Possible autism(37 Posts)
Hi, is it possible to be slightly autistic. I'm worried about my son, he is 7. He's got an obsession with the weather, and dates and times. He also hates getting his haircut and is very fussy with food. Apart from all this, he is a very loving little boy and loves kisses and cuddles, has plenty of friends at school, and is a member of a gymnastics club, which he loves. Just wondered if there was the possibility that there was something lingering, or am I just being paranoid??!! Thanks for any advice!
You either have autism or you do not. Some people are more impacted by it than others, but we all meet the same diagnostic criteria.
Do you have experience with autism, would appreciate any advice.
You need to consider just how much any “quirks” impact on his everyday life.
Does his obsession mean that other potential interests are excluded? Does a haircut cause extreme distress and a meltdown for possibly hours? Is his diet extremely restricted?
It’s possible to have personality quirks without having autism. My daughter has asd.
My daughter has ASD (diagnosed). She's only 3.5. She however doesn't present classically. She's affected in different environments, and presents entirely differently at preschool than she does at home.
You can't be 'a bit autistic'.
You either are or you aren't but it is a spectrum and some people are much more severely affected than others. Some people are quite literally disabled and unable to function day to day without 1-1 support. Some people are non verbal. Others - like my DD - have some funny quirks and just need a bit of a helping hand with some things.
It is not possible to be slightly autistic. A person can display traits that are often associated with autism such as a versions to specific textures, obsessive interests, a dislike of experiences like haircuts but these alone don't mean some is autistic. Autism is a difference in neurodevelopment rather than a set of personality traits, there is some good information here that might help you:
As an aside my two autistic children love kisses and cuddles, are both affectionate, one goes to a coding club and the other goes to art club.
When I say my dd doesn't present classically I mean that similarly to your little boy she does have issues such as problems with eye contact, physical affection etc. She doesn't flap or rock or spin (stimming). If you saw her in the street you'd not realise shes not NT. She doesn't 'look' autistic. I mean no offence to anyone by saying that; I'm just trying to illustrate my point.
She still is.
Some people are quite literally disabled
Autism is is a disability therefore all autistic people are, by definition, disabled even though the degree of disability will vary.
Lots of kids get obsessed with things and have liked and dislikes. Autism is a massive box ticking exercise to get a diagnosis and takes a long time. Im not sure liking weather but not haircuts is a huge red flag to be honest
I haven't actually taken him to the barber for 2 years, it got so bad that I ended up doing it at home myself and I am not a hairdresser. He will sit quite happily for me to do it, maybe I should try the barber again seeing as he is older now. I have a doctors appointment for something else, so will discuss my concerns with him.
@Venger Yes, sorry you're right. My terminology is wrong.
What I meant is that some people struggle much much more than others. My dd has ASD, and although technically this is a disability, I don't consider her disabled because she is, in the main, able to function as a NT 3 year old except for the fact that she needs more support at transitions, more time to process changes, and mixing with her peers than other children. On the other side, she goes to preschool with a little 4 year old lad who also has ASD and he is suffering many more difficulties. He cannot speak, cannot use the loo, cannot wear anything but very specific certain clothes, only eats a very limited diet, needs headphones when preschool is noisy etc. He will likely need a very high level of support throughout childhood and into adulthood. My DD will (hopefully!) not.
What I meant is that some people struggle much much more than others.
Sorry, I meant to say I knew you didn't mean to minimise autism. I was just clarifying it affects people differently but is still a disability. I've worded it badly too.
I think I understand what you’re saying OP - you’re saying is it possible to be autistic and not have some of the classic behaviours we associate with autism. If so, then the answer is yes.
My son is 4 and awaiting assessment. For a long time I knew autism was possible (his speech was and still is significantly delayed) but equally he didn’t hand flap, didn’t line up toys, didn’t have sensory issues surrounding noise or clothing or, yes, haircuts He does have traits in other areas though. I’m sure he will end up getting a diagnosis when he gets to the top of the waiting list, whenever that will be.
What you’ve described could point to autism and might warrant further thought. Do the school have any concerns?
What helped us in the early stages of seeking assessment was to look at the signs of autism and tick off which ones applied to DS along with examples (e.g., how he would behave in social situations, how he was in conversation, how he would react if x, y, or z was changed, etc). It meant we had a clear list of what our specific concerns were and helped direct referrals to the right people.
