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Wondering about autism and/or Aspergers in my 5 year old(7 Posts)
Hi all, I would very much appreciate your advice about our son. Apologies for the long post but I really need to get it all down in black and white.
So, we live in mainland Europe. Our DS3 is just about to be 5, and is in his second year at nursery school. Last year he hardly talked to the teacher, refused to participate in class activities, always seemed to be alone in the playground, had difficulty remembering how to hold a pencil ... At the end of year show last June, his class did a little dance on stage ... Despite having been there for all the practices and having showed us the moves at home, he just stood on stage and did absolutely nothing the whole way through, quite happy to be there but unaware he was supposed to be doing the actions to the song. All through the year he was following the "syllabus" for the class below, as he was unable to do the drawing/letter-recognising/other fine motor-skill work of the rest of his class. Just to mention that for various reasons (mostly allergy-related), he started school a year later than most of his peers.
There is a language element involved which may complicate things, as he is learning a new language to his mother tongue, although he does hear the new language spoken quite frequently at home by his older siblings. Last year we put his reticence down to the foreign language issues, now I am not so sure, he seems to understand it well and is beginning to speak at school. He speaks his mother tongue fluently.
Obviously I am comparing him to how his older siblings were at his age, and beginning to ask myself some questions about possible autism, Aspergers or other special needs! Other things I have noticed about him which might flag up problems:
- He is always looking at and talking about clouds (colour, dark or light, whether they are "opening/shutting", whether it is going to rain ...)
- He also gets excited and very vocal whenever he sees planes in the sky.
- He often repeats phrases from favourite DVDs or TV programmes in the course of conversations or when playing with his toys.
- As a family we have become used to organising ourselves round him so that nothing triggers a meltdown of any sort (I think this is true with most young children though).
- He has trouble with pencil control, he can scribble and recognise his name, but not write his name or any letters, and doesn't draw any recognisable pictures. He does recognise certain letters in his name but can't reproduce them on paper yet.
- He always needs to know what we are eating at the next meal, even from first thing in the morning when he wakes up he will invariably ask "What's for lunch?". And will ask again several times in the course of the day, as if he doesn't remember, although this may just be an automatism.
- Sometimes when we ask him to do things such as pick up his toys or use his fork, he will twist his fingers round strangely as if he is gearing them up to work ...
- He has another strange occasional habit, maybe for comfort, of licking his hand and dabbing it around his face or on his arms or legs.
He is such a lovely boy, and I don't want to bury my head in the sand if we need to be doing things to help him ... Thanks for any advice you are able to give.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks Polter and zzzzz! I really appreciate your comments. Yes he did gain and continues to gain language appropriately in his mother tongue I think. The only thing he does sometimes but not consistently, is reverse the "you" and "me" pronouns, eg he willl say "Want you to show me" when he means "I want to show you ..." But my daughter did that too, although maybe not still at age nearly 5 ... By "solid alphabet", do you mean plastic or wooden letters zzzzz ? That is an excellent idea!
I think getting an assessment would be a good idea as your DC sounds quite different from other kids of his age, even those struggling with a new language. Best wishes.