Child with ADD & possibly Aspergers?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by whateveryousay2007, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    My son is 8 years old & in the 3rd grade. He was diagnosis'd with ADD when he was 6 years old and in the 1st grade. When he was a baby he always had ear infections/tubes and his speech was a little delayed.

    He is in speech therapy now. He has always done well in school (A/B honor roll) but this year his teacher has called me on a regular basis expressing her concerns with him.

    I see the things that he does and I know that he has problems. I'm becoming a nervous wreck. He is impulsive, short attention span and so on from the ADD.

    He is little for his age and very skinny (always been that way) and he has a hard time making friends. he plays well with little kids but not in his own age group.

    he's an only child & content playing by himself. Recently he has become very arguementative. Hateful but not violent.

    The school psychiatrist expresses her concern for autism because he has the following characteristics:

    rather play by himself, interested in complex subjects like the news, weather, space and so on, talks randomly about things no one else is interested in, rather talk to adults than his peers, doesn't like to make eye contact, struggles with reading comprehension. It's a list.

    The other thing is that he does take Taekwondo. He does well in it. He is distracted sometimes but does well. He can memorize that patterns & forms he has to learn.

    Someone else mentioned ODD. He's being tested by Vanderbilt next month but should I be concerned until then? I'm being broken down by a child and it's not a great feeling.

    I've accepted that he's different & I've tried to change the way I parent to the fact that some things he does is beyond his control. but I'm at a loss on what to do now.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Given the traits that you are describing I think you are wise to do further research on the Autistic Spectrum Disorders and to make sure he's seen by a specialist who can diagnose or rule that out. These are very similar traits to what many of our kids here with AS display.

    You might want to check out these screening tools--they can be very helpful at the point that you are at:

    The one most frequently mentioned here is Childbrain. Important note on this one--it isn't accurate if there are no early speech delays so it often doesn't pick up kids with higher functioning Asperger's Syndrome.

    This is a great developmental checklist, designed specifically to monitor for Autism.

    If this is AS, then you will be better equipped to help him because you will have a definite direction instead of shooting in the dark all the time.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi, and welcome to the board!

    You found a very safe place to land. And so far it sounds like you are doing all the right things. Accepting that our children are different, and adapting our parenting styles to meet the individual needs of our kids is HUGE!! You are 10 steps past what a lot of people are when the join the board (certainly past where I was when I joined).

    There are many wise warrior moms who will be along soon with advice and certainly support. If you would not mind, make yourself a signature. There is a how to in the FAQ/Board help forum. Helps us get to know you.

    Glad to have you on board. Sorry you had to find us, but glad that you did! Again, welcome!
  4. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    That has been a concern since the first 6 weeks of school. I didn't want to accept that as a possibility but I still followed up with his doctor about it. I'm glad I did because getting testing scheduled takes months.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I know this is a hard possibility to face but truthfully, it's so much easier having a diagnosis that you feel is accurate than having a child with all sorts of random, unexplainable quirks and behavioral and/or developmental issues. It will help you understand him so much better and be able to help him better.

    I forgot to mention that there's a great AS discussion forum which you might check out. The articles, etc. are pretty random so it's hard I think for a newbie to navigate that aspect but you can usually get a pretty good sense of whether your child fits or not through the discussion.
  6. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    I did look up AS but I was at a loss on a lot of the symptoms. Most of which I blamed on the tubes/hearing problems. 4 sets * adnoids removed before he was 32 months old. could've been AS too.

    I'm definetly having him tested. my hubby thinks that it's a waste of time but I am struggling with him. I'm usually strong willed with my child but he had me in tears this morning.

    I held on until I got him on the bus but it's hard to deal with at the moment.
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If your husband is reluctant I'd advise you to check out that last screening checklist at the Yahoo site. It's what a group of parents put together--not a bunch of PHd types and the need for evaluation may be more convincing hearing it from parents who've been there.

    My difficult child had tubes in at 4 1/2 months and then what seemed like non-stop allergy/cold/sinus problems until he had sinus surgery (twice) at ages 5 and almost 7. Much of what we'd attributed as health and lack of sleep related behavioral problems wound up being Autistic Spectrum. He was exhibiting much of the same kinds of things that you've described above--early fascination with the alphabet/reading, interested in space/geography/marine life/rocks and minerals at an early age, not tuned into what people wanted to hear or not hear. He was more social than most AS type kids (which is no doubt why he's doing so well now) but back in his preschool/early elementary days he was socially sort of "off".

    It was actually late speech delays that raised the red flag for him. He was functioning so well in school that his preschool teachers weren't concerned for him. I couldn't let it rest until I had answers, though.
  8. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    He did the typical momma, daddy speech as a baby. He didn't talk as much as I though he should've as a toddler but he didn't seem behind to me.

