Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nandz, May 11, 2010.

  1. nandz

    nandz Guest

    It was me, marg, who you posted the things about the autism spectrum. I did go to and its a very helpful site! I did the questions that it asked for the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and my son doesn't seem to fit the mold of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) according to those questions. I will bring it up to his dr at his next appointment. He has a dr that is a pysch, but also specializes in neurology. Thanks for the advice and support!!
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    No worries, nandz.

    There are other sites. For example, I've recently had professional dealings with a woman whose behaviour has been increasingly erratic. I know this woman well and know her history, but things still didn't add up - until I did a personality disorders test on her and it lit up like a Christmas tree. It was enough to convince me to cut off professional ties with her, at least while she is so erratic. It also explains past problems I've had with her, trying to pin her down to a decision regarding her work. So in future with this woman, I'll simply make sure I document everything and have the records handy, so she cant say, "You never told me!"

    The thing with autism - Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in general - the understanding is constantly shifting. When difficult child 1 was 6 years old he was privately assessed by a therapist with considerable experience in autism. I asked the specific question (not knowing about Asperger's at the time), "Could difficult child 1 have some form of high-functioning autism?" and was told he could not, absolutely not.

    Flash forward ten years and our desperate attempts to understand what was happening with difficult child 3, as well as the stuff we'd never had explained with the other kids. difficult child 1 was diagnosed with Asperger's the same day difficult child 3 was diagnosed as autistic. easy child 2/difficult child 2 labelled as borderline Aspie. I got back to the original therapist who was still working with the Autism Association. He still insisted, based on his now more extensive knowledge of autism, that difficult child 1 could not be autistic. As for easy child 2/difficult child 2 - laughable that there could be anything wrong. He had assessed both at length. But I was present during those assessments and I remembered certain events that with hindsight, pointed the way to Asperger's.

    I still say this therapist is one of the best. But nobody's perfect. And even with his considerable experience, the goalposts are constantly moving. Also, if the therapist is mostly working with the really severe cases, he's not so familiar with the edges of the diagnosis, where kids can seem to be OK, can slide past and fool people, especially when the kids are really bright and have learned how to "pretend to be normal". This isn't the kids being deceptive; it's kids trying to blend in, which is what kids do especially when they pay attention to peer pressure. It's a learned response, and brighter kids learn it faster.

    I was born short-sighted. I never knew what normal vision was. As far as I knew, everyone saw the world the way I did. I used to marvel when I looked at photographs on calendars (peering from about 2 cm away!) at the marvellous detail you could get in a photo of, say, a tree, when the eye could not see the same detail of every leaf. I loved photos and enjoyed taking photos of scenes which were to me a glorious blend of colour, but when I got the prints back in b/w, I could enjoy the fine detail not visible to the eye. I had heard that people with colour blindness do brilliant work in counter-espionage and can spot a camouflage net from the air where others can't. But I was about 8 years old when I began to realise that my vision actually was poor, and not normal. My first pair of glasses was a revelation and I loved to watch the trees especially, to see the individual leaves at last.

    The thing is - I was successful at navigating my way around the place. I used colour as my guide and learned the pattern of colour of a person's face and their body movements, so I could recognise people from a distance. My hearing was acute - I used to sing with my mother, who was a singer in her time. So my ears were very important (still are).
    In other words - I adapted, without even realising I was doing it.

    Whatever the diagnosis with our kids, the first thing they will be trying to do, is adapt. It is what kids do as they grow and learn. But if they are struggling with a condition (diagnosed or otherwise) it affects how they adapt as well as what they have to adapt to. it greatly adds to their workload. Sometimes those adaptations seem dysfunctional, such as stimming in autistics. But often these are techniques the child has developed, to help them cope. It's not a technique given to them by an expert, it is rather something the kid has worked out personally. If you want them to stop doing it, you have to give them something else to use ins its place.

    I hope you can get some good answers regarding your son, and find a diagnosis that helps you both work towards better functioning.