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grow out of asd tendencies???

(25 Posts)
ki28 Tue 29-Sep-09 13:51:22

hi there guys, I see everyone is still giving out brilliant and supportive info. Can i just ask a quick question? my 4yr olds school think tha he is showing asd tendencies(still in shock a bit myself) Through the meeting we have had with the sen at his school they have brought up that they are unsure either way and he may just GROW OUT of the tendencies he is showing. ie,lack of socail skills(which are growing every day and noticed by teachers too) unable to prononuce sounds(have since found he has haering problems in left ear and is fine with sounds now he is sat rite in front) and problems with sentences,but he as seen his salt and she sees no problem and he is advanced if anything. Im just very confused what they mean about growing out of the tendencies??? do they just mean mature ou of them? It just seems strange to put us through these hellish 6 months and them to keep saying he may just grow out of it. thanks for readin if you gat time x

debs40 Tue 29-Sep-09 14:04:45

I think the first thing I would say is that a SENCO does not diagnose anything but just puts in place SEN provision when it is needed. Certainly, s/he may spot problems with a child and refer on but it is not for the SENCO to decide definitively if there is a problem from a clinical point of view. They may, however, decide how to address that problem from an educational perspective.

It can certainly be the case that some behaviour which may be labelled ASD is within the boundaries of age appropriate behaviour, for example, most toddlers tantrum, chew things or get nervous with new people. Most children experience but grow out of these things so it would be wrong to label them ASD traits to start with.

The school may be saying that the problems may be more to do with age than something like ASD and that this might become more apparent with time.

Is your son getting any assessment apart from SALT? Does he have any other problems e.g. sensory, routine, coordination? Has he seen the school doctor?

amberflower Tue 29-Sep-09 14:19:38

Hi Ki28, I can sympathise as we had some mixed messages too. DS was DXed as mild ASD with aspergers type presentation earlier this year shortly before he turned 5. Came as a total shock as whilst we acknowledge he has some issues at school we had never in a million years suspected ASD.

Our paed described it to us like this: there is a 'social scale' on which we all sit somewhere (massively outgoing 'social butterflies' at one end, the far less outgoing but socially competent engineer/mathematician/scientist types at the other, everyone falls on it somewhere at either end or in the middle, and beyond the 'engineer' type there is a line beyond which someone's social interaction is impaired enough for them to be considered ASD at whatever level of severity). She then went on to say that it was her belief that starting school had prompted DS's behaviour to tip 'over the line', as it were, from the scientist/mathematician end of the social scale where he naturally sits into mild ASD, but that it was her belief that he would as he grew older develop the ability and maturity to cope with situations better and 'cross back over the line' as it were into 'normal'. (If that sounds confusing - we were massively confused too hmm!)

My understanding is that children do not 'outgrow' ASD but they can, depending on their level of severity/ability, develop coping strategies and I guess 'grow out of' some of the traits (although they cannot 'grow out of' the disorder itself). The thing is that a lot of children who are not clinically autistic show autistic traits - one outreach worker I spoke to told me that she could probably go into any primary school classroom in the UK and pick up autistic traits in half the class. So I guess your DS's school are keen not to label too early, which is the right approach to take, but at the same time it is hellish even having the seed of worry planted in your mind.

I guess the key issues is - what do you think? You know that little boy better than any SENCO, paed, teacher etc. Has his behaviour ever given you cause for concern? Does any of what they describe to you ring true at all? Are they suggesting formal assessment?

At the end of the day there is always the argument that as long as they get the help they need it does not matter what the label is. But it is still so difficult when the suggestion comes as a total shock. I sympathise hugely. For what it is worth, the professionals seem unsure about my DS too (and as his parents we in our heart of hearts don't believe he is ASD). I think sometimes when they are so 'borderline' (i.e. to all intents and purposes happy and settled but just showing some difficulties in certain areas) it can be harder both to DX and to accept a DX.

