New here and confused....sorry long

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-11-2003
New here and confused....sorry long
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 8:48am

My name is Christine. I am a custodial stepmom to a 10 year old boy. We have had problems with him since preschool. But as he got older, problems got bigger and more noticable.

I have also suspected ADD, and the schools would say no..that he is just depressed cause of his mom living in another state, which I believe he is, but there is more to this. It has been 4 years since my son has lived here with us. He see's his mom twice a year, we live in MA and she lives in CA. He does live in a stable home and enviroment. He also has two other siblings here at home, 4 year old sister and a 2 year old brother.

When I started on the ADD boards, everyone keep bringing up this AS.

Let me tell you a little about him.

He is in 5th grade, very smart child. He is exceled in reading and the science. Wants to be an a scientist. His attention spam is very short, unless it is the computer. If he is watching TV, he is rolling all over the place, he will roll down the hallway to his bedroom, rather than walking, he will slide down the stairs on his butt rather than walking. He stares at walls and tables, he will walk around the house in circles. My child is weird. I hate to say it, but he is. He does thing so out of the norm that it is bothering. He will say things that make no sense, he will intrude in a adult conversation, if it is with peers, he has no intrest. He would rather play by himslef than with kids his own age. He has one friend and that is all. The kids try to be nice to him, but my son aslo acts as though he can not be bothered. We have to literally push him out the door on nice days just so he can go outside. He will sit in his room and read for hours, even sit in the dark and read, he always has a book on hand, even walking home from the bus stop, which means he is not socializing on the bus. I have watched him recess before, hiding of course and I find him always by himself reading or staring at the trees or walking around with his head down, or just doing these weird moves by himself, like he is in his own little world.

I call my child the faceless child. He hardly has a smile on his face, and when ever you talk to him he just stares at you.. We call it the deer in the headlights look. But he never heard what you said. He has a side to him that most see, IE school and they look at him as this sensitive very caring and compasonte child, and with a blink of an eye he is tripping his 4 year old sister, pushing her on the ground, Lying,,,lying straight thru his teeth. I don't beleive anything he says anymore...that is very hard for me. I have to search him before he leaves for school in the morning. He will load his pockets with coins, action figures, things like tape, or these paper things he cuts out. He is a very artistic child, loves to draw. We are seeing a new dr now, he is on paxil that his old dr put him on for depression, but I think there is more to this. Does any of this sound familier?

I forgot to also add, that my child has no motor skills what so ever. He can barley run, has no motivation for any kind of excerise what so ever. We tried Karate and he could not get it, we tried soccer but since he could not run, they put him goal where he ended up picking the net and a goal would be scored. He is very clumsy. He is a tall lanky child with no sense of direction either.

Saw the new Dr again tonight and he is actually the one who mention Aspergers to me..I was shocked. He suggested to have a neuro psych and projective testing done. Has anyone been thru this with their child?

The school has also sent me the report from the testing they did and here is some of what was said and the resluts.

The test is called WHISK for short ( Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) is the test. I am just going to sum of some of this and not sure what any of this means. Now you also have to understand that his 4th grade teacher and his school counslor told me I was wasting the schools time if I had a full core elevuation by the school. They keep telling me that he was just depressed and that was it.

In this report the Psychologist said that has a quick sense of humor. He said he is very open about his feelings, ( which he is not at home ). B told him he has a great deal of sensetivity towards others, and he worries a considerable amount whether family members will be okay ( his mother). He stated he had many intrestes, none of which are sport related. Said B has a good understanding of his learning style. He knows word retrieval is difficult, and he struggled with reading comprehension where there are time constraints. His head is very close to the page when he is writing. B often expected that new tasks would be diffcult and he put pressure on himself. He sets a high standard for himself.

With some visual material, he tried to be very systmatic which resulted in his sometimes needing extra time for task completion. Results appear to be an accurate estimate of his potential.

