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Social Communication Disorder Is This Another Term For Autism ?

(29 Posts)
colette Mon 18-Aug-08 13:40:16

Last year my cousin's ds (7) had an assessment of some kind and she told me they said he had Social Communication Disorder. Some measures were put in place at school including him having a place to cool down in and the teacher writing the day's schedule on the board. These have helped and he was more settled.
However when we have stayed/ or they have with us his behaviour has been quite difficult to cope with. Lots of shouting and hurting(physical and verbal) towards my ds.
Ds can also be a horror too sometimes but does not usually hurt others.
It is very difficult because my cousin and her dh are sometimes really stressed about his behaviour and she doesn't set many boundries whereas her dh can be over the top iykwim. My heart goes out to them as it is exhausting, cousin is treading on ice a lot of the time frightened of melt down
I have not said anything to my dc about the behaviour( except to not allow him to shout like that when he tries to copybut they are really shocked and it would be better if they and I understood why he is so naughty sometimes. DD gets abit upset by it. My cousin never talks about his diagnosis and I feel it is a taboo area. For the future I would like to know should I say anything to them is social com. disorder a new term fore kind for aspergers? or autism.
Her dh has said he dreads going out as a ffamily sad . I would like to help but am unsure how. I feel they need specialist help but am unable to say this because they are vey closed about the whole thing.

colette Mon 18-Aug-08 13:42:04

Sorry meant to really say how do I approach this to help without causing offence

colette Mon 18-Aug-08 13:48:39


BriocheDoree Mon 18-Aug-08 14:11:19

Autism is a kind of social communication disorder, but the term is wider than that, so your cousin's DS might be autistic but he might not. My DD suffers from a social communication disorder but she's not autistic, she has a language impairment. However, soc. comm. disorders will affect behaviour, so it might be best to try and explain to your DS that your cousin's DS has problems interacting with other children and that your DS has to be very patient and help him. I'm sure that your cousin's DS does not mean to hurt your DS, but I've seen my DD really upset NT kids without meaning to, or push them over, completely unaware that she might upset them. Children with soc. comm. disorders usually don't have much empathy - they need to be taught it.
I guess you need to let your cousin come to terms with the disorder and let her be the one to broach the subject with you. I've been quite open with my friends about DD's diagnosis but she's younger and most of them have known her since she was a baby so they've all suspected something! Kids like this often don't cope well with changes in routine so this might be why your cousin's DS misbehaves when staying with you. I find that when DD has NT friends over to stay, it works best if I organise structured activities that they can do together and I let her know well in advance what's happening.

colette Mon 18-Aug-08 15:50:41

thanks Briochdoree, you are so right about the empathywink I have said smetimes to the children "he gets very angry and can't let it out easily".
I feel I am being too vague because I don't know enough, and my children are confused/upset by the behaviour. I have told tell ds that if he wants to play on his own he must let him. Ds only remembers this for a while though and then goes back for more !
Tbh I think that part of the problem is that cousin has not come to terms with it . Hv picked up on some things aged 2 but cousin got p**d off with . He only likes a few activities so it is difficult to please all the children iykwim. I suppose I always suspected he was autistic but it is interesting that you've said the term s.c.d covers more than that.

tink123 Mon 18-Aug-08 19:35:06

My dd had that dx but is not on autistic spectrum

electra Mon 18-Aug-08 19:46:03

Message withdrawn

moondog Mon 18-Aug-08 19:49:02

I'm a salt and have achild with acommunication disorder. This 'label' has been put on her proposed statement and I have revised it to say 'has difficulties with communication and social interaction' as I also suspect dodgy dealings.

It means fuck all anyway, just another way of saying there are difficulties with these areas. I do wish everyone would stop using medical style names for comm. difficulties.

cyberseraphim Mon 18-Aug-08 20:01:32

My favourite autism book 'Unstrange Minds' by Roy Richard Grinker deals with these definitional issues in a fascinating way. He discusses the ways in which society's expectations can influence the stretching (or contracting) of the diagnostic criteria for communication disorders/autism.

Aefondkiss Mon 18-Aug-08 20:21:14

hello Colette, I wish I could say something to help, but maybe lookng at books about

without a dx you can still get dla, so your cousin might want to apply, with help from someone who knows what to write... my ds is 4, has "asd traits", no diagnosis, but we get dla.
links to look at not sure what might be useful, there is so much info out there.

