Does this sound like Aspergers? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 05-24-2012, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 3 years old. Here are some tidbits:

 

- When he was a baby, he used to shriek at certain noises like the hair dryer, the vacuum, motorcycles, etc.  He was extremely alert.  - By the time he was a year old, he could read the entire alphabet and knew all the colors.  

- By the time he was 15 months old, he could count to 20.  

- He would freak out from an early age (and still does) if certain toys are placed in the bath tub that are bigger than a specific size.  

- He can count to 10 in Spanish.  

- He will cry over the silliest things, such as you telling him it is night time when it is clearly day time.  

- He has a few phobias such as insects and toy snakes and sharks.  He can't even bare the sight before freaking out.

- He is obsessed with Marvel Superheroes.  He can tell you the name of every single character and villian.  He carries around a pamphlet with all the characters listed and he will throw a temper tantrum if he misplaces it.  It's so torn that I had to cover it in tape.  - - It seems like he memorizes every single detail of everything he hears-- he can tell you the brand of nearly every car on the freeway that passes just by looking at their emblems.

- It is difficult carrying a conversation with him, sometimes he will respond to your questions with things like "chair!!!" or some other inanimate object.  Other times he will just ignore you, or not look at you, or pretend he is asleep.  And other times, he will interrupt and talk over you-- if you try to tell him to wait until you're finished speaking he will just speak louder and louder above whatever you're saying.

 

There are other things I'm missing I'm sure.. it's late and I've been up reading about this..

 

I used to think he was just a bright kid, but now I realize he may be more unique than that, or maybe I'm obsessing.  Do any of you remember what your children with Aspergers were like at this age?  I don't know if this is something I should worry about as he is so young.

 

Thanks for your help 

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#2 of 10 Old 05-25-2012, 06:58 AM
 
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Here is an article from the AAP in Pediatrics, Identification and Evaluation of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders, that I came across this week; I think it was linked from something one of the author's wrote about Pediatricians not doing the AAP recommended screenings. You may want to start at "Clinical Signs" and pay particular attention to the paragraph entitled "Guidance for Pediatricians Regarding the Identification and Evaluation of Children with ASDS."

 

Several of those things sound like my ds at that age. Even if he doesn't qualify for a particular diagnosis at this point that doesn't mean that there are not things that might be helpful for him, such as OT to help with sensory issues and ST to help with social interaction. Some books that may be helpful are "Raising Your Spirited Child" and "The Mislabled Child." Hyperlexia is something else to look at, though there doesn't seem to be an "official" definition; some consider it a spectrum disorder and others say there are three forms, the "simplest" of which is just precocious ability to read, beyond what is understood.


"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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#3 of 10 Old 05-25-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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Could be. Nothing will be hurt by you educating yourself about Asperger's but if you ignore the signs you may be doing your child a disservice. I would sit down and make a carefully constructed list of what you consider possible signs in your child. I would then see if you can get an appointment with someone who is an expert in diagnosing autism/ AS. Your pediatrician should be step # 1 to talk to but if he/she thinks you are overreacting I would not let that stop me. See what services are provided by your school district and state for autistic individuals. Ask to speak to someone in the district who is in the Special Education department. After all, your child will eventually end up in the schools.

My AS son was born too early to benefit from the modern interventions and, sadly, did not receive a diagnosis until he was in his 20's. He had spent years wondering what was wrong with him and suffering in classrooms due to his extreme reactions to stimuli such as noise, smells etc. His teachers had wondered what was going on because his handwriting was horrible (small motor problems often I occur in those with AS) but when he opened his mouth it was obvious he was gifted. He remembers being on the playground and finding himself being apart with no idea how to make friends or join the play.

Whatever you do, get your husband on board with finding the truth. Many men have real trouble coping with dealing with a 'different' child and are prone to ignore it. But ignoring, unfortunately, doesnt make it go away.

I wish you the best. Go for it!
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#4 of 10 Old 05-25-2012, 01:04 PM
 
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A really great book to start with is "Quirky Kids" by Klass.

 

My personal belief is that the line between "gifted but quirky" and "twice exceptional -- both ASD plus a high IQ" is a thin grey line that mostly comes down to how well the child is currently coping with our cultures expectations for their age.

 

If you haven't already, I recommended researching sensory issues (The Out of Sync Child is a great place to start).

 

Is he in any activities? Preschool? Swim lessons? Regular play dates? How does he do?

 

BTW -- back to your question -- he's nothing like my DD was at the age, and her main dx is Asperger's. But that doesn't mean much.


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#5 of 10 Old 05-25-2012, 03:31 PM
 
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I go back and forth on a near daily basis between thinking my son is 2e or gifted and quirky.  Yep, it's hard to tell.  He's going to be evaluated, but I'm not convinced that if he was evaluated 10 times we'd get the same results each time.

