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  • Nephew on Spectrum? or SPD? His parents in denial :(

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    Old 09-11-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
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    BabsB8 HB User
    Nephew on Spectrum? or SPD? His parents in denial :(

    I have a nephew who will be 8 next week. He is a highly intelligent child and reading on a 5th grade level. Very curious and yet so very sensitive. Since he was a toddler I always noticed something was a little 'off' about him. As he has grown, so have his obvious behavior patterns that give me the clue that he is on the spectrum of symptoms for Autism, Asperger's or just Sensory Processing Disorders. I am not a doctor, but over the years his symptoms have disturbed me so much that I have googled my way through searching the symptoms of those disorders. I have tried give hints to point them out to his mother but to make a long story short, she knows he's 'different' but she refuses to believe he has a 'disorder' or needs any sort of therapy. I am worried how this will affect him mentally and socially in the future.

    Here is a breakdown of his current signs that concern me:
    • tippty toe walks (also walks flat footed sometimes, and has an awkward gait)
    • Clumsy, uncoordinated. Cannot pedal a bike, has to go down stairs one at a time (both feet on one stair, each stair), afraid to climb up things or swing high
    • Beyond a picky eater. Only eats a limited number of foods. Main course is peanut butter on crackers. Mostly dry, salty foods. Will eat apples and grapes, but no other fruits and veggies. The most striking of his picky eating habits is that although he is right handed, he eats only with his left hand, using only his pointer finger and thumb, with the other fingers curled in toward his palm, and will only take very small miniscule bites using his front teeth.
    • Temper tantrums. For example, using the sand bucket to make a sandcastle is not working out after repeated attempts, so he throws himself down on the ground kicking and screaming, throws sand, and rolls around this way until someone stops him.
    • Has an advanced vocabulary for his age. When jumping in the pool, he hesitates and says "I'm not prepared." (instead of saying I'm not ready)
    • Is aggressive toward other children without sympathizing with their feelings. Will come crashing down on another child not thinking that it would hurt them, for example.
    • Selective hearing? Often does not respond when you talk to him. Seems like he is ignoring you or in his own little world.
    • Lack of eye contact when speaking. Must ask him to look at you when talking to you but he still will not look at eyes.
    • Can't understand 'joking'. Interprets it as lying.
    • Does not enjoy outdoors. Would rather play computer games or watch cartoons all day.
    • Overreacts when upset. Simple things can make him cry, like losing a game of air hockey will result in him hyperventaling and crying so hard he throws up.
    • Has difficulty with fine motor skills - poor handwriting, can not tie shoes, etc.

    There are other things I have noticed over the years that have been red flags, but currently this are the main ones he exhibits right now. I have children of my own, and I am no expert in childhood behavior but I can see that my nephew's symptoms are out of the range of 'normal' for an 8 year old. My kids are older than him, by the way.

    My nephew also has younger siblings that do not have such obvious symptoms. I think they are not on any spectrum, however I believe they have mirrored some of his habits just by him being the oldest sibling. Such as aggressive behavior, nose-picking (which I didn't mention but he nephew does that with no shame), and the youngest child (still a toddler) will tippy-toe walk but most toddlers do that some still I think.

    I just wanted to describe my nephews symptoms to see if you, as a parent, would take your child to be evaluated or not? It troubles me to see his mom ignore these red-flags, but then again...a mother knows best right? And I'm not his mom. But maybe she believes he will grow up to adjust normally without any therapeutic intervention? The father, by the way, also has his own set of quirks. He is so withdrawn and shy that he barely speaks. And when he does it is not much. I have observed him while he has been around his kids and he is very passive. Part of his withdrawn nature, I suppose. So talking to him about it is not an option.

    Just wondered if anyone has a child that shares similar symptoms as my nephew and what should be recommended. And could a child like this grow up to blend in with society without therapy or a diagnosis? His mother thinks he's just quirky and that he will outgrow these things. :/

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    asperger's, autism, pdd, spd

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