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Old 05-10-2007, 10:26 PM   #1
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Possible Asperger's Syndrome?

I am sure that there have been a plethora of examples of this question, but I was hoping that I could get some insight on the possibility that my seven-year-old son has Asperger's Syndrome. Once upon a time, the thought that he had some form of autism entered my mind, but it was universally dismissed by family. Now that I have heard of this syndrome and read some about it, I think that I may have been right to begin with.

This school year has been very difficult on my son. He never seemed to adjust to full-time school and it has been almost a constant battle with his teacher. Her running comment on his behavior is that he is always on his own agenda. This tends to be true at home also. If he has his mind set on something, there is pretty much nothing you can do to dissuade him. He can also get so focused in on what he is doing that a bomb could go off and I don't think that he would notice.

His speech was somewhat delayed, which I understand is not a typical problem, but he did have some hearing problems as a child. Once that was corrected, his speech took off. Now half the time, you can't get him to be quiet and will get a running commentary on things. For a seven-year-old he has an extremely good vocabulary and uses words that most adults don't use.

Academically, he does incredibly well. I would not be surprised to find out that he has a very high I.Q. The only academics that are not up to par is his attrocious handwriting. His other motor skills are good, but when he was younger, I often commented that he was a klutz and he still has his klutzy moments, although he excels at soccer.

His biggest problems seem to be social. Although he can be a exceptionally loving and thoughtful child with his family, it doesn't seem to translate to children other than his sister. In fact, he seems to get along much better with adults. He can be honestly blunt at times to the point of being rude and I don't think he even realizes it. He has a tendency to interrupt conversations. It is difficult for him to make friends. A lot of the time, he comes on too strong, seemingly lacking the concept of personal space.

He has always been very sensitive to loud noises and sensory overload. He will often sleep in the nude due to comfort issues. He is also an extremely picky eater and he food choices seem to be very limited. At times, he will even reject some of his favorites if they aren't exactly right. He has been known to turn his nose up at his favorite pizza if it happens to be a little darker than normal or there is an air bubble. At restaurants, he requires separate plates for each of the components of his meal.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by DB1973; 05-10-2007 at 10:28 PM.

 
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Old 05-11-2007, 06:05 AM   #2
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Re: Possible Asperger's Syndrome?

It does sounds like there are lots of red flags. Does he have any "special interests," areas of obsessive fixation that he must constantly ramble about? This is one of the hallmarks of Asperger's, and it is what defines my Asperger's. Also, does he have trouble adjusting to change? Is routine absolutely essential to his functioning? This is also very, very common. None of these symptoms by itself is the absolute "definer" of Asperger's, and no two Aspies are the same. We all have different representations of the disorder. Good luck, God bless, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!
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Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 05-11-2007 at 06:05 AM.

 
Old 05-11-2007, 11:58 AM   #3
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Re: Possible Asperger's Syndrome?

He doesn't exactly have a problem with change as far as going with a different routine, but he does have a problem with change when it comes to transitioning from one activity to another. If he is not done with what he is doing or if it isn't "perfect" yet, he can't move on.

How do you differentiate between a normal childhood interest and a fixation on something. When he was younger, everything was always about Thomas the Tank Engine. That has faded as he got older, but I don't think that is the kind of fixation you mean.

 
Old 05-11-2007, 10:50 PM   #4
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Re: Possible Asperger's Syndrome?

I have trouble both with change in routine and transitioning from one activity to another. Lots of Aspies hate being interrupted in the middle of something without warning. Everybody has interests and hobbies that they greatly enjoy and are passionate about, but with neurotypicals, it is only a side interest, something that can be forgotten about when need be. A typical childhood interest, to me, would consist of really liking something as a hobby. But that's it. An Aspie interest is a true obsession. Our passion for our obsessions is so incredibly intense that it cannot be compared with a neurotypical child's "passion" for their interests.

For an Aspie, our obsession(s) is/are literally all we think about, all we talk about, and our lives literally revolve around it/them. To give an example, for your son's interest in Thomas the Tank Engine, if he had to have lots of merchandise, carry around the toys, have Thomas the Tank Engine books read at bedtime each night, etc., I'd qualify this as a normal childhood interest. However, if he spent every possible minute engaging in something Thomas the Tank Engine-related, if he constantly recited statistics and/or quotes about Thomas the Tank Engine, or if he seemed to always tried to monopolize the conversation so it would be centered on Thomas the Tank Engine (including finding any way possible to introduce it into the conversation and reverting right back to the subject if somebody else moved on to a new topic), this leans far more heavily towards becoming an Asperger's "special interest."

The last part is really key. Droning "monologues" about "special interests" is very, very common in Asperger's. Our "special interest" is the first thing we talk about when we see you, and it's the last thing we mention before we leave. This is due to us having trouble with "give-and-take," reciprocal conversations. Us droning, rambling Aspies tend to talk AT people, not talk WITH them. A person is merely an audience for us to relay facts about our "special interest." We really could care less about the social interaction. We want you to sit and listen to what WE have to say. And this is why we quickly revert back to our "special interest," if an attempt is made to change the subject. So, I'd say that it is also these social deficits, in addition to the hyper-intensity of the interest, that sets an Aspie's obsessive fixation apart from a neurotypical child's hobby. Hope this helped!
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:12 PM   #5
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Re: Possible Asperger's Syndrome?

My 13 year old son was recently diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. From the time he was 3 years old I just knew that he was different. He had a very traumatic birth and first few months of his life. Because of that he was in special programs and being seen by alot of different doctors, but no one ever picked up on it. As he got older I started him with therapists and psychiatrists, but they all diagnosed him with ADD. I knew that it was more than that. We recently moved from Florida to Tennessee and started him with a new therapist. Little did I know she was an expert in autism. She knew almost right away that he had aspergers. I wasn't upset with the diagnosis I was kind of relieved. All those years of knowing something was wrong finally he could get some help. I have found out that ADHD/ADD is very common among people with Aspergers. My son is now on Metedate for the ADD and is doing so much better in school. He is now in regular classes with the help of an aide. He doesn't really have any behavior problems except when he get really mad. When he was little a temper tantrum consisted of him banging his head on anything around. Now they are few and far between, but occasionally he will get so angry that he still does it. The biggest issues are his fixations and socially. When he was younger he was obsessed with Star Wars and it was all he talked about. The past few years it has been wrestling. It is all he talks about. He watches it religiously on tv. For christmas and birthdays all he wants is anything that has to do with wrestling. He gets along with adults pretty well, but children he doesn't. If there is a crowd of children he stays right with me. If he is outside and someone pulls up he runs in the house to hide sometimes panicked. He has friends at school but it is a select few. He also does not like change. He has a routine and we stick to it. If you suspect your child has Aspergers I would highly recommend finding someone that specialises in autism and have him evaluated. There are quite a few things they can do to make life better for him.

 
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