Preschool teacher does not think my son has pdd-nos

Amber - posted on 04/13/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Let me start by saying I love my son's preschool teacher. I think she has done wonderful things with him in the short time he has been in her class (about 2 months). When I picked him up yesterday she told me that we have to meet in June to discuss next years placement ideas, and that she does not think my son is actually on the spectrum and therefor does not need to be in her all asd class. I don't know what to think. He was diagnosed by a neurologist not even a year ago but at that time they told us he was very mild pdd-nos not showing all the traits but enough of them for a diagnosis. Since that time we have done aba, and early intervention 5 days a week. But I cant believe that he is better in that short of a time. We meet with his neurologist again next month and I hope she can make me feel better one way or another.
I know that the preschool teacher spends more time with my son than the neurologist, and she does specialize in teaching asd kids. But im not sure.

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Lina - posted on 01/05/2012

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I would highly recommend you finding a BOARD CERTIFIED DEVELOPMENTAL PEDIATRICIAN. You need to go in for a COMPLETE ASSESSMENT.

Susan - posted on 04/24/2010

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Amber
I have a nephew that is in the “Gray” area as well, it has been my experience that you will have to follow what you feel is right for your son and fight for him to get the tools he’ll need for the next 12 plus years of school. This will not be an easy journey. However it is well worth it.
p.s. My nephew graduates this June.

Leah - posted on 04/24/2010

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I have to agree with the answer above mine. Deep down inside you should know the answer to this question. I have a son who is now 5, I know deep down he is different, always has been. Has sensory issues, food issues, sleep issues, anxiety issues, communication issues and will do lots of odd things from weird noises, way he walks, dances, eats his food (the sound), screws up face into weird positions while going to sleep and when you ask him whats wrong he says that he is happy. He went to specialist who are still investigating now that his pre-school teacher of 3 weeks whom he never has talked to or made eye contact with said oh he is fine. Specialist rang me up to say he has to investigate more as he was thinking asperger's but now since her remarks could be anxiety. I do not need the answer, honestly my son has asperger's mild may be, but always trust your instincts. Listen to advise and if you do not no yes get opinions of several people.

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Always trust your instincts, regardless of what anyone says &, your child will benefit in the long-run.

Barb - posted on 04/22/2010

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Good teachers are like the nurses in a hospital, they are the ones who really know what goes on day to day. I love and respect support people but that is really who they are, support to the parents and teachers who are the day to day caregivers. There are many things in this situation to consider and many people who see your son to help you make this decision. If you like like this teacher keep her recommendations in your mind when you see other support people. You have options and in the end the decision is your as a parent and advocate for your son!

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Gosh.... go over her head! Wonderful as she may be, unless she's got MD and a string of other letters after her name to qualify her to 'rediagnose' your son, she has absolutely NO right to make this choice. Stand up for yourself and for your son :) You can do it!

Barb - posted on 04/19/2010

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There may be many advantages in your son attending a class with 'typical' kids even with his diagnosis. Peer learning is very powerful (if in a good peer situation). You should always seek a second opinion, but talk more to his preschool teacher. You should continue to work with the teacher and school district to get all necessary services for your son (you are his advocate) but also listen carefully. He should still be able to receive needed services on a part time basis. Good Luck!

Dawn - posted on 04/19/2010

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You should double check with your district. I am in Michigan and here we can request that my son be re-evaluated at any time to receive services from the preschool. Even if you son no longer meets that particular criteria it is possible that he would still qualify for services under a different label.

Melissa - posted on 04/19/2010

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I would trust the teacher. If your son's pdd-nos is so mild that it's no longer recognizable, he may do better in an inclusive classroom. Being with the NT kids will encourage him to elevate socially and show him more of what "normal" looks like. I'm not suggesting that he'll miraculously be cured or show no traits, but it will give him something to aim for while he's still young enough to be included by the other kids.

I would take him back to the specialist and have him reevaluated. He is likely doing so well because of the structure and support he has received thus far, but you won't know how he would handle a regular classroom until you try it. Taking into account whatever the doctor has to say, I would suggest a trial period in which he either spends part or all of his days in a regular classroom for at least a month. He may thrive in that environment. He might not. At the end of the trial period, you can have another meeting and see where he's doing best.

