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Need input- Aspergers

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

 

I am curious about how your child with Aspergers presented as a kindergartner, especially at school and in social settings with peers? At what age did YOU suspect and why? Appreciate your input!

post #2 of 11

We suspected something was up in preschool, when DD was four. She wouldn't participate at school and truly seemed locked in her own world. She couldn't communicate any more, and just asked the same question over and over and over. For example, if we were in the car, she would ask "Where going?" about every two minutes. I don't think she ever processed the answers we gave her. She had been obsessed with dinosaurs since age two, and would sit for hours "talking" to and playing with her dinosaurs. She wasn't really into playing with other kids. Loud noises and busy classrooms really bothered her. She was extremely sensory seeking with her food and fingers, and would spin on a swing for long periods of time. Between the lack of communication, sensory-seeking, and ADHD, we saw some pretty bizarre behaviors.

 

We asked her preschool teacher about Asperger's. The teacher gave us her "off the record" opinion, and then we had her transferred from the coop preschool she had been attending (but not participating) to the special ed preschool through the school district. Within a couple months, she was an entirely different kid. She began talking, participated in class, and became very outgoing. Within a year, we could have conversations with her. I think she was about 5 and a half (in Kindergarten) when we began medicating her for ADHD. Again, we saw another huge change. She could then learn while at school, not just participate socially.

 

Hope that helps!

 

 

post #3 of 11

DD always had trouble socializing. When she was 2 she would freak out if any kids tried to touch her stuff, so playdates at our house were not an option. Of course at that age I thought it was just normal, but despite doing all the "right" things she still had a really hard time not being possessive. 

 

At age 3 she started preschool and at first it was all fine because she was still in the developmental stage of parallel play. Our troubles began after the Xmas holidays when she seemed to be moving towards group play. That is when it all fell apart. She started not wanting to go, wanted to quit. I attended for two weeks to see if it was an attachment (to me) issue but what I saw was that she was hopeless at playing with others. Would insist on things going her way, would melt down if they didn't, would freak out if someone touched something she wanted, etc. Finally I pulled her out and we have homeschooled ever since. Still, at that time, I thought she was just "behind" on social skills. A bit quirky, you know? She was totally the little professor type. 

 

As she got older she got better at socializing but was always way behind her peers. She would have outbursts that got more inappropriate as she got older. It wasn't until I read Dr. Tony Attwood's book about Asperger's Syndrome, and read the chapter on girls, that I realized what was going on. The chapter described her to a tee. So now we are going to the pediatrician for a referral for evaluation. As a 9 year old she has a really hard time functioning in groups, though with certain kids she can get along well with them (the more pliable and flexible they are the better). She has a lot of anxiety issues, and I believe some emotional scars from her early experiences with socializing (I had no clue, and it still breaks my heart to realize now what she must have been dealing with). When I shared the information with her on Aspergers she just lit up and said that was exactly how she felt and is now interested in learning more about it, etc. She will proudly tell people "I'm an Aspie". :-)

post #4 of 11

DD is now 5 and in 1st grade, but it really clicked last year that she had Aspergers. While she'd always been a bit off, sensory seeking, oral aversions, and loved wheels and repetitive movements from the day she was born, it wasn't until I tried to ease her into the group dynamic through Girl Scouts that it really showed up. She simply cannot handle groups at all for more than about 45 minutes without melting down, cannot handle loud noises or applause at any level, and struggles to follow directions given more than one step at a time unless I restate them and keep reminding. She'd begun to show more things recently, like hand flapping when she's overwhelmed and not understanding social behaviours and proper play for her age. She struggles with small things like potty training and dressing her self most days. 

 

But the big clincher was the other day when asked about her imaginative play and what it entailed I realized that EVERY single session of imaginative play she does is either a word for word reenactment of movies / books or based on them. I knew she didn't play imagination type games until she was 4, and figured that she was a late bloomer, but then when asked I realized that really she doesn't imagine on her own 99% of the time.

 

We're starting on the path now to getting a referral for an official diagnosis.  

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post

. She simply cannot handle groups at all for more than about 45 minutes without melting down, cannot handle loud noises or applause at any level, and struggles to follow directions given more than one step at a time unless I restate them and keep reminding. She'd begun to show more things recently, like hand flapping when she's overwhelmed and not understanding social behaviours and proper play for her age. 

 

But the big clincher was the other day when asked about her imaginative play and what it entailed I realized that EVERY single session of imaginative play she does is either a word for word reenactment of movies / books or based on them. I knew she didn't play imagination type games until she was 4, and figured that she was a late bloomer, but then when asked I realized that really she doesn't imagine on her own 99% of the time.

 

We're starting on the path now to getting a referral for an official diagnosis.  


