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Old 07-30-2006, 12:47 PM   #1
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Asperger's Child-maybe??

Hello, I am a mother of 3. My first born is now 4 years old. He is incredibly sweet and fun but I have often wondered what else was going on in his mind. He doesn't communicate very well, make eye contact, or focus (except obsessively with certain specific things). He seems immature for his age. He is very friendly and goes to other children well. He adapts well to any new surroundings. He speaks in monotone but is also very animated with his expressions. He has been in speech therapy for about 6 months for some language delays and in occupational therapy for his inability to focus on small motor skills tasks. No one has ever told me specifically that there is something different about him but as a mom I just know. A few weeks ago my mother bought him a video game. I thought oh great here is another frustration for him because he will find it to difficult to play with. To my surprise he caught on incredibly quick. They are supposed to be educational games so I never pay much attention to what he is playing. Yesterday I went in to watch him play and to my astonishment he was adding and subtracting as quick as could be. Being only four and never having been to school it was so wierd to see him doing this. He did some numbers like 15 + 7 =22. How could he know this? What is even more weird is that he cannot add and subtract on a different game. I would love to hear from someone who has this syndrome to see if there are similarities and also to see what everyday life is like for someone like this. Any input would be appreciated.

 
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Old 07-30-2006, 12:58 PM   #2
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

Your son sounds exactly like my 6 year old daughter. She has been diagnosed this year with PDD-NOS, but I really feel she is closer to Aspergers. Anyways, she was doing the same things your son is doing when she was 4 years old. I felt something was up, but no one took me seriously. Go with your gut and bring him to a developmental pediatrician or a team of specialists who specialize in developmental delays. If you feel something is not right, you are probably right.

My daughter is also great with math. She was adding 3 digit numbers when she was 5. We knew when she figured out how to order herself a toy online at the age of 4 that she was special. Hope this info helps.

-Steph

 
Old 07-30-2006, 03:31 PM   #3
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

The only thing that isn't typical of Asperger's in the description of your child is the fact that he adapts well to change, but every Aspie is different, and since it's a spectrum disorder, that means that the same disorder can be present in different children with varying symptoms and varying degrees of severity. I was just recently diagnosed with Asperger's, so if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask! Good luck, and God bless!
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Old 07-30-2006, 07:31 PM   #4
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

I guess my biggest question is do you FEEL the same as everyone else? Everything I have ever heard describes people who use the analytical side of their brain more don't feel for others as much and are less sensitive than people who use both sides equally. My son is a rough and tough boy and is very muscular and coordinated for his age (his father's genes) but he often cuddles with me and seems very kind. He doesn't express his "inner" feelings much but I can't tell if that's just because he is a boy or if it has something to do with Asperger's. I could leave him in the middle of a dark unfamiliar room and walk away and he would have no fear but the minute Teletubbies comes on the TV he runs for cover. I also heard that people with Asperger's are coordinated/atheltic but he is. Is this true?

 
Old 07-30-2006, 10:25 PM   #5
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

Asperger's children often have hypotonia, which is low muscle tone and/or loose ligaments, which does affect their coordination. Hypotonia doesn't necessarily affect all of the muscles in the body. My son has it mostly in his upper torso, but he has overall muscle weakness.

My son does make eye contact, has no speech delays, and seems to have social anxiety with children his own age, so your son and mine do not seem to have a lot in common.

 
Old 07-31-2006, 05:00 AM   #6
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

My son, Harry who is now 7, has Asperger Syndrome and sounds very similar to your boy. I wasn't sure he had been diagnosed correctly for a long time because he is so sociable and has no problems making friends, he has no routines and adapts well to new situations, he loves cuddles from me and is aways very caring towards others but like you I knew there was something not quite right with the way he behaved. By the time he started school at age 4 his speech was still delayed and he would make noises instead (he would make the other kids laugh with his noises which he loved) he was immature for his age, had no imaginary play, avoided eye contact, had a short attention span and when the other children were lining up Harry would be the only one still running round the playground. He also had no awareness of danger and would wander off if something caught his eye. We often wondered if he was deaf because we could be calling him but he would not respond until we got in front of him.

