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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Should I tell my son he has asbergers?

    I have a 6 year old that had just been diagnosed at the start of the year with aspergers.

    He has some traits but not others and mainly struggles with social interactions with peers and reading and responding in a “socially appropriate” way at school eg. laughing when someone is hurt, teasing his “friend” and not knowing when to stop.

    I would like to tell my son that he had aspergers and that's what makes him special and talented and why he thinks different.

    I think this would help in creating strategy plans for him at school but my husband disagrees he doesn't see there's a problem and doesn't want to give him a label. What should we do?
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  • 3



    HealthShare Member

    OH YES!! Please make sure you share this with him.

    I am a woman with ASD who grew up undiagnosed. It was awful. I am high functioning and everyone treated me like I was normal (because that's what they believed). I spent my life wondering “what the hell is wrong with me!?!?! Why can't I cope with the same things others do? Why do I seem to make people upset when I'm just telling the truth? Why don't people understand me?!” It leads to depression, isolation and lonliness. He needs to know so that as he grows up, he knows he's not crazy - he's exactly the way he's supposed to be.
    You are right, having ASD bring about a lot of special things that come with the unpleasant and difficult. Focus on the good while he's young but don't hide away anything he needs answers to. 

    I also have a 3yo with ASD so I know it's like in your position except for dealing with it at his age.
    I have heard of a lot of couple where the husband doesn't see the problem. It's partly due to men being less observant to behaviour and emotion but also due to the fact that (i assume) you are spending more time with your son. Keep asking your husband to trust the Doctors who have spent years studying in their field and you who can see that it's true. He needs to be on board so that your son is given the compassion he needs. It's not easy being ASD and if your husband just thinks of him as being naughty when he's either ignorant or overwhelmed, it will make life harder for your son.

    So I say Hell yes! PLEASE make sure your son knows who he is. 

    Good luck.

  • 3


    Paul Bertoia

    Educational and Developmental Psychologist, Psychologist

    Paul is an Educational and Developmental Psychologist who has worked with infants, children, adolescents and adults for twenty years, in a range of settings.He has … View Profile

    I think that it is very useful to let your son know about his diagnosis, at the appropriate time. The appropriate time will be when he is able to understand that he has some different ways of interacting with other people. Sometimes, even children as young as six are aware that friendships or getting along with other children are harder for them, so awareness of their diagnosis can help with understanding.

    Some adults are worried about the use of ‘labels’, but in the case of Autism Spectrum Disorders, sharing the information from diagnosis can be very helpful. For example, teachers and other adults can better understand behaviours if they know what is driving them. When your son is older people will be more understanding (mostly) if he lets them know - if he has difficulty with (for example) eye-contact or non-verbal communication, or if he tends to speak on preferred interests, alerting others to this can help reduce misunderstandings and make for better communicaton.

    All the best.

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