High Functioning Autism-Need Input

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jal, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. jal

    jal Member

    My difficult child just started out of district placement in a therapeutic school. The therapist called to talk about something and she said has anyone ever mentioned autism? Definately high functioning. She was picking up on things we have seen. It has been something husband, my mom and I have wondered for a while. His psychiatrist said is adamant he isn't. It never showed up in neuropsychologist testing (although that was done at an early age). What I would like to know from any of you with high functioning autistic children of any age is what behaviors/characteristics did they exhibit? How did they get along or play with-other children? How did they react when frustrated? Did it present as EOPB and ODD and ADHD? Anything you can share will be appreciated.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Looked like ADHD/ODD. Here are some characteristics my son had. I may also add that high functioning autism is easy to miss in the early years and more obvious later on:

    1/speech delay
    2/memorized television shows
    3/hated transitions
    4/tantrums, headbanging, scratching face
    5/played by running around with kids, not with actually interacting with them, but he was friendly, smiled, and pointed
    6/loved letters and numbers and memorized them early.
    7/fussy about food, textures, noise (covered ears)
    8/liked to play with lightswitches, but did not really play with toys and didn't have much of an imagination (except when he copied his television shows)
    9/Seemed very advanced in some areas and way behind in others
    10/pottied late, especially poop (5 years old)
    11/very hyperactive and needed Special Education to help him in school
    12/talked to himself in his room
    13/Would sing in his classroom at inappropriate times.
    14/Seemed detached, very spacy at times. Other times seemed very focused and with it.
    15/Went ballistic if he had to stop one activity and start another one.

    I"m sure there are other things that I"m forgetting just now. Every single child on the autism spectrum is different. The biggest factor is cluelessness about socializing correctly. The kids may go up to other kids and intrude, babbling nonstop about thier obsessions. They do not do well in a give-and-take conversation. They do not understand social rules and norms. Some with Aspergers are VERY precocious, rather than speech delayed, and tend to monologue, sounding like "Little Professors." Most have an obsession that fascinates them, but bores other people, espescially the degree of their obsession. Dinosaurs, weather, radios...can be anything. They like concrete stuff so many are very into computers.

    Hope this helped :)
     
  3. jal

    jal Member

    Thank you Midwest Mom. difficult child exhibits a lot of what you posted. He has been treated for ADHD (15 diff stims-not one worked). Definately exhibits ODD. Currently being treated for EOBD.

    1/speech delay (No)
    2/memorized television shows (Yes)
    3/hated transitions (Yes)
    4/tantrums, headbanging, scratching face (Major tantrums, a little bit of head banging, scratching face just started after 3 week psychiatric hospital stay-thought it was a new medication)

    5/played by running around with kids, not with actually interacting with them, but he was friendly, smiled, and pointed (Yes)
    6/loved letters and numbers and memorized them early. (Somewhat)
    7/fussy about food, textures, noise (covered ears) (Recently became fussy about food after psychiatric hospital, noise bothers him at times, public toilets, loudness of the circus)

    8/liked to play with lightswitches, but did not really play with toys and didn't have much of an imagination (except when he copied his television shows) (likes light switches, window control in car, never really played with toys for more than a few min and imagination comes and goes)

    9/Seemed very advanced in some areas and way behind in others (Yes)
    10/pottied late, especially poop (5 years old) (No)
    11/very hyperactive and needed Special Education to help him in school (Yes)
    12/talked to himself in his room (Not really)
    13/Would sing in his classroom at inappropriate times. (No)
    14/Seemed detached, very spacy at times. Other times seemed very focused and with it. (Yes)
    15/Went ballistic if he had to stop one activity and start another one (A lot)

    My difficult child is also not very aware of the space around him. He can trip over the air in a room. Yet when he sits with you at times it's almost on top of you. He has difficulty with-eye contact and a lot of sensory issues.

    I have done neuropsychologist testing, albeit at a very early age (3.5). What type of testing did you persue?
     
  4. Critter Lover

    Critter Lover New Member

    MidWestMom seems to have it down pretty much how my son acted in younger years...

