*Encouragement is the best medicine to give someone. If I were to pick any gift to have in helping others, that would be the one*

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Do You Consider Aspergers or ADHD an Illness?

Or a hurdle?  I'm sure that answer is wildly different for each person.

Some may think this is really naive but...sometimes it's just hard for me to think of Aspergers as an "illness" because Aspergers people have done a lot of really good things. Not only but including inventions. Because they tend to hyper focus on a special area, they become experts in it. When I had posted this thought on my Aspergers facebook page, I got some amazing responses:

For me it was only a disability not knowing what was going on but since discovering my creative abilities then aspergers its definitely a gift. 

It is a blessing to me and my son. It has it's advantages, and disadvantages, but everyone has those. I tend to focus on what we CAN do! :D

IMO It is an illness..but that doesn't mean something good can't come out of it...I have a condition called Agenisis of the Corpus Callosum.... It presents very similar to Aspergers in symptoms except part of my brain is actually MISSING . I am a wonderful talented graphic artist, and mom, and friend...and a bunch of other things. I don't let it define me, but it's still an illness the same as Aspergers/ Autism is. Just my .02.

My son has ADHD and Asperger's and I have explained to him not that they are illnesses or a disability, but they are just the different way that God made him, and God has made everyone different.

Nope. Have to think about why, though. Illness, to me, sounds like sickness... and our son's Asperger's feels different somehow.

I think of my son having a special gift. He is 11 and every day its something new. He amazes me every day. Some days are a challenge but I enjoy every minute. I wouldn't want it any other day.

No, I dont think so, I think it is just the way our children are made for lack of a better term. ANd I think that there are a lot of advantages that we have to look at with our children who have these "issues".

I loved the responses.  

My elementary days
ADHD has been given a lot of negatives and at times it was hard for me to deal with growing up.  But one day I needed to stop and think about the positives.  Yes, I struggled all through school.  Yes, I drove my parents crazy most days.  Yes, I made my parents chase me down the street in front of the neighbors quite often.  Yes, sitting in church was torture for me at times.  Sometimes they had to drag me out while I was kicking and screaming.  At times the pastor would just have to stop preaching because he couldn't be heard over me.  Taking me to the store was sometimes humiliating.  As an adult, these struggles don't always go away, they just change.  

Organization is like rocket science to me.  I love going to church and I go three times a week.  BUT I have to keep my hands busy by doodling so I can focus.  When I compare myself to moms that making homemaking and organizing look like a cinch, I want to hang my head in shame.  I tend to go in circles cleaning up because of my focus problems.  I still wear earmuffs when the house gets too loud.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm a very traditional homemaker and LOVE it.  I bake, clean, cook, wash, sew, have babies, homeschool and I love every bit of it.  ADHD I believe helps me keep up with all these things.  Juggling it, albeit not perfectly and some days despairingly, I will work myself to exhaustion making sure it gets done.  Being able to move quickly from one thing to the next without having a perfectionist mentality makes it possible for me to keep up with a busy life and making room for spontaneity.  At times I may go to bed with a spotless house.  Sometimes I may be too embarrassed to answer the door.  But I can promise you this, I go to bed in peace that I give it my all every single day.  I may not have all the clothes washed or dishes may be piling in the sink, but it's probably because I'm out back playing soldiers with my boys or barbies with my girls in their room. If you are looking for a supermom, then you're looking at the wrong gal.  But if you are looking for an example of someone who loves life, loves her family, tries every day to work on her weaknesses, then you've found the right one.  Even though I struggle, I won't give up and just roll over because orderliness is a character quality.

Character Quality Alert

Orderliness vs. Disorganization

Preparing myself and my surroundings so that I will achieve the greatest efficiency. 
1 Corinthians 14:40

Some may call ADHD an illness.  For me it's just been a hurdle.  I truly am blessed.   

Can vote once a day!


Anonymous said...

I agree with you! Blessed it is.

I actually wrote a blog post on this too, Is Aspergers a Mental Illness? While I can understand how it can be defined as such, my gut instinct is to view it as a different way of experiencing the world around me. No more or less valid than that of a Nuerotypical.

I don't see it so much as something that needs to be fixed as a specific set of strengths and weaknesses that can and should be used and managed. Congratulations on find a way to use your strength to create an amazing life!

Anonymous said...

New to your blog and so glad I found you. (I'm a contributor at Aspergian Tales) Both of my children have Asperger's. I consider AS part of my kids personality, not an illness. It's just the way they are.

Following you everywhere!

Virginia (Jenny) said...

Aspergersmom, I loved your comment! Thank you so much for visiting.

Ms. Marine, I saw the earmuff comment and I wanted to tell you that those have been life savers for us. Even for me. They won't get broken easy either which is great for kids. ;) Thank you so much for visiting!

Corabelle said...

what an interesting question.
No I do not consider Aspergers, ASD, ADD, exc.. an illness on its own. In extremity, in certian people, it can be quite debilitating, and may be in need of medication for some symptoms, but as far as Aspergers/ASD being a sickness, I'm just not seeing it. thats like saying that all anti-social smelly people who love cats are ill. (ok, well maybe the stinky ones need a bit of help)

thing is, thats a slippery slope..Since we dont know what causes these conditions, or really what they are in the first place, how can we say weather or not its "normal" to have these traits, debilitating or not, and If we deem that it is caused by an Illness, how would we as a socioty go about treatment for it?

good question though.
:) keep um comming!

chevalier750 said...

I am thankful that so many who commented here have said that they do NOT consider Asperger's Syndrome to be an illness but rather a gift, or a difference to be valued! I am 44 years old and I have Asperger's. Like some have commented, I have found that it adds to my life. Thanks so much!

Virginia R. said...

That is great!!! Thank you for commenting! :D

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