New here...don't know if I belong

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Registered: 05-23-2006
New here...don't know if I belong
6
Tue, 05-23-2006 - 11:06am

I found out about Asperger's by accident...but everything I've read about it describes my DS (8YO) to a T! He's had problems at school (suspended 3X in two years), he's a "problem child" with "permissive parents" (so we are so often told). He does many of the inappropratie things I've read on this board. From the beginning I've said he totally lacks any empathy...like the whole family could disapper and he could care less (many sleepless and tear-filled nights).

He's seen 4 therapists (one who blamed me for my son's behavior, one who said that yuppies thought children were just fancy pets). We are just starting the process at school to have him evaluated. He did the Gifted testing last year (first time for a 1st grader) and has a 126 IQ (130 is gifted). He told me "the test was boring so I started saying 'I don't know' so I could leave."

When I started reading about Asperger's I called his current therapist and she said that it's just another fancy label like ADD. But I don't think so! AND...quite frankly...I'd rather he be labeled as having Asperger's than, "Bad, rude, defiant, bully" etc.

He has an obsessive nature about different things (currently mythology), reads at a 5th grade level (mostly nonfiction or fantasy), can be the sweetest most charming boy around adults but refuses to engage in any activities with his peers. He does play very well with his 6yo sister but "hates her" and "wishes she would go away". When he chooses...he can compete his homework in minutes or in hours...with long, exhausting, angry tantrums that way exceed the two math problems that I KNOW he can answer.

So...how do I deal with a therapist who doesn't seem interested in labeling him and a school who wants to say he's ADD and ODD (NOT ADD, he is oppositional but not to how they describe it). The school seems very quick to get hime out (which is why I'm pushing for the testing---if he gets an IEP, they have to work with him).

He doesn't have some of the "ticks" that get describedwith Asperger's, but he CONSTANTLY picks his finger nails...they are tiny stubs and he does it ALL the time.

Any advice would be appreciated. I feel like I shouldn't "join" any groups because he hasn't been diagnosed, but at the same time, I feel like there are easier diagnoses that the school will provide. They are very much of the mindset that my husband and I are excessively permissive...and my parents say we are excessively strict (so we must be just right). We don't see some of the behaviors that the school sees, but we set very clear rules and NEVER give him any breaks or he IMMEDIATELY takes advantage. I actually punished him with losing Halloween one year and he could have cared less...didn't act like it bothered him in the slightest.

Thanks so much!!!

somegraphx (Erin, 6YO, Sean 8YO)

Somegraphx

Sean 2/8/98
Erin 1/26/00
EDD for #3 4/9/08

Avatar for littleroses
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Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 05-23-2006 - 11:33am

delete




Edited 2/19/2008 7:18 pm ET by littleroses
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-23-2006 - 3:35pm

Hi and Welcome.....your guy sounds a lot like mine......my guy (Vaughn) just turned 8 and is in the second grade. He was just diagnosed in December 2005.....although we started having "behavior issues" from the moment he walked into preschool (he was kicked out of his first preschool after 2.5 months). Like you, I was told I was overly permissive, spoiling him......one preschool teacher (at the school he was kicked out of) told me that he was deeply mentally disturbed.....another said he was a bad kid with bad parents.....He has recently been suspended (for biting his guidance counselor) and he is described as being very compassionate but lacking empathy.....

I agree with Littleroses......find another therapist for him. My son's therapist was actually the first person who ever mentioned to me that my son should get evaluated to rule out aspergers/pdd......I am soooo thankful to her......the first person to ever mention that his behavior is not my fault. So needless to say, my son's diagnosis was actually a relief to me (along with a whole host of other emotions).

I got a diagnosis from outside of the school first and then pushed for them (the school) to evaluate him and get him some services/modifications/accommodations through an IEP. If you are looking for an outside diagnosis, look for a Developmental Pediatrician, Neuropsychologist or Pediatric Neurologist (at least, those were the options recommended to me by my son's pediatrician).

Good luck, stick around......it's a nice group of very supportive, kind, slightly nutty moms who are devoted to helping our kids navigate through life....

