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kat1979 04-21-2008 05:12 AM

Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
My 4 1/2 year old son has Aspergers and makes very little eye contact. Should I accept that this is part of Aspergers or try to encourage him to make eye contact? I have tryed games ( suggested by speech therapist )like holding objects near my face or putting something silly on my head which works at the time but doesnt make any difference the rest of the time. Your thoughts would be most welcome.

GatsbyLuvr1920 04-21-2008 07:05 AM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
I have Asperger's, but few people think that I have poor eye contact. This is because I look at people's mouths, so they assume that I'm looking at their eyes. This is a trick I learned over the years- you can still sort of see the person's eyes, but it's not nearly as intense as looking directly into the eyes. (I still have poor eye contact, meaning that I look around the room and not at the person, with somebody I don't know well.) Maybe you could try this with your son. If he doesn't like looking at faces at all, you could maybe try the trick with him again when he's older and understands more of the social implications of eye contact. Good luck! :angel:
-GatsbyLuvr1920-

kat1979 04-21-2008 12:43 PM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. Your advise makes perfect sense and is much appreciated.

golfhat 04-21-2008 04:27 PM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
That is good advice. If a child is old enough to understand that not making eye contact bothers people this little trick could do wonders.

MaybeImIndigo 04-22-2008 08:42 AM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
Hi Kat, Im not sure how that would help, trying to draw focus to your eyes I guess is the goal his speech pathologists wants. I would try to use objects of interests, if you already havents, only use objects of interests. My mother and my son never made good eye contact, they seem to wonder all over as looking into someones eyes for some people can be quite intimidating and push the ability to not focus. Try to make a story line or talk to him about subjects of his interest and use your eyes for expression. Try to grab his gaze with your eyes and keep talking about the interests. Make it friendly and easy at first because you have to start small, you might be able to grab him a few seconds, but thats progress. He will better understand the concepts of it being rude or uncuthe by not making eye contact as he gets older, right now, try to focus on the concept, by looking into your eyes as you tell a SHORT story of his favorite interests, he will get the concept of looking into your eyes and mouth for his answers. He is still quite young and Im not sure how his auditory and speech is, but try to not make it any more complicating than what his abilities are right now. Remember you are building concepts and ideas brick by brick with these children, start small and use your good judgement about when it is time to go to the next level.

FairyBookWorm 04-24-2008 10:21 AM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
As a sufferer of Aspergers i do find it difficult to look in peoples eyes, especially when I'm trying to think or express any emotions. My advice is don't push your son. He will look in your eyes when he's ready but this may take a while. You ahve to understand that he's not avoiding your eyes because he doesnt love you or because he's not listening to what you're saying but simply because he finds it hard. As he grows up, depending on the severity of his condition he will eitehr learn similar tricks already expressed to make life easier (i find myself focusing on the most prominent feature of the face that is'nt the eyes - except for one of my friends who has a weird spot on her eye and i tend to look at that) or he will be able to make eye contact with a few people, although there is a possibility he will be one of the many autistic people unable to make eye contact. The important thing to remember is that this is no reflection on you and that whatever progress he is going to make he will make at his own pace, even if you do try to 'trick' him into looking at your face.

Liamsmom 05-08-2008 06:13 AM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
I was under the impression that Asperger's can't be diagnosed until the child is at least 7 yrs old. Right or wrong????

datgrlstef 05-08-2008 10:53 AM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
Supposedly the onset of Aspergers is later.. I think the lack of speech delays keeps a parent from being tipped off, perhaps? You might just assume a child has odd behaviors, but not necessarily think it's at all related to the Autism Spectrum.

I'm 33, and have never been diagnosed with any kind of disorder (such as Aspergers). However, I tend to look at people's mouths when they're speaking, as well. I can't help myself. I do try harder to give eye contact, though. Probably more so since taking my son to speech therapy. Eye contact is very important, and as she said- how do you expect people to know you're talking to them, if you're not looking at them? So I make an effort to do it. I also make sure my son does it, if only for a couple seconds.

