could my son be on the autisum spectrume? he has adhd and i wonder if its something more??

Jennie - posted on 11/18/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My son is definitely different. He really thinks out of the box. I have read some books about autism & aspergers and I see some similarities. How do they test kids for this? When he was diagnosed with adhd 2 1/2 years ago i filled out a questionnaire and the the kindergarten teacher filled one out too. We also had many appointments with the psychologist. I did recently ask his dr about autism and aspergers and dr said that my son is eccentric. But as i keep thinking I'm really wondering if he is on the autism spectrum. I've read that there is also what they call high functioning autism so where do I go from here?

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Becky - posted on 11/20/2010

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Jennie,
My son was 4 when he was diagnosed w/ ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. He saw a developmental/behavioral specialist who diagnosed him Like you said I always knew there was something more than ADHD going on with him. Then in 2007(8 yrs old) he was tested(by the school) for Autism. He had always had an IEP since he started school b/c he was "developmentally delayed" School was horrible since kindergarden...The testing in 2007 said Autism. He is high functioning. I called his specialist and told him about the testing the school did and so he gave my son the diagnoses of ASD(Autism Spectrum Disorder). Now that he had this diagnoses the school system said he could go to a special classroom for Autistic kids. He has done SOOOO much better in that classroom! There are only 9 kids in the class and there are 3 teachers. They are all trained in teaching kids w/ Autism. It has been a God send!! My son just could not handle being in a classroom with 22 plus kids! Way too overstimulating...I would take your child to a specialist to be evaluated! Trust your instenisks(sp?) You know your child best! I wish I had followed my gut and told the dr. or school system to do further testing...I hope this helps! Best of luck to you and your child! Know that you are not alone! Take care...

Jennie - posted on 08/18/2012

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*****update****wow it's been almost 2 years since I wrote this post. My son is almost 10 years old now and going into 4th grade. When I wrote this post my son was in 2nd grade. School did the testing on my son and the conclusion was autistic like behaviors and autistic like characteristics. He got and IEP. I changed drs. Filled out more qustionires. And now have a diagnoses of aspergers and ADHD. Some days are challenging but worth it. It's been a long journey and I'm still learning everyday.

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Jennie - posted on 08/18/2012

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Now that I look back his symptoms were....and still are is he's a very picky eater if it's wrapped in different packaging he will not eat it. He's never been a good sleeper and be the first one up. Tags need to be cut out of his clothes. He would like to be naked all the time because it makes him feel alive. I make him wear at least his underware (he has 2 sisters) and when he's only in his underwear he says he only feels half alive. He's hard to understand because he talks really fast. He knows everything about pokemon. Things have to be his way but he's gotten better with that. When he saves up money for a new Lego toy that's all you hear about until he buys it. He sees things differently and I tell him I never thought of that. I think he's so wonder and some days are harder then others and I love him just the way he is.

Linda D - posted on 08/18/2012

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One thing I would really like to know right now is, is there any signs,symptoms, or any way I could tell if he is or not myself???

Linda D - posted on 08/18/2012

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My 5&1/2 yr old son is totally & completely disrespectful & uncontrollable, he's on his 3rd or 4th medicine now & they don't really seem to help. So,after everything we've tried & been through so far, his Dr last told me she thinks he may have a High Functioning form of Autism!!! I'm skeptical,but I am to the point where I'm willing to try ANYTHING to help him(& me now)

