Fergal turns five today, and we’ve put all his presents in a mini-tent in the front room, waiting for him to wake up. In the afternoon he’s having a couple of little friends around for a party. In seven years of parenthood this is the first time we’ve been able to organise something like this for one of our children, and it’s great.
Over the last few weeks or so we’ve been translating for ourselves the Belgian medics’ diagnosis that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, and we are steadily less and less convinced that there is a real problem. His social interaction at school and in Dutch is getting better (both the kids coming round this afternoon are Ducth speakers) and while he has his little enthusiasms they are not obsessions in the way that one might expect of a child with a serious problem.
So we are increasingly feeling that the Aspergers question is an overdiagnosis by elements of the system whose natural instinct is to help us get more state aid for our children (and of course Bridget really does need it). But that’s the kind of generosity we can do without.