Talk

Advanced search

Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Possible symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome

(10 Posts)
Goblinchild Sat 20-Jun-09 21:52:07

Some people have asked if their child has AS and then gone on to describe behaviour and sensitivities, so I wondered if this might help.
The following is not meant in any way to be professional advice, I'm just a parent with a teen Aspie, but it might help some individuals decide if they want to explore certain issues a little further or ask for guidance from professionals
It is by no means a complete or exhaustive list, and does not cover co-morbid symptoms that may be attached to AS.
And yes, for all the NTs reading, We know that most children do most of these things at some point.

Main characteristics
Difficulties with social relationships.
Not picking up signals and info that NTs take for granted such as facial expressions, intonation and inferred information.

Difficulties with communication.
May speak fluently but take little notice of reactions, may monologue, may not be aware of audience's feelings or reactions.
May be over-precise, formal or literal in speech. Jokes, metaphors, sayings, figurative language may cause total confusion, stress, meltdowns etc.

Difficulties with social imagination, imaginative play and flexible thinking.
This one causes some confusion as people say 'Well, he plays with his lego and makes up stories and has imagination, so...?'
It's the social aspect of imaginative play that can cause difficulties. If the child is in total control of their 'world' and setting the agenda, then they are being imaginative. AS children find it difficult to play when other individuals are involved that have different ideas or who don't perform as expected, unlike a lego or toy figure.
Abstract thinking is another area of difficulty, although the child may learn facts and figures easily, dealing with abstract concepts, without clear outcomes may be a challenge. Subjects like literature, religion and philosophy.

They may also be:
socially awkward and clumsy in social relationships with others
naive and gullible, a good rule of thumb is that many Aspies function at an emotional age 2/3 that of their chronological age.
unaware of how others feel
unable to carry on a 'give and take' conversation
upset by any change in routines and transitions, often undetectable to NTs
literal in speech and understanding
overly sensitive to lights, noise, odours, tastes and tactile sensations again often undetectable by NTs
have fixed interests or obsessions
physically awkward in sports, often those that require simultaneous application of different skills.
Not a team player in any sense.
Possibly
have an unusually accurate memory for details
sleeping or eating issues that cause problems
trouble understanding and processing things they have heard or read
Inappropriate facial expressions or body language
unusual speech patterns, repetative or irrelevant remarks
stilted, formal speech
overly loud, high or monotonous voice
stims that may involve rocking, fidgeting, joint cracking, humming, pacing...

siblingrivalry Sat 20-Jun-09 22:05:49

Goblinchild, my 8 year old dd has AS and I could tick off almost all of those traits you listed. Thanks for taking the time to do a list.
I think it can be so confusing when you first start to 'suspect' something like AS, because there are so many symptoms and each person has their own profile.

My dd was misdiagnosed at first,by CAMHS, because she didn't tick all of the boxes on their (limited) checklist. It's good to make people aware that there is no specific stereotype that everyone with AS has to fit.

I had to smile, reading your list, when I came to the bit about monologues. That is the part I find most 'trying' smile

Goblinchild Sat 20-Jun-09 22:08:32

Fortunately mine monologues about archaeology, lego, physical geography, English history and CSI.
All of which I enjoy too. smile

rmls09 Sat 20-Jun-09 22:09:47

Hiya, I'm one of those that has posted descriptions and asking what people think.
Thankyou so much, your post is so so useful, especially as it give solid examples of how to apply stuff. For example when I have previously considered the question of unusual speech patterns I have been unsure what exactly it means... but my son does indeed repeat things and make irrlevant remarks (constantly). In fact almost all of the example you have given apply to him, so much so I think I may use this as a guideline to explain my own examples of his behaviour at his next appointment.(Mainly becuase when they ask for examples my mind tends to go blank).

Gosh it's a lot to take in though! I don't think I have ever read stuff that describes him so well...it's a relief because I have thought there was a problem for a while (but have tried to ignore it, settling for a dx of ADHD) but at the same time I feel quite sad too.

Goblinchild Sat 20-Jun-09 22:13:54

Well, my Aspie is 14, so I've had a long time to study him. And I'm a teacher who dislikes jargon, what's the point of lists and descriptions that you don't understand or that are deliberately obscure and unspecific?
Has a child with AS in my class last year, and he was so very different to mine. smile

Goblinchild Sat 20-Jun-09 22:15:22

oops
Had a child.

Why no edit button on this site?

siblingrivalry Sat 20-Jun-09 22:34:40

I agree, I think that there needs to be a lot of specific examples -the descriptions of traits can be incredibly vague.
EG dd is unaware of why it isn't acceptable to stand in front of me and start talking, while I am trying to have a conversation with someone else. When I remind her and ask her to wait, she will either continue to talk (maybe monologue) or will get stressed and lose her temper.

bullet123 Sun 21-Jun-09 01:09:57

"Main characteristics
Difficulties with social relationships." True. I find it far easier to maintain friendships online than I do in real life and whilst I am married that does not mean there are no difficulties in that regard, but rather that I have an understanding and supportive partner who likes my personality.

"Not picking up signals and info that NTs take for granted such as facial expressions, intonation and inferred information."

