High Functioning Autism vs Antisocial Personality Disorder

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Sumsky, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Sumsky

    Sumsky Active Member

    Would like to hear some thoughts on high functioning autism vs antisocial personality disorder..... have neuropsychological testing scheduled for Oct 1st. Therapists are very unsure which way this is going to go.... Therapist are telling us that SS is showing some signs that it could go either way. They are really not sure if SS is just that cunning or if he really just does not understand. After doing some reading, I would like to hear some input from others that may have experienced this type of situation. I feel he’s too manipulative to be autist, but have also been told that every child with autism is unique. That being said, has anyone worked with an artist child that was manipulative and deceitful?
  2. Sumsky

    Sumsky Active Member

    Copabanana, It really doesn’t change anything for us as far as safety plan. It would just change the approach of therapy. Autism also gives us a little more hope of turning things around for him. They are finding that he doesn’t show emotion, empathy, etc. he also does not understand consequences and he cannot relate separate instances. He also mimicks behaviors he sees in others. Along with being very awkward socially. He is also not really opening up in therapy.

    I agree with residential, although that doesn’t seem to be an option at the moment.... hopefully after this next testing and official diagnosis!!

    I guess I’m just trying to understand the autism possibly. I’ve never heard of the lying, manipulation and deceit being associated with autism.
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I did a google search of autism + lying + manipulation. Lots came up.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Autistics dont show or know how to express emotions. My kind sweet son who would never hurt a soul, is autiatic bit without a mean bone in his body.. No stealing, excessive lying, scamming yelling....no traits if anrisocial.He ia living alone, working and yesterday came over to mow our lawn and tear up cardboard in 90 degree weather for recycling. He didnt want his Dad ro do it in the heat and we gave him a meal and a fewfbucks but he didnylt know about the $$. Autism is not a personality disorder which makes one mean and dangerous. It is a developmental disorder, even if the person is very smartand a socia skills disorder so they have to learn approproate behavior. My son is the nicest person I ever met. Do some autistics have behavior problems? Yes, because they dont understamd social norms. The worst cases (i knew one who couldnt speak) act out badly in frustration but are usually very sorry and can learn to calm down.My son.hadnt had a meltdown since age 8. He will be 25 amd is very peaceful. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can and usually does get much better especially wirh good interventions. It is not a psychiatric disorder and often that doesnt work because they dont communicate well and it isnt a paychiatric problem although it can cause acting out.

    Enter antisocial personaliry disorder, which Ted Bundy had, although most dont go so far as to kill. Abuse, stealing, constant lyiing, charming when it is in their interests, sometimes getting arrested for refusing to follow societal rules and worse come with a cluster B personality disorder, antisocialaborderline and narcicism. They know how to look animated. They copy normal people to benefit. They have NO empathy.

    My son has more empathy than moas. His face may not show it always but he shows it with tears and his surddenly horrified tone of voice when he hears of a tragedy. He is very naive, thinks everyone will treat him well but the older he gets the more he gets life. This is common in autism. The norm even. Even that autistic boy who still cant talk much is a part time working adult now and barely acts out and smiles a lot. Aurism.is hopeful. And different in each child.

    I am iffy about a therapist that cant tell one from the other. I saw a neuropsychologist for my son and got a detailed ten hour evaluation.that in his case turned his life around.

    I suppse one could have both disorders.

    There are now forensics experimental tests that identify antisocials from not. They wire the brain and show scenes to them such as people, even children, being blown up and then right after show .happy family pictures. If you are not antisocial your brain reacts violently to.the horrific tragic scenes. In an antisocial the brain, heart, blood pressure etc
    all stay the same and equally calm in.every picture shown.

    No empathy.

    I saw this documentory on Investigative Discovery. Maybe it is on youtube. Its very explanatory and scary.

    If your son is a danger ro tour family and society regardless of his diagnosis he needs to be in residential care to protect you and others. Do not let the school diagnose. Schools are horrible at diagnosing and spent as little and rush as fast as they can. I recommend a neuropsychologist, which is npt a neurologist. They test completely.

    Good luck.
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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  5. Sumsky

    Sumsky Active Member

    Thank you SWOT! The therapists are leaning toward antisocial personality disorder because of the deceit, manipulation, etc... our appointment is with a neuropsychologist. We were not able to get in until October 1st (with some strings pulled to get in that quickly). But they are also saying because he doesn’t seem to really understand, they are giving him the benefit of doubt until the test results are back. SS seems to be very cunning and is playing some of this. It is being seen by the therapists.