Ok on the ADHD scale, we see a whole different side of Brannont than the school reports, but did state that his teacher has only had him for two weeks so far. But the school has fought me every freaking year on this.

The score for his Wisc-III are this

Verbal(VIQ) is= 113

Performance ( PIQ) =102

B perfomed significantly better on verbal than nonverbal reasoning task. Such differences in performaces however are not especially unusual among children in general.

His verbal reasoning abilities are high average and above those of approx 81% of his peers. His nonverabl reasoning abilities are average and above those of approx 55% of students B's age.

B's abilities to sustain attention, concentrate and exert mental control are less well developed than his verbal reasoniong abilites. A realtive weakness in mental control for B may make the processing of complex information more time consuming for him, drain his mental energies more quickly as compared to other children his age, and perhaps result in more frequent errors on a varitiy of learning tasks.

Although clearly weaker than his verbal reasoning ablilites, B abiltiy to exert mental control is still within the average range and better than that of approx 45% of his age mates. He does become easily distracted by his own thoughts adn worries sometimes make it difficult to concerntrate. B also stated that he sometimes has "down days" for no apparent reason. He stated that he gets upset that one of his specialist teachers seems sad, and he feels badly that friend of his left school without ever saying goodbye. Brannon's speed of information processing ablilties are still within the avereage range and better than those of approx 39% of his age mates.

B's demostrated some word-retrieval diffuculties, which he finds to be very frustrating. He also did't feel comfortable with some social reasoning questions, He is very attuned to other's feelings. B does a great deal of worrying, which probably affects his foucus. He is a very caring sentstive boy. ADHD rating scales are incolcusive. B behavoir looks different in home and in school settings. Some of what looks like attentional issues might be related to some anxiety and other concerns.

I don't know what to make of any of this. The impression I am getting is that B is depressed and that there are not "real" problems here.

This is so hard for me to hear cause I see everyday, I see and hear the things he says. The school just passes him off as any other child and that is what bugs me the most. Can anyone help me in this...

Brannon scored a 86% on verbal comprehension

Freedome of Distracitibility he scored at 45%

Processing Speed he scored at 39%

Information he scored a 98%

Vocabulary he scored a 95%

Similarities he scored at 75%

Arithmetic he scored at 50%

Comprehension he scored at 25%

Digit Span he scored at 37%

Picture Completion he scored at 63%

Coding he scored at 16%

Picture Arrangement he scored at 50%

Block desgin he scored at 75%

Object Assemebly he scored at 63%

Symbol search he scored at 63%

Now I was told that there are big differces in percentages in Vocab and Comprehension. There seems a processing issues and his nonverbal is really behind. I tell you, the more and more I look at my child, the things he does and says, this test, really makes me think that is on this austic septrum. I have just faxed the test finds the Dr and than we meet next Monday to talk about them before my team meeting at school.....any thoughts on these scores. Is this typical with a child who has AS. His IQ is 113, High Average, but some of the stuff shows a huge delay.

I am sorry for this being so long, I am just pulling my hair out like crazy here..

Thanks to anyone who might be able to help. I can be emailed privatley at as well...Thanks


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 9:34am
Hi Christine,

Welcome to the board. I think you will get some answers here. There are some great people here who know a lot about this stuff.

However from me right now, you will get more questions!

I can't tell you much about the test results et al. I agree with you that there is more going on than depression, and I think the new Dr. is on the right track to finding soem answers for you. (a good dr. makes such a difference, doesn't it?).

My thoughts when reading this was that there are some sensory problems going on. Probably a lot: the rolling and poor physical ability that you described had my radar way up. Have you had him evaluated for Occupational Therapy (sensory) or Physical Therapy? I think, from your description, he would benefit from OT definitely, if not both.

You are right to try and get him involved in a sport to build muscle and self-esteem.

A good activity to try which may help build muscle and improve physical ability, but doesn't have to be social or competitive; is swimming. Does he like the pool? I might also try (if you haven't already: swimming, horse riding (expensive, unfortunately), cycling -if he can manage a bike.

