Is it possible for an Aspergers child to be overly social? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-26-2012, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Something I've read about Aspergers says that one of the main symptoms is a lack of desire to be social. But my DS (who we are still trying to get diagnosed) is the total opposite. He craves social interaction and attention so much.

 

Sometimes he will go up to children on the playground and ask if they want to play. Of course, they have to agree to do exactly what he wants to do, but some children don't mind that. And he plays well with children who dont mind being told what the "plan" is and then following the plan. lol

 

I also know that he wants and needs alot of attention and alot of social "input". He needs someone to listen to him go on and on about things. Sometimes he does get in his world, but he gets happy when someone joins him. So it doesn't make sense to me that all Aspergers and ASD are simply not social.

 

Any thoughts?


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Old 04-26-2012, 12:33 PM
 
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I'm very social. I've been called a social butterfly.
My friend, a male, is the same way.
My friend's daughter is also a social butterfly.

We all have aspergers.


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Old 04-26-2012, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Amazing... and confusing! Am I wrong in thinking that most professionals have made the assumption that people with Aspergers are not social?

 

 


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Old 04-26-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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Yes... can you explain, HarperRose? I have 2 professionals (not specialists in ASD) telling me I'm silly to get DD evaluated for Aspergers because, though she has a lot of other symptoms, she is interactive with others and well rounded. "Aspergers kids want to sit around talking about the train schedule all day" was said to me.

 

 

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Old 04-26-2012, 01:09 PM
 
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Lurking because this is exactly what we keep getting told about DS1.


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Old 04-26-2012, 02:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by andromedajulie View Post

"Aspergers kids want to sit around talking about the train schedule all day" was said to me.

 

 

 

Oy...it makes me crazy that people are saying this to you. Having an intense special interest is part of the diagnostic criteria for Aspergers, but it can manifest in a variety of different ways. And you can have an ASD (specifically, PDD-NOS) without having a special interest. What you are describing about a child who needs to be in charge and direct the play is one pretty typical presentation for a child on the spectrum.

 

My son, who has Aspergers, is fairly social, although I would also say he is an introvert who likes alone time (as does his NT sister). He has been in social skills groups with ASD kids who are VERY social, but have a hard time with social cues. They tend to be almost in your face and not aware of personal space, etc. While this is not how my child looks, I have definitely seen it. When professionals are limited in what they understand about people on the spectrum, I think it is really problematic in terms of getting folks the diagnosis (and therefore services) they need.

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Old 04-26-2012, 02:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by christinelin View Post

 

 

Oy...it makes me crazy that people are saying this to you. Having an intense special interest is part of the diagnostic criteria for Aspergers, but it can manifest in a variety of different ways. And you can have an ASD (specifically, PDD-NOS) without having a special interest. What you are describing about a child who needs to be in charge and direct the play is one pretty typical presentation for a child on the spectrum.

 

My son, who has Aspergers, is fairly social, although I would also say he is an introvert who likes alone time (as does his NT sister). He has been in social skills groups with ASD kids who are VERY social, but have a hard time with social cues. They tend to be almost in your face and not aware of personal space, etc. While this is not how my child looks, I have definitely seen it. When professionals are limited in what they understand about people on the spectrum, I think it is really problematic in terms of getting folks the diagnosis (and therefore services) they need.

 

This is my son. A ped told me, categorically, that he's not on the spectrum, because he makes eye contact. *sigh*
I'm still pretty sure he's somewhere on the spectrum, for a lot of reasons, but what do I know? I'm only with him pretty much 24/7.


(He also doesn't make eye contact as much as people think. If you watch him closely, he's frequently looking at the face of the person he's talking to, but his focus is on a nose, cheek, forehead, etc.)


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Old 04-26-2012, 03:11 PM
 
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Storm Bride: can you see someone else for an eval for your son? A regular ped is typically not going to be able to assess ASDs unless they see a child with classic, bite-you-on-the-nose autism. A developmental ped or a child psychologist who specializes in doing evaluations and know what high-functioning spectrum kids looks like is going to be your best bet.

 

My kiddo does pseudo eye contact, too. And his eye contact is terrific if he is talking about something he is interested in. duh.gif

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Old 04-26-2012, 03:20 PM
 
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This drives me nuts because the people diagnosing typically DON'T have Aspergers themselves. How can you accurately and correctly diagnose something you don't even experience? Not social? Really? Do these diagnosticians even BOTHER to talk to the adults on the spectrum? 


My 12 yr old talks to kids at school, talks to kids in the neighborhood, talks to kids online. I talk to people online all the time, I recently, willingly, met a couple of new neighbors, even inviting them into my home, I talk to the people at my daughter's school, I'm quite involved with a local autism group and I even host events in my house.