GatsbyLuvr1920 05-08-2008 12:47 PM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
The age at which AS can be diagnosed is often debated; datgrlstef is right about how it is diagnosed later than the other ASDs. Often, it is said that symptoms of Asperger's won't arise until after age three, but some professionals won't diagnose it until the school years, once the child has entered the social realm of school. However, I don't believe that symptoms aren't apparent until after age three in all children with AS. For example, I had "special interests" before the age of two. I was obsessed with glasses as an infant, and several childhood obsessions of mine began around 18 months. I also toe-walked from the minute I could walk (and I still toe-walk). Sensory issues also have always been with me. My family has home videos of me complaining about bright lights when I was about 18 months, and I always have had severe tactile sensory issues about the way clothes feel. I also was hyperlexic as a child, and I first started to demonstrate a remarkable rote memory as a toddler, memorizing dialogue of TV shows and movies that were "special interests," as well as commercials. The social problems usually aren't apparent until the preschool years or later, and that's why diagnoses usually are put off, since AS is supposed to be primarily a problem with social interaction. My social deficits are mild ones, so that's why I didn't get diagnosed until I was an adult, but my "special interests" and sensory issues are what define my AS, and those have always been with me. If I grew up today, I would very likely have been diagnosed when I entered preschool, because it was extremely obvious, even though the social problems were more subtle. So, depending on which AS criteria one looks at, the symptoms can be present before age 3. :angel:
-GatsbyLuvr1920-

Cassandra72 05-08-2008 04:18 PM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
It is probably easier to diagnose Aspergers, in "hindsite". The trouble with diagnosing young children is that the behaviors are so subtle, they may be due to other factors. That is why clinicians usually wait until age 7 to see how the child matures and how their behaviors evolve. And just like autism is a spectrum, so is Asperger's, with many "normal" people living with some traits of Aspergers and it never bothering them. People are all different and we don't necessary need a diagnosis for being different.

cheryl72 05-13-2008 05:03 PM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
[QUOTE=Liamsmom;3561460]I was under the impression that Asperger's can't be diagnosed until the child is at least 7 yrs old. Right or wrong????[/QUOTE]

that is wrong. my child was diagnosed with aspergers at the age of two.

snotty1 05-15-2008 02:51 AM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
Hi everyone. Im new here so please bear with me. I am stepdad to Sophie who was born with CP and brain damage. She is now 7 and is a wonderful kid, normally very happy just being happy and by making everyone around her smile. However she has recently began to turn instantly moody and will kick-off big style if she doesnt get her own way. This can result in screaming fits and doing the dying fly as we call it (lieing on her back kicking up at anyone who goes near her). This can be VERY distressing for all concerned and I was wondering if anyone has any advice on coping with this type of bad behaviour. Normally I use distraction techniques to coax her along but even I think she is getting a bit wise to me! Thanks for any advice with this. Bern. :confused:

DannysMum 05-15-2008 01:32 PM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
Hi Snotty1! I think you are posting on the wrong message board!
We are currently discussing eye contact in people with asperger syndrome, is there a board specialising in CP? People there are much more likely to be able to help.;)
FYO - when an ASD child is kicking off we don't call it bad behaviour usually, as they are not being 'bad', frustrated probably, not bad. LOL

datgrlstef 05-15-2008 02:28 PM

Re: Eye Contact - Aspergers
 
[QUOTE=DannysMum;3570219]Hi Snotty1! I think you are posting on the wrong message board!
We are currently discussing eye contact in people with asperger syndrome, is there a board specialising in CP? People there are much more likely to be able to help.;)
FYO - when an ASD child is kicking off we don't call it bad behaviour usually, as they are not being 'bad', frustrated probably, not bad. LOL[/QUOTE]

Children on the spectrum might not be able to help [I]all[/I] behaviors, but many of them do act out on purpose just like any other child. :)


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