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What should I do next? 5 year old asd traits

(6 Posts)
Hubertthesausagedog Mon 22-Apr-13 22:44:36

Hi everyone, I am a long term lurker on the SN threads but a first time poster. I am after some advise about what you would do next in my position.

Ds (5) was born extremely prematurely, he developed pretty normally considering this although didn't really start talking until he was 3.

He was a difficult toddler but always within normal limits but now his behaviour can be awful and I really don't know what to do next. His default emotion seems to be anger and a lot of thinhs can cause him to meltdown. During meltdowns he hits, spits and growls. We consistently put him on time out for hitting and have zero tolerance for hitting.

He has some sensory issues, mainly that he is hyper sensitive to touch. He hates sticky hands and dirty clothes. Both of these can cause meltdowns if he cannot wash his hands or change his clothes right away.

Some of his anger is triggered by anxiety, school play would be a good example of this!

Most of his meltdowns are caused by not wanting to do as he is told or not getting his own way

He does have some social awkwardness with no proper friends. He plays normally with this 4 year old brother. He has a great imagination. He wants to play with other children but has difficulty initiating play.

He is keeping up at school and school say he does not need any extra support. They recognise that he is socially immature but think considering his prematurity he is doing ok.

I know he has plenty of asd traits but right now don't see what a diagnosis would bring. I would like help with how to manage the behaviour, has anybody else had experience of violent meltdowns and any effective methods that would reduce these. Any suggested reading would also be massively appreciated.

Thank you

popgoestheweezel Tue 23-Apr-13 12:33:56

It's always difficult to answer these types of posts as no one can diagnose over the Internet but it does sound like you have some real concerns. I don't know that much about asd in general (hopefully someone else will be along to give you advice about that) my ds has PDA so I picked up on your comment about most of his meltdowns being over not wanting to do as he's told or not getting his own way. We were very confused about our ds' behaviour for a long time as although asd fitted in some areas it didn't in others, like the imaginative play. I guess the best thing to do is read around a lot and ask lots of questions, start a diary of his behaviours to see if you can identify patterns and give you some 'evidence' if you decide you want to go to your GP and get a referral to a community paediatrician. Also, I would suggest going in to school and asking them if there is anything they can do to support him in developing his social skills.

adelinehillman Tue 23-Apr-13 13:52:44

My DS has been diagnosed with ASD - he's 5 and demonstrates a lot of the 'symptoms' you have described. He's is YR2 and we have been working with the school pretty much since the beginning of YR1. I suggest you speak to your DS' teacher and ask to have a meeting with him/her and the SENCO (Special Needs Coordinator). Express your concerns here. They can then get various 'experts' in to assess your DS (nothing nasty) and report back. I guess it depends on where you live as to what experts they will have. I also suggest you speak to your GP and ask to be referred to a paed specialising in this area. Be prepared for a wait... Then working together, the big jigsaw of various assessments should come together. DS was assessed via ADOS for a final ASD dx, but this comes a bit further down the line... It's brilliant that your DS is keeping up at school, but if you have concerns you need to express them, go with your instinct. Good luck!

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 23-Apr-13 14:49:37

"He is keeping up at school and school say he does not need any extra support"

Some schools do say this, such children who basically behave but have additional needs often slip through the net and are ignored (because they are not throwing chairs) only to end up needing a greater level of support by the time they get to secondary school. Don't let that happen to him, early intervention and support is vitally important.

Would you agree with their above assessment or do you think his needs there are simply not being met due to a lack of said support?.

See a diagnosis purely as a signpost to getting more help. I would ask GP to refer you to a developmental paed as a matter of course. You also should meet with both his class teacher and SENCO and draw up an IEP (Individual Education Plan).

I would consider applying for DLA on his behalf as well.

A diagnosis would bring with it more understanding for both you and he because he could too easily be labelled as "disruptive" or "unruly" by both other parents and his peers in school. His whole school life could too easily become a complete misery if his needs there are not met.

Hubertthesausagedog Tue 23-Apr-13 19:28:39

Hi everyone,
Thank you for your replies.

I did have a meeting with school just before the holidays where we talked about the behaviour I was having at home and how I could see many ASD traits. They said they do not see any agression at school and a diagnosis would not bring him any extra support as at the moment he doesn't need it. They recognised some of the social quirks I mentioned and he is part of a social skills group. They see him as socially immature though. They said he does not need an IEP

He does not get in trouble at school, he is progressing with reading and writing, it is only the social side (the most important part!) he is having difficulty with.

I understand that a diagnosis can be a sign post to help, but if he really is keeping up and isn't aggressive what help will he get?! It's at home that I need the help.

I am more than happy to have assessments but am just struggling to see the point of putting us all through the emotional stress when a diagnosis would not bring any extra help at school. It is not clear cut at all that he would get a diagnosis either, some of his behaviour does not fit the criteria for ASD.

I will start keeping a proper diary of his behaviour. Maybe seeing it in black and white will make it clearer to me what I should do next.

I do want to see an OT so the extent of the sensory problems can be explored. Has anyone used a private OT in Surrey?

I have seen a clinic in Walton and a lady called Caroline Winfield, does anyone have any experience of these two?

Thank you all again

popgoestheweezel Wed 24-Apr-13 08:21:55

Teacher says 'A diagnosis won't bring him help at the moment'- well it would take months to get a diagnosis anyway and by then he might be struggling at school or he might not. If an underlying issue has been discounted then all well and good but if there is something deeper going on I think it's better to know about it and understand so you can support him in the right way at home and at school in the long term. We had a lot of 'he's very young' 'he's doing we'll academically' 'he makes eye contact and has a good imagination so there's nothing we can do' but two years down the line ds is more and more challenging and hates school with a passion. Most Teachers have absolutely no training in recognising asd and will only be looking for the most obvious signs like not joining in play or making eye contact. You need to trust your instincts and ask the experts.
I really would recommend looking at pathological demand avoidance and asd. Start off on the national autistic society website, there is some info on PDA under related conditions. Also try the PDA contact website.

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