What was your Asperger's child like as a toddler? (long) - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-05-2008, 02:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that Asperger's is pretty much impossible to diagnose in a toddler, but I have some concerns about my 28mo DS. He's so different from other children his age. He's a very bright child, but much of his language is very difficult for other people to understand (his pronunciation of several words sounds nothing like the actual word), and he didn't begin using 2-word phrases until his second birthday, although he has always had a very large vocabulary.
He is also very anxious in social situations. It can be almost painful to watch; he seems to regress developmentally in the presence of others. In the last few months it has been much easier for him to deal with extended family, although he still has a considerable "warm-up" period. He refuses to speak in front of most people (immediate family, certain grandparents, and a friend of mine are the only people he'll talk to). At storyhour at the library he won't say a word - he won't even sit down until halfway through - all he wants to do is draw and get stickers at the end.
And the drawing . . . he spends HOURS every day drawing owls. Just owls, and occasionally an owl with a pirate hat and an eye patch. He has DP and I draw several owls every day - we have entire notebooks just filled with owl drawings. He wakes up early in the morning and draws owls all over any piece of paper he finds. His other obsession is Little Bear - he'll watch the show or DVD endlessly, the same episodes, and he acts out the stories with his Holztiger animals.
Some other things I've noticed . . . he lines up his toys a lot. I'll walk into the playroom and he'll have all the letters from his alphabet puzzle lined up, or his trains or cars or whatever. He runs funny - I can't really describe it, but his gait is all over the place. He's very energetic, and when he's excited he hops and flaps his hands. He's excellent at puzzles and has an impressive sense of direction - we moved half a mile away when he was 19 or 20 months old, and the day after we moved we went for a walk and he led me straight to our old house (he was not familiar with that section of the neighborhood at all). He's known how to get to the park,the grocery store, and my parents' houses since before he could walk. He had books memorized at a very early age, and several people have mentioned how good his memory is. When he wants something, he'll often take me by the hand and pull me wherever. Lately he's been stammering quite a bit, too.
He's a very joyful, very bright and loving little boy. I've had a nagging feeling that something was different about him for a while, and as he grows he just seems more and more different. As I said before, I know he's still very young, and I don't want to label him with anything. But sometimes it's hard to tell what's a variation of a normal 2yo behavior and what's not. If there's anything we can do to help him early, I want to be able to do it. I've had social anxiety all my life, and it's affected me so much - I don't want DS to struggle with that any more than he has to.
If you're still reading by now, thank you! I just would like to hear some reflections on what life was like with your Aspie toddler.

A, wife to R and mom to 3 boys: D~ 10/05, J~ 8/07, and B~ 12/09 and welcoming a new little one in May 2015
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:21 AM
 
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My little guy is 3.5 now. He was diagnosed with pdd-nos a couple of months ago. I'm sure he has AS but is too young to diagnose. the social stuff you described about your child is exactly the same for my ds. I have an older ds who is much more affected by his autism spectrum condition so I didn't really think about it for him until my ped suggested it at his 3 year check up. I did question much about his obsessiveness and sensory issues before then. With the social stuff, I thought he was just shy.

He is advanced with his speech but can't communicate well without help. Many times he just can't get it out. He will give momentary eye contact but never while he is talking. When he is talking to comminicate, he often times has to stop everything else he is doing and concentrate on that alone. He has to drag us to what he wants. He can't just tell us most of the time. Most of his stims are verbal although he does spin and line stuff up a little. He has a pretty good imagination and can play with toys fairly well if they are easy to figure out.

Anyway, I would have your child evaluated if you are so inclined. While they don't diagnose Asperger's at this age, a diagnosis of pdd-nos is given to many children who are on the spectrum and they can be reclassified later on.

