I always knew....now how do we begin?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2005
I always knew....now how do we begin?
Thu, 07-05-2007 - 9:20pm

I don't think if this is the exact board that I should be posting on, but I know I'm close.

I'm finally figuring out that my son has some form of mild autism. He is 7, but I knew this 3 yrs ago after reading a book at Barnes and Noble. At the time, I felt silly and thought I was over-reacting, etc.

Let me start with today .... We just finished 2 weeks worth of swim lessons. He cried every day we went there (sometimes in front of the other kids who are all younger than him).The teacher (who used to be a firefighter) VERY loudly called out my name yesterday and said something is wrong with him. OK, it wasn't worded just like that. He said my son can swim, but is experiencing great anxiety and asked if he's experienced some sort of trauma. He then said this wasn't "right" and needed to get it checked out. It just so happends that I was sitting next to a lady whose child has Autism. She recalled that I mentioned my son being a great (and comfortable) swimmer on his back, yet he panics on his front. We then talked further and she discussed her son's disorder, Sensory Integration Disorder, etc.

I know he must have this and something else going on. I knew and now I really know.

Bare with me as I work this out (hopefully I don't ramble too much!).He walked very late (18 months). 2 weeks after learning to walk, he was able to identify and say his ABC's. He loved reading license plates! By 2 1/2 yrs or so he could read and identify the presidents of the US. At 3 he could identify classical composers and the era in which they wrote, as well as states,capitols and countries. Such a smart boy! He'd perfectly line up his Hot Wheels too!

However, he always resisted doing anything physically daring (climbing stairs, or a ladder, going down slides and so on). Once when he was 3 he got "stuck" up in one of those playland climbing things at Chick-Fil-A. He was bawling and a teen girl pulled him out. Even now at age 7, he very carefully walks down stairs and really freaks (even cries) if I make him go down the escalator at Disneyland (a very high escalator).

He has always shaken his head back and forth (usually while riding in the car) and he now mostly flaps his hands back and forth and jumps up and down when exicted. He is easily excited by stimuli and will make loud sounds. He'll also make a loud sounds here and there in the middle of class for no reason.

In preschool I'd walk into his class and he'd be playing alone or looking at the ABC chart in the corner while the other kids played. We started him in Kindergarten when he was 4 yrs old. I know, we should have waited, but the kid was talking about countries and classical music!! HIs teacher would say he doesn't always do ask she asks. She said it wasn't really disobeying...she couldn't put her finger on it. In 1st grade the teacher mentioned the hand flapping. We thought maybe he was so smart, he was just quirky. His teachers also say he is VERY immature.

But after talking with his teacher I did a little research and re-read some info on Aspergers. I mentioned it to his Dr. (head of pediatrics)He immediately dismissed it and said all kids have some sort of quirly habit(he said most pick their noses).

He prefers to play with younger kids and this really bothers me. When I take him to a friend's house, he'll play with the 3/4 yr old sibing while the 7/8 yr old kid is left standing there.

We placed him in basketball, where they said he belonged with the younger age kids. Even then, he didn't excel and acted very young. He hated the entire experience. Gymnastics was a challenge as well.

The thing is, he's very, very intelligent. He makes witty, brilliant jokes that are on an adult level. He reads at a higher level too.

We always knew he was different, but we've pushed him to do many things so he'll blend and actually enjoy life. I don't know that he'll ever enjoy sports, but he does now ride his bike and scooter and is VERY good at it.

We don't want him to be labeled and worry about the school getting involved (not quite sure why). So, does this sounds like some form of Autism? Should we go to a Dr. or the school districy for testing? Where do we begin?

DH and I are loaded with guilt today. We remember taking him to the beach and him being terrified of waves...of screaming while learing to ride his bike and pushing him to do a million other things that must have terrified him. We always wanted him to "act like a big kid" and get over it.

He's the neatest boy and I just would do anything for him. What do I do now?