 

This sounds like my house :) I have 3 ASD kids, and DH has Aspegers. A lot the time I don't know if he is quoting movie lines or actually talking to me about something. My 6 yo dd, is working on 2 step directions with her speech therapist right now actually, and is also a han flapper when she just cant deal. I just cancelled some Christmas plays I was going to take them to because the clapping from the audence. Normally they have "headphones" they can wear but for some reason it seems people are louder during the Holidays :/

 

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyKelly View Post


 

This sounds like my house :) I have 3 ASD kids, and DH has Aspegers. A lot the time I don't know if he is quoting movie lines or actually talking to me about something. My 6 yo dd, is working on 2 step directions with her speech therapist right now actually, and is also a han flapper when she just cant deal. I just cancelled some Christmas plays I was going to take them to because the clapping from the audence. Normally they have "headphones" they can wear but for some reason it seems people are louder during the Holidays :/

 



yeah - I'm trying to get DD a set of those noise blocking headphones, but I can't seem to find anywhere that sells them other than $50 ones online. I think they'd be a big help for her as her main issue in groups is noise, and that seems to cause the melt-down

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post



yeah - I'm trying to get DD a set of those noise blocking headphones, but I can't seem to find anywhere that sells them other than $50 ones online. I think they'd be a big help for her as her main issue in groups is noise, and that seems to cause the melt-down



offtopic.gif

 

The over the ear style headphones that aren't noise cancelling are still quite good, and half the price. They mute other sounds. These block enough noise for my DD, and I prefer them because I can still get her attention. A child wearing true noise cancelling head phones can actually be fairly annoying from a mothering point of view. bag.gif

 

 

DD does prefer the noise cancelling ones, but I'll only buy those so often, and they do wear out when worn for several hours a day.

post #8 of 11

Our original Dx wasn't Aspergers, but PPD-NOS and then SID.  The signs for something "spectrum" were there all along though. Even as a very small baby, DS couldn't stand to be in bright light (hyperphotosensitivity) and could sometimes only be comforted by some really insane swinging (being belted in an infant car seat and then one of us would use an arm to swing it around as fast as possible). By 2, when other kids could sit for a brief period in circle time for a story or music, he would run in circles and spin and seemingly "ignore" people. Between the ages of 2-3 we had about eight or nine different orange shirts, because he would only wear orange. Strong smells (like perfume) would drive him nuts, although food was never an issue. He was clearly extremely bright and evinced laser focus for some tasks (advanced puzzles and engineering types of things), although others he was barely interested in and seemed unable to do. In the final year of pre-school, the classroom would be so loud and overstimulating that he would have meltdowns and exhibit very obstinate refusal to participate in group activities or play with others.  At home, although we weren't exactly aware of the exact problem, we had learned to adapt by not taking him out to large supermarkets or noisy restaurants. 

 

We didn't know until the end of kindergarten (he was about 5.5) that he was on the spectrum.  He was evaluated by a school psychologist mainly because he was constantly in trouble, but this was due to his teachers not being aware of/understanding the issue. The noise of the air conditioner or the humming of the computers would drive him nuts. He would rock in his chair, rhythmically kick at his desk or tap his pencil, and seemed to constantly "ignore" others speaking to him.  Ticking and stimming were also common, and have lasted until today.

 

Both DS and his father have an official diagnosis of extremely high-functioning Asperger's, meaning they present just enough to be on the spectrum. Without the sensory issues they both have, it might be termed simply "gifted" in other situations.  There are definitely some thoroughly "Aspie" things about DS's behavior, but other issues could be age-appropriate limit testing, etc.

 

Are you thinking maybe something is up with one of your littles?

post #9 of 11

If your kid can stand having things in his/her ears, Walgreens and other pharmacies sell soft foarm ear plugs that block sound. They are used for workers who have to work in noisy environments. They also sell silicone ear plugs for swimming, and they block a lot of sound, too. They sell them in kids' sizes, I think. We starting using them for swimming with DS because he had bilateral ear tubes and then kept using them because he doesn't like the noise in most indoor pool areas. (It's loud and it echoes.)

 

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/walgreens-soft-foam-ear-plugs/ID=prod6031319-product

 

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/walgreens-soft-silicone-ear-plugs/ID=prod6003969-product

post #10 of 11

Big box construction stores sell those earplugs in packages of 70 or even 100. I use them for work, last time I bought a pack for $10 and they were very soft, very good quality.


Edited by DoubleDouble - 11/27/11 at 9:49am
post #11 of 11

Hi. We're currently awaiting a referral for our daughter who started kindy this fall. Her (wonderful) teacher let us know during P-T conference that she strongly suspects that T is on the spectrum. It was a HUGE surprise to us. We've always known that T is a very bright and quirky kid and not very sociable, but we simply attributed that to genetics (I'm a bit of a weirdo and have some social phobia). Now it all makes a strange sort of sense and in retrospect, we should have picked this up a long time ago. Her lack of social interaction with peers was picked up in preschool and 4K, but like I mentioned before, we thought she was like her mother. The things we were aware of are: an odd affinity with numbers and letters (learned to read well at the age of two), she has a tendency to space out, she is sensitive to noises and some textures, she has an idiosyncratic way of talking at times and demonstrates a lack of social awareness. The things the teacher made us aware of were high levels of anxiety in school, inability to adjust to changes in routine, inflexible thinking, cannot function in groups (ok one-on-one), will have a bathroom 'accident' if not reminded to use the bathroom because the noises in there frighten her, attention to detail, etc. Basically, many classic signs of AS.

 

She's a healthy kid and has seen our FP doc once in her life. I brought her into see him last week, along with a very nicely laid out note from her homeroom and GT teachers, and he agreed that we should seek a more formal diagnosis.

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