My son my have Autism....

Amber - posted on 02/28/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My son is almost 3, and we are on the road to getting him tested for Autism. He doesn't speak, throws the worst temper tantrums (beating his head into things and people, throwing things, falling on the floor). His development tested out at an equivalent to a 3 mth old on one test, and 12 months on another. He is very loving, but very rarely makes eye contact, has just started jabbering like his 9 month old sister, and interacting slightly. Some of his behavior leans toward Autism, while some doesnt. I'm having a huge problem trying to figure out the best way to handle him. I don't know how to discipline him or get him to just get ready to go to day care without acting like he's losing his mind! I'm at a total loss, because I have 3 other children, trying to balance him out with caring for the other 3! Help!

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Erin - posted on 03/05/2009

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I know how you feel. I have a son with Autism. He is almost 4 now, but when he was 2 and a half. He wasn't speaking at all and he also showed signs of Autism. Banging his head, toe walking, throwing fits, obsessed with only one or two things. When I mentioned it to people they told me it was just his age, but I worked Kids with Autism 3 years prior and knew the symptoms. It wasn't until a friend of mine who has a son with autism and my son's doctor to agree with me that he might have it. I got him tested and he has a speech delay and ASD (autism spectrum disorder). Since then I got him tested and he is now in a school for special needs and is doing great he has been there for two years and is going to be in a main stream class next year. I contacted our local school district and got the process started. It was the best thing for him. he is now talking like crazy, doing better with his fits and is thriving. Good luck with your son, I know as a mom you will do what is best for him.

Barbara - posted on 03/11/2009

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Boy do I feel for you. I had four children and the one with autism was number 3. There was another baby 13 months after he was born. I had two teenagers and two babies at home. Our son when through many of the same behaviors when he was three. And you wonder how in the world to address those behaviors. We went through many stages but no drugs until he was 13 years old and puberty entered the picture causing everything to get worse. I still consider the decision to allow drugs the worst decision I ever made. Our son is now 31 years old. It was only in the last six years that I found out that many of the behaviors were due to pain caused by not feeling well. Once we got him drug free and began giving him a seaweed extract called Original Limu, everything turned around. We no longer have melt downs, head banging, self-abusive behaviors and temper tantrums. Life is completely different. I have spoken with Mothers of young children who are administering this seaweed extract to their children and the results are nothing short of miraculous. Respond to this if you want to hear more. There is hope girl.

Paula - posted on 03/11/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:

Amber - When you start learning to prevent the tantrums it will be much easier. But, for Austin deep pressure really works. This is a sensory thing. I will squeeze his arms and legs gently or lay him under a weighted blanket and put pressure on him. Lay him on a bed or something soft for this. If you don't have a weighted blanket, just use a sleeping bag or anything. He might like to be rolled up in a sleeping bag then hugged really tight. What city are you in? I have a very good friend in Jonesboro with an autistic son.



Please be carefull what tactics you try... you know what your son is like better than anyone so take all advice and use what suits him. I only say this as quite a few people have suggested the above, but I know from experience with my son (4yrs old, ASD) and also from quite a few friends with ASD and autistic children that alot of people with autism and sensory issues will not tolerate any form of restraint (or even huggs when they are in meltdown). My son is very loving, loads of huggs and kisses, but when he is having an autism tantrum he cannot be held down or even held. We have to do the exact opposit and give him as much space as possible (sometimes even taking him outside).



Good luck, I know things are harder in the states for children with autism... I wish you all the best!



Paula

Jennifer - posted on 03/09/2009

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Amber -- My friend doesn't know anyone in Fort Smith but she is going to ask around her support group with other autism moms. Here is her initial response when I asked her where you should look for help:

I googled it last night and there are some resources in that part of Arkansas. I would start there and see what she can find. I will ask other members of our board if they have any connections in that part. I will get back to you as soon as I find anything out.



She could try to get medicaid or AR KIDS from Department of Human Services in her area. She can also contact her area educational cooperative. They have Special Education services through local preschool programs as well as services that will come to her house(speech, OT, PT), etc. She also needs to get a diagnosis though. We went to Children's Hospital in Little Rock for Tyson's. It was called the Dennis Developmental Center.

