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Old 06-28-2007, 08:24 AM   #1
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Language delay picked up by school psyche, now what?

I visited these boards a while ago (maybe 6 months?) and have had concerns for my 5 yr old son being on the autism spectrum.

This year he is in pre primary and his teacher said the same thing his kindy teacher said, that they were having trouble with him following instructions and his comprehension etc.

I met with the school psychologist and his teacher and he had developmental tests done. He came out average in the performace side of thing with building blocks and pattern finding but significantly lower on the verbal tests. She is referring him to a speech therapist and is going to check him for the criteria to go to a different school up until grade 2 specifically for language and speech development.

I am unsure and seeking advice on what you would suggest I do. Should I mention to the speech therapist about my concerns for him or just let things take their course?

And what of taking him out of his current class and to a different school for two years? He's just started to make some solid friends and it has taken a long time. One boy lives across the road from us and is in the same class and that has helped my son tremendously. They play together everyday, even though my boy can be aloof and not really play "with" him, they are still firm friends. I have a 4 yr old daughter who tends to pick up the playtime slack for my son which I find a huge relief. It allows my 5 yr old to still do his own thing but not have his friend waiting for him to play.

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Old 07-08-2007, 03:47 AM   #2
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Re: Language delay picked up by school psyche, now what?

Is there a reason why no reply has been made?

Old 07-08-2007, 07:44 AM   #3
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Re: Language delay picked up by school psyche, now what?

I think people just couldn't think of anything to say.

Language delays aren't always autism, of course; but your little guy seems to have a bit of social-skill delay as well. And the test he took shows a profile that's quite characteristic of high-functioning autism. So your concerns are valid, and worth checking out, in my opinion. Moms are always most in tune with the kids, anyway.

He's already getting speech therapy: Good. In my opinion, the biggest obstacle that faces autistic kids is learning to communicate somehow; because once that's done, they can learn everything else they are lagging behind on: Social skills, stress tolerance, emotional tolerance, sensory integration. It's easier to learn when you have help, though obviously autistic kids, like any kids, can and do learn on their own as they grow.

Speech therapy is great; but if the problem is autism, there are other things your son will need to be taught (see above). You are already doing great by helping him maintain a friendship with another child; that is something I did not have as a child, and would have benefited from. (Also, the benefit to the other child is just as great: He will see your son as different, but will know him to be somebody who's OK to hang out with, anyway--a life-long lesson some people never learn.)

If your son has autism, it's probably mild. Even in these days of new knowledge, high-functioning autism sometimes doesn't get picked up until the pre-teen years, especially if the speech delay isn't pronounced. (We Aspies have a harder time of it--we often don't get a diagnosis until high school! A lack of speech delay, combined with intense special interests and social clumsiness, may be seen as "geekiness" instead of Asperger Syndrome--as it was with me.)

By the way, if this is scary to you, remember: Autism is a spectrum; it ranges from profound to near-normal. Your son is on the mild end; he'll be fine. Like I said, I'm an Aspie, and I'm pretty happy and doing what I want despite my disability. He just needs to be taught what's harder for him to learn than other kids. The thing he needs most, he's already got--a mom who loves him.

Old 07-09-2007, 04:09 AM   #4
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Re: Language delay picked up by school psyche, now what?

Thankyou. I appreciate the reply. In the case that if anything, it'd be mild, do you think I should mention it to the speech therapist when he goes for his assessment?

Old 07-09-2007, 07:33 AM   #5
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Callista HB User
Re: Language delay picked up by school psyche, now what?

Yes, especially if you want more information or aren't sure whether your son needs more help than he's getting. The speech therapist could either address the larger issues of the autistic traits, or else refer you to someone who can. Then you can be more informed, and make the decision as to whether to pursue formal treatment rather than simple parenting common sense (which, of course, does just as much good in many cases).

Old 08-10-2007, 09:35 PM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2007
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allthatjazzgrl HB User
Re: Language delay picked up by school psyche, now what?

The pre-school teacher suspected autism and so he had a psych assessment. Did the psychologist screen for autism then? If so, ask what her what she thought or reread the report. It should make some reference to the referral question. It sounds like the psychologist thought there was only a language delay/disorder. Most if not all kids with language delay also have delayed social skills because it is hard to interact when you don't understand. (Ever been at a party where you don't speak the language). As communication improves, social skills can improve. I assume your son had a hearing test?

PS There are many reasons for a high Performance/Low Verbal descrepancy other than autism.

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