Jennifer - posted on 02/17/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )
My son was recently diagnosed with Aspergers, he is 7 and in first grade. He has been having some really bad responses starting in November of last year. We again tried to find out what was going with him. BACK STORY - He has had problems since 4 and was sort of diagnoses with Sensory Integration Dysfunction or Disorder. He started with bowel withholding and wetting and fight or flight response to anxiety (new doctors, forced to go to calm space at school, being removed from a situation, sometimes just being told no when he really wants to do something). He tantrumed worse that most kids, but other than that was extremely charming and polite and bright. He would have full conversations with adults and they thought he was beautiful and so smart. We had to remove him from pre-school due to the bowel withholding/ accidents and wetting and behavioral. Behavior wasn't severe at all, but it was a private school and we felt also that emotionally maybe he wasn't ready for school - this was all when he was 4. He was also diagnosed with a speech disorder at 4 and we started speech therapy. We started a little OT for the Sensory Dysfunction but all they were doing was playing with playdoh and we couldn't afford to sent him to OT for things we could do at home. We took him to Child Find when he was almost 5 and they told us that he was ready for Kindergarten coming up in the fall. So we put him in public school where he had an IEP for speech and also some behavioral issues like needing verbal clues when the schedule was going to change, etc. He went to Kindergarten with no more than 1 meltdown for the year. His teacher was really good and he did well. We did notice that he was not included with the boys in his class - that he seemed not to be included. I talked to his teacher and she stated that I shouldn't worry - he played with some of the girls and that the boys weren't the best examples anyway. He was held back to repeat Kindergarten again because of his reading. He was having difficulties blending and segmenting. As parents, we were OK with this. Next Kindergarten year he had a Wonderful teacher and did very well emotionally and academically. Had one incident of fight/flight response due to anxiety of picture day at school and he did not want to go. We made him go and he scratched and bit the person trying to hold him and take him to the office. He was promoted to first grade and for the first grading period made straight A's and was on the Principal's Honor Roll. He still had an IEP but his speech had improved and therapy was no longer needed. He was in a social class just to help him with his responses, etc. They wanted to drop him from his social class and end his IEP. THEN, my son had some issues with kids being mean to him, even bullying behavior and we started seeing a change. My son was still ALWAYS having an anger response to not getting his way at home, he would yell, and then go into kicking and pulling on you and then he started scratching and sometimes punching and biting. He would pull at my hair. He wanted someone close to him, but he also wanted to hurt something or destroy something. These behaviors have been going on at home for 3 years. He would growl and grimace and you could tell he was not himself and that this was not within his control. His heart would race to the point where we had him checked out by the cardiologist. He just continued to have meltdowns, but mainly at home. He was not mean or agressive with other kids. He was social - he would go up to kids and introduce himself and ask them to play. He played well with kids that he just met. He played well period, BUT in the classroom, he did not have any friends. He was never invited to play dates and only one birthday party in 2-3 years. The one party was a girl and the boys completely ostracized him. NOW THE PRESENT TIME: He is 7and half and is showing differences in his personality. He is not as sweet or charming to adults. He still talks to adults, but he is 7 and not as cute or charming. His behavior has become more strange and agressive, even with peers. He talks of dying and killing himself and this is when we started the process again of trying to find out what is wrong with him. We took him to NeuroPsychologist who diagnosed him with Aspergers. I have been researching my son's symptoms on internet for 3-4 years and didn't come up with Aspergers until right before we had him diagnosed. We were also worried about Bi-polar, but he doesn't seem to match - thank God - we have Bi-Polar in our family and it is a very tough disease to have. Once I started researching Aspergers - my son matches perfectly on the high functioning side. The Anger, Anxiety, Frustration, depression type thoughts, social issues, and Sensory Dysfunction is also part of Asperger's / Autism spectrum. We had tried to get him diagnosed under the Autism Spectrum with his Pediatric office, but they only wanted to diagnose him with ADHD, which he didn't meet - 4 tests for ADHD all negative - teachers never thought my son was ADHD. Or the office wanted him ODD - which again, he didn't match. He was never really agressive and mean. He over reacted with anger, and even other emotions. The only other diagnosis I ever found that matched my son was in an artice regarding ANGER OVERLOAD. My son matched this diagnosis, but with also other emotions overloading. It covered the anger side of things but not necessarily some other symptoms. So again - we are back to his Accurate diagnosis of Asperger's / Autism Spectrum. Now my son continues to get worse. He started with not being able to complete his work at school. Not wanting to do homework, even his easy math. More talk of nobody likes him, he has a hard life, stupid brain and hitting himself in he head, wanting to die, to be killed any way (talks of all ways to die), wanting to hurt others. He wants to run away and has even starting running down the street away from the house. He has told me he will jump out of the car. He is refusing to go to school. I have not been able to get him to school for a week and half. He went one day last week and then one day this week on Valentine's day, but I can't get him back. We are in the process of trying to find him the right help. I don't really want drugs, so we started Neurobiofeedback Brain therapy, which seems to be helping. We had Lens therapy once and he had a bad response for 3 days and then one good day. We had a normal session of Neruobiofeedback and he did well for 2 days following, no meltdowns, he was able to transition and be told "No" and even did one page of homework (writing - very difficult for him) and go over his spelling words and the next day got dressed for school and we drove up to the school - he kissed me and his brother goodbye and then when the lady came to open the door - he refused to get out and go to school. So he went to school on Valenting's Day Monday and received neurofeedback therapy on Monday and did well at home on Tuesday and Wednesday, but still would not go to school. And then starting Wednesday night, started meltdown process again (probably because he knew he was going to need to go to school the next morning). Thursday and he is back to kicking, throwing things around, and threatning to hurt himself or run away.
Trying to get him appointments with anybody to help. Get tests for Heavy metals, food allergies, gut testing, behavioral therapy (which some disagree that it really helps). He may even need some anxiety related drugs right now.
We are also trying to talk to the school, which they are really SLOW at helping and you have to stay on top of them. When my husband and I have tried to talk to our son and get him to tell us why he doesn't want to go to school, My son mentions recess. He has numerously talked to me about recess and it seems to be an area of conern and anxiety for my son. I have emailed teacher, etc. at school and asked if he can skip recess (my son't request) and go somewhere else in the school at that time. I haven't received a response to that question. My son also expresses anxiety and does not want to do all the make-up work when he returns. He is also sick all the time, not the pretend kind, but really sick every other week. He misses alot of school because he is actually sick. (I think stress). Any Suggesions out there. I also wanted to include our story so others can see our symptoms and match up to theirs.