Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
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Well, I've got one of the kids who has definite SPD and we've ruled out Aspergers. I have a nephew who has Asperger Syndrome (who's only 18 months older), and so as the boys get older, I do see the subtle differences between the 2 kids. But to be honest, it's only after about age 8 that our ds is looking less like a child with AS. There have been a number of times when I've been nearly convinced he's got AS, and then he'd go through a developmental spurt, and he wouldn't.
The major differences, for me, have to do with flexibility, and ease of taking another person's perspective. My nephew with AS has huge trouble with transitions still at 9 1/2, for example. My nephew can take someone else's perspective, but he has to think about it.
Ds, on the other hand, is beginning to do the perspective taking without overt instruction. For example, last summer, he loved to walk down and watch the buses at the transit center (he has obsessions, which is actually a characteristic of AS). Sometimes when we started on our walk, we met other kids in the neighborhood who asked where we were going. Ds had enough social savvy to say "we're going for a walk". He understood that saying "we're going to the transit center to watch the buses" was not something that the other kids were (a) interested in or (b) would understand (and (c) it was something that would probably lead to ridicule).
Another major thing that I'm noticing change is language - ds is 8 and is at an age where he's beginning to delight in puns, ambiguity and more sophisticated language. Just the other day I said something sarcastically. Dd (age 5) interpreted me literally. Ds got that I wasn't serious and he made that determination based on my intonation and the context, something that's hard for kids on the spectrum. He interprets non-verbal cues appropriately.
All of this, I think, is a sign of his being able to process information better. The older he gets, the more his brain catches up to his age. He's never going to be advanced, socially, but he'll be OK. Or so I think in my more optimistic moments.
Lynn, academic, wife, WOHM to T (4/01) and M (5/04)