The only disability in life is a bad attitude.
March 18, 2014 12:27 PM Subscribe
Should I disclose my son's ASD and ADHD to other parents when he goes on playdates where we are not present?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (27 answers total)
At nearly-8, my son is starting to get invitations to hang out after school at friends houses. He has been friends with the kids all year (and in one case several years) and has attended birthday parties and other group outings with them (where we have been present). We don't know the parents to do much more than say hello.
My wonderful, funny, smart, compassionate son has an ADHD diagnosis, and also, more recently an autism spectrum diagnosis. If he has autism (he only barely fits the criteria; my personal opinion is that once we get the ADHD under control a lot of the social processing behaviors will reduce a great deal, but I digress), it's very mild. He is also highly gifted (I have testing!) and, as his teacher so kindly put it, while all the kids in his class seem to like and respect him, it's taken him a long time to find someone who has shared interests with whom he can be real friends.
I am afraid that if I disclose to the parents any information at all, these fragile proto-friendships will be discouraged. However, I'm also afraid if I don't disclose, his ADHD behaviors (particularly his ability to not hear or immediately forget directions or instructions, and his tendency to get hooked on doing one specific thing one specific way (hyperfocus)) will cause them to think that he's an ill-raised problem child, and not want him back anyhow.
We have often left him with adults who are our friends and who have known him since birth, and they always tell us what a wonderful guest he was, but they're used to him and his quirks. He is in an afterschool program which has no idea about his diagnosis or the accommodations he gets in school, and he thrives there.
He is not currently medicated (he had a heart murmur as a infant and there is a family history; we are going to go the medication route but need to get the cardiologist to sign off first), so there isn't any issue of afterschool behavior "crash" as can sometimes happen. It's just him being himself, quirks and all.
This is a modern parenting dilemma if there ever was one. Do I tell them? What do I say?