Suspected autism to gifted(29 Posts)
Hi guys, first time posting ❤
This whole thing started 3 months ago, I collected my son from nursery one day and was met by the nursery manager, she had concerns about my son..' he's very energetic, his speech is a little behind, he's unusually clever, he doesn't interact with the other children very much..we think he should be assessed for Autism..i tell you.. I was blindsided..what the hell!! I never for one minute thought there was anything to be concerned about, but I figure she must have spotted something..so I agree to an assessment, major anxiety ensued..on my part. It turns out my 3 year old has been recognised as gifted and talented, he can count in English and french( our family has never spoken french) forwards and backwards, can name every single shape even the weird ones, colours, letters and he can figure out the most complicated of puzzles.He loves to learn and especially loves to be read to. Of course I was aware of all the things he can do but I just thought ..well, he's very bright. I'm told that my son needs a different programme of care/ learning , as the current way is not appropriate for his 'intelligence'?? I'm just brand new to this and honestly..i just want my kid to be a kid. I've gone from Autistic to gifted in a matter of weeks, I'm not even sure what advice I'm asking for?? I guess I'm just hoping for someone out their with a similar experience xx
Check out Potential Plus's info about Twice Exceptional kids.
Mensa may be able to help by offering advice on support for gifted children. If your child qualifies to join Mensa it is well worth it as he can have support from like minded peers and mentors.
My ds is 6 is 2e (gifted with SPD/dcd/ suspected ASD). It’s quite common to be 2e if gifted. Gifted can also show with similar traits as ASD too as the children can be very intense?
Even with autism in my family I was blindsided with my son being suspected as ASD.
I’m assuming the different programme of care is so he doesn’t get bored and then either revert inside himself or so he doesn’t start to get bored and act out.
He also needs to be stimulated as gifted kids have a thirst for knowledge that if you don’t stimulate will mean they search out for themselves.
There’s also a ‘parents of twice exceptional children’ group on FB that is very good and also ‘raising poppies’ that is very good.
Has the autism been ruled out? As some children are twice exceptional I. E both autistic and gifted.
Autistic spectrum and high IQ are not mutually exclusive- just because he’s been identified as gifted and talented doesn’t rule out him being on the autistic spectrum.
Have you considered pushing for a formal assessment? The screening tests done by nursery/schools are NOT diagnostic assessments they can’t rule autism in or out, they can only give an idea of the level of risk/chance that the child has autism... and actually, academically bright kids who are interested in learning within a school/nursery setting are much more likely to have their autistic traits missed/dismissed as the screening is too blunt a tool to pick up their problems.
I’ve been in the situation with 2 of my DC, that my initial concerns were dismissed repeatedly by nursery and school due to the DC “passing” screening tests. The DC’s were hyperactive, difficult and exceptionally bright (very high IQ’s as measured as part of assessments done by ed psych aged 6/7, well above Mensa minimum) Full proper assessment led to diagnosis and even then, the HT at the school one of them attended still insisted that he was not autistic but badly behaved and badly parented (yes, those things were actually said to us)!!!
Please tell me you changed school after that was said to you lettucewrap?
Thats so bizarre, are you in the uk? What kind of special programme are they saying he needs, age 3?
And agree on the 2e thing, although I didnt know it had a name.
My 5yo ds was diagnosed with autism at pre school. Flagged up due to his insane knowledge of numbers (I’m pretty good with numbers, got an A at A level, did science degree which involved maths, dh studied pure maths at Oxford and is an analyst so we just thought it was inherited). Dh and ds now have conversations about maths that are too tricky for me to easily follow. He is just a sponge for facts and books. How much of this is due to his autism, or whether he is naturally gifted we don’t know.
It has never been suggested that he follows a different ‘programme’ at school though. He thoroughly enjoys school. I think it’s hugely important for him to attend a ‘normal’ school with other ‘normal’ kids. He is different, there is no denying it. Even if he didn’t have any of the issues that come with autism I would send him to the same school. He is a little boy who needs to learn to play and interact with other children as best he can. Mainstream school is (at this stage) the best way for him to do this. He finds learning easy, but there is a hell of a lot more to becoming a rounded human being than being really, really, ridiculously —good looking— clever.
Tomorrow- yes we did! Just as soon as an out of area placement could be made, and approved.
Good good. Some HTs really don’t have a clue.
