Aspergers anyone?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 12-29-2008, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking for information on Asperger's. (I also posted this in SN.)

After doing some research for ds, dh and I have decided to have dd assessed as well.
I'm hoping to find someone in central Indiana with experience in this kind of assessment.
Any suggestions for who/where to have dd assessed?
Anyone with experience in this area with a lo under age 3?

TIA

Cate
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#2 of 27 Old 12-29-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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Have you done any reading about the possible overlap of symptoms of giftedness and Asperger's - if not, I'd start there.

http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosis-D...ref=pd_sim_b_1

http://www.gt-cybersource.org/Record...=2_0&rid=11381

It would be a good idea if you could find someone familiar with gifted kids. You may have to travel. http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/psychologists.htm
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#3 of 27 Old 12-29-2008, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have read a bit about overlap in the area of other diagnoses but haven't read anything that blatantly stated there was an overlap with regard to giftedness. Although, there is quite a bit said about elevated IQ and the like.

I'm checking out the links you sent. THANKS!

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#4 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 11:48 AM
 
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Definitely make sure you speak with someone who is familiar with gifted children! It can be very difficult to tell the two apart. There's also a large overlap with ADHD.
And the truth is that gifted children can be just plain odd. So can gifted adults (myself included).

We thought my DS was autistic (obviously no Asperbergers due to speech delay, fine/gross motor advancement, and advanced sense of humor) even though our doctor (who was actually a GP but very experienced with gifted children) assured us that he wasn't. We just thought: there must be SOMETHING. All autistic characteristics have since disappeared and now he only shows some typical gifted over exciteables. In fact, my DS is now a very insightful and empathetic person which I would NEVER have thought possible (he used to be the hitter on the playground and had the most horrific temper tantrums and obsessions and talking to him about feelings was like talking to a wall). He's constantly making remarks on what he thinks other people are thinking or feeling. He's also very socially adept and popular as long as he plays with the older kids. Even his monotone has gone away and he's finally learning to sing on pitch.
My DD has "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad" OEs but no autistic tendencies.

I'm not saying your child doesn't have Asperbergers, just that you need to be very careful with the diagnosis. Good luck on your search!
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#5 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This whole thing started with ds, 12 1/2. He's been diagnosed with both "borderline add" and dyslexia. I've always known this wasn't correct but couldn't put my finger on it. I had looked into Asperger's in the past but it never went very far. (the ex and I can't seem to agree on any of this. He's got a negative opinion of diagnoses.)
I recently decided I'd had enough of ds not succeeding in school so I decided to pick up where I left off. DS has just about every characteristic of Asperger's, even the coordination piece. He can't ride a bike to save his life. Poor little man lol I just wanna hug him. He's a walking definition of Aspies.

Anyway, dd recently started acting differently. She almost seems to have woken up one day and decided to make me insane. She isn't missing empathic feelings and she seems to be quite coordinated but not every child with Asperger's has every characteristic, right?
DD has recently:
*become increasing sensitive to sound and light
*isn't sleeping well - she's been waking between 4am and 6am and no more naps
*she has a habit of lining things up
*she began speaking in full sentences over night
*she has a hard time using language socially - lack of eye contact
*pragmatic use of language but she's also deaf with coclear implants so the language piece could be the hearing loss
*she seems generally "on edge" most of the time
*she's very resitant to change
*sometimes dd seems to just not "hear" me - this could also be the hearing loss but it's as if this has changed over the past several months. She wasn't like this a year ago.
*dd seems to have a high tolerance for pain - she never took any pain meds (not even tylenol or the like)after surgeries or after breaking her arm
*dd is often startled by the littlest things - I cannot walk up behind her without making some kind of noise so she knows I'm coming. If I even walk briskly from one room to another to grab a ringing phone, dd will jump and run and hide.

Also, this all started quite recently. The behaviors listed above initially led me to this forum but I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't more there, especially considering ds seems to be Asperger's.

OK, now that I've said all of this I'm really looking for thoughts and ideas. I've got a couple of phone calls to make to a local university psych dept (got their info from hoagies) but I'm still not sure about dd's age and how she may or may not be accurately diagnosed, after reading some other posts.

