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Could it be autism? -- 6 yr old

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
We have noticed our 6 yr old getting more and more difficult. We have been thinking it's ADD. Some of the problems are:

--trouble listening
--trouble following simple directions
--trouble putting self in other's shoes (self-centered)
--trouble understanding concepts
--LOTS of worry/anxiety
--impatience/tantrums when little things don't go as planned
--excessive talking to the point of choking on food b/c she literally cannot go one minute without talking
--clingy-ness
--inability to entertain self


For me I've always thought autistic children were not clingy/touchy feely and
weren't talkers, but I do understand there is a spectrum. My aunt went on vacation with my family and she called me a week later and mentioned that she thinks DD is autistic (she has several friends with autistic kids and apparently they have similar issues).

Thoughts here? We are taking her to a therapist this week to see about ADD, which has been my first thought. Does this sound like it could be Autism?
post #2 of 18
It could be - a developmental ped can dx both adhd and autism.
post #3 of 18
I would start by ruling out a hearing loss. If it is a mild or moderate loss these would be the exact red flags. (Talking constantly is a coping mechanism for not being able to hear. If you talk all the time, you can control the conversation and not have to listen.) It is quick and easy to rule out

If that all checks out, I would head to the developmental ped. They will help sort out what is going on.
post #4 of 18
I agree with the other posters. A complete hearing check is the place to start, and the kind of specialst who dx's ADD also can screen for autism spectrum disorders.

It doesn't sound to me like your DD has classic autism, but possibly something on the milder end of the spectrum, such as Asperger's. Asperger's cannot be dx'ed until age 6 because all of the traits of it are seem in neuro typical children from time to time.

Does you DD have sensory issues?
post #5 of 18
Honestly, a lot of what you describe sounds like ADHD to me. However, a milder ASD can look a lot like ADHD. I have one with ADHD and one with a questionable ADHD dx. One of the dominating features of both is the lack of ability to entertain themselves like your daughter. They were both (at a younger age) clingy and "high maintenance", loud, constantly needing redirection, upset easily by little things (but could care less about things like change in routine that might upset an autistic child), had trouble following directions- most of the things you describe except high anxiety and constant talking, although they both talk VERY LOUDLY!! One is very smart and catches on to things easily and one has trouble catching onto concepts as you describe.

As the PP have said, I would get her hearing checked and then get her evaluated by a developmental pediatrician who can distinguish between ASD and ADHD since there are many overlapping symptoms.

Good luck!!
post #6 of 18
You need a good developmental pediatrician and a speech/language pathologist.

Except for the excessive talking, it also sounds sort of like a language disorder.

My son has Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder and he had all of those symptoms, except for the excessive talking. He didn't talk much. You can get those type of symptoms with a kid that has either Receptive Language Disorder or Semantic/Pragmatic Language Disorder (which is a spectrum diagnosis, BTW.)
post #7 of 18
I have to agree with others who say it doesn't really sound like Autism to me either, and I do have a talker who is Autistic. It does sound more like ADHD type behaviors but I'd talk to a professional (Developmental Ped or similar) before assuming anything and get an actual evaluation.
post #8 of 18
I've got a talker with autism (and a neurotypical six year old who talks constantly) and nothing you wrote screams autism to me. That said, you may have left out things that would mean autism.
This is a good "what it looks like" in plain language site and you'll see what the flags are: http://www.bbbautism.com/diagnostics_psychobabble.htm

Here is an online screening assessment--worth plugging in to see the score/if it's a possibility. http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html

It does sound like something might be going on developmentally/probably is going on even if not autism so if the hearing checks out I'd do a developmental assessment for sure. When you know what you're dealing with you can get the right kind of help and support.
post #9 of 18
1. Dev ped and hearing screen

2. Prayer that whatever is, you'll be able to access the resources to help your dd. My ds displayed a lot of those symptoms at one point and the dx was ADHD with heightened anxiety. The thing that's thrown me into despair WAY more often than the actual disability is fighting the battle to obtain and pay for the needed therapies. But ds is having a much easier time of it with every year of growth and development!

post #10 of 18
I think maybe a full evaluation by a developmental ped would be in order, making sure that you get a speech language assessment. The difficulty in understanding concepts sticks out to me, together with the difficulty in following simple directions.

The trouble putting herself in other's shoes, fears, tantrums, and impatience sound a lot like my NT dd who is also 6.
post #11 of 18
Get a hearing test before you see a specialist. It's usually covered by insurance if prescribed by a pediatrician, and many pediatricians prescribe it anyway for 5-6 year olds.
post #12 of 18
Sounds like ADHD to me.

I would get a full evaluation by a NeuroPsych if you are concerned.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Does you DD have sensory issues?
Nope.

The only thing she's ever been observed as having problems with is that she can't say the "R" sound. She's had a speech therapist seeing her at school, but they didn't do a full spectrum test on her to see if she has anything else.

Good news...I finally got in to see her pediatrician, who I don't believe specializes in disorders (could be wrong) but she at least does the standard ADD/ADHD testing and can send us to someone else for more.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raene View Post
but she at least does the standard ADD/ADHD testing and can send us to someone else for more.
good, it's good to sort these things out.

Your DD doesn't sound like she is on the spectrum to me, but I hope that you figure out what is going on and find good interventions and parenting techniques and work for her!
post #15 of 18
Has she had a full hearing evaluation by an audiologist? The not saying her /r/ sounds isn't all that worrisome at 6, but in combination with other things, I would want to make sure that she can hear the full range of sounds. Speech-language pathologists should do a hearing screening, but it's not quite the same (detailed) as what an audiologist can do.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
She has had her hearing tested, yes. She definitely has selective hearing, too. She hears things with her door closed when she wants to. But often she is "away" when we talk to her.

Well, honestly I'm the same way. I travel in my mind a lot. My husband thinks it's because we're both Aquarians that we do this...we're not very grounded. But it really seems to be more of an issue for DD.
post #17 of 18
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raene View Post
She has had her hearing tested, yes. She definitely has selective hearing, too. She hears things with her door closed when she wants to. But often she is "away" when we talk to her.

Well, honestly I'm the same way. I travel in my mind a lot. My husband thinks it's because we're both Aquarians that we do this...we're not very grounded. But it really seems to be more of an issue for DD.
There is a huge difference between a hearing screen and an audiological evaluation. She could very well have wonderful hearing in some areas but not in others. It is very common for a moderate loss, it looks like the child is ignoring you sometimes.
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