When the social interaction is over, I need to decompress. I need some quiet time after I interact with people. It doesn't mean I'm not social. It means I've had a lot of sensory input.

If your kids have every marker for aspergers but the doctors say "too social" it's time to find a new dr.

My son's school didn't dx him w/ aspergers because he made eye contact (no - he looked at their faces, which I'd been teaching him to do since age 2) and because he contributed to a conversation between 2 evaluators (they were discussing lunch, he noted that the restaurant also sold root beer - his favorite soda at the time). He still has aspergers.


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Old 04-26-2012, 03:35 PM
 
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The way that it was explained to me is that lots of kids with Asperger's are socially active, but odd. They want to interact and they like people, but they don't have a good grasp of the rules.

 

Example: OP's child asks kids to play, but then he requires the kids to do exactly what he says. That's a social delay. Little kids frequently do that. As kids get older they quickly learn to negotiate the give and take of social interaction, along with other social rules. Kids with Asperger's take longer to learn the rules or don't learn them without explicit teaching. (My kid mostly doesn't learn social rules without explicit teaching.)

 


 

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Old 04-26-2012, 03:36 PM
 
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Oh, by the way, I don't like trains. :p Neither did my 12 yr old aspie. 

My focuses over the years:
 

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No trains on that list...


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Old 04-26-2012, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christinelin View PostHe has been in social skills groups with ASD kids who are VERY social, but have a hard time with social cues. They tend to be almost in your face and not aware of personal space, etc. While this is not how my child looks, I have definitely seen it. When professionals are limited in what they understand about people on the spectrum, I think it is really problematic in terms of getting folks the diagnosis (and therefore services) they need.

Yes, my DS has a very hard time with social cues and personal space. And just like Harper Rose, DH and I taught DS certain socially acceptable things. Like how to keep out of peoples faces and keep his hands to himself. Of course, he still needs reminding almost all the time, but I agree that this can confuse some pediatricians. Its sad that we've worked so hard with social skills and diet only to find that these are the very things that are making the diagnosis harder to get. It would be so easy to feed my child milk and then bring him into the Dr's office and watch him stim, spin, scream and bang his head. But I don't want to put him through that just for a diagnosis. You know?

 

And as, you mentioned, Storm Bride, that having or not having one trait such as eye contact would invalidate a diagnosis is ludicrous! DS didn't get diagnosed with ASD by the school because he is way ahead in language and math skills.  But what about his 5th percentile motor skills? What about obvious gaps in his learning?

 

Im interested in this because we finally have his developmental pediatrician appointment coming up in May. We have waited almost 9 months to see this specific D.Ped. I am nervous about it because he does okay in new situations. He enjoys the stimulation of new people and places, so he reacts extremely well to doctors visits and evaluations. To the average eye, he seems like a well behaved, well spoken, polite and adjusted little "man".  I just hope the Dr. is educated enough to see beyond all of this.

 

 

 

 


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Old 04-26-2012, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS loves trains, but he is obsessed with Thomas - not train schedules. Don't you dare try to deviate from the script (in the show) while you are trying to play trains with him.

 

And he doesn't have a specific obsession with one thing. It's always *something* but not always the same thing.

 

oh - and I love Punky Brewster too! lol


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Old 04-26-2012, 04:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Thing1Thing2 View Post

DS loves trains, but he is obsessed with Thomas - not train schedules. Don't you dare try to deviate from the script (in the show) while you are trying to play trains with him.

 

And he doesn't have a specific obsession with one thing. It's always *something* but not always the same thing.

 

oh - and I love Punky Brewster too! lol

 

Did you know Soleil Moon Frye is also a naturally-minded mama? Yeah, I was pretty stoked by that when I found her on Twitter. :D


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Old 04-26-2012, 05:51 PM
 
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I decided to ask the fans on my FB page for their thoughts on the topic.
https://www.facebook.com/parentingwithaspergers/posts/412483358776394?ref=notif&notif_t=feed_comment

Also, another FB page posted this VERY topic today. Here's his link:
https://www.facebook.com/autismdiscussionpage/posts/302803916465782

No idea if there will be anything useful to you guys, but I thought I'd share it.


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Old 04-26-2012, 06:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by christinelin View Post

Storm Bride: can you see someone else for an eval for your son? A regular ped is typically not going to be able to assess ASDs unless they see a child with classic, bite-you-on-the-nose autism. A developmental ped or a child psychologist who specializes in doing evaluations and know what high-functioning spectrum kids looks like is going to be your best bet.