Off topic: Somone tell me why dd takes everything apart but never puts it back together!
She has, while I was writing this post, removed every book from the shelves...again...dumped every block on the floor, put all the dvds on the floor, removed the burners from her stove, and dumped her magnet letters and numbers in the laundry basket she stole from my bedroom.
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#6 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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My DD is destroying the home as I write, as well. Right now she's reorganizing the coat closet and taking all of the ornaments off of the Christmas tree. My oldest used to do this all of the time, as well as line up cars (or toys, blocks, whatever didn't run away), walk on his toes, resist change violently (hitting, screaming, kicking), act out violently for no apparent reason (which, strangely, went away when he potty-trained), and seemed to be immune to pain. My DD has all of those behaviors, as well. My DS has just grown out of them. Nobody can tell me why he behaved so strangely before or why he stopped. But it all stopped about 8 months ago and we haven't had a single relapse so I guess he really has changed. He doesn't line up anything, act out, walk strangely, and he's normally sensitive to pain.
But I think it was less autism than SPD and OE with my kids (which are common things with gifties). And a lot of her behavior could be attributed to their visual-spatial leanings.

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She isn't missing empathic feelings and she seems to be quite coordinated but not every child with Asperger's has every characteristic, right?
That's true, but those are actually two of the defining characteristics. The eye-contact thing is a bit suspicious, though. I'd just go have her evaluated for some clarity.

Anyway, you and your doctor will know better than I. Just wanted to second the fact that you have to be really careful about diagnosing gifted children. They're already so wierd, YK.

Have you thought about homeschooling? Just a shameless homeschooling plug...
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#7 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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If she hasn't already had one I would consider an OT evaluation from someone experienced with sensory integration dysfunction. Gifted + sensory dysfunction can look a lot like Asperger's even when it isn't.
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#8 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 05:47 PM
 
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I agree. There are so many other things it could be, or even a whole raft of things. Or everything at once.
My DS's behavior went away before he was old enough for a true diagnosis so we still don't know what was going on.

Ugh. Gotta go. My DD just discovered the little present decorations on the tree and is diligently opening them all. And eating the insides. *sigh*
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#9 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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Yes, definitely read the dual-diagnosis and mis-diagnosis of gifted.

The probelm is that gifted kids often have an increase in overexcitabilities.... this paired with giftedness, can really create a mis-diagnosis situation.

I've looked asperger's, spd, adhd, etc, for my oldest many times. The only thing that truly fits is gifted with OE's.

Many of things you stated could easily be just that she is 3. Note that all my kids, so far have shown only an INCREASE in sensitivity to stimuli. My oldest had no sensitivity to smell until she was almost 5. Several of the items you mentioned could be related to deaf/implants.

What you describe, could be just gifted, or gifted/aspie or something else. It is especially important that you do find someone familiar enough with gifted for an eval.

If I ever do get my one child eval'ed, it will be costing me a pretty penny, to insure she is not mis-diagnosed.
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#10 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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Lack of eye contact can be a lot of things too. My son can have poor eye contact when speaking but very good eye contact when listening. It can be related to introversion. It seems like one of those flags that cause a lot of concern and can be looked into but may be no big thing.

Did you say your daughter is not yet 3? Don't many kids that age turn the house upside down? Mine did for sure. He emptied out the CD rack and tupperware drawer what seemed like 100 times a day. And no, he never cleaned up after himself. He's 6.5 now and still doesn't usually tidy up without direction.
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#11 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have requested the evaluation through the ei program and I've left a message with a psychology dept recommended on hoagies. We don't have to accept therapies offered if we don't agree with any possible dx's so I suppose there's no harm in having her eval'd.

LOL
I have been thinking that dd is just one of those "weird gifties". lol What else could it have been? yk
IDK, she's been "changing" over the past year or so and the past month or two have been really bad. I hadn't considered AS until I started new research for ds. He is the walking definition of AS so I thought it'd be best to just assess dd as well.

We're on the road to homeschooling already. It seems like the best option for dd.
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#12 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Augusta View Post
Lack of eye contact can be a lot of things too. My son can have poor eye contact when speaking but very good eye contact when listening. It can be related to introversion. It seems like one of those flags that cause a lot of concern and can be looked into but may be no big thing.

Did you say your daughter is not yet 3? Don't many kids that age turn the house upside down? Mine did for sure. He emptied out the CD rack and tupperware drawer what seemed like 100 times a day. And no, he never cleaned up after himself. He's 6.5 now and still doesn't usually tidy up without direction.
LOL
Yes, it is normal for kids this age to turn the house upside down and I do remember my older three doing just that. However, dd is different. She's not just turning the house upside down, she's turning me upside down. I cannot keep up with her. I can't manage to stay on the same foot path as she and her behavior seems to be extreme. I have three other very bright children, at least one has an IQ that would classify as gifted and they never, ever acted the way dd does.
It's dd's recent behavior, coupled with the AS red flags that got this all started.
DD seemed to have gone to bed one night and woke up the next day as some other child. While I can look back and see little changes over the past year, the most noticeable changes have occurred over the past month or two.