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:29 AM
 
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A child who would meet the criteria for Aspergers later will meet the criteria for pdd-nos at the young ages. I'll give you a link to look at. Labels (official or not) can be used for good or bad in my opinion. As ways to understand and help or as ways to categorize/make assumptions and limit. In and of themselves they're just words. Definitely label (pdd-nos) helped here.

http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html pdd-nos questionnaire.
http://www.bbbautism.com/diagnostics_psychobabble.htm Good link about pdd-nos.

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Old 02-05-2008, 08:42 AM
 
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your son sounds SO MUCH like my daughter (the exceptional memory, the repititive drawings, the wanting to watch the same episodes over and over at the age of 2). we had her evaluated and we came out with "very bright child with sensory processing condition", and while it explains her to a certain degree, i have a strong nagging feeling that it does not tell the full story. i *know* it does not tell the full story.. the person we saw i believe thought "smart child, few definite sensory issues.. therefore it is X" and did not look into dd's behaivour more than that even though i bought papers and papers filled with nothing but literally hundreds of circles that dd used to draw at 18-24 months old and other evidence of stuff that i thought was not entirely neurotypical.
i strongly believe she has either semantic-pragmatic disorder or is very mildly affected by aspergers.
have you looked into s-p-d? i'm sorry i couldn't be of more help than this. i hope you find an answer.
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dantesmama View Post
occasionally an owl with a pirate hat and an eye patch.
That's the cutest thing ever.

Anyway he sounds a lot like my toddler who is the same age (except my toddler can't do a puzzle to save his life ). They both are a lot like me when I was a toddler (I am an undiagnosed Aspie). We have notebooks full of drawings of balls... he was SO excited when he first realized how to make a closed circle.
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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yay for double posts.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the replies! I filled out the childbrain.org assessment and it came up as "mild pdd". *Sigh* ... So do I just ask the ped for an assessment referral? I feel strongly about not "labeling" DS, but if there's anything out there that could help him with his social and language stuff, I obviously would want him to get help.
Thanks again!

A, wife to R and mom to 3 boys: D~ 10/05, J~ 8/07, and B~ 12/09 and welcoming a new little one in May 2015
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:08 AM
 
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So do I just ask the ped for an assessment referral? I feel strongly about not "labeling" DS, but if there's anything out there that could help him with his social and language stuff, I obviously would want him to get help.
Thanks again!
I would. My DS is PDD-NOS too. His thing isn't drawing, it's pattern making. But his developmental pediatrician jokes that his 5th (Or is it 6th? I forget.) birthday party will be his Aspie coming out party.

We've been in OT and ST for almost 6 months now and the differences in DS' moods and ways of responding to others is dramatic.

The label we all fear at one time or another changes NOTHING. They could call it, "Purple pig up the disorder" and we'd all just starting calling it "PPUT ." He's your DS. What medical people call him for diagnostic purposes will become irrelevant to you.

Plus, we get the best toys!

secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:41 AM
 
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Asperger's is known to be the autism without speech delay...so with speech delay it may be considered autism.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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my 5 yo ds (diagnosed Aspeger's) at 2 had a huge vocabulary but only put together 2-word sentences at 2 years and 4 months. He had an impressive memory and had an encyclopedic knowedge of animals. He spent lots of time looking through books about animals. Also lining up toys along the edges of tables, particularly his animal figures. He ran in a clumsy way with his arms flailing and frequently tripped for no apparent reason.

Socially he was only comfortable with immediate family. Visiting relatives would only get a hello after an entire day spent in their company. When I took him to playgroups he would hide behind me or play by himself in a corner. When he could finally speak at 2 1/2 he said "I don't like children."