 

My kiddo does pseudo eye contact, too. And his eye contact is terrific if he is talking about something he is interested in. duh.gif

 

 

The standard approach here is to get a referral to a ped from your GP, then proceed from there. This was last summer, and I just kind of let things slide. I had blood test requisitions, but never got the bloodwork done. I'm going to start off with a new referral, I think. The ped didn't listen to me worth squat. She also gave me unasked for parenting advice that had nothing to do with the issues at hand. I get easily discouraged when dealing with medical professionals.

 


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Old 04-26-2012, 06:14 PM
 
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It's a common misunderstanding of asp and HF autism that you can't be social. Many/most are social, but do not understand or internalize the social rules and social conventions and typical give and take of social interactions. What you described in the OP is Asp to a T!

I'm confused by people saying "my school wouldn't Dx..." schools are not in the business of DXing. They an classify for educational purposes, but it should e a dev ped or neuropsych or someone MUCH for qualified making such a serious Dx.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:29 PM
 
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It's a common misunderstanding of asp and HF autism that you can't be social. Many/most are social, but do not understand or internalize the social rules and social conventions and typical give and take of social interactions. What you described in the OP is Asp to a T!
I'm confused by people saying "my school wouldn't Dx..." schools are not in the business of DXing. They an classify for educational purposes, but it should e a dev ped or neuropsych or someone MUCH for qualified making such a serious Dx.

 

Schools evaluate and diagnose for their own purposes. It is not anything close to a true medical diagnosis. I don't think anyone here is saying that the schools dx and it's law. It's just an aspect of the conversation.


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Old 04-26-2012, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride 

 

 

The standard approach here is to get a referral to a ped from your GP, then proceed from there. This was last summer, and I just kind of let things slide. I had blood test requisitions, but never got the bloodwork done. I'm going to start off with a new referral, I think. The ped didn't listen to me worth squat. She also gave me unasked for parenting advice that had nothing to do with the issues at hand. I get easily discouraged when dealing with medical professionals.

 

 

Totally get the frustration of this. My younger DS pediatrician did the same thing just this week irked.gif

 

Great links Harper Rose - and perfect timing!! And now I'm definitely going to have to look her up on Twitter! She was my idol when I was younger!


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Old 04-26-2012, 06:43 PM
 
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My dd is very much like the OP, but on the ADOS she scored 0.  She does, however have CAPD, auditory dyslexia, giftedness and an anxiety disorder that cause her to act like an Aspie at times.  A lot of characteristics like rigidity and control, fixations etc. can be explained by more than one dx.  It can be very hard for even specialized professionals to come up with an accurate dx.  I'm not saying OPs kid isn't on the spectrum, just that you can't telll from a paragraph describing a kid what is likely to be going on with them.

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Old 04-26-2012, 06:59 PM
 
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My dd is very much like the OP, but on the ADOS she scored 0.  She does, however have CAPD, auditory dyslexia, giftedness and an anxiety disorder that cause her to act like an Aspie at times.  A lot of characteristics like rigidity and control, fixations etc. can be explained by more than one dx.  It can be very hard for even specialized professionals to come up with an accurate dx.  I'm not saying OPs kid isn't on the spectrum, just that you can't telll from a paragraph describing a kid what is likely to be going on with them.

 

I've wondered if ds2's issues may be related to these things, as opposed to the autism spectrum. I don't think he has ADHD and ODD, though.


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Old 04-26-2012, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hmmmm interesting... DS does seem very anxious at times. And sometimes I do wonder about ADHD .. But Aspergers runs in the family on my dad's side - also he has the stimming and vocalizations.

 

Harper Rose, read the article and loved the conversation on your page. "Liked" your page too!


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Old 04-26-2012, 08:38 PM
 
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hmmmm interesting... DS does seem very anxious at times. And sometimes I do wonder about ADHD .. But Aspergers runs in the family on my dad's side - also he has the stimming and vocalizations.

 

Harper Rose, read the article and loved the conversation on your page. "Liked" your page too!

 

Aw, thanks! Looking forward to having you around there. :)

I really love the Autism Discussion Page. That man COMPLETELY gets it on so many levels!

On Punky/Soleil - she has a business called The Little Seed. You might find that on Twitter, too.