    I always expressed concern to his doctor (he was mine too when I was little) but he always said he was normal.

    Mine did have allergies. Tree pollen & ragweed. He has it year round. He did get tested and he did get put on medications for everything.

    Whenever we go to the doctor I still tell him that I'm concerned and he tests him everytime. I told him about the fact that he is always in an adult conversation. (He wasn't in the room) Sure enough he went on to have a 15 minute conversation with the doctor about the weather, tornados and so on.

    My hubby is not my son's biological father. I filed for divorce from his father while I was pregnant. (Cheating little lowlife) And I met my hubby while I was still pregnant. We were great friends and got married when my son was a toddler. he's always had the stability of Daddy.

    His real father signed away rights because he didn't want him (his loss) and our son doesn't know yet. I feel he's still a little young to understand. but his biological father's family has no history of anything that I'm aware of.

    So...denial is a big issue at our house. I'm constantly telling both of them not to argue or pick with each other.
    I expect my hubby to not act like a child.
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Mine actually was ahead of the game at toddler age but starting loosing ground during the late preschool years. When it really hit me was when I was chaperoning a preschool field trip and the other kids were carrying on lengthy back and forth conversations and he was saying simple things to the other kids like "Look at the truck". He could carry on a conversation about his obsessive topics or spelling for lengthy periods but if you listened closely you would notice it was almost entirely factual. Never heard deeper questions like "Why did the dinosaurs die out" although he could recite the names of elements contained in the rocks in his collection.

    A lot of his idiosyncrasies I just brushed off to being bright--I figured that as smart as he was it would be more suprising if he did develop right along the same track as other kids.

    If your pediatrician isn't listening to you, you need to get a new one. I made an appointment with my pediatrician, took along a file of my son's writing and drawing samples, told him what I was observing, and he referred us for evaluation without any protest whatsoever. I always have said that if the day ever comes that he stops listening to me it will be the day he becomes my former pediatrician. There is a huge push underway for peds to screen for Autistic Spectrum Disorders due to the increasing numbers and their dismal track record in recognizing it. Their own survey showed that more parents were getting help from other sources such as school and other parents than from the docs themselves in recognizing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would have him see a neuropsychologist. He could be on the higher end of the autism spectrum. They are usually first diagnosed with ADD, and he seems to be getting progressively more frustrated, which is normal if you're on the spectrum (and it only gets worse without interventions). medications don't really help Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but sometimes are used for accompanying behaviors. My son is medication free.
    I STRONGLY recommend a neuropsychologist because their evaluations are far more intricate and intensive than other exams.
  11. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    He actually told me to go to Vanderbilt. And to bring him in again for testing prior to that appointment. Checked his vision, balance, bloodwork so on. That's when they changed his medications. It takes 3 months to get in at Vandy.

    He watches the movie Cars all the time. We have Dish not comcast so he watches it at my parents house ondemand every single weekend.

    He sits there a quotes every single line in that movie & gives you the full commentary on it. I do indulge in his obsession. I bought him the coat for this winter. If he likes it then it's fine by me. It's something I know he'll wear.

    but he's doing something new that i've noticed. When I wake him up in the morning he'll blurt out something to me like we we're just having a conversation. Like "No...I'm not eating that sandwich....I've already told you"

    Or he'll start quoting lines from the movie. He is actually quite peciluar when he wakes up.

    He'll dream something and then be mad at me because he thinks I really said something to him.

    I'm going to talk to his doctor tomorrow. they're not in the office today.
  12. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    I'll check into that. he's actually got an appointment with Vanderbilt early childhood development intake next month. Would they handle that?
  13. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    The quoting lines from movies is called echolalia and is very common in children who are on the Autistic Spectrum. At first it looks like a sign that the child is extremely bright in that they can memorize such things but it actually is a speech delay. It's not to put down the memory skills but it is a substitute for normal speech that they haven't yet developed or where they are in situations where they don't know what speech to use. Your son quoting lines upon waking is a classic example of echolalia--using memorized speech instead of socially appropriate speech. Hopefully the speech therapy that he's getting now emphasizes social speech.

    If I were you I would go ahead and keep the Vanderbilt appointment and see what comes of it, then add on additional assessments if needed. I'm not sure exactly what clinic your evaluation is but they're associated with a children's hospital with a whole host of staff. I agree that a neuropsychologist assessment would be beneficial but they may be able to get you in far faster than your pediatrician or yourself working on your own.

    Prepare well for the appointment by doing the following:

    1) Fill out the parent report linked here and bring it with you or send it in with the advance paperwork:

    2) Go through those Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) screening checklists--print off the results and take them with you.

