High Functioning Autistic - aware they have a condition?

Faith - posted on 05/11/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I had an IEP meeting to discuss testing for autism on my 13 almost 14 year old by the school psychologist. Recommendation is that we get diagnosis through a medical psychologist. The teacher and school psychologist think it would be too much on him to pull him out of class for 3-4 hours of testing for a slight likelihood. She said we could bring the medical results for review, but that the doctors could not make a medical diagnosis from the school's tests. They did say that they have not tested him since 1st grade and oral expression is noted as a weakness throughout his entire plan.



However, she pointed out that autism/asperger's patients she knew were not aware they had a problem. They said my son is almost hyper-aware he has a communication problem. Is this the general consensus among your diagnosed children? Does this make sense?



Thanks,

Faith

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Anne - posted on 05/22/2009

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O my goodness, I have 2 autistics, high functioning to a degree I guess. We have ran as far away from public schools, social workers, and people who seem to think they know my children better then we do! They are in private school, and we use our Pca's time to keep them in the school. They are very very aware of their condition. They both know and feel the "differences " they have from other kids. Rarely do they show the pain it causes them, but they do at times. My son has absolutly NO friends at 16, he is main streamed with a PCA at a private Christian High school. Even there he knows how differnt he is. My daughter 11 in a class of only 12, which she has been with since KinderG, now is full aware of the differences. They talk High School Musical, she talks bugs (and let me tell you she knows bugs lol) They e-mail, cell phone, and facebook eachother. She has no idea what these even mean. She knows she is differnt. She also knows she's differnt when she gets to be in the spelling Bee and they don't, when she has made A honor roll every quarter for 3 years now. When she can read a paragraph of memory work and repeat it 2 minutes later, while they struggle... So she knows some ways I am differnt, but we celebrate her talents!

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Lee Etta - posted on 07/29/2009

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My son has always known he is not the same as the other kids. He was 5 and getting bullied on the bus. I asked him what he thought the problem was. He said, "I am different and the other kids know it." It broke my heart to know that he knows this. He has just turned 9 and he says his brain is different "in a good way". I think if a child is intelligent he will know he is different, how can you NOT know it!?!? Test him please, it can only help.

Donnee - posted on 05/27/2009

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My son is 11 and he is just starting to recognize some differences in himself. We then decided he was probably ready to know the word autism and generally what it means. This all started when he watched a movie with a autistic child in it. This child would always say things that didn't apply to the conversation at hand. Like "china has cats" when others werre talking about school or something. My son laughed and said thats what he does. I was very suprised. Even more supprised when I asked "him why do you think you do the same thing?" His responce was that he wanted to talk to but he didn't understand what everyone was saying...........Talk about eye opener!! He recognized!!!! Now he can begin to understand. As to your 1st questions. My son is beginning to be aware. 2nd, This can make sense that they feel this way, because the other children haven't got there yet or they dont know how to communicate what they feel about themselves. Or Or Or. Hope this helps. Good luck with the school,

Colleen - posted on 05/26/2009

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My son is 9 yrs old. He was diagnosed at 8 years. These kids are not stupid. Just the opposite. Too smart for their own good. My son always knew he was different. This created a depression for awhile. He went through a diagnosis of ADHD, Bipolar until we eventually saw and autism specialist. He was finally diagnosed with severe ADHD and Asperger's syndrome.

My question is why haven't they tested him since the 1st grade? What are they doing to improve his communication problem. Whether or not he has autism or not they should be working on his communication problem and should have tested more often than that. The school should do the testing to see what areas he needs help in. Of course they can not diagnose. Are they going to pay for the testing through a medical psychologist? Most like not. Keep in mind it costs about $600.00 if you get an ADOS test through a medical psychologist.

Courtney - posted on 05/26/2009

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Quoting Heather:

My son is 12 now and starting the 7th grade this year but he started having a harder time around 4th grade too with interacting with peers. I suspect this is a pivotal year for most kids, by 4th grade kids in general are starting to become aware of each other and differences between them. They start to form cliques and also become nasty and mean to their peers whom they find "weird" or "odd". I ended up having to pull my son out of public school by 5th grade because of this and his sensory problems became too much for him to deal with there. The lighting in classrooms even annoys me so it's no wonder it bothered him and its so noisy, even when they're supposed to be quiet there's always a low hum of voices that bothers the heck out of him. His volume control is broken too, he talks very loudly and doesn't realize he's doing that. Anyway, Sean knew he didn't fit in like everyone else, but he didn't know why, I don't know if that's the same as knowing they have a condition. He has been in an online academy for 2 years and it has helped tremendously, at home I can control the environment so he can learn without the extra bs. I'm aiming to get him back into a traditional school environment by high school, we'll see how that works out =)



