The medication was a KEY to my kids' success, development, leaning, focus and behavior! I first was told by my pediatrian that my oldest needed to be evaluated for speech, ot, pt, develpmental delays at his 1 year check up based on my answers to a series of questions he asked me. After taking him for the evaluations, I was told he needed all therapies about 3 times per week and to see a Neurologist and child Psychiatrist. At 15 months the treatments began and at 18 months we had seen the doctors and were told he was PDD-NOS. We did an overnight EEG which had mild seizure activity at night. At age 2 we started Depakote, and Celexa (for OCD). My other son had a similar path and was put on similar medicaitons. At about age 4 they were each give prednesone suppositories once a week for 6 months because the Neurologist also found an area of their brain that wasn't operting correctly. They went from no words, to single words in weeks, to phrases in months to full sentences in 6 months. They have been in speech all this time to understand social situations, expressions, and lots of articulation issues. They have physical issue such as difficulty holding a pencil and writing, very low muscle tone and terrible coordination. They are always picked last in gym and feel bad about it. At about age 6 they each got the addtional diagnosis of ADHD(older one) and ADD (younger one) after school issues let to thorough Psychiatric evaluations. They currently take Riseperdal and Adderall (oldeest) and Klonipin and Ritalin(youngest) and go to regular school with some resource room help in certain areas. My younger son is extremely intelligent and has a photographic memory which has really helped his confidence. My older one gets very emotional and down on himself a lot. He struggles academically and socially, although is is getting better each year it seems. My daughter was a bright, social, typically developing girl who was diagnosed at age 5 with OCD and given Effexor. As the dosage got raised she got worse and became psychotic and manic. She was put on Risperdal and Celexa which calmed her down but she gained weight. After about 2 years we weaned her off to see how she would do and she takes nothing now. She is moody, has to have things exactly her way, has to do things herself always, does things repetitively, can be very hyper and talk fast at times, but is incredible sweet, compassionate, philanthropic and intelligent. We're still not sure what puberty will bring, they say hormones can change these types of issue for better or worse. I know the hormone changes from my pregnancies made me very, very sick mentally! In terms of your daughter it is really hard to say. She doesn't seem to have the "developmental delays" you usually see on the spectrum. She does seem extremely strong-willed and "self-absorbed" like my oldest and my daughter which could be an OCD thing due to a need to control her environment (she can't help it, it is just part of her thought process) which an anti-depressant might help. It she has anxiety it would help too. I would find the BEST child Psychiatrist in your area and get her on some medication as a trial. You can always stop it if you think it isn't helping, but if you don't try you'll never know. The diagnosis isn't as important as getting her help to be as "normal" as possible for her sake as well as yours.
I think I am the only one in my family with AS. Everyone else seems to be normal. From what my mom said, I seemed normal until I began school. I don't know if I actually had something wrong with me from the start or if it was caused by some of my school experiences. I was bullied terribly at school. Luckily, I was a good student with wide-ranging interests, which helped me survive. My cats helped a great deal too. Those "four footed therapists" are very special!
I forgot it mention our family history:
1) my family has gambling addiction, depression, learning disabilities and possible undiagnosed Bipolar in a grandparent, highly intelligent throughout
2) my x-hubands family has depression, OCD, undiagnosed Aspergers, many acoholics and very high intelligence throughout.
There is so much we don't know about relatives in the past because science wasn't as clear as it is today, so who really knows! We are really lucky to be living in 2006 with SO MANY possible medications and therapies that just didn't exist even 20 years ago. I know I would definitely NOT BE ALIVE today if it weren't for the medical advances, and my kids certainly wouldn't be talking, interacting or functioning in society. Their lives would literally have been ruined by Autism. I encourage everyone I come in contact with to take full advantage of any and all affordable and available medical care to get your kids the chance at a life where they can be happy, have good self-esteem, find what they are good at and try to encourage them in the area or eventually field of work if possible (i.e. my boys love computers and video games so besides homework and some outoor time I let them play a lot), function at their best possible level, and eventually maybe even have some independence when they grow up.
