HELP!!!!! I NEED HELP please read!!!

Mel - posted on 09/09/2009 ( 85 moms have responded )

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Hi there, My name is Melanie and live in australia, I have 2 sons Ethan who is 5 and Levi who is 2. Ethan has always been a different boy. I used to think that he was just 'unique' 'quirky' and just had some funny idiosyncratic behviours that I didnt really understand. People would tell me that it was my fault because i didnt send him to day care enough and that he didnt have the social skills for his age (mostly family members would say this) tho we did go to play groups and play centres often. I noticed that Ethan would prefer to play on his own and didnt know how to respond to other kids who would come and talk to him, but he would be inclined to just get in some kids face and ramble things "Hi! Im Ethan, im 4 and bla bla bla" until the kid just looked at him oddly and walked away, but Ethan wouldnt notice and just keep on talking. Ethan was very one track minded CARS and more to the point the wheels, he would take apart anything new that was bought for him, and often my mother in law would say how naughty this was and he didnt deserve new things. But i knew that he didnt mean to be destructive. Same with books, he would just rip a page out that had a wheel on it or car and hide that page somewhere safe.

When Ethan started kindy this year his teacher picked up on 'something' after 2 DAYS!!! We had a discussion and the words AUtism and Asperges and other things that i didnt understand where thrown at me. I need HELP and I dont know what to do about this. Can someone please direct me as to what i need to do?? I know Ethan does some odd things, and I have read some posts, and ethan HATES his hair being washed or water splashing on his face, hates brushing his teeth, and the list can go on and on. He yells, screams and carrys on. He has also developed some sort of tic thing that he does with his hands, sometimes his whole body but it generally only lasts a few seconds and I dont even think he is awar that he is doing it. Im scared and worried, and feel very alone. I dont know what to do.

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Renee - posted on 07/09/2012

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I haven't read all of the responses, but you've probably already heard all I have to say. Your son does have all the markers for autism. Remember, there is nothing wrong with having autism, and you could have done everything in the world, but he still would of had it. Seek help, there are many workshops to help him integrate. He sounds as if he is a milder case. I have a few close relatives with autism, and with help, they are now living normal, healthy lives. It takes time and patience, but he will be a great man one day.

Autism is genetic, so be sure to watch your other son for the same behaviours your older son exhibited, and seek help. There are so many resources out there now for autism, take advantage of them.

Dianne - posted on 09/17/2009

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hi all u other mums livinf with ASD arent we doing a great job lets pat ourselves on the back, and yes Mel loving them is the easiest part and its true that sometimes we are the only ones who understand our wee treasures. I have always said I am his translater, its almost as if somehow we have been given an extra sense like smell or touch we have been given autism bi - lingualness. We can unravel whats happening as it happens and translate for everyone else, problem is they dont know we have this gift and become sceptical... especially professionals but stand tall friends we know best with our kids. Have a good weekend allXXXXXXXX:) :)

Mel - posted on 09/16/2009

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YOu know i have read all of your responses and have taken on board your opinions and help, which i appreciate so very much. Its funny you know, i honestly feel like im the only one that really knows Ethan. I know that sounds concieted but its kinda true. I dont stress anymore when he does his flappings, or jumps on the spot making funny sounds, and I dont stress when he doesn it in public. My husband doesnt think there is really anything wrong, he just thinks ethy is a bit odd. But he isnt with him all day and doesnt see much of the kids during the week because of long hours at work. But when he does see Ethan doing some things he will say "what are you doing that for , thats silly, stop it', But I dont think thats necessarily the right way to go about it. The reason why i want a diagnosis is to learn the besdt way to educate him, and to understand exactly why this is going on in his brain. So I can give him the best that he deserves. Thats gonna be the hard part i feel, loving him is the easy part!!!! :-) Thanks again for your posts.

Melissa - posted on 09/15/2009

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Hi! Your not alone, my daughter Meg (10 yrs old now) is diagnosed with Aspergers, it is a spectrium of Autism. It is a high functioning spectrium, so you won't see the usual signs of true Autism. Here is a website that may help get you started; http://www.aspergers.com/

But don't stop there, research and read! Talk to several doctors, some are not as educated on the spectrum disorders of Autism. Don't let the school let you down either. The way one of our doctors discribed this to me was what finally made some sense. He said "she is wired differently them most kids. It's like electrical cords, if you cut it it flies all over not sure where to go next or how to reconnect.SO we have to find that paths that are still connected, use those to help her learn. It can not be fixed but can be managed. She will always do things differently, be NOT wrong." So your son's obsision with wheels is my daughter's obsesion with rocks, it's like a safety blankey. Things have to be a certain way, have a certain feel, be the right color or it really is upsetting to them. I have refused medication for her, did not like the side effects. The only medication she does take is a sleep aid at night, one of the symtoms of Autism/Aspergers is insomnia. A staedy sleep schedule does a world of good! It was the one thing that helped the most.

KATOYA - posted on 09/15/2009

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I have a 3 1/2 year old son who was diagnosed with Austism. I must admit, it is very hard in the beginning and very scary too. However, I recommend that you continue to educate yourself. It brings healing and understanding. People outside your household won't understand hardly anything (trust me, I know)! Be encouraged and continue to treat your child as if he is normal. Repetition is also very important! I will be praying for you and your family!

