ADHD vs ASD vs both, feeling sad, trying to figure this out - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 4Likes
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 24 Old 08-01-2014, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
Letitia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 244
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
ADHD vs ASD vs both, feeling sad, trying to figure this out

My daughter, 7, definitely has ADHD. That was diagnosed last year with extensive neuropsych testing and was no surprise to us. I guess I always figured her social difficulties were a result of the ADHD.

We're on vacation, and being in new situations has really spotlighted her problems. She's very impulsive, very easily frustrated (she then shrieks) but she also does not know how to engage others and often resorts to doing annoying things to get them to pay attention to her. Like poking or running off with something that belongs to someone. We just stayed with two friends who both have worked in EI as case managers and they took us aside before we left and mentioned they independently became concerned about autism after spending time with her. They were really clear they are not qualified to diagnose, but they had noticed not only the social struggles but poor eye contact and difficulty engaging her in conversation. I have also noticed that her speech volume has gotten so low that it's really hard for anyone to understand her (clarity is good). The other things she does that are kind of odd are crawling into small spaces (often in public) or climbing up things when she is upset. Yesterday I reprimanded her in a convenience store for taking the bathroom before her brother after we had specifically stopped for him, and she squeezed into a tiny space in a corner where two coolers came together. I pulled her out, and she just squeezed in behind another display. Today we are with other relatives. She has just been terrible to her 13 year old cousin, I think because she adores him and wants his attention. It culminated in her dipping his iphone in the pool, and now although he's a sunny kid he's sulky and fed up with her. She crawled into the bottom of a closet after I brought her back to our room from the pool.

She's always been shy and warmed up very slowly in new classrooms (she's had to switch schools from pre-K to K, then again to 1st), but she has eventually made friends and has always gotten along well with all the kids in her classes. But her social skills actually seem to be getting worse the past year. One of her preschool teachers taught her a lot about asking other kids if she could play, and that helped. But elementary school teachers don't have that kind of time to coach her.

I don't know much about ASD. Does this sound like ASD or just ADHD? What kind of specialist differentiates these things? Who would be the right person to help her with social skills? Sometimes she is very coachable, other times not. A lot of the time now she is just so frustrated I can't talk with her or she screams and covers her ears. Regardless of any labels, she needs help.

I am so sad to see her struggling like this. I am also fatigued and just grieving having "normal" kids. Our son, who is 16 months younger, is a huge handful in a fairly unique way. He's hard to explain but he's not autistic, doesn't have ADHD, is probably somewhat gifted and seems mostly to be maturing much less evenly than she is. I don't think he has a diagnosis other than being clever and stubborn and still working on staying in control of his behavior when he feels very wronged or is hungry/tired/etc, but regardless of labels he just takes a lot of thought and effort. Then it feels like we go from one thing to another with her. We finished vision therapy a few months ago, and that part of things is going pretty good, but now it's this which I feel like we've been ignoring and hoping would just get better. It's never been totally normal with her since her birth, which was awful because she nearly died (massive blood loss due to rare transfusion to me through damaged placenta), which of course puts her at risk for neurodevelopmental problems.

That's about it. I would appreciate any advice.
Letitia is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 24 Old 08-01-2014, 07:19 PM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
First, I'm so sorry for what you and your family are going through.

Because she had extensive testing and a complete neuropsychology evaluation last year, I think it is highly unlikely that she is on the autism spectrum. The person who did that work up is qualified to make that diagnoses, spent lots of time with your DD, got lots and lots of data, and came to the conclusion that it isn't autism.

The people who told you that it looked like autism to them, on the other hand, aren't qualified and don't have exam data, just their observations. Misbehaving for attention isn't a sign of autism.

If you want to sort out exactly why she doesn't qualify for an autism dx, then contact the person who did the neuropsych and ask.

ADHD can cause substantial social problems, partly because of impulse control issues. Most of us are best off not saying everything that pops into our heads and doing everything it crosses our minds to do -- because if we actually said and did all those things, it would hard for other people to like us. Poor social skills can cause more social anxiety, and the child ends up with the primary problem (impulsivity) and then secondary problem of knowing that they keep saying and doing the wrong things. It also sounds like she gets attention for misbehaving, so she misbehaves. That is a super hard cycle to break.