Your comment is so interesting.  I too had to pull my son out of school at the end of the 4th grade.  The bulling was just getting to be to much to deal with.  I think you are right.  Even though he went to a small school where the kids had known him scence kindergarden by the 4th grade the peer pressure really started.  My son does know now that he is different, however he did not and still has problems seeing when he is being picked on or made fun of.  He remains unaware of the way others perseve him in society.  I consider it happily unaware, which I consider a blessing sometimes. best of luck to all! Courtney

Courtney - posted on 05/26/2009

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Quoting Heather:

My son is 12 now and starting the 7th grade this year but he started having a harder time around 4th grade too with interacting with peers. I suspect this is a pivotal year for most kids, by 4th grade kids in general are starting to become aware of each other and differences between them. They start to form cliques and also become nasty and mean to their peers whom they find "weird" or "odd". I ended up having to pull my son out of public school by 5th grade because of this and his sensory problems became too much for him to deal with there. The lighting in classrooms even annoys me so it's no wonder it bothered him and its so noisy, even when they're supposed to be quiet there's always a low hum of voices that bothers the heck out of him. His volume control is broken too, he talks very loudly and doesn't realize he's doing that. Anyway, Sean knew he didn't fit in like everyone else, but he didn't know why, I don't know if that's the same as knowing they have a condition. He has been in an online academy for 2 years and it has helped tremendously, at home I can control the environment so he can learn without the extra bs. I'm aiming to get him back into a traditional school environment by high school, we'll see how that works out =)



Your comment is so interesting.  I too had to pull my son out of school at the end of the 4th grade.  The bulling was just getting to be to much to deal with.  I think you are right.  Even though he went to a small school where the kids had known him scence kindergarden by the 4th grade the peer pressure really started.  My son does know now that he is different, however he did not and still has problems seeing when he is being picked on or made fun of.  He remains unaware of the way others perseve him in society.  I consider it happily unaware, which I consider a blessing sometimes. best of luck to all! Courtney

Tracey - posted on 05/23/2009

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my 14 year old is aware he is different. He does struggle to communicate at times. My husband and I have talked to him about all of this We try to help him as best we can and the kids at our church know him and help out as well to get him to communicate. At school the teachers have been very supportive, he excels academically by far surpassing even his older brother in some areas. socially he has almost no friends he has 1 that has the same diagnosis as well.

Erin - posted on 05/23/2009

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my son is nine and is aware he has issues communicating with people although i dont know if he is aware of what is causing this

Faith - posted on 05/22/2009

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He feels he has an incredible memory, yes. The drama teacher was shocked to know he memorized the entire monologue for class. As quiet as he is, they couldn't believe he liked drama. Mind you, he only recited it to the teacher, not the class - but she commented that she had NEVER heard him talk that much before.

Dee - posted on 05/17/2009

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I have a 12 year old boy whom we have ALWAYS been told he was bipolar. Up until recently and 5 doctors later PDD was mentioned at his last admittance. I researched it and found that Aspergers was the correct dx for my child. All the research that I have so far shows that EVERYTHING I have ever done- discipline, medication & therapy have all been wrong. I feel that the meds that he has recently been changed to are effective, but does anyone have any discipline advice? My 4 year old daughter doesn't understand why she gets in trouble for things that my 12 year old does not.

Faith - posted on 05/16/2009

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Thanks. I plan to enroll him in online public school from now through graduation. He's been asking to be homeschooled for awhile now anyway. If he decides later he does want to go to AHS, we can transfer. I'm not sure if that will happen. I like the curriculum choices offered by the school we are enrolling him in! They even have the classes that fit with his "career planning goals" in his IEP (filled out last year).
I think I am going to have a hard time getting hooked up with a psychologist to get him diagnosed, though. :( Praying for that path to be smoothed out.

I REALLY appreciate the replies. Thanks again!