Now, at the age of 7, Harry's speech has improved alot but he still has trouble explaining things and sometimes doesn't make alot of sense. His handwriting is not brilliant and he is due to have OT soon. His eye contact is good now though, we used to play a game called staresies, we would stare at each other and the one to look away or blink lost. He has also just started to have imaginary playwhere he will actually pretend to be someone else, not just Harry dressed as someone else. People do still think he is deaf but he has perfect, if a little too sensitive, hearing. In fact I've been considering telling people we don't know well that he is a little hard of hearing because they will make an effort to speak directly to him which is what he needs.

I have always been a bit concerned with his weight though, he is a skinny little thing although he eats like a horse and has no muscle tone but after reading Sallzyx's thread I suppose it might be due to hypotonia.

My little boy is so gorgeous I wouldn't change him for the world, he is happy and loves his life, he gets a little frustrated and says his brain makes him be silly sometimes but I have friends with neurotypical children who are little terrors most of the time not just sometimes. I am so lucky to have him.

 
Old 07-31-2006, 05:26 AM   #7
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

I was a lot like that as a small child, but for me, words were an area of strength. I loved books from an early age. My mom made a joke that I could read before I started school because I could recognize what record was playing from its pattern. I was very active as a child, too. I don't know if the story about my early reading was true, but I was reading at fifth grade level by first grade, so the seeds were planted for early reading even before I started school.

 
Old 07-31-2006, 06:36 AM   #8
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

Yes, I do feel differently from everyone else, both literally and metaphorically. For me, it seems that I feel emotions much more intensely than most people, but I don't express my feelings very often. They build up inside of me until I have an outburst, whether out of frustration, anxiety, or both. During my outbursts, I'll either be really upset (screaming and yelling), or in tears. I just had a crying outburst about five days ago. I was feeling very restless, irritable, and anxious for no reason, so I watched A Beautiful Mind, one of my obsessive fixations, to release my feelings. When I get like that, I purposely make myself cry because it feels good- I can't really explain it. I do have a strange sense of empathy, though. I tend to only empathize with people who I feel actually need it. This would include someone who is experiencing a real tragedy (i.e. death in the family, sickness/injury of themselves or others, natural disaster, losing a job, etc.); however, people that sit around and whine because their boyfriend broke up with them after four months, do not get my pity. My mom has always commented on my strange sense of emotion, usually when we're watching movies. I never cry at typical "tearjerker" films, like The Notebook or Titanic. I actually like The Notebook because it doesn't just focus on sappiness, but my mother always cries at the end, and I don't understand why. Both of them die together- that's a happy thing to me. The only movies that I cry in, every time, without fail, are A Beautiful Mind and The Aviator. This is because I can relate to them very much, and Russell Crowe and DiCaprio did outstanding jobs portraying the symptoms of schizophrenia and OCD, respectively. As a pure obsessional, I can see a lot of myself in DiCaprio's actions, and when I feel misunderstood about my OCD, I watch The Aviator. A Beautiful Mind is a different story because I watch it when I'm feeling misunderstood about my Asperger's. Yes, Nash has schizophrenia, but at the beginning, he is very socially awkward and geeky, and reminds me of my own Aspie traits. I always cry when he goes on his first date with Alicia because it gives me hope that I will meet a guy some day who bonds with me over my eccentricities and nerdiness. It's the only form of "love story" that makes me cry. It's a common misconception, though, that all Aspies are these cold, unfeeling people. Some do seem to not have any affect at all, but most just express it in a different way. I consider myself a very kind, caring person. I'm nice to everyone- I'm just not sociable. I may wave to someone or actually have a conversation, but I don't really want to pursue it too much further than that. I can stand being around people I know and like only so long... I am one of the people with Asperger's who isn't coordinated/athletic. I've never learned how to ride a bike, even, but that's partly because it doesn't interest me. As a child in preschool, I knew how to read, but the teacher didn't seem to care about that- they were concerned that I couldn't hop on one foot, skip, or cut with scissors. I walk funny, too, with my feet turned inward towards each other. I never noticed this until I went on a field trip for physics, and we were supposed to do this test on a treadmill to find out what type of footsteps we had by putting one foot in front of the other, heel to heel. One of my (actual) friends thought I was doing it wrong because it looked like I was "drunk" when I was walking, but that's just how I walk, I guess. I also have been walking on my toes since I've learned how to walk. It's not as noticeable with shoes on, only tennis shoes, but when I'm barefoot, it's quite obvious.
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:15 PM   #9
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