One piece of advice I have is to figure out how the 2 of you can spend time together in a fun way, and then make it a priority. What actually works for her? Does she do better with a little more structure like a board game? This isn't even about helping her, but just about maintaining a positive relationship with her while you work through the other stuff.

Also, make dinner time a time to practice conversation, even if it is painful. We go around the table and each say one thing we are grateful/happy about, then use those as jumping off points for conversation.

Social skills classes can be tricky to find. try doing a search for "social skills" and "name of your city." Talk to the resource teacher and the social worker at her school, and see if they know of good options where you live. Some schools even have social skills group. Also, review her IEP for behavior and social goals, and if there aren't any, ask in writing that they be added. They are part of her being successful in school (if you want research paper to back that up, let me know).

Also, and I know this isn't popular here on mothering, but drug therapy can help kids with social skills IF the problems with social skills are caused by ADHD.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#3 of 24 Old 08-02-2014, 08:53 AM
 
livinglife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
First, I'm so sorry for what you and your family are going through.

Because she had extensive testing and a complete neuropsychology evaluation last year, I think it is highly unlikely that she is on the autism spectrum. The person who did that work up is qualified to make that diagnoses, spent lots of time with your DD, got lots and lots of data, and came to the conclusion that it isn't autism.

The people who told you that it looked like autism to them, on the other hand, aren't qualified and don't have exam data, just their observations. Misbehaving for attention isn't a sign of autism.

If you want to sort out exactly why she doesn't qualify for an autism dx, then contact the person who did the neuropsych and ask.

ADHD can cause substantial social problems, partly because of impulse control issues. Most of us are best off not saying everything that pops into our heads and doing everything it crosses our minds to do -- because if we actually said and did all those things, it would hard for other people to like us. Poor social skills can cause more social anxiety, and the child ends up with the primary problem (impulsivity) and then secondary problem of knowing that they keep saying and doing the wrong things. It also sounds like she gets attention for misbehaving, so she misbehaves. That is a super hard cycle to break.

One piece of advice I have is to figure out how the 2 of you can spend time together in a fun way, and then make it a priority. What actually works for her? Does she do better with a little more structure like a board game? This isn't even about helping her, but just about maintaining a positive relationship with her while you work through the other stuff.

Also, make dinner time a time to practice conversation, even if it is painful. We go around the table and each say one thing we are grateful/happy about, then use those as jumping off points for conversation.

Social skills classes can be tricky to find. try doing a search for "social skills" and "name of your city." Talk to the resource teacher and the social worker at her school, and see if they know of good options where you live. Some schools even have social skills group. Also, review her IEP for behavior and social goals, and if there aren't any, ask in writing that they be added. They are part of her being successful in school (if you want research paper to back that up, let me know).

Also, and I know this isn't popular here on mothering, but drug therapy can help kids with social skills IF the problems with social skills are caused by ADHD.
Letitia, I'm going to tell you something very contrary to Linda on the Move, given my own experiences. I hope it doesn't frighten you more, or, worry you unduly. I absolutely understand your grief. I went through intense sadness for years, and was also parenting children with a similar age spread. My son was almost six when his sister was born. I was parenting a baby who is now six year old, who is likely gifted. Her 12 year old brother did not get an autism spectrum diagnosis until he was almost 9. He has since outgrown the diagnosis (which is another topic). Needless to say, I was pretty focused on how to help my son, and raise my baby, and it was incredibly hard.

However, my point to you, is that children between the age of 6 and 9, who receive an ASD diagnosis at this time, rather than at an earlier age, are OFTEN mislabeled with ADHD, because some of the impulsivity, social difficulties and attention problems, overlap substantially. Especially, at age 6 and 7, when teachers and parents expect reciprocity of play, sharing, self regulation and in general, more social maturity, those children, who would have qualified for an old "Pervasive developmental disorder", then become VERY obviously impaired as they will not learn these skills in an organic way and have to be explicitly taught them. This was my son's situation to a "t".