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Mona - posted on 05/31/2016

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You need to talk to your doctor about getting an assessment. He seems to be displaying all the symptoms of Aspergers. Fortunately today there is help for people with this syndrome especially if diagnosed early and still at an age where they might be more cooperative. It may be a tough road, but believe me as a woman and a mother, you have it in you to deal with anything that comes your way with strength and determination .

Denis - posted on 02/23/2013

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you need to ask his dr to refer you where to go or who to call...he needs to be evaluated by professionals in order to get help...its never too late

Tami - posted on 02/21/2013

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All these symptoms are autism my son also has many of these issues and yes you are very right he probably doesn't know a lot of his behaviors he is acting out it can be very overwhelming I know but you can only get him the help he needs therapies attending schools that are well trained with working with children with autism and as a patents just love and ease him threw the struggles it will all fall in place and you will make it but I won't lie it can be overwhelming no doubt

Susan - posted on 02/21/2013

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What State do you live in? If WA, for example, go to the Austim Association of WA or the appropriate one for your State. Get your GP to recommend a peaditrician (sorry can't spell that word) who specialises in the diagnosis of child with autism: the pead should also have a team on hand he can use i.e. a pysch and Speech pathologish. If you can afford it can it done privately even if you have to take a loan. Then apply for the FACHSIA federal funding for early intervention. After seven it is no longer available - until then it is $6,000 towards therapy. However, with therapy don't be fooled that those will degrees always know best, sometimes intergrated therapy is best rather than just speech or OT. If you are in WA go to Friends of Autism in the Northern Suburbs or Autism West if south.

Renee - posted on 07/09/2012

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I haven't read all of the responses, but you've probably already heard all I have to say. Your son does have all the markers for autism. Remember, there is nothing wrong with having autism, and you could have done everything in the world, but he still would of had it. Seek help, there are many workshops to help him integrate. He sounds as if he is a milder case. I have a few close relatives with autism, and with help, they are now living normal, healthy lives. It takes time and patience, but he will be a great man one day.

Autism is genetic, so be sure to watch your other son for the same behaviours your older son exhibited, and seek help. There are so many resources out there now for autism, take advantage of them.

Amber - posted on 07/08/2012

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my son has the same problems and when he went for his 2 year checkup the doctor referred us to therapists they have diagnosed him with sensory processing disorder. i would say take him to the doctor and see what they say. Many people have mistaken sensory processing disorder for austism. when the therapists evaluated my son they said he showed signs of autism but more sensory issues. that is my perspective with what you have told us

Katrina - posted on 07/07/2012

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Wow!! Mel, my son Owen has just been diagnosed with Evolving Aspergers earlier this year, at 3 and a half yrs old.You have pretty much just described my son. The hair washing, teeth issues and yes, as with your son, my sons' list can go on forever. My son doesn't have tic's but he does this wierd thing with his eyes that looks like he's about to have a seizure - only lasts a few moments, then he's back to normal. I don't think he knows he does it, and he certainly doesn't behave as such. My sons' "special interest" is trains and then construction - which often get put together, but the train part is worse. Terribly intrusive when he's sociable in small quiet groups. Oh gosh I could continue with all the issues including his meltdowns when I go to vacuum the carpet, but you get the idea. We went to a behavioural paediatrician who deals with children who have ASD's - which Aspergers comes under. Also contact Autism Queensland (or whichever state you live in). There are parenting workshops to help you understand the behaviour. Also we were told to see a psychologist to help with some of his issues - there are child psychologists that specialize in this area, and can be found on the Australian Psycholgist Association website - lists all psychologists fitting your search criteria. Think everyone else has covered it all. Wishing you all the best xxx

Angela - posted on 07/05/2012

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Hi Melanie- I've read alot of research on Autism Spectrum Disorders, and everything you've mentioned I have heard before. The best advice I can give you is take your concerns to your son's doctor. From there they can make referrals to testing facilities, therapists and early intervention schools. I'm going to warn you it's a long road and will be very challenging at times, but you can do it for him. My daughter is almost 12, and I've been advocating for her since preschool. There is no medication for autism, but if he is suffering from anxiety or hyperactivity, there are medications for that. When my daughter was younger she would fight me on transitioning to different activities, I created colorful check lists so she was prepared for what was next. It still works today! I wish you luck on your journey and I will pray for you all!

Caroline - posted on 07/04/2012

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I live in Australia also.
My daughter was born 9 weeks premmie, weighed 3 pounds & 11 ounces, she had many challenges. She was not able to walk un-assisted, she needed support to sit up, drooled constantly, developmentally delayed, frequent body tremors, some seizure like episodes, kind of in a daze all the time, clenched left hand, choking on her food, speach problems, left side weakness etc. She was elevated on her toes when holding her to walk, she was splinted for a leg brace & they wanted to give her botox, but after researching botox and discovering how it’s made and there were no long term studies I decided against it. Her life was restricted & so was mine ...and it looked this way for the rest of her life ... & mine. I felt hopeless.

We were attending all sorts of treatments and therapies which cost a lot. A friend told me about some special wellness supplements from a particular company, she started taking them in her yogurt, after one week she was up walking un-assisted, it made an immense difference to her brain function, memory, balance, mood & cognition in a short space of time. I was elated!

