Hi, I am meeting with a psychologist on Thursday to discuss my son's problems and I was wondering if he may have similar traits to any of your children. My son is 4 1/2 and very large for his age. We started to notice something wasn't quite right when he was 2. He has seen many doctors and he has had several blood tests with no diagnosis. He has been in speech and occupational therapy. He is extremely bright, but cannot experss himself well. He has many sensory issues and will only play with his sister. He went to preschool for one day which did not go very well. As soon as they served him grape juice that was the end of that. He is very sensitive to smells, especially cherry, grape and bubble gum. He will not wear jeans or anything with a tag. He prefers to be naked and will walk around with only one sock on. He has terrible temper tantrums for no apperant reason and hits his older sister daily. He will no longer go to the store or the mall. On the rare occasion I do convince him to go it only last for about 15 minutes and he throws a fit. He is very good with math - loves counting money, but he cannot say his alphabet. We are at our wits end. He says he will never go to school and his 4 daily temper tantrums are wearing us out. Does anyone think this could be asperger's? I am desperately looking for answers. Thank you.
It sounds like he could be on the Autistic Spectrum however I'm not thinking Asperger Syndrome from your description. It sounds more like PDD/NOS which means they meet many of the charactaristics for either Autism or Asperger but not enough for a complete diagnosis of either one. They do however meet enough of the criteria for a Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
PDD/NOS stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified.
This is what makes it such a spectrum. They all differ yet hold the same types of problems with communication/ sensory/ social deficits just to different degrees. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have if I'm able to. Good Luck
ps. the reason I don't think Asperger is that he has difficulty expressing himself. Children with Aspergers don't usually have speech delay. They are often able to speak in vocabulary above and beyond their years.
Last edited by jeffreys mom; 03-06-2006 at 05:03 PM.
I agree. Asperger's children are almost always hyperlexic and talk as if they're "little professors." I have mild Asperger's, and my vocabulary has always been advanced for my age. It certainly sounds like some form of an autistic spectrum disorder, though, as jeffrey'smom said. God bless!
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
Aspergers actually doesn't have the "speech" delay, but can have the langauge delay.
My son has expressive language disorder and is considered Aspergers. He's more high functioning autism to me---if there is a difference. My son doesn't have the "little professor" behavior, and ZERO hyperlexia---in fact he is behind in reading, writing skills. He's in kindergarten and can not recognize the letters yet. Maybe it's due to dyslexia also--I don't know yet. His 9yo sister has dyslexia.
He's very good at math. A genius when it comes to electronics. He fits the criteria because of the obsessions, rituals, anxiety/OCD behaviors, stimming. Social-----hasn't a clue. Has no friends. Plays with others only if it's a chase game. No langauge used when playing with figures. (he just started playing with figures). When he is playing xbox with our neighbor-----rules are HIS way---or else!! He can't transition.
When went to a speech therapist who after the first appt thought he was aspergers. He hadn't been dx yet. She had over 25 years of experience working with ASD kids. The language criteria is:
"There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years)"
My son "talked" great at 3yo. We never knew he had a speech problem until he was eval'd and they found the langauge disorder.
But then--my son has been dx with alot of "stuff". Right now it's Bipolar, HFA, Anxiety, ADHD.
I am 2 years older than my autistic brother, and we found out when he was 2 and a half. He had difficulty expressing himself and went through all sorts of therapy. He would only play with me, no other kids, and he sometimes would hit me for no reason. He is so smart with math, and was a whiz on the computer. We had to move when I was 9 to go to a better school district for him, and it made a big difference. When my mom had my younger brother, who's 5 years younger than me, Mark, the one with autism was very mean to him. He still can be. Mark is now 19, has 2 jobs through the school, and communicates better everyday. He's my best friend and we get along so well, even though he can't always tell me what he's thinking. The fact is, autism is a lot better than some other disabilities, and if you know how to deal with it and give him what he needs, he'll only get better over time. Good luck!!
I agree with the other posts. My son is 9 and has Asperger's Syndrome. Whilst some of the traits you describe can be associated with Asperger's, many of them cannot.
There is no doubt that your son lies on the Autistic spectrum - where is the difficulty!
