Beginning the diagnosis journey - am I reading into things


Beginning the diagnosis journey - am I reading into things

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Lynn
Lynn
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Hi,

Gosh, I don't even know where to begin. I have a 2 and a 1/2 yr old son who I suspect may have Asperger's. I have suspected for a while that there was something different about my precious little angel. He is the busiest kid you've ever met (well, perhaps not), but compared to the average child, he's in a category all on his own. My husband and I were both very busy as children, so we always put it down to him being a 'chip off the old block'. We discussed it and pushed it the back of our minds because he is so smart and seems so 'normal' (for lack of a better description) in so many ways.



I guess I could no longer ignore that little niggle I had been feeling when the daycare centre that he attends approached me and advised that he isn't like the other kids. He doesn't seem to want to play with them and is missing their social clues. They also said he displays an immense amount of anxiety when they are attempting to transition him from one activity to the next.



Autism was one of the "words" I'd bandied about in my head previously, but wrote off. After the information from the Day Care Centre, I began researching and a picture began to emerge, but I'm worried that I'm reading into things too much... but these are the things he does....



He is obsessed with cars, and I mean obsessed. He can tell you the name (brand) of every single car on the road, even really obscure ones. He can count and read numbers and sing the alphabet song from start to finish. When we park the car in a carpark, all he wants to do is "look at cars". He likes to touch the logos and tell you what brand they are. If you say no and try to walk on by, or put him back into the car he has a major meltdown, but if you let him look at the cars he's generally, but not always, okay to get into the car and go. When he plays with his matchbox cars, he lines them all up in neat little lines. He'll also get upset if the wheels don't spin on his cars (like when he's played with them so much and the axles breack), but I'll have to confiscate the car because he just can't get over the issue of the wheels not spinning. If given the opportunity to walk on smooth pavers or bluemetal, he'll choose the bluemetal. He also has this little physical thing that I can only describe as a 'tick'; his little arms and legs go stiff as a board and his mouth gapes open like he's surprised. He only does it for a second or two, but he's done it since he was well under a year of age. Don't even get me started on the periods of hyperactivity / chaos. The running on the couch drives me insane and no matter what I do or confiscate, it makes no difference, it's like he just can't help it, he has to do it.



Despite the above, he honestly seems so 'normal' in so many ways so I'm worried that I'm reaading into things too much, but I also think, I just can't ignore all the pieces of the puzzle. Does anyone else, or did anyone else, have similar experiences? Would love to hear from anyone, I'm a bit overwhelmed and confused at the moment.



Mamabelle
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Many people have an idea of autsim where the child is obviously different (myself included) which is why we had niggles but wrote if off as my son seems typical in many ways. He does have social and language issues - he has pddnos and probably hyperlexia too. I think if you are concerned you should see your gp and get referrals to see a psychologist and paediatrician. There sounds like there is some inflexibility and restricted interest there which is worth checking out.
peaches67
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Hi there,



I'm thinking the same hon!! It sounds like you should get a referral and get it checked out with a paediatrician, at the very least it will relieve your anxiety and worry about it if it all turns out okay. If on the other hand there is issue, you can get started on getting some help for your lil angel before he gets too much older.



The earlier the intervention the better outcome!!



Your boy sounds very similar to our son, and he went undiagnosed until he was seven.



The only indicators that we had from professionals at all was through our sons pre-school that he attended for 3 years and it wasn't until his final year before kindergarten that they mentioned to us that "our son has outgrown pre-school a year ahead of his age and that he was very very intelligent"



The anxiety was always there and because I went through a relationship breakdown from quite an abusive ex I wrongly put it down to the impact that this would be having on not only my son, but all of my children.



My son is also profoundly gifted and so he is so smart all of those early learning indicators were fine and he was reaching all of the childhood milestones ahead of schedule and his speech was very impressive!!!



He did all of the things that your mention in terms of playing, he would line toys up, was a very busy little bee, was outstanding at lego and complex construction, completing amazing projects that were some 8 years beyond his age level, following the visual instructions in the manual perfectly. He would do things like turn his three wheeler bike upside down and spin the pedals around for ages and ages watching the wheel turn, but stupidly, the penny didn't drop for me.....we knew he was different, a little different than other kids, but all kids are so very different and we just accepted him for who he was.



