For those who have children with asperger's, what are their characteristics of it?

Kristy - posted on 04/08/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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my 6yr old son's school has suggested for the last year that he may have it. I dont see it. His IEP is so detailed and yet I have seen a social worker who has worked w/ autistic kids and she dont see it and is wondering if the school is jumping the gun and labeling him and the case just being he is acting like a normal 6 yr old boy. they say he lacks social and cognative skills, and his language skills are slightly delayed but I was told kids w/ aspergers generally have advanced language skills. I am so confused with all this.

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Maurin - posted on 04/08/2010

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Some children with Asperger's have advanced language skills while others do not....like my 10 year old daughter. Children with Asperger's tend to be very concrete and literal. They don't understand phrases like "it's raining cats and dogs." The first time I said that to my daughter she looked scared and ran for the window. Then she glared back at me and said, "No it's not, Mom!!" My daughter also lacks social skills. She will speak at the most inopportune times and she doesn't know when to say thank you, you're welcome or sorry and her volume control is out of whack. She is sensitive to certain sounds. The second after she flushes the toilet, she has to run out of the bathroom. For the longest time she wouldn't even flush. She's 10 and if you turn out her bedroom light (at night) without warning her first she gets extremely scared and start to scream. Generally, children with Asperger's tend to be about 4 years younger on the inside so my daughter may be 10 on the outside, but on the inside she's really only 6. When she was first diagnosed I read every book I could get my hands on. It was like I was reading books entitled "How My Daughter Acts and Why". It was very helpful. I'm still reading books on Asperger's and she was diagnosed a little over a year ago. I hope you are able to find the answers you're looking for.

Tiffany - posted on 04/14/2010

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Hi, I'm new to this group, but not new to your confusion. I too have been in your position. It's a very strange place to be, and way to feel. You feel like people are finding more than there is, or not enough. At least that was the case with me and my son Nathan. I am trained in Early Childhood Education and for years I thought my son was the strong, quiet, reserved genius type. Even through 1st and 2nd grade, his teachers were astonished with his grades, and impressed with his quiet nature. I was so pleased until I went tohis school and observed him at lunch, then to further my curiosity I asked if I could chaparone the up-comming field trip. Only then did I take notice that Nate was not quiet, he was anti-social. I researched my books on learning and "mildstones" and realized that Nate had indeed missed some of the verbal ones. His simple verbal mildstones were completely forgone. He went into complete simple sentences, so I was proud, not suspecious. Looking back, (hind sight is 20/20) I should have taken notice that when offered multipal choices he would not respond. Example, "Do you want milk or juice?" I would have to offer either individualy to get a responce. His cognitive skills were and still are a bit sluggish, but he manages. As for the social...well, that's the main point to aspergers. It affects social big time. Nate is 13, and I think I'm his best friend, even though I try not to be, for his own good. He is a good person and doesn't see evil in people, so he is an easy target for abuse. Just the other day I argued with him because he bought his "friend" a $40.00 nintendo game with his own money that he had been saving since November. I tried explaining that the other boy was taking advantage of him because now they hardly speak, but Nate doesn't see it that way. At parties, Nathan is the one holding up the wall, or playing with the babies, or rolling on the floor in a tux with the toddlers. (all real-life examples) One thing I can say to you with all certaintly is that as your child grows, you will begin to notice they devolop STRONG intrests and when they get started on a topic that they like, they will talk your ear off about it. Also as time goes on, your son may show strong talents for a given "art". Be it math, writing, drawing, music...something and trust me it will come easy for him. If your son does get the diagnosis, don't look at it like the end, look at it like I did, "Ok, now that I know...now where do we go from here". It's still the same road trip of life, just with diffrent sceanery. He will amaze you, and fustrate you, and when you feel like you can't go on anymore, he will make you feel amazing as you marvel at him and the wonder that he is. I recomend the movie Temple Grandin. I sat with Nate and watched it and she has full autism so not everything applies, but it is a slight window into there world. I cried, and now when I feel confused by Nate, I think back to that movie, and it helps. I hope I haven't run on to much. I just feel so strongly about this, and Nate it's hard to stop. Well, good luck and may you find comfort in your quest. BTW, if your son is into Pokemon, the creator of that..he has aspergers. So there is life after diagenosis. Much luck!! Tiffany