I am so grateful to the person that told me about this incredible technology. She now has a life now ….. and so do I. It’s now over 14 yrs later and she continues to take these special nutrients, she has attended normal public schools, she is almost 16, in a few weeks she begins driving lessons and has just started an after school casual job in a fast paced food takeaway.
http://www.navig8.biz/LifeStyle2

Shila - posted on 09/22/2009

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good morning Melanie, my name is Shila (shy-la) from Los Angeles, CA. I am a mother of three children Cheyenne 9, Joseph 6, and Crystal 5. i was touched by ur posted concern with ur son. my heart shed tears. I had a very difficult pregnancy with my first born. severe hypo-emesis, severe depression, lack of appettite. I received TPN treatments for seven months during pregnancy and on bed rest up until my baby shower. she was brn a healthy 8lb 81/2 oz 22in long. but i noticed her second day of life there was something diffrent. she looked very normal but yet i had a strange feeling. she not cried but screamed alot from infant, to toddler, and even now at the age of 9yrs old. i had many dicussions with close family members alot stated that she would grow out of it, she needed to be put on punishment and being a new mom and at the age of 22yrs taking other mothers advise.but to only to find out that i wasn't getting too many results. her father was in denial and didn't want his baby to be labeled, i continued to push for help. cheyenne did start school early at the age of two which did allow other socail workers and teachers to observe her and share their concerns i was all ears. my daughter wouldn't take naps, would get frustrated easily over very small situations, self inflict pain and abuse to herself to were i had to take footage of her early morning rages hitting her head on the walls scratching her self and pulling her hair sometimes even out.as a mother it's heart breaking to witness ur baby do harmful things and feel helpless. i cried many days and nights just due to exhaustion an no answers. to even top that she didn't speak till she was 5yrs of age...so i had no communication with her to even have her tell me what was bothering her.
i'm not sure of the type of services offered where u live but i would suggest talking to ur sons doctor about ur concerns perhaps he can direct u thru the steps. I know alot of days we feel alone but there are so many support groups with mothers just like u and i from all over the world. it's a wonderful thing. just to be able to hear other mothers and hear their stories. today my daughter is in the fourth grade in a regular class. academically she is slightly above avarage. but the behavior is still an issue. i form a close relationship with all her teachers so that the can be aware of her condition and they learn how to deal with her, not to say that it isn't a everyday job.

Cheyenne was on medication for 8 months at the age of 6yrs old it didn't seem to do much so i discontinued and tried other avenues. i keep her busy as much as possible. she plays sports, skateboard, an i let her runn till her heart is content. i work really hard to control her sweets, an i work hard to keep her on a schedule as much as possible. she doesn't do well with change. each child have diffrent reactions to diffrent solutions. by ur son being 2 yr he's quit young and sometimes it's hard to get doctors to pay attention...stay consistant i know it's draining because we as mothers go thru our own things. the earlier we catch things the earlier solutions can be tackled. i wish u luck. keep me posted an if i run across anything that can be helpful to u and family i will update. have a wonderful day.

[deleted account]

Melanie....I am knodding. While I read...Hello! I totally understand. I've jus been through what you are going through. My son was always "different"....he does all the things Ethan does. Hates showers, teeth brushing, the wheels thing...a loner. My husband and I cried for days when the teacher (after a matter of days) took us aside and said all the same things. Melanie...hang in pet. Listen to them....they only care. And if he is Asperger's (like Seamus) it really does become a blessing to know. Honest. We got a diagnosis 5 months ago, and it has taken us out of the maze of trying to understand. I really don't know if I can help....but I'm willing to share my story if it will help you cope how tough it is, to get folks to see the gorgeous boy you see in Ethan. Just hold on... Love Jeni xx

Lisa - posted on 09/21/2009

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hi there was reading your post and the signs shown all point to some sort of autisum i had my son tested at 3 and was told i was not to worry all in my mind he is my middle son and the tics u mention started at the age of 3 and he is 9 now and still does it , i saw every person possible and they all said severe learning diffculties , but i kept on pushing and last year was told he is on the autisum spectrum i was so happy to finelet hear someone say i was not going mad and was right all along , has he only has small symptons it was hard to get him the help he needed.he often screams and gets up set over the smallest things but i love him to bits , hw dinit talk till the age of 4 but now wont stop , there are so many different types of autisum get the help u need and good luck i wish u all the best and never give up to fight for his rights. x

Jo - posted on 09/21/2009

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hi mel, where about in oz do you live, my son is aspergers, adhd and have seen everyone, been there and done that, I live in Hawkesbury NSW, if that is close by i would be happy to give you some names and number that may help you, feel free to email me @ shalimar16@live.com



jo

Trina - posted on 09/21/2009

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Hey Mel, felt like I was reading an old diary entry of mine. I'm also from Australia (Melbourne). My son has aspergers, and I knew things weren't right, and through his kindergarten, we had the council Kindergarten Services come and assess him. Then we got a referral from our doctor to a good peadiatrician (which our Kindergarten Services field officer helped us with) and went from there. Our peadiatrician was very helpful, and then referred us to a psychologist for diagnosis. It is very scary, and at times I know I felt like I must have done something wrong, but through some great friends, great professionals, and a wonderful husband, we got to the point where we realised that we did nothing wrong, this is just our little boy. Now that he is diagnosed, he is no different to the boy that we knew and loved for the five years prior to his diagnosis. He is just wonderful. We did start him seeing a psychologist once a fortnight for a while, then it went to once a month, and we haven't seen her now for two or three months. Our psychologist met with our son for 45 minutes and session and us for about 15 minutes a session. We talked about what he was struggling with and ways that we could cope, and teach him how to handle different situations. He is doing wonderfully now, and with help, we are better at understanding him and ways to help him deal with his world. Good luck, and don't feel alone, there are wonderful people around to help you!