    Our very good friends have a son who is autist and he is the sweetest kid. Yes, very naive but he does know when people are upset and that is upsetting to him. What I know of autism does not seem to fit SS in my opinion.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I agree. Autistic kids have very poor social skills and from the autism group I was in while my son was younger, the about 100 kids who would go to the "social"group were very sweet natured. Now since they had such poor social skills +mine is better than many and learned quickly) some would whistle rudely at mothers and say "you are hot!" Or similar inappropriate things that embarassed the parents. Talking to other moms, many did have melt downs, but were basicslly so sorry after .Some needed medications and had something other than autism too.

    by the way, the autistic kids did NOT socialize! Parents kind of laughed sadly about it. They played alone or with siblings. We had get togethers at a pool and you would think the kids would throw nerf balls together or floats but they didnt. The group helped the parents more I think. My son played with his sister, but always had fun...likes water. But he didnt interact with strangers. Still doesnt like crowds.

    I really cant imagine even a very smart autistic being a good manipulator since that requires knowing what makes people tick. They could certainly try but manupulation is only good if you know social rules. I find my son a poor liar too. He lied in such an obvious way. Then he would admit his lie and cry and call himself stupid or hit himself in the head saying "stupid me!"

    It is excellent that you are going to a neuropsychologist. We had to wait eight months but once it happened we feel it was well worth it.

    I am sorry about SS. Antisocial is dangerous and of yet they know of no therapy that helps because the antisocial is usually happy to be antisocial and wont change.

    Love and light!
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  7. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Sumsky, it is possible that your SS has both antisocial personality disorder and high functioning autism. However, lack of empathy and struggling with connectedness to others is not a trait limited to autism. The neuropsychologist will be able to flush it out.

    The gold standard assessment for autism is something called the ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) and is given over a period of several days. If there remains doubt you can request that SS be assessed with this instrument. It's possible that you may have to travel to a town that has a teaching hospital to get it, if you don't already live in or near one.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    The neuropsychologist will do the ADOS as well as testing for all disorders. They are very comprehensive. There is no way to 100 percent diagnose anyone for anything in psychiatry and often in neurology as there are often no divinitive tests to prove an opinion and the DSM is ever changing. I have been in the mentalhealth system since age 23 and I am 64. There have been many changes and will be many more until there are physical tests such as diabetes has.

    I do tend to be leery of diagnosticians since there is no way to prove any diagnosis. Since antisocial disorder is so scary, I think it may be easier to spot that. Autism can be tricky.

    At any rate, if he is dangerous, he shouldnt be at home. The danger in my opinion is the bottom line. You must be safe.
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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  9. Sumsky

    Sumsky Active Member

    Thank you BloodiedButUnbowed! We are going to a large university facility for the testing. I know we have 2 appointments scheduled and we are to expect both to be several hours. I am honestly not sure what all is involved with the appointments other than testing. Our therapists and caseworker highly recommended this testing and the neuropsychologist. They said it would tell them what they needed to know for their approach to therapy. They also told us that autism is workable where antisocial not so much. I think they are seeing a lot of mixed behaviors and it very well may be a combination. If that is possible. SS takes things very literal, he doesn’t get jokes and sarcasm most of the time. He watches people and stares to the point of making them uncomfortable. He repeats ‘feelings’ to them but can’t really describe how he’s feeling. And when asked how he feels he says sad, angry, happy like a question... almost like he’s asking if that is right. He doesn’t respect personal space or boundaries. He doesn’t understand the social clues on when to drop a subject and will continue to go on and on. So, I do understand some of the mixed signs, but again the lying, deceit, manipulation also tells me that he knows more than he lets on too.
  10. Sumsky

    Sumsky Active Member

    I did that also... I’m finding it’s usually the autistic child that is manipulated. I don’t know.... I guess we’ll see what the testing shows. Thank you Copabanana!!
  11. Sumsky

    Sumsky Active Member

    Thank you SWOT! The behaviors you are describing sound like what I know of autism. I know my knowledge is very limited and I know that autistic children are all unique and have different behaviors but I’ve never heard of the ‘mean hearted’ characteristics we are dealing with.... I guess that’s maybe what they are saying. If he being ‘mean hearted’ or just doesn’t understand or able to relate outside of his wants. Either way, safety is number one. I was just looking for some insight. Maybe I’ve only seen the gentle side of autism. But you’ve given me some very good information. Thank you for sharing! You’re son sounds like an amazing young man!!
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    It IS usually the autistic child who is manipulated and often bullied.

    The description tou gave sounded autistic. But sounds like tou have a great group of professuonals looking into everything. It is very long testing!

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    When I looked into what came up, while the articles in my view did not contribute much, they were about manipulation and lying by autistic kids.