Carolynne - posted on 04/11/2010

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I have allot of experience in this, I have two boys on the spectrum, and a little brother who I was his Caregiver. One of my sons, is PDDNOS-7yo and one is an Aspie-9yo. Allot of the behaviors seem "odd" to most people unfamiliar with Spectrum disorders, I got allot of whispers and heard comments about how odd those 2 of my sons are- ( I have two NT sons) how something isnt quite right. My 9 yo has sensory issues to noise and light, over the last 2 years (since his diagnosis) he has recieved lots of therapies which has enabled him to seem to function almost normally to the outside world. Therapies like social skills groups, pressure therapy, OT, among others and been introduced to coping skills that arent so obvious to on lookers. For my 9yo it was the antisocial behaviors at social gatherings, the repeatitive phrases and behaviors, like jumping, spinning or flapping his arms.. and saying.. "pickle...pickle...pickle...pickle..." for example. Drake (my 9yo) will continue to repeat something that he has opinion about even if someone is clearly ignoring him.. because he doesnt see it (doesnt understand the ques or gestures of other people)- he will say something like "the sky is blue,,," and he'll say it over and over until hes acknowledged. But lately everything is "Pie" I'll ask him if hes done his homework.. and he'll say.. "Pie".. again Ill ask.. and I get.. "pie.." Now I can ask again for the appropriate response - and eventually I will get it- before .. id just continue to get "pie" as his response, Drake is explosive he runs, throws things and screams when things get to be too much. Keith, my 7yo, has PDDNOS, he has more of the obssessive compulsive signs he lines things up, seperates food, by color, and it cannot be mixed up or touching (such as a stirfry) that would send him in an upwhirl. Keith is emplosive- he will cry and scream and curl in a ball and hide.- for HOURS- and will refuse to eat. He is also very sensitve to noise, and surrounding activity. Keith uses words like pummelled, and contrarily, ect in his everyday speech, he can draw beautifully but has a very hard time writing. Fine motor skills are an issue for both my boys and my brother too. Joe (my brother) is 21, an High Functioning Autistic. Joe is severly delayed academicly, but can tell you anything you could possibly know about any car- in history or even cars that havent even came out yet, including the engine type, miles per hour, the size of the gas tank! He CANNOT function in publicly active areas- fairs, restauraunts, ect. its too busy and too much and he runs. ALL of these guys are to the T and everyone has to do what is "right" or its intolerable. I am speaking in terms to responsibility, scheduling, morally, everything. Joe functions atleast 10 years behind. Keith functions 2 years ahead in vocabulary and reading., but not spelling, math, or anything else. Drake is 9, doing algebra and geometry- he deciphers words at a sophmore in college-level- but his handwriting is hard to read, he has an IQ higher than most people I know- but he has little friendships, and real relationships with anyone- except Keith, my 7yo. They seem to be in the same world, and help each other cope, they speak the same language- and are extremely close to Joe- maybe for the same reasons. I was told once that the difference between Autism and Aspergers is, with Autism, the world has to learn to adjust for them, and with Aspergers, they can learn to adjust to ours. The developmental pediatrician told me, that the difference between PDD and Aspergers diagnosis for my boys, is the fact that Drake is so advanced and Keith isnt, thats "supposedly" the reason they were diagnosed differently. Good luck to you and I hope this helps.