As far as labels go, I think they are useful for getting services. DS started OT and PT at 3. OT has been especially helpful for getting him comfortable having his peers next to him. He didn't used to be able to tolerate having others touch him and now he can. Now that he's in kindergarten he is also getting a social skills group in school to learn basics like eye contact, how to join in play, etc.

i hope that helps. karen
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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So do I just ask the ped for an assessment referral? I feel strongly about not "labeling" DS, but if there's anything out there that could help him with his social and language stuff, I obviously would want him to get help.
Thanks again!
We believe our son who is 5 would be dxed with aspergers if we had him dxed.
We have always thought he has aspergers, but do not want to get him dxed as we are worried about as an adult it may affect him in some areas with having a dx. My husband is a self-dxed aspergers (as well as his father) so thats why we know the signs. What you wrote sounds alot like my son.
My son is also a perfectionist, thats what is very hard for me as his mum to see him alot of the time upset over a tiny little mark outside of the lines.
We did get him evaluated for OT over a year ago and he is getting OT for sensory processing difficulties. We are happy with this as he is getting OT for the areas he needs help in. It may be in the future we will "have" to get him a dx but for now we can get the things he needs without one. We homeschool as well so I do not have to worry about him in public school and not having a dx and being treated like a "trouble maker" or the sorts.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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Asperger's is known to be the autism without speech delay...so with speech delay it may be considered autism.
It is not without speech delay... it is without "Clinically significant" speech delay. Defined as
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single words are used by age 2 years, communicative phrases are used by age 3 years
In other words, many kids with "speech delay" as defined by early intervention and "typical" developmental charts can still qualify as Aspies
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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We're working with Aspergers in the back of our heads since DS is soo yuong, but with the opposite sides...DS is overly verbal, huge vocab, often delayed echolalic, and LOVES strqngers...He has no ability to read body signs of disinterest or distancing and pushes past peoples boundaries CONSTANTLY!! Obsession over watching one movie/show many many times and then never again once he's memorized it basically. Same is true with books. And he builds fires all flippin day long (thankfully he cant start them yet). And lining up toys, but only the right toys can be in the line or he gets upset...
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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I'm a little confused about this myself. DS said his first word at 12 months. He had 50 words at 2 but wasn't really using them to express himself. He has over 100 words now and can speak in full sentences when he wants to, including correct usage of pronouns ("I want a drink!"). His speech is disordered, not delayed. He has a generic ASD diagnosis, the neuro said he didn't think he was affected enough for a PDD-NOS :
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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Your dd sounds more like me as a toddler than dd as a toddler, especially the selective mutism thing....

Dd1 was an early talker, but she only talked to others when she had to. Mostly she talked to herself. She had no interest in other kids, even for parallel play. Her favorite activities were lining up, stacking, and sorting any objects she could get her hands on. Another trait we noticed was that she would sit and play with one thing literally for hours without being distracted, seeming to tune out everything around her.

She isn't diagnosed, because we don't want her to face possible future discrimination, and because as a homeschooled kid she really doesn't need the accommodation or services that a diagnosis would bring. Regarding social anxiety, you may, if you like, want to discuss that with some autistic adults who were treated for anxiety as children (me, for one).

My current obsession is whether dd2 might be classically autistic. She does the lining up, the sorting, the watching, the not talking...
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've read about autism and it just doesn't sound like DS . . . he doesn't have delayed speech; he had a large vocabulary from a relatively early age, and as far as putting words together, he was later than average but not alarmingly so. He speaks in full sentences now, if you can decipher what he's trying to say. And he's very affectionate with people he's close to.


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"Purple pig up the disorder"


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my 5 yo ds (diagnosed Aspeger's) at 2 had a huge vocabulary but only put together 2-word sentences at 2 years and 4 months. He had an impressive memory and had an encyclopedic knowedge of animals. He spent lots of time looking through books about animals. Also lining up toys along the edges of tables, particularly his animal figures. He ran in a clumsy way with his arms flailing and frequently tripped for no apparent reason.

Socially he was only comfortable with immediate family. Visiting relatives would only get a hello after an entire day spent in their company. When I took him to playgroups he would hide behind me or play by himself in a corner. When he could finally speak at 2 1/2 he said "I don't like children."
That sounds a lot like DS . . .

