I am trying to find out what behaviors are normal and what are asperger's/autism.

Erin - posted on 11/02/2008 ( 45 moms have responded )

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My son is 3 1/2 and has some sensory sensitivities and some behavioral issues. He walks on his tip toes at times. He is sensitive to sound, especially to dogs barking and parking garages because of the cars. He is very verbal and is physical with us- he hugs, kisses, etc. But he is a poor listener and his behaviors (the tantrums, not potty trained, attachment to blankies and paci still) and his tantrums with his brother worry me. He has never been very close to other kids. He doesn't play with them or interact with them very much. Should I be concerned? We have been through OT and Early intervention and they said he's not on the spectrum, but how do we treat the behaviors.

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Kerry - posted on 01/04/2009

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ps. the shcool was happy to accept my reason for childs abscense at school on days he was already stressed and probably going to explode, as the kid was having a "stress" day.
Principle was happy to accept that as basically like a sick day, she said that teachers and other workers have stress days so its not inconceivable that a kid needs one occasionally.

Kerry - posted on 01/04/2009

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Hello erin, I would agree with sharon (previous post) I have found my 3 autistic kids to all be similar to her description, and similar things have helped. My 21 yo son still suffers what i called "backlash" after 6 hours at school modifying his behaviour (they DO know they are different) and dealing with other kids they would describe as idiots if you asked them, my son would come home from school and basically explode! too much for their brain to hold in for a day! You need to watch their "thermometer" and if you see the build up, find a way to let it out. Boxing, gymnastics, swimming have haelped many kids, 2 of my 3 liked to ride horses (and there is a teaching experience there for the kids as horses can pick up the riders mood) swim and dancing have also been a big help with the extra energy.
As to the docs i would say try to find a multi aspect testing facility where they look at the whole of the child and their issues. Keep working on it the autism diagnosis if it is not classic (rainman type) of autism, the diagnosis is hard for someone untrained to make, it is not usual for kissing and cuddling to be allowed let alone participated in by an autistic, so thats possibly where your difficulty is. I suggest you look carefully at him when he does this, does he actually mean it or is it part of a routine he has been in since a baby so he thinks that is what is "normal' to do next? My higest challenging autistic would put an arm between us when i went to cuddle him (from a very young age) so that was physically putting the block between us, typical autism. Is your child 'air' kissing or actually meaning the kisses? Its complex i know but it might just be time to look at his behaviours more closely so when talking to a specialist you can give clear information. The other thing that is handy to know when seeking a diagnois is doNOT justify their behaviours when talking to specialists just tell them the base, dont tell them he punched his sister in the nose because she had his toy and wouldnt give it back. The base there would be his sister was playing with his toy, she took a while to return it so he hit her hard.
My sons clinching moment with specialists was when he was outside on the concrete sitting on her bashing her head into the concrete, when asked why my darling husband (who a neurotypical child would have been afraid of) was casually told that she wouldn't shut up. (hmm and mums answer was how does pounding her head into concrete make her quieter?).
My kids through their lives have found one or 2 people they will continually try to engage with, these friends make allowances and have tried to understand (usually they are also some sort of troubled child or disabled) so thats all i can hope for is that my guys have one or 2 good friends that can deal with them on a bad day also, not too much to ask for in anyones life!
hang on, you will get answers to your questions one day and its like someone finally turned on the lights, its a great day to look forward to!

Sharon - posted on 01/04/2009

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Hi Erin



My son is 10 years old and has mild aspergers, I new he was unique from the time he was about 18 months, he displayed many of the same things as your son. When he was about 2 and a half , I changed how I reacted to the tantrums. Since I couldn't expect him to change his ways I changed mine. As soon as I would see a tantrum coming on I would go over to him and say I think someone needs a hug and I would hug and kiss him all over. Most of the time the anger would diminish and he would start laughing.

For my son most of the tantrums came from being over whelmed, I didn't know that then but I do now. Because it's hard for him to be like the other kids, I think it's very draining and after a certain amount of time he just can't do it anymore. We can see the signs now and try to give him a break from other children when we see it.

