This is my first time posting in this forum. We have a 9 year old boy that has been diagnosed as Aperger's/High functioning Autistic. We kept him out of school until he was 6 because we didn't feel he was ready yet. He is quite intelligent, but lacks some of the social skills we are all familiar with. He is quite hyper focused on the things he is interested in, but has certain fixations and obsessions that act as distractions to him
Also, he is very auditory, and finds sounds interesting. He seems to have a compulsive need to make noises, and this is difficult for him since he has been mainstreamed at school, although he has some therapy providers at school (OT etc.). He has a great teacher who understands him and has had him now for 2 years. Lately, this year, he has been having problems with his noise making and so is singled out for "time outs". He seems to have reached a breaking point and feels as though he is a "freak" and the only one that ever gets in trouble. He feels humiliated.
The school has for the first time asked if we have considered medication. My question is, has anyone else had experience dealing with the schools? What medications have you tried? They seem to want to try an ADD type med, but I think that he isn't really ADD, but merely bored with the program. When something catches his interest, he'll forget to eat. I am less inclined to try meds then my wife is, and so we are at a little bit of an impasse. I was just hoping for some input from you all.
Brenden - Hi- Your son sounds similar to several children I have come across over the years; my son is 21 now and one little guy in particular reminds me of what you describe - highly intelligent; however focused on little obsessions. IMO the ADD meds are not the direction you want to go. I know a little about meds in general due to all the years of finding the right ones and the right dose for my son, and I would be concerned that the ADD meds might make him even more hyperfocused.
The serotonin (SSRI) meds like zoloft can be helpful for the obsessions.
Another thought: has mild tourettes ever been ruled out by a child neurologist? I ask this because of the noises. Could it be a mild tourettes symptom or an obsession, like you say? This is just something to consider and I know there are meds that help with this too.
To me it sounds like a consulation with a good child neuro who understands Asperger's could be very helpful.
Having been in the same situation as you, I completely understand both yours and your wife's feelings on the matter. Fortunately, you have a diagnosis of aspergers a lot earlier on than we did. We were under the impression that he had ADHD until he was about 12. The schools had him under the category of behavioral problems rather than autism. We tried medication - several different kinds. While it seemed to help at first, it just seemed to mask what was really going on underneath it all. I just wanted a quick fix to the problem because I didn't know how to deal with it!
Well, after all is said and done, he's not on meds any more. Instead, we are working on helping him with the social problems he has at their source and we have him in a private school which has made a HUGE difference.
Of course, every aspie is different, but this is what helped us. I hope you find what works for your son!
Thanks for your input. Tourettes has never been suggested. I could check. I am wondering if there are any web sources for dealing with the school system for parents with children in this situation? It gets a bit frustrating at times. I feel as though we are educating ourselves more than gleaning anything from the experts. BTW, I have had OCD since I was a kid, but I (sort of) manage it now. I think perhaps there may be a few things going on with our son.
Hi!~ I also have a son who is turning 5 next month. The dr said he shows signs of having Asbergers. Just yesterday, I took him to Kindergaten roundup @ an elementary school. Although i am terrified that he is going to interrupt the whole school w/ his massive fits, thats where he needs to be. He is currently seeking OT, behavior management, & speech. Kinda nervous about real school. Don't want him in a special needs class because he is very smart, just fits outta the blue w/no triggers. He screams so loud people stare if I take him in public. He is like a firecracker ready to explode @ any moment! I firmly believe that drugging your child is not the answer, only slows his development. I was drugged when I was younger & made me hate my life! Lots of love & support & constant attention will be the best medicine! Life is a roller coaster! You will be up one moment & down the next! Just love him & accept him as God's most prescious gift. He only gives you what u can handle!
Jenbuck - I almost hate to say this but after so many years of experience with the schools (my son is 21 now), if your guy is having massive fits out of the blue and they cannot be quelled, the school is not going to keep him in a mainstream classroom. They will say he is too disruptive and is interfering with the other kids learning. Just telling you what you might be confronted with.
If the school is willing to do a behavioral evaluation and put a behavior plan in place with supports (ie an aide) it might work. If not, this is where medication can be of benefit, to allow a child to be in the school setting that is right for them, and be able to sit and focus and learn.
For my son, it was a necessity, and every professional we dealt with was/is in agreement. They are not always a bad thing when they can help a child access things they otherwise wouldn't be able to.
if your son is bored then that could certainly be a problem with his need to "entertain" himself during class time. (ie making noise) my son was in a first grade mainstream class and above grade level in a few areas. he sat in with 3rd graders for math and reading. he was also pulled out for resource room with an amazing teacher who taught him latin. (he actually enjoyed latin believe it or not)
his behavior was much more manageable because he was not bored.