If you've gotten this far, thanks. :)


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Thu, 07-05-2007 - 10:49pm

I think you're absolutely on the right track with wanting to get him tested for Asperger's. He sounds quite classic to me. I think your doctor either wasn't listening to you and/or isn't well-enough versed in autism spectrum disorders.

What finally worked for getting our pediatrician to listen to my concerns was when I wrote a multi-page letter chronicling examples of my kids' behavior. She looked it over and said, "get them tested for developmental delays." It wasn't until I had her full, undivided attention (via the written letter) and she could see my semi-comprehensive list of types of behaviors my kids were exhibiting that she could see something was wrong.

I think the message you posted here is quite descriptive. Copy it and add any other behavioral examples you can think of and send it in writing to your pediatrician. If he still dismisses your concerns, seek out another pediatrician and/or look to a specialist for an evaluation. You can look for a neurologist, neuropsychologist, psychologist that specializes in autism, etc. My kids were evaluated by a team of doctors at our local Children's Hospital's neuropyschological dept.

This is a fantastic board for getting your questions answered. Everyone is super supportive and tremendously helpful and has been the biggest blessing to my family!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2006
Fri, 07-06-2007 - 2:01am

Oh wow!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Fri, 07-06-2007 - 11:05am

hello and welcome to the board,

I don't know if you have come to the 'right'


visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Fri, 07-06-2007 - 7:16pm
I knew there were people smarter than me! I always forget about getting an eval through the school district since our school balked at doing an eval for us, and I wasn't smart enough to push them to do it at that time. We were fortunate that by the time I pushed for evaluations that our insurance was awesome and paid 100% of everything at Children's Hospital.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2004
Sat, 07-07-2007 - 2:55pm

Welcome to the group! It sounds like you've gotten lots of good info. so far. This is such a great group for advice and venting. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

Amy~mom to Natalie (10 yrs.) and Lily (4.5 yrs, PDD-NOS, Sensenbrenner Syndrome)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2007
Sun, 07-08-2007 - 12:27am

Goodness, your ds sounds likke a classic Aspie to me (aspergers). The memorisation, fear of the ocean and waves (both my boys, in fact ds #2 refused to go near the sea al week on vacation last week), the hand flapping, head shaking etc.

Now as to the school "lebelling" him or getting involved my view is "LET THEM", as they will pay for testing and my ds having that label gets him so many services and supports. Basically without the label he'd be a wreak at school.

If you want to avoid the school for now you can cotact a developmental ped or neuropsychologist and they can help you understand all this more.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2005
Tue, 07-10-2007 - 12:32am

Thank you all so much for the responses and support. I don't know how long it will take to get a diagnosis, but I'll be reading these boards and studying up in the meantime.

Thanks :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
Tue, 07-10-2007 - 10:05am

Hi and I also want to welcome you to this board.

You don't mention any difficulties at school beyond the teachers referring to him as immature, and that is great. Our kids can have more and more difficulty in school as they get older, the structure gets looser and the demands, esp. social, get higher. Your ds may never have actual trouble with schoolwork, mine doesn't, but the school is responsible for helping out with more than just academics. Also, if your son has strong sensory issues, those really may interfere more with his ability to learn in a classroom as he gets older. You may want to have an OT eval for sensory issues done by the school. It is, of course, a personal decision whether or not you want the school to know, but labels really mean nothing, getting a child what he needs to succeed and learn is all this is about. And any person who sees a label instead of the child is not someone you want working with your child.

Anyways, I just wanted to add anything I could. In many ways, finding out exactly what goes on with my son and getting professional help has made the biggest difference for my dh and I in terms of understanding and then being able to come up with a plan of action to support him and help him grow.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2005
Tue, 07-10-2007 - 4:38pm

Thanks Sarah! This is all so new and have yet to hear back from the social worker. She is the ONLY S.W. (with this organization) for two large counties here in CA. It's going to be a while.

The only other difficulty he has at school is that it takes him forever to complete his work. He is last for everything (even eating his lunch).

I'd love to read more about teens and adults with Asperger's. Very interesting.

Thanks for the welcome! :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 10:05pm

Welcome to the board!

I see you've got some great responses.

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