We visited with my parents a couple of months ago, then again mid-December. My mother commented on dd's change in behavior. From one month to the next my mom noticed a significant change in dd. My mother is not the most attentive or communicative. For her to notice such a degree of change was striking to me.
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#13 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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Lack of eye contact can be a lot of things too.
This is true for us, as well. My DS sometimes will look away if I look him directly in the face (I got in the bad habit of doing that after reading about "lack of eye contact" on an autism-identification list) but now that he's older there's text to go with the gesture: "Mommy, stop staring at me." And if I just look casually at him, he doesn't look away. Just if I make a big point to stare at him to see how he'll react. He HATES that. Of course he does, it's generally considered rude. And he's a bit of a shy, introverted guy.

Quote:
she's been "changing" over the past year or so and the past month or two have been really bad.
Hmm... Another thought: my DD has been VERY DIFFICULT for the past 2 months but we chalk it down to teething. The OEs can make teething a complete nightmare for the whole family. She already has all of her teeth but some of them are still rising through, KWIM? Are you sure there isn't some physical or emotional turmoil (potty training was the trigger with my oldest) that could be changing her behavior?
My oldest went from my sweet little munchkin to screaming, kicking, hitting tantrum boy literally overnight and then abruptly changed back after he finished potty-training. I can't prove causation but the correlation for both of them is very strong.

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We're on the road to homeschooling already.
Yay! (I get up and do my little covert homeschooling dance.)
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#14 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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VanessaS - this is exactly what I was talking about. Some of dd's characteristics could very well be related to her hearing loss. Deaf people don't get the eye contact thing or pragmatics or tone of voice, etc.

I guess I want someone to tell me why dd was "fine" for so long and then became so uncomfortable or whatever in a time frame that feels like over night. We went from sleeping great all night and napping a couple of hours a day to not napping and waking at 4 for the whole darn day! What's that about?!?

I guess I'm exhausted and frustrated and dreading a visit with the IL's next week, away from home with dd. ugghhh!!
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#15 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is true for us, as well. My DS sometimes will look away if I look him directly in the face (I got in the bad habit of doing that after reading about "lack of eye contact" on an autism-identification list) but now that he's older there's text to go with the gesture: "Mommy, stop staring at me." And if I just look casually at him, he doesn't look away. Just if I make a big point to stare at him to see how he'll react. He HATES that. Of course he does, it's generally considered rude. And he's a bit of a shy, introverted guy.


Hmm... Another thought: my DD has been VERY DIFFICULT for the past 2 months but we chalk it down to teething. The OEs can make teething a complete nightmare for the whole family. She already has all of her teeth but some of them are still rising through, KWIM? Are you sure there isn't some physical or emotional turmoil (potty training was the trigger with my oldest) that could be changing her behavior?


Yay! (I get up and do my little covert homeschooling dance.)
I thought about teeth and the possibility of ear infection and it's a big negative across the board, so far at least.

OE's are a big deal around here lately. This has not really been the case with dd until recently. I didn't even realize until recently that it was an issue in our house. I think, in hindsight, that the OE's were always present but when dd was still nursing I would just stick a boob in her mouth and she'd be more than happy. Now that she's no longer nursing, I've lost some of my "power" over the OE's. LOL

Gotta love the covert homeschooling dance. LOL I'll join you now......
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#16 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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We went from sleeping great all night and napping a couple of hours a day to not napping and waking at 4 for the whole darn day! What's that about?!?
I'm with you there. We're going through the same thing right now. For six straight months my DD slept 11 hours at night and took a 3 hour nap. Now she sleeps 10.5 hours at night and no nap in sight. And I spend all day chasing her and pulling her off of the furniture. And she doesn't want to play, or cuddle, or go outside, or stay inside, or sit down, or stand up, or... you get the picture. She's so ornery right now. And destructive. Very destructive.