    I will look again. Maybe I was wrong. But I am curious now, too. Give me a few days, and I hope I will find something. Meanwhile, be well.
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Copa, it could be erroneous info. Most auties are bullied themselves because they are socially clueless and meltdown and cry easily if teased, some even as adults. Everything written isnt right.

    If you want to see a good example of a very bright autistic adult, although fictuonal, watch a few episodes of The Big Bang theory and notice Sheldon Cooper .He is much better in academically than most auties but his social skills are typical and often it is said he is playing an autistic adult. He is very good at it! Give it a whirl :)
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    SWOT. I am not saying that people on the spectrum are either manipulative or lying. I have no experience or knowledge of this. But the therapists are telling this family that the son may be diagnosed as autistic, and that these behaviors that he is displaying are secondary to that diagnosis, rather than antisocial personality or conduct disorder. This possibility seems to be giving this family more hope that interventions on his behalf may help.

    If I have a few minutes I will see what I can find. Thus far what I read does not impress me. But I am curious too.


    Well. I read several articles. And the behaviors they describe sound to me to be NOTHING at all like your stepson. The articles are too long and complicated to summarize here, as they describe case studies and examples, but suffice it to say, the manipulative behavior they describe stems from avoidance of anxiety, and the need to control the environment, due to inability to cope with variation.

    Nobody on this forum can speak to diagnosis. But from your posts it seems that your stepson deliberately and purposely violated the boundaries of your daughter. He planned this. He put it into effect. He seems to even feel proud of it. That does not seem to fit with what I read in those articles.

    I found these articles by googling autism spectrum manipulation and lying. The first few articles are about the autistic child's being susceptible as victim. The articles I saw were after those.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  16. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Copa, thanks for your kind explanation and caring for this child. I hope it is autism.

    Copa I hope you have a peaceful day.
  17. Sumsky

    Sumsky Active Member

    Thank you Copa! Yes, that is what I was finding also. The lying and manipulation is centered around easing their discomfort, anxiety, etc. this is not at all what we are dealing with. As therapists spend more and more time with SS, they are seeing this also. Especially after the follow up with us. They just have a few things that don’t really ‘fit’ with the antisocial aspect and are more along the lines of autism. Either way, my understanding is this testing will show us what we are dealing with. Thank you for taking the time and reading up on this. I really do appreciate it. I’ve been reading so much and sometimes just need to hear the real life side of it too. Some of the information on case studies is very hard for me to follow what they are actually saying. Again thank you so much for taking the time to help me!!
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Sumsky. It is more typical than not to have several diagnoses. In the USA diagnoses are written using a five axis system. Axis I being acute, like depression or psychosis, Axis II being stable influences such as developmental disorders or personality disorders. And so on. It is possible to have two or more diagnoses on a single level, for example, a personality disorder such as Antisocial Personality diagnosis and a developmental diagnosis, such as ADHD on Axis II.

    What I am trying to reinforce is what you are saying, that they seem to be taking seriously your stepson, to be giving him his best shot by ferreting out what they can, the nuances. I would try to remember, too, if I was his parent, that he is a developing person, with a developing brain. Which is to say, there is every hope of his being helped; but not at the cost of the security and wellbeing of your daughter.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
  19. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Take Copa seriously. She is a PhD psychologist, I believe. And a brilliant woman.
  20. Sumsky

    Sumsky Active Member

    Copa, So then it makes sense that there may be more than one thing going on. He has ADHD. That was diagnosed years ago and it was just reaffirmed through the last evaluation. I have read about comorbidity and ADHD seems to be something that goes along with many other things. When ADHD was first diagnosed when he was about 6-7, I started reading all I could about it. Trying to find ways to help him. By the time he was 10, I was convinced he also had ODD. I understand that ASPD can’t be diagnosed before he is 18 because of his continuing development. I also understand that the earlier he gets treatment the better he (and everyone) can be (if he wants to). I want him to have the best opportunity, BUT that being said..... my daughter is my first priority. It’s not just her safety that is taking precedence for me now. It is her overall safety, security, health AND happiness. I will do what I can and continue to be involved in therapy, however, I have taken a backseat with anything else. I don’t care if he fails school, I don’t care if he needs a dentist appointment, I don’t care if he needs school clothes, I don’t care if he is driving his grandparents crazy, I just don’t care.... I know that sounds terrible, but I just want to be done with him.... my home has been so much more peaceful, relaxed and clean(he’s a slob and never cleans up after himself) since he is not here!!!! I do not even realize how stressful it was to be around him until he was gone!!! I do want to help him anyway I can, just not at the expense of my children or myself.