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We believe our son who is 5 would be dxed with aspergers if we had him dxed.
We have always thought he has aspergers, but do not want to get him dxed as we are worried about as an adult it may affect him in some areas with having a dx. My husband is a self-dxed aspergers (as well as his father) so thats why we know the signs. What you wrote sounds alot like my son.
My son is also a perfectionist, thats what is very hard for me as his mum to see him alot of the time upset over a tiny little mark outside of the lines.
We did get him evaluated for OT over a year ago and he is getting OT for sensory processing difficulties. We are happy with this as he is getting OT for the areas he needs help in. It may be in the future we will "have" to get him a dx but for now we can get the things he needs without one. We homeschool as well so I do not have to worry about him in public school and not having a dx and being treated like a "trouble maker" or the sorts.

Best of luck to you.
In what ways do you think a dx would affect him later on? I'd like for DS to get therapy if it will help him, but I don't want him to be "branded" for life if it's not necessary, especially if it could complicate things for him down the road. I want to homeschool my DCs, but DP is deadset against it, so I don't know what will happen with that . . . would a dx make it harder to homeschool (as far as requirements and legal stuff)?

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.

She isn't diagnosed, because we don't want her to face possible future discrimination, and because as a homeschooled kid she really doesn't need the accommodation or services that a diagnosis would bring. Regarding social anxiety, you may, if you like, want to discuss that with some autistic adults who were treated for anxiety as children (me, for one).
...
Would you mind elaborating on those points (discrimination, homeschooling, anxiety)?

A, wife to R and mom to 3 boys: D~ 10/05, J~ 8/07, and B~ 12/09 and welcoming a new little one in May 2015
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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I would encourage you to read this book before you get an evaluation. http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosis-D...2342126&sr=8-1

My main question as a parent would be - is my kid unhappy. This is a not the same as "is my kid different". Some kids are really different and they aren't disordered or unhappy. I would ask what are the things that seem to be making him unhappy and are these things radically different than what is typical for his age and is the degree of upset he's experiencing really different than would be typical for his age. Many of the things you described like enjoying drawing, having a good sense of direction, enjoying creating orderly set ups of toys and memorizing books are all traits that are not uncommon among many bright children. And, none of these are problems. They are gifts or traits but not disorders. Where I think you need to be concerned is if he's experiencing distress and from your post it doesn't sound like other than the social anxiety that he's got a lot of that going on (and that was just my impression from post - there could be more to it).

If you want to read a bit more about anxiety this is a really helpful book: http://www.amazon.com/Freeing-Your-C...2342344&sr=1-1
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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I would go to a developmental pediatrician and see what he/she says.

But you know what? The first thing I thought of when I read your post is that your son might fit criteria for profoundly gifted....have you thought of that? I think those kids tend to have some quirks also. Anyway, it's something to look into.

Drawing OWLS at 28 months??? Wow. Just wow. Your little guy seems to have some special gifts along with his quirks! You might be in for quite a ride!

peace,
robyn
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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He may well be gifted, but he could of course be autistic as well...

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Would you mind elaborating on those points (discrimination, homeschooling, anxiety)?
hmm... I'm not sure exactly what you mean? (I'm a little foggy).

discrimination... there are some things that autistics can never do. serve in the military, for instance. there may be problems with being a foster parent (not quite sure about that one). college admissions could make it an issue. autistics in general are very much looked down upon by mainstream society, so we err on the side of not having a paper trail saying that dd is one. this is in addition to the fact that in her case, diagnosis would serve no purpose and would possibly be quite traumatic.

homeschooling... most of the "problems" that autistic kids have are related to school and difficulty functioning within the school setting. autistics may have a hard time doing groupwork with peers, concentrating on busywork, understanding certain subtleties, sitting still throughout the day, obeying orders... um... i'm not really articulate right now... how familiar are you with the social model of disability? according to this theory, disability is largely situational. someone could be disabled in one situation but not in another. autism spectrum conditions are classified as disabilities mostly based on the situation of school. relating socially to 30 other people your exact age, following strictly detailed orders, maneuvering complex age-based social hierarchy, being able to focus on one task and also to switch tasks and mental tracks rapidly, sit still... these are all expectations in a school setting, and things that asc people may have difficulty with. i.e. they are disabled within the context of that setting. remove the setting and you remove the disability. make sense?