Good news is Brandon is just like any other kid for the most part he's in grade 5 now, he has no behavioral problems at all. All his teachers love him, he is an amazing child.

We have never treated him any different then we would another child and we have the same expectations of his teachers. Unfortunately with Aspergers they do not have many friends if any and as a parent that hurts a lot. So far for my son it doesn't bother him.

One more thing I did, I pushed my son to try new things, he never wanted to at first but because I did, he has many sports that he partipates in and some that he is very good at. Individual are his best but because of the need for some social interaction we also have him in some group activities as well. It's one of those things where you need to try different things out and see what works for you.

I hope this was at least a little bit helpful to you. If you would like to chat some more or have more questions let me know.

Have a great day Sharon

[deleted account]

My son finally got diagnosed at the age of 15 with asperger's and we fought with many of the same things. We stayed very consistent with every thing in his life. He had a set schedule and he finally got to where he learned the schedule and there was less tantrums and we finally got him potty trained he was 5 when that happened. There was many days i thought i was not going to make it through the day and i would be in tears laying in bed wondering what i did wrong. When he got physical with me i would but him in a hold and i would hold him until he calmed down i learned to do these holds from work.They did not harm him at all. me on the other hand ended up with bruises on my shoulders. but it was the only way to get him to stop. After awhile of doing those he stopped being physical. I will have to say that i never wanted to use medications but i am so glad we finally did. He is a much happier kid..That spectrum thing don't get me started not to scare you but it took 11 years to get him diagnosed and got the right treatment, becuase many doctors said he was not on that stupid spectrum..Just keeping loving him and showing you care and are going to be there for him...Good Luck

Becky - posted on 12/25/2008

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Hi Erin, your son sounds very much like my little guy at 3 1/2. He's now 6. Most people just think he's an unruly kid who needs a good spanking. However, that's not the case. He has Aspergers. If you spend 2 weeks with him, you'll see the difference - like his grandparents discovered :) 3 1/ years ago, I didn't know.



The EI staff may not come out and tell you that he's on the spectrum or it may be due to the fact that they don't understand the spectrum diagnosis. Sometimes you need to educate them. (We finally took our son to a board certified neruo psychologist for an official diagnosis and then presented it to the EI staff.) However, before the official diagnosis, I pushed for the spectrum IEP due to outside conversations (an unofficial conversation with his EI teacher who had a background in teaching kids on the spectrum and with a friend who is both a mom and OT) about Ryan. They were the ones who told me to keep investigating and educating myself about the spectrum. The more I educated myself with some of the books that are recommended on the other posts here, I came to realize it was more.



I pushed for the school psychologist do a behavioral evaluation that got him the autism label on his IEP. (She said not to be freaked out by this but for right now the Autism label in schools covers a big umbrella of diagnosis, including high functioning autism, Aspergers. In a few years, as the spectrum is broken down more specifically, the label would be changed to reflect exactly what his diability is.)



To look and interact with my son the average person wouldn't believe that he would have that label. However, in order to get the special services, such as a para professional in the classroom, you need to get that label on his IEP. Otherwise, it's just a regular IEP and he might not get all the services that he needs. Sure, it was hard to deal with the label at first, but I got over my junk because I knew that the autism label fit him better than having a behavioral disorder label.



Hang in there. You're not going crazy. After reading several of the posts, you're in good company :)

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my son is 10, he has walked on his toes since he could walk......I was a first time mom and should of fought for him more. They said he was mimicking my dh who also walks on his toes because he had cp when he was younger. Fight for him dear....maybe it;s autism, maybe it;s pdd-nos also try to go to support groups and arrange playdates for him I know it's hard when they don't like to play with others but keep pushing that too....on good days hugs and prayers

Tanya - posted on 12/24/2008

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My daughter is 9 and she was just given this diagnosis last January. She too has alot of sensory sensitivites she can't wear long sleeves, she doesn't go in elevators. Which is terrible when an appointment is on the 8th floor. She has alot of fears in public places when she is with my younger daughter. Haleigh always feels that Emma will be kidnapped. I try not to let her watch the news because she react badly to it. You are so lucky that you have caught this early so you and your son can get all the necessary help.