Shanna - posted on 04/08/2010

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My son has Aspergers and it is very previlent in our family. My Mother has it as well as my brother, sister and several aunts, uncles and cousins. The spectrum is wide and there is no one size fits all but there are some characteristics that fit most. The #1 characteristic is that the child does not respond or interact socially on the same level as his/her peers. With my son, he is similar to Maurin's child in that he doesn't get the "sayings" we use and like your son his language was a little slow but by the time he was 12 he was a complete history buff and could blow anyone away on Jepoardy. He crys if he gets upset anywhere he is and he is 21 years old now. He would stand in the neighbors doorway if he seen the television was on in their house, still to this day. Where as my aunt is more severe in that she is nearly a complete out-cast in society. She is 54 now, doesn't speak to people unless you are immediate family, makes noises when responding to others instead of using words...even though her vocabulary is vast and she knows more about transister radios than any human on earth. You would never know that because she wouldn't give you the chance at a conversation.



What you need to see is him in that setting. Spend the day at school with him...more than just once...watch him on recess...you need to see how he interacts with children that are not brothers, sisters or cousins. Or if you have a church family ask the sunday school teacher...get more opinions than just the school...also look into the teachers abilities...do they actually have history here, previous children to compare against.



Aspergers children will often be picked on by the other children...they pick up on the social differences sometimes quicker than we can see them. I had a heck of a time with the schools and bullying with my son



The best thing you can do for your son is to find out sooner than later and dont let the worry of a diagnosis prevent your son from getting the help he may need. Just because he gets diagnosed doesn't mean medication. Maybe it just means learning how to deal with him instead of trying to force a square peg into a round hole by forcing him to deal with a world he doesn't fully understand. Good Luck!

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24 Comments

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Letty - posted on 04/14/2010

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Have your son tested at school. Free of charge.

I am a mother of a severe autistic 18 yr old. It is i my opinion that autism & asperger are different. In my experience dealing alot over the years.

Lisa - posted on 04/14/2010

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And I forgot, they don't understand, expressions, they don't understand sayings like " I'm gonna get you"... they interpret things as either Black or White there is no in between! Be patient.....

Lisa - posted on 04/14/2010

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My son noticed back many years ago, when I was reading an article on Aspergers, he was reading behind me at the computer, and asked to scroll it faster, that I was reading to slow, lol and the he stated Mom, that sounds like me...I said yes it does, He is very montoned in voice, not very expressive on emotions, they have habits and do not like change, they eat the same things, well my son does, I think his is a tecture thing,, he repeats things until you acknowledge him, he focuses on one thing, like age 3- dinosuars, age 5-Civil war, age 7-10 World wars,10-20 computers/gaming, he is very smart---- he reads over 350 words a min, and comprehends it,,I know when he is nervous or upset He kinda digs his thumbs with his fingers, but I am able to get him to talk about it..other that that he is very passive, loveable!!! and genuinely a wonderful young man!

Belinda - posted on 04/14/2010

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Kylie- Your story sounds almost identical to mine! My son is almost 5 and I am positive that he has a spectrum disorder. He finally had an assessment last week, but they werent quite convinced, so they said they would tlak ot his school and therapists and get back to us.

in the meantime, my daughter, who is 3.5yrs is setting a whole new standard of bad behaviour!

I also have a 2.5yr old son, who has some speech delay, and can be a bit emotional, but isnt nearly as bad (fingers crossed it stays that way because 3 months ago I would have said all this about my daughter either)

i also have a 11mth old son with cystic fibrosis who requires a lot of my time too.

i feel like Im batting my head against a brick wall trying to chase down specialists (we live in a rural area and dont have much access to sevices) and I am 95% positive my eldest has autism...and noone else believes me either as Im the only one who experiences the worst of it!!

Melani - posted on 04/14/2010

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My son will be 8 in June & has "his quirks". But so do all kids =-) I think. The light, some men, & when ya don't understand him. He's super smart & has wrote in other languages, spoke a few too & reads his older sisters Academic Team stuff, what a list I could provide! & Yes he has his tantrums but nothing to awful mainly when ya turn the TV off...he LUVS his TV! As far as I know my son is the only kid in our family with Autism...but we do have some strange ones, lol I just think ya need to watch your son interact at school and so forth....My son is in regular classes with a full time aid & she has done wonders! Good luck =-)

Peta - posted on 04/12/2010

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aspergers is very low on the spectrum of autism, my son was diagnosed with autism last month after over a year of visits to different doctors, he doesn't talk but he does make lots of sounds, where as some other kids do talk, i would go and have a chat with the teacher and ask her why she feels this, wont hurt to see your doctor and see what they think, i knew that my son had some issues going on at an early age and the clinic nurses picked up on it at his 18 moth check up, they would have got it earlier but i didn't want to hear my baby had problems, so i didnt go to any clinics from 6 months of age, you could say i was putting my head in the sand and pretending everything was fine, it won't hurt to follow it up, that way you will know for sure...