anxiety... oh geez. can i answer this one when i'm awake? basically... based on my own personal experience and that of others... that psych treatment for anxiety is itself highly anxiety-producing and traumatic, and this is often dismissed as being a risk, which i don't think it should be.... i think that anxiety is a natural part of the human condition in general and of some individual's personalities in particular and that attempts to "treat" it especially in children are often highly counterproductive.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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In what ways do you think a dx would affect him later on? I'd like for DS to get therapy if it will help him, but I don't want him to be "branded" for life if it's not necessary, especially if it could complicate things for him down the road.
Just from what I have read a DX can possibly cause problems when he is an adult to adopt, custody situations, certain jobs.. But I am really "unsure" and its hard for me to find information on it either way if it does make it harder or if it has no effect. I just cant say with 110% sureness that my son in 15 years would not have problems doing something that he may want/need to do. Does that makes sense? Laws change/people change...

Quote:
I want to homeschool my DCs, but DP is deadset against it, so I don't know what will happen with that . . . would a dx make it harder to homeschool (as far as requirements and legal stuff)?
A dx would have nothing to do if we want to homeschool or put in him in any public school. My son would not do well in public school, he really need the one on one.
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Brigianna-
She isn't diagnosed, because we don't want her to face possible future discrimination, and because as a homeschooled kid she really doesn't need the accommodation or services that a diagnosis would bring. Regarding social anxiety, you may, if you like, want to discuss that with some autistic adults who were treated for anxiety as children (me, for one).
Same reasons here mama. Just had to say that as you put it nicely.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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I would encourage you to read this book before you get an evaluation. http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosis-D...2342126&sr=8-1

My main question as a parent would be - is my kid unhappy. This is a not the same as "is my kid different". Some kids are really different and they aren't disordered or unhappy. I would ask what are the things that seem to be making him unhappy and are these things radically different than what is typical for his age and is the degree of upset he's experiencing really different than would be typical for his age. Many of the things you described like enjoying drawing, having a good sense of direction, enjoying creating orderly set ups of toys and memorizing books are all traits that are not uncommon among many bright children. And, none of these are problems. They are gifts or traits but not disorders. Where I think you need to be concerned is if he's experiencing distress and from your post it doesn't sound like other than the social anxiety that he's got a lot of that going on (and that was just my impression from post - there could be more to it).

If you want to read a bit more about anxiety this is a really helpful book: http://www.amazon.com/Freeing-Your-C...2342344&sr=1-1
roar, i am always intrigued by your posts. my dh has mentioned to me several times that our dd could just be gifted and has quirks and nothing more... and i keep going back and forth, back and forth and i'm reaching the brink of insanity. i can see "definite" issues that she has, how normal they are amongst bright children - i don't know. i mean, her language is just well... for a person of her "intelligence" - not very good. most all of it is memorised and scripted (naturally, by herself) and she still says things like "I am are..." when trying to put words together from scratch (as opposed to just scripting).... but her ability to pick up mathematical concepts is just beyond me. she can learn an entirely new mathematical concept back to front within 2-3 days (so were talking a combined total of about 2-3 hours from first seeing the concept to fully mastering it). to me, that is astounding. she is only 3y4m and were doing 1st grade math, soon to go on 2nd grade and 3rd without hesitation.... we'll probably be doing 4th-5th grade math by the time she is 4. but she can't pretend play (all of it is repetitive - only what i have showed her, she cannot make up anything AT ALL), she doesn't understand abstract concepts at all. she doesn't know how to play with kids and is easily bullied (even by her baby sister), she doesn't read body language very well and loves to repitively watch and have me read the same books until she memorises them word for word, then basically throws them out of the window. books last an average of 1-2 weeks in our house before she tires of them because she memorised the story and doesn't want to know about it anymore. how could all of that be characteristics of a gifted child? it doesn't sound right and i keep going to aspie or s-p disorder... i'm trying very hard to think outside of the box but i am struggling with this. where is the line that needs to be drawn? advice, please.

