Does anyone else have problems w/childs teacher/school saying your child has ADHD and not Autism?

Deana - posted on 03/22/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 yr. old son whom is in pre-kindergarten special education program through our school dist. well the thing is my son has been diagnosed 2 times w/Autism .. 1 1/2 yrs. old was the first one the second one was when he was 3 yrs. of age and in April we are going back for another one this year to see all the improvements my son has made and now where he is in the testing so on so forth.The thing is that our son's school teacher,speech therapist are being very stern on how they don't believe our son's diagnosis of ASD (Autistic Disorder) is not true they say he has social,verbal after only a yr. now and other things that Autstic children don't have they see in my son but our son is much diff. at home then school and we know and see the Autism in him at home more...The school thinks he has ADHD only cuz our son is very hyper he has alot of energy and can't sit still...So I am wondering if anyone has had this problem? I am my son advocate all the way and I do tell or feelings etc. and they are well known but what else...

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Kelly - posted on 08/21/2011

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my son was diagnosed with aspergers at age of 6 but i knew he had it earlier but because he has a genetic disorder called NF1 wich includes adhd they kept saying it wasnt.my son also reads like a 3rd grader an can count it was dissed, but his behaviour an language skills were poor,he plays next to kids not with them he repeats himself a lot,his melt downs oh boy ,my doc says sometimes you cant diagnose with asperges untill they are older like my son.

Candis - posted on 03/26/2010

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Hello, I have one who is fixings to be 19 and he has pdd Autsim but, was just tested and showing it to Ashenberger's which is a little more Autsim line. I also have a 10 year old that did and still shows allot of the symptons. They can get through some of it with a heck of lot of work from you. But, the school districts do not want to show the kids with this. They call it ADHD and ADD. Which we dealt with for lots of years. The best that you can do is stay on top of all of the teachers and talk to your counselor of the school. It is a tough road ahead but, you can get what you want sometimes it takes allot of your time and just pushing them. But, very rarely nice will get you any where in a school district. I hope this helps.

[deleted account]

Also...I think schools don't yet know what support to give, exactly, for Autism spectrum. It's more of a way of being in the world and a way of interacting with the world than a "disorder" or a "delay," and they are all so different, that I see the possibility of it falling off the chart as something that requires modification, IEP, etc.

That's why it's so important for us to advocate, but also for the psychiatrists and other doctors who diagnose our kids to help us advocate. When I go into the school, I'm "just" a mom, not seen as an expert, so it's hard to get my point across. It's also hard to keep my emotions from welling up when I'm getting push-back from the school. I don't know the answer to that... but I'm working on it. I know I'm going to be dealing with this for a while, so I'm hoping to get better at talking to the school.

Thanks for your post.
Laura

[deleted account]

I'm having the same issue - my son is really high-functioning Aspergers and I'm getting the "We think he might have ADD" line from teacher and guidance counselor. The thing to remember is that teachers, especially if they've been in the system for a while, have been dealing with ADHD and ADD for a long time now. I remember when it was first getting noticed, many teachers did not want to acknowledge that it was a "real" diagnosis, and many thought it was being "over-diagnosed."

Autism and Aspergers are having the same growing pains in mainstream classes, I think. YOu're dealing with people who are learning about Autism, many of who will have difficulty folding this syndrome into their already-established way of thinking about kids in classrooms, behaviors, etc. They aren't informed enough yet, and we might be able to help them become informed while advocating for our kids.

Keep reminding the school that not all Autism looks/acts the same, and tell them that your goal is to find the best way for your child to function in the classroom, and help the teachers find the best way to interact with him, but that you KNOW your child. "Not being able to sit still" is an issue for many children on the A-spectrum - maybe the doctors that you have seen would be willing to call the school counselor/teacher and explain that. They should want to help you to advocate for your son, and many doctors will offer that small service even after they've completed their official work with a child. Give 'em a call and see what they say.

Good luck!! You're not alone!!
Laura - mom of son with Aspergers

Deana - posted on 03/24/2010

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Sandy,
I am so with you on the daycare and school dept./teachers needing to be update and informed more or as I should say educated more about Autism that is so true..I am starting to believe if they had more knowledge about Autism then it might not be as bad..The problem you stated in your very first sentence is what I am going through with my son's school with him showing signs of same things almost just not abc's etc. my son no being more social,interacting with peers to an extent,communicating now which he never did and i could go on..The point I am trying to get them to see is yeah you don't see the Autism in him as much as we do cuz you are focus on all those points and like you said Autism does not just disappear I think he might fall some where else on the spectrum with ADHD added into it but it is deff. not just ADHD and not just developmentally delayed you know.I have had an er doctor look at my son one time when he was rushed in for something and say your son has Autsim as me and his therapist just look at each other and I come back with why does an Autistic child look a certain way and you are a doctor whom is or should be educated on this stuff.like you said not enough people no and understand this all..I love my son teacher and all she is great at what she does but it this issue I am having with them that is making me so angry..thank you so much for your story it was great to hear it made me feel better..

Sandy - posted on 03/24/2010

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I had a daycare teacher tell me "I don't know how told you he has Autism, because he knows his numbers, abc's, everyones name..etc " Um duh.. he learned the alphabet before he could even talk. grrrr. This teacher ticked me off everyday to say the least, I removed them from daycare. I think teachers for daycares and elementary children should be schooled in Autism..even just one seminar, most people don't really understand it.
I have twin boys that have been diagnosed with Autism and PDD. I also have two more boys currently in evaluation. The child with PDD is suppose to go back for ADHD testing, so your child could possibly be ADHD, however that doesn't make the PDD diagnosis disappear. I have been VERY lucky since the twins started school, everyone has been very helpful and the teachers have been wonderful so far. I am dreading the day when other kids start teasing as the get older and realize my boys are different.

Deana - posted on 03/24/2010

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Melissa,
You hit it on the nose with the video taping my son at home.. I have been saying that is what I am going to do to show them my point of how a structure program/teaching helps my son better then non structure.As far as there opinion it really does not matter to me what they are we know what our son has been official diagnosis with twice and that is all that matters..The opinion of the teacher and others in special education dept. does matter to me and bother me when they are trying to take things away from him at his renewal of his IEP for the new yr. and put him to other things they think he will be better off in etc..Yeah we are willing to try new things for him when he meets his goals but don't exclude the old goals to add news that my son learn from so well is what I am trying to get them to see as we are trying to get them see that is the way my son learns.Thank you so much for all your input it was great and helpful...

Deana - posted on 03/24/2010

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Tammy,
Thank you so much for your advise I really appreciate it..My son has been diagnosed twice already by a child Psychologist and his pediatrician as well.So as far as all that goes we have the medical evidence there.The problem we are having is the school wanting to take supports away from him in school and out of his IEP do to he had accomplished so much and they see no sign of Autism just ADHD like I stated and I am just getting to her me and see my side at home and home..As well to see the diff. they make at school to keep him going as well..thank you again..

[deleted account]

If your son has a diagnosis and it's on his IEP, I don't see how the teacher's opinion matters. There are a few kids in my son's class that the teacher said may have been misdiagnosed, but I'd say that's more the exception than the rule. Videotape your son at home and take it to the teacher. Use it as an opportunity to point out how much the school structure and her teaching style is helping him.

Tammy - posted on 03/23/2010

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i had the same problem getting both of my children diagnosed. Call the Department of Education. Tell them your concern. It varies state to state on who has to diagnose. In Missouri a child therapist can diagnose. In Arkansas on the other hand they will not accept it unless it is a medical diagnosis or the school gives an educational diagnosis.

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