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Advice please about the autism spectrum.

(15 Posts)
Megatron Mon 18-Jul-11 16:50:24

Have just returned from DS's (7) parents meeting following end of year reports and she mentioned to me that she thinks that DS may be displaying certain traits which may indicate he could be on the autistic spectrum. This has come from no where, they have never said anything to me before, he has no issues at school at all. They and I are perfectly happy with his progress and she says that he has no learning difficulties that she can see. I'm ashamed to say that I know nothing about the autistic spectrum and I'm a bit flumoxed to be honest and don't really know what to do with the information at all.

He doesn't like change and if there are changes he needs a lot of reassurance and then he just gets on with it. He can be very sensitive and worries about hurting someones feelings but I just think he's a sensitive child. She told me that she and other staff members had discussed it before but no one has said a word to me about it and when I asked if she thought I should have him assessed she said 'if you like'. I don't really know what to think. I don't really know why I'm posting to be honest I'm a bit confused as to how she has arrived at this conclusion.

pramsgalore4 Mon 18-Jul-11 16:58:20

the best place to get info is here www.autism.org.uk/ you may find your son fits asperger syndrome which is at the higher end of the spectrum

Megatron Mon 18-Jul-11 17:10:04

Thank you so much I'll have a look. He's a really sociable boy and doesn't seem to have any issues with social interaction but like I say, I kmow so little about it. Will have a good read of that website.

pramsgalore4 Mon 18-Jul-11 17:12:20

my ds thinks everyone is his friend bless him, even if he's never meet them before.

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 18-Jul-11 17:15:25

I think it's tricky as I have seen some mum pals of mine worried half to death with idle teacher chat about how their kid might be on the spectrum, just because their boy is over-literal,or talks too much or has trouble with change. I think a lot of teachers have done a half hour on-line module on autism and ADHD, and fling the terms around a bit loosely. And one theory of autism is of course that it is extreme maleness, and that you can find tiny bits of autism in many normal male characteristics. For an actual diagnosis though you have to meet three criteria and they are not waffly - there have to be problems in the areas of social communication, speech and imagination/repetitive patterns of behaviour. The website given by Prams is a good one, or try Ambitious about Autism. A diagnosis of autism is not freely given out nowadays, believe me, not least because of the financial implications! Aspergers is the autism but with no speech delay (perhaps just some oddness of speech, maybe a robotic or professorial type quality) and with a normal IQ.

If your kid is doing fine at school, then what is the issue?

My pal who went through this did in fact go to to the GP and ask for a CHAT autism test, but he laughed her out of the surgery.

Her boy just got into a top secondary school. He is a little over-literal, he doesn't cope with change well and he does tend to get a bit obsessive about collecting cards etc. But he's a boy, not autistic.

HTH

Megatron Mon 18-Jul-11 17:23:50

sick yes it helps a lot. DS gets very upset about things like being late but that's ME! I get totally stressed about being late and have passed that on to him I'm sure. He doesn't do anything repetitively, his speech and language is fine. I don't know what the hell to think. Incidentally she just mentioned it 'in passing' when we were talking about routine, she didn't specifically bring it up as part of our meeting.

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 18-Jul-11 17:32:17

I wouldnt do much, maybe just try and keep him being flexible. I am manically early too but try hard not to tip over into ocd, as my dd picks up on it. Read up on autism for info maybe, but you would know it it was autism - it is hard!

Megatron Mon 18-Jul-11 17:49:11

I will read up on it for sure. He must be the easiest child to deal with, he has his moments but on the whole he's a really good kid.

Al1son Mon 18-Jul-11 19:28:19

My DD1 was just like the son you've described. Very easy to manage in terms of behaviour but not too good at managing change. She had a few sensory problems but nothing unmanageable and she seemed happy to play, particularly with child older or younger than she was.

We thought she was just a very bright but sensitive and shy little girl until she started hight school. She couldn't cope and started refusing to go. It turned out that she'd worked hard all her life to learn social rules and copy socially acceptable behaviour and had been stressed and unhappy in school for years.

She now has a diagnosis of AS which allows her to have the support she needs to feel safe in school and we're working hard to help her to learn to express herself when things aren't right.

If someone had told me when she was 7 that she had AS I would have laughed at them but I now wish someone had given us the heads up.

Your son may have a few traits which he can manage successfully and he may always manage perfectly well in school and beyond. However the teacher may be able to see things now which mean that he'll find it hard to cope in his later school years. If that's the case you have to chance to do something about it now.

Have a really good read around Asperger's Syndrome, Tony Attwood is very good, and if you see a pattern emerging consider how he would cope in high school. You might have the prior warning that I wish I'd had. Then again the teacher may be a bit of a loon who can see it wherever she looks, in which case you can move on knowing you've thought it through and it doesn't fit your son. Fingers crossed it will be the latter.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Mon 18-Jul-11 20:28:03

You've already had good advice, just thought I'd add my experience with teachers. My DS2 was DX with ASD when he was 3. My DS1 was in Reception at the time and the (rather snooty) teacher suggested to me that he seemed to be having a bit of trouble making friends, had I considered the autism spectrum? Well of course I had, she didn't know about DS2! But TBH, my DS1 is NT, he is shy, learnt to talk very late and is a bit geeky, but he is not autistic. My DS3 is very quirky and I think he's somewhere on the spectrum but nothing to worry about. (Yet) But DS1? So maybe he did look a bit spectrummy but a teacher can't DX and TBH shouldn't try to DX.

I told her that I wouldn't be at all surprised as DS2 was and asked if they wanted to get the EP involved. She then completely backtracked and said that he wasn't that bad. If they weren't going to provide any support or assessment I really couldn't see the point of the conversation, it was like she thought she'd spotted something and felt she had to share it so we could see how clever she was! My DS2 gave her a merry dance 2 years later! grin I think she really does understand autism now!

Mitmoo Mon 18-Jul-11 20:47:33

Mega I was you!! A teacher told me my son displayed behaviours that she had only seen children on the autistic spectrum displayed.

I thought she was mad. My child was smart, he
had a terrfic memory for all kinds of things, he could learn how could she say that. He was already under a consultant for OCD and I declared that the teacher was bonkers as my child was too smart to have autism.

I learned, I read, I talked to parents, I talked to mental health professionals and it all fell into place.

I know where you are at because I was there, just go with it and see where it goes with an open mind. It opened doors for us and got my son some invaluable help.

Mitmoo Mon 18-Jul-11 20:49:30

Sorry forgot to say ask the teacher to get the school nurse to do a referral to CAMHS and they will assess your child.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Mon 18-Jul-11 21:43:05

Megatron, in most areas a multidisciplinary team including a developmental paediatrician, will be the people to DX. Some areas use CAMHS, but most CAMHS won't touch ASD. After you have done all your reading and you are at all concerned, go to your GP or school nurse and ask to be referred to developmental paediatrician.

Megatron Tue 19-Jul-11 08:11:03

Thank you all so much for help. I've done some reading and will continue to read up as much as I can. All I want is to be able to help him if there are issues which may lead to him finding situations difficult. Thanks again.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Tue 19-Jul-11 15:06:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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