OP, i am so sorry to have run over this thread. roar, please feel free to PM me.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:44 PM
 
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I PMed you mamamelia.

Let me add to that...if you haven't already done so I'd really encourage you to check out Stanley Greenspan's floortime method for encouraging language development and pretend play. We found it really helpful. http://home.sprintmail.com/~janettevance/floor_time.htm
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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roar, i am always intrigued by your posts. my dh has mentioned to me several times that our dd could just be gifted and has quirks and nothing more... and i keep going back and forth, back and forth and i'm reaching the brink of insanity. i can see "definite" issues that she has, how normal they are amongst bright children - i don't know. i mean, her language is just well... for a person of her "intelligence" - not very good. most all of it is memorised and scripted (naturally, by herself) and she still says things like "I am are..." when trying to put words together from scratch (as opposed to just scripting).... but her ability to pick up mathematical concepts is just beyond me. she can learn an entirely new mathematical concept back to front within 2-3 days (so were talking a combined total of about 2-3 hours from first seeing the concept to fully mastering it). to me, that is astounding. she is only 3y4m and were doing 1st grade math, soon to go on 2nd grade and 3rd without hesitation.... we'll probably be doing 4th-5th grade math by the time she is 4. but she can't pretend play (all of it is repetitive - only what i have showed her, she cannot make up anything AT ALL), she doesn't understand abstract concepts at all. she doesn't know how to play with kids and is easily bullied (even by her baby sister), she doesn't read body language very well and loves to repitively watch and have me read the same books until she memorises them word for word, then basically throws them out of the window. books last an average of 1-2 weeks in our house before she tires of them because she memorised the story and doesn't want to know about it anymore. how could all of that be characteristics of a gifted child? it doesn't sound right and i keep going to aspie or s-p disorder... i'm trying very hard to think outside of the box but i am struggling with this. where is the line that needs to be drawn? advice, please.

OP, i am so sorry to have run over this thread. roar, please feel free to PM me.
There is a strong correlation between giftedness and ASCs. It isn't one or the other.

I have my own opinions on scripting but perhaps should keep them to myself on this thread...
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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There is a strong correlation between giftedness and ASCs. It isn't one or the other.
I agree.

I also want to point out that you have to be careful giving generalizations to things like Autism and Aspergers, its a spectrum.

Example: People always assume that my son has Aspergers because he didn't have a significant speech delay and is very verbal. I have to gently point out that he is, in deed, diagnosed as Classic Autism. He had a delay but not huge and he has speech issues, but not with vocab. Its the type of speech that made the difference along with other things that made the Autism DX most appropriate. So I always remind people its called a spectrum for a reason, there are no true generalizations that can be made that would fit every child.

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Old 02-07-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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There is a strong correlation between giftedness and ASCs. It isn't one or the other.

I have my own opinions on scripting but perhaps should keep them to myself on this thread...
brigianna, i very much respect and welcome your opinion too, i hope you know that. *you* have changed my opinion of what its like to be on the spectrum (and i mean no offense by that so i hope it doesn't come across that way). what are your opinions on scripting? i would love to know. please, if you also have any insight into my situation, i would very much appreciate it if we could discuss it over PM/email.

roar, thank you!! i will talk to you more later tonight.
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Old 02-09-2008, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would encourage you to read this book before you get an evaluation. http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosis-D...2342126&sr=8-1

