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Similarities between AS and Dyslexia

(38 Posts)
stillsmarting Thu 25-Oct-12 19:54:02

My DS has a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. He is not Dyslexic (has been tested).
It might seem like a stupid question, but one of his supports is a Dyslexia expert and he says she doesn't know much about AS.
As I understand it Dyslexics are likely to have similar organisational problems to him, and probably difficulty processing information. What else is likely to be the same? The fact that he mentioned that she doesn't know much about AS started me thinking. (Review coming up).

SophiesMummySaid Sat 27-Oct-12 21:48:07

Bumping for you, sorry I don't know much about this, but hopefully someone will!

Marne Sat 27-Oct-12 22:04:53

I would say the poor organisation skills (but i guess any child could have this) and lack of concentration (finding it hard to listen and take things in). Other than that i think they are totaly different dx's (not that similar at all), I think she's just trying to find similarities because she only has expereance of dyslexia.

AS is more similar to dyspraxia than it is dyslexia.

coff33pot Sun 28-Oct-12 00:38:59

DS has AS but also cannot read or write. BUT he is not dyslexic. He is classed as having specific learning difficulties.

Organisational skills are not good and nor is problem solving. He struggles with phonics and is more of a whole word reader which probably explains why he got spellings correct on the "non sounding out" words that other children struggled to do but struggled with the "sounding out" words. He also benefits from visual pictures alongside words.

He is using Clicker 6 and as I understand it some other children with dyslexia are also using this package.

His fine motor skills are more of an issue with writing and also unless he can "visualise" the whole word he cant write it. Calls his words pictures. Also every letter is back to front! and numbers also and reversed ie. 23 is written as 32 (but also reversed within themselves)

Not sure if there are any similarities though.

Handywoman Sun 28-Oct-12 00:50:22

As a stab in the dark, sort of (with one child under investigation for AS and another with a diagnosis of dyslexia) yes, both children may have difficulties with organisational skills. Dyslexics may or may not struggle to process information quickly enough or have working memory issues. Children on the spectrum may have difficulty understanding social communication in terms of social norms, rules, non literal language, etc. so Dyslexics probably need more of an aide memoire whereas ASD kids might need to be shown what is being asked of them and maybe also why? Plus an understanding of possible adverse social or sensory triggers? In addition to possible working memory problems. So quite different even though the problem may look the same? I guess for you the issue is whether the support is working?
HW x

MrsShriek3 Sun 28-Oct-12 00:54:45

ds1 is both aspie and dyslexic. There is huuuuge overlap (and some of my knowlege might sometimes attribute to the wrong label iyswim) however as coff says they're quite different dx's. the similarities are to do with organisation, auditory memory and auditory processing, and sometimes to do with retrieval systems, particularly wrt nouns. So what you say in the OP is spot on, obv. The neurological workings are different, and my knowledge of that is patchy, I know the research on ASD/AS and also know about the language receptor /system but only to psychology undergrad level so far. In simple terms, twenty years ago when I first started teaching students with AS, and bearing in mind we were at a fairly naive stage research wise, it made sense to treat many of the students with as/asc as dyslexic, as that was where the research was at and the teaching methods were evolving. The thing that you quickly realise is that the word level, syntax and spelling difficulties aren't there, and if anything the aspie is likely to be way advanced in their language, to the point that they don't know when to stop... there may be issues with schematic construction (categorising stuff) again that's organisational isn't it...and comprehending the abstract (which has nothing in common with dyslexia) is a regular difficulty for people with AS.
As far as your ds's support goes, tbh they need to read some Tony Atwood or something. Sorry if that's all gobbledegook, I do talk [type] sense sometimes, honestly!

Niceweather Sun 28-Oct-12 07:28:18

My DS is dyslexic with a fair few aspie traits. I was at a talk recently where they had a big chart showing how all these conditions (ADHD, dyslexia, ASD, etc) overlap and you often don't get one without the other. Two children I know with ASD also have dyslexic issues. You would have to take each case individually. In contrast to MrsShriek3's experiences, my DS has advanced language/vocabulary despite the dyslexia, and good comprehension of abstract language which is one of the reasons he doesn't have AS. He zones out, has difficulty concentrating, needs to fiddle, has terrible organisation, difficulty following instructions, goes off on tangents, is dreadful at spelling and punctuation and has problems with left, right, up, down and maths and has been bullied for being weird and eccentric.

Badvoc Sun 28-Oct-12 08:10:26

Massive overlap ime.
Also,with dyspraxia and,OCD.
Check out the book "is that my child?" By robin pauc...it may answer your question and givemyounsome ideas on how to help your son.
Good luck.

SallyBear Sun 28-Oct-12 08:16:28

Thanks Badvoc. We have just got a new dx last week of dyslexia for our AS DS. Any extra help that I can provide for him, I will. smile

MrsShriek3 Sun 28-Oct-12 08:37:49

Ahh niceweather my dshas the aspie trait of hugely advanced language verbally, with the dyslexic feature of writing like a six year old, and phonetically. it makes it even more frustrating for him.
The comorbidity of these conditions is quite large, though - dyslexia, dyspraxia and AS(D).

SallyBear Sun 28-Oct-12 08:57:42

MrsShriek3 describes my DS to a tee!

rabbitstew Sun 28-Oct-12 09:09:33

I think there can be huge overlaps because they all relate to peculiarities in the way the brain works and there are myriad ways in which the brain can work, so myriad overlaps between the different, supposedly discrete, syndromes which are identified. You only have to look at the diagnosis of aspergers to see that there are more features of aspergers that are commonly associated with it but not required for a diagnosis than there are features which are actually required for the diagnosis... My ds has a lot of the associated features far, far more strongly than he has the "required" features.... aspergers is merely the best fit out of a bunch of options none of which adequately describe my ds, tbh.