Please do not despair though. There is a tremendous amount of help out there for you, do not be afraid to ask for help from any available source.
My son has recently started the befriender scheme and it has proved invaluable to our family. Ensure that you get all the help and support that is available and keep in contact with other parents in a similar position. Just knowing that I am not on my own is a lifesaver!
Good luck with your diagnosis.
Thank you to everyone that responded. Hopefully I will get some answers Thursday. He has become obsessed with money. He sits and counts it over and over and wants more and more. He's very good with math and becomes overly interested in whatever subject Magic School bus has on each morning. We have to tape it so he can watch it over and over and then wants to do the experiments. For months he had to make tornados in the kitchen sink and then moved on to honey. He's so bright, but he has such a hard time with his speech. He talks very loud and very fast. It's like he's got too large a vocabualry for his age and the words don't come out right. I'll just be glad to find out what is wrong and get on the path to helping him. I hate the thought of him fighting me to go to school. My daughter is a diabetic and it's getting hard to balance everything. I live in the western suburbs of Illinois if anyone knows of any good programs here. Thanks again.
Oh, I think I get it now- he has sooo many thoughts, that he talks sooo fast to try to express them all. I tend to do the same thing. And as far as watching TV shows over and over again- still do that, but when I was about two and three, my mom would make tapes for me, and I watched the same episodes of "Full House," "Garfield," and "Pink Panther" (still love them all), that she would literally know what was going on from the music. It's still sad because I can recite every line of certain episodes even now...
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
Your son sounds a lot like my daughter. We thought something was up with her since she was 2. Even when she was a baby, she was very irritable. Her nickname was fussy face because she was always pouting. Anyway, my daughter has a lot of sensory issues too (fabrics, etc.). Also has frequent tantrums (although this is getting better with age). I used to describe life with her as if we were always "walking on eggshells." We never knew what would set her off. She did do some hitting when she was younger, and even biting, but only to her older sister. In addition to those things, she walks on her toes and has frequent hand flapping. Her speech is a bit monotonous. For a while, (probably about age 4) she would really have trouble communicating. It was not that she did not know the words, but she could not seem to get them out. She would be in the middle of telling a story and would start repeating the first sentence of the story over and over again as if she forgot what she was going to say. Sometimes their thoughts go faster than their mouth can communicate them. After years of deliberation on whether she needed to be evaluated, we finally had her evaluated this year. She just turned 6 and was diagnosed last week with PDD-NOS. Of course, looking back now, it seems so obvious, but until last year, I did not even know what PDD-NOS was. I had no idea that my child could be on the autism spectrum. Now I regret not getting her evaluated sooner. I would suggest seeing a developmental pediatrician as soon as possible. Some bigger hospitals even have multidisciplinary assessments for children with developmental concerns. The waiting lists are long though and tons of paperwork, so get him on the list as soon as you can. Good luck to you. Hope this was helpful.
One more thing I forgot to mention. My daughter also excels in math and computers. My husband fixes computers for a living, and she probably will follow in his footsteps. She knows more at age 6 about computers, than I know at 30. Anyway, we knew she was gifted on the computer when she was 4. Kind of a funny story.
One night I was home and my husband walked in with a package. He said, what did you order online? I said, "I did not order anything." He said well, this package has your name on it. Come to find out, my four year old daughter ordered herself a play cell phone on the internet. We did not believe it at first, but it was true. She even fessed up. My credit card information had been stored on this website from a previous visit, and she figured out what buttons to press to get it delivered. Needless to say, I left the computer unattended for a moment when I was logged into this site, and she figured out what to do. The best part was when I asked my two older girls if "anyone had tried to buy something online." My oldest daughter said to the 4 year old, "I told you not to buy those care bears." My first thought was, oh no, care bears? Is there another package coming? It was one of those things that we look back at and laugh.
I have always considered my difficulties to be mainly in the social sphere. I was interested in books and reading from a very early age and, by first grade, I was reading at a fifth grade level. By sixth grade, my vocabulary scores tested near college level. However, I have always been somewhat shy and it has taken me a long time to catch up. This, in addition to my very unusual interests, has led me to suspect I have Asperger's.
