A day in the life of a mother

This blog is about a day in the life of a frum (orthodox Jewish) mother with small children.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Welcome to the World of Asperger's Syndrome

#1, my 5 year old son, was just diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, along with the ADHD. I was expecting the ADHD, but the Asperger's caught me a bit by surprise, but to tell you the truth, I am not shocked by it. I thought, for the past 3 years, some things he did were sort of autistic, but the developmental pediatrician said no, he is too outgoing, etc. Our regular pediatrician did suspect autistm or something similar. But, he NEVER did formal testing for it at all, nor did our developmental pediatrician. After hours of testing, and questionaires by the psychologist, we finally have a formal diagnosis of Aspergers and ADHD. because of the aspergers I don't think the school we were planning on sending him for ADHD/learning disabled children will accept him. I think unfortunately, we may have to think of public school. I am really upset. There may be a slight chance of them accepting him, but I don't have a good feeling about it, so I am thinking its going to be no. Why can't the Jewish day school systems be equipped for special needs children too?? It's frustrating. Frum people are not exempt from having special needs kids, and the Jewish school systems should be equipped to help these children instead of leaving them with no choice but public school, where they will be exposed to things a frum person shouldn't be, untznius things, etc. Sorry for rambling, I am just a bit upset. I am also not wearing my glasses, so pardon the typos, but the screen is a bit blurry to me. I can't remember where I left them :). Anyway, that's it for today. I have to make an appointment for hubby and me to go to the pediatrician to discuss what our next steps should be as far as treating the Asperger's and ADHD.


  • At 10:35 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ALISON -- you live in TORONTO. Toronto has the truly outstanding Shearim School, which caters exactly for Special Needs children of all types, including Asperger's. (I am puzzled that you don't know about it.) CHAT has a Special Ed stream which every year takes in most (avg 75%) of the Shearim G8 class. Your son should be assured of Jewish schooling up to G12. If you wish to talk, please call me tomorrow at CHAT (416-636-5984 x 225) -- Paul Shaviv, Director of Education, CHAT

  • At 10:38 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Alison - I thought I read Toronto, but you say 'Ontario'. Either way, please call me tomorrow - PJS

  • At 10:51 p.m., Blogger Avrom said…

    Hi Paul,

    I'm Alison's husband. And, I can assure you that Shearim is currently on the top of our list. As a matter of fact, that is why our son had the assessment in the first place.

  • At 11:14 p.m., Blogger Alison said…

    Hi Paul,

    I do live on Toronto. I know about shearim and was planning on applying, but I didn't know they took kids with aspergers, as today, someone I know whose daughter goes there told me they probably wouldn't take him. the lady I was talking to told me they would only take plain old ADHD kids. I was planning on calling shearim anyway, to find out for sure and also since they are the reason I had this assessment done in the first place. I didn't know chat has a special ed stream, but that is great to know for future when my son is old enough. I will phone tomorrow G-d willing, after I take my kids to school. Thanks :)

  • At 10:01 p.m., Blogger Teacher said…

    Good luck with your search for an appropriate school. There are some boarding schools that cater to such children, although they are rather expensive, and they tend to accept kids at about 3rd or 4th grade. Maybe that's something to look into in a few years if you can afford it and can bear being away from your child for a few weeks at a time.

  • At 9:25 a.m., Anonymous Judith said…

    Hi Alison, my son is 11 years old with Asperger's. I know how you feel, we live in Highland Park New Jersey and yes our son has been in Public School since we pulled him out of Yeshiva in 1st grade. We are Modern Orthodox. Our son thank g-d is very bright so we supplement as best as we can at home. I wish you the best of luck, I hope this Shearim school is the right fit, we found that the special ed yeshiva in our neighborhood the children were too low functioning for Jonathan. I do suggest you see a pediatric neurologist if you are considering medication. The usual ADHD drugs do not always work on kids with Asperger's. Jonathan is on Risperdal, since he was 5, and it has been a life saver. He never slept through the night until he started on it. Sorry for the rambling. Hope this helps. Judith

  • At 11:01 a.m., Blogger Alison said…

    Hi ,

    thanks for your reply. :) I know what you mean about the specialized school being too low functioning. thats why we arent' sending my son back next year to school where he goes now. I heard from the developmental pediatrician about ritalin not working on asperger's children. he said it may make them more aggressive and agitated. which it did in my son's case. he was extremely agitated on the ritalin, so we stopped the medication. for now, we are going to go wihout meds and see how it goes. BTW I am from monroe twp, about half hour away from highland park :) whenever we visit my family in NJ we go to the restaurants on raritan ave. :)

    Take care,



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