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Old 04-26-2012, 09:45 PM
 
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My ASPI ds is twelve and inappropriately social.  He LOVES to have an audience especially, so that he can go on and on and on about his interests and ideas.  He won't back off and is likewise often controlling of play.  He is quite uninhibited so he seems less shy than most children, but he still ends up isolated.  If somebody else has a game going on he is unlikely to be interested in playing it their way--unless he can get them to change the game, he will drift away and play alone.  The truth is, he doesn't know what the other kids are playing or why and he doesn't know how to find out and then adapt to them so he can join.  None of that is comprehensible to him.  He's basically friendly, though.  Tends to favor much younger kids or adults--both will allow him to take a lead role in interactions and take an interest in his ideas, while kids his age are not very interested.


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Old 04-26-2012, 09:56 PM
 
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My focuses over the years:
 

 

Pregnancy

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Natural living

Autism

Aspergers


 

 

I'm not on the spectrum but I have gone through period of intense focus -- to the point of autism like behavior -- on these exact items. bag.gif


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 04-26-2012, 10:22 PM
 
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Ds loved trains as well as other vehicles, Thomas was included!  But it was never the train schedule.  And he jumped from one subject to another with some recurring themes, so it seemed pretty varied.   

 

He memorized movie dialogue and watched same movies obsessively (like Back to the Future, parts 1, 2,and 3), loved weather, large numbers, phonics rules, astronomy, physics, Latin, Greek, anything that can be measured especially with huge numbers, and even the periodic table.  Oh and his cat.  And he created a superhero he was nuts about, and designed a country with a government and its own calendar and stuff.  His favorite book series (Warriors) and all the characters and stories.  There have been so many over the years.  And even with so much repetition it can be quite interesting.

 

FWIW it gets a lot easier to tell over time.  As agemates mature, the differences get much larger.  My son blended in a fair bit and the school didn't even think he needed any evaluation when he started school because he was academically ahead in reading and math skills.  It took until he was 9 or 10 years old for school to become a hopeless mess. 

 

 

 


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Old 04-27-2012, 07:36 AM
 
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hmmmm interesting... DS does seem very anxious at times. And sometimes I do wonder about ADHD .. But Aspergers runs in the family on my dad's side - also he has the stimming and vocalizations.

 

These conditions can be co-morbid.


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Old 04-27-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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Schools evaluate and diagnose for their own purposes. It is not anything close to a true medical diagnosis. I don't think anyone here is saying that the schools dx and it's law. It's just an aspect of the conversation.

 


Right, but I was responding to comments alluding to "my school says they won't DX with ASD because my child can xyz..."

 

A school can say all they want in terms of their own evaluation, but a private eval that is more nuanced and is done by someone who better understands ASDs will go much further in the school system.  It's much easier for a school to say "oh yea, we don't think it's ASD..." vs. seeing something in black and white in front of them. 

 

(I'm a teacher in an ASD inclusion program and evaluator for our program, so I might see it from a different angle.) 

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And as, you mentioned, Storm Bride, that having or not having one trait such as eye contact would invalidate a diagnosis is ludicrous! DS didn't get diagnosed with ASD by the school because he is way ahead in language and math skills.  But what about his 5th percentile motor skills? What about obvious gaps in his learning?

 

My ds can decode on what is by now likely a sixth grade level...but his comprehension is on grade level (2nd). Ds' capability to do math is there but is greater than the results; his evaluator thinks his math difficulties are due to the distractions of the classroom and that he needs a different approach. Ds' social skills are the most obvious ASD symptom. Ds is quite social but often inappropriately so, in ways previously mentioned. He has a few obsessions, not one overriding interest. He can make eye contact but it is usually fleeting: there, then not there. Ds has an IEP as OHI (other health impaired); he's been receiving speech therapy at school this year. We just received his evaluation results, and for next year he will be categorized as Autistic for his IEP.

 

When I sought ds' diagnosis I found the hospital first, then took the referral form to our GP with a bullet list of ds' behaviors and a stack of discipline forms from school. In turn the hospital eval supported my request for a school evaluation (the hospital found him on the borderline for ASD). When we did the hospital eval I was worried that ds would seem too "normal" as he does well with adults, particularly one on one, and he was on medication for ADHD which worked well for him--but they saw all that I saw, though at the age ds' was evaluated I had a year and a half of school reports to show them plus the evaluation his teacher filled out.


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post

 

These conditions can be co-morbid.

 

And that is another confusing thing. Your DS was diagnosed with many other issues *before* the diagnosis came for ASD. So I'm wondering why is it that it takes so long to get a diagnosis for ASD? If doctors know that there is comorbidity, then why do they stop at ADHD or ODD or any of the other disorders? Frustrating as it is, my main concern is not getting him the help he needs soon enough. The sooner they get help, the more likely it is for them to do better in school and life. So why aren't health professionals saying "Let's DX ASD earlier, so children have a better chance at succeeding."?


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