    We noticed he never used his legos for building but would line them up
    in a row and same thing for his toy cars. He also had a habit of making up his own words. The flipping on/off of the light switch at early age
    and flapping his arms....always ran on tip toes and always at high speed.
    Not scared of anything....was at a daycare that had a high slide....climbed it and instead of going down it....turned around and jumped over kids and fell to the ground (age 3). Was slow at everything
    as far as language, potty training, walking. Sensitive to noise so much that his first Christmas he could not open his gifts because the paper ripping or be crumpled bothered him. Did not want anyone in his play space at daycare unless it was his sister and would let off a very high pitch scream if someone did enter his space.

    Of course my son was not diagnosed until later since they did not know too much about the autism spectrum at the time when he was young.
     
  5. Critter Lover

    Critter Lover New Member

    oh and routines are a must for an autistic person
     
  6. Critter Lover

    Critter Lover New Member

  7. Critter Lover

    Critter Lover New Member

  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    How lucky you will be if your child is diagnosed early AND gets really solid interventions...particularly in social skills. For years the diagnosis was not
    accepted for my grandson because "he makes eye contact and can carry on a conversation politely". Duh! He was trained to do those things at home but to this day he can't just carry on a normal conversation with peers. No way.

    He had a bunch of symptoms that presented as ODD, ADHD, PTSD and some attachment problems but once I found a top child psychiatrist and
    he was on the right medications...the only remaining problems that he displays are the sybtle signs of Aspergers. Early strong social skills training can, in my humble opinion, make the difference in functioning in normal society or not. With all my efforts I was only able to get him enrolled in ONE good social skills class and that was very expensive and involved a four hour commute to a larger city every Saturday.

    Explore with enthusiasm and then jump on the rollercoaster. Your child will greatly benefit from early advocatcy (how is that spelled?? LOL). DDD
     
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified is also high functioning (atypical autism)I would do neuropsychologist testing again. 3.5 is too young to diagnosis high functioning autism most of the time. They missed it with my son too. Then they missed it again at 5. I always knew he was on the spectrum though. I could see it in him, even though he wasn't as "bad" as classically autistic kids.
     
  10. jal

    jal Member

    Last night our clinician and mental health worker came (we applied for and receive voluntary services through DCF). I told them what the therapist at the new school said about autism and their eyes bugged out. They presented our difficult child at rounds yesterday and the head psychiatrist said the same thing about Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and being on the spectrum. They are going to plant the seed about another neuropsychologist - since we are under the voluntary svcs DCF will pay for it. This has been in the back of our minds for a while, yet when I questioned our psychiatrist he said no. I thing we are finally onto our answer. I have been posting a bit more in Special Education because we were in the process of moving difficult child to a therapeutic school, so many may not be aware of what we have been through. The agonizining decision to pull him from what he knows to get him the services he needs. The loss of 5 days cares, the loss of my job of 9.5 yrs. because of this. I now know that we have done the right thing for him. 3 fresh pair of eyes have picked up on this in a matter of days! DDD - I've been on the wrong roller coaster with EOBD and ADHD for years - I'm grabbing my ticket and getting on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) rollercoaster! I almost feel renewed!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    FANTASTIC! It's about time. I am so relieved for you. Stay on it!
     
  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Jal, finding the right diagnosis can make a HUGE difference in your child's ability to have a happy and productive life. I'm relieved for you that you're getting some diagnostic answers so that you can put the right interventions in place for your difficult child.

    To give you some idea of the lifelong benefit that early intervention can provide...

    From age 2 to 11, I went to a small school that had a very flexible structure and in-depth programming for children with certain LDs. Purely by accident, all of the interventions and the flexibility of the environment were PERFECT for a little Aspie child.

    For example, you could sit on a beanbag chair or the floor or a little rug to do your work, rather than at a desk. All assignments due that day were written on the board first thing in the morning. You could choose when to do what thing as long as they all got done...etc.

    Throughout my teens and adulthood, I've been able to "pass for normal" as it were. A bit eccentric, but nothing startling. Those early interventions made a monumental difference in my life.