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Donna - posted on 04/27/2013

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Yes, your post was helpful, thank you. I have been watching puzzling behavior all of my son's life and always knew, although he seemed normal, that there was just something I couldn't put my finger on that wasn't right. I heard an Ad on the radio
about the symptoms, googled Asperger's when I got home and that is my son. He is 44 yrs. old now and has had a very difficult life because we didn't know what was
wrong. He is very smart mechanically and loves tools but that's about it, the rest of his life has been painful as far as being independent and relationships. I'm trying to get him a diagnosis now because I know that's what the problem was all his life. Unfortunately, it was a little early for the medical field to pick up on this so he
struggled through school but this disability crippled him. He is suffering with
depression and anxiety which has driven him to alcohol dependency which never helps anything get better. We are trying to help him get services and hope the rest of his life is better adjusted and happier for him. I wish I knew when he was growing up what the issues were but I'm happy to know now and I'm explaining to him that it's not his fault, he is not a looser and help is on the way. He was a very quiet boy, no temper tantrums but tearful, heart broken meltdowns when disappointed over little things. He was slow to talk, a few words at 2 and delayed sentence structure and of course difficulty learning and mixing with other kids, he was always the one bullied because he was not aggressive, he was quiet and wanted to be accepted. Heartbreaking for a mother looking on but I thank God I have an answer now.

Rebecca - posted on 03/13/2009

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i think it is good to hvae him tested early in age my son was 2/12 when i was tol d he had autism. My son sounds a lot like your son there were some sign and then some that did not fit the child with autism. having my son testing was the best thing becasue you get him all the help he needs know and in the short window and my son is 6/12 and is verbal and is know high fuctioning autism. With more problems with social skills and sensory issues with textures of items. but he can talk does have a small circle of friends and it is nice to see him with them.. It will be a very rough road but it does pay off in the end. Most of all make sire you accept all help and havr time away to relax. As for discipline i found best at that age you need to find a motivater my son's was cars and thing with wheels i would give him one everyday ( match box car) and if he did a unwanted behaviour than i took it away and when he did a good behavour i ghave it back. YOu need to start small and make sure he can see the difference between good and bad. I hope this helps you and the best of luck. I believe that god does not give you more then what you can handle. These children can be very smart once you tapp into there world of learning.

Ivy - posted on 03/12/2009

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Hi my 14 yr old son has autism. He was diagnosed when he was 4. That was the worst time of our lives. I ve been to hell and back. But the good news is it gets better! My son is doing very, very well! My advise to you is have patience and just worry about getting through the day. A good program in school or preschool helps, they will get him on track, Look into his diet,, find out if he has allergies ( dairy or gluten free  read the Jenny Mccarthy book) there is so much more out there to help our children now so much more that when my son was diagnosed.  Just remember it will get better!  We can go to movies ( sit and watch the whole thing even if the movie sucks) we to restaurants and visit friends. Just have faith, patience and strenghth, its a tough tough road, but you will make it! We did and were still improving everyday!

Amber - posted on 03/11/2009

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yes. I would like to know more. anything i can put thought into trying would be wonderful. charlie is my number three as well, but my children are much closer in age, spanning from 5 to 9 months

Amber - posted on 03/11/2009

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great! thank you! i'm going through arkids first, and he's been approved, but now we are at a stand still! hopefully soon we will get his number!

Paula - posted on 03/11/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:

Amber - When you start learning to prevent the tantrums it will be much easier. But, for Austin deep pressure really works. This is a sensory thing. I will squeeze his arms and legs gently or lay him under a weighted blanket and put pressure on him. Lay him on a bed or something soft for this. If you don't have a weighted blanket, just use a sleeping bag or anything. He might like to be rolled up in a sleeping bag then hugged really tight. What city are you in? I have a very good friend in Jonesboro with an autistic son.



Please be carefull what tactics you try... you know what your son is like better than anyone so take all advice and use what suits him. I only say this as quite a few people have suggested the above, but I know from experience with my son (4yrs old, ASD) and also from quite a few friends with ASD and autistic children that alot of people with autism and sensory issues will not tolerate any form of restraint (or even huggs when they are in meltdown). My son is very loving, loads of huggs and kisses, but when he is having an autism tantrum he cannot be held down or even held. We have to do the exact opposit and give him as much space as possible (sometimes even taking him outside).



Good luck, I know things are harder in the states for children with autism... I wish you all the best!



Paula

Pamela - posted on 03/11/2009

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possibly autism with OCD. I worked with special needs children for 5 years in an Autism room. OCD with Austism was more common than people think.. These children are extremely smart but do not know how to control their impulses. It is very stressful for parents.