Martha - posted on 12/24/2008

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when my son had his OT she said there is more than one handicap where the child walks on there toes but that is a sign that your child has a handicap. He does need to be tested but not just for Autism but also for these sensory issues and looked into why he does the other things, as your son may not have Autism but could have some other type of handicap that needs to be learned about so he can get the help he needs. But Autism should be tested for as a lot of this is common to Autism but as he's very vocal and physical they may not diagnose him as Autistic where you will have to demand from them if he's not Autistic what handicap does he have then, as walking on the toes does mean he has some kind of handicap. Good Luck and tell your Pedatricain you want him tested.

Meredith - posted on 12/24/2008

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How is the behavioral therapy going? I was cusrious because we are awaiting a diagnosis and the school board is setting my son up with an ABA and OT.

Mavis - posted on 11/28/2008

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if you are concerned about your sons behaviours, you should trust your instincts. my son is on the autism spectrum, he is 3years old, very verbal, no cognitive limitations, potty trained at two. he is very loving, hugs and kisses family members all of the time.. but the pervasive, and repetitive behaviors definately affect his social progression.. the aba therapy that he receives really helps with his independent play skills and social ques..

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Opps! I mean to add you may need to keep advocating for your son. So many times Asperger's can be missed diagnosed, espcially since many of those on the spectrum have co-morbid symptoms with ADD/ADHD and other LDs.

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Great topic! I can just share my own experience with my son and when he received his dx of Asperger's. His first dx was O.D.D. at age 5, the psych doc doing the eval did not yet think he could fully dx Victor as having ADHD. He developed within average times but was very verbal early on and very outgoing. He began changing on preK. He began to keep to himself although he was always able to amuse himself for very long periods of time prior to pre K. He was also very obsessive with certain things, drains and helicopters. He did get a dx of ADHD but I felt it was much more. From grade k to 2nd grade, I kept telling his treatment team it seemed more than ADHD. He began smelling and licking many non food objects and became very isolated, much less affectionate. We realized he has many sensory issues (which have gotten much better, thank goodness) and well as gross/fine motor delays. He backed into hugs with me but did not want to be touched by anyone else, even his dad and his grandmother, to whom he was very close. He became much more obsessive with certain subjects and just seemed to have such an akward way about him. He finally received his dx about this time last year. We now have an IEP in place (he is in the 3rd garde) and he has occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech language to help him learn to communicate more effectively. He is also one you may not realize he has some special needs until you spent some time with him. It is very trying at times, just dealing with him and all his siisues (he also has medical issues) but I love him dearly and i still think he is my miracle that helped me turn my life around!

Dominique - posted on 11/27/2008

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hi your little boy sounds very much like mine did at that age .mason is know 8 and 12 months ago was diagnosed with asd/aspergers . mason frm a very young age always seemed different 2 other kids of his age .his tantrums seemed more severe and he never wanted 2 get involved was always quite happy playing ,like he was in his own little world.mason was also gone 4 when he potty trained and had a dummy and blanket til about the same time.mason is very obsessional so will play or be in 2 something particualr at any one time.he also likes familar routine and can play up if its broken.he has not got a good attension span unless it something that intrests him and has poor eye contact with others.mason also has sensitive issues as he hates clothes and will strip off 2 jst his pants once home frm school,also hates busy places saying it noisy even if it isn't.i think i could go on all day but also every child on the spectrum is different they might have simularities but they have there own uniquness aswell.my son school told me there was nothing up and said "ohhh he a typical boy" or "its' a phase" they were wrong so all i can say is if u beleive there is summat not quite right then stick with that gut instinct as it the one gift us mums have . here 2 talk whenever xxx

Beth - posted on 11/19/2008

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Erin-I know how you feel. My family and my husband's family are not supportive of us and I think that is common with this diagnosis. The children "look" normal and everyone believes that these are issues of poor parenting or bad children which they aren't. I know that you need your husband on board, though. Can you still have him evaluated for the sensory processing issues and talk to the evaluator on the side about a full evaluation? Another way to present it to him is that you may find out ways to improve the behaviors which will make everything easier for everyone. In looking at this for my son we found that my husband also has AS. That has been a challenge, too, but it has helped me understand my son in a better way. Good luck!