    Wishing for good results from the neuropsychologist evaluation. Glad to hear that your team seems to be on the same page.

    Trinity
     
  13. jal

    jal Member

    Trinity,

    Thank you for sharing that. You brought tears to my eyes. I makes me even more assured that we have done all the right things for him!
     
  14. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    I think my daughter is in the same boat. I think she actually has something called Pathological Demand Avoidance (not technically regcognized in the US yet), in the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)-Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) family. She was diagnosed with ODD at age 3 but for the past year we could tell there is something still not right. She hasn't been diagnosed, but fits the list perfectly for PDA. One of the differences is that kids with that are usually almost normal socially, which is probably why Autism never came up before. My daughter's issues related to this are:
    1. Obsessed with Mermaids & Princesses (has many notebooks of drawings of mermaids)
    2. Talks to self while playing, I'm assuming way more than neurotypical kids
    3. Speech delay
    4. Sensory seeker
    5. Doesn't care about punishment or reward
    6. Once you ask her to do a task, and she doesn't want and you push she goes into a state where it's impossible to break through her emotional state (crying or tantrum)

    I'm sure there are plenty of other things, but this is all I can think of for the moment.

    She plays pretty well with other kids, but if there is a child who is a troublemaker, she will play right along with the trouble. If a kid is good, she'll listen to the kid. Peer pressure seems to affect her. But, I think that the kids at her school know that she's not quite normal because she still hasn't been invited to any playdates (well, as far as I know, my husband is a SAHD and is horrible at talking to other parents, I need to work on getting some set up).

    As for when she gets frustrated, she usually gives up. Homework has been a challenge and I can see when she has had enough and don't push her or it's a huge fight. I would rather come back to it later. She's not that bad at transitions at all, but I've learned how to give her little warnings so it's easier. Now if husband demands something of her and she doesn't do it, he gets upset and then she gets more upset and they end up fighting about it. It p*sses me off because I keep telling him he can't do that. I usually end up interviening and then translating what husband is saying so daughter can understand better.
     
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hey, my son was misdiagnosed with bipolar too-and both on a mix of very heavy drugs that could have tons of side effects. Now he is medication-free and dealing well with life. He is learning to cope even with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
    Allharliris, my guess is that diagnosis. won't make it to the US as it sounds exactly like Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (and I DO mean, there is no difference in symptoms at all to differentiate them). I don't see a difference...guess we'll see :)
     
  16. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    First of all, congrats on getting this far and kudos to those docs for seeing it!

    We were at a Risk Assessment required by the school last night and the counselor said she was seeing little signs of autism or aspergers and reading these posts makes me think it too. She also went for testing when she was early grade school (5-6 yrs) and they said no. Can I just say how much I love this place!!!
     
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad to hear that you got fresh eyes to evaluate him and found what your instincts tell you is the right name for the problem. having hte right diagnosis will lead to the best ways to help him.

    I am another like Trinity. I am very sure that if my childhood behavior was assessed for Aspergers or another Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) that I would get the diagnosis. and my adult behaviors might too. I learned to mimic what other kids were doing to "pass" for normal, but mostly I couldn't figure out WHY anyone would WANT to do those things.

    My oldest, Wiz, is an Aspie. He is in all mainstreamed classes as a 16yo senior in high school! He is taking a vocational program which gives him 1/2 days of training as a machinist this year and next year he will have a fully paid year of training with the program. He plans to work as a machinist to pay his way through college and into the world of acting and drama (behind the scenes stuff). He loves BOTH, and with the interventions we were able to get is HAPPY and PRODUCTIVE and WONDERFUL. (which the old timers here would tell you is NOT the story I was even daring to pray for a few years ago!).

    We are learning so many new things about Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and autism, and the world is opening up to people with these problems more and more every day. Early intervention is TOTALLY the key to later success. Sadly, many people with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or ASDs are overlooked or misdiagnosed for YEARS. It is really not uncommon for a child to get new diagnosis's several times in the process of treatment. But we warrior moms usually know iin our gut if the diagnosis is the right one!
     
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