How do you know?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2012
How do you know?
10
Wed, 03-28-2012 - 11:04pm
Hi, I'm new here and don't really know what I want to ask. I guess I could start with a little background. My son is 3 years old. He started going to a private preschool this year, with 2 year olds. He's a little older since his birthday is in September and he will start kindergarten when he's 6. I wanted him to be around other kids because I noticed he was shy and a bit anxious when it comes to new situations and being around other people. His class meets twice a week for just 3 hours. He really seemed to blossom this year, and I thought it was due to the exposure and just with him getting older.
So, on to the reason I'm posting here... My son's teacher asked to speak with me the other day and said she has a son who has ASD. She said my son reminds her very much of her own. She noticed he is very mechanical, he loves fans, light switches, doors, water, locks etc. He isn't all that social and he doesn't always listen. She told me he isn't showing signs of behavioral problems, but that he is compelled to do things like play with the windows in the classroom. That's why she thinks he needs to be evaluated. He is extremely smart. He has known things like his colors, numbers, shapes and letters since very early on. I was amazed by it, but since he's my first I thought I just didn't know the milestones and who doesn't think their child is brilliant? Anyway. I'm in shock. Yes, I knew he was a bit different, but I never thought it could be autism. I didn't even know what ASD was begore all this, I had to research it.
How do you know for sure? What if he is gifted or sensitive, not autistic? I guess we'll have him evaluated, for sure. I want him to have every advantage in life. I'm just floored. I just don't even know what to think right now.
From what I've described, is ASD a possibility? He doesn't have major behavioral problems, yes the occasional melt down, but isn't that being a toddler? He is sensitive to loud noises, he's afraid of the hand dryers in public bathrooms, hair dryers, alarms and sirens. But he seems to be outgrowing those fears too. For example, when I showed him the "fan" in my hair dryer and that it doesn't hurt, he's no longer afraid. Thoughts? Advice? TIA.
Avatar for Cmmelissa
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Registered: 11-13-2008
Thu, 03-29-2012 - 2:45pm

Welcome to the board, ladybug :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2012
Thu, 03-29-2012 - 6:26pm
Thanks Caren and Melissa! I think I need to learn the acronyms here, I might have used them incorrectly. My son's teacher mentioned Asperger's. She said that's what her son is diagnosed with. As we were talking, my son was drinking from the water fountain. But really, he was playing. He would take a drink, then spit the water out and watch it drain, then do this over and over. His teacher pointed it out that he likes repetition, he finds it comforting.
I started reading about the signs of autism and Asperger's. One of the things mentioned is chewing. My son has chewed on his fingers since I can remember. I thought it was a habit from teething, but he still does it every once in a while. One time during a doctors visit when he was maybe 2, he chewed so hard he started bleeding. The doctor put bandages on his thumbs, but neither of us thought anything of it. I feel like I've been overlooking the signs all along. I've known he loves ceiling fans since he was a baby. I even knew it was a sign of autism in children, but didn't make the connection for my son (denial?). My husband and I would even joke that he's our little wind engineer.
Sorry to go on and on, I guess I'm still in shock. It's good to find you here, I am calling his pediatrician and talking to a therapist as well. My own therapist specializes in child psychology, so I plan to ask her about it next time I see her. Thanks for the good advice and the recommendations on doctors. I'll look into it for sure. Take care!
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Registered: 03-31-2012
Sat, 03-31-2012 - 1:33am

Sounds like Aspergers to me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2012
Sat, 03-31-2012 - 6:09pm
Yes Cole! I have to hide screw drivers. He loves them. And he loves helping me put batteries in things. I have pictures of him trying to unscrew his toys when he was younger. He concentrates so well on those tasks. He asks me about pipes too. He says they are in the walls. And he loves toilet seats of all things. I put one of his preschool drawings up on the fridge and he said "That's a toilet seat."
So I have a question for anyone with an older child. If this is Aspergers, how difficult does it make things for them socially? Do they get along ok? Do they get picked on? I worry about that, even though I know any child can go through something like that and we can't shelter them from everything. But now I'm so worried! I keep wondering if he will lead a "normal" life? Go to college, get married, have kids? I think we all imagine how our kids lives will be. I tell myself there are no guarantees in life. Even as a person without disabilities you never know how things will turn out.
I think I'm getting ahead if myself! I need to take this one step at a time.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2010
Mon, 04-02-2012 - 11:50am
My son was diagnosed by a physician when brought in for ADHD treatment.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2012
Mon, 04-02-2012 - 3:20pm
I talked to my therapist today. She said Aspergers means you have a very intelligent child who may not be interested in socializing. She said it's under the autism umbrella, but is very different. She told me not to stress, but to have him evaluated. So, I plan to call the pediatrician for an appointment.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2009
Mon, 04-02-2012 - 4:49pm

Hi!

One of the big hallmarks that clinically differentiates autism from asperger's is speech -- was speech delayed? I don't have the DSM handy right now, but when it comes to a diagnosis, that's usually considered. I don't always see it played out that way though when it comes to kids with the labels themselves, so I don't think it's always consistent; I know friends whose kids were labeled autistic at three and then suddenly at 9 are labeled aspergers. I was always told that you're either one or the other, you don't really change, because either your speech was delayed or it wasn't. (I had one doctor tell me that my high-functioning son's autism was asperger's...yet he still had delayed speech. Go figure. The rest were all autism.)

My son's speech was very delayed -- but he eventually started talking in full sentences with big words. Still, he received an autism dx and has it now as well. Just something else to consider when seeking help! If you're ever uncomfortable with what a professional tells you, consider a second opinion. (My husband had major, major denial...so we sought several second/third/fourth opinions. Same thing, different day.)

So awesome to see so many people jump in with suggestions and support! I love the autism community! Thanks to you all!

Lily

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2012
Mon, 04-02-2012 - 7:26pm
Thanks Lily. You all have been great! My son doesn't have a speech delay. I have a journal of his first words starting around 5 months old with mama, dada and ball. :) He seems very smart to me, he recognized colors, shapes, letters and numbers starting very young. Aspergers sounds like a challenge, if he does have it. In my opinion, there is no "normal" in life. We just make the most of what we're given. But sometimes that's easier said than done.