Melanie - posted on 03/09/2009

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Hi



I would continue with the screening and then take any and al help offered. Do you have a local Card Center ? they are good for helping with scholl IEP's and such, sounds as if your tot may need a special IEP just for him along with a Pre-K setting with teachers trained and familiar with his condition.



It will get better, as far as disipline, autistic kids don't get the time out thing , I have found distraction along with cause and effect work best.



 



Sorry I'm unable to be of more help.

Jennifer - posted on 03/06/2009

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Amber - When you start learning to prevent the tantrums it will be much easier. But, for Austin deep pressure really works. This is a sensory thing. I will squeeze his arms and legs gently or lay him under a weighted blanket and put pressure on him. Lay him on a bed or something soft for this. If you don't have a weighted blanket, just use a sleeping bag or anything. He might like to be rolled up in a sleeping bag then hugged really tight. What city are you in? I have a very good friend in Jonesboro with an autistic son.

Amber - posted on 03/05/2009

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I have to know.... How did you deal with him on a day to day basis? There are times all I can do is sit and hold him. He yells, the tantrums, throws himself in the floor, anything and everything you can think of. He grunts constantly, but it's very high pitched like his voice, and the only thing he says is something that sounds like "whatsit". I'm at a brick wall in trying to do the best for him.

Amber - posted on 03/05/2009

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He is very active. I have 3 other kids, and I can't afford insurance on all so I'm waiting (and waiting) on AR Kids 1st... Arkansas Medicaid. He qualifies for the BOST program, which is made just for kids with sensory issues, Autism and such. It's just waiting on this. I'm at a stand still waiting on the state, and he turns 3 at the end of may. I just have no idea what to do in the mean time.

Marg - posted on 03/05/2009

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Quoting Amber:

My son my have Autism....

My son is almost 3, and we are on the road to getting him tested for Autism. He doesn't speak, throws the worst temper tantrums (beating his head into things and people, throwing things, falling on the floor). His development tested out at an equivalent to a 3 mth old on one test, and 12 months on another. He is very loving, but very rarely makes eye contact, has just started jabbering like his 9 month old sister, and interacting slightly. Some of his behavior leans toward Autism, while some doesnt. I'm having a huge problem trying to figure out the best way to handle him. I don't know how to discipline him or get him to just get ready to go to day care without acting like he's losing his mind! I'm at a total loss, because I have 3 other children, trying to balance him out with caring for the other 3! Help!


hi there, i have a 7yr old girl with aspergers & HF autism, she's only been recently diagnosed but i know the frustration in the 'not knowing' whats going on.  discipline & behaviour are an issue for my daughter i find that kneeling and talking to her at he her level in a flat voice help. also picture cards/aides help eg in bathroom , put pictures of everything he needs to do in sequence, is a really useful website where you can download stuff. hopefully you'll get more help once you have a diagnosis. good luck



 

Amy - posted on 03/05/2009

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first make sure he knows he is loved very much no matter what. It is hard as far as discipling him. Autism children like things the same they do not handle change well at all. Make his room exactly the same and keep it that way. They like to do patterns of things they do not like to be around a lot of people.

Kasandra - posted on 03/05/2009

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here are my 2 cents.... i have been thru the same thing with my son. when i noticed something was not right i started searching the internet and came to autism... i took hinm to a peds nurologist and told him i wanted an autism screen. what he gave me was a developmental eval... told me my son was developing at roughly 50% of what he should be... that was at that time... my son is now almost 4 and is still at an 18 mon old level on some things, on others he is at about a 2 year old level. what i had to do is this: i have no private insurance, but the kids are covered on medicaid... so i told his doctor i wanted a referal to a developmental peds dr. he couldnt refuse me due to the delays already being addressed so he gave me the referal... took us 4 months to get in, but when we did it was a same day dx... spent 4 hrs there and the dr said yes he is in the spectrum.... my son also showed some signs of autism, but others not, so it is not classic autism (think rainman) but he is on the spectrum.



we bought the baby einstines video, "my first signs" and that got him signing and stoped a lot of his meltdowns, he picked it up right away. i too have 4 other kids so i can relate to you there as well.



as far as discipline for my son, if he is fighting us getting dressed i really just have to wrestle with him to get it done, and i try to tell him to be a big boy.. .that seems to help. he doesnt like to walk much, prefers to be carried, but at 45 lbs i cant carry him... lol so i take his hand and tell him to walk like a big boy and he usually does.



we too got him involved in the early intervention program and they transitioned him to the special preschool when he was three as well, he has shown so much improvement from that - it is amazing!



i hope ive been able to help some, you can write to me anytime!