Erin - posted on 11/19/2008

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I have a scheduled appt with a behavioral specialist for the little man. But now talking with my husband it seems like he is not supportive of this. He thinks I am just looking for problems and that our son has sensory processing integration problems and that is it. Our son is doing better at preschool and even hugged another boy and said he was excited to see him. He has also gotten better about his brother, although at the end of the day when he is tired he can be horrible. I keep going back and forth on the issue, and what to get as much help as I can for our son, but sometimes I do feel like a dog with a bone. I can't let it go, and my family is not being very supportive. Oh well.

Terrie - posted on 11/16/2008

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Hello Erin, some of the things you mentioned about your son remind me alot of my daughter when she was that age. She is now 9 yrs old. She wasnt diagnosed with having aspergers syndrome until she was in Kindergrten. We always knew something was different about her but not even her doctor at the time could figure it out. I would ask her to do simple tasks and she just didnt get it, and the potty training thing was very hard she didnt end up being fully trained until she was 4&1/2. She still has trouble with interacting with other children.But dont give up keep trying to get your son invloved with other kids, like a preschool program or a Sunday school jsut to be around other kids it helps. One of the things that helped me with my daughters tatrums was to have a reward system for good behaviour, such as stickers.A time out for when we are not being so nice. As far as being attatched to things, such as the paci, or blanket, try replacing it it with my a new stuffed toy, we did that with my daughter it took a bit but it did eventually help her to give up her paci.I much rather have her attatched to a teddy bear, if ya know what I mean? I hope this helps ! I understand the frustration as I have been there and we still have our rough days.But wit hthe support of family and friends we have come a long ways and I know you can too.

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My son is 4 1/2 and I am also trying to figure out what is aspergers and what is a typical four year olds response to being tired or overstimulated or out of sorts. J has a lot of the same behaviors and sensitivities and the interaction with other kids has just started to come along withint hte last 6 months so have some hope that progress will still be made.

Liza - posted on 11/13/2008

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Sorry...I meant to say...Pacer type Center as I believe those are only in MN....but, it is a special needs advocate group for parents, educators, etc to get help.

Stick with your gut, you know your son the best.

Liza - posted on 11/13/2008

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I would definately have him evaluated again both through your doctor and through the school system or local Pacer Center. He sounds very similar to most children with Asperger's Syndrome and the earlier you can get a diagnosis the earlier you can start treatments. I feel there is a window of opportunity and your son is at peak time to get the most out of therapies and such.

Even if you don't get the diagnosis..there are a lot of things you can do as a parent. First, educate yourself! That is most important...next, check out your sons diet. Start recording his mood swings, violence, etc and check what sorts of foods he has eaten. I would also have his allergies tested....DO NOT do the skin test, it will freak him out! Have your doctor do a blood draw and send it out to be tested.

I would highly recommend pulling wheat/gluten and dairy/casin out of your sons diet...along with msg, refined sugars, caffeine, and food coloring. It is hard but, we saw a dramatic difference in our son within days.

I would also highly recommend getting his amino acids checked and testing him for mercury. Put him on Acidophilus and some sort of enzyme to help him digest foods better.

Oh there is so much more I could tell you, I am just exhausted right now. If you want to know more, let me know and I can tell you more.

I have a lot of good websites, books, and things we have done ourselves. My son was diagnosed when he was 3 and he is 7 1/2 now and fully mainstreamed.....you can do it!

