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how did you find out your child had SN?

(22 Posts)
thisisyesterday Fri 23-Oct-09 14:50:43

Hi all I was just wondering if you could give me some words of advice, linglette saw my otre post and suggested i put it here instead.

i'll copy and paste to make it easier i think...

we're having a few issues with ds1. things i thought were just phases seem to be going on forever. things that i feel he ought to be understanding and doing socially seem to be lacking
it culminated this afternoon in me being given a bit of a talk to by his teacher about his behaviour towards other children

i just can't tell whether his behaviour is normal 4.5 yr old stuff or whether there is something more to it.

one thing for example is that he just can't seem to understand that if he is doing something that is upsetting/hurting another person then he ought to stop.
he will shove a toy in my face, and i'll be telling him to stop and he will not until he is physically removed.
we had a friend to play and he was chasing her. she didn't want to be chased and was crying but he wouldn't stop. she ended up really quite hysterically crying and i had to actually drag him away from her.

it isn't that he can't empathise, because he is actually very sensitive and cries at things on the tv, or things he hears about a lot (ie, when shrek blows a frog up like a balloon and lets it go he cries because the frog will float away and never get back to his mummy)

he constantly does things he isn't allowed to. i think at his age he ought to understand by now that he isn't allowed to jump on the sofa (he has never, ever been allowed to do this), or that it isn't ok to throw a show in his brother's face.

waitingforgodot Fri 23-Oct-09 15:04:30

Its a tricky one. I realised when DS was 2 that his speech was a bit slow compared to his peers. I contacted health visitor who said not to worry. I waited til he was 3 and asked for a referral to audiology to get his hearning tested. His behaviour was so far from the norm that the audiologist referred him to the paediatrician. By that point, the penny kind of dropped and I started looking up ASD on google and came on here to ask more questions. The Paediatrician said he is def showing autistic traits. We are currently in the process of being assessed by Speech Therapists and Psychologists. I would add that as he is an only child, we had no point of reference and therefore may have been a bit slow on the uptake. Also, we noticed he started losing words which is what prompted us to start asking more questions

mysonben Fri 23-Oct-09 15:13:19

Hi, if you feel that something isn't as it should be with your ds, then i would say follow your gut feeling and maybe go and speak to your gp regarding a referral to a paed.
I take it your ds muct be in reception, it is early days but how is he doing at school? Have they express any concerns over his behaviour?

My ds is 4 in 3 weeks. He has asd, by the time he was 2 both DH and i (as well as some family members) felt something wasn't quite right. There were worries as he was virtually non-verbal, and had some unexpected reactions with certain situations or stimulis.
But the full picture started to slowly unravel just before his 3rd b/day, when his nursery started to raise some concerns too.
We were told it was mild asd last april by his paed.

lou031205 Fri 23-Oct-09 15:17:52

Again tricky.

We 'knew' the minute the preschool told me that they'd like to get someone to observe DD, because they felt she was slightly behind & would benefit from some extra attention. I immediately knew that this was the right course of action. She had lots of things that I could reel off that I didn't think were quite right.

Looking back though, I 'knew'

-at birth, when she didn't sleep at all at night for the first 12 weeks, and screamed constantly unless being whacked on the back.

-at 8 months when she didn't make the number of sounds she should have done for her age, and her head circumference was on the 0.4th centile.

-at 15 months when she wasn't able to pull up to stand despite trying, and when cruising she turned her feet out to the side.

-when she didn't take her first steps until 23 months.

-at 2 when her behaviour didn't improve in any way & we had to take stairgates with us to visit friends, and ask them to put liquids up high.


Shortly after preschool asked to get someone in, she started falling over. Turned out she has epilepsy and Global Development delay caused by a brain malformation.

catkinq Fri 23-Oct-09 15:27:27

I knew when ds2 (third child) hit 6 weeks that something major was wrong. He got stranger and stranger as he grew up until by 3 he was "freaky alien child from Mars". He got seen by various professionally and finally diagnosed as completely normal. Only then did we realise that there was a problem with the other two

lou031205 Fri 23-Oct-09 15:41:41

catking, that always makes me sad and smile. sad that you weren't able to enjoy Ds2 developing, because you thought he had problems, and smile at the irony.

catkinq Fri 23-Oct-09 16:09:11

I did (and do) enjoy him - he was so much easier than the other two and whilst I was concerned it was a background thing and easier to deal with the the full on, in your face, issues of coping with "difficult" ds1. Being with ds2 was, and still is, always fun .

lou031205 Fri 23-Oct-09 16:26:19

Sorry, probably didn't word it too well. blush

thisisyesterday Fri 23-Oct-09 17:02:50

thank you for the replies, up until now he has pretty much developed "normally" (for want of a better word), alrthough hasalways had funny little habits, they've never been anything too worrying

i don't think he is autistic, although dp and I have always said that he seems to have lots of autistic-y traits iyswim?

but he pointed at a young age, talks (a lot), does a lot of imaginative play etc etc

he just seems to struggle in cerrtain situations.
he still spits at people, throws stuff, pushes his brother down stairs etc, things that I think at almost 5 he reallyought to know what to do.

nursery never raised any issues with him, and school have jsut said that he has been picking on another child and that he gets very angry very easily.
he seems to have settled in ok. he says it's boring, but he also says he likes it as long as his friends are there

i think i just assumed it was ordinary 4.5yr oldbehaviour, but these "phases" don't seem to be passing.
i kind of feel that if soemthing was really wrong i'd have noticed it by now?? but several people have mentioned aspergers recently and it got me wondering whether there maybe is more to this?

