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Could my seven year old son be autistic?

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Old 04-22-2011, 11:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Wainfleet, ON Canada
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joykat HB User
Could my seven year old son be autistic?

It may be hard to believe in these times but I have a seven year old son with significant learning disibilities and some odd behaviors that remains undiagnosed. At the moment he is on his second round of grade one (we were told by his class room teacher and special ed teacher last year that by this time this year he should be caught right up with the program that the rest of his class is following), he was just reevaluated again a couple of weeks ago. They sadly told us that they were unfortunately wrong. Instead he is barely progressing at all. They informed us that they feel that he may be able to read enough some day just to get by in life but perhaps not much beyond that.

When our boy was younger he was very antisocial, fearing everyone unfamiliar and refusing hugs and kisses even from family. I was about the only person that could hug him. Thinking back to when he was a baby he was also the most unsettles of all of my boys. At only about three months old I would have to continuously keep him moving from place to place in the house. I would hold him for a while, switch him to the swing, put him on the floor with toys dangling above, prop him up in an excersaucer ect. This routine would continue all day. He would be bored of a spot in less than 20 minutes and would then begin to scream horribly. At a slightly older age I would have the worst time trying to get a smiling picture of him. He would flat out refuse to smile, struggling to get away from the camera. I have learned now that if I can catch him off guard playing with his brothers I can finally get a picture of him smiling as he plays.

As he ages he is getting a bit better about his contact with others. He hugs the familiar people in his life quite willingly but aunts, uncles, friends are all still out.

He has an absolute love of boxes, collecting as many as he can. When we go to the grocery store (we go to the box your own groceries type of store), he heads straight for the boxes picking out just the perfect ones. He will sit on the floor of the store piecing them all together to make sure he can create what he has in his mind when we return home.

He loves to build things, constantly rummaging through the recycling box and all of the drawers in my kitchen searching for the supplies that he needs for his latest creation.

Events such as hair cuts and trimming nails/fingernails are muderous events for him (and me - I do both things for him). The moment I begin to trim his nails begins to scream like I am trying to kill him. He does the same when I start to cut his hair. Along with his screaming he will physically fight with me to try to get away. I'm only 4'9'' and he already stands to my chin so this is becoming more and more difficult for me to handle.

I noticed today that he has no comprehension as to proper attire for events. My husband asked him to get dressed for church this morning (we go at least once a week so he should know what kind of clothing to wear - I'm sure of this because even his 6 year old brother can go in and complete this task without an issue). He came out 3 times with the wrong clothes, the last time he came out with a large fleece zippered sweatshirt thinking that that would be fine. (If your thinking that I should have been helping him, your right, I should have been. I was just busy at that moment ironing my husbands clothes. I have a 3 and 4 year old as well so I cannot leave an iron unattended)

If anyone out there has any thoughts please let me know. I am open to all ideas, suggestions and possible diagnoses. I love my son and I want to help him to live to the best of his potential, and to feel good about himself while doing so. I just feel that to properly assist him I need to have a more detailed insight as to what the actual problem is.

Thank you to who ever takes the time to read this.

I forgot to mention that he is also very hyper. He loves to run non stop.

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Old 04-23-2011, 10:54 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Re: Could my seven year old son be autistic?

My advice to you is to have your son evaluated by the psychologist in your school or ask your pediatrician to reccommend a child psych or child neurologist for an evaluation to see what all of these symptoms might add up to. Once you have this input you will then be able to get the services thathe psych or neurologist reccomends, either through your school district or privately. You will then be able to get a case manager through your local office of developmental disabilities, if this is reccomended (and it's always helpful) to see what kind of services they can provide in terms of therapies and respite child care. I think when you get the ball rolling to get an actual picture of what is going on and have some input from these professionals, you will feel that you are at the beginning of moving towards getting him help for these issues. If you have any further questions, don't hesitiate to ask. Good luck to you.

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Old 04-23-2011, 01:58 PM   #3
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Re: Could my seven year old son be autistic?

This must be very chalenging for you and your family. As I read your entire post I did not see too many red flags that could point to autism. only ones would be the boxes.
However, this does not mean in anyway that he does not have some type of developmental delay, or cognititive delays. If you can, he needs to be professionally evaluated by a Child Psychatrist or Child Psychologist. Even a Child neuroligist would be helpful. I suggest this be done outside the school he attends. You might need to get a referral from his regular Dr, to have hime seen by one of these specialists.
It does seem like their is something going on with him , and he needs extra help and support. holding a child back a grade is not the answer. He may need to be in a more structured special day class where the classroom size is smaller and the children get more attention . BUt, first their needs to be some kind of diagnoses made, to explain his behaviors and why it is so hard for him to learn.

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Old 08-24-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: CA, USA
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Malfidi HB User
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I know I'm coming in late to your post. Hopefully you found some answers, but if not I can relate to what you described. My son is almost 7 and your post almost described him. He was diagnosed by a Pediatric Neurologist that specializes in Developmental/Behavioral disorders (that's an important distinction to just a Pediatric Neurologist). He was placed on the Spectrum but just ever so slightly. The bigger issues we've run into have to do with Sensory Processing Disorder. He used to scream and cry when we cut his hair and clipped his nails to the point it would take two of us to do it. He kangaroo jumps around the room when he is over stimulated because he lacks self regulation control. His body is hyper- or hypo- sensitive in varying degrees to many things in his environment related to the 7 senses, yes 7. Taste, touch, smell, sound, sight are what we learn but the vestibular and proprioceptive are also very important and deal with total body in its environment awareness. My son is hypo sensitive to site, sound, and touch. It could be the sound of the clipping his nails or the touch sensation of the cut. Literally it creates a visceral reaction like the sound of nails on the chalkboard does to most of us. It is almost anguishing until they are desensitized, which means do it more often in smaller doses. We started just doing one nail a night and letting him pick which one for a reward. We always tell him before to warn him and give him a reward for allowing it. A lot of the things you've described are classic Sensory Processing issues and typically addressed by an Occupational Therapist. My son fixates on books like your son on building boxes. I've found it's because that is what brings him calm or soothes him from the chaos of over stimulating "noise/sensations" in his world. Hope this helps or you've found the answers you need.

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