Lori - posted on 04/12/2010

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i also agree that it runs in families...my son has it and his step brother from his dads first marriage has it. i honestly think that their dad has it too cuz some of his actions are soooo similar, just in more of an immature adult way...but he was never diagnosed...and i have heard things about his mother also that could be considered Asperger behavior....

Lori - posted on 04/12/2010

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also, have him neuropsych tested....my sons didnt say for sure that he had the Aspergers but did have signs and also signs of pervasive development disorder...his actualy psychiatrist diagnosed the AS...

Lori - posted on 04/12/2010

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that is what im not understanding about Asperger's. they say they are extremely intelligent, yet my son is behind in reading, and stuff...and maybe im being anal about this but they say that kids with aspergers tend to play more with younger kids....my son is just that way...and im trying to get the school to try to get him into groups with his own age group...they dont see that he has probs socially but i sure do here at home with all the kids in the neighborhood. the ones his age seem a little freaked out by some of the things he does, like wanting to give hugs even if its another boy, or just being a little more sensitive to things than normal kids his age...in other words its almost like my 10 yr old is a boy who looks like he is at least a couple years older than he is, but mind wise he is more like 6 or 7.....also my son doesnt respond to consequences for when he does things repeatedly even after being told not to...sneaking food, helping himself to things in my room and his sisters, watching tv when he isnt suppose to, etc....he is a very lovable child. but doesnt get that the things he is doing is wrong....i hope this helps a little...

Sheila - posted on 04/12/2010

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An experienced teacher works with hundreds of kids over the years...and depending the type of school and type of teacher, this number can be in the thousands (think of the music teacher or gym teacher who teaches 200 different kids a day...)

Anyways, as a result, although teachers cannot identify a child with a diagnosis, most experienced primary teachers know when something is "off." I speak from both sides of the fence...my little guy has autism and I have been teaching twenty years.

If you trust the teacher/school, understand that there is nothing to be gained on their part for bringing this issue to your attention. They are trying to help your son, and like you are searching for some answers.

Your son has an IEP...a typical child does not require this, so I am guessing that the IEP is a result of language delays/behavioural issues. The school wants to know what is causing these delays/behavioural issues. A spectrum diagnosis might be at the root, but they don't know. A social worker also doesn't know....

See if you can get your son to a developmental pediatrican. They might be able to get some answers for you.

Good luck, I know it can be very frustrating,

Sheila

Lisa - posted on 04/12/2010

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Can I child with Autism or Aspbergers get imaginary feelings of their foot being on fire?

Toni - posted on 04/11/2010

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If affects kids in some many different ways. My son excells in language.He has a huge vocabulary and can memorize anything he puts his mind to, but when he tries to talk to kids his age he has a hard time. He also has meltdowns and tantrums because he cannot deal with his emotions the "appropriate" way. Ever since he has been in kindergarden though I have seen so much improvement. Having a good team of teachers and therpist makes such a difference.

Toni - posted on 04/11/2010

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It seems the doctors cannot be 100% sure if a child has aspergers until they have been in school for a while. Then it isn't a concrete yes or no thing. The way I understand it is that there is a long list of typical behaviors and if your child has a certain amount of them then they are diagnosed. You and your doctor know your son better than some social worker, but it never hurts to see a nother developmental pedtrition.