He had 3 neuropsych's before his eventual spectrum diagnosis. His first, was only at 4. It highlighted his learning style, and his speech and social deficits, but, could not conclude a definitive diagnosis because he had an atypical presentation. At age 6 he had a school neuropsych but the school evaluator felt he was too complex to diagnosis herself. A private neuropsych at 7 diagnosed "possible ADHD" which I did not believe, as I, saw social deficits and executive functioning issues which were much more severe than in children with ADHD. (and i'm a clinician)

The other issue, that was later explained to me by the neuropsychologist who diagnosed my child definitively, was that children with ADHD, despite their impulsivity, and social issues and potential for oppositional behavior, retain an "aura" of charm to them....easy to talk to, lively, funny, and just plain likeable. More extreme issues with social and emotional development requires a closer look and is NOT ADHD. So, my gut was right, and maybe your's is too. We are blessed in the Boston area with some of the foremost experts in the country, and my advise was top notch. Maybe it's time for a closer look for your daughter.

The newer diagnosis of "social pragmatic language disorder" fits my son, now, as he's grown enormously and shed many of his former more extreme symptoms. It's an interesting diagnosis. It's a language based learning disability.

However, back to your daughter, given that often ASD's look different in girls, are harder to diagnose when they present in more "high functioning" intelligent children, and often require definitive diagnosis between 6 and 8, it may be VERY important to take a closer look. What may be in the more "normative" range at 6 becomes below the norm when it's still not outgrown at 7 and 8. You know what i'm mean? And, getting the right support in school will be key to creating a good learning experience for her.

I am sorry to relay this. I hope that you find support, good advise and guidance to in real life, to help you manage whatever you are facing. Most of all, your daughter, regardless of diagnosis, is still the little girl you love. A diagnosis will better help you know how to help her, of course.....and for me, it helped me get very serious and determined about helping him in what ever way was in my power to...diet, supplements etc.

All the best!

Last edited by livinglife; 08-02-2014 at 10:33 AM.
livinglife is online now  
#4 of 24 Old 08-02-2014, 06:36 PM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by livinglife View Post
Her 12 year old brother did not get an autism spectrum diagnosis until he was almost 9. He has since outgrown the diagnosis (which is another topic)....

He had 3 neuropsych's before his eventual spectrum diagnosis. ...I, saw social deficits and executive functioning issues which were much more severe than in children with ADHD. (and i'm a clinician)

One doesn't out grow autism. He sounds like a complex kid, but getting a child evaled over and over until someone tells you want you want to hear doesn't mean they speak the truth, and if you child "outgrew" the autism dx, they I doubt it was ever right in the first place.

ADHD exist on a continuum, and one doesn't qualify for a different dx based on how severe their executive functioning. I'm not sure what sort of clinician you are, but what you are saying doesn't jive with either IDEA (legal definition) or with the DSM (medical definition)

The other issue, that was later explained to me by the neuropsychologist who diagnosed my child definitively, was that children with ADHD, despite their impulsivity, and social issues and potential for oppositional behavior, retain an "aura" of charm to them....easy to talk to, lively, funny, and just plain likeable. More extreme issues with social and emotional development requires a closer look and is NOT ADHD.

Are you seriously suggesting that the OPer's DD doesn't have ADHD because she doesn't sound likable and charming? Seriously?

This is both very insulting and very inaccurate. How likable a child is lies very much in the person percieving the child, and is not innate in the child, and therefore isn't diagnositic of anything. Ever.


However, back to your daughter, given that often ASD's look different in girls, are harder to diagnose when they present in more "high functioning" intelligent children, and often require definitive diagnosis between 6 and 8, it may be VERY important to take a closer look.
While it is true that girls with ASD often present different than boys with ASD (more likely to show anxiety, less likely to show agression), they do still have to meet the diagnostic criteria for autism.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#5 of 24 Old 08-03-2014, 06:29 AM
 
livinglife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
While it is true that girls with ASD often present different than boys with ASD (more likely to show anxiety, less likely to show agression), they do still have to meet the diagnostic criteria for autism.
I think that it is important to note, again, that often ASD is not diagnosed until the ages of 6 to 8, and new research, is indeed showing that 25 percent of children with an ASD diagnosis, eventually, outgrow the diagnosis. The facts speak for themselves.

The best advice i've ever received was that many parents of high functioning, but behaviorally, and socially "complex" and hard to understand kids should get yearly neuropsychs at that age to track changes in developmental progress. I know that this is pricy and not always possible. We had wonderful insurance, and at times, family help. By the time my child was 8, it was very clear he had an ASD. Try telling the expert who evaluated him that he didn't indeed have it which was why he later shed the label. His testing at the time speaks for itself.

