could it be asperger's?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2003
could it be asperger's?
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 10:40am
i am new to this board and here is a little background...

i have a fourteen yr old daughter who has a long history of learning disiabilties. she also had a speech delay which i know the majority of asperger's kids dont. however, she has significant social problems, has one friend, does alot of finger tapping when she reads (has to tap all over the page she is reading but only if it is a magazine or book with pictures) She also started having seizures two years ago that are now be controlled with depakote(partial complex seizure originating the left temporal lobe) she has also been diag with adhd, possible bipolor, and possible capd( i am in the process of having an eval and full neuro testing done)

now hears my question she has been seen by numerous doctors including a dev ped could she have been misdiagnosed all these years? aspergers has never been mentioned by anyone but she sure fits the profile especially the social component. anyone out there with an experience like this or any feedback would be appreciated.

many thanks

Avatar for littleroses
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 12:20pm
I think it's possible she could fit somewhere in the spectrum. My daughter is 5 and takes depakene. She is speech delayed, but high functioning. She talks, but not at the same age level as her peers. I also have read that many people with autism (or in the spectrum) have seizures as well. I believe the statistics were like 30 percent of people with autism (or forms of) also have seizures.

My dd didn't get diagnoses until I read nearly every book there was (it seemed) and pushed for help. Even the dev. ped. she saw reluctantly diagnosed her. It's strange because my dd has so many classic autism traits, but some of the things she does seems so normal that I think it fools people. For example, she has a scripted way she talks to people and can answer yes/no questions. So when she sees her pediatrician for 15 minutes and they say "How are you?" "Do you like school?" and all those standard questions you ask a kid, she can answer them. If you go deeper and ask "why" questions then you figure out that she can't express herself. Much of the diagnosis was based on questionaires given to me and observation from teachers. So, it helps to learn as much as you can. I think it's very easily possible to be diagnosed so you are not off in suspecting that. I think it would be a good avenue to pursue if you are having these suspicions. At the end, you could either be wrong or your daughter could get more appropriate help if it's true. Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 5:00pm
First, welcome to the board!

Yes, it is possible that she was mis-dx'd. Infact, ADHD/BPD comorbity is the most common mis-dx for Aperger's and the other HF-ASDs. Here's what I see from your discription:

Your dd is 14, which means she was born in the late 80's? Asperger's wasn't entered into the DSM until 93. And even then it wasn't until the last few years (since about 98/99) that it has become more widely known. It still isn't understood by most psychol's, let alone teachers, school councilors, therapists, etc. And yes, it is possible that a dev ped doesn't know as much as they think they might about the Spectrum.

Which leads me to WHAT any givin dr knows, including dev ped's. Some drs look only for one HF-ASD and if they don't see it they assume the kid is not on the Spectrum. But the the three HF-ASDs are seperate dx's for a reason...they are different. You said your dd had a speech delay. The the dx criteria for Asperger's specifically states "No clinically significant speech delays". But that doesn't mean that she can't have PDD-NOS or HFA. My 12yo dd fits the AS discription to a 'T' but she had speech delays when she was younger so she was dx'd with PDD-NOS. My 8yo dd, on the other hand, fits the HFA disciption best but becuase there were extenuating circumstances that could have caused her speech and cognative delays she was dx'd AS.

Which leads me to WHO you should see for a deffinate answer. Dev peds are a good start. But not all dev peds are autism specialists. Only an autism specialist can say whether or not your dd is on the spectrum. And 9 times out of 10, if the primary caregiver (that would be you Mom) researches AS/PDD-NOS/HFA and feels that the child fits with these dx's, they usually end up actually having one of them. It's very hard for a parent to say, even to themselves, "I think my child might have some form of autism". It's incredably rare that a person would overreact with such information. The problem is usually denial.

Just remember two sayings:

"If you think there is a problem, there probably is."


"You are the first and best expert on you own child."

You are the one there with your dd day in and day out. You are the one that sees what she actually does and how she actually acts. What you said about your dd tapping the book if there is a picture on the page is actually rather common behavior for ASD's, no matter where on the spectrum they are. I live with 5 people on the Autism Spectrum and two of them do that same thing. There are also two persons in our house with the ADHD/BPD comorbity, myself included. Neither Sammi or I do this, infact it drives us nuts when Jade and Grandma do it. LOL.

But, I should point out that the number one reason ADHD and BPD in comorbidity are often confused with ASDs is because they appear very simmilar when they manifest. People with these comorbid conditions often have problems socializing. But they pick up on the social skills very quickly when formally taught to them, where as ASDs do not. It takes longer for them to understand because the person teaching them (usually a parent or spouce) must first re-learn the English language in it's most litteral meanings because THIS is what ASDs understand, not common English. And even after that has been achieved there are still going to be problems for the Aspie who is trying to learn the social skills because they will never fully understand them. Aspies have no inter-personal intuition and never will. The best they can do is come up with a close facimily, after years of study.

I would recomend you hang around the board for a while, read our stories, do some research, tell us more about the things your dd does or doesn't do. If you find there is a lot of "OMG, my dd does that!" going on then she probably has HF-ASD.



P.S. Please excuse my dyslexia and all the spelling mistakes thta come along with it. ;)