Introducing myself, and some questions

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2005
Introducing myself, and some questions
4
Tue, 06-21-2005 - 3:08pm

Hi, I'm April and I have a son, Jeremy who will be 7 next month. He is a twin and has 4 other brothers and sisters. I'm not sure if I'm in the right place; I was hoping some of you could help me determine that.

Since Jeremy was born he has been 'different' but wonderful. He was a very happy baby but when he got mad, boy was he a force to deal with! His language skills developed very early, in fact he seemed to always be talking even before he could say actual words. His twin, Zac, was the more physical and Jeremy was more verbal, and we always accepted their differences and didn't push either of them. As Jeremy got older we noticed certain things that seemed a little bit different, but having had 3 kids before him, all with different personalities and abilities, we didn't worry about it much. Since birth he had always had trouble staying warm, and as he grew he became more sensitive to temperatures. If it's cool, he's freezing. If it's warm, he's burning (according to him). The same goes for everything-there are no happy mediums with him. It's like everything affects him ten times more than it does most people. Every little injury is a major wound to him. A little disappointment becomes a huge crisis. He also is very literal. If I say dinner is ready in a few minutes, he has to know exactly how many. If I say 'in a minute' he'll count 60 seconds. We have to be very specific when we are talking to him, for example I can't say 'put your shoes away and put your pajamas on' because he can't do both at once. He'll freak out. I have to tell him one thing at a time.

When he started school other things came up. He became very attached to the schedule for the day, and any variance would throw him off for the rest of the day; he would have tantrums and not understand why this day had to be different. He is brilliant, far above grade level in reading and math, with a great memory and vocabulary, but his fine motor skills are horrible. He gets very frustrated if he can't complete a writing assignment or figure something out right away and will have a complete meltdown. His relationships with other kids are very difficult also. He doesn't seem to understand other people's boundaries. He wants to have friends, but is only interested in one or 2 kids, and will chase them and get very angry if they don't want to play the games he does. During 'circle time', he could not wait his turn to speak and would cut in when the other kids were talking. He seems physically unable to be still or quiet-he talks to himself frequently and is constantly fidgeting, moving his fingers and toes. We had his hearing checked last year because he seems at times to just 'zone out'; it's like he really can't hear you. We have to say his name several times before he realizes we're talking to him. He has a rich imagination and loves to learn. He just seems to have no self-control and no sense of personal space, or of how to interact with people appropriately. After being diagnosed developmentally delayed-atypical by the people at school, and being told by his previous doctor that he just needs more time with his dad (who lives with us and spends lots of time with him), we finally got him an appointment with a developmental pediatrician, but the waiting list is so long he can't be seen until August. We made the appointment in Feb. so the waiting is getting pretty rough. I've been trying to get help for him since he was about 3 1/2. I'm not even that concerned about a diagnosis, I just want to figure out some ways to help him.

I'm really sorry this got so long. I've researched just about everything I could think of, trying to get an idea of what might be going on with my little boy, and the asperger's / pdd seems to fit him better than anything else I've come across. Since the people on this board are dealing with this, I thought you might be able to give me advice or direct me to a place that might be able to serve us better or at least let me know we'll live through this! Thanks so much for reading all this! :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-22-2005 - 9:42am

HI April,

Actually it does sound alot like Asperger's to me, though I am not a doctor and diagnosis cannot be made via the internet.

You mention having trouble getting in to see the developmental pediatrician. Other ideas are neurologists, neuropsychologists or psychologists. The school can't make a medical diagnosis, but they could perhaps do some evaluations that could also tell you is and autism spectrum disorder is a possibility.

Funny you mention the advice to have dad spend more time with him. When my Mike was not quite 4 the school (typical preschool at the time) said he needed to spend more time with me. I had just had a baby so I guess they assumed I was neglecting Mike. That one in particular really angered me.

You will live through it, lol. Sometimes, it is even enjoyable. I have 2 with AS, one borderline something and one typical. My 2 with AS are the oldest and my typical just finished 1st grade. I am finding it more of a challenge raising the typical at this time, lol. Maybe because I am used to the autistics, but it is the sneakyness and manipulation that she is learning that is tough. That and dealing with her friends, which ones are appropriate ones, which are not. When it is ok for her to go to someones house, when it isn't. With the ASer's, when they do have friends they are kids of my friends, or the nicer kids at school that kind of take them under thier wing. They mostly stay home and enjoy it that way actually.

Schools can provide support for him in school. Some schools will even provide social skills groups. You also may be able to access some services through your insurance. One thing that has been great for us is a therapist that works predominantly with ASD kids. She does social training with them and now works with them in pairs helping them make friends. Another great thing has been theraputic horsebackriding.

Contact your local autism society of america. They typically have meetings for parents and information about what is available in your area. The often have a monthly newletter too. For some reason I can't cut and paste links on my browser, but if you search "autism society of america" you should be able to get the main site and they have lists of all the local chapters on there.

Renee

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2005
Wed, 06-22-2005 - 1:17pm

Hi Renee,

Thanks so much for your help and the good information. When I was researching all these different things, I actually cried when I read up on Asperger's, because finally there was something that connected my kid to others. Even if that isn't what he has, I know that he there are other kids who have similar behaviors and he isn't alone.

It's funny what you said about raising typical kids being harder. With Jeremy being in the middle of 6 very different kids, I've never felt that he was harder than the others in general, he just had his own challenges like all the others do. Having a kid who lives to watch a timer count down can be a piece of cake compared to dealing with the hormonal adolescent and the bossy toddler. The hard part is the waiting, the trying to find things that will make his life easier. I'll definitely look into the autism society and that will give me a good start.

Thanks again-you really made me feel a lot better.

April

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2004
Thu, 06-23-2005 - 7:45pm

Hi April!

Just wanted to welcome you to the board!! Wow!! Six...you must be exhausted??!!! LOL
I only have 2....my oldest is NT and my youngest is HFA. And even though they're both boys, they've always been a bit different. I just assumed they had different personalities. It never dawned on me that my youngest was autistic!! I'm different than my sister and my brother, so I never expected my two to be alike. But the differences just seemed to be more different as time went on, if you know what I mean!!

I think, having one of each, they're BOTH CHALLENGING!!! They both have their own little way of doing things and their own way of irritating mom!!! LOL That's pretty much how I look at it!! They just have their own way....and I've just learned that I have to work with...and teach ....each of them differently. They have different weaknesses and different strengths, they kind of balance each other out sometimes!!! LOL

Michelle

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2005
Mon, 06-27-2005 - 5:00pm

Hi Michelle,

I know exactly what you mean. The normal differences turned into much bigger differences as he grew.

Jeremy is the only one of my six who has these particular difficulties, all the others are just 'normal' kids (whatever that means, none of mine are normal! LOL) and some days I'd rather have 6 possibly PDD Jeremys than his one of his supposedly normal, crazy hormonal sister! They *all* have their days, and I have to say out of the six Jeremy is the sweetest, when he is being sweet.