ki28 Tue 29-Sep-09 14:30:25

hi and thanks for your reply,reguarding other problems the school was concerned that he was putting his shoes on the wrong feet and he was unable to dress him self after P.E. I now leave him to do all this himself in morning and at all times and he has no bother getting dressed at all or undressed and the shoes they still go on the wrong feet 20% of the time but he is definatley aware and swaps them back without a word from anyone.Routine is no bother and never has been. He was having troule holding his pencil but since we have worked on this over the hols he is fine with this to,he just seems to be like a sponge and soaking it all up. am feeing a partley responsable for the problems at school as since i have stopped BABYING him he seeems to be catchig up rapidly. He has been refered bout his motor skills,but since they have improved during hols not sure what happens now?? He was a very anxious boy who really didnt want to leave my side but is growing in confidence daily. Also a problem eith eye contact was mention but not sure if this is just due to being very shy as once he knows you it fine and wen he has been seen by salt,they have no problem with this and have seen him making eye contact with others and children. thanks again xx

debs40 Tue 29-Sep-09 14:31:49

Amberflower - the difference here is that you were told this by a paediatrician after an assessment. It is not SENCO's job to make such an assessment. S/he can only comment on how the type of behaviour which might require assistance in an educational setting and what that provision might be.

It is not the school's job to diagnose or label anything. There is much more to diagnosing ASD than seeing how children behave in one setting and it is a multi-disciplinary process.

SALT is one part of that but only one part and if the poster has any concerns, she should ensure her son is seen by the community paediatrician (usually accessed via GP or school)

debs40 Tue 29-Sep-09 14:36:43

ki28 - is your child only 4? How long has he been at school? It can't be more than a month can it? Or do you mean he's 5 and in Year 1?

Why on earth were the school worried about him dressing himself after PE at such a young age? That is incredible.hmm

We used to laugh when ds was in reception as you could always tell the children had done PE as half of them would wear back to front/inside out jumpers or shoes on the wrong feet as they came out of school.

Sometimes these things take time. That doesn't mean someone has grown out of ASD traits but they were age appropriate developements which needed a little extra help.

amberflower Tue 29-Sep-09 14:39:58

Debs, sorry, I know that, but probably didn't make it clear! DS underwent a multi disciplinary process. We don't, however, agree with the outcome and are challenging it. I just saw parallels between this case and ours, and the point I was trying (badly, probably!) to make was that it was school who instigated DS's assessment, we would never have done so because we don't see the issues at home or elsewhere.

debs40 Tue 29-Sep-09 15:04:18

Sorry Amber, I see what you mean. I agree that is what is so important, seeing these things over different settings and getting different input.

I have the opposite feeling about my ds unfortunately. I can see that we never saw problems before because he generally functions well at home. It's outside the house that the problems become evident and how they are brought back home with the stress of managing somewhere else.

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 29-Sep-09 15:39:35

I think a kid who is only mildly autistic can "grow out of" it to an extent - my step daugher did exactly that.

amberflower Tue 29-Sep-09 15:42:26

Please don't apologise - have just read through my original post and it is a bit of a brain dump and not very coherent! I was trying to empathise with ki28 but was rather waffly, to say the least!

Note to self - next time pen a response after school run when have bit more time and hopefully make bit more sense wink

It is so hard when our DCs are struggling isn't it, I feel for anyone going through the process at whatever stage we are each at. I love my DS to pieces but just wish so much I could wave a magic wand and help him with the school struggles!

debs40 Tue 29-Sep-09 15:51:18

I agree. We are right in the middle of the assessment process and, although everyone has validated my concerns thus far, I get so down about always feeling like I have to explain his little foibles and battle to make his life that bit easier at school.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 29-Sep-09 15:51:59


Just from my perspective here

I sat through a lecture on ASD yesterday and the one thing he said makes a big difference is early detection. The phrase he says he hated mroe than anything is 'see if they will grow out of it'.

Between seeing if they will grow out of it and giving a dubious dx there is a middle road- getting into the system, getting any support offered but refusing a final DX until you are sure. Even at the very elast waiting lists for assessment are often very long and whilst you can always take yourself off them, if concerns worsen then you would have to start from scratch.

