Originally Posted by Piglet68
1) I don't "diagnose" kids, I would never even suggest that I can do so. Even if a parent asked me if I thought their kid was on the spectrum (which has happened, since everybody knows my kids are) my response is always "go see your doctor". I'm not a jerk.
Then why do you say "you can spot one a mile away"? I don't see how both statements are true -- I really don't. I'm not offended, and but I think that if you feeling you can "spot one a mile away," that you are diagnosing -- with very little information.
2) For my kids, being as Aspie is a point of pride. They find other Aspies much easier to get along with, and since they already struggle with friendships as it is, it can be exciting for them to find another kid with whom they "click". I don't care whether the kid is Aspie, PPD-NOS, or whatever the hell diagnosis they have, its always great when they meet a kid with whom they connect right away. And since my kids are proud of who they are it is not unusual for them to just out and ask the kid (or even assume) that he is a fellow Aspie. Try explaining to a child who is proud of being that way why it would be wrong for them to suggest that to the other child.
Haven't they had the experience of being WRONG yet? Of meeting a kid with a different dx, one they might not have even heard of? Not every body who is quirky has Aspergers. Its easy to be proud of being Aspie, heck, it's almost trendy. However, there are other kids who are quirky who are dealing with more serious things they may not want to discuss casually, such as major mental illness. These kids *can* appear quirky and Aspie like, and not want to explain that no, they aren't on the spectrum, they are bi-polar (or whatever) and exactly what that means for their life.
The way you explain it your child is because it is poor social skills in our culture to ask certain things, even if they seem pretty obvious to us. We let people decide when to tell us certain information. A medical diagnosis is one of those things, and it isn't appropriate to suggest ANY diagnosis and ask if the person has it. This is part of teaching a child social skills.
4) I don't understand why someone thinking your kid might be ASD is a bad thing. So what if the true diagnosis is something else? In my world, it's not an insult. And the "spot one a mile away" comment was not meant to refer to diagnosing a kid, it was meant as: I get excited when a new kid shows up at a homeschool park day who is clearly having difficulties jumping in, then finds my daughter and her Aspie pals, connects with them immediately, and there are smiles all around.
I don't think it is an insult either, I just know that it isn't always accurate, and that even when it is, another child or parent may be in a VERY different place than us in making peace with it.
Asperger's Syndrome isn't a general term for kids who are different. It has a specific meaning. You can spot kids who are quirky (a very general term) and will mesh well with your DD's social group.
My experience is that often kids on the spectrum have a difficult time meshing *even with each other*. The "connects with them immediately" just isn't what I've seen.
5) The only issue I have with parents who are trying to keep it some big secret is when MY pride and openness about my children's diagnoses, and my children's pride in who they are, makes those parents uncomfortable or judgemental about me. That experience recently happened in our little homeschooling/autism community and it is from that perspective that I wrote what I did.
How have other parents been judgmental about you? That hasn't been my experience, and I really don't understand what is going on for you.