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Is there something wrong with my child?(9 Posts)
Hi, this is quite long, sorry... I'm just wondering if anyone can who has experience with kids with problems can advise me further. My eldest son is having a few issues at school, it seems to be a pattern.
He's 5 years old, was late in talking although the speech therapist discharged him saying he would be okay. He was 3 before he started speaking, all other milestones, walking etc were fine. The problem is he can be a bit 'odd' for want of a better word. For example, he repeats things, he and go over and over a phrase until it does my head in and I tell him to stop. He regularly comes out with random statements that aren't really fitting with the situation or conversation, for example, he announces out of the blue what buttons to press on the x-box to play a game. Sounds trivial, but the way he says it is strange; I have no interest in the x-box but he sometimes will say "You press the x button to ....." and insists on telling you what it does. I have noticed people giving him strange looks, it's as if he doesn't understand sometimes how to conduct a normal conversation. It's hard to explain, it's like he says some things like he is stating a fact rather than taking part in a conversation. He will play with other kids, he does try to interact but now he's at school it is clear there are some issues with his social skills.
Last month his teacher informed me that he was getting isolated from other kids because he was constantly talking about a cartoon character he liked. He wasn't joining in with the other kids in the playground, rather wanting to play a particular game involving this character until the other kids got fed up with him. Again he was coming out with odd statements, as if he didn't understand that the cartoon is a fantasy and he should be having conversations about what is happening in the now, if you know what I mean. It did annoy him when he was ostracised and when we asked him not to talk about this character he did but I think that is down to him being obedient, I don't know if he properly understood why he had to. Lately he has been copying a friend to the point the boy is fed up and doesn't want to be bothered with him. Again we had a chat, tried to explain why he was annoying his friend but he doesn't understand what is wrong, he just replied "but when I copy him that means he is my friend", it's painful to hear. I know some children go through phases of copying kids and they grow out of it, but considering other factors I'm concerned it is part of a larger problem.
I maybe have been sticking my head in the sand about this, the reason being that he does try to play with other kids, eye contact is good, he likes a laugh and is quite clever academically. He doesn't have any physical problems like tics etc so I kept making excuses that he was maybe just a bit behind as with the speech and would catch up.
I know there are kids out there far worse, I don't want to think that I am whining. Am I getting concerned about nothing? I have been crying all morning about this, which isn't like me. I don't have any knowledge of these matters, I'm not used to being lost like this and not knowing what to do. I am highly competent in my career, I can work under extreme pressure no problem and am used to taking problems on the chin and dealing with them but this has floored me.
I would ask your GP to refer your son to a developmental paediatrician for further evaluation given his earlier issues with speech. Not knowing why is not good for you or he for that matter; he is still your son no matter what. You will need to be persistent in order to get answers.
I agree. Your worries sound reasonable and his history and current issues do seem to add up to something that at least needs looking at by a developmental paediatrician. None of it will hurt him in the slightest and floundering about wondering isn't going to help either of you. I'm guessing you're wondering (googling?) ASD from your friendly/good eye contact comments. Mine is friendly and loving and had reasonably good eye contact at 3/4/5, so I don't think those factors rule anything out IYKWIM. That said the fact he has friendships/plays/has good eye contact/good verbal communication are all enormously positive because children develop and you are already starting from quite a good place.
Pop down to the GP with your concerns and ask to be referred to the developmental paediatrician. It all takes ages so it's best to get the ball rolling.
I had seen the health visitor about 18 month ago as a follow up from the speech therapy, but she seemed to think all was well. She actually commented on how clever he was as he was able to recognise letters and numbers from charts, I realise now that high intelligence can be a symptom of ASD. I have been researching a lot on it, but sometimes I think I am taking myself in circles. I spoke to another mother at school who told me her son was autistic, his condition manifested in obsessions with certain things and being very routine based but his condition was classed as being so mild he doesn't need additional support. I will contact my GP on Monday to make an appointment. How long does it take to get on the system?
HVs don't always know an awful lot when all is said and done.
Re how long it will take to get on the system you can end up waiting several months and perhaps even longer than this to be seen.
If finances allow I would see if you can see a developmental paed person privately for an initial assessment.
High intelligence isn't really a symptom of ASD. The intelligence can be anything from severely challenged to extraordinarily gifted. Just like the intellegence of children in wheelchairs. I suppose the population is weighted slightly towards the lower IQ levels because autism can be associated with other conditions that impact IQ. There are lots and lots of people with autism/ASD with normal plus IQs though. The correct term is High Functioning Autism (the high referring to intellegence not how well you manage/function)
It can take 6months plus to see a consultant and much longer to complete assessment and gain diagnosis. The diagnostic pathway here is 18months plus, but some regions are much better/quicker.
I could manage to pay for an initial assessment privately, I've just sank my savings into an investment property but will find it elsewhere, this is more important than buying take-outs or new clothes. I spoke to a friend that is a support worker with special needs, she has assured me that if anything is wrong it is not life changing. I knew that anyway, like I said I know there are children out there a lot worse but it is still upsetting to see your child struggle, especially when I don't have the training to help him. I take it the child development teams also support parents in that respect?
I wouldn't pay for private assessment (and I did). I'm on my phone but basically Nhs assessment will carry weight. Spend your money on direct therapy/equipment. Start educating yourself NOW. There is almost no effective help on offer.
These skills that he doesn't have yet can be taught, and taught well. I went for a "naturalistic" approach, plus my son has a brilliant big brother. Many others on this board swear by ABA.
Time for action!
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