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Common behavioural problems in a child with ASD?

(6 Posts)
trunkybun Tue 15-Jul-08 11:20:24

This may seem an odd question, but we are experiencing increasing problems with our DS aged 7. We have been told that he has Dyspraxic tendencies, but don't have a formal diagnosis. He certainly has all the social awkwardness associated with that condition, but until now has been a relatively well behaved child (never in trouble at school until this year)Now, it seems that whenever he is in an unstructured environment he loses control. On Friday he kicked a teacher on a school trip blush The school understandably have taken a very dim view of this and have instigated some harsh punishments and we are waiting to be summoned to the Heads office!!

When we question him about these incidents he seems to be completely unable to articulate his feelings, and this compounds the issue because the school believe he is just sulking. I have always had a suspicion that DS has AS tendencies, and now I wonder if that might be what is behind the problem behaviour. I have made an appointment with the GP tomorrow to try and get a referral and some sort of clinical diagnosis. Does anyone have any experience/insight they can pass on

twocutedarlings Tue 15-Jul-08 12:08:29

Not an odd question atall smile.

Alot of what your have said about your DS does sound very AS. My DD (almost 6) was diagnosed with AS last year, and she also has major issues when in unstructured enviroments.

She also has alot of dyspraxic tendencies and at one point i was pretty sure that this was DDs issue, however alot of the motor skill issues assoicated with dyspraxia also over lap with AS.

I think your doing that right thing seeing your GP, it will probably be helpfull if you can compile a list of your concerns before your appointment.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Bink Tue 15-Jul-08 12:35:33

Being unable to articulate feelings is absolutely common & typical - problem is probably both (a) that he doesn't quite know what he's feeling and (b) more profoundly, he'll have very little idea of what people expect him to feel in that situation, so even if he knew what his own feelings are he'd has just about no way of bridging the gap between their expectation & his position. Does that make sense?

My ds (now 9) was like that when younger - just blank & uncomprehending when told off; then he moved on to giggling inappropriately (infuriating, but it showed awkwardness, at least = dawning social understanding); now he's there theoretically - he does understand when an incident is explained to him - but is still a way off being able to put it into practice. As he said sadly the other day "I do understand - but I don't act on it". However, I think that will be the next stage.

The essential thing, I think, is to develop a process of explicit explaining - with this sort of child these sort of things will not make themselves understood by instinct.

amber32002 Tue 15-Jul-08 17:43:26

www.autismresearchcentre.com/tests/cast_test.asp

That's a link worth looking at. It has the childhood Asperger Syndrome checklist that the professionals often use. We're not qualified to use it to diagnose our children, of course, but it gives some clues as to what to look out for?

trunkybun Tue 15-Jul-08 20:10:23

Thanks very much everyone for your messages! I can certainly identify with much of it smile

The test was very interesting, he came out at between 17 and 21 out of 31. Some of the questions were tricky to answer, for instance he doesn't really make odd or repetitive movements as such, but he is always holding his breath, not sure if that counts!!.

With regard to his behaviour issues, he is definately aware when he has done something wrong because he instantly shouts that he is sorry, and when he realises he is going to be punished regresses into a 2-3 year old, sobbing uncontrollably, getting down on his knees and pleading to be forgiven (his punishments almost always involve loss of nintendo or computer priviledges) however he quite quickly seems to forget about the whole incident (and seems to think everyone else has also)and when questioned about why he did it will say 'I can't remember' or 'I don't know'

Another quirk that he has is that he seems to find it very difficult to make choices, given the choice between two desserts for instance he will dither and say 'I'm not really sure, what do you think?' he really worries that he will make the 'wrong' choice!! Do any of you recognise this sort of thing from your own children?

Widemouthfrog Tue 15-Jul-08 22:11:11

The choice difficulty sounds exactly like my 5yr old DS (Aspergers). He is just confused by choice and reverts to I don't know. He also has problems expressing his feelings, and if he becomes aggressive or upset and you ask him why, he usually says he is frightened but cannot explain why. He has some motor control issues, mainly with fine motor skills, and poor planning and clumsiness - quite typical of AS, but obviously similar to dsypraxia too.

I think you are absolutely right to get your son assessed. All of these consitions have such a lot of overlap, but if he is on the spectrum, his teachers will need to understand that his behaviour is not willful or lazy.

Good luck

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