Kate - posted on 11/13/2008

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My son Isaac is 4 1/2 and one yr ago the doctors said he may have Aspergers. He too has some sensory issues,bright lights,certain sounds....he does talk but only when he wants and is very affectionate.My son is toilet trained and one day i thru his dummy out and he was fine....i was lucky there. But he doesnt have any friends becasue he doesnt know how to commincate with them,but he's happy to sut and watch them play ball...ect... he gets very upset over little things....very destressed,i can see it in his face...poor darling....i change doctors because the first one said nothing was wrong, but i new there was....Go see someone else if u feel there is something there with ur little man.

Angela - posted on 11/10/2008

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My son is 51/2 has has finally been diagnosed with ASD. His behavior and "corkiness" was very vague and inconsistent. I had coined the term for him "consistently inconsistent." It has been a long road for him getting to this diagnosis but finally we may qualify for services in his school. You may notice as he gets older, especially in kindergarten, he will face a lot more pressure. The demands can bring more the behavior problems to surface. Keep a diary and even better, video tape his behavior.

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alot of what you mention sounds all too familiar. The toe walking, the sound sensitivity etc. My daughter is PDD-NOS. She exhibits all Asperger traits though. She is very high functioning though and you would never know anything is amiss if you didn't know her well. She is very verbal and physical to a point. But she has her limits. However she does not interact with kids her own age well.. she does excellent with children about 2 years younger than her.

I would say to keep looking. It took us 3 years to figure out what was going on with our daughter. Get involved with play groups to help him socialize, for the sound sensitivity, expose him to the noises that are a discomfort to him only as needed. My daughter was able to build up a tolerance to some of the noises that upset her. But it took years to do so.

The tantrums are hard to deal with at this young of an age. My daughter still has them but by age five she was old enough to understand that they were not ok. It was ok have the feelings that she was having but not ok to act the way she was acting. Watch him for triggers to see if there is any one thing that sets a tantrum off. Reinforce good listening and positive behaviour. My daughter has a chart she uses and at weeks end if she does well she gets something fun.. like a dvd movie from the movie store or a special dessert etc. We have been doing it since she was 4.

Hope some of the info helped. Good luck.

Beth - posted on 11/08/2008

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Good luck in getting the services that your child needs. My son is only two and no one in our families support his diagnosis but our school district has agreed that there are problems. He will start services in the next two weeks.



Please trust your gut and push for additional evaluations if that is what you need. Early intervention can save you, your family and your child so much heart ache later.

Donna - posted on 11/08/2008

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By the way....I had 3 normal boys...each one with their own "issues", but get through the school system fine...it's my 4th child Bridget, who has the diagnosis of PDD.



None of my boys were fully potty trained until they were 4. My 19 year old is very successful. My 16 year old is perfectly fine, and my 8 year old is as normal as normal can be, so don't worry so much about the potty training thing just yet. It's not a sign of bad parenting these days like it was in the past.

Donna - posted on 11/08/2008

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Swimming is the best sport for children with his sensory needs...that and gymnastics...or tae kwan do

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My son, who has been diagnosed with autism has almost identical behaviors....We were at the fair and a rooster crowed. He took off running with his hands over his ears. I had always known something was different, but his ped. did not believe me. As I have learned, always go with your gut. He was diagnosed at 3. And the difference with having therapy and knowing what helps him have been great. He is even finally potty trained (just this summer- he is five). But I would get a second opinion-if there is a children's therapy clinic or similar close by, I would call and have him evaluated again. Hope this helps....Good luck!

Lori - posted on 11/07/2008

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BTW, I agree with all of the other parents who have suggested more testing. My son was tested from age 3 up. He wasn't formally diagnosed as being on the spectrum until he was 5. Whether he's on the spectrum or not, it's good to get treatment for the behaviors as if he is on the spectrum as behavioral therapy works well. That is what we did with my son. When it turned out he was on the spectrum, we knew that he had gotten the best possible therapies all along even though he hadn't been diagnosed yet. Good luck with it all.

Lori - posted on 11/07/2008

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I would look through the book The Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz. Sensory Integration Dysfunction is really common, and all the behaviors you're talking about go along with it. This book will help you understand SI and then the 2nd book, The Out of Sync Child Has Fun has lots of activities you can do with your son to help. When you do these activities, then he will become less sensitive. There are also tons of website to help you out with Sensory Integration. Just do a search for it and you'll find them. Good luck!