Get hold of a few texts on ASD_ most of the approaches used are perfectly suited to NT kids anyway, a good one to start with is called dont Shoot The Dog (amazon have it) and does give ideas, tehre's also another one I often suggest and whilst ts got Aspergers in the title, that does not mean that it can't be used for kids who do not have that, just ahs a different approach worth giving a shot.

AMber's right about not outgrowing ASD (though sometimes a dietary management scheme such as GF / CF gives the impression of real improvement) but there are a few other things, such as very severe shyness, that could give someone unskilled the impression of traits- so IMO the best thing is to get a GP appointment to ask for assessment whilst keeping in mind the fact that nothing is guranteed.

Will get amazon link

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 29-Sep-09 15:53:17

incentive to work hard under this government they only favour people who are happy to lie back and let others work for them(sorry I know that's a bit unfair in some cases but I'm pretty angry) here you go

dont shoot the dog is easy to find- looks like a canine manual but its not I promise!!!!

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 29-Sep-09 15:54:34


screwed that up didnt I?

mysonben Tue 29-Sep-09 16:16:41

Hi, Ki28,

Some very good answers have already been given but here is my penny worth anyway.

I can only speak of my DS who is nearly 4 and mild asd, we are in the system waiting for dx assesments and an eventual dx if we ever get that far.
From early on definately by age 18 m, my DS showed asd traits , in my eyes these traits were stronger than they are now but they got 'missed' by our incompetant HV.

Right now we find he has got better with coping with some issues, he goes through phases of showing strong asd behaviours and times when he seems more NT, iyswim?
Some of his "old " traits like hyper sensitivity to hot and cold , he has improved massively almost to the point i could say he has nearly grown out of it.
But for every asd signs that improves, another seem to pop up.
I believe children who have asd will never grow out if it, ASD is a neurological condition that is lifelong that is my personal belief anyway.
But as Amberflower explained, a child can improve a lot and learn to cope with some issues as they grow older, thus giving the impression that the asd issues are gone or almost gone.

I would try to get help as soon as possible for your DS, waiting lists are long enough as it is, no time to waste.

thinkingaboutdrinking Tue 29-Sep-09 18:42:35

amberflower that sounds rather like our experience. We knew DS was a bit shy, but had no concerns until nursery called me in, sat me down and said " we think DS has autism" (whilst admitting that they knew very little about it hmm
Big shock.
We are currently waiting for full assessments. Our community paed who saw us for 20 mins said that DS is displaying some autistic like behaviours (he wouldn't sit on her chair and won't sit and eat lunch at nursery) and he is sensitive to loud sudden noises like fire alarms. However, she did say he might grow out of them and it be nothing, or they might get worse and he would develop autism.
so that totally confused me - I thought it was permenent and not something that developed. We (like amberflower) still think that he isn't ASD (and I'm fairly sure that 10 years ago no-one would have dreamed of trying to diagnose him as having anything). What worries me is that once in the system, we won't be able to get out - and as we didn't rally instigate it, I'm also aware that if we were to pull out of assessments that nursery would just tell future school "we think DS has problems but paretns in denial"
So OP nothing really very helpful to add, except that you are not the only one gong through the nightmare of worrying about this - I now spend my entire time analysing DS's behaviour thinking " is that a sign??"

linglette Tue 29-Sep-09 19:16:33

"I'm also aware that if we were to pull out of assessments that nursery would just tell future school "we think DS has problems but paretns in denial""

Thinking - should be practising my violin instead of writing this but just wanted to say that we have pulled out of all further assessments and our paediatrician, speech therapist and school are all supportive or at least relaxed about it even though paed. still thinks he might tick her bloody boxes (if she spent less time on her boxes she might learn a little more about my child but I guess she doesn't make the NHS rules.....).

Happy to talk about this if you like though you can see it from my history - just want you to know it can be done. The key thing is that paed. and SALT are happy that DS2's needs have been identified and are being met. Bringing examples of what I do at home to show paed. really seemed to change her attitude towards me. All of us agree that 1-to-1 is not the answer for this child so no need for statement - and therefore no need for DX.

linglette Tue 29-Sep-09 19:22:32

ki28 - sorry, back to your message.