OnceWasMummyPig Fri 23-Oct-09 17:15:52

hi thisisyesterday my ds2 was ill as a baby but apart from his health problems seemed to be meeting all the developmental milestones iyswim. He walked at 14m, talked very early, was very friendly etc. We thought he would shine at school!

Then at 3 1/2 yrs old he started having epileptic seizures. Everyone had a very difficult year or so and he definitely didn't cope with being in reception very well (and the teachers didn't cope with him either).

Now he has been seizure free for a while and seems to be coping fairly well with Yr 1 but is being assessed for sensory processing disorder. It's something that often goes along with other special needs (especially AS or ASD as far as I am aware) and we'll never really know whether it's solely down to the epilepsy or the meds or a combination but he definitely needs more help than what's called an NT(neurologically typical) child.

It also seems that some kids with SPD might not have so many problems dealing with it prior to school as their family or close carers make situations easier for them anyway (e.g. by putting soft clothes on them) and so it becomes more obvious when they go to school and the concessions are not made.

Of course I'm not saying your son is anything like mine but I'm just trying to show it doesn't have to be something that is immediately obvious from a few weeks old. And on a different tack I have a friend with a close family member who has only just been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at 44 yrs.

thisisyesterday Fri 23-Oct-09 17:56:50

that's interesting, thank you.
he is very, very similar to my brother actually, who is dyspraxic. he wasn't diagnosed until he was about 8 or 9, but my mum had known there was something going on for much longer.

am i right in thinking that dyspraxia is also related sometimes to asd too?

sarah293 Fri 23-Oct-09 19:00:04

Message withdrawn

linglette Fri 23-Oct-09 19:07:46

I guess ultimately thisisyesterday you're wondering whether there's something different about the way he uses his sense and the way he processes information - something hard-wired in his central nervous system <awaits correction from people with better understanding> that is a root cause.

Not all people with sensory issues also have autistic-like "showing" problems(the pointing thing that you mentioned). Nor do all people with processing problems.

I think you also wanted to try to get him to open up to you - to explain what was going on. Are you working on the basic "how to talk so your kids will listen and listen so your kids will talk?" -style techniques? If not, perhaps get that book and work really hard on the techniques for a while......but I now know that I was biologically a bit "different" as a child and I couldn't really have talked about it- it went in a diary ("how to talk" recommends gettin gpeople to write stuff down btw).

thisisyesterday Fri 23-Oct-09 19:14:23

yeah i do have a copy of how to talk, but i think it's probably time for a re-read.

he just seems not to "get" what other people are saying to him. heisn't very good at reading people iyswim? he can't seem to grasp that if someone is crying and pushing him away that he needs to step back and stop trying to play with them
he isn't usually doing it in a nasty way, he wants to play and that kind of overrides anything they are telling him

Mumsyof1 Sat 24-Oct-09 00:43:42

Hi thisisyesterday, my son was diagnosed with Aspergers a couple of years ago - he is now 11. When he was much younger he used to like pushing smaller children over (in the park, at parties, etc); it sounds a bit like the behaviour you're describing. I think he found it funny to see them go over, but he couldn't empathise with them or understand how unpleasant it would be for them at all. However, he used to cry if he saw an advert for the RSPCA with kittens or puppies. He is actually a very kind child, but has no concept of the way anyone else feels or thinks. We eventually got him to see the Ed Psych when he started getting hurt at school because he would approach children in the wrong way at the wrong time. That led to an assessment. I would talk to the SENCO at school. If your child is on the spectrum they will benefit loads from the extra help you get with a diagnosis, even if they're only mildly affected. By the way, dyspraxia is often associated with ASD.