Nora - posted on 11/06/2008

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Our son had similar behaviors at that age, but was not identified until he was eight when the social developmental issues were quite obvious. I agree with the other moms who say keep pursuing it if you feel there is something there. Be aware too, that if your early intervention is with educational professionals, they may be looking at your son in a different way than someone outside the educational system. Here's a website with first signs info: http://www.firstsigns.org/

Even if it turns out that your son is not on the spectrum, there are still many techniques for dealing with difficult behaviours that may work. I've used many things like visual schedules and sensory tools on my neurotypical son to great effect.

Jill - posted on 11/05/2008

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I do not have a child with special needs but I do work with children on the spectrum. I would personally recommend getting a 2nd opinion.

Cristina - posted on 11/05/2008

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oh, btw.. my son, who's 4 1/2 is very verbal (he didn't have any speech or motor skill delays) too, and loves hugs and kisses (this is not typical, but then that's the way it goes with PDD_NOS)... he had a hard time listening (he didn't understand alot, we figured out)... it looked like he was disobeying, but he simply had a hard time with instructions he didn't understand, out of frustration, he'd throw a fit... or look at you with that blank look in his eyes (huh? he was probubly thinking)... and sudden loud noises where a very scary to him... grocerie stores where a nightmare... our son also had an attatchment to blankie and pacifier... and he parallel played with kids (around them, but not interacting with them)... it was heart breaking to watch... all this to say, our sons sound simular...

Cristina - posted on 11/05/2008

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since you're in oregon... please go to OHSU (oregon health and sciences university) they have schedualled clinics... you spend half the day (it is a long day) and they have 5 specialist.. speech, psych, ot, behavior, and have his hearing visual checked.... they are absolutely amazing there... you will know if he's on the spectrum by the end of the testing... there's several different ways that they test, in different settings... your son's sensory issues are a red flag for me... i know a women who's son seems very much on the spectrum (almost classic like symptons) and has been run around by the doctors up here, meanwhile her son is not getting the help he would greatly benefit from... if things aren't making sense to you.. and you have alot more questions than answeres, please take your son somewhere else... we did... and today we still have his teacher who has referanced that his behaviour issues are our lack of inconsistancy and not spectrum stuff... i just smile and think well we had 5 speciallist say otherwise.... you have a great school up there... call them and see if they can help with a full evaluation... best wishes..-c

Niki - posted on 11/05/2008

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I have a 6 year old who was diagnosed at 2 with PDD-NOS. He was alot like your son. He was VERY high functioning. I'm not saying that your son is, at all. But here are some suggestions; things we did...
1. E had to be potty trained for daycare, so we packed 10 pairs of clothes everywhere we went and made him sit on the potty once every hour. He had ALOT of accidents at first, but they dwindled down b/c he didn't like wet clothes and he didn't like being made to sit on the potty once every hour (we would set a timer (even take it out with us to Grandma's or the grocery store)). That was when he was 3. He's 6 now and I don't remember quite how long it took, but it didn't take that long. We started in the begining of the summer and were potty trained by fall. Use lots of praise and rewards, don't punish for accidents. (our son is still wearing pull-ups at night. The doctor says that they don't start really examining this until they're 8, so don't worry about nights at all for along time...)
2. Even typical kids thrive on structure and routine. I sometimes wonder why we don't give typical kids more than they have. Sometimes behaviors come from needing more of that. Try a picture schedule, so he knows what to expect in his day and from day to day. You can get more info on this online. We had a hectic schedule when E was younger, at one point he was in am daycare, an afternoon school, then back to daycare... I made a traveling picture schedule for him and when one part of his day was done (breakfast, for instance) he would remove the picture and put it in an "all done" pocket.
3. Go with your gut. If you feel there is more going on and you aren't convinced with what "they" are telling you... go to someone else. You can go to as many people as you want to to get the answers you need. I would suggest that you talk to your pediatrician, tell them your concerns and ask them for a referral for a specialist or the name of one or two if you don't need a referral. After dealing with the county and city based programs and then private programs with my own son, I believe that city/county/state based programs work best after you have the private institution diagnosis to back you up. Especially with a high-functioning kid.
Good luck.