My early experiences with medication were bad ones. I was given Ritalin as a young child, which didn't work for me, and turned me into a zombie. It was evident ADD or ADHD were not my problems. Based on my history and on an inventory of my strengths and weaknesses, Asperger's is a more likely diagnosis. I am taking Dilantin for seizures, which keeps them under control, and Zoloft for anxiety, which also works well. As I have said, other things contribute to my positive outlook. I am interested in a variety of things and have pets. I cannot underestimate the contribution of those "four footed therapists."
I am hesitant to get a formal diagnosis, because I have had bad experiences with evaluators in the past. I would like to find someone who won't limit me because of my Asperger's. I also want my diagnosis kept confidential so it wouldn't be known at work. I don't wish to jeopardize the gains I have made up to this point.
It sounds like you are a very intelligent person, who has made it thus far with no diagnosis. I don't think you really need one. And I think it is great that you have been so inspired by Roger Bannister. I wish I could find something or someone to inspire me so much.
Thank you for the kind words. There are so many things I want to do yet, such as drive a car and learn to take care of myself adequately to handle life when I find myself alone someday. I am happy with my life, but there is so much more I want to accomplish. I have more than I ever thought I would have as a young child who was bullied constantly at school. However, there was always the consolation that I was smarter than they were and had my interests to get me through.
Roger Bannister is an inspiration to me not merely because of the great things he accomplished, but also because he is a good, kind man. It is inspiring to see a person who combines great accomplishment and great character. Roger Bannister never was very keen on fame. He was quite shy and avoided the spotlight. He chose his wife, Moyra Jacobsson, because she liked Roger Bannister for the person he was, rather than because he was famous. The joke was that she thought he had run four miles in one minute, not true, but an illustration of the fact that she was not a track "groupie."
I wish I had heard his story when I was younger and really needed some inspiration but, even at my age, I can still hope. It's never too late.
Okay, so tomorrow is the big day. My husband and I have a meeting with my daughters neuropsychologist to find out the results of all of her testing. I hope that she has some answers for us. It is the not knowing that is so hard. Their problems seem so much easier to handle when you know exactly what you are dealing with. I will post tomorrow evening to fill you all in on the results.
Thanks, Gatsby. Part of me is hoping for a spectrum diagnosis. I know that sounds strange, but I feel like it would help explain a lot. Another reason why I hope it is that is because I fear the alternative. At least autism is something I know (as two of my other children are on the spectrum), I am fearful of the unknown. We had a party with her friends last weekend, and it was so obvious in that setting how socially awkward she is. It was upsetting to me to watch the other kids interacting well together, but no one really interacting well with her. She is very bossy and always has to do things her way. How were your social relationships as a kid? It almost seems like my daughter would rather do things by herself than do things that other kids suggest. If it's not her idea, she is not interested. Also, she thinks everyone is "her new best friend." She could meet a child in line at the grocery store, and they are her new best friend. She goes up and hugs kids she has never met. She will talk about kids from school as her best friend. When I ask her what the childs name is, she doesn't know. This happens all the time. If someone was really her best friend, wouldn't she know their name? I don't know, maybe I'm over analyzing. I would like to hear more about your childhood though, friendships, difficulties in school, etc.
I appreciate your feedback as well. How were your social relationships as a child? Did you have lots of friends, one close friend, etc? You and Gatsby have taught me a lot about Aspergers, so I always appreciate any feedback you can give.
I did not have very many friends growing up. In junior high, I was bullied terribly. My interest at that time was not having a lot of friends, but in avoiding those people who tried to hurt me. I didn't really have a lot of friends until I found an Internet cat site six years ago. My best friend through my teens, twenties, and early thirties was my Siamese cat. After she passed away, I found a Siamese site that was excellent. I went from being a bullied teenager to a person who has friends from all over the world. People like me because I like cats! Imagine that!
Good luck to you and your daughter. Her story shows there is a wide range of attitudes toward friendship and that no one person with Asperger's is alike. On one end, there is the loner who can't make friends and, on the other, the person who likes people, but doesn't understand reciprocal relationships. I fall somewhere in between. I am still a bit awkward, but if I find people with common interests, I do well.
I'm glad I can be of help somehow. I haven't had a formal diagnosis of AS, but a lot of the traits are there. I would say my main traits are social awkwardness, unusual interests, and a good memory for facts.