It is also "best practice" for a neurosychologist to not give a definitive diagnosis in a complex child until age 8. My child was never "officially" diagnosed with anything, until age 8. Until then I was always told, he had "possible" NLD, "possible" ADHD, then definitive "PDD-NOS" at age 8.

I have a Masters Degree in Social Work by the way, and 13 years of clinical practice, ironically, treating children with Bi-Polar, ADHD and ASD before having my own children.

When I did not "believe" my child had ADHD it wasn't because I was "label shopping". Who would want an ASD label? I knew it wasn't the whole story....and clearly, the OP is wondering the same, given her question.

About my son, his testing, profoundly changed again, from age 9 to age 12, and at age 12 his testing shows he's an entirely different kid. You don't have to believe it but the facts of his testing speak for themselves. In fact, my son is not ALONE in shedding the label. It doesn't mean he didn't fit the criteria of an ASD to start with. We all have a responsibility to make space for the truth of others and facts that don't fit our world view. Unless we believe that there is ONE absolute truth and only one world view.

I'm sharing with the OP because it has been my experience and my advice from many experts that between that age of 6 and 8, many children with atypical presentation, get diagnosed with autism, because behavior that would have been more in the normative range at age 6, are no longer normative at 7 and 8. Therefore it is very good advice to get a new neuropsych, even getting one yearly between the age of 6 and 8.

Best of luck to the OP.
livinglife is online now  
#6 of 24 Old 08-03-2014, 06:40 AM
 
livinglife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
One more quick thing...what the neuropsychologist shared with me regarding how she makes a differential diagnosis between ADHD and ASD is something forged from her 20 odd years of clinical experience. In representing what she said, I should make clear, that when she said things like children with ADHD are often "charming, likeable"....she meant the way that a salesman can charm a person to buy something with their wit, smile and persuasion with langugage. And, yes, she was saying that this is an innate "feeling" she gets about a person that can help her differentiate between the social problems and impulsivity of someone with an ASD vs ADHD.

Rather than taking offense to her statement, despite it being hard to hear for me as a parent, it helped me understand how she looked at things and better clarified that there is a continuum or spectrum, where ADHD is a milder variant of what you will see in someone with ASD who may be "charming and likeable too" but certainly not going to be a salesman able to sell the shirt off of his back because of their vivaciousness and good facility with language!
livinglife is online now  
#7 of 24 Old 08-03-2014, 08:39 AM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by livinglife View Post
I think that it is important to note, again, that often ASD is not diagnosed until the ages of 6 to 8, and new research, is indeed showing that 25 percent of children with an ASD diagnosis, eventually, outgrow the diagnosis. The facts speak for themselves.

Please link to reliable research backing this up.

The best advice i've ever received was that many parents of high functioning, but behaviorally, and socially "complex" and hard to understand kids should get yearly neuropsychs at that age to track changes in developmental progress.
Again, please link to ANY reliable source that agrees with you.

While I doubt that you had any classes that went into ANY detail on any special needs as part of social work program, I'm sure you did learn about research, backing up what you say, etc.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#8 of 24 Old 08-03-2014, 02:47 PM
 
melissa17s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Letitia,
I think a lot of what you described fits the Adhd combined type of adhd. I agree with Lindaonthemove to go talk to the person that performed the neuropsych dx and find out more details as to why it is adhd vs asd. In fact, start taking your child there regularly. Your child needs help learning skills that are not addressed in the average home or school, and psychologists work with various types of therapies that can help, such as behavioral therapy. Parents also need to work with the psychologist, too. Learn effective ways to help redirect situations, etc. ADDitude is a good magazine for articles about all things adhd and CHADD.org is another resource for understanding and developing a plan to progress.

Last edited by melissa17s; 08-03-2014 at 02:53 PM. Reason: corrected spelling of magazine
melissa17s is offline  
#9 of 24 Old 08-03-2014, 08:20 PM
 
QueenOfTheMeadow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: with the wildlife
Posts: 17,836
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
My oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD until he was 9, at which point he was diagnosed with ASD. The ADHD diagnosis sort of fit him before that time, because there can be a lot of overlapping symptoms, but as he grew older the symptoms of ASD became more obvious. Is she in school? If so, what kind of feedback are you receiving from her teachers?