Meredith - posted on 11/05/2008

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I am going through the exact same thing with my 3 1/2 year old son right now. Tip toe walking, very sensitive to loud sounds, very aggressive, not potty trained, etc. We went through the OT and Early interntion and they told me they think he has PDD-NOS. He has not been formally diagnosed, but we are taking him next week for the final testing (hopefully). As far as treating the behaviors, that is tough. It is sometimes very difficult to deal with. We try hard to keep him on a strict schedule, because that seems to help a little. I would definitely keep pushing until you get the answers you are looking for. We have heard so many different things from different doctors, so I totally understand what you are going through. I am here to chat if you need it. Good luck!

Deb - posted on 11/03/2008

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hi--my son was diagnosed with his Asbergers when he was a junior in high school. He was diagnosed ADHD 1st, and it was that way for years. But I always had a gut feeling that there was more. Stick to your gut feeling and keep at it. Matt is now 27, and doing well. When Matt was 3 1/2, he did alot of those same things, he was in a world of his own alot of the time. he took alot of time--I would need to look him in the eye and explain to him the why??? and why nots??? to the behavior over and over again. And it pays off. At 27 he is a very kind and caring individual. Matt was not a "huggy" baby or child. He has his "gifts" and we would make sure we encouraged those. best to you--ahng in there.

Carla - posted on 11/03/2008

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get him around other children, take him around farm animals. Many specialist have said my son wasn't going to speak...I can't shut him up now! They also said he probably was autistic....they ruled that out and he is now in the first grade and loves it. He is english is a bit broken and goes through speech therapy. Be patient! Listen to All advice given but don't act on everything! It is true when they say "A mother knows her child". My biggest mistake was buying him a playstation 2...now that can cause some issues with school. I myself believe that ADHD is his biggest battle, but I am very cautious on not interferring with his creativity. Let him grow and help him find his balance. You will learn more from them then they will from you.

Christie - posted on 11/02/2008

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Erin -

I have to agree with some of these responses. You are your child's biggest advocate! Go for a second, third, even fourth, oppinion! My son sounds much like your little one and he has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS.. Because of the early help he has recieved, he has just be released from his OT! Keep fighting! I'll keep your family in my prayers!

Joni - posted on 11/02/2008

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Keep going in for assessments. They are going to see if nothing changes. My son was the same way. I got him screen juss after 18mths with Fair starting screening here in my city. They referred him to The children centre, they did they're assessment and told me he was a few months delyed and he needs to be more social and after a year in daycare and in speech was going alright til he lost his spot due to attendance. He regressed and was back where he was inthe beginning and there is where they knew much wasn't changing. Keep going in for assessment as much as you can. They'll have to see sooner or later, keep fightinh for what you know is there.

Jennifer - posted on 11/02/2008

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My son is 4 1/2 years old now. He sounds so much like your son, except for the sensory sensitivities. When it comes to sound, he is the opposite, called hyposensitive. Loud sounds do not bother him, and he will filter out sounds or talking when he is focused on something. Everything else you described is the similar. He also is very talkative and physical with us, but does not know how to interact well with his peers (although now he tries to, a year ago he didn't). He has tantrums sometimes which can become very strong meltdowns (sometimes over the smallest thing). They were worse when he was 3 then they are now. He knew his alphabet & could count to 30 by 19 mos., and was very meticulous in building a tower, but we noticed something was not right around 2 1/2 - 3. His communtcation was very confused. He would put things together that did not belong, and he talks about past events often. When he was 3 we were told by doctors that he was a boy and they sometimes mature slow. Close to 3 1/2 we took him to be evaluted at a place called The Family Hope Center which helps children with neurological issues. They will not diagnose him with autism, they go by his neurological age compared with his chronological age and where he should be. He was at 22 months neurologically when he was 41 mos. old. We were told by them that he would be diagnosed on the spectrum by other doctors. He has a program that he does, and has excelled on it (although it is very frustrating at times). He is also on a special diet, which is difficult but has helped. His communication has improved, and we have seen changes in relationships with other people.