Well, I was a very affectionate child. I've always been nice to people, but never really wanted to interact with them, you know? I read in one of my Asperger's book that there's three types of Aspies: those who desperately want friends but can't keep them because they don't know how (the majority); those who don't have friends but don't care; and those who can make friends, but are, like, "Hello, friend- go away." I'm the third type. It seems that ever since kindergarten that my peers either like me or don't. There's no in-between. For those who like me, most of them just respect me because I'm the "smart kid," or otherwise they're almost in awe of me because of my eccentricities and such. Not to sound conceited or anything, but it's true- my mom's pointed this out to me. The others think I'm "weird." Yes, I was teased in elementary school, but it stopped around eighth grade. I'm sure people still teased me behind my back, but it wasn't to my face, so I really could care less. I moved a lot as a child (three states in three years), but I had no trouble changing schools. Why? I never had an attachment to the kids. I really could've cared less about leaving them, so in a way, my Asperger's helped me in an area that's often difficult for most children. Even in high school where I met most of the handful of real friends I have, I wouldn'tve cared if I had had to move. I liked them, yes, but if I had to leave them, so what? For the five or six people that I consider actual friends, I enjoy being around them... for a limited time. Then I get sick of them and need to escape in order to be by myself. Two of these friends asked me to go out with them tonight to visit one last time before college starts next week. I'm going, but I'd just as soon not. I'm only going because they invited me. Yeah, I'll probably have some fun, but I could have just as much fun by myself in my room or on the computer. I know that I'll be more than ready to come home, very happy to be dropped off. Some of my best friends are on my forums. I, like 9CatMom, can find people with common interests, but not actually have to talk with them. Plus, I can go on-and-on without having to worry about being interrupted or bothered. As for college, not really that ideal of a situation. Thank God I don't have to have a roommate ever again because that was pure hell, obviously, but it's not the type of environment for me. I go for the learning, and the learning only. I don't like the fact that college schedules aren't structured- there's breaks between classes. Most kids like that. I detest it. I just have an hour to sit around and worry. The worst thing of it is that you can never leave. In high school, you'd go to school, have to put up with the idiots, but then you could come home and not be bothered by them. At college, you're stuck. Wherever you go, there they are, ready to annoy. You go to eat, people are there. You go to the bathroom, people are there. You go to a building to try and be alone, someone will inevitably be there. I used to go sit at this one table outside my chem room when I needed to get away, but someone would always come in. I love my professors and classes, but the whole "college experience" sucks, to put it mildly. My mom was talking to me last week, and said how I couldn't wait to go back, but once I get there, I'll be unhappy, and it's true. It's sad, really... Do you want to know anything really specific? I need specifics, as you probably know. Broadness doesn't fly.
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 08-22-2006 at 11:15 AM.
I was told I was very loving as a child, and that I knew enough to start kindergarten early (at 4 years old), even though English was not my first language. I even was able to make friends as a small child. I still believe I was different from other kids, probably from the time I was born. I didn't play with toys or dolls much. My favorite "toys" were always books. Perhaps that is responsible for my high reading level as a child and for my eventual attainment of a Master's in English. I always remember having some unusual interest. Animals have always been a constant in my life, especially cats.
I think you and 9CatMom did a great job answering my questions. And I really enjoyed learning about the 3 types of Aspies. I think my daughter would fall in the first category. I can see that she desperately wants friends, I just see her having trouble keeping friends. Anyway, I will let you know how tomorrow's meeting with the Dr. goes. I hope she has some answers for us.
sross- I just came back from being out with my friends, and I noticed something obvious, but important: I had a lot more fun tonight because we went to do something, rather than sit around and talk. I didn't have fun when we went out to eat. That was sitting around talking. Then we went to play mini golf and bowl. THAT was fun. We could joke around and have a good time, but it was fun for me because we were doing something. I didn't have to sit around and have a conversation. I also had fun with the two of them over Christmas playing board games because it was the playing of the game that entertained me. So, basically, I enjoy being around those handful of people while we're doing an interactive activity that I enjoy...
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
Okay, so we met with the neuropsychologist last night and the diagnosis she gave us was PDD-NOS and NLD (nonverbal learning disability). So now we officially have 3 out of 4 kids on the spectrum. A little overwhelmed right now. Thank you for all your help and responses.