Tammie - posted on 09/18/2009

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Hi i have been reading your post , I live in UK so things different all over , i have worked with Little ones and adults with minor to server behaviours. All kids are different and the spectrum for Autism and Aspergers is not one set thing it can be number of things I WOULD REQUEST TESTING for start.

Also as for what you are seeing IE TICs that sort thing it does come with these Issues. But with work and routine can be less or more (only being honest). Doing small bit at a time using aides to make washing face , hair hands easier ROUTINE i find tho is a big thing for them. There is yes so much on net and in books but you need the BASICS so you and kiddies can deal with things. Ask for the help talk to your doctor , schools, etc. I hope you will find some ease with the kiddies soon relax and be paient. XXXX

Tammy - posted on 09/17/2009

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Hello,
First thing you needed to do you have already done, ask for help! Next is to find out if there is a problem with gene (fragile x) or if it is neurological. Autism is a broad spectrum disorder. It happens mostly to boys, but girls are affected as well. It's disorder is when the nerve signals do not meet and short circuit. Some things connect and some things don't. Most of these children have strict habits, and can be persuaded with time to become more social, and verbal. Communication is very important. You have to establish what you will allow and not. Then you have to follow thru no matter how hard it may be or how long it may take. Do one thing at a time. Establish what behavior is not allowed by giving a certain stern look, with at sharp voice of command "NO!" for example. Do not feel alone, alot of parents are dealing with this.
A good book to read is: Raising a thinking Child. It has alot of good info on Autism Spectrum Disorders. The yelling, screaming and crying is his way of expressing words he cannot tell you. His actions will become more relaxed once you begin to establish control. Please do not hesitate to contact me for more help.
You are in my prayers...

Rebecca - posted on 09/16/2009

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I have a son with Aspergers. He is a VERY BRIGHT 12 yr old in the 7th grade. He doesn't make or keep friends well. And so many of the "symptoms" you spoke about are my son as well. Keep your head up. Talk to your son's pediatrician and school. They can both guide you to the help you need for him AND for YOU!!!

Judi - posted on 09/16/2009

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Label was a stupid word, it's not a label it's a difference in brain makeup, it means that things will always be different and not "normal". But I've gotten to know my son and I don't just love him I like him too (though when he's standing in the toilet I have to remind myself this). Yes everything that he knows he has been taught it's not just suddenly happened, but those rewards are greater because of the work put in by him and me and everyone that helps. The "label" gives you access to funding, it doesn't change them but does explain some things and it gives you a strategy to work with, it changes your little goals for them like their schooling but not the big ones like being happy and forfilled in their lives. Hope this explains my horrible "label" word.

[deleted account]

You are not alone sweety! I have a son with autism that we always thought was different too. He is the same with cars and wheels, has the "tick" and I could go on but I wont. You need to get into a developmental Pediatrician asap. Start some therapy too, Occupational and speech can help, as well as ABA (applied behaviors analysis). I am not sure how Australia is about therapy and so on and I am telling you know you will have to fight this along with your son. It is so rewarding when the progress comes. I dont know what I would ever do with Cole if he was a "normal" child. They are who they are and you reaching out like this just shows what a wonderful mother you are and how willing you are to fight for your son. dont be afraid or feel alone. He is in this with you and all of us other mommy's with autistic children are here to help you and guide you in the steps you need to take. Good luck, and remember he will teach you something new everyday. Enjoy the good days and soon they will outnumber the bad.

MARIA - posted on 09/16/2009

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He probably most likely is NOT aware of any of the odd things. That is the blessing of Asperger's ... I would recommend an occupational therapist and a speech therapist. They don't recognize body language or social ques... and these things need to be taught ... not just automatically learned. Also, I would ask for a diagnoses... from school psych.. or one of your choosing. It def isn't the end of the world... I have two boys with Asperger's, on top of an assorted list of things that go along with that diagnoses. On the up side... Asperger's is extremely high functioning... and Autistic kids are Extremely smart! My oldest boy was removing the hinges from the front door at 18 months. There is learning delays, only because they see, hear and learn differently, so a learning plan that is set up between you and his educators based on his abilities and the way he learns will help him out alot! Don't be scared... Just love him.. and know that he is SPECIAL!!!!!

Wendy - posted on 09/16/2009

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Hey Mel

Been in your shoes in 2004 when my son jayden was 2. Same alarm bells rang for me, but with the help & support of a very unique Family Day Care Mum we got on the track to a diagnosis. It sounds very much like your son has Aspergers, but dont panic its not a death sentence. First of all I went to the GP and had a chat with him, then off to the Pedeotrician for a formal diagnosis. And whiz bang boom you've got Aspergers. Has made life alot easier to be honest at least there is a reason to the behaviour & with alot of study on my behalf I have been able to avert near dissasters befor they happen. These special little angels have problems with social situations, Reading &/or showing emotions, communication & the list goes on... I am in QLD & have started a web site for info, general discussions, Questions, Help, & Vent/Shout Board feel free to look us up. http://asdfeellikeme.yuku.com/

Good luck. Just remember they are a child first the disability comes later.

