Because of the media torrent of anti-Autism programming, due to the horror in Connecticut, I am recommending to every parent to make sure that they extend their child's psychological testing to include signs of a mental health issue. I have done this myself, even though I knew the results would be negative.
In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre, when the media went on another autism-witchhunt, CM1 was about to enter college. I didn't want there to be any issue with his stability or mental health. So when I had the psychologist test him for his accommodations request I had a few extra tests included. I did the same two years ago when I had both boys retested due to CM2's entering college and requesting access accommodations as well.
You can rail all you want about the unfairness and the scapegoating of our children, but remember its out there. Our children are idiosyncratic in many obvious ways and the society-at-large does not know the difference between autism, ocd, schizophrenia, psychosis, bi-polar or quite frankly adhd. You need to protect them from the ignorant and make certain that they do not suffer because of others stupidity.
I gave copies of all the testing to the disability office at the college and even made a point of telling them that I had the boys tested for all kinds of mental illnesses. Luckily the director knows the difference between autism and mental illness and so does the administration at their school. But I told her that my point was to make certain that everyone else knew that the boys, in their own way, were simply different and harmless.
Over the years, in dealing with many professors and staff at the boys' college this testing has come in handy. People who have never dealt with autism or aspergers do not know what it means and do not know what it entails. People who get to know the boys know that they are in fact simply big teddy bears, sometimes big teddy bears with attitudes, but teddy bears nonetheless.
Sadly until the day comes that people who live outside of society's box are accepted as equals, we need to make sure that our offspring are not marginalized, dehumanized or disenfranchised. Be pro-active. Don't wait for something to happen. Prepare yourself for day that someone else's ignorance gets in the way of your child's future. Be prepared to fight back on the spot.
You may think this is being overly afraid, but I always say prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Truth is, whenever I wasn't prepared, we got blindsided. Make certain you are never caught unawares. Make certain you have your legal and medical team/backup/papers always ready to go.
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Review and Reset
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A for Accountability
S for Simply Being Happy
Mother-May-I Part 2-Oh Crap