Good luck, Stick around and let us know how it goes.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2003
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 9:47am
Hello. I may not be much help since I am new to this board and my girlfriends son has not been officially diagnosed. We get the run around from schools and HMO's about that too. But when a pdeiatrician suggested AS and we researched the symptons, it was as if Seth was it's poster child.

Seth is eleven and in 6th grade in the gifted and talented class. Like your son he will read constantly, but only Harry Potter or Star trek. AS children seem to become fixated by one or two things that will take most of their attention. Seth can tell you everything there is to know about star trek and harry potter and will do so for hours on end if you let him. He is also big into Video games, mostly star trek ones and he has considerable knowledge about computers for a child his age. I believe his IQ is around 130+. Though he reads constently he almost failed reading class because he could not remember to write down what he read and hand it in. Like your son he has one friend, the other kids think he is ecentric and from what they see of his behavior I can't blame them. Seth was originally diagnosed with ADHD and has been medicated for that, but he certainly has that also. Like your son, he will walk in circles around the room, especially if he is telling you something or talking on the phone or is just bored. He also makes certain hand motions when he does this and at times will pick up something from the table and carry it around and then put it back down someplace else. If I ask him why he did that, he seldoms remembers even picking up the item. If he does remember he has no idea why. Everyday when he gets ready for school it is like we are doing it for the first time. You have to tell him each step or he will go in his room and get on the computer or start reading. He is verbally way above his peers and talks more like a character from a dickens novel than like an 11 year old boy, yet he does not use language properly. By that I mean everytime he talks it is more of a demand or has an attacking tone in his voice, such as waking up and coming into the living room and stating "feed me", as if we were his underlings. He does not seem to have a concept of adult child and thinks we are equals. Every suggestion you make to him or if you try and correct him he will bite your head off. He will ask you for help with his home work but he will fight you the whole time that you are not doing it right or he doesn't want it done like that etc. Like your son, he runs in virtual slow motion. His motor skills are so poor. His hand writing is so bad that the school lets him write on an alpha smart. He can remember everything about Harry potter, but can't remember if he has homework or not the moment you pick him up at school. He will only eat about four choices of meals (aspies tend to be overly sensitive) hates loud noises and will strip down to his underwear the moment he gets in the door. He is extremely disorganized, and homework projects that require a few days of effort have to be broken down for him, otherwise he will become overwhelmed.

I saw many similarities between your son and Seth, and I saw some things that were very different, but there are many forms to this health condition. Also it is possible to be on the AS spectrum and be depressed so he may shows signs of both. Seth we believe has AS but we know his ADHD is not a misdiagnoses. Someone else here posted a very good breakdown and description of what aspergers is and hopefully they will respond to you also. I hope this post was of some help.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 9:50am

Welcome to the board Christine!

The first few paragraphs sounded like you were describing my son Tim. He is 12 and PDD. He is on medications

For years they thought he was ADHD but there seemed to be more to it than just typical adhd so

we futhered the testing. Psychologists, neurologists, more psychologists.

""when ever you talk to him he just stares at you.. We call it the deer in the headlights look. But he never heard what you said. "" This is Tim also (as with the rest of the paragraph above this statement) Does your son answer you after a few minutes of staring blankly? Tim does this and he will finally answer a question after I have already forgotten what we were talking about or the subject has already changed. He is visuallizing the words as if it was a picture or movie. He stands so still I can almost see the gears turning in his head as he is

One thing to begin with is to go back in time and find out if he had any kind of delays at a younger age before the parents split up.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 1:02pm

Hello and welcome to the board.

I will get right to my point.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 7:29pm

Hi Christine, and welcome to the board! :)

Well, it sounds like you've already gotten a lot of really good advice so far, I don't have much to add. I just wanted to give you this link and welcome you to our little community.

this is a PDD specidic intitial evaluation interview that can very accurately (in 99% of cases) determine if your child is on the PDD Spectrum or not.