Dianne - posted on 09/16/2009

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hi sweetie hope your day was ok,

by the way forgot to say yesterday that people will try in the system to put u off a diagnosis by saying "we shouldnt label" please remember this isnt to get a label it is a diagnosis just like you would get for asthma cancer etc but whaat it means is better funding, understanding, explainations, support etc, once i was able to say in the midst of a supermarket meltdown that my child had autism suddenly the judgement looks turned to understanding this is how u will survive, believe me over the years once you get used to the people who say oh no u poor thing ... u will find it empowering as people need to understand and the "label" helps this. My kids reached the point that htey would say I have autism or aaspergers and its ok!!!!

Judi - posted on 09/16/2009

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Breathe, that is the most immportant thing. My son got his diagonise last year and it was tough. The best book I found was the Australian Autism Handbook, It's got stories, phone numbers, facts, ideas all sorts. Get a diagonise, and then look at all the good things in your son because the label is only a tiny part.

KAROL - posted on 09/15/2009

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WHAT U ARE EXPLAINING SEEM TO B SIGNS OF AUTISM. GET HIM INTO EARLY INTERVENTION WITH YOUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THE SOONER THE BETTER OUT COME U WILL HAVE. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, MY DAUGHTER IS 19 NOW AND I HAVE BEEN DOWN MANY PATHS IN THOSE 19 YEARS, AND I AM HERE FOR U ANYTIME U NEED TO TALK, SHOUT OR CRY.

Jenn - posted on 09/15/2009

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Ignore all the negative thoughts from your family and just keep loving the little man. Have a specialist check him out and read everything you can find to read on it. You are not alone in this and I will pray for you and your son.

Dianne - posted on 09/15/2009

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hi again, thought after i saw your comment about teeth ... often our kids are very sensitive in their mouths and this is why they hate their teeth cleaned, it may have nothing to do with toothpaste. also haircutting and showering ..i still live t=with these problems 17 years on, it is a sensitivity issue not a naughtness issue. Some children are hyper sensitive to temperature, feel, smell sound etc so it can feel like standing under niagara falls to shower or maybe they see the wayer going down the plughole of the batth and think they will too, thats the constant struggle with our kids as they are all unique and so the first thing to understand is why!!! they are reacting the way they do. Do all the research you can, find out about the teeeach iceberg this shows you how to spot triggers. good luck

Dianne - posted on 09/15/2009

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Hi sweetie welcome to the world of autism, I'm the mum of 2 kids on the spectrum and although u r freaking inside wow you are doing a great job on the outside. For some the journey out of denial takes years so well done!!!! If ist possible to say at this early stage in your journey, you are lucky 'cos you have some of the best services in Australia, I live in NZ and I can tell you the first thing to do after a visit to the paediatrician to get a confirmed diagnosis is to find your local Autism branch and support group, then you will hear about all the great experts there are in Oz. The best diogostician is Tony Attwood in Queensland, the super course to do is with a lady called Sue Larkey who gives really down to earth strategies that work for school and home. And finally beware of all those that tell you they can cure autism and aspergers (it usually costs an arm and a leg and they know how desperate you are to make your little sweetheart be ok. If it costs alot then its not worth it any strtegies should be shared for a reasonable cost, our kids grow thru phases in development just like any other so sometimes it is just the right time to stop a behaviour not because of a wonder treatment. trying to stop his little obsessions csn lead to worse ones so learn to pick your battles. And sadly, remeber it takes the dads longer to adjust, so hang in there u will know best. XXXXXXX Di cowan

Alicia - posted on 09/14/2009

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Quoting Mel:

OK Taking a BIIIIIIGGGG breath! Thanks again. I wanted to ask any one to comment on other siblings and how they mimic the others behaviours? My 2 year old oftren mimics Ethan when he does something out of the ordinary. And also follows Ethans lead in the hair washing saga, etc. My husband thinks I should my 2 year old to daycare in order for him to be around 'normal' kids. ANd to me that kind of guts me because I feel Ethan IS normal but has something going on. I feel that Levi will grow out of this copying stage once he starts coming into his own as a young boy. But then i start to wonder what if Levi is Aspergers/austistic as well, or has some thing going on with him? Its a hard time, but thanks to you guys i feel like there is SO MUCH HOPE!
:-)
thanks again!
Mel



Hi Mel,



My 3 year old was diagnosed 10 months ago with mild autism. I still actually feel the physical sensation that went through me when the psychologist officaily announced the diagnosis. I knew absolutely that he was on the spectrum before she said it but it was still the most devastating moment of my life. When I got home my son came running from the back room to say hello to my husband and I and he was the same exact kid he had been when we left for the meeting. It was and continues to be a comfort to remember he is still the same fantastic kid. Another mother wrote something on another post that I found helpful. She said she read everything she could get her hands on about autism then tossed the books and became an expert on her son. I love that. Your doing what you need to for him. Educate yourself then do exactly what you feel will help him most based on your new knowledge of his condition but more importantly on what you know about who he is. You will hopefully get the chance to work with experts in the field but you and his father are the only experts on your son.