Agatha - posted on 03/04/2009

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Hi Amber.  I completely agree with Jennifer. You will want to contact your local Early Intervention services and get him evaluated as soon as possible.  Once your son turns 3 he will age out of early intervention so you want to start the services now. They can help you with transitioning to the public school system which will pick up services at age 3.  My son is also almost 3 and we are going through this right now.  He does have a diagnosis.  Although it can be hard and stressful to get the diagnosis is really is important so that your son will get the help he needs.  My sons behaviors are exactly the same as yours.  Autism is a spectrum disorder so you don't have to have all the behaviors to be diagnosed with ASD.



EI with the school system will want to do what is call an IEP (individualized education plan) for him.  Then he will have the proper services to help him once he is in public school.  They can also help you get in contact with any other services you need help with.  



If you haven't already you should contact a nuerologist they can help with the diagnosis. 



In the meantime the pictures can really help with communication.  My son didn't want to do sign language either.  I also made things accessible (within his reach) in my  house , for hims.  So that he can show me what he wants.  This is a huge help.  If your son likes active activities you can try a trampoline.  They make ones for toddlers.  10 minutes jumping on one can really being calming to them.   If you do this at intervals throughout the day it can really help. 



 



I hope this information helps and know that you are not alone in dealing with this.

Sandy - posted on 03/02/2009

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You have to find what works for him.  When my son has meltdowns / tantrums that are uncontrollable, I rock him.  I have to pick him up, carry him screaming to the rocking chair, hold him tight and rock him until he is calm.  It works everytime, sometime it takes longer then others, but it works.

Jennifer - posted on 03/02/2009

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Amber -- You really need to get a diagnosis ASAP. Talk to your developmental pediatrician about what groups are out there to help you learn about autism and how to deal with it. Early intervention is the key to get your son functioning as a part of your family and society. But, you really need help from some professionals. I don't know much about Arkansas, but they probably have a group close to you that can get you into a program so that you can learn about the disorder. It's much too much to explain on a chat like this.

Shelby - posted on 03/02/2009

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I have taken care of my 4 (almost 5) year old nephew since he was 3 months old. I
noticed his development was not going in the direction as most children's development
does. He did not walk until he was 17 months old and was still "babbling" like an infant does. He was also showing signs of autism. I have a degree in Psychology and worked with children who had physical and developmental delays. His parents were tough to get them to understand that there might be something going on with their son. They had him evaluated by the Birth to 3 program in our state (CT). They did not pick up on autism because he was not in a world of his own and he interacted with others. They did
diagnose him with speech delay. He went thru a yr of speech therapy with little improvement. He then saw an ENT. It was found that he needed tubes. His started picking up more words and got into the Head Start program. Then when he was 4 I noticed he had rapid eye blinking. His parents finally agreed for him to see a neurologist. My nephew was diagnosed with PDD-NOS with Asperger's Syndrome. What I am saying is trust your instincts. It won't hurt to have him seen by a specialist. I would recommend a neurologist. You have to be as patient as you can. I also have my 3 daughters and his brother that I have to take care of as well. It is tough. Once you have him tested and you know what is going on, you will be able to find a program that will work for him. Best wishes.

Christine - posted on 03/02/2009

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Hi Amber, my son has autism. My suggestion that has helped me in regards to behaviour, I use visual schedules for morning routines, bedtime routines, bath routines and I have found these have helped out in reducing the amount of tantrums. Children with autism like routine and schedules. You can make your own but I bought mine from ebay.com. The seller is dr_m_james and the item is called Bedtime Schedule 10-step Autism PECS Boardmaker Visual (just key in bedtime schedule). He can even customize them for you. They have helped me out and the tantrums have reduced.