Gatsby,

I think I am attracted to the movie Four Minutes for similar reasons. Roger Bannister was always acutely aware that he was "different" from others, as I was. Reading his story also gives me great cause for hope, because he went through a difficult childhood and became a very successful adult. He did what was considered "impossible," not just in terms of breaking the four minute mile, but in terms of the way he lived his life. He was told that he would never make it as a runner, but he proved his naysayers wrong.

I too, have dedicated my life to doing things people thought I would never do. I haven't accomplished everything I want to do, but I have done quite a lot.

 
Old 08-01-2006, 07:40 AM   #10
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

Another thing I like about Roger Bannister is that he defeats the stereotypes associated with Asperger Syndrome. It is said that people with AS are cold and unfeeling, cannot be athletic, cannot go into competitive professions, and can't do things involving team play. All wrong in Bannister's case. He was a smart, sensitive young man, became a physician (specializing in neurology, for which I believe he was ideally suited), became the first to break the four minute mile and, although he didn't do very well in rough sports such as rugby as a teenager, he did employ teamwork with his friends Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway in his historic sub four minute mile.

Roger Bannister was also successful in relationships, as he has been married for over 50 years to his wife, Moyra Jacobsson. I know I talk about Bannister incessantly, but his life represents triumph over adversity.

 
Old 08-01-2006, 11:48 AM   #11
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

9CatMom- I was just wondering something. Do you ever say quotes/act out scenes from Four Minute Mile? I do from my three movies all the time, usually A Beautiful Mind. I was just doing my Spanish translating for A Beautiful Mind today, and I watched it a few days ago, so the scenes are very fresh in my mind. I have a strange talent to mimic accents/intonations, and I find that whenever I have free time, I'll lapse into doing one of my favorite scene. I also do the gestures, too, whether it's a particular movement of the head or hands.
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:27 AM   #12
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

Gatsby,

Sometimes I will quote lines from the movie (only to myself), but I haven't acted it out. There is one line from the movie I especially like, that gets to the core of what Asperger's is. Moyra Jacobssen, Roger Bannister's future wife, tells him, "You're an odd mix Roger. Terribly, absolutely English, but possessing that maddening quality of American independence. I suppose most people don't know what in the world to do with you." Roger Bannister was always his own person. For that reason, I like him.

I am not very adept with accents or acting things out, but I will try it on occasion.

 
Old 08-02-2006, 06:39 AM   #13
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

9CatMom- That's very interesting. I, too, only do the quotes to myself. Nobody else would understand anyway, and the movie means too much to me to share it with someone who won't appreciate it the way I do. (This may be why I don't talk a lot about my fixations in conversations, unless the person has an interest, too, which isn't likely.) My mom knows I do it, though, because she can hear me around the house.
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Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 08-02-2006 at 06:41 AM.

 
Old 08-02-2006, 06:56 PM   #14
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Re: Asperger's Child-maybe??

I am fortunate to have found this site and my cat site, where I can talk about subjects such as Asperger's and my cats to my heart's content. I can also discuss my hopes and my areas of concern on these two sites. It is amazing that I have found friends because I love cats.

 
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