Our first major spanner in the works was his first day of kindergarten, we had a call from the school that very first day, because he just simply could not cope with the overwhelming school environment, there was just way too much sensory information coming in and the poor kid crumpled into a little ball in the classroom bag cupboard and pulled all of the other kiddies school bags in on top of himself. Sad



Hope this sharing helps in some way!!!



Had we realised earlier we would have acted quicker but realise now that his giftedness actually masked a lot of the symptoms and unless you were familiar and aware of what ASD looks like, you wouldn't be able to tell.



From kindergarten it took two years to be diagnosed, with all of the testing etc.



So yeah, it might be time to get it checked and then you can be rest assured or be well armed with what you need to do for your lil man!!!



xx

nickymum
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Hi, it sounds like there are a few red flags there, I would check it out.

It is a common misconception that ASD kids cannot present as fairly 'normal'. My son displayed none of the common ASD traits except for a language delay and an inability to perform in a structured environment. This delayed the diagnosis for years, as he got older it became a bit more obvious but to this day he can blend in with neurotypical kids and not everyone knows about his dx.

Thats probably not music to your ears (sorry), but its probably better to find out sooner rather than later due to therapeutic opportunities and funding. Also, the is he or isnt he game you can play with yourself is emotionally exhausting.

Good luck, ask questions here anytime. Its a good forum for people in your position.

Mum to Nick 5 ASD

Harriet
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Hi Lynn,



My ten year-old son was diagnosed with (high-functioning) autism at age 7 1/2. He's quite mildly affected although as we homeschool, it may be that his behaviours are not quite as pronounced as they may be in another setting.



Definitely make arrangements to have your son formally assessed.



My son was late to talk. He had a speech 'explosion' just after he turned three - and guess what he was obsessed with? He was obsessed with identifying the makes of cars. Every time we left the house, the only thing he would do or talk about was to identify the makes of cars that passed us by. If none were on the road, he would scan driveways for parked cars. He would also line up toy cars as if they were in a parking lot. He, of course, displayed other behaviours also and was reading fluently 2 months before he turned five.



As I mentioned, he wasn't diagnosed until much later, initially after his kindergarten teacher raised the issue.



Anyway, good luck - and let us know how you go.



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Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Edited
20/04/2012 by Harriet
nickymum
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Yes Harriet and Lyn, I have to add that at 2, DS touched the logo on every car on the street when we were out. I didnt connect it to ASD at the time.

He still occasionally does it.

Mum to Nick 5 ASD

Harriet
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I meant to add that spinning car wheels was also a big attraction for my son. He also used to like to get down and look at the wheels spinning on the surface as the toy car moved along, often tilting his head to get the right perspective.



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Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Cocomo
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Hi Lynn,

It sounds like you are very switched on and on the right path to helping your son. Whatever the outcome of the assessments, ASD or no ASD, hopefully you will come away from them with a clearer picture of your son's strengths and weaknesses and understand the reasons for his behavior better and therefore will be able to use appropriate strategies and get the right kind of help for him.

Since you asked, I do have to say that your son sounds very similar to mine at that age. We had a similar experience as parents, noticing that our child was a bit different but still seemed so capable in many ways. He did like wheels but didn't spin them very often or for long, just long enough for us to feel a bit worried. From around 1 he had a keen interest in letters, numbers, shapes and logos. Yes, car logos, in particular. He didn't ever touch them in car parks or anything, but he would find them in the newspaper and tell us who owned which car. When I took him to do part of his assessment at a hospital at 2.5yrs we were crossing a road when an ambulance stopped at the pedestrian crossing for us. The driver must have noticed my son getting really excited and staring at the ambulance, so he put the flashing lights on and waved. I almost had to force my son to notice the lights and wave back. He said "Look Mum! It's a Mercedes!". Who ever knew?

It was probably the sum of the observations of DS's behaviour, obsessions and pragmatic speech issues which earned him his diagnosis. At that age, it was those things you mentioned which made me wonder, especially his running around, being extremely "busy", crashing and jumping and difficulty with transitions. If I hadn't had him in structured group activities then, these differences might not have been obvious enough for me to pursue an assessment.

Good luck with the assessment process. Keep posting any questions you have along the way.Smile
GO


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