As far as your younger son I totally get your concern there. For a while my younger son who is 18 months was a concern for us. He was mimicing his brother. We currently don't believe he has autism. He is completely engaged socialy with us and everyone else around him. He seeks out attention and eye contact and tries to share his enjoyment in his toys etc.  But he does mimic a lot of Liam's behaviours as is only natural for a younger sibling. I often find myself wishing their birth order was reversed. It's almost like raising two autistic kids. If we'd had a chance to teach Rowan proper manners in public before Liam was born instead of trying to do it while he is following his brothers lead it might be a lot easier. Our biggest challenges are when the boys are in public. I think we are going to start him in a pre-school at age two for this very reason. He has also been home with one of us and never been in day care so his social experience is limited to his brother. Your husband might not have such a bad idea. Not that Ethen is abnormal (I hate that term) but more to broaden your younger sons experiences and give him something that is just for him. I was just talking to my friends mom who is a school psychologist with a lot of experience in helping families with kids on the spectrum. She was really encouraging me to do something of the sort with Rowan, either a play based preschool or an afternoon or two a week in a group daycare. She pointed out that for most kids having playmates is fun which is what a group day care would give him.



As far as knowing if you should be concerned for Levi or if he is just copying look at wether or not he is engaging with you socially. He might mimic Ethans behaviours but if he is developing normaly he will still seek your attention and approval. He will want to share his enjoyment and dissapointments with you and make eye contact with you.  These behaviours are instinctive in children without autism. If he isn't doing these things then have him evaluated too. I know it sounds young to "label" him but 2 isn't too young for a diagnosis and is actaully a good age to get started with therapy. The earlier and more intense the intervention the better the outcome will be for him. More and more kids are being diagnosed that young and the data shows they do well with therapy. Just a caution about identifying a problem with eye contact, I thought Liam made eye contact until my sister pointed out his autism. She told us he wasn't making "good" eye contact. I started counting each time he looked me in the eye and he always looked away within 5 seconds. Pay attention to wether he's making "good" eye contact. Not all autistic kiddos avoid eye contact all together.



Sorry if that was long winded but I tend to write that way.



Good luck and let me know what you think about the sibling issue cause I could use another percpective on this myself.

Jennifer - posted on 09/14/2009

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Hey Melanie my name is jennifer collins i live in tennessee in the US my son use to do the same things but found out that he had developmental delays instead of autism the best thing to do is research check-ups with his doc. make them listen to you until the help comes my son daniel use to do all of those things but with some help at school by speech therapists, occupational therapy, & a school pshcologists. he acts like a normal little boy. don't panic just stay informed put him on a schedule that's good for you both. It will be fine. Kids suprise us it sounds like to me he just has some problems getting his point across. truth be kown thats just his intelligence coming through who knows he may be your next engineer. it will be ok you are in my prayers

Priscilla - posted on 09/14/2009

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My son has autism, the first step is asking your pediatrician for a consult to a specialist. In the US we have testing available at the schools to see if they meet the criteria, but legally they cannot give a diagnosis. However, if you have teacher observations/comments it will help the doctors a great deal. Next, stop worrying! He is still child the only difference is now he may have a name for his quirkiness. Play groups are really hard and overwhelming for these kids, find a child outside of the family that he can play 1 on 1 with eventually you can tie in more kids but take it slow. Don't force the social play he will catch on a little more as he gets older, just don't compare or expect him to be the "norm". I'd also get him a therapist that specializes in autism, with or without a diagnosis, they are a great resource. They will know community groups that could be helpful and coping techniques for him and your family. You may also want to speak to the teacher about accommodations at school for stressful situations like: recess, parties and any other events that are not part of the daily routine.

Samantha - posted on 09/14/2009

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You just described my Zac, don't be scared and you are not alone at all there are many of us with these wonderful kids who are too bright for the world. My boy was diagnosed fairly early on due to a problem he had with speech and eye contact...I remember my partner and I lying on the bed holding Zac up in the air above us and saying look at me look at me and he just wouldn't ...he then was only 3 months old, but as time progressed other things like the fascination with cars and wheels and lining up all his toys just so started to happen and was noted by the speech therapist. He was sent off to have an assessment with a specialist then we had a team of people come out to the house and ask a tonne of questions about every aspect of his short life...the time between noticing something wasn't right to the time it took to get the diagnosis back was roughly 8 months, so i'ts no short process. They put together a team of people to work with him wich includes a Speech therapist, Occupational therapist, Phsychologist, Therapy assistant and even a Social worker.

So first things first go to your doctor or paediatricion or child health nurse and tell them you want him assessed to get the ball rolling contact disability services in your state and find your local area coordinator, that person will put you in touch with all the services in your area, they also provide support and funding for the needs of your child and will be your best bet on getting what you need for you your child and your family... I sincerely wish you all the best but remember its not the end of the world, its not your fault and you most certainly are not alone nor do you have to be.