Jennifer - posted on 03/02/2009

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I know all about the meltdowns. My problem is his grandparents. When he gets disciplined about something he (and my other son) have learned they can go to them and get hugs and so anything I say pretty much goes in one ear and out the other. He also seems to learn by being around other children. I take them a lot to McDonalds where they can play at the playplace. When I first started bringing him he would just sit right inside the entrance and look. Then one day an older girl who we didn't even know showed him how to go up the tunnels and down the slide. Now when we go that's all he wants to do. I can see on his face that he is so proud of himself that he figured out what to do. You probably need to talk to the daycare providers about being more solid in their discipline. If you are all doing the same thing, he might in time get it. Probably what we both need to do is accept that we're always going to be challenged by our autistic sons. I don't know how you feel but I spend most days feeling overwhelmed. I'm probably not really much help but I'm here if you need to talk! :)

Brandie - posted on 03/01/2009

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have you tryed useing pecs rather than signing... these are just little pictures that can be velcroed to a binder your fridge door anywhere realy... start off with a pic of his fave thin.. weather its a food or toy w/e . when he wants it bring him to the pic and have him hand it to you ( you may have to physicly help him to do this for a while) then imediatly give him what he wanted.. after a few times make sure he is looking at the pic.. after hes giving you that pic when he wants it add another pic that he will not want ( something he dosent like) close to it. when he wants the item have him give you the card.. if he gives you the wrong one give him whats on the pic.. of course he will refuse it so put that pic back. and prompt him to give you the correct one..slowly add more pictures.. this may take a while.. but the advantage with pecs is that you dont have to know signs.. not as much remembering...for him or you... and he can use these at daycare also... you can read more on the net im sure...



we started my son off with smarties pic.. he loves smarties, and we would get him to pass the pic for every smartie... it didnt take long for him to realise all he had to do was give that pic for one...



and if your straped for time you could eeven have one of your older childern practice this with him.



 i realy hope this helps, as a parent there is nothing more frusterating than knowing you child wants or needs something but he just cant tell you. and for a child there could not be anthing more frusterating than wanting or needing and not being able to express it. 



be patient.. these melt downs are not cuz hes acting up or is being "bad" its because of his lack of communication. and always remember there is always more than one way to teach something.. be creative.. think outside the box...



for example we tought the mean of " there is none" to my son by having empty boxes and bottles of stuff hed ask for .. when he asked and there was none, wed show him the empty container or box and say none..he eventually made the conection and we got to throw out all those empty boxes lol yah!

Amber - posted on 02/28/2009

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He's in a normal preschool/daycare that his two older sisters go to. He's shown a small amount of improvement as far as being around other kids, but the only interaction he really has is the few girls in his class that take him by the hand and lead him everywhere, and he'll see other kids playing, and he'll watch, but won't join in. I'm getting all my kids on AR Kids 1st-Arkansas Medicaid- and he'll start going to BOST-a good program for kids who are underdeveloped. I've had his development and hearing tested, but now I'm hitting brick walls as far as getting the medicaid to go through so I can get him in. If it wasn't for my 4 and 5 year olds who keep him as occupied as they can at times, it's like he'd be a big ball of fury. I can't get him to stay in time outs either. And at the daycare, they cater more to him when he melts down than anything else, so it's rather hard when he's there 5 days a week. I'm just afraid I'm being too hard on him, and I feel he understands, but he doesn't know how to react, or function. He can't tell me when he hurts, when he's sad or anything. I'm trying to incorporate some sign in to our everyday life, but he just gets so frustrated he has melt downs like his mind wants to do it but his hands wont.

Jennifer - posted on 02/28/2009

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I think I know what you are going through. My oldest is 4 and I have had him screened by a psychologist, but so far have not had a diagnosis of autism. She is saying it's sensory processing disorder, and while I can see that being true, he has tons of sensory issues, but I know there is more. I have a niece who has aspergers and they are very similar to each other. He also has behavior issues. He will have major meltdowns, usually in public where everyone stares and glares, and he hits me and his younger siblings. He goes to a special ed preschool and they teach the three strikes your out (on time out) form of discipline. Hitting and all forms of aggression get immediate time outs with no warnings but any other misbehavior they get warned twice if they don't quit they will be placed in time out. Before he went to school, I couldn't get him to stay in a time out and now he stays. I think sometimes they learn by seeing it done with other kids. Has your doctor gotten you in touch with a school for kids like him? If not I would look into getting him into one. My son has been going since he turned 3 and it has actually helped him a great deal. I can see improvements. If nothing else it helps them learn to function in the world. I have two other children as well. A 2 year old and a 10 month old. I know what you mean about dividing time. I think it's about impossible. I think it is important though, to make some special time for him though. Get whatever help you can get. Don't be afraid to ask people you know to help. That's something I am learning myself. Him being my firstborn, I thought I had to do it all myself, but as the second and third came along, I've learned to let people help.

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