Autism and ds 3.3

(20 Posts)

Wasn't sure where to put this or in fact what I'm asking really...

My ds, 3.3 is quirky, that's the word everyone uses to describe him. About a year ago I raised my concerns with nursery (he is there 2 days a week), re possible autistic tendencies. They agreed and arranged for someone to come in and observe him. The only real things the assessment? showed were difficulties socially. They have been working on this.

Today one of the nursery workers said the assessor was in nursery for another child and they asking her to have a quick look at ds, less worries now but she will come back for a proper assessment in a few months.

All fine, except she then said the assessor can't make a diagnosis and if we are concerned we need to see the gp for a proper referral. I said I wasn't concerned, but now I'm worried I should be. She also said the assessor can/will fill in a caf form so they can get a ta in for support.

I just feel like there are really mixed messages as on the one hand they are saying he's just quirky and lots of the things we were worried about eg speech, wanting everything his own way etc have improved massively, but on the other they are saying he'll have a caf and support.

I don't know whether to be concerned or not? I don't want to set him down a path if his oddities are within the relms of normal, but if he needs support I want to make sure he has it. He just seems so young when the spectrum of what's 'normal' is so broad.

I know I should have asked more this morning but I was a bit surprised and this was a conversation at drop off with other parents milling about so didn't feel appropriate. Please don't think this is about me denying any problems, I'm just worried he's going to be unnecessarily pigeon holed, or maybe it is necessary??? Argh.

The only real concerns I have is that he isn't interested in interacting with other children, though he will with adults, whether he knows them or not. And he will often completely ignore you if he doesn't like a question. He is very quick to form habits too but there is no massive trauma if we don't stick to them, there used to be but he will accept he can't have everything his way now .

Like I said, not sure what I'm asking really. Just needed to get it down. Sorry for the epic post!

Does anyone have any ideas how I can improve his social skills with other children? At the moment he just isn't interested in children, doesn't interact at all. Will with adults though. He is a nursery 2 days and with my dm 3 days as I work full time so difficult for me to get him to playgroups etc as there aren't any at weekends, I've looked.

Anyone?

lilyaldrin Thu 06-Feb-14 20:35:32

Sounds like you need a proper meeting with the nursery SENCO to see exactly what the issues are and what he needs support with - I'd want to know exactly who the assessor is (SALT maybe?) and what their qualifications are and what recommendations they've made too.

sewingandcakes Thu 06-Feb-14 20:41:13

I would accept any help they can give him, even if you have doubts about the necessity of support. You're right that at this age there is a wide range of behaviour considered normal, and with help socially could be all he needs.

Perhaps whatever support he gets could be targeted at social communication?

I agree I need to find out a bit more from nursery. I think it might be useful for me to try and observe him actually at nursery too to see his interaction myself, not that I'm any kind of expert but it might highlight any difficulties etc a bit more to me.

I know nursery are trying to encourage interaction with other children, but how can you really do this other than putting him in the situation of being with other children. If he doesnt want to communicate with them then you can't make him can you.

I know I need to support this more myself, but with only having the weekends when everyone else is having family time its difficult to arrnage playdates etc. We do try to take him to places where there will be other children, soft play, swimming etc but its difficult to know whether his lack of interaction is just because he doesnt know these children. He's been at nursery for over 2 years now so should know those children very well and if he wont interact with them then hes not going to anywhere is he?

Many of the worries we had re asd have gone as he has got older and Im wondering if he is just slow to develop in lots of ways ( a problem in itself I suppose) and that these social skills will also improve with time. But equally I worry about him going to school if they havent improved in the next 18 months ish dand really struggling.

Also had his hearing tested again yesterday and he has mild hearing loss in both ears (glue ear) and so this could explain some issues, though not really the difference in communicating with children/adults.

Sorry for the waffle, feeling pretty stressed.

sewingandcakes Thu 06-Feb-14 23:00:37

Must be really difficult for you. It's good that support may be available though, and it's still early days at his age.

Ds1, who is now 8, has been struggling within a school environment since he was 5, and is only now getting close to being assessed for what we think is ASD. It's been a long few years of denial/acceptance/realisation of us having to be advocates for him.