 
QueenOfTheMeadow is offline  
#10 of 24 Old 08-04-2014, 10:46 AM
 
chiefmir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 209
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I'm a neuropsychologist, and there is a TON of overlap in symptom presentation with ADHD, ASD (especially high functioning), social anxiety (and probably other things that I am not thinking of right now). Its only become the norm in the last 5 or so years for kids to be dx'd with Asperger's prior to age 8 or 9. The more clear cut cases of "classic" autism were always diagnosed earlier and this had a trickle down effect for the more high functioning cases. I've seen people diagnosed as young as 3! In my practice now, I've occasionally dianogsed 4-7 year olds, but they are the exception and its usually kids where it is very "obvious" (for lack of a better word), when all the testing/rating scales are consistent with the diagnosis, and when there are really no other comorbid diagnoses to confound things.

I can say that pretty much all the kids I diagnose with ASD (I generally see higher functioning type kids for a more differential dx) have ADHD symptoms. For some of them, THAT is the presenting problem, and they meet criteria for THAT diagnosis before they meet criteria for ASD. As the social world becomes more complex and demands change with age, the kid that seemed impulsive, quirky, disinhibited, and had some social deficits due to general immaturity can suddenly present like a much more typically ASD child as they age and behaviors don't change in them as do in typically developing (or only ADHD) peers.

Getting multiple evaluations is usually not a parent doctor shopping until they find someone to say what they want to hear (at least not in my experience). More often, its because understanding a kid is trying to hit a moving target, and parents naturally seek out more help when things haven't improved over time. By the time they seen another doctor, the kid has changed (new, different symptoms), their age/peer group has changed with age (new comparison norms to the peer group leading to different scores); and sometimes diagnostic criteria has changed. A different dx can happen for a combo of any of those reasons, along with the fact that it is not an EXACT science and individual doctors may have a different take on things. (would any one be upset if a 2nd GI doctor, consulted several years after the first, made a diagnosis that the first hadn't made year ago?)
chiefmir is offline  
#11 of 24 Old 08-04-2014, 10:51 AM
 
pattimomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Dirty South
Posts: 1,183
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
My son had a neuropsych eval at age 11.5 yrs. He was diagnosed with ADHD combined type, PDD-NOS, SLD - dyslexia, anxiety disorder - NOS, and adjustment disorder with mood and behavioral disturbances! He also sees a SLP for expressive/receptive language disorder, OT for sensory processing, and an audiologist for CAPD. What I've found is that the diagnosis doesn't drive needs or goals. A lot of therapy looks the same for an ADHD kid and a PDD-NOS kid. ADHD has become a watered down diagnosis and people tend to think ASD means more severe issues. Our neuropsych suggests testing every three years with specific subtests administered at year intervals if there is a skill that needs to be closely monitored.

~Patti~ rainbow1284.gifMomma to three girls and three boys chicken3.gif, First mother to one girl triadadopt.jpg

Certified, card carrying member of the IEP Binder Clubkid.gif  

pattimomma is offline  
#12 of 24 Old 08-04-2014, 11:40 PM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
I'm all for evals and if they OPer's DD hadn't had one, I would have recommended it. I agree that getting evals done at different stages in life can show different things. My DD's evals when she was 3 and 12 were very different.

But I'm not seeing what every one else is.

The lack of eye contact was with people that the child didn't know or didn't see often, and it wasn't reported before. I think that this is the only thing that resembles a characteristic of autism, but I wouldn't consider strangers as particularly significant. If she had a history of not making eye contact with her mother, her teachers, etc., then it would be.

Misbehaving for attention isn't characteristic for autism.

There are several things that I would expect to see in a post if a child was on the autism spectrum that aren't there:

  • Sensory issues. Unusually reactions to sounds, lights, textures, smells, etc.
  • Speech development issues or oddities in speech use.
  • Single minded interest in one topic that everything else must revolve around, and that all conversations need to be about.
  • Showing higher social skills with adults than with peers.
  • Lack of friends / inability to get along with others at school. She has trouble at first, but moves past it. That doesn't describe the kids with high functioning autism on the playground.
Those are really the big things with kids with high functioning autism, and none of them are there.



