Hi everyone. My name is Marji and I live in Vermont. I'm new to the group and new to the whole AS spectrum. I would like to share my experience, strength and hope with you as I venture down this path, as many of you have already done, and many more will be doing. My son Ryan (just 10) was diagnosed with AS, anxiety and ADHD over the summer '07. My first reaction was "not my kid, they just want to pigeon-hole him in school and put him on meds". After the denial phase I entered the acceptance phase. I went to seminars, talked with
other parents, joined a local AS support group and found the local,regional and national resources that were available to me. Next, I believe with all my heart that it is my job as a parent to do whatever it takes to help Ryan become successful. I first tackled this in his school. They were very supportive and attended 2 seminars; Dr. Mooney(an AS specialist in Vermont) and Dr. Loomis (a NLD specialist from Connecticut). Ryan just squeaked by for an IEP for math. According to Dr. Mooney, if the school gave him certain tests it would show the weaknesses vs. standard testing. Anyway, I'm glad for the extra
help. Ryan also has a very difficult time getting thoughts from his head down on paper. We've tried a voice recorder - after he reads he dictates the story onto the voice recorder than writes it. He can rewind and take his time this way. It worked for a little while but he hates school because he knows he has to write 3 journal entries each week. He attends the after school program 3x week just to get this work done. I eliminated the problem of fighting everyday after school over this. I also have Ryan attending a 10-week social skills class which he loves! He feels he's not judged and he likes his new friends. They call each other on the phone and all log into Club
Penguin on the computer and play together. For his 10th birthday we did a bowling party. I asked if he wanted to invite his social skills friends to this with some friends from school and he said no. For some reason, he wants to keep them separated. It's fine with me.
He's doing much better with math now - once he gets it, he gets it.
It just takes longer with AS kids, but they do get it.

I have asked the school for a complete OT exam. Ryan wears long
sleeves all year. He goes through food stages (only mac and cheese and now only tuna in the food processor). Over February vacation Ryan was looking forward to skiing. He's an avid skier, loves it and excels at it. However, out of 7 days he only went 2 times. His issue was his socks got bunched up under his toe and he couldn't stand it.
He would throw the ski boot off and kick the wall. After about 2
hours he could come to me with his snow pants on, ski boots on and ready to go. I can't tell you how frustrated this has made me. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them. When the 10-week social skills class ends we will be going for counseling with Dr. Mooney so he can help Ryan to cope. I'm sure you can relate....the patience we have to have and the willingness to get at the root of what the issue is has been challenging to say the least.

I believe God doesn't give us more than we can handle and I'm grateful everyday for the opportunity to learn, grow, reach and stretch myself to be Ryans advocate. I'm also grateful for this support group and look forward to making lifelong friends throughout this journey of ours.

Author's Bio: 

Marji Graf is married to Bill and lives in Vermont. We adopted our son Ryan at birth and he was just diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome over the summer. Ryan just turned 10 and attends 4th grade. He loves to ski and he has his own business "Ryan's Organic Solutions". He sells his product at trade shows, craft fairs and farmers markets.