Diane - posted on 04/10/2010

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In reply to your 2nd message i think it can run in families but not always. My son is also a visual learner and knows when people are happy or sad and can tell u why they might be feeling like this. He is very sensitive, quiet, anxious, he likes to please people and be good as he gets what being good is but the opposite is true of other children I know on the spectrum.
My son got picture cards in p1 but no longer requires them. He also became great with computers b4 he was 4.
Hope this helps xx

Diane - posted on 04/10/2010

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U wouldn't know my son had it either!! I have to say that children on the spectrum seem to be either 1 extreme or the other i.e Advanced S&L or Delayed S&L!! My son was delayed and has aspergers ... the things they looked at are S&L, Flexibility of thought, imagination and social interaction and communication.
Only a complete assessment by the specialists can decide, my sons school didn't think he had it so they are not always correct either way ... think u need to call in the professionals to get a proper diagnosis or not!

Rebecca - posted on 04/09/2010

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I have a 12 (almost 13) year old boy who was diagnosed with Asperger's a little over a year ago. Carl is a VERY intelligent boy (almost too smart for his own good!) Since he was a baby he has never liked others to touch him unless he initiated the contact. He get VERY frustrated with most children his own age. He has only a select few friends too. I would be glad to "talk" with you if you want to message me. I am a mother of 8 (a LARGE blended family)! :)

Mandee - posted on 04/09/2010

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The primary "symptoms" include social interaction, restricted or repetitive behaviors, and atypical language skills. Other symptoms may exists, but many individuals have a wide array of signs/symptoms so it doesn't mean that they have to fit all of them. It is not a cookie cutter disorder. None of the PDD/ASD diagnoses are really.

Kristy - posted on 04/09/2010

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we heard things from school like he needed a routine and only associated with 2 kids and if they werent there he was lost. Now this year the teachers have had not one complaint. His speech was slightly delayed however, he has never had a time, where hes been in routine and fallen off track and paniced. He is not sensitive to anything, no meltdowns, noise dont bother him. The only thing we notice at home that they say happens at school is that he is a visual learner. Now I dont see anything wrong with that. He has been able to run a computer for 3 years now on his one. He does everything as any normal kid would do. They use picture cards with him in class for things like time to sit down, get a drink, etc. They work great. Also they say he doesnt know how to express his feelings. I dont buy that. He is like my 12 yr, very emotional. He knows and understands the emotions and shows his at the appropriate times. My oldest does not have this at all. Is this a hereditary thing, because nobody in my husbands family has it either.

Kylie - posted on 04/09/2010

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My son is 3 1/2 yrs old and is yet to be diagnosed, I have had similar issues about 18 months ago with his daycare, telling me his developemental skills were not a the level they should be. I was very upset and tried to work it through.....The daycare had different teachers all the time in his room, those teachers all had different ways of diciplining the children as well as the different teaching methods. I would often say to the director "what do you expect, there is no routine etc etc"

We then moved house, and two months later has a 2nd child....it was only then I started to notice his behaviour was getting worse, hitting other children at school, not sharing, having night terrors which in actual fact was reliving his day! I changed his daycare as I thought it was that, that was the problem, but he got worse, screaming when people spoke to him because he thought he was in trouble etc etc.

Our 2nd child is now 12months old and we have been battling with him and his behaviour, watching it gradually getting worse, more hypo, intense 2hr long tantrum, not listening at all and the list goes on! I went to the my doctors for a check up and ask for some advise and while we where there my son was just full on, and it was then the dr said that he thought my son had aspergers........i did the research and bingo I am almost 99% sure this is what the problem is!

He has been put up to the next level in childcare early as we worked out he was board, his new teacher has no problems what so ever with him as she can see what the children are interested in and works he teaching in with them, NO TEXT BOOK!!!
Mine and my husbands family on't believe it as they never see these things happening,

Most days he is sooooooo shall we say normal you wouldn't know that we had issues with him! Do as much research as you can.....Good luck!

Dianna - posted on 04/08/2010

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My daughter seems perfectly normal as well.I think it is just the little things they look for. Alot of my family seems to think that the schools just expect too much out of her which I feel is some times true. You just need to stand your ground with the school and let them know how you feel. Best of luck with your son.

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