Jennie - posted on 11/20/2010

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Becky, I thought I was the only one with a son like this. I know getting a diagnoses is hard. My question to you is did school do the testing and then did you take your son to the dr? I'm trying to get my son tested at school. Do you think I should call his regular psycologist before school does testing or after? I did mention my concerns about autism but his dr said autism kids don't make eye contact and they aren't verbal. She said my son is smart and eccentric. It was only a quick conversation about that and it was before I had done much research on autism and high functioning autism and aspergers. I think I'm going to call her on Monday. Thanks for your help. My email address is jennie.szabo@yahoo.com. Is your son a picky eater? Mine is very picky only eats plain hamburgers from mcdonalds only. I'm there everyday. It's embarassing but hes gotta eat. He also loves vegetables and fruit. My son loves to collect boxes and will get very upset if I throw any away. Any toy he gets he needs to keep all the wrappers that came with it and it's just easier to let him keep it then him being upset. I pick what battles to fight and some are worth a fight and some aren't. He also picks up stuff from the ground everyday paperclips,scraps of paper, sticks, rocks, everything. And that stuff I can't throw away either.

Becky - posted on 11/20/2010

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Yep a lot of what you said about your son sounds like my son...I know it is hard dealing with the school system. I have been told to demand what I think my son needs. That the school will try and do as little as possible. But it got so out of control with my son(he was suspended from school 11 times in the first half of 3rd grade) that the school then pretty much did more than they were doing. Like I said, the special classroom he is in is so great I wish he had been in it all along...But I know they say to try and do inclusion first but my son just couldn't handle it...When he went to the new classroom(was at a new school) he has not been suspended one time! The teachers are trained and know how to handle situtations that come up. I mean when a child has Autism a lot of their behaviors they can't help and are just a part of Autism and they shouldn't be sent to the office for things they can't help. I had teachers in the past say "Brandon did this, Brandon did that" and I am thinking "He has Autism that is what kids w/ Autism do" Very frustrating!

Jennie - posted on 11/20/2010

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Becky thanks for your advise. When my son was first diagnosed with adhd half way through kindergarten his psychologist recommended that I request an IEP and testing. But school said we need to try a 504 plan first. They didnt want to do testing on him because they said that he was more than capable of doing the work. Then he started medication and was doing much better in school. Then last year {1st grade} everything was ok. The teacher did say he was inflexible. I did notice his social skills were a little off. Even going to the grocery store I didnt know what to expect...he sometimes would hit strangers butt and say some embarrassing things but also be very cute and charming. I thought a lot of his behaviors were sorta normal for a 7 year old boy. And when he plays and someone accidentally knocks a toy over he would yell and get so angry. Even doing homework was hard and when he would get frustrated he would yell at me and tell me I'm the worst mom ever. But 10 minutes later everything would be back to normal and tell me sorry. I know he doesn't mean it so I just let it in one ear and out the other. So now that hes in 2nd grade I just found out that his 504 plan was canceled because they felt he didnt need it anymore. He does still need it especially since hes in danger of failing 2 subjects. so now they are working on a new 504 plan and I also requested school to do testing on him and the special ed teacher said he would be a good candidate to test. And that special ed teacher gave me a book to read about autism and aspergers. She told me that there is something called high functioning autism. So maybe she has her sucpitition like I do. We will see what happens.

User - posted on 11/20/2010

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Hi Jennie,

Sadly, most family physicians don't seem to really know what autism is unless it is "full blown". I would see a developmental pediatrician or a child development specialist. A family doctor is often a great first start, but identifying, diagnosing, and "treating" autism is something you need a specialist for.

Good luck,

Sheila

Theresa - posted on 11/19/2010

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If he's high functioning autism it's very hard to distinguish between that and ADHD characteristics. My son was diagnosed PDD-NOS, which is Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified. Basically it's saying that has some of the characteristics or autism, but not severe enough to call it actual autism, though it is on the autism spectrum. We went for that diagnosis to get him the specific type of extra help at school that he needed but couldn't get through an ADHD diagnosis. Did you ask the psychologist about the autism, or his regular doc? Find a child psychologist and get him evaluated there.

Jennie - posted on 11/19/2010

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and my son wanted me to go to class with him today to help him finish writing a story but i dont want other kids saying your mom needs to come and help you finish your work? so I asked the teacher if he can bring it home and i will help him there. she said yes.