I put several ideas of things to do in my first thread. They are solid suggestions regardless of a child's specific diagnosis. The little girl already qualifies for services at school as other health impaired.



Although it is nice to have as much information about our kids as possible, what would change for her with a different diagnosis, keeping in mind that she had a thorough neuropsych done recently, so all that specific data is available whatever label is put on it?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#13 of 24 Old 08-04-2014, 11:54 PM
 
SWAHM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would have her reevaluated. I have a 6 year old that has Autism and ADHD. They are separate diagnosis's that were given by the same Child Development specialist (who is the chief of Child Development). As much as I know, or any special needs mom knows...we don't have the knowledge that these specialist spend decades learning. Good luck, hugs and prayers. Check out this podcast about it http://mpbonline.org/relativelyspeaking/rs072114/ The Diagnosis Standards have been changed recently (5th edition) and she talks about a lot of treatments and the pros and cons of them.
SWAHM is offline  
#14 of 24 Old 08-06-2014, 01:45 AM
 
corysmilk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: with my right foot out
Posts: 846
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Hi, I just wanted to say, I am sorry people were arguing on your post. I sounds like you have a lot going on in your life. Raising children is a tough job. What kinds of things have you tryed to help your daughter? What has worked what hasn't? What has worked once then it didn't work again? I too am struggling with almost the same thing. My son is all over the place. Not many people like him. Children and adults. It is hard for me to make friends. To maintain friendships because my son is so difficult to be around. I want you to know I understand. I really do. Please pm me if you a shoulder.

mama to Alex 20 Briana 16 Cory 10 and Jade 3Tubes tied and regret it
corysmilk is offline  
#15 of 24 Old 08-06-2014, 04:48 PM
 
Julianito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 223
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I wanted to provide this link to new research showing that a subset of children with an autism dx do outgrow it.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23320807

Their common characteristic is early ABA, which is why I recommend the OP seek out the developmental specialist and be sure that she understands the reason for the ADHD dx (vs Asd) in her child's case. Then get a second opinion just to be sure.

I don't know what is the correct dx for the OP. But some of the behavior sounds like a lack of knowledge about how to connect appropriately, which is one of the characteristics very much associated with Asperger's. Limited eye contact too. Small pace seeking can be sensory. Add in an intense interest and behavioral repetition and I would worry.
Julianito is offline  
#16 of 24 Old 08-07-2014, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
Letitia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 244
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
"I just wanted to say, I am sorry people were arguing on your post"

It's OK, I don't mind the "arguing." It gives me a lot to think about and explore. I really appreciate all the input.
Letitia is offline  
#17 of 24 Old 08-08-2014, 06:13 AM
 
QueenOfTheMeadow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: with the wildlife
Posts: 17,836
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
It's always a good to get different opinions. Each of us as parents of children with special needs and others who have worked with kids with special needs have had a different experiences. What works for one child, might not work for another. This way, you have lots of different things to try. It's all good!

 
QueenOfTheMeadow is offline  
#18 of 24 Old 08-08-2014, 11:58 PM
 
flowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Letitia View Post
My daughter, 7, definitely has ADHD. That was diagnosed last year with extensive neuropsych testing and was no surprise to us. I guess I always figured her social difficulties were a result of the ADHD.

We're on vacation, and being in new situations has really spotlighted her problems. She's very impulsive, very easily frustrated (she then shrieks) but she also does not know how to engage others and often resorts to doing annoying things to get them to pay attention to her. Like poking or running off with something that belongs to someone. We just stayed with two friends who both have worked in EI as case managers and they took us aside before we left and mentioned they independently became concerned about autism after spending time with her. They were really clear they are not qualified to diagnose, but they had noticed not only the social struggles but poor eye contact and difficulty engaging her in conversation. I have also noticed that her speech volume has gotten so low that it's really hard for anyone to understand her (clarity is good). The other things she does that are kind of odd are crawling into small spaces (often in public) or climbing up things when she is upset. Yesterday I reprimanded her in a convenience store for taking the bathroom before her brother after we had specifically stopped for him, and she squeezed into a tiny space in a corner where two coolers came together. I pulled her out, and she just squeezed in behind another display. Today we are with other relatives. She has just been terrible to her 13 year old cousin, I think because she adores him and wants his attention. It culminated in her dipping his iphone in the pool, and now although he's a sunny kid he's sulky and fed up with her. She crawled into the bottom of a closet after I brought her back to our room from the pool.