Badvoc Sun 28-Oct-12 10:15:05

Sally...the good news is there is a lot you can do.
Do check out that book and the tinsley house website.
I can't believe where ds1 is now compared to last year smile
It's parents evening on Tuesday and - I can hardly believe I am typing this! - I may ask his teachers for him to some off the sen register!
smile
Good luck

Badvoc Sun 28-Oct-12 10:19:38

Robin pauc has a theory that dyslexia is a symptom, not a condition in its own right - which is quite a controversial stance. However, I agree.
After much reading on his theory and around the subject I think his theory best explains why our kids have the issues they do, and why so many of them have the co morbidity of conditions.
In my sons case it was dyslexia, OCD and asd.
Robin feels these kids have a general developmental delay syndrome - this certainly fits my sons profile...he had significant developmental delay as a baby and infant - and that these issues are symptoms of the cerebellum (literally little brain at the top of the spine) not working properly or at all.
It's quite fascinating, actually.

bochead Sun 28-Oct-12 11:05:38

DS's dyslexic symptoms are caused by the fact his vestibular-visual-auditory system is totally out whack. His dad is AS and has none of these issues.

I also believe dyslexia is not a condition in it's own right but rather just a descriptor. My Mum has let her Dyslexia association accreditation lapse as she feels they've not kept up with neurodevelopmental research for financial reasons of their own in recent years. (Tutoring is lucrative!). Nowadays she pushes people towards a behavioral optremetrist as a first step.

SallyBear Sun 28-Oct-12 11:20:38

Well that's where DS is going after half term for assessment at a BO. See what she says and then move on from there.

MrsShriek3 Sun 28-Oct-12 16:46:42

Boc also agree that BDA an others aren't letting on what they know or keeping up with the understanding offered by brain scanning and imagery which is advancing at quite a rate. The recent progress in understanding language development is huge - and they don't seem to want to take that research into applying it to dyslexia. hmm. Had wondered why but now you point out about tutoring it makes sense...

Badvoc Sun 28-Oct-12 16:54:23

Agree.
It is very lucrative as you say.

SallyBear Sun 28-Oct-12 16:55:56

We are looking to get a tutor for DS for a couple of hours a week. Should we get a specialised Dyslexia tutor or a regular tutor? My littlest DS is at SS. The Head of his SS suggested that a teacher who moved from ms secondary to the SS might want to tutor DS1. Thoughts please??

Ineedalife Sun 28-Oct-12 17:05:02

I would hold fire on the tutor sally until you have the results from the BO.
If the BO offers exercises or a program of some kind you might be better spending your hard earned cash there for a while.

There is absolutely no point having a tutor if his eyes are not functioning well enough.

IME of coursegrin

SallyBear Sun 28-Oct-12 17:20:04

I agree. I had thought the same thing myself that the tutor is for after the BO assessment. The BO is a two session thing. The first is an eye exam plus the tracking and some other optometry words that I can't recall blush. If it appears that he needs the colorimetry then she does that plus a wilkinson test at the next assessment. It doesn't seem too expensive and is listed in the BABO approved list. Fingers crossed.
She is actually put optometrist anyway and a bit of an old witch so DH is taking DS as I'm likely to get annoyed with her. She's good at what she does, otherwise we'd be heading to Aston University.

nooka Sun 28-Oct-12 17:26:11

My ds sounds very like Niceweathers ds, except that he excels at math. Dyslexia runs very strongly in our family and we also have a strong eccentric streak with a fair few AS traits (not necessarily in the same people though). When ds was little the SENCO was convinced he was either ADHD or Aspie due to his fairly terribly school behaviour but the professionals always said he had traits but was otherwise 'normal'.

When we had him tested by an EP she said that his temper/impulsivity issues were very common in children with dyslexia but that at the time the researchers weren't sure if it was a comorbidity or consequence.

Ineedalife Sun 28-Oct-12 17:39:07

I didnt take Dd3 to Aston in the end either sally, I took her back to the same person that saw Dd2, we had great results with Dd2, her reading speed improved massively.

Dd3's issues are slightly different and also we are skint ATM so the BO just sorted her out with some coloured lenses and has left it at that for now.

She doesnt have the issues with tracking like Dd2 her issues are more around perception but she was complaining about stuff moving around on the board/page aswell. This has stopped with the coloured lenses.

I wish I had known about the ASD strategies that I use for Dd3 when Dd2 was younger because I think she would have benefitted greatly from them.

I am another believer in the overlaps between ASD/ADHD/dyspraxia/dyslexia.

Good luck and sorry for the hijack stillsmile

Niceweather Sun 28-Oct-12 18:00:56

Nooka, it's lovely to hear that there is another DS like mine out there! Never a dull moment and utter chaos in the mornings!!!!

Ineedalife Sun 28-Oct-12 18:17:01

Try using a visual timetable for mornings nice

Someone on here recommended it to me before Dd3 was dx'ed.
She was completely unable to get herself ready for school and required step by step nagging instructions.

Since using the visual timetable she is able to get herself completly ready independently.

We use strips of card with single instructions on eg. get dressed, have breakfast, put dinner money in your bag etc. Ours are laminated with velcro on the back and they go on a piece of felt but it would work as well with blutac and a white board.

It takes a little while to set up but is well worth the effort. All i have to say now is "Look at your timetable" x25 grin

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