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    Old 10-09-2004, 10:05 PM   #1
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    toodles08 HB User
    Question CARS/High functioning/severe autism

    My son was diagnosed with autism last month. We just got the first of the medical transcripts from the drs. We have his rating on the CARS scale. If a child is rated as SEVERE can that child ALSO be high functioning?

    His therapists seem to think he has mild autism, high functioning. But the CARS (which after reading the 5 page transcript is very accurate) has him as severe...

    "...scores from 36 to 60 are described as severely autistic. A's score fell at 53.5, which is in the severely autistic range."

    I guess I am wondering what exactly this means. Now we just got it today so I can't exactly call the dr. Do these scores change along the way? ANyone with some insight or words of advice?


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    Old 10-10-2004, 07:47 AM   #2
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    ang64063 HB User
    Lightbulb Re: CARS/High functioning/severe autism

    I personally feel that scores can change as the child gets older, dietary changes are made, any addition of medication, vitamin suppliments, or enzymes are added, and of course any education programs that are implimented.

    I strongly suggest that you do not dwell on the negative and only strive for the positive. If you swell on the negative, you won't see any of the positive changes that you child is making.
    Mom to Brendan (PDD/NOS, ADHD and Anxiety) and Callie (ADHD and ODD)
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    Old 10-10-2004, 02:01 PM   #3
    Join Date: Apr 2004
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    matt'smom HB User
    Re: CARS/High functioning/severe autism


    I do believe that a CARS score can change over time, both with maturity and early intervention. My son scored a 36, which places him "one Point" into the moderate range. The thing to take into consideration is: Testing is only a window in time. A child may not be at "peak performance" during the actual
    test. I really believe that, and even the service coordinator who met with me before all the evals, told me those exact words, so I always try to keep that in mind.

    I think that my son has improved in so many ways since he started ABA, and all his therapies 6 months ago!! I am sure that when I retest him next year, that I will see a lower test score. Another test that you can take for your records is available on line , free of charge, from the Autism Research Institute. If you sign on the website, you could request the "E-2" Autism
    Checklist, which you can print out, and send in to them. They will send it back to you with a score, and ask to you to retake the test when your child is five. It's just good to have for your own records.

    Good Luck!!

    Old 10-10-2004, 02:06 PM   #4
    Join Date: Jan 2004
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    shue HB User
    Re: CARS/High functioning/severe autism

    Scores can totally change.
    I can only speak from my experience, but Abby scored in the low end of the severe range. While no professional has dx'd her as HFA, I can't imagine her being called anything else. She is verbal, interactive, has a majority of the self-help skills appropriate to her age, and on a limited IQ test scored well above average. After the dxing Dr. went over her scoring with us she said that despite the severity of the dx, her prognosis was good because of where her particular strengths and deficits lie. The main reason that Abby scored so poorly was her inability to comply when tested. The only way she could have been less compliant was if she had been absent from the room! There were many things the doctor asked her to do that she was capable of but would not. She simply could not form any relationships with other people, no matter how limited, at the time of testing. After 8 months of intensive ABA and OT, and now 2 mo. of biomedical intervention, I am confident that she would score differently, but reguardless, she has made a dramatic improvement. She is not the same child. And she most definately fits the description of what I would call HFA.
    Does that help? Like Angela said, just get busy and don't worry about the scores or the specific labels. With the right help he will be the best "A" that he can be! Keep fighting the good fight.

    Old 12-23-2004, 07:29 AM   #5
    Join Date: Dec 2004
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    egr_bob HB User
    Re: CARS/High functioning/severe autism

    Don't worry about the CARS number. My son was diagnosed severe autistic when he was 4. Today, he is 8 yrs old. He was non verbal until 4 yrs old. Today, after 4 yrs in Pre Primary Impaired (PPI) program, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT) he is in the general regular ed classroom with his 2nd grade up until the last hour of the day. At that time he goes to his "Resource Room" and get his OT, PT and Speech with other autistic kids of varying levels. He has a HUGE vocabulary and for the most part, would never be thought of as autistic. He has his issues. The grocery store is an adventure to say the least. He has his days that he just is an internalized little guy. But don't we all ????

    The best thing to do is get you child out there, getting the help and around other kids. Follow the recommendations of those working with him and keep praying. Check out this site too. It has given me some solice. [url][/url]

    Old 12-23-2004, 09:57 PM   #6
    Asperger family
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    Asperger family HB User
    Re: CARS/High functioning/severe autism

    Scores are always changing, and I think scores are also lower when the child is a toddler.A certain amount of school and therapy need to be addressed before a child is determined on knowledge or progress. My child was dx as severe at 3 as well and now he is dx as ADHD/aspergers.Dont let scores discourage you too much. Good luck

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