I think that if you have autism your problems tend to change over time. You outgrow and conquer one set of challenges (how to interact with 4-year-olds say) only to be faced with another set of challenges (how to interact with 5-year-olds) before you are ready for it............

So you do outgrow traits but you have to really run fast to keep up IYSWIM - hence the idea of having intensive therapy - helps you practice the things that are hard for you but come fairly naturally to other kids.

grumpyoldeeyore Tue 29-Sep-09 19:43:24

I think the description of the line is useful - when you cross the line it should be because your autistic traits (which we all have some of) are causing you a disability eg you cannot talk / socialise / play / behave in an appropriate way and therefore a diagnosis and treatment is helpful. However if you have higher than average autistic traits but they don't impact on how you function in the real world then does it really matter. If he has signs of ASD but his behaviour is fine for his age and he is not unhappy (eg he has friends, enjoys school etc) then why would you need a diagnosis. I was painfully shy at school and bullied about it which made me more withdrawn and would probably have been diagnosed with something now - but once I got away from that environment I easily made friends in my 20's and I was always loud at home so my parents were never worried. My NT kids all put shoes on wrong feet at 4-5, that is normal. Can you go and "help out" in the class and observe him yourself? The hearing problem could also have held him back socially eg if he only heard bits of conversations. I would also suggest you try some 1:1 playdates and see how he copes on a small group basis. Being in a room of 29 others can be daunting for many of us ASD or not.

thinkingaboutdrinking Tue 29-Sep-09 20:07:02

liglette "if she spent less time on her boxes she might learn a little more about my child but I guess she doesn't make the NHS rules....." I have to admit reminds me very much of our pead appt. She was very keen to get through her questions and I felt like she wasn't really listening to me, let alone trying to get to know my son...
Anyway, have to go out now - might try and chat tomorrow.
Sorry to hijack ki28.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 29-Sep-09 20:55:03

' then does it really matter'

A valid point but it is always keeping it in mind that post 16 diagnosis is hard to come by in many parts of the country now, and that a dx of ASD can only also be related to other issues later on- depression, eating disorders etc.

I know for me that when I relaised I had traits (not diagnosed but probably diagnosable) it was a massive relief; i'm not odd / horrible / wrong, just a bit different. I ahve spokn to a few people who have ahd a similar feeling, often a nightamrish adolescence and start to their twenties.

That doesn't necessarily mean pursuing a DX yet, but it does mean being aware that if problems do occur then it's something to consider IYSWIM

ki28 Wed 30-Sep-09 13:20:14

hya everyone,only just had to chance to read through your replies and thank you very much!! hi debs40-My son is 5 next march,he is currently in the foundation stage 2 of the school pre school,doing his first term of full days,it just used to be mornings. We have done playdates,outting to playzones(adventure play areas,soft play areas) with children from his class and no problems shown there,he still went off on his own but was happy to join in and play if e wanted to or was asked too. he says he ahs noe friend at school and doesnt want any more,so he definately showing sign of understanding social skills. And we walk to and from school with other children from his class ans he happly chats away most of the time and plays 'running' with them.and is extremley happy going to school. my doctor is now involved and thinks that he is still very young and to leave him another term before becoming even more worried as what he knows and has seen of him is a chatty young boy. Me/ i dont dont know what to think? What ever the worries are at school dont show through at home,he just seems to shut down slighty and thid is the major worry for me,the difference in him at home/at school. What is this s sign of? It just keeps going round in circles in my head. thanks again xx

mumslife Wed 30-Sep-09 21:29:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sazisi Wed 30-Sep-09 21:40:42

I don't think anyone can grow out of asd, but I do think children often learn to mask their symptoms and immitate more socially acceptable behaviours.

ki28 Fri 02-Oct-09 12:47:46

hey guys,am very happy today! just witnessed DS hi fiving with another boy from his class who isnt his 'best' friend and then he proceeded to tell me that he likes this boy 'he plays good' and 'he is comin to our house for t next week' and 'that scholl was REAL good today' and then sounded out all his sounds on his own while reading his book.(yeah yeah) !!!Keep ya chins up lovely ladies!! to you all x

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