My main question as a parent would be - is my kid unhappy. This is a not the same as "is my kid different". Some kids are really different and they aren't disordered or unhappy. I would ask what are the things that seem to be making him unhappy and are these things radically different than what is typical for his age and is the degree of upset he's experiencing really different than would be typical for his age. Many of the things you described like enjoying drawing, having a good sense of direction, enjoying creating orderly set ups of toys and memorizing books are all traits that are not uncommon among many bright children. And, none of these are problems. They are gifts or traits but not disorders. Where I think you need to be concerned is if he's experiencing distress and from your post it doesn't sound like other than the social anxiety that he's got a lot of that going on (and that was just my impression from post - there could be more to it).

If you want to read a bit more about anxiety this is a really helpful book: http://www.amazon.com/Freeing-Your-C...2342344&sr=1-1
Thank you, Roar - good food for thought . . . I know that none of those traits are "problems", but I suppose I was concerned that they could be signs of a larger issue that could create problems down the road (if that makes any sense; it's been a long day). I'm going to order that first book; thanks for the rec. DS generally is very happy. I think at this point I would just pursue a speech eval before I did anything else.

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I would go to a developmental pediatrician and see what he/she says.

But you know what? The first thing I thought of when I read your post is that your son might fit criteria for profoundly gifted....have you thought of that? I think those kids tend to have some quirks also. Anyway, it's something to look into.

Drawing OWLS at 28 months??? Wow. Just wow. Your little guy seems to have some special gifts along with his quirks! You might be in for quite a ride!

peace,
robyn
Actually, no, I hadn't thought of that . . . but it's definitely something to look into. (If anyone has any links about that, please post or PM me!) The more I read about AS, the more I recognize a lot of the traits in myself, and I was a gifted kid. (Also terribly shy.)

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hmm... I'm not sure exactly what you mean? (I'm a little foggy).

discrimination... there are some things that autistics can never do. serve in the military, for instance. there may be problems with being a foster parent (not quite sure about that one). college admissions could make it an issue. autistics in general are very much looked down upon by mainstream society, so we err on the side of not having a paper trail saying that dd is one. this is in addition to the fact that in her case, diagnosis would serve no purpose and would possibly be quite traumatic.

homeschooling... most of the "problems" that autistic kids have are related to school and difficulty functioning within the school setting. autistics may have a hard time doing groupwork with peers, concentrating on busywork, understanding certain subtleties, sitting still throughout the day, obeying orders... um... i'm not really articulate right now... how familiar are you with the social model of disability? according to this theory, disability is largely situational. someone could be disabled in one situation but not in another. autism spectrum conditions are classified as disabilities mostly based on the situation of school. relating socially to 30 other people your exact age, following strictly detailed orders, maneuvering complex age-based social hierarchy, being able to focus on one task and also to switch tasks and mental tracks rapidly, sit still... these are all expectations in a school setting, and things that asc people may have difficulty with. i.e. they are disabled within the context of that setting. remove the setting and you remove the disability. make sense?

anxiety... oh geez. can i answer this one when i'm awake? basically... based on my own personal experience and that of others... that psych treatment for anxiety is itself highly anxiety-producing and traumatic, and this is often dismissed as being a risk, which i don't think it should be.... i think that anxiety is a natural part of the human condition in general and of some individual's personalities in particular and that attempts to "treat" it especially in children are often highly counterproductive.
Thank you for explaining all that! You answered all my questions. All of the above makes a *lot* of sense - you are awesome. I think that for now I'm not going to pursue a diagnosis. If we have more concerns as DS gets older, it might be an option, but for the time being I'll let it be.

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Just from what I have read a DX can possibly cause problems when he is an adult to adopt, custody situations, certain jobs.. But I am really "unsure" and its hard for me to find information on it either way if it does make it harder or if it has no effect. I just cant say with 110% sureness that my son in 15 years would not have problems doing something that he may want/need to do. Does that makes sense? Laws change/people change...
Makes sense. I wouldn't want to stick DS with a dx that's going to be hovering over him forever, if it's not totally necessary.