Heather - posted on 05/16/2009

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My son is 12 now and starting the 7th grade this year but he started having a harder time around 4th grade too with interacting with peers. I suspect this is a pivotal year for most kids, by 4th grade kids in general are starting to become aware of each other and differences between them. They start to form cliques and also become nasty and mean to their peers whom they find "weird" or "odd". I ended up having to pull my son out of public school by 5th grade because of this and his sensory problems became too much for him to deal with there. The lighting in classrooms even annoys me so it's no wonder it bothered him and its so noisy, even when they're supposed to be quiet there's always a low hum of voices that bothers the heck out of him. His volume control is broken too, he talks very loudly and doesn't realize he's doing that. Anyway, Sean knew he didn't fit in like everyone else, but he didn't know why, I don't know if that's the same as knowing they have a condition. He has been in an online academy for 2 years and it has helped tremendously, at home I can control the environment so he can learn without the extra bs. I'm aiming to get him back into a traditional school environment by high school, we'll see how that works out =)

Barbara - posted on 05/16/2009

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at the age of 13 he is aware of his condition and will need help and support to understand his condition and advice to help him through his teenage years,which can be very differcult for you and him.my son is 16 now and found it so hard but needed to know why he is differant ,

Faith - posted on 05/15/2009

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Thanks for the replies. He has hygiene issues, too. I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in that. Thank goodness he hasn't started puberty yet (smell hasn't begun yet). Also, it's not just girls with him. He's not even interested in girls at all yet. He's the kid in school that doesn't talk to anyone. He asked recently why people want him to talk so badly. With a lot of counseling, he is just beginning to actually have beginner conversations with a group of kids at the lunch table and in line at the bus stop.

They noted in his IEP: "He is a subdued child who does not interact with the other students either socially or academically. He does, however, volunteer to answer questions in ELA class, but speaks with an extremely quiet and hesitant voice." (dated 1/27/09. He's in resource for English Language Arts).

Then at this week's new IEP, they added: "Since a period of support has been added to [his] schedule, his grades and attitude have improved in Math and Science. He is a conscientious worker on most occasions, but if he develops an attitude toward a teacher he will shut down and become noncompliant by not working and not responding verbally to teacher initiated conversation. [He] is an introverted child, who only speaks when necessary, and even then, using an exceptionally quiet whisper. It is difficult to hear [him] even when asked to speak more loudly, he doesn't. He has subdued affect; and does not acknowledge interaction from other students or teachers. He is aware of what is going on around him, however, and will smile when someone does or says something funny. When he is greeted, he carries on as if he hasn't heard anyone speak. But will comply with a low volumed "Hi" if requested to answer. He is a loner, and does not interact with his classmates, and never initiates conversation with them. When he becomes more comfortable and feels safe, he will on rare occasions initiate conversation with a teacher. When asked about his lack of communication, he said he doesn't interact with other students because he is afraid he will get angry and hurt them." (dated 5/11/09, the last sentence was made last week. In coversations with me, he indicates that he just does not want to talk.)

At home, I have to put my ear up to his mouth and STILL can't hear him. But, if he has a "moral injustice" to "preach" about, he's loud and non-stop verbal. I do enjoy a nice two-way conversation with him every once in awhile. Usually when we are completely alone though - no siblings, others.

He digressed socially beginning in about 4th grade. He's now in 7th grade. Before 4th grade, his friends were very few and usually depended on his stack of Pokemon cards.

Meg - posted on 05/15/2009

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My 15 year old son was diagnosed at age 4 with Asperger's, as he has matured he has become more aware of his differences, he is also dyspraxic, he knows he is no good at sports and has worked hard at not taking himself and lack of sporting prowess too seriously and as Lana has said about her son, mine too experiences huge difficulty in communication with girls, despite help from his older sister. He has a small group of friends who he communicates with well and also helps out in the school library, where he has a special responsibility for the careers section so he has found his place which brings him happiness ... well, on the days he's not a monosyllabic mumbling teenager like all other boys his age :-)

Lana - posted on 05/15/2009

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Hi Faith!

I am Lana I have a 17 yr old son that is high functioning. He has been tested over several days instead of being pulled out for half a day of school.And since they are trying to make recommendations for your son in an IEP and they say that they have not tested him since 1st grade I would demand they do testing.



As I have been told there is a difference between an educational diagnosis and a Medical one , I just went through this this year with James. He has writing issues along with organization, social and hygiene too!



As for being aware of a communication problem. I am sure that he is aware because he sees all his classmates interacting with girls and others. James is very aware of how he does not fit at his high school and how his "problem" affects they way people deal with him. He calls his High School experience "An experiment alien teenage angst".

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