Maybe your cousin could go to her gp and ask for help, referral to clinical psychologist/consultant paed? It is a hard thing to do, but it sounds like they could do with help/advice.

Could you google special needs and the area where your cousin lives to see if there are any organisations that might be able to advise her/you?

Aefondkiss Mon 18-Aug-08 20:23:04

oops I was going to look for some books about communication difficulties and got side tracked, well done Cyber, I might have a look for that one.

colette Mon 18-Aug-08 20:49:56

thanks so much for the info. Had no idea about dla or entitlements , will look into it and pass on info when she is more ready to talk about it. I know it will be a minefield - anything involving entitlements is sad
I am really interested in reading about it so am grateful for the book suggestions. I think this will help me to understand .

Tclanger Mon 18-Aug-08 22:08:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

colette Tue 19-Aug-08 09:46:07

Tclanger and all it sounds to me as if the term social communication disorder can mean so many diffrerent things . it is like saying a child has a physical disability without telling you much more. hmm

colette Tue 19-Aug-08 09:46:59

Tclanger and all it sounds to me as if the term social communication disorder can mean so many diffrerent things . it is like saying a child has a physical disability without telling you much more. hmm

Tclanger Tue 19-Aug-08 10:31:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

colette Tue 19-Aug-08 11:04:02

Tclanger your ds is gorgeous. grin

moondog Tue 19-Aug-08 14:15:43

Exactly Colette. Completey meaningless in other words!

Tclanger Tue 19-Aug-08 15:33:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ilona33 Wed 23-Jun-10 11:22:37

My daughter (5) was diagnosed a few months ago with complex social communication disorder. I didn`t really know what it was and medical staff didn`t give me much info on it. She has disordered social skills, disordered communication skills, etc.
So I treat her as I did before. We go out as normal. She needs a lot of patients and I know what makes her scared ( sudden noise, birds, toilet, etc) so I help her calm down. Although she wasn`t labelled as autistic yet, ( we`ll have another assessment in the next 6 months) the psychologist did say we should look for info on autism to help meet her needs and difficulties. When we go out we get stared sometimes, which use to bug me, but now I really don`t care what other people have to say. It`s not like they perfect!

niminypiminy Wed 23-Jun-10 12:01:02

Colette the thing I ask my friends to explain to their kids is that 'ds1 would really like to be friends but he isn't very good at it and needs to practice'. That might help you ds to get a handle on it. Also very important for you to let him know that it's not ok for him to be hit even if there are reasons to do with his cousin's difficulties that make him hit out (hope that makes sense).

I can't comment on the question of what the dx means but one place you might find some useful info is the National Autistic Society web site. I'm not saying he has autism, but there is a lot of good information on there about difficulties with social communication, coming to terms with a dx, what to say to family, siblings and so on. It's a good place to start without buying loads of books. They also have a helpline which again can give and send out lots of information.

It's very, very hard coming to terms with any kind of dx. One of the most important things I think you can do for her is to keep getting your kids together -- I am so, so grateful to my one or two friends who kept having ds1 to play during his worst hitting other children phases. It helped keep me sane, and helped me feel that we weren't going to be social pariahs for life.

carve133 Thu 24-Jun-10 15:02:25

Hello, new to this board. Autism Spectrum Disorders are currently diagnosed by reference to a 'triad of impairments' - social communication, language & imagination. A child will need to display so many features in each area for a diagnosis of ASD. Sometimes, children may have difficulties in one or two areas but not in a third, so it is not technically possible for the clinician to use the ASD label. In these cases a term such as 'Social Communication Disorder' is often used (i.e. difficulties with langugage and communication but not imagination). I do understand that these labels can feel very frustrating and at times meaningless, but if its any consolation it probably means that the clinician was doing things properly and has been well trained.
I agree with niminypiminy's suggestions for explaining to the kids. The NAS website has lots of helpful info.

StarOfValkyrie Thu 24-Jun-10 15:20:21

collete posted this message 2 years ago. She probably knows more by now! smile

carve133 Thu 24-Jun-10 16:41:08

Ooops! confused by posters above me <resolves to look more closely next time>. smile

niminypiminy Thu 24-Jun-10 18:25:29

oops blush you are eagle-eyed, Star. You haven't been going through any documents with a fine tooth comb lately, have you wink?

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