Mika - posted on 09/14/2009

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Hey honey calm down, take a deep breath! My son is 7 now, and had been labeled a problem child in school because of a lot of those same behaviors and attitudes. He is a high functionning autistic, with Asperger's, and Tourettes. (That is the tic thing you were talking about.) They can't technically call it Tourettes until its been going on for a year, that's what my son't neurologist said. You can look up these things on the 'net, and there are support groups, childcare, etc that they can help you with. I have a number for an organization called About Special Kids. The rep. that I talked to, I think her name is Lisa, and the number I have for her is 317 257 8683. She will direct you to the right people in your area. I hope this helps. And you can call me anytime if you want to talk about how I deal with my son and his idiosyncrises, lol. My number is 317 492 0987.

Mel - posted on 09/14/2009

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I have tried the flavoured toothpaste but once Ethy gets it in his head it is extrememly difficult to change. Besides holding him while he screams thats the only way. Its the whole process of teeth washing he hates. I have made progress tho, i told the boys that the bath was broken and that they had to have a shower. Ethan protested WILDLY but he saw Levi in there and after about 15 minutes hopped in. This was a HUGE break through. I thought that I wouldnt push the hair washing thing, but at least he got in there, he wouldnt wet his hard but it was still a break through! YAyyy

Cassandra - posted on 09/14/2009

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I just wanted to let you know, that my thoughts are with you. I can't add much more than what was already written. Just, you are not alone.

Amy - posted on 09/14/2009

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my kids hate mint tooth paste try Toms strawberry flavored for kids and it's all natural. I use Jonson's baby shampoo to wash my kids hair am=nd they are 11 7 and 6! Definately have him evaluated and educate yourself!

[deleted account]

a took my son to a pediatrician at my community health centre, he was diagnosed with aspergers and ADHD. but all his doctor wanted to do was put him on medication, because (diet hasn't been prooven yet) which is what the doctor said, so your probably better off going to a private.
the reason the diagnoses was because, although my son showed signs of autism, he also liked hugs, and other thing, and he was very active.
my son also rocks as he stands in one spot, screams better than any girl when sad / angry.

one of my pet hates is when i take him shopping and people just stair / yell at him.... i just want punch them in the face.
some more advice........ don't enroll your son in a private school, because i've been told they're no help at all, in fact all they do is complain.

Keri - posted on 09/14/2009

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HI Mel...

You need to know that there is nothin' "WRONG" with Ethan....just except that this is who he is and do whatever you need to to help him grow up happy and healthy....I am a special needs Para Educator....don't look at his needs as something wrong....just be his advocate and make the people around you give Ethan all the help he needs to succeed....in school......in life......in what ever he chooses to do.....keep an opened mind and stay involved in all decisions......you will be fine.......we are all here if you need someone.....Keri

Holly - posted on 09/14/2009

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Melanie, You are not alone and I know how lonely it can feel. Contact his Ped. late him or her now your concern and make an appt. They will have a check list to go over with you and if they find some concern they will direct you and help you to the next stage. My son was just diagnosed in March and since then it has been getting easier since I know what to do and the great help that I have gotten. I wish you luck and if you need to talk I am always here.

Clara - posted on 09/14/2009

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My son is also asperger's he still doesn't like water on his face, he prefers to play by his self, and does this head rocking thing, No you are not alone!! I felt the same way, I knew there something about my Andrew and finally we had him tested I was so happy to put a name to it !! Now we know and we go from there ,You have a very Good teacher I am impressed I had to fight with the schools here!!! Get you son tested and have the school and yourself have a meeting on how best to teach you child,it will be ok!!!! You know what wrong and its not your fault!!!!!!!! You are a good mother!!! I never sent my childern to daycare, people are just rude!!!!!!

Mel - posted on 09/14/2009

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Oh my Goodness!!! I AM SO OVERWHELMED with the response thank you ladies so much!!! Today I made my first steps into seeking out a diagnosis for Ethan. IT was reading your own stories and encouraging words that made me realise, this situation is not about me. Its in Ethans best interest, so thank you for helping me have my light bulb moment!!

Watch this space will be letting ya'll know how we progress!

Much love to ya's

xxx

Tahlia - posted on 09/13/2009

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OMG Hi my names Tahlia and my son Kobe is the exact same way! Its like looking at my own words! Kobe was diagnosed with Autism about 10 month ago. Hes been attending a preschool and has done awesome! But he was the same way played by himself hates changing his clothes, washing his face, weird textures, new places. He used to scream and yell a lot and is learning how to control it and use his words. before school he wouldnt talk he'd point and grunt.



WOW i know how it mush feel when someone says Autism. I dont want to hear it. I knew something was wrong when he was about 1 year and 10 months and once he was about 2 1/2 he just wouldnt speak! I didnt know what to do and it got so frustrating cause my husband didnt think anything was wrong he just thought his speech was delayed!



Now thats we have an idea of whats going on with Kobe we can both help him and we communicate so much better now.

So your not alone!