It depends on what your goals are for your son as well. Some people look forward to their children assimilating with the NT children while others want to keep them completely sectioned off. My son has classic autism, but I look forward to the day (many years from now ;) ) when he be in a regular class. We live in a largely NT world. Learning flexibility (adaptability if you will) is possibly the most important thing for any child with autism and being in an inclusive environment encourages that. If he still needs services, still make sure he gets them, but give him a chance to be a regular kid too.

Fwiw, my daughter never made eye contact with people. I was worried that she would hate school. By the third day of kindergarten, she was looking people in the eye and starting to make friends. I very strongly suspect that if we had taken her to a specialist when she was younger, they would have dx her with pdd-nos. She still has sensory and social issues but in her case, not labeling her has helped her immensely.

Keri - posted on 04/19/2010

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You should check your local school district regulations. For instance, if I allowed New York to reclassify my high functioning child from Child with Autism to child with other health impairment he is no longer able to receive ABA therapies. He may do better in a less restrictive environment, but they can do that without re-classifying and your son losing services.

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Until his preschool teacher has the letters MD or DO and a bunch of others too she has no business making those comments.

Sheila - posted on 04/18/2010

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I would tell you to just thank your son's teacher for all her hard work and efforts. But I have to agree that Schools/teachers can't diagnosis a child one way or another. They have input on school curriculum only. I too have seen children on aba therapy make huge progress, including my son. However, like it was said before that doesn't change the diagnosis or continued therapies. we all know if you stop therapies these children will regress or stop making progress all together. I would suggest they do a complete school pychological testing if they already haven't. Go by the suggestions in those tests. Our special angels usually need Speech and Occupational Therapy and sometimes Physical Therapy in the school setting. If you child is already receiving these in school don't agree to take it away. And yes, the teacher may think a least restrictive environment would be beneficial because he is mild. Our children learn by mimicking their peers. This doesn't mean he has a wrong diagnosis, it just what's best for your child. And the reality (my opinion of course) is that it really doesn't matter what diagnosis your child has at school as long as he is getting the services that he needs. We sometimes get caught up in that. This includes medical. It's not a perfect science. If they change the diagnosis or add another one, that's okay. Just think how is this going to help my child? Is this going to change things for the benefit of him? I would let the school to the educational part and the medical side do theirs. Just make sure you are taking him to specialists that have ASD's specialties. I would suggest seeing a Peds Developmentalist and/or Child Psychologist as well as your Neurologist. Good luck.

Marissa - posted on 04/13/2010

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Your son's teacher isn't medically capable to making or refuting a diagnosis. She may think that a least restrictive environment may suit him better though.

Sheila - posted on 04/13/2010

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I would say that he is doing so well because of the intensive early intervention that has occurred and that he will continue to show progress as long as the support continues. It only goes to show the difference early support makes, and with the teacher's continued support, your son will continue to succeed!

When he graduates from high school, send her a lovely letter thanking her role in supporting his development and the part she played in creating the foundation upon which he stands!

Good luck, and continue supporting your son!

Sheila

Tammy - posted on 04/13/2010

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i agree with Bonnie every child is different some more severe some if you didnt know the child everyday probably wouldnt even know. Go to your doctor first i still think that alot of people expect to see the worse with ASD kids. My son has aspergers his eye contact isnt to bad but he stares alot and i mean alot but i have had people say to me "well he has eye contact so it cant be to bad" then once they have seen him its like oh i see now.

Bonnie Jean - posted on 04/13/2010

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. "When I picked him up yesterday she told me that we have to meet in June to discuss next years placement ideas, and that she does not think my son is actually on the spectrum and therefor does not need to be in her all asd class. I don't know what to think."



First of all unless your wonderful teacher is also a medical Doctor/ Neurologist she cannot diagnose your son. Perhaps she is thinking about children on a different part of the Autism spectrum and here lies the problem usually...many educators compare students on the spectrum. If she has only seen students with more severe spectrum disorders that is what she expects to see in every student diagnosed as pdd-nos.

So go with your Doctors diagnosis and continue to educate your educator that the reason it is called a spectrum disability/disorder is because no two are alike. And pdd-nos is given at the early ages because the Doctor does not want to put him into a specific category until he gets older. And I have seen children with pdd-nos under aba or other interventions their parents have gotten for them improve dramatically especially at the early age you received his diagnosis.

Although the educator spends more time with your son, she did not go to medical school for many years to be able to diagnose....just my 2 cents.

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