Jennie - posted on 11/19/2010

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My son is 8 yrs old now and is in 2nd grade. He was diagnosed with adhd when he was in kindergarten and I did put him on medication not really willingly but I wanted to give it a try because his self esteem was low and he told me everyday that he tried so hard to not get into trouble and he would say my brain just doesnt work. I know he really tried hard. but after he was diagnosed I wrote a letter to school requesting him to be tested and get an iep plan or 504 plan. Well school didn't want to do the testing on him because they said he was more than capable of doing the work and they said how can you test a kindergartner to see what grade level hes at? He couldn't sit still, or focus, he would touch other kids or try to hurt them. Also he would be disrespectful to adults and not understand peoples personal space. He would be sort of like the class clown. Well after medication he was playing catch up in class. He did really well with the med and I thought great this is working. Then 1st grade came and he did good in some areas and ok in others. In 1st grade the teacher said he needs to stop doddeling on his paper and understand that there are different ways to come up with an answer and that his way isn't the only right way. Its been a long journey and I'm willing to do whatever I need to do for him. He really is a smart kid and very sweet and Im so glad that hes my son. He really fascinates me with the way he thinks. Now that hes in 2nd grade he is still on meds and can not complete his class work. So on top of homework that I help him with everyday and at times its a struggle. We will do a little homework then take a break and sometimes homework can take a couple of hours to finish...but it gets done :-} But how can I have enough time to help him finish the classwork that he hasnt completed? I have talked to the school about updating his 504 plan and I also requested testing to be done on him. Im hoping to hear from school soon. Im so happy to get support from other moms like me. I dont no anyone else like my son and didnt know there were so many people like him. Also when I go to school regarding the 504 plan and iep plan or the testing I will know more about what im talking about because 2 years ago i didnt and in this past year I have done a lot of reading on autism and aspergers. I tell myself GOD wont give me anything I cant handle and I will do whatever it takes to help my son..

Susan - posted on 11/19/2010

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Just to add to what's been said. I have also been busy getting lots of tests done on my 7 yr old son over the last 14 months I feel like I am treading water and also that no one really cares except me!!! I have educational psychologist reports, speech therapy report, IQ test, eye sight test and behavioural optometrist test. They all point to ADHD or ADD however no one has made that diagnosis all I keep getting told is my son has attention problems!!! Well tell me something I don't know. I paid $650 to be told that with no medicare rebate!! The school have taken on a lot of the recommendations from the educational psychologist, however the Paed we saw looked at the repot and wanted to give me a script for ritalin!!! So I left and now feel like I am back a square one.

I have a new referal to a diferent dr and will have to wait for the appointment but in the mean time I am going to get a Mental health care plan from the GP that will allow my son to see a psychologist at a reduced cost. I have read about ADD, ADHD, Asbergers, Autistic spectrum disorders and Dyslexia and they are all so similar in signs and symptoms you really need some one to take the bull by the horns and give a diagnosis so you can get the best help!!!
Also just to put your mind at ease everyone is on the Autism spectrum it just depends where on the spectrum you are is if it interferes with your day to day living.
Defo go back to GP and ask for a mental health care plan go and see the psychologist and keep all the reports you have together. Have hearing and sight tested too if you haven't already. Hope this helps and know your not alone. You need to be your son's case manager it is a hard job but chin up you will get there.
Susan

Kate - posted on 11/19/2010

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Hi there
I have been on this wonderful merry go round for the past 11yrs. After finally finding a pead who actually "knew" about the syndrome we did the Aspergers CAST Test. Both me and my hubby had to fill the form out and so did his teacher. He is now in yr 7 and with the support of his teachers specialist and family he has had a great yr. Best one so far.:)
I personally would look around for another pead. I thought for years the one we had was the best but after a outburst from my son when he was 9 and the pead said " i dont know what else you can do" i searched around. You are your childs voice and you know 100% more that the specialist who sees your child for 2 hours at the most.
I hope this has helped


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