********

The more I read about AS, I'm less sure it fits DS. Like last night we were lying in bed, and I was obsessing over all of this, and DS got up and went to the window. He was looking at the sky, and he called me over - "Hey mama, come see! See stars! A daddy star, a mama star, and a baby star!" I went over to the window with him to look, and he hugged and kissed me and started talking about how the sun was sleeping because it was dark. That doesn't sound like anything I've read about AS. I keep flip-flopping about it . . . there's definitely social anxiety, and he's definitely got his share of quirks . . . maybe that's all there is to it. Or maybe it's not. :

A, wife to R and mom to 3 boys: D~ 10/05, J~ 8/07, and B~ 12/09 and welcoming a new little one in May 2015
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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anxiety... oh geez. can i answer this one when i'm awake? basically... based on my own personal experience and that of others... that psych treatment for anxiety is itself highly anxiety-producing and traumatic, and this is often dismissed as being a risk, which i don't think it should be.... i think that anxiety is a natural part of the human condition in general and of some individual's personalities in particular and that attempts to "treat" it especially in children are often highly counterproductive.
I'm sorry you had a negative experience.

I wanted to share another perspective on this. My son and I have both found cognitive behavioral therapy very helpful for anxiety. What was traumatic was living with the overwhelming hand shaking, heart pumping, adrenaline overload feelings of out of control anxiety. Therapy has been incredibly helpful in finding ways to manage that natural part of life and not feel awful. There was absolutely not one single part of therapy that was remotely traumatic. The therapist was simply a supportive, accepting friendly person who wanted to help us toward our goals. It was never about changing the people we are, but about helping us find some daily ways to manage the parts of life that can be hard for people with sensitivities.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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brigianna, i very much respect and welcome your opinion too, i hope you know that. *you* have changed my opinion of what its like to be on the spectrum (and i mean no offense by that so i hope it doesn't come across that way). what are your opinions on scripting? i would love to know. please, if you also have any insight into my situation, i would very much appreciate it if we could discuss it over PM/email.

roar, thank you!! i will talk to you more later tonight.
thank you. okay, basically I think scripting is often thought of as "not real thinking" when in fact I believe it is a different learning style which paves the way for logical comprehension. It is also a coping skill for someone for whom verbal communication does not come naturally. I use a lot of scripting, and it gets me through the day. Most people assume that scripting is simply a rote habit that emphasizes the disconnect between a person's thoughts and expressions. I don't think this is accurate. In my own case, I have plenty of thoughts, but because they don't naturally occur to me in words, I have to borrow some--hence, scripting. You know the saying "steal from one person, it's called plagiarism, steal from many people, it's called research"? Scripting is like research. It's borrowing language that has worked in the past and pulling it for the present. It doesn't mean she isn't communicating her own thoughts. It means that she has gathered a repertoire of scripts to help translate the gap between nonverbal thought and verbal expression.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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That's helpful, Brigianna. My daughter scripts at times. When you say your thoughts don't naturally occur in words do you mean thoughts occur to you in pictures ..or something else?

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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Old 02-09-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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The more I read about AS, I'm less sure it fits DS. Like last night we were lying in bed, and I was obsessing over all of this, and DS got up and went to the window. He was looking at the sky, and he called me over - "Hey mama, come see! See stars! A daddy star, a mama star, and a baby star!" I went over to the window with him to look, and he hugged and kissed me and started talking about how the sun was sleeping because it was dark. That doesn't sound like anything I've read about AS. I keep flip-flopping about it . . . there's definitely social anxiety, and he's definitely got his share of quirks . . . maybe that's all there is to it. Or maybe it's not. :
In my experience a child/adult with AS could do this.
But, I would have no idea if your child has AS.
It is a spectrum and you can not say one child could do one thing or not as every child is affected different.

You son sounds sweet.
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