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#6 of 10 Old 05-26-2012, 12:20 PM
 
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I am an adult professionally diagnosed with Asperger's; some of my brothers also have it as do a couple of my sons.

 

I can't legally give you medical advice, but that said, I can see why you might suspect Asperger's Syndrome. It is possible he is just really smart. Also, he did not learn Spanish by himself, someone had to expose him to it, so it doesn't necessarily mean anything (though I will admit I am good at learning languages, speaking basic German, Spanish, Russian and French.)

He may be having problems because of a lack of discipline, but then again he may have a lack of discipline because of an intrinsic lack of caring about what other people think, which is also common with Asperger's.

 

Asperger's is not a psychiatric problem; there are real differences in the size and structures and connectivity in the brain so it is a permanent nerve condition. One recent study determined that you can accurately spot autism just be studying the spacing between the eyes and between the upper lips, and comparing the dimensions. Aspies showed a similar (yet unique) pattern to their faces. Since structures are different, you could no more "cure" Asperger's with a prescribed medicine than you could cure a harelip with a pill.

 

I think I can legally give parenting advice: I (and my brothers) did not get diagnosed as Aspies until we were adults, so we are living, walking around proof that Aspies can be mainstreamed without hanging autism/Asperger's labels on them like albatrosses. Your goal is for him to do reasonably well in school, and be ready someday to get a job (I and most of my family are engineers) so concentrate on  drilling into him that he has to act normal, do what normal people do and obey commands. Obsessive interest in things (like engineering) can be good, but the downside is ignoring other things going on around them, which results in missed homework assignments and missed instructions and confusion. You will need to create systems and predictable/stable patterns to get around this, like asking every day when he gets home from school what his homework is- force him to write it down every day, even if he has to write "no assignment today".

 

Do not tell him he has Asperger's; he will not understand the consequences of telling other people and will most likely leak the secret. I once made the mistake of telling people at work I have Asperger's and the results were disastrous. Overnight I went from being treated as an oracle to being treated as an idiot.

 

My oldest Aspie son had problems at school (in the early 90's before most psychiatrists had ever heard of Asperger's) and the psych we took our son to told us he had seen kids like him before, and despite the problems in school, he was harmless. He suggested keeping him busy with hobbies. We got involved in 4H and Boy Scouts which gave him and outlet for his obsessive interests, yet kept his interests moving from project to project. When he was studying to become a surgical tech, he still remembered the Latin from collecting and identifying insects for 4H.

 

Many Aspies become excellent musicians; you might want to give him the opportunity to participate in band or orchestra, or maybe provide access to a piano or guitar.

Be careful not to stereotype too much either; for instance, I am good at languages, but my sons and brothers are terrible at languages. We Aspies have a range of personalities just like neurotypicals do. The differences between Aspies and neurotypicals may be no greater than the differences between people who always vote Democratic and those who always vote Republican.

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#7 of 10 Old 05-27-2012, 05:03 AM
 
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Some of this sounds like my 6.5 year old DS, who was dx'd with Aspergers at almost age 5. But that doesn't prove your DS has anything. If you are concerned, get him evaluated by a center or professional that specializes in autism diagnoses. An evaluation center can also help you locate therapies and services if he needs them.

Anyway, the things that stand out to me from your post as similar to my DS:
- sensory defensiveness
- obsessions
- hogging the conversation
- anxieties

Keep in mind that Aspergers can present differently in different children, and it particularly presents differently in girls vs. boys.

We are currently homeschooling and plan to continue, but we pursued a diagnosis in case he ever had to go to a school. We also learned some helpful things during the evaluation process. One of those things is that if we want to get something across to him, its better for us to present our DS with text to read, rather than speak the words to him, because that's the way *he* best understands things, not because all children who have Aspergers understand it best that way. I have also found that having a specific diagnosis helps me get a conversation started with people who can help. For example, the special needs coordinator at my church has been most helpful. It might have been harder for me to approach her with a long list of his issues, not having a diagnosis to preface it all with.