Gina - posted on 09/13/2009

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You have just decsribed my son Noah. He is now 6 years old but didi the same sort of odd behaviors at that same age. Noah was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome 2 years ago. I strongly think you need to find a place to have him evaluated for this or possibly another Autism disorder. Early detection is key. I'm not familiar with medical care or diagnosis in Australia but here in the United States Children's hospital Medical Center is the leading place for Autism diagnosis and care. Noah is doing very well now that we have confirmed his diagnosis. He takes medication for ADHD and has a good program in place for him in school. He is in the first grade and is very bright. Noah still exhibits some of the signs but seems more "in control" of his behaviors. You can get help you just have to get past the denial and find your son the help he needs. I had a really hard time accepting that there was something "wrong" with my son. God just made our boys the way they are and it is up to us as parent to take charge and make the best of the situation. You can do this. If you need anything else feel free to message me. You should get a book called " The Oasis Guide to Asperger's Syndrome". You can find it on Amoazon .com. It helped me tremendously. Best wishes to you and your son. Gina

Pam - posted on 09/13/2009

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Goodluck with your son--it is awful to feel alone and I hope that you can find some help. I would try looking for any sources within your community and also on the internet. What does your sons doctor say--talk to him and tell him what the school has said and ask for any suggestions from him--also talk to his teacher again and the school and see if they can offer you any suggestions on help that you may receive.

Amanda - posted on 09/13/2009

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First of all do not punish yourself. Family can sometimes be critical when all you want is support, It sounds from your description that your son sounds like he as Aspergers, please do not worry ok !There is many establishments worldwide and on the net that will help you find support locally. Ask for your child to see a child psychologist please don,t be alarmed by this they can provide cognitive behavioural therapy which helps children with Aspergers. It is scary I know I have been where you are but please do not worry! Any time you need to talk I am here to help in any which way I can.

Debby - posted on 09/13/2009

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hang in there and take a deep breath- my son was diagnosed with autsim/aspergers at age 3 -it does get better with time and lots of effort- if you need to talk email me anytime! Debby Scott

User - posted on 09/13/2009

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Trust your instincts. There are many great web sites that can help, just don't read too much at once. All the information can be overwhelming. Autism Society of America has a kit you can get called the first 100 days. This should help you get a grasp of the situation. Lean on God you will need him

Nichole - posted on 09/12/2009

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I am sorry you are feeling this way right now, perhaps overwhelmed? Our son has cerebral palsy( affecting his legs, he is ambulatory though) and was DX at 5 with PPD-NOS, so we were scared and overwhelmed at first. I began reading about the diagnose, found support groups in the area, talked with parents of older children, found out what other interventions were available ( nothing drastic at all for us ), found out what the school had to offer for support ( in which we chose to move, the school system when he was DX did not have what he needed, or what we wanted for him, we are in a GREAT area now that works for him/us, and that in itself is a big weight off of our chests), remembered to take care of myself ( so many moms forget this aspect it is okay to take care of ourselves, helps keep us sane :)). I hope you have a good support system w/ husband, friends. Try not to isolate yourself, it sounds as if your extended family needs a little educating on the disorder. I love my son, but yes he has quirks, communicating with him can be interesting at times, but that is my son, and I accept him. I can not change him, but he is content,therefore I am too. Yes he will get frustrated at times, but what child doesn't? We have not lowered our expectations of him, we still challenge him ( not push, but raise the bar) do not let them fool you, they can manipulate the best of us. In terms of what they like to fixate on, try to broaden the interst, slowly. Ex. Anthony loved horses, named all the breeds, what they can do ( racing, working etc) so we got the books on them, then did hippotherapy ( theraputic horse riding), then introduced zebras, then other mammals of Africa and so on, we built on the one dimension and now he is a expert on any bird, mammal, reptile that is out there. This had taken time, but helped us connect, and children on the spectrum WANT connections to those close to them, Uncle BOB who they see once every 2 years, probaly not ( at least for our son) but forthe immediate family, people close to us, he does care and wants to be near us. Things take time, please be patient.

Stefanie - posted on 09/12/2009

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As you can see you are not alone, I will never forget the day a Dr said he is showing tendencies of Aspergers it was the first visit. We are only on month 7 and it feels like an eternity to me. When my son was about a year old the woman who ran the daycare my children went to would say "it is easier to move 9 toddlers over to Ashton then it is to move Ashton to the other children" I just figured that he was a leader he did not need to follow anyone. As time went by things were so different with him then my other child. I always had to check his pockets when he got home as he would "collect" things (hair bows, tile's from the bathroom, stick pins, safety pins, caps to water bottles and many other things) he never stole from anyone but he always had some little odd things hidden in his pockets. Autism crossed my mind more then not, during routine check ups at the pediatrician I would tell them what was going on they did not seem to think anything of it. I was diagnosed with A.D.D in Jan 2009 & my husband always calls my son my MiniMe as he is just like me. We thought it was a good idea to have him checked out so if he had ADD we could catch it early. Well the hubby was out of town for work when we had his first appointment. I knew it was very likely that he had ADD & had come to peace with it. We knew we could handle it and everything would be ok. I will never forget that day, how I felt, or the silent drive home with him right behind me. Every once in a while He would bust out with random thoughts. It was all becoming so clear now. I then started to beat myself up over it all thinking I knew in my heart but was afraid to know the truth. I still get angry because I always knew. My husband did all the research on AS and he was in denial "I have this and you have that so what do we have it too?" being smart about the issue. Now we both know that it is a real thing for us and our everyday life. We are learning to cope with AS & ADD. Thanks to the hubby we have a set routine which makes a world of difference in our house every thing is done in the same order. If its not, well our day seems to be longer and a lot harder. We still have our moments, I am sure we always will.



The first step is finding out what you are up against then the rest is trial and error finding out what works for your child. I hope this makes since as it has been a long day in our house today.



My advise is take it one day at a time, your son is still the same perfect child you brought home from the hospital.

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