She's always been shy and warmed up very slowly in new classrooms (she's had to switch schools from pre-K to K, then again to 1st), but she has eventually made friends and has always gotten along well with all the kids in her classes. But her social skills actually seem to be getting worse the past year. One of her preschool teachers taught her a lot about asking other kids if she could play, and that helped. But elementary school teachers don't have that kind of time to coach her.

I don't know much about ASD. Does this sound like ASD or just ADHD? What kind of specialist differentiates these things? Who would be the right person to help her with social skills? Sometimes she is very coachable, other times not. A lot of the time now she is just so frustrated I can't talk with her or she screams and covers her ears. Regardless of any labels, she needs help.

I am so sad to see her struggling like this. I am also fatigued and just grieving having "normal" kids. Our son, who is 16 months younger, is a huge handful in a fairly unique way. He's hard to explain but he's not autistic, doesn't have ADHD, is probably somewhat gifted and seems mostly to be maturing much less evenly than she is. I don't think he has a diagnosis other than being clever and stubborn and still working on staying in control of his behavior when he feels very wronged or is hungry/tired/etc, but regardless of labels he just takes a lot of thought and effort. Then it feels like we go from one thing to another with her. We finished vision therapy a few months ago, and that part of things is going pretty good, but now it's this which I feel like we've been ignoring and hoping would just get better. It's never been totally normal with her since her birth, which was awful because she nearly died (massive blood loss due to rare transfusion to me through damaged placenta), which of course puts her at risk for neurodevelopmental problems.

That's about it. I would appreciate any advice.
At 10, ds is considered to have ADHD, 3 learning disabilities, giftedness, sensory issues. At 6 I had him evaluated for ASD. An ASD expert older pediatrician gave him an ASD diagnosis, but a younger psychologist disputed when we had a full evaluation done. To be honest I was devastated at the time because it ruled out funding for therapy for his many issues . When I looked at the actual test scores, I really wasn't convinced by their methodology. Ds was so close to the cutoffs in many areas. If he had had an hour less sleep on the day of testing, who knows what they would have decided. Actually, I had parents recommend loading my child up with nasty candy before diagnosis time (I didn't). Sigh - that is how pathetic things are around here with respect to funding. I don't blame a parent for "diagnosis shopping" if it got their child desperately needed help.

Ds doesn't have ASD, but his issues are quite impairing to him. In fact, in many ways he is more impaired than many ASD children I know. When he was younger, I found a lot of ASD-oriented resources helpful in terms of communicating social skills, etc. I endlessly coached him in playing with other children, interacting within our community, etc. I put him in a part-time homelearning program and supported him in participating (by attending with him and dragging dd along) even though it was really stressful for him.

So, my point is that your dd can have a LOT of impairment of her social skills without having ASD. My son did a lot of strange, annoying, bullying, and alienating behaviours. People could immediately identify that he had "issues".

Helpful resources: ASD-oriented books/games, occupational therapists (they help with a lot of things...we could never afford it though), anyone who can connect with quirky kids (ask around). Also dealing with any sleep or health issues. Meds probably would have and would still help ds, but his biological father will not go there.

I am lucky that ds has made HUGE progress on social stuff. He actually handles himself really well with kids, teachers, adults, etc. You can tell that he has had to work on it because if you pay attention you'll see that HE really pays attention, almost as if he's decoding. Most of the social stuff we deal with is at home. Academic/motivation/attitude stuff are the main issues at this age.

I know it's tough. Gosh do I ever know. But keep in mind that things can change a LOT in a year or two, for the better. I would only fuss over a diagnosis if it had a significant impact on funding for therapy. Otherwise, I would wait. There's a crop of kids who get the ASD diagnosis much later, because things just aren't clear earlier.

Hang in there.