Thankyou for your replies, yes autism has been ruled out, he has none of the stand out markers apparently, the different programme of education is due to possible boredom and need for further stimulation. I'm told my son is ' leagues ahead in way of intelligence in comparison to children his age and maybe requires a more mature curriculum to show his potential ' he starts school next year in September. Honestly..at 3 years old I couldn't give a crap about his ' potential ' I care about him having fun and being a kid, my son surprises us every day with what he knows, this morning he was talking about spherical shapes and the solar system?? Every single day our boy shocks the hell out of us lol , but a more loving and gentle kid you would be hard to find x
Welcome to the world of parenting a gifted child. A very wierd world it is indeed
Definitely worth getting in touch with Potential Plus. Your DS sounds very similar to me at that age (not that, in the 70s, anyone referred me for autism assessment). My parents found Potential Plus (NAGC as it then was) a good source of advice and support during my primary school years.
In the meantime, I'm sure you've already done so, but researching "asynchronous development" and "Dabrowski's overexcitabilities" is a good place to start. This article, for example: www.stephanietolan.com/gt_as_asynch.htm - having been "that child" I think this describes it very well. Asynchronous plus excitability and intensity, is enough to raise concerns about ASD which are actually unfounded (although some children are indeed twice exceptional, as others have already said).
You and your son may have some hard times ahead, as there aren't always ready solutions to navigating the school system when your child is very out of sync with their peers. With regard to wanting your kid to have fun and be a kid - of course, but don't overlook that learning and finding out IS having fun, your son's way, and without challenge and stretching he will probably go slightly nuts. Learning to take risks with his learning, get things wrong and pick himself up again,is important for adult life.
Your son sounds wonderful and it's good to see you are keen him to have fun and be kind.
Can I just ask about the autism thing though? Who has ruled it out? Has he had a formal assessment by a paediatrician? If this was only 3 months ago it was first raised by the nursery then I doubt you would have seen a paediatrician yet as it's a very slow process. I'm only saying this as my youngest son has a diagnosis of high functioning autism. He was reading car number plates and road signs from 18 months old as well as other kids names at nursery - complicated ones and was fully reading before he started school. He is an August baby and started school 3 weeks after his 4th birthday. He was also reconfiguring the desktop screen on the nursery PC. He has autism and hyperlexia.
Any differences in development at that age - either way- forward or delayed are worth investigating for autism. Just saying if you haven't had a referral to a developmental paediatrician it's worth asking your GP for this. A diagnosis of he was to get one would help from an education perspective and would open doors to support and extra help that may be required.
Hi OP. We're going through the same thing! Kinder teacher drew up a list of behaviours to take along to the paediatrician (her idea) which the paediatrician then laughed out loud at. She said she sees this all the time with highly intelligent kids and that teachers see them as a problem because they don't know what to do with them.
DS is light years ahead of his peers and it has been causing trouble for us. He loves to learn, read, do puzzles etc, while his teachers think it's a bad thing that he doesn't just laugh maniacally about throwing grass down a slide again and again. It's making him feel isolated and wonder if there's something wrong with him. He's been acting out a lot at home because of it.
The school called someone in for an assessment and they said the same thing as the paediatrician - he's "on another level" and just needs to find a peer group who he can relate to. Easier said than done.
So ultimately we've been told play-based learning doesn't suit him (or most gifted kids) because it doesn't acknowledge or reward their particular skill sets, while it amplifies their weaknesses. They spend the day bored and wondering why everyone else fits in. We've been told to look for a quite structured primary school. Unfortunately our nearest one is almost Steiner so easier said than done.
Anyway, it's lovely you're enjoying your DS's many achievements. It's great that you know early so you can help him if the going gets tough. I am reading with interest what others have been through.
Ds’ life was better in year one as it was sit down learning. Chaos of reception was not best fit.
Tomorrow, how is your DS now? What have you done to help him? Anything I should be on the look out for? Makes my brain hurt to think about. 😂
Lol, that should have read as ‘is better in year one’ as he is in year 1.
To help stimulate ds6 though we do buy a lot of nonfiction books for home and he is teaching himself to programme on his Kano computer at six. He’s minecraft obsessed and Lego obsessed so builds a lot on and offline.
In reception he was pushed fairly hard by the teacher and in year one he is taught phonics with year above.
He went from non reader last year in the October to reading at a year two level in about four months, which was a shock, but to us was normal. But that has helped as he can now google himself if he’s desperate.
It also means he reads about science before bedtime.
He’s lots of hard work as he is really asynchronous but I love him more than anything else in this world.
mama, who has ruled autism out?
If your DS is good at acquiring fact based knowledge and not good at interacting with others then he does have some of the markers for autism. I hope it was a diagnostic team who has ruled autism out, not an overexcited layperson or Ed psych.
The skill acquisition phase of the curriculum often suits autistic children. Many stop appearing so exceptional when they have to compare, contrast, give opinions, summarise, or sort information to argue from opposing points of view; these are features of the curriculum later.
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