What does boderline autism mean?

Michelle - posted on 08/05/2011 ( 22 moms have responded )

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Hi, i recemtly had my 4yr old son tested for autism. When i rang and got the assessment out come they told me he had boderline autism. I wanted to know if anyone knows or has a child that has this diagnosis. I need to get my son properly diagnosed so he can recieve speacial needs assistance at school. Im not sure if this diagnosis is good enough or if the doctor just doesnt want to put him into an autistic catagory. I have already been told by my OT my son has asperger's but she is unable to diagnose him and advised to go interstate for a proper assessment. I just want someone who has been in the same situation, im not sure if i should go ahead with what the doctor says or get a second opinion.

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There is no such thing as "borderline autism." One is either on the autism spectrum or one is not. Aspergers Syndrome is on the autism spectrum and is usually termed "high functioning autism." You may see the term Aspergers removed form the DSM entirely with next publication, as it falls under the autism spectrum. A diagnosis for autism spectrum disorders, when done correctly, will be conducted over several visits with multiple observers (professionals in speech and language, licensed psychologists/PhDs, and maybe more.) I am appalled that ANY professional clinician would give you a "diagnosis" over the telephone. They need to meet with you to review WHAT tests were used, what the findings mean, other tests that were done (ADHD? Parental Rating Scales? Teacher Rating Scales? Anxiety? Motor Skills? Language Development and Cognition, etc). My son's testing (age 8) was conducted over a 3 week period and findings were discussed with us in depth over the course of 2 different one-hour meetings with the diagnosing PhD. I would recommend seeking out a developmental pediatrician and/or a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in autism. Our psychologist does educational psychology ( testing for things like dyslexia, ADHD, developmental or cognitive delays, autism, etc.) Good luck and hang in there. Once you have a diagnosis (or rule it out), you can move forward with a plan!

Tonya - posted on 08/14/2011

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my son was also dig. boarline , he is 15 now and has some weird things he does but other than that he is totaly normal , he may outgrow it????

Rachael - posted on 08/11/2011

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My son was first diagnosed w/ an anxiety disorder as well as ADHD. Not until he was in eighth grade, did we find out that he was on the Autism Spectrum. He is going to be a junior in High School and as adjusted well. With the Autism diagnoses, on his IEP it written under and after the primary condition which is the Anxiety disorder. I would see about getting a second opinion, even if it means traveling to another town. We knew my son had issues but the school could not figure it out so we were intitled to a second opinion. If your child has another diagnoses, you can use that to get services. Your family plan can change if there is a new diagnoses.

Desiree - posted on 08/09/2011

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My 4 year old is the same, only the dr. gave the dianosis of PDD- that way he can receive special needs from school until the year review after his therapies. She said he definitely has signs, but since he's so young, they'd rather not label him 'autistic' until he goes through therapies and is a little older. She said he could very easily turn it it around. I'd get a second opinion so you can get him the help he needs right now until Autism is ruled in or out. Good luck!

Sophia - posted on 09/09/2012

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dont have any of the true charecterized ways. when you put him in a daycare for special needs children they will test him again --- and by the time he is ready for school you will know all the assistance he will need for school.

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Jennelyn - posted on 09/20/2011

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Your O.T was probably correct in her diagnoses. Most medical practitioners seem unwilling or unable to make a or tell us if our children are autistic. I would take your O.T's advise.

Amy - posted on 08/16/2011

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My son is also on the boarderline & because he is so close to the boardeline of being on the spectrum. We recieve support from the Regional Center for early intervention but very minimal hours compare to other kids who are on the spectrum. My son also has been attending the Special Ed Preschool through the school district since his 3rd birthday. They said it's safer to have him in the Special Ed Preschool...just in case he progresses to be on the spectrum. He get speech therapy, but does not qualify for OT & other additonal therapies. He is doing great in school & he does fine when I enroll him in regular summer camp programs.

Rhiannon - posted on 08/16/2011

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in the best interest of your child... get a second opinion. He will need to assessment for school. And you need it to get help you will require

Michelle - posted on 08/16/2011

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thanks so much to everyone for their support and posts, i have actually found a psycolgist where i live. this time when i get him assessed because he was such a different person when i went i am going to be smarter about it and go better prepaired. i am get my OT and Speech pathologist to write thier reports with information on how he also responds or reacts towards them and also get the education department to write the report as she has seen and paid attention more then my sons teacher who hasn't got a clue on our daily struggles or his sensory issues. Unfortunatley this is my only hope as living a 3 hour flight to the next closest major city is somewhat of a problem living at the very top of australia. Once agian everyone thanks for everything it makes life so much easier and i feel less crazy.

Jennifer - posted on 08/15/2011

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Ours is also called a neuro-developmentalist and we traveled 1.5 hours to get to her as the dr's in the city areas were booked up to a year or more. Good luck!

Christina - posted on 08/15/2011

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Yikes! Then a second opinion is definately worth looking into.