And I need to stop posting and then editing. Sorry if I confused you. That's such an annoying habit of mine.
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#17 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 12:30 AM
 
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Speaking of destruction, my DD learned a new trick today. Yesterday she figured out how to open my laptop and remove keys. And today she discovered that the keys are actually composed of three tiny little parts and that you can take those parts apart and spread them all over the couch. I spent almost an hour rebuilding my keyboard (my DS helped, of course). My DH's comment was just: Where does she think up this stuff? And how did she do this in less than 3 minutes?!
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#18 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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The early waking is a tough one on us moms isn't it?

If it gives you a glimmer of hope my 6.5 year old was consistently an early riser (like 4 am or 5 if I was lucky) from infancy. Even in Junior Kindergarten (age 4-5) he would sometimes be at my bedside at 4 am asking if he could use the computer or watch cartoons. Over the last few years though he's started "sleeping in". Some mornings (rarely but still) we even have to wake him up to get ready for school at 7:30. I never thought that day would come. In general he's still an early riser, but more like 6 or 7 than 4.

We've dealt with a lot of odd behaviors with our son over the years. Sometimes he's been viewed by others as strange (usually teachers but not doctors or other professionals that work specifically with kids with the things teachers were suspicious of). Sometimes it seems like there MUST be something "wrong". But as the years go by my son gets more and more comfortable in his own skin and learns to operate within the world and life gets easier. He's still got quirks and OE's but nothing to get worried about.

I think we're lucky that he was first. If we had a more typical child to compare him to maybe we'd have been more freaked out. Now we've got this almost 5 month old that just seems so easy, settled and content. If it had been the other way around I think it would have been more difficult.
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#19 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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Both of my kids are difficult but my DD (the younger one) is more so. With my DS the problems were more related to his dealings with other people, so it wasn't THAT bad at home, as long as he had his naps (which was a topic all its own). With my DD the difficulties start before dawn and continue, unbroken, for the entire day. I see my DS as my warm-up phase.
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#20 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Casha'sMommy View Post
It's dd's recent behavior, coupled with the AS red flags that got this all started.
DD seemed to have gone to bed one night and woke up the next day as some other child. While I can look back and see little changes over the past year, the most noticeable changes have occurred over the past month or two.

.
Have you taken her to the pediatrician for a full exam?

The downside I see to starting with the AS evaluation is that AS is far from one specific condition that can be accurately tested for and a misdiagnosis could keep you from needed treatment for a physical condition. If you are seeing sharp sudden changes in behavior I would look first to physical causes. I would ask the pediatrician to screen her for lead poisoning, anemia, etc. as the first step. I would suggest bringing in as specific list of possible of the changes you are seeing and be sure to mention that other family members are also observing marked changes in behavior.
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#21 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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Have you taken her to the pediatrician for a full exam?

The downside I see to starting with the AS evaluation is that AS is far from one specific condition that can be accurately tested for and a misdiagnosis could keep you from needed treatment for a physical condition. If you are seeing sharp sudden changes in behavior I would look first to physical causes. I would ask the pediatrician to screen her for lead poisoning, anemia, etc. as the first step. I would suggest bringing in as specific list of possible of the changes you are seeing and be sure to mention that other family members are also observing marked changes in behavior.
But that assumes that AS behaviors aren't caused by physical problems. It does make sense to look at all the other things you listed, but there are physical issues parents can consider if an ASD diagnosis is appropriate in the end.
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#22 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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But that assumes that AS behaviors aren't caused by physical problems. It does make sense to look at all the other things you listed, but there are physical issues parents can consider if an ASD diagnosis is appropriate in the end.
I'm not sure you understood my post. I'm not suggesting ASD diagnosed children have no physical problems or that the root of ASD behaviors may not be related to metals poisoning, food intolerances, etc.

What I am suggesting is that ASD is a very fuzzy diagnosis that isn't made by a blood test and there are many possible causes for this behavior. If a child has a sudden onset of different behavior the place to start is ruling out physical causes first. I personally would be very wary of starting with a child with these broad symptoms with having them evaluated for ASD because I've seen that most often that results in a diagnosis whether it is accurate or not.
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#23 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 10:19 PM
 
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If she hasn't already had one I would consider an OT evaluation from someone experienced with sensory integration dysfunction. Gifted + sensory dysfunction can look a lot like Asperger's even when it isn't.
I see this in my son and he might have some SPD issues... He has always been sensitive to noises and is now sometimes to textures, and food textures. But it really comes and goes, so I don't know. I'd like to look into it a bit, but I don't know if our insurance will help at all, does anyone know if Kaiser evaluates kids for SPD? It seems weird that they wouldn't, since the medical community is pretty solidly positioned when it comes to SPD... but who knows what is going through the insurance people's minds (beside$ what they think i$ be$t for the $hareholder ).

