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Does this sound like ASD to you?

(7 Posts)
YakkaSkink Sat 28-May-11 18:51:01

DS seems to have some characteristics that various people (nursery nurses, teachers etc) have suggested might be related to an ASD. He's on a long, long waiting list for assessment but I'm trying to work out whether it's actually likely that he has an ASD or not - whether to push in that direction or whether we should be looking down other avenues more. There are a couple of things he does that I'm not sure about whether they're compatible with an ASD:

He's just 5, and has big social problems (keeps getting his tone wrong with other children, inflexible about play activity, not much social imaginative play, being singled out by the others as odd) and learning difficulties that don't yet makes sense including all his senses being hypo- and hyper- sensitive, being very bright and having difficulties processing language in and out. His behaviour is challenging and often violent and he's lagging behind at school and running off. He has some pretty geeky all-consuming interests too.

1) he's pretty flexible about change. He likes routine but I think only as much as most small children, he's open to spontaneity - if I explain that we have to do something differently from the way we usually do it he's usually fine with it. He needs time to change activities if he's deeply engrossed and he sometimes says 'no' just because he doesn't like being told. But if I say 'Do you want to go to the park instead of what we planned?', or 'Shall we try a different route today?' he'll most often just say yes. Is it necessary for a child to really need to stick to routines for a dx of ASD?

2) he's good with similes. I'm trying to keep him onside but he's disliking school while we try to work out how to help so I told him that some people's brains work like penguins, some work like trees and some work like steam trains - and if you throw fish at a tree, shovel coal at a penguin or expect a steam train to run on sunshine then things get frustrating. I explained that we're trying to figure out how his mind works so we can give it the right stuff. He understood, laughed and said that his mind is like an air ship. Then I thought, that's actually quite abstract, but is it metaphor that's more of a problem for some people with ASDs? Is my analogy something that a child with an ASD might be able to understand pretty readily, or not?

IndigoBell Sat 28-May-11 19:06:46

You can have ASD and be flexible. And you can have ASD and be good with similes.

It sounds to me like it def could be ASD.....

wendihouse22 Sat 28-May-11 19:30:28

My boy is high functioning ASD. He's very repetitive, odd socially. I like your analogy. That would make sense to my ds.

My son is also very affectionate. Has a good sense of humour. But he IS autistic and stands out a mile in a group of kids.

I guess you will have to wait for the dx but yes, he does sound to have some ASD traits, your boy.

whatever17 Sun 29-May-11 03:59:43

Think about APD - Auditory Processing Difficulties - too. It may not be ASD.

YakkaSkink Sun 29-May-11 11:41:57

Thanks, I feel pretty sure that he does have APD and maybe if we can get that recognised and some help sorted, the giftedness and the hypermobility (I think the visual impairment is being dealt with OK) it will become clearer whether his remaining problems still look like ASD.

The paed seems to be of the opinion that he would have to have everything a child with ASD could possibly have (gross motor delays, inflexibility about routine) before he would be prepared to diagnose ASD. I think he has all the basic diagnostic criteria, but that there may be another cause(s). Hmm, more detective work.

LeninGrad Sun 29-May-11 11:51:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dolfrog Sun 29-May-11 18:21:42

YakkaSkin

The criteria for a diagnosis of ASD will always be subject to the best research information available at any given point in time, as international researchers develop and improve the technology to increase their understanding of this wide range of issues.
A snapshot from 2007 Identification and Evaluation of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders includes a table of 12 criteria from which 6 from 3 groups are the minimum requirement. In more recent times there have been suggestions of 7 main criteria with many more lesser issues which could be components of a diagnosis of ASD.

These criteria each have a range of identifiable developmental disabilities which can cause the observable problems. I have notices that others on this thread have already mentioned Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) which is a listening disability, or not being able to process all that you hear. which is one of the many multiple components that can contribute to some ASD issues.

There are many other sensory and motor issues, which contribute to these issues.
I think you were also hinting at different learning styles, or how we all thinking differently, we have a Learning Styles section on the APDUK web site. And Working Model for Learning Styles was the best online description we could find when we put this section together (pdf download in middle of second box down the web page) Or you may find The Power of Visual Thinking - What is Thinking of some interest.

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