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Old 09-01-2007, 08:12 AM   #1
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Misdiagnosis.. Is it Asperger's?

Hi. Our son was dx'd w/ Autism at age 2. Since then, he has blossomed and many of the Autism specific issues have resolved. Now, at 5 1/2, and just starting Kindergarten, a new picture emerges. Since he seems so much better and has good relationships with his family, I think I minimized the scope of his difficulties. He no longer looks Autistic in the true sense. Anyone who did not know him in his younger years thinks we are nuts when we disclose the diagnosis. "He seems so normal" I often hear. And it's true. His symptoms are so minimal in the home environment I about had myself convinced that all was totally well.

THEN HE STARTED KINDERGARTEN! I still feel the symptom picture has changed. I do not think he would be siagnosed with Autism today if assessed, but I do think he could be dx with Asperger's.

Feedback from the school so far-
-He is very smart
-He does not focus during circle time
-He is more focused on the things in the room instead of making friends
-He plays by himself at recess and during free play
-Teacher says he only engages in parallel play in "centers"
-Hyperfocused on food (that is true at home as well)
-poor eye contact (but one-one eye contact can be OK, esp with his family)
-easily frustrated and breaks into very loud crying jags (at home too)
-Gifted on the computer and with computer games

He has very minimal stimming at this point in his life. His "special intrests" tend to be more age appropriate (except for the intense love of globes) and he seems motivated to have relationships but has no idea how to engage others or sustain freindships. He has an IEP and a spec ed team that is Awesome. He has articulation problems, but expressive and receptive speech are fine, he has fairly good gross motor, but has a weird running gait.

Has Anyone out there had a child that started with an autism dx and then later got an Asperger's dx?

I think the main reason, besides age, that he got the Autism dx was that he had a speech regression at age 15 months and lost all communication methods (gestures, etc). Anyone ever known of that type of hx with Asperger's?

Thanks!!!!!!! Happy Labor Day Weekend!

 
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:37 PM   #2
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Re: Misdiagnosis.. Is it Asperger's?

hi jasiusmom,

your son sounds very similar to mine. i am in the middle of having my son re-evaluated by a new team of specialists, at the recommendation of two therapists that worked with him this past year. (he is 6) his dx started as ASD to mild ASD to very high functioning. i think he has overcome so many "behaviors" because of early intervention and although he is still somewhat "quirky" he is indistinguishable from his peers. his latest eval with the developmental pediatrician left me believing she does not think he is on the spectrum. she wants to wait, however, until all the other evals take place (3 more) before she gives me her opinion.

i do not believe my son has Aspergers because there are characteristics of that dx that do not fit him. i.e. "talking like a little professor." although my son is above grade level in academics, he does not have the vocabulary that an Asperger child would have. although i am amazed at his mathematic skills (4th or 5th grade level) and taught himself to read at just before 4 years of age. another characteristic i have read about (for Aspergers) is the preference to be around adults and not really tuned into social cues. my son doesn't fit either one of those.

i am thinking my son may be language impaired and am going to bring it up next eval. i have read that children on the high end of the spectrum often loose their dx but who knows. i just want to do what's best for him. it's not like his dx is getting him any extra therapy. school age kids that arn't severe (in my school district) don't get any more services than a child who is speech delayed.

 
Old 09-02-2007, 10:35 AM   #3
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Re: Misdiagnosis.. Is it Asperger's?

I would classify your son as having High-Functioning Autism. HFA and Asperger's are sooo closely related, it's not even funny. However, the generally accepted view is that HFA is basically Asperger's with a speech delay. To garner a diagnosis of Asperger's, a speech delay/speech regression cannot have been present. In fact, many Aspie babies (myself included) talk very, very early (and read early, as MOM23ANGELS mentioned- I was also in this category). Often what one sees is that, once children with HFA acquire language, they are indistinguishable from children with AS. The only other difference that is seen (and this hasn't yet been confirmed by studies) is that HFA children tend to have higher performance IQs than verbal IQs (as do lower-functioning autistic individuals), and Aspies usually have higher verbal IQs.

MOM23ANGELS is right in that the highest-functioning of us autistics either "lose our diagnosis" as we age or are just extremely good at hiding our disabilities. I still have blatant symptoms of Asperger's that show each and every day, some days more than others. However, with me, I'm a "hider." I appear "quirky" or "odd" at first, but I can blend in. Until you talk to me. Then, the rambling about "special interests" is unleashed, and, well, there you have it... I have never gotten to the point where, like MOM23ANGEL's son, I am "indistinguishable from my peers," though. I still stand out greatly in unstructured social situations and in my overall geekiness.

Unlike your son, my symptoms aren't seen at school or by people who don't know me well. Thus, teachers and peers don't "believe me" when I tell them. Unless they know about Asperger's, they often don't think I have it, just because I am able to compensate in social situations that are very short-lived and don't have lots of sensory overload. It is very frustrating to have other people consistently shout out, "I would never have known!" when you reveal the diagnosis. This is especially true when you are trying to get accommodations. They might see it as an "excuse" or a way to get "special treatment."

And MOM2ANGELS, just because your son doesn't have the "little professor speech" or the preference to be around adults (two of my main symptoms), it doesn't mean that he doesn't have Asperger's. He may be missing lots of "classic Aspie symptoms," in which case, he may have PDD-NOS, but every autistic is different, and we all show different symptoms at different severities. Some Aspies may be horrible with social cues and have few (if any) sensory issues. Then, there are those like me who hate being around people but can "fake it" and have lots of sensory issues.
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"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
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Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 09-02-2007 at 10:40 AM.

 
Old 09-02-2007, 03:25 PM   #4
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Re: Misdiagnosis.. Is it Asperger's?

GatsbyLuvr1920,

i probably should have mentioned that my son was speech delayed. and as you mentioned, Asperger children do not have speech delays. although he had some words at 2, he didn't really start talking (functional language) until 3 or closer to 4.

i always enjoy your posts. you are very thorough in making your point understood. too bad your not into being around people so much. i bet you'd make a great teacher.

Last edited by MOM23ANGELS; 09-02-2007 at 03:26 PM.

 
Old 09-02-2007, 04:34 PM   #5
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Re: Misdiagnosis.. Is it Asperger's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOM23ANGELS View Post
]you are very thorough in making your point understood. too bad your not into being around people so much. i bet you'd make a great teacher.
Thank you, MOM23ANGELS. That was very nice of you to say. Actually, I am considering being a professor. While I do not like being around people, I love to teach people and help people learn. Lots of diagnosed Aspies (or, at the very least, people with strong autistic traits) are professors, just for the fact that you get paid to ramble about your "special interests." What more could you ask for?

Yes, with the speech delay, I would say that your son is probably PDD-NOS with speech delay or HFA. It all really depends on the symptoms he exhibits. But if his doctors said he is very, very mild, he is probably PDD-NOS.
-GatsbyLuvr1920-
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"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 09-02-2007 at 04:37 PM.

 
Old 09-02-2007, 06:08 PM   #6
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Re: Misdiagnosis.. Is it Asperger's?

GatsbyLuvr1920,

My husband is VERY happy being out of social circles and for the longest time I tried to push social gatherings on him. It took me a couple of years to realize it's MY problem not his. We have come to compromise but it took me a long time to believe that he is truly happy this way. He is an amazing father to our 3 children and has an amazing knack for entertaining them. I, sometimes envy his ability to come up with fun, amazing activities that my kids love.

He is a professor. He feels the same way you do. Absolutely loves teaching others about a subject he loves.

 
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