I've heard the Asp. diagnosis is the diagnosis de jour, so I would be very hesitant to have this unless all other possibilities are ruled out, per Roar's suggestion.

But to the OP, a psychologist friend of mind has suggested that my son is Asp., but I never saw it and he is *highly* coordinated (riding a bike early and learning in a day), and very empathetic. He used to line toys up when he was a baby, but a lot of babies do this. I wouldn't trust anyone's evaluation unless they were very familiar with gifted kids, because giftedness would impact the diagnosis... and my kids have some 'strange' behaviors (well, so do I ) but it doesn't have to be a condition, yk?

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#24 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 10:44 PM
 
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I'm not sure you understood my post. I'm not suggesting ASD diagnosed children have no physical problems or that the root of ASD behaviors may not be related to metals poisoning, food intolerances, etc.

What I am suggesting is that ASD is a very fuzzy diagnosis that isn't made by a blood test and there are many possible causes for this behavior. If a child has a sudden onset of different behavior the place to start is ruling out physical causes first. I personally would be very wary of starting with a child with these broad symptoms with having them evaluated for ASD because I've seen that most often that results in a diagnosis whether it is accurate or not.
Ahhh, I read it as look for physical causes and then look for ASD which would just need behavioral approaches. Now I understand.
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#25 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 10:56 PM
 
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Ahhh, I read it as look for physical causes and then look for ASD which would just need behavioral approaches. Now I understand.
The other thing I was thinking but not successfully saying, is that too often kids get ASD diagnosis and the only treatment offered is behavioral. So, it can be kind of a dead end - like now we have an explanation so no need to continue to consider if there is another root cause and that was my concern for the poster with getting the ASD eval first.
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#26 of 27 Old 01-01-2009, 01:10 AM
 
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The other thing I was thinking but not successfully saying, is that too often kids get ASD diagnosis and the only treatment offered is behavioral. So, it can be kind of a dead end - like now we have an explanation so no need to continue to consider if there is another root cause and that was my concern for the poster with getting the ASD eval first.
Yeah, I think I read more into what you wrote because we're doing biomed stuff and I've seen a lot of subtle stuff change, things that I wouldn't have assumed were wrong, if I hadn't started knowing we (me and the kids, I mean) have health problems.
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#27 of 27 Old 01-02-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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Location: Carroll County, MD
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The downside I see to starting with the AS evaluation is that AS is far from one specific condition that can be accurately tested for and a misdiagnosis could keep you from needed treatment for a physical condition.
Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. For example, we just found out that my DS' adenoids are ENORMOUS (he's constantly got a runny nose, too) and that he had an ear infection (apparently for a couple of weeks before we noticed) and he's had one nasal bacterial infection after another. You know that monotone I said he used to have that I thought was a sign of autism? He stopped speaking in one after the last course of antibiotics. And all of the sleep he needs might be related to the fact that he snores all night. Which might also be the reason he wakes up periodically, screaming his head off. He stopped doing that as well, now that he's on antibiotics.

And with my DD it was definitely the teething. All of her teeth are FINALLY through and yesterday she turned back to her normal cheerful, hyper, inquisitive self. Although she's still biting so I don't think the teething is completely over, but at least we're over the worst of it.

We've had a lot of wrong diagnosis in our family, including my older sister who's behavior took an abrupt turn for the worse as a baby and they found out she had a golf ball-sized brain tumor. Oh, yeah. At the time they kept sending my mother home and telling her it was just colic until she told them she'd hire a lawyer if they didn't do an X-ray. And sure enough, she was right!

Don't mean to scare you, or anything, just be VERY careful with diagnosis where they can't prove or disprove it with a simple test. Eliminate the physical stuff first, even if she does have aspergers. I think having autism/Aspergers is a bit like being pregnant or having diabetes. Once you've been diagnosed, everything you do after that is put down to that cause. For example, during both pregnancies I complained about terrible back pain and the doctors always assured me that it was a pregnancy symptom. Well, 6 months into my DD's pregnancy they discovered that I had a cyst growing on my back (into the body so that it couldn't be felt from the outside) the size of a tennis ball! It took 4 hours of surgery for them to get it all out and it was so huge that they brought in a bunch of students to watch. Everyday they'd all file in to stare at the huge gaping whole on my back.

Enough horror stories...
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