Verbal diagnosis ASD

(16 Posts)
2boysandadog9 Thu 08-Dec-16 12:53:04

So today we had a multi-disciplinary assessment for DS2 and as I expected we have a verbal diagnosis of ASD. They want to do a home assessment next month, but as today was an accurate picture of what he is like, the home assessment will not change anything.
I am feeling ok about it, I had fully expected them to see what I see! I am a little worried that as he has been dx so young (26 months) and that this will mean he is more severe than I had perhaps imagined.
I have posted before about ABA, and we began a program 5 weeks ago. I have seen some great progress in terms of focus and interaction, and found out he has more skills than I thought - matching colours and pictures, jigsaw puzzles etc...My biggest worry is still his receptive language, I just can't see a light at the end of that tunnel. He isn't paying enough attention and doesn't understand the concept of language.

I'm not sure what I'm asking exactly!
What can I do to encourage receptive understanding? Does early dx mean more severe autism?

OP’s posts: |
zzzzz Thu 08-Dec-16 15:36:17

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UnserrenderedTroublesAndStrife Thu 08-Dec-16 16:29:03

At that age, or even older, dd had massively poor communication. At 2yrs 9months her receptive language was 12 months. No eye contact, rigid and very difficult. At just turned 4 her language skills are age appropriate in understanding and expression, although not really using it for needs or being spontaneous with it. Her behaviour is lovely, only unable to cope with certain routine changes. She can blend in as a pleasant nt little girl very often.

..: so I'm not sure age is always a predictor, once dd starting going she really blossomed. I think the honest answer is it can go either way x

UnserrenderedTroublesAndStrife Thu 08-Dec-16 16:30:12

Oh and she's bloody amazing now at puzzles and maths for four! Though rather self directed in showing it.::

2boysandadog9 Thu 08-Dec-16 21:08:02

Thanks guys,

Zzzzz, what do you mean by receiving communication? Understanding non verbal cues?

Unserrendered, what amazing progress your dd has made in such a short space of time! I have heard that withsome children it's like a switch is flicked and suddenly they catch up... I am of course hoping ds will be like that, but it feels like such a long way off and I know he may not be one of those kids that progresses. I am trying to manage my expectations, and although I can see some great potential he also is so clearly different from his peers in terms of being interested in others, interaction etc
Some days it's so hard not knowing.....

OP’s posts: |
zzzzz Thu 08-Dec-16 21:28:34

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2boysandadog9 Thu 08-Dec-16 22:04:55

That makes total sense zzzzz, I can see ds understanding more visual cues and associating sounds with actions. I will definitely be experimenting with that!
I have been trying to encourage him to point, or at least choose by indicating. He can pick between 2 items but perhaps I need to concentrate on his non-verbal communication and gestures before language?
I guess I should keep taking and labelling everything, but augment it more with other ways to communicate....
Thank you for explaining that! smile

OP’s posts: |
zzzzz Thu 08-Dec-16 22:55:08

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FlossieFrog Fri 09-Dec-16 07:02:05

Your DS is still very young. At that age, my DD was uttering up to 2 word sentences (e.g. more cereal) at the most. Although she soon began to reel off whole books and TV shows pretty much verbatim. She was diagnosed with ASD at age 3 (primarily because I had concerns her language was behind peers, although weak peer social skills also came to light). She began 4 hours of ABA a week and learnt bigger sentences pretty quickly through an awesome ABA therapist. She also toilet trained shortly after following a protocol provided by the psychologist who diagnosed her. We have since returned to the UK and have been trying to find a new ABA therapist and get DD into "the system".

DD is now nearly 4 and still struggles with expressive language and receptive language to a lesser degree (more tricky questions e.g. why, what). The echolalia has mostly gone now, but she does have a good ear, which is brilliant for picking up new words, phrases, songs etc. She also has a fabulous vocabulary and memory. I often feel like her head is full of words, phrases, facts but she can't get them to come out coherently all the time. She often seems to be testing new words out to check our reaction to what she says.

We are lucky in that DD is going to get Speech and Language Therapy and Play Therapy (to work on her social skills with peers) through our local authority in her pre-school, which we hope will help her develop the skills to be able to thrive in school. In our area there seems to be lots of focus on getting help to children before they start school, so I would encourage you to see what you can get in your area. We are dropping the tutor led ABA for now, but will still try to follow some of the techniques at home. I still think ABA was brilliant to get DD talking and understand its value, but for now she really needs to get more comfortable with her peers rather than spending more time exclusively with adults.

Some of the best tips we got were:
1) narrate what is happening (give a running commentary),
2) spend 5-10 mins exclusively playing with your child following their lead,
3) minimise unsupervised screen time (try to do the commentary e.g. Talk about what you see - our therapist used to show DD photos of faces to explain and then ask about emotions, moved on to cartoons that she stopped and asked questions about),
4) hold up desired items near your eyes and don't give them until DS looks at you, make sure you say "good looking at me" when you give it, and
5) praise positive behaviour with meaningful praise (not just good boy, clever boy etc but well done building your tower, thank you for xyz etc) and try to ignore negative behaviour unless it is dangerous.

I hope this helps, don't give up hope. By identifying the ASD early you have more time to make a positive difference to your DS's communication skills.

PolterGoose Fri 09-Dec-16 09:28:29

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zzzzz Fri 09-Dec-16 10:40:32

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2boysandadog9 Fri 09-Dec-16 11:00:38

Thanks for the advice Flossie, I'm glad you have had a good experience with ABA.

Polter - Ds eye contact can be very good albeit on his own terms and I'm not trying to force him. Even his stims aren't something I want to change (he has a few visual stims).
It's purely communication and attention/focus that I am hoping ABA to help improve. I know some people see ABA as a way to 'normalise' their child. That is not my aim at all, I want him to be able to let me know his needs and find ways to teach him that are fun and interesting for him.
He is a very happy and affectionate little boy and I love him for who he is!!
At the moment I don't think he understands the concept of communication and I want to try and show him what a benefit it would be for him (and me!)

OP’s posts: |
2boysandadog9 Fri 09-Dec-16 11:07:10

Zzzz - you did suggests a website for me before and I have a few Montessori toys that he loves.
He can match colours and pictures he can do jigsaw puzzles. His fine motor skills have improved massively.

OP’s posts: |
2boysandadog9 Fri 09-Dec-16 11:24:51

I hope I haven't offended anyone, I'm not saying that reducing certain behaviours doesn't have a place, especially physically harmful ones. My son is still very little and I am concentrating on communication as that is his biggest issue.
I am only just entering the world of ASD and I'm trying to find my feet!

OP’s posts: |
zzzzz Fri 09-Dec-16 11:33:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FlossieFrog Fri 09-Dec-16 12:25:44

PolterGoose - fair comment. I should have added, always trust your judgement as a parent. We don't ever force DD to do anything she really doesn't want to (other than flu sprays - horrible experience). So while we encourage eye contact, we wouldn't withhold a desirable for too long. We rarely use this technique now.

My DD needs a bit of nudging sometimes and benefits from it, but this isn't necessarily the same for everyone on the spectrum.

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