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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,<br><br>
My oldest son is three and a half--will be 4 at the end of December. We recently began to suspect that there may be something going on with him and I immediately though Aspergers. My biggest concern is his lack of eye contact. He will sometimes look at you when you are talking to him, but never when he talks to you. He is very verbal; although he was slightly delayed (talked at about 18 months), he quickly gained a great vocabulary and spoke in very long sentences for his age. He is also quite social. For example when we go to the park, he wants to "make friends" with other children--however, when he goes to talk to them he can't make eye contact. He thinks he is talking to them; but they probably don't know it!<br><br>
He also has some other issues--SID, he is definately hyposensitive (can swing upside down in the swing for hours!), and I am guessing that he may have some mild dyspraxis. He was late to self-feed and has problems dressing/potty training, also his gross motor is a bit delayed, i.e., climbing and jumping.<br><br>
I am just so obsessed about this eye contact thing. Does it necessarily point to being on the spectrum or can it be part of his sensory issues?<br><br>
He is in preschool and they will be starting some testing soon, but are now just observing to make sure that they are headed in the right direction.<br><br>
Of course, I am just beside myself about the whole thing and want *answers*!Ugh.<br><br>
Anyone have any ideas?<br><br>
Kirsten
 

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This might be a case of having a hammer, and seeing everything as a nail, but I just wanted to mention that many of these things fit with NonVerbal Learning Disorder. This is a neurological problem with the right hemisphere, so that anything that is <b>not</b> verbal is difficult. These kids are sometimes called "little professors" because of their advanced vocab, and they tend to talk "at" rather than with people. They want to make friends but cannot read any nonverbal ie body language, facial expressions, personal space. There is often motor delays (my 9 yo can't ride a bike) and other milestone delays - for us, walking and toileting were delayed. It is fairly rare, only like 5% of kids.<br>
Anxiety and sensory issues are also involved, for my daughter. But she is extremely bright, and has done well in school so far.<br><br>
It is supposed to be easily dx because of a gap in testing scores....<br>
Here is a link.... (or three!)<br><br><a href="http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/yourchild/nld.htm" target="_blank">http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/yourchild/nld.htm</a><br><a href="http://www.nldontheweb.org/" target="_blank">http://www.nldontheweb.org/</a><br><a href="http://www.nldline.com/" target="_blank">http://www.nldline.com/</a><br><br>
I will tell you, don't get freaked out. Like any other SN, they tend to go on and on about the problems, and not talk about anything good. If you want to talk about it feel free to pm or email me.<br>
Good luck, mama.
 

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Difficulty with eye contact is usually conected to a sensory issue, and it alone or mixed with other stuff wouldn't put a kid on the spectrum. Hopefully sbgrace will come on with the link she has handy to do a quick check to see whether you should be thinking PDD or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your reply. I have been doing *a lot* of reading on this and have been thinking that it may be non-verbal learning disorder as well. Obviously, I had never heard of it until I checked out a stack of books from the library. It makes the most sense to me--at this point at least. Ugh. What really kills me is that he was in EI for his speech and even when I mentioned his lagging small motor/gross motor skills and his aversion to eye contact, his therapist was so impressed by his verbal ability that she shrugged it off. He was also born with a cleft lip and palate, and we thought these sorts of delays were normal because if his string of early surgeries/recoveries. Perhaps, but not to this point. Ugh. Don't be surprised if I email you with questions later. My kids are in bed (yeah!) and I am off to enjoy a glass of wine and a movie with my hubby.<br><br>
Thanks again!<br><br>
Kirsten
 

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There would be more to a spectrum child than just eye contact issues. <a href="http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html" target="_blank">http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html</a> Here is the link Kerry mentioned!<br>
Take a look--if you fill it out it might give you an idea of whether or not to be concerned. Autism isn't the worst thing ever and actually I think it is good to know so you can do things to help.<br>
Wow. That NVLD stuff is interesting. It looks like there is over-lap in this and spectrum disorders and children may meet both criteria? My son meets the criteria for pdd-nos. But in reading that--wow--this really describes him I think. I'll have to do more looking.
 

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Kirsten, what you said about the therapist being so impressed by his verbal ability - that is a problem I have had as well. My dd is very bright, and when I spoke to the school about testing her, they were reluctant, since she reads well, and had this fantastic vocabulary, that seems to make it hard for them to see that she does have problems that need to be addressed.<br><br>
Many times NLD isn't dx until late grade school or middle school, when they really begin to struggle - I didn't want to wait to that point!<br><br>
ETA: I found a terrific group for NLD teens and adults, and parents of NLD kids. It has been a huge help to me.<br><a href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NLD-In-Common/" target="_blank">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NLD-In-Common/</a>
 
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