Goblinchild Sat 24-Oct-09 06:53:13

My son didn't get a dx until he was 8, but from 5 he was seen as boy with increasing behaviour problems in school.
At home he was fine, and it took me a long time to think about Asperger's as a possibility, despite being a teacher. I didn't realise that the way I run my home actually supported his needs enough to mask a lot of what I was looking for as traits.
Not well explained, but it took three years of him increasingly diverging from NT behaviour for me and others to work out the key.

asdx2 Sat 24-Oct-09 07:50:48

Ds now 14 was very obviously different from birth. Having already had 3 NT children the differences were huge and so I knew from early days and he was diagnosed with autism and learning difficulties at just three.
Dd now 6 was just like my first three for the first year of her life so I was reassured that she was fine. She lost all her skills at twelve months and I knew then it was autism. She was diagnosed with autism a year after she lost her skills.
I think having other children and ds being quite severely affected made it obvious to me not sure I would have realised had he been my first.With dd having lived with autism I knew without doubt the minute she stopped smiling.

thisisyesterday Sat 24-Oct-09 08:32:50

thank you all so much for taking the time to read this and share your stories. mumsy that does sound a lot liek ds1! he gets upset very easily over things he sees on tv, we have to be quite careful with what he watches, but yes, he can't seem to apply that empathy to other people in real life!
one of the things that had been bugging me was that I felt that if there is a problem i ought to have picked up on it by now, but it seems like that's not necessarily the case!

I had a chat last night with a friend who works with autistic children and she said it does present as aspergers, but it also could just be that he is just a bit behind with his emotional development and social skills etc

so i think we'll arrange a meeting with his teacher, and take himt o the GP as well and see where we go from there!

Goblinchild Sat 24-Oct-09 08:36:55

'one of the things that had been bugging me was that I felt that if there is a problem i ought to have picked up on it by now, but it seems like that's not necessarily the case!'

Me too, but Boy has no LDs, and the more I learn about AS the more I look at my highly academic and obsessive OH and think 'Oh yes!'

borderslass Sat 24-Oct-09 09:07:56

My son developed normally until 18 months walked, talked was bright and alert and then suddenly stopped talking and was very withdrawn and became destructive probably due to frustration I told health visitor my concerns but was told to stop comparing to daughter.He failed is 2 year assessment could only walk and then they listened,by the time my younger daughter who is 15 months younger than him was 2 years old she was overtaking him he is now 15 and has been diagnosed with ADHD severe learning and communication disabilities (when he was under 6 it was global developmental delay something they give when the medical profession don't know what is wrong) he also has autism but this is still not diagnosed even though he goes to a school for autistics and meets all the criteria for autism.

Arabica Sat 24-Oct-09 11:53:11

When I read on here about the struggle so many parents have to have concerns taken seriously, I think we have been fortunate to learn that DD's brain wasn't developing typically (too much fluid where there should be brain tissue) whilst I was still pregnant. This is partly because, when she was eventually born, it wasn't as huge a shock that she needed to stay in SCBU for a few weeks. All her other services seemed to flow quite organically and I have never had to insist that she is seen by anyone--apart from the usual chasing up of follow-up appointments that get lost in the system. Obviously it doesn't take the worry away about the kind of life DD is going to have, but at least I have never had to argue with anyone about the kind of help she needs (although it's early days at the moment, and maybe she won't get as much when she isn't so little and cute!)

ki28 Sat 24-Oct-09 13:16:34

Hi, not sure how much help my point of view will be,but here goes. Just read through your post and can see simularties between our boys. To me,my ds is a cheeky,yet shy and anxious(???) cheeky little sod,who is very stubborn and set in his ways.(my fault)

And it just took a while longer to settle into things/anything. Which i have found can be common with boys.

My ds 4 and half. started pre-school at his local and within a term the nursery nurse had diagnosed him with asd,being mildly on the autisic specrum. He wasnt even 4.

They had there worries reguarding social skills,eye contact and his speech(pronouncing phonics). Like your ds he would chase people and shove things in their faces and just didnt understand why this was wrong.
He preffered to play alone and silly things would scare him again like your ds.

He would get angrey over silly things and practicaly growl and shout,hit and smack. He was also very anxioius. I mjust admit that we only ever agreed with the school on the facts that he liked to play alone and that he was anxious. We had had answers to their worries on all of the other symptons aswell as the ones we agreed with.

speech- his hearing is not up to standard in one ear.

Social skills-was a only child untill 8 months ago,was fine at nursery and with people he knew out of school.

anger and growling- i have to admit mainly my fault as he was extremly spoilt and i was very laid back and never said NO. And he hadnt learnt these skills yet,there is no age limit to wen they should be learnt by,just a 'average child' timing.

boundries with other children- He only soacilised with the same children untill school and once again was a only child living in our adult world.

So as you can see there is answers to it all if you are honest and open,we felt bombared by the school,with there opinions.

A a year down the line we are nearly finished with the whole asd assesment and guess what???? He is fine as normal (hate that word) as the next kid. Plays happly with people he wants to play and is much better behaved due to me learning new tatics and listening to him and being more firm.
So i had to admit that he was a 'naughty??'child,but down to me partly.

Like i say dont know how much this will help, but my god he is still only nearly 5(next march)he still thinks he knows it all,but he is one of the most happly fun loving little boys around.
As stressful as the whole thing was with school,it helped us a family,to understand a boys needs. And in the middle of it all it made me realise that it was us that needed to change rather then him.
And he still only so young. I crnt stress that point enough. Take any help/advice the school offer it can only help him.

I go on holiday on monday but will regauly check on here before i go if you want a chat.

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