Christie (mom to two boys in Ohio)

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Registered: 10-03-2004
Tue, 05-23-2006 - 7:35pm

Yes, your boy does sound very familiar, and ADD plus ODD seems to be a common mistaken dx for ASD kids that schools and even doctors (not good evaluators) often make. Which does NOT help the ASD kids, because all those dx'es are treated differently. So, yes, I think it would be a very good idea to look for specialist to do a thorough evaluatiuon, someone with an extensive background in diagnosing PDDs, a pediatric neuropsychologist is probably the very best way to go.

And I would so get rid of that therapist, what an uninformed thing to say, and in this day and age, borderline malpractise. IMHO. new therapist, new therapist... Unless she is doing some good things for him currently, he will need support and as much consistency as he can get while you figure all this out. Maybe look for new therapist after you have been able to get dx, set him up with enough support in school, etc.

And that school is going to have to get with it. He definitely will need an IEP, Unless they want him to, what, drop out? He's legally too young,,,. You can write your school immediately to get their testing on the ball, they HAVE to do their own testing anyways when you request it. Actually it is not a good sign that THEY didn't know they should test him way sooner than now. You should mention all areas of suspected disability that they should test when you write your request for eval. They have 60 days from your request to complete the testing, which may put them into the Fall, but hopefully this school district will want to help, figure out what's what?

I would ALSO do an outside evaluation if you can, school evals are seldom thorough enough, and they have to consider results of outside evals when working on creating an IEP. The information we have gotten from our son's evaluations has been invaluable in making decisions about his education and therapies.

If your son is on the spectrum, he will have to be taught many things that most kids learn on their own. This does not mean your ds CAN'T learn, however, but it will also mean that he really does not currently have control of his reactions and that these myriad difficulties and behavior problems are caused by a disability! Not bad parenting or even mental illness. And there are specific ways to treat this disorder, assist the child in areas of the disability.

Welcome to the board. Do let us know if there is any way we can help you.

yours,

Sara
mother to Malcolm, age 8, PDD-NOS

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Registered: 06-25-2003
Tue, 05-23-2006 - 7:48pm

somegraphx,

Hello and welcome to the board. We don't care if your son has a diagnosis, and what it might be. We will never exclude anyone for not having a diagnosis or asking too many questions. That stuff isn't important. What is important is having a safe and nonjudgemental place to rant and vent if needed, finding answers, helping our kids and supporting each other. So if you are up for any of that; come on in, pull up a chair and grab soem cyber hot chocolate or a glass of wine.

I notice your kids have some fine Irish names. I am Paula, originally from Ireland, but now living on Long Island. My kids are Siobhan, 6 and Peter, almost 8. Peter is High-functioning Autistic (HFA) and Siobhan is officially 'at risk for Aspergers Syndrome", How's that for a non-diagnosis? (lol), I myself had ADHD and SID, so we have a lot of bases covered right here.

I agree with the others about that ditching that therapist. Try to find someone who specialises in Autistic Spectrum Disorders. (aka Pervasive Developmental Disorders). That someone should be able to cut straight to the chase, evaluate Sean proplerly, and tell you if you are dealing with a Spectrum disorder or not. Another option is to take Sean to a to a pediatric neuropsychologist for a full evalaiution. This usually megaexpensive ($1,800-$4,500 depending) and not often not covered by insurance, but it is one of the first pieces of advice we give to newbies.

The other big pieces of advice is to trust your gut and do as much learning and research as you possibly can.

...and try to hang on to your sense of humor ;)

-Paula

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-24-2006 - 2:09pm

Hi somegraphx,


Just adding my welcome.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Wed, 05-24-2006 - 4:20pm

Welcome. You have some great advice already given it you. Even though, the school might do the testing, I would *strongly* recommend getting one your own. When the school did eval on my son, he got "possible and probable asperger" and was yet not elligible for IEP. On the same day, we had our outside eval and when that report came in, the school immediately setup an IEP for us.
We have been in your shoes too many times. So don't feel bad about the "bad parenting" comment.

take care and hopefully you will finish the eval in summer so you are ready for coming school year.

- Anandhi