Ah....I just saw you're in the UK. Things are done a little bit differently in the states. Usually over here, a physician labeling anything "Borderline" means they don't know what it is, and unfortunately, unless people live in larger metropolitan areas, they don't have access to developmental pediatricians unless they travel a long way.

Christina - posted on 08/15/2011

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My daughter was diagnosed with mild to moderate atypical autism/PDD-NOS when she was four. I went through hoops to try to get a definitive diagnosis for her previous to that. The school psychologist(she was in our district's public preschool) recommended we go through our county mental health program, and they diagnosed her as "severely emotionally disturbed," which I knew wasn't right. She entered their program for SED kids(two days a week of specialized therapies) and graduated from their program within two months, because they didn't see SED. Our pediatrician referred us to a developmental pediatrician, and she was diagnosed within four hours. When it comes to suspecting that your child has an autism spectrum disorder, it pays to take them to someone who has the years of experience behind them and the reputation that says they know what they are doing. As one other mom mentioned, there is no such thing as "Borderline Autism." This is a red flag that the people doing the assessment don't have the experience needed. I would really consider getting a referral to a developmental pediatrician or the behavior disorder department at a Children's or University hospital. They tend to be a little more knowledgeable and have more resources for parents. Even if it is a long haul, in the end it will be worth it. Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 08/14/2011

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Both of my sons were diagnosed however, one has an autism spectrum disorder and the other has autism. The son with ASD is extremely high-functioning in a mainstreamed classroom with above average testing scores but due to his ASD has difficulty detecting social cues, has preseverative behaviors and started having some issues with a few children in 1st grade. The actual written diagnosis of ASD & co-morbid ADHD has helped him get the help he needs. Get a written diagnosis with the word autism in there from a professional so you can get the help he needs as he goes along. It's easier to be proactive. Good luck!

Emma - posted on 08/14/2011

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Hi...This is exactly where my 10 year old son is at as in borderline and possibly aspergers. It means they are on the spectrum albiet higher functioning and classed as 'moderate learning difficulties' I am in the UK and my son started out in a mainstream school with a unit for moderate learning difficulties attached for these children. No more than 10 in each class at a time. He spent 3 years there and has changed schools that incorporates the oder primary years (juniors) and again there is a unit attached. I have never regretted this descion to put him in the unit, to mist people they cannot tell he is 'autistic' but it is the learning side that proves to me he is in the right place. Don't know what provisions you have where you live but this is the way it works here. Don't worry about the diagnoses, it is enough where he is at to provide him with the extra support he needs, or at least I hope so where you are. I think too many (borederlines) in the past got through the net. My eldest had problems and never diagnosed not even borderline, he is 17 now and I wish he'd had the help and support my 10 year old now gets.

Stacy - posted on 08/14/2011

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It means he is somewhere on the continuium of spectrum disorders. The jury is still out with my son, he is 6 his diagnosis is PDD-Nos, and ADHD. It is really Earth shattering to get the diagnosis, and just know that you are not alone.

Debbie - posted on 08/11/2011

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I've been in the situation that you're in. My 10yo son was recently diagnosed by a neuropsychologist. She did the evaluation over two days and then sent me a 14 page report. Despite what some people will say, It's been my experience that a diagnosis is not as cut and dried as you would think. There is a LOT of room for subjectivity especially when you're dealing with the upper end of the spectrum (i.e. aspberger's). Even though my professional agreed that my son was on the spectrum, I had to request that she put into the report that he needed certain special accomodations in school. You should be able to work with your professional to make sure that the report will be sympathetic to your needs.

Wendy - posted on 08/11/2011

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It is always better to get a second opinion. I am in a situation that the school wants my son to be tested. I went to a private psychologist and she said that there were signs but we have to have a lot of more tests and another one (from the government) said that there is nothing wrong. I am even thinking of getting a third opinion. It's not easy ...

Michelle - posted on 08/09/2011

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Hi thank you all for your help and opinions. Just refering to you qickly margaret, he did have the interviews and psychologist assessment. I rang coz i was waiting for the results for the report. unfotunatley where i live there are no pead's that specialise in this field only the centre which i went to and maybe one other psychologist. I was told that boderline autism isn't normally a diagnosis at all thats also the reason for my question and to have a proffesional say it i thought was strange. My OT believes that he has Asperger's my son has very strange behaviours and has also been diagnosed with SPD.

Katherine - posted on 08/09/2011

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That he has features of an autistic spectrum disorder, the medical diagnosis is PDD.NOS. Situational autism is sometimes used as well. Try to get some social skills training implemented by the school. Also try the book by Dr. Jed Baker, "The social skills picture communication book". You are going to have to teach him social skills, almost like an academic approach to what others learn innately.

Katie - posted on 08/09/2011

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I was told my son was borderline and we have to return for assessments at 6 monthly intervals. I think it means just that - that they are right on the borderline for a diagnosis and could go either way. He doesn't get any extra support at school. The good news is he appears less affected by it as time progresses.

Stefb79 - posted on 08/05/2011

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ive not been in this situation but personally id get a second opinion im sure you need the diagnosis to get special needs at school especially as he gets older

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