--Kim

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollie kp View Post

My son is 3 years old. Here are some tidbits:

- When he was a baby, he used to shriek at certain noises like the hair dryer, the vacuum, motorcycles, etc.  He was extremely alert.  - By the time he was a year old, he could read the entire alphabet and knew all the colors.  
- By the time he was 15 months old, he could count to 20.  
- He would freak out from an early age (and still does) if certain toys are placed in the bath tub that are bigger than a specific size.  
- He can count to 10 in Spanish.  
- He will cry over the silliest things, such as you telling him it is night time when it is clearly day time.  
- He has a few phobias such as insects and toy snakes and sharks.  He can't even bare the sight before freaking out.
- He is obsessed with Marvel Superheroes.  He can tell you the name of every single character and villian.  He carries around a pamphlet with all the characters listed and he will throw a temper tantrum if he misplaces it.  It's so torn that I had to cover it in tape.  - - It seems like he memorizes every single detail of everything he hears-- he can tell you the brand of nearly every car on the freeway that passes just by looking at their emblems.
- It is difficult carrying a conversation with him, sometimes he will respond to your questions with things like "chair!!!" or some other inanimate object.  Other times he will just ignore you, or not look at you, or pretend he is asleep.  And other times, he will interrupt and talk over you-- if you try to tell him to wait until you're finished speaking he will just speak louder and louder above whatever you're saying.

There are other things I'm missing I'm sure.. it's late and I've been up reading about this..

I used to think he was just a bright kid, but now I realize he may be more unique than that, or maybe I'm obsessing.  Do any of you remember what your children with Aspergers were like at this age?  I don't know if this is something I should worry about as he is so young.

Thanks for your help 

Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
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#8 of 10 Old 05-27-2012, 10:53 AM
 
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HOLD ON! 

 

I agree with everything FranklySpeaking has said EXCEPT about not telling him he has aspergers. TELL HIM!!!! Going your whole life with a condition and your parents NOT TELLING YOU is detrimental and a betrayal. My parents hid my medical history until I was 29 years old. I was very angry about that.

 

My 12 yr old knows he has aspergers. He doesn't tell people, and the people I tell are his teachers, caretakers, or friends of ours. We explained it to him this way: "This is how your brain works and why you have some trouble with certain things. But it's ok, we can work it out." In my case, my son is comforted knowing that I, too, am an aspie. He relies on me to teach him proper interactions, to understand why something is troubling him, to help him find solutions to his various sensory issues (like using rubber gloves to wash dishes), etc. 

 

TELL HIM.


 upsidedown.gif  Please see my Community Profile! energy.gif blogging.jpg about Asperger's Syndrome!

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#9 of 10 Old 05-27-2012, 11:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FranklySpeaking View Post


I think I can legally give parenting advice: I (and my brothers) did not get diagnosed as Aspies until we were adults, so we are living, walking around proof that Aspies can be mainstreamed without hanging autism/Asperger's labels on them like albatrosses. Your goal is for him to do reasonably well in school, and be ready someday to get a job (I and most of my family are engineers) so concentrate on  drilling into him that he has to act normal, do what normal people do and obey commands.



I completely disagree with this advice. I don't believe that is a way to raise an emotionally healthy adult, regardless of whether or not they qualify as "being on The Spectrum." 

 

Teaching my DD social skills, including explicitly teaching conversation skills has been very helpful to her and she can pass as NT. But she also knows that she is just fine the way she is, and that while pretending to be more like NT people can make some situations easier for her, there's nothing wrong with the way she is. She can be who is really is at home, and with any one who is truly her friend.

 

I believe that your advice to teach children to ACT rather than be AUTHENTIC is just bad parenting advice.  It's a recipe to never being comfortable in one's own skin, to never loving or accepting one's self, and never letting another person get to know them enough to love them for who they truly are. What a sad, screwed up, pathetic life that would lead to.

 

I also think that teaching a child, who will eventually be a teenager and have other teenagers for peers, to "do what other people do and obey commands" is absurd for so many obvious reasons I can't even be bothered to list them.

 

One of the great things about raising a teen on the spectrum is that they are naturally less wired to do the  stupid things their peers do. I have two teens, and with the NT one, the one NOT on the spectrum, we are constantly drilling into her head NOT to do what other people do and obey commands but to Stop and Think.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarperRose View Post

HOLD ON! 

 

I agree with everything FranklySpeaking has said EXCEPT about not telling him he has aspergers. TELL HIM!!!! Going your whole life with a condition and your parents NOT TELLING YOU is detrimental and a betrayal. My parents hid my medical history until I was 29 years old. I was very angry about that.

 

My 12 yr old knows he has aspergers. He doesn't tell people, and the people I tell are his teachers, caretakers, or friends of ours

 

 

Agreed. My DD is 15 and knows, and she understands that this is personal information and she has a right to who has it, and who doesn't.

 

She become much happier after she found out her diagnosis. She knows that she is perfectly normal for someone with Aspergers. That gave her a measure of peace.

 

I don't lie to my kid, and I haven't raised her to believe that she needs to live a lie.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#10 of 10 Old 05-27-2012, 12:09 PM
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Just for the heck of it - the child in the original post sounds a lot like my daughter at three, and she's about the most neurotypical person I've ever met. She also used to line toys up in specific orders and get upset if someone messed them up. Just another data point.

 
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