Do your spectrum kiddos exhibit a similar pattern?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by whatamess, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    My difficult child is on the autism spectrum. About a year ago I made note of the range of his functioning. I termed these as:

    Unable to perform: (academically/behaviorally; requires constant support to maintain safety) 30% of the time.

    Mixed ability: (with support can perform some tasks and be redirected to adequate behavior) 55% of the time.

    Able: (able to perform tasks and behave appropriately) 15% of the time.

    His teacher is struggling to accept that sometimes he cannot perform. I am hearing from professionals that this variability is not uncommon in children on the spectrum. Do you find this variability in your child?
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I can't break it down to percentages, but overall a yes to variability. Even variability in the same task from one to the next.
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Yes, this is completely consistent.

    So many factors come into play to either assist or impair functioning. Here are just a few examples:

    Had a great night's sleep the night before, therefore can maintain better today.
    A lower-than-usual level of sensory input, or a break from sensory input.
    Some sort of therapeutic intervention where the effects are still being felt (Snoezelin, weighted vest or blanket, brushing, white noise, what-have-you)
    A person with whom you interact poorly is not present that day.
    A person with whom you interact successfully is present that day.

    The amount of energy expended on "managing the autism" has a tremendous effect on the amount of energy left over for other activities. The ability to function and perform tasks drops, if a lot of energy is being expended trying to keep it together.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well I've never broken it down like that but yes.

    Even at 24 Travis still varies on how well he can perform tasks depending on the evironment, the task itself, his interest in the task.

    If it has anything to do with a computer he could keep at it 24/7 even with very little sleep. And he's gone 3 days in a row with no sleep programming a new game. lol Doesn't phase him.

    College english.........I don't think the instructor held his attention more than 5 mins. He has to force himself (literally) to do assignments and is frustrated himself at his very short attention span. English......well language in general is one of his weakest areas even though he's improved far beyond what anyone had hoped.

    If there are a lot of distractions in the classroom forget it. He'll be all over the place. He can't concentrate, sensory overload.

    But you noticed I said college english. And he's not doing bad in it either. It just really takes all the effort he has to apply himself to it. He's teaching himself ways to make it easier for him, and his professors are helping him find ways to make things that are difficult easier.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    In looking back I can see this kind of variability in myself. I have long thought that if I were a child now I would very clearly be given an Aspie diagnosis, though my family feels I exhibit very few of the characteristics/problems. I worked VERY hard as a child to copy. Being hot, itchy, cold, any smell, beginning of a migraine, etc... made it very hard to function during class. I still got good grades though I had absolutely zero organizational skills. I watch Jessie and she goes through so little of what I did, as far as having a clue as to what the other kids were doing, or why, and with the extreme sensory issues. She has a harder time now with the movement disorder, but for years really didn't have any of the problems the boys showed. Even with missing about 1/2 of everything due to the seizures she coped better, which is saying something.

    I think few adults can really remember what any of this was like, or they want to forget just how many things bothered them as kids. Of course I think that most of the teachers who are very rigid and intolerant of our kids are that way because their own issues.

    I HATE when people expect a child to be able to do something with-o any problems because they were able to do it one time with-o problems. Esp if the kids are in crowded classrooms.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The variability can be weird, to people who don't understand. difficult child 3's English teacher two years ago was convinced difficult child 3 was just being lazy, because he clearly has a university-level vocabulary (the "little professor"syndrome, they sound like a talking thesaurus) so why did he not understand questions like, "In this text, what was Jane thinking about what John knew?" After all, words like "thinking" and "knew" are easy to understand...

    And again this year - difficult child 3's English teacher (a different person this time) was convinced that because difficult child 3's responses to her in study of shakespeare were monosyllabic, that he was therefore unable to function at a normal academic level in any other aspect of English, especially self-expression. But his writing tasks that he had to do were all things he could make relevant to himself and his own interests, plus he had unlimited time (for the ones he scored well in). I was accused of writing it for him.

    So while I hate it when they don't understand when the work needs to be adapted and he needs support, I also hate it when they don't expect enough from him, and instead don't give him the work he needs.

    As the Special Education teacher said this year to the English teacher, "It's called SPLINTER skills for a reason!"

  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Kiddo got her report card this week, she was disappointed, I was not surprised. Things she could learn by rote, like reading and math, she excelled in. Reading comprehension, on the other hand, she scored low in, which I spoke to the teacher about at the beginning of the year. I expected this, had noticed it at home. She and I are reading "Raptor Red" together (because she loves dinosaurs, so this is her first grown-up novel), and we went through a paragraph that describes a thunderstorm but doesn't say what it is. She didn't get it, her guesses as to what he was talking about were all across the map. But taking it slower the second time, letting her process it one sentence at a time, she got it. Dinosaur species names she can spit out as easily as any other words, but processing is something else. She's also having trouble with "taking personal responsibility" which no matter how much we discuss I can't entirely get her to latch on to. Or the reverse - everything wrong with the universe is her fault. No middle ground.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Splinter skills. I don't remember seeing that expression b4. Interesting.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    difficult child 3's splinter skills do change. Plus in some subject areas, within these, he has flashes of brilliance. But only flashes. For example, he has been watching the educational programs on TV for years, he's seen them all in repeat so many times. We especially watch the Science stuff, and another favourite (to watch at least) has been a unit of poetry. It's made in the UK, absolutely brilliant for out senior high school students. And he's been watching it since he was 10 years old. So now he's 16, he has a good grasp of how to read and understand poetry. Often we'll be watching it and he will say, "Can you find me a copy of that poem?"

    So I go look it up online, print out a copy and he sticks it on his door or similar.

    At a school English study day a couple of months ago, they began with a visiting poet who asked the class, "Who here likes poetry?"
    difficult child 3 was the first to put up his hand.
    When his teacher had to work with him in poetry, she was not expecting much from him. But he aced it, he really understood the poems and discussed them with her freely. Compared to the teeth-pulling it is for him to talk about Shakespeare...

    Poetry as a splinter skill in autism... bizarre.