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
flowmom is offline  
#19 of 24 Old 08-09-2014, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
Letitia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 244
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Thanks, Flowmom. I've been thinking a lot about what a "diagnosis" means to our family. We are lucky to be able to afford some (not tons of) private therapy, and I'm thinking that regardless of which "letters" to stick on my daughter, she needs some therapy about social interactions. Now have to find that - asking moms of kids with ASD is definitely feasible.
Letitia is offline  
#20 of 24 Old 08-09-2014, 11:23 AM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Letitia View Post
We are lucky to be able to afford some (not tons of) private therapy, and I'm thinking that regardless of which "letters" to stick on my daughter, she needs some therapy about social interactions.

For my DD (who has an autism DX) social skills classes were NOT covered by insurance but had to be paid out of pocket. The class was also open to kids with an ADHD dx. She also had cognitive behavior therapy through a private counselor. That was paid for though our insurance at the same rate as any member of our family seeing a counselor. Speech therapy was provided based on her specific speech deficits, not on her autism DX.

Also, at this point, our insurance coverage for a new eval isn't great, and it would cost us about $600 to get a new eval. I've looked into because I've wondered if it would be helpful in accommodations in college, but right now she is doing fine so there's no reason to spend the $600.

So, I recommend really researching your deal, finding out how much the eval will cost, and finding out *if it will even get you anything you can't get right now.* Keeping in mind that your DD doesn't present like a girl with autism and you could go through all this and get the exact same dx she already has.

The point where things were the roughest with my DD was when she was 12, and we did do a new eval at that point. The actual information from that eval was helpful. (The scores on the individual tests). It's helpful to have *a* diagnosis to access accommodations as school, but I really can't see that the specific diagnosis my DD has really made a difference in her life.

I also think that getting too hung up on evals can distract from the messy business of figuring out what actual works for your child.

I also think that talking to the school social worker about what is available in your community would make a GREAT place to start, regardless of the label on your child.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#21 of 24 Old 08-12-2014, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
Letitia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 244
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Thanks for all the input. She was re-evaluated today by the speech therapist who worked with her when she was a toddler, and she's going to see her regularly for some "pragmatic" issues. That terminology is new to me, and I'll have to research it, but it included the eye contact. We're on some wait lists to get in with OT. One of the OT centers definitely has a social skills group.

I don't think we'll pursue a whole repeat neuropsych eval just yet, but we're not writing it off. We'll see how the ST AND OT go, and what impressions those people have.

So we're back in "action" mode.

Edited to add: so I read up on pragmatic speech issues, and found "pragmatic language impairment" which she definitely does not have. In the context of having read it, what I understand the ST to mean is that she has a few of the problems that kids with that disorder can have. But she's not verbose or concrete, and she has no trouble with inferences or with the construction of language.
Letitia is offline  
#22 of 24 Old 08-13-2014, 09:57 PM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
That sounds like a good plan.

Pragmatics are the social side of language -- taking turns, staying on topic, being involved in the conversations, etc.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#23 of 24 Old 10-25-2014, 12:32 AM
 
MylittleTiger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Letitia I could have written your post word for word in regards to our son. What you are describing is exactly what we went through in terms of behaviour. We were so confused as he also had been diagnosed with ADHD and were told his behaviours were due to that, but his behaviour was just too strange to be simply ADHD and he was having such a hard time with social skills. It was an extremely hard two years for us all.

Recently we borrowed the almost two thousand dollars required to have our son privately assessed at an Autism clinic that specialized in hard to diagnose kids. It turns out he is high functioning autistic along with ADHD.
By the time we received the diagnosis we were too relieved to be upset. We'd spent two years begging professionals to listen to us, to look at his strange behaviour, that it wasn't just ADHD, we were sure of it! I too mourned the loss of having a "normal" child. I had to let go of some of my dreams for him and it was very difficult and heartbreaking.

I with you all the best on this journey.
MylittleTiger is online now  
#24 of 24 Old 10-25-2014, 06:14 AM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,780
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
In our state it is considered best practice to only accept diagnoses from a multidisciplinary team consisting of (at a minimum) a developmental pediatrician, psychologist, speech/language pathologist and social worker, using standardized instruments such as the ADOS and ADI. Here, it is not considered valid if one person makes the diagnosis, particularly if it is based on a single evaluation session. ASD is a very complicated disorder requiring that level of investment of resources to get it right.

I agree with previous members who said that ADHD and ASD can have a great deal of overlap. There are some theorists out there who think that ADHD is the very mildest end of the ASD spectrum.

 
lauren is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off