smart, funny, creative, beautiful, disorganized, forgetful, silly, anxious, empathetic and all around great kid. We love him to pieces and he makes our world a better place.