I don't actually register a lot of these at all, unless they are very obvious.

"Difficulties with communication.
May speak fluently but take little notice of reactions, may monologue, may not be aware of audience's feelings or reactions."

Again I tend to not realise I should or could be picking up on these things. I think I monologue, especially if I have something important to state.

"May be over-precise, formal or literal in speech. Jokes, metaphors, sayings, figurative language may cause total confusion, stress, meltdowns etc."

I can be very precise sometimes. Jokes aren't usually a problem as I like verbal humour. I can't easily tell when someone's teasing me. Very little problems with figuratuve or metaphorical language as wordplay is a strong interest of mine. I always see the literal interpretation and sometimes I take it too literally, but usually I can understand the actual inference.

"Difficulties with social imagination, imaginative play and flexible thinking.
This one causes some confusion as people say 'Well, he plays with his lego and makes up stories and has imagination, so...?'
It's the social aspect of imaginative play that can cause difficulties. If the child is in total control of their 'world' and setting the agenda, then they are being imaginative. AS children find it difficult to play when other individuals are involved that have different ideas or who don't perform as expected, unlike a lego or toy figure."

Very much so. I need to have complete control of my imagination and my stories are always very plot driven. Also, I can picture myself in any place or time. I can not picture myselk as anyone else.

"Abstract thinking is another area of difficulty, although the child may learn facts and figures easily, dealing with abstract concepts, without clear outcomes may be a challenge. Subjects like literature, religion and philosophy."

Now abstract I can grasp quite easily as I just come up with a picture to explain it. Marriage is two people at a wedding. Death is a funeral or a gravestone. Religion is a bearded bloke sitting on a cloud. Philosophy is just reading Aesop's tales or picturing Archimedes in his bath (ok, that's not philosophy, but it's my standard picture for it). Or Diogenes and his Cynics. Literature is almost always plot driven, anything that looks at character development I don't like. So an Agatha Christie murder mystery, with its familiar patterns and people is perfect.

"They may also be:
socially awkward and clumsy in social relationships with others"

I can be unless I know the person well. Then I actually appear more on the spectrum as I don't try and hide anything.

"naive and gullible, a good rule of thumb is that many Aspies function at an emotional age 2/3 that of their chronological age."

Unsure of this. I always feel more immature than others my age and DH admitted that I appeared much younger than other women my age, but I think I can be quite mature in many ways.

"unaware of how others feel"

True, unless someone points it out or is really obvious I will miss blatant clues.

"unable to carry on a 'give and take' conversation"

Depends. If it interests me then to some extent, though if it interests me too much then I will hog the talking. If I can't grasp it I will be unable to maintain the talking.

"upset by any change in routines and transitions, often undetectable to NTs"

Yes, I do like my routines. But I can hide it well so only increased silence or snippiness will be the clue, plus four hours on the internet to settle myself once the lads are in bed.

"literal in speech and understanding"

It depends. If I'm reading, not so much, but I've been caught out by actual talking.

"overly sensitive to lights, noise, odours, tastes and tactile sensations again often undetectable by NTs"

Yes.

"have fixed interests or obsessions"

Definitely.

"physically awkward in sports, often those that require simultaneous application of different skills."

Oh god yes.

"Not a team player in any sense."

Again it depends. I much prefer to work on my own and could not have a supervisory job for example and when I played sports I always did my own thing with very little thought of what others were up to.

"Possibly
have an unusually accurate memory for details"

Yes

"sleeping or eating issues that cause problems"

Yes

"trouble understanding and processing things they have heard or read"

Not so much, but once or twice a month or once or twice a day, depending on how things or going, I will lose understanding of what is being said to me.

I"nappropriate facial expressions or body language"

Not so much inappropriate as low key.

"unusual speech patterns, repetative or irrelevant remarks"

Not sure.

"stilted, formal speech"

Quite often.

"overly loud, high or monotonous voice"

I sound about 6.

"stims that may involve rocking, fidgeting, joint cracking, humming, pacing..."

Lots of hand and finger stims and a fair bit of pacing. When Ds2's questionaire results came up and the doctor left the room I spent the time sort of spinning on one leg and walking with the other.

Goblinchild Tue 21-Jul-09 07:17:02

bump for newbie asking questions.

yanny Wed 22-Jul-09 00:11:39

Wow informative post thanks

This sounds like you are describing my dd (9)

We are currently waiting on an appointment with cahms and dd just started group ot sessions this week after scoring in the first percentile for the Movement ABC test. We are doing exercises at home and have invested in caring cutlery which works better for dd (when she doesnt forget how she's meant to hold them)

Up until recently I was convinced it was more then likely dyspraxia, however the symptoms for that and aspergers seem to be pretty much the same hmm

Hadn't given any thought to stims before but she does seem to hum to herself (in a monotone way) quite often and doesn't realise she is doing it. Also makes a 'clearing throat' sort of noise regularly, so much so that I have to tell her she's doing it too much and will get a sore throat sometimes.

We have been passed from pillar to post for years and the latest news is we are on a waiting list for cahms, although they can't indicate how long the list is or when we are likely to be seen.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now