He had a paci until shortly after he turned 4. One night I just somehow told him that he was going to try and sleep without it. He asked a few more times, but never got upset. That was that. It was the right timing. He just got fully potty trained this past July (just before he turned 4 1/2). It took over a year of working at it, some of the time was his body adjusting to the diet and cleansing itself. He was good at going, but not good at telling us. People told me one day it would 'click', and it did, just all of the sudden. Just keep working on it w/out pressuring him, and I am sure it will click for him.

We have a hard time with discipline. All kids are different, and we are having a tough time trying to find what works for him. I am sorry for going on too long.

I just want to encourage you to do what is in your heart! Try and find a professional who can give you a clearer answer. Earlier help is so good for the child. I know you will do what is best for your son! You are in my thoughts!!

Dianna - posted on 11/02/2008

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Please don't accept that answer, fight for your son, it sounds like he needs it, and if you think and feell something is off , then it is !! you are his only hope, I was put off for years and am still struggleing with an adult child!! A mother or father know deep in their heart that something is different then it usually is!!

Dorothy - posted on 11/02/2008

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Erin....listen to your gut....sounds to me like your son has some behaviors/issues that would place him on the spectrum. You know your son better than anyone else, so if you think there's something going on, there probably is. Check with other professionals who can help you. I think thru public education there are groups who work with their kids with differences/disabilities/etc. Start there. My almost-4-yr-old grandson was evaluated by BOCES (in CO) and they pay for him to go to Head Start 4 mornings a week, and they seem to be real good with him. Just keep checking it out....don't give up. There is help out there and the earlier you get it the better!



The poor listener part....things may not be connecting in his head so that he can interpret what he's heard....may not have anything to do with being a poor listener.



My grandson isn't potty trained yet, either....just not interested. But I KNOW he will be someday....now would be nice, but he will when he's ready. Sensory integration can be a big part of their behaviors....check into that.



As his mom you are just going to have to keep 'knocking on doors' to get him the help he (and you!) needs. Be persistent.



We are also hearing things about specific dietary allergies that may play a key role... look into that.

Elisha - posted on 11/02/2008

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Keep advocating for him. With some of these kids its hard to diagnose before 5 years of age. While other kids, its extremely obvious at a young age. It sounds like your son has some tendencies and not others (very much like my own son). Is there a DT therapy preschool you could put him into? That helped my son tremendously. At 5 years old he was just diagnosed with PDD-NOS. He went through ST, OT, and the DT preschool. He is now in Kindergarten and was taken out of the special education because he doesn't need it. If you feel what you're being told is incorrect, keep pushing until you're satisfied. You can go to private centers for evals as well. Hang in there! Feel free to message me if you'd like to chat more.

Cheryl - posted on 11/02/2008

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I'm no doctor, but some of those symptoms - the sensory sensitivities, toe walking, not engaging with other kids but physical with you sounds very much like my twin sons - who are both on the spectrum. They too had a non spectrum diagnosis until about kindergarten.....auditory processing delay i believe. Early intervention is a godsend! See if you can get him into a social skills group - if they have that in your area.

Vanessa - posted on 11/02/2008

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This is going to sound slightly crazy but my son has gone through the same thing and now you wouldnt really know any better by looking at him but give him time a long period of time away from you all... Like two weeks at grandmas or something. It will help him to cope with not being around mommy and daddy making him more dependent so potty training and all that comes way easier. And with the potty training also has alot to do with if he feels any intimidation at all. He is trying to show you with his behavior or lack of behavior that something in his eyes isnt right... Your just not looking at the big picture from his view. Spend a day just watching him and following him or get cameras in your house and view his behavior and watch to see when it gets worse and when is he fine. Your a great mom and have confidence in yourself. Your doing everything right, just breathe and observe his surroundings. It really can be something small to you but can be big to him.

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