Definitely go into nursery and have a chat in private with them, maybe while ds is not there too. Observing him yourself would be useful as you suggested. It may be just a developmental difference that he grows out of.

Honeysweet Fri 07-Feb-14 10:18:32

I saw your other thread.
I dont know much about special needs, but wanted to comment.

Does he have siblings or cousins? Does he interact with any children at all?

What does he do when he doesnt get his own way at home?

I only really have questions not answers, but thought questions may help? Plus bumping this might well help you too.

Thanks, questions are good. He doesn't have any siblings though I'm about 6 weeks pregnant so will hopefully. We have no close children in the family. He does see other children, obviously at nursery. We try to do an activity at the weekend where there will be other children although not ones he knows. And less often we are able to arrange a one to one type play date. There is one girl the same age he seems to interact with more, I think that's because she is very verbal and to him seems like an adult!

At home if he doesn't get his own way he has a little winge and we can distract with no tantrums. He used to have a tantrum but rarely now. If we ask him to do something he doesn't want to do he tends to ignore so I start counting to 3, I rarely get to 3, if I do he goes on the naughty step. Maybe once every 2 weeks or so now we have to use the naughty step.

Honeysweet Fri 07-Feb-14 16:27:43

Does he do pretend play much?

Not off his own back. If you encourage him to say make a cup of tea with his teaset he will a bit but he never just pretends to be a train or a dragon or whatever.

ouryve Fri 07-Feb-14 21:20:51

Sorry, just spotted your thread. SN Children tends to be a lot busier.

The way they can help to improve social interaction is to have him work in small groups, with one or a few other children, with a structured activity eg a game where each child takes a turn or they're all doing something similar and a TA can stimulate discussion about the task. So it's a bit more deliberate than just putting him with a bunch of other kids.

Frusso Fri 07-Feb-14 21:34:21

A hearing loss can present as ASD type tendencies. And explain his preference to adults, as adults will usually speak directly to him, are easier to lip-read as speech and pronunciation is clearer.
The ndcs can advises on how to encourage social skills and getting your nursery to be deaf aware.

Honeysweet Fri 07-Feb-14 21:57:06

I am wondering if he is super bright and therefore finds young children who dont talk much, boring?

Honeysweet Fri 07-Feb-14 21:57:31

And pretend play boring too.

Not sure about super bright! He was quite behind with his speech and early with number recognition/counting. Both things which worried us and nursery with regards to asd.

They are def doing the small group thing, it's just not something that's easy for us to replicate and I feel I should be doing more to help, not just leaving it all to nursery.

The hearing thing could be more of a problem than I realise, I hadn't thought about the differences in how adults and children talk really. I know he doesn't like noisy, busy environments, or noises like the Hoover or hand drier, all things that could be normal, linked to the hearing loss or asd tendencies. He has another hearing test in a couple of months as he did have a cold this week, if it's still down I think I will ask about hearing aids. I must talk to nursery more about this.

ouryve Fri 07-Feb-14 22:43:55

It may also be that auditory discrimination is a problem for him - that makes keeping up with a conversation or other interaction in a busy room very difficult.

The strong reaction to strong noises is a sensory processing difficulty which can be present with or without ASD.

KT12 Sat 08-Feb-14 08:59:38

If he was behind in speech and lang development, has he been seen by the Speech and Lang Therapist - who could carry out an assessment focussing on social communication.

sewingandcakes Sun 09-Feb-14 12:18:01

Congratulations and fingers crossed about your pregnancy!

He's with other children a lot at nursery, so maybe you don't need to be too concerned about finding social activities for him at home. You could work on his imaginative play and to some extent, his social communication, at home. How is he with expressing emotions and showing empathy?

He did see a salt about a year ago ish ? but they weren't concerned about his speech, and we aren't now. Though to be fair we didn't ask anything about the social side of things then, it was the lack of vocab we were bothered about.

He does show empathy, if an adult says I'm sad or pretend to cry he comes straight up and hugs and kisses them. He's very tactile and loving. Will kiss it better if you hurt something. Not sure how he acts if another child cries though.

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