My son is now 11 and just this past year has changed his dx to Aspergers. He at 3 1/2 was dx as PDD pervasive developmental disorder. With his gains up till his age now they changed him to Aspergers. When a toddler he would say a word or a short sentence like "Is that a tractor" and would never hear it again. He was 4 before I ever heard "Momma". He would get very upset going into a store with alot of people or if a stranger spoke to him. I learned as he got older to give him specific reasons as to why going into a store like " We are going in to get cat food" it actually helped gave him I guess a kind of focus for himself. Potty training was an absolute nightmare! I had, had poopy put and wiped in places you would not believe!! Finally got control of it and figured it out about at 5 yr. He could not suck thru a straw and he still has not gained the skill to purse his lips to give a kiss and he really does not smile. He tries to and it looks more like a snarl. When he was like 2 or 3 he would go get a movie with not being in its box (those never made it past like 2 days) and pick one out and say Barney or whatever like he was reading it! the tapes no picture on them either just writing. But he lacked social skills and language skills is why he was dx as PDD. He still lacks social skills and comprehension of the meaning of certain ways of using words or phrases in language. He can sound maybe bossy or harsh to other children when to him he is just speaking the truth or exactly what he knows as the facts. He has a memory like a calculator the things he can repeat from having heard them I call him my "little professor". He is one of the most kindest children though he is polite to others and well mannered and I do geto comments about that from other adults having been around him. he can just seem "out of place" to other kids his age. he is mainstreamed in public school makes the B honor roll and just placed 3rd runner up in a Spelling Bee. Now this is all the same child that I was actually told at at think he was 4 by a psychiatrist during all this testing periods back then that he may never be able to go to school. "I want to say look at him now see what he has gained! School has gotten more stressful on him though this past year he was put on Stratters cause when he gets upset, worried, feels overworked he cries and this so far has really helped his ability to control his emotion more himself without having to be taken out of the classroom to a quiet room. I can honestly say Whether he is Pdd or Aspergers it don't matter because I see year after year his emotional and educational gains he makes. I do believe what ever your child is diagnosed that as he/she gets older and does continue to make gains that the dx can change. I will admit as he was younger I did worry and would get embarrased wondering what others were thinking about his actions or the way he talked and the best thing I ever, ever did to help this child was to put him in a pre-school cause he gained and still gains so much by just being around other children it is very, very necessary for child to have this contact with other children. I often think if he had not had this environment and had only been at home he would not be where he is today. If weird things happen or whatever situations could possible happen in a pre-school keep him/her in it. I had some situations but those are whole other stories whew! But we both made it threw and got him into school and here we are him soon to be a 6th grade!!!!!!!!!!!
It's good to know that your son has progressed so beautifully it gives me comfort to know that the possibility for my son is there. I started very early with early intervention so I always hope that I started soon enough with help for him. Reading all these posts I feel my son is very mild as far as degree of whatever it is he has PDD-NOS, aspergers, autism. I just don't have an official diagnosis yet. We have an eval at the end of the month. Either way he is who he is, and I just keep on with what I'm doing because I figure no matter what the diagnosis he's my boy and he's wonderful and perfect to me. As long as he never stops trying (which he never does) he'll be just fine because he has me and I have him.
Good news about your son's accomplishments and good luck to him as he works out his current anxieties. Congratulations on the considerable gains he has made.
I hate when "experts" limit a child's potential and say, "He/she can't do this or that." When I started kindergarten, I didn't know English (my first language was German). They said I couldn't learn. In first grade, I was reading English at fifth grade level and by sixth grade, I had a vocabulary near college level. I won an award in high school for outstanding achievement in the field of English and went on to get an Associate's, Bachelor's and Master's in English. I also taught English at the junior college level, worked as a proofreader for my local newspaper, and did some freelance writing and editing. I currently work at my local public library as an Interlibrary Loan Page, collecting materials for the various branch libraries. I have been working there nearly four years and love it.
The point of this is that nothing is impossible. I subscribe to Roger Bannister's philosphy of breaking barriers, doing what cannot be done. I may never be world class in anything, but I will always try to improve.