School have never mentioned anything. It's just me and my husband who have had these thoughts. I think autism is in the public eye so much more than it used to be, so any little thing that could point towards it, makes you start thinking. He doesn't have a specific routine, and is completely fine with change. His speech was delayed, he didn't start speaking words until he was 3, but now I can't shut him up! It's really just the obsessions and the eating, it takes a lot of convincing for him to try new foods, he is also still in pull ups at night.
I have 2 7yr olds with ASD. Both can present as NT but it us a huge effort for them. They are high functioning and academically able but we have to make alot if adjustments to how we live our lives on a day to day basis. They have very different ASD profiles but anxiety is a strong feature throughout with both although presents differently. If the quirks are easily manageable then fine. 8f it us having a significant impact on your lives then it's worth looking into it further. You may find as the demands at school increase the wheels start to come off as masking gets harder for them..
No, none of his behaviour affects our day to day life. On the whole, he is very well behaved although he does have the odd day where he won't do as he is told. We don't have to make any adjustments or think before we do anything, he just kind of goes with the flow.
Asd is a spectrum but they have to meet the triad of impairments to meet the diagnosis even if all are mild. Remember that having a diagnosis is actually of no consequence, all interventions are done on a needs basis not diagnosis both in school and the healthcare system. If you believe his quirks let's say are interfering negatively in his life then seek medical advice but everything you put about him is present in the wider population so if he's happy, learning etc then please don't worry. The only reason dd was diagnosed young was lack of speech, her need for interventions didn't really hit until puberty
Tbh no one on here can tell you if your DS is autistic. You have to get the ball rolling by speaking to the professionals. Mum of a 5yr old ASD darling.🙂
You may find as the demands at school increase the wheels start to come off as masking gets harder for them..
This is true for both of mine, as they've gotten older and expectations have changed both at school and out in the wider world it has gotten increasingly harder for them to cope as they haven't developed in line with their peers. DS neurologist advised that as a general rule of thumb we should deduct a third off his chronological age and this would give us an indication of what sort of social and emotional stage he is at.
I will be speaking to my GP about my concerns, Just wanted to hear opinions of other mums who have had the same experience.
Yes agree with PP, to be diagnosed it seems you need impairments in several / significant areas. So I guess it is possible to have traits, maybe in different areas, but how significantly they impact (or not) on the individual's life is what makes them autistic "or not". My DS age 3.8 has been referred to a paed in neurodevelopment, but there is a huge question mark. The referral has been driven by me, and my anxiety, although feedback from his pre school is what drove me to seek the referral (so it's not based on absolutely nothing!).
I've done a lot of research, including speaking to several mumsnetters who had children with similar traits to mine at this age. From the ones I've spoken to, very few have actually gone on to be diagnosed, although some of the mums still think their children have traits - but as they haven't impacted on their lives so far, then they haven't felt the need to seek a diagnosis.
It really has opened my eyes though to the infinite spectrum that is the autistic spectrum. And remember that when we were growing up, it wasn't commonly diagnosed at all, except for in people who were so severely affected. If you think about your group of friends, your colleagues, your extended family, chances are at least one of them would be diagnosed now if they were a child, but have gone on to live functional, "normal" lives. I can think of several people I know!
For the moment, don't panic and keep an eye on things. My DS is 14 and got diagnosed about six months ago. Thing is, from about the age of seven, there were... indications. But he was happy, doing well in school, had friends, and we reckoned that he was just a bit quirky and it was fine to be a bit quirky (I still struggle a bit with the idea that my clever, eccentric, lovely DS is officially disabled rather than just 'different'.)
But, as PP have mentioned, things can get worse as the kid gets older. Social interaction becomes more awkward, for example. Exams and some homework can cause trouble for the kid who processes things differently. DS feels better for having a 'label' and the school find it useful as well.
It might be worth a chat with the SENCo at the school, though you might get what I got when DS was 9 - he's coping well so he'll be at the back of the queue for a referral.
Thanks for all your advice ladies, feel better about it now. Even if there is something in it, won't change anything, he'll still be my beautiful little man!!
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