    3) Make sure to tell them that you want the evaluation to include assessing for Autism. We're just parents here so we obviously can't diagnose but there are enough red flags along with the school psychiatric's observations that you want to make sure that this base is covered.

    Hang in there, I know this is hard waiting for answers and direction.
  14. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    His appointment is for Autism screening. Genetic testing too. Vanderbilt is the only children's hospital here. Vanderbilt is the largest too.

    He gets into the movie and quotes the lines, he'll play cars & quote the lines. The morning thing is usually whatever he was dreaming about. because this morning he was furious with me because I tried to make him eat a ham sandwich.

    this is something new.

    He only does it with that one movie.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son still repeats the stuff he hears on shows. He is no longer "echoing" per se, but it helps him say stuff he means, at appropriate times, when he can't come up with the sentences himself. For example, he may say, "It's just so tough to be a kid." I know his well enough to ask, "What show is that from?" He'll tell me, "Sponge Bob said that to Mr. Crabby Patty." He's My son has a large vocabulary, and CAN form his own sentences, but he often prefers to borrow the ones he hears on television. It's a very common Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) trait. Maybe he is echoing part of TV shows, what others say (teachers) etc. and you just aren't aware. It took me a while to figure out that son was coming out with his "clever" phrases from mostly television.
  16. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    Mine responds to me with his own thoughts.

    He's never used a line from a movie or cartoon as an answer to a question that I've asked him. Yet....

    He just wakes up and says lines from that movie or re-enacts scenes from it. This is relatively new I just assumed it's because he loves that show.

    I'm going to the bookstore this week to see about reading up on some of this.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You probably won't find this sort of echolalia in a book. However, my son repeats his "shows" when he's in his room alone too. He also talks with what he I swear, he has a phenomenal rote memory. However, he can't express himself or think well in the abstract. It's hard for him to talk about, "What I did on my summer vacation." Rather than get all excited and start detailing what he did, and how he felt when he did it, like my daughter will, he'll say, "Um, oh, it was fun." "Um, went to Chuckee Cheese." "Saw my big brother." My daughter would say, "Well, it took forever to get there, and my big brother took us to Chuckie Cheese. We got so many tokens and had so much fun, and he helped us win prizes. Then my aunt spilled soup all over here (giggling). The next day we went swimming, but it started to rain and we had to leave so we all plaied Monopoly."
    Lucas could never articulate all that. A lot of times he also answers, "I don't know" or "I don't want to talk about it now" or the more familiar, teen-aged "MOM!"
    Rather than read about it, truly, it's easier just to have a neuropsychologist evaluation. The NP's are quite intensive. Since all Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids are different (but alike) reading didn't help me--it only confused me. It's clearer to me now. I can see where he has problems that other kids don't have--his intelligence is normal but his life skills and social skills are way sub par. Both are dramatically improving with all the interventions he's gotten. Good luck!
  18. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    I'm starting to get the I don't know or I don't want to hear that too.
    I'm trying to figure out something to keep my sanity for another 30 days.
  19. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Most parents when at the stage you are at will see things in a symptom list that fit and others that don't while still other traits that seem to fit partially. That's normal. No one of our kids is alike, and no two kids with Autism or any other disorder is exactly alike. That's why it's so important to do your homework and seek out professionals in the area(s) of concern.

    I believe that Midwestmom's son has a diagnosis of Autism whereas my son came closer to Asperger's in his younger years and I would only hear very limited repetive, echoing speech. He answered my questions to the best of his ability (he had problems with W-H questions) and not with echoes. I would sometimes hear him use phrases from tv during play "According to my research... (from Magic School Bus) but those were usually pretty appropriate for the play situation. Never any whole movie scripting.

    There are two kinds of echolalia: one is immediate, such as Midwestmom described with answering questions with tv or book scripts which have been memorized. Delayed echolalia is what you are seeing with your son reciting Cars. Echolalia will often increase in children who have developed speech if the child is under stress.
  20. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    That's interesting. He almost always does it when he's playing or running through the house (which I do not encourage). He has been under a little more stress than usual. He's small for his age and there have been some 4th graders (2 boys) picking on him.

    Of course bullying is not tolerated. I love his teacher to death, she mentioned Asperger's to me. (I had never heard of it) She goes out of her way to work with him so he can succeed in school. She found out about the bullying before I did and took care of it. They took his homework from him. She asked why he didn't turn it in & he told her. She went & pulled the boys out of class and told them to return it and leave him alone.

    he's in taekwondo, has been for awhile, but he's not an aggressive child in standing up for himself.

    But he has a lot more attitude than he has in the past.

    Yes...he does quote that movie. He doesn't do it with other cartoons at all. When he was little he used to sing the opening songs along with the beginning of his shows but I think most children do that.

    I'm just trying to figure out a way to deal with the minor obstacles until testing.