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Borderline ASD - would knowing help ds?

(7 Posts)
slambang Tue 01-Jan-13 16:43:17

Ds2 (14) has a lot of Aspergersy traits (finds change very difficult, has little ability to empathise or infer intentions of others, eye contact has had to be taught, hypersensitive to tastes, smells, textures, does not do socialising etc).

But relative to those dcs I know diagnosed with Aspergers, all this is relatively mild, he gets on well with his life with few problems. I don't think he would be diagnosed if i took him for assessments. I don't think a dx would change what he would get from school.

My question - Should we discuss it with him? Would it help ds to know that his personality quirks fit an Aspergers pattern?

Has anyone else had this dilemma?

slambang Tue 01-Jan-13 17:02:59

Off to see Life of Pi. Will check in later

bigbluebus Wed 02-Jan-13 15:58:45

I'm not sure really, but you might like to re-post on Special Needs as there are often threads on there about when/if to tell a child about a diagnosis of ASD/AS (although appreciate that your DS hasn't actually been diagnosed).

slambang Wed 02-Jan-13 17:09:30

Cheers BBB. I'd avoided the SN boards because I know internet self diagnosis annoys people who have dcs with serious conditions.

SecretSquirrels Wed 02-Jan-13 17:16:41

I wonder how many people show some of those traits? A few years ago it would just have been put down as a personality quirk. You say He gets on well with his life with few problems. I think it would be a can of worms to discuss it with him.

I have a 17 year old who would tick a few boxes but I don't think his life would be improved by pointing this out to him

gardeningmama Wed 02-Jan-13 17:51:56

Hi slam. I too have self-diagnosed my ds 15, although it is my dh and fil who are more firmly on the scale imo. From a young age my ds has been very self aware and emotionally literate and talks to me (I know! how many mum's would love that from their teen son! I'm very lucky). I have built this trust with him though because, due to his hyper sensitivity, I have had to talk him through many situations, feelings, emotions, bewilderments and general confusion about this wierd world we live in and people's oddities, again, from a very young age. He is turning into a wonderful young man, but still has certain troubles. He has anger management issues due to his inability to adapt to a situation that he finds difficult or isn't going his way. He loses it pretty quick, thankfully not violent but we have countless broken pens around the house! Mild, I know.

I haven't had my ds diagnosed because the more serious issue is with dh. I talk to ds about his dad and some of the difficult behaviour with him and also about how ds has similarities. I reassure my ds that he is young, is aware of his traits and can "train" himself to deal with them. He can also look at his dad and grandad as a mirror and use that as helpful understanding and insight. I can't talk to my ds about my certain suspicions re AS, until my dh has a better grasp of the facts. Dh has acknowledged that AS might be his "thing", but until he has become more pro-active about doing something with that information, I don't think it's fair on him to big it up with ds.

So, the long and the short, perhaps you could talk to your ds without naming the syndrome? Just talk to him about the characteristics you see in him, reassure him that it is not that uncommon, that it is not "wrong" behaviour, just different, and point out the many positives too.

I don't really know how helpful my experience will be for you tbh. Thinking about it, my ds has good eye contact, great empathy (bit too sensitive) and these are atypical AS traits. We're all different though aren't we, whether we are on the spectrum or not!

Good luck smile.

slambang Wed 02-Jan-13 20:36:34

Thanks gardening and squirrels

You've both kind of confirmed what I've already thought/ am doing. I think that discussing it with ds may open a can of worms because he probably would view the info as entirely negative however much I explained it in positive terms. And I do already try to address each behaviour separately (hence the training on eye contact).

I suppose my thoughts were just would it help ds now or in the future to understand himself a bit better and overcome the problems he does have, but I really don't know how to broach it positively.

Gardening, interesting you say your main issue is temper - us too (although only at home). He can be violently upset to the point of threatening suicide in
a matter of minutes about something 'wrong'. Thankfully this seems loads better over the past couple of years. He hates school but can't explain why and is doing well, very bright and well behaved. Other things which I see as a problem but ds is fairly comfortable about are his total refusal to wear new clothes (resulting in him wearing faded torn old clothes 3 sizes too small) and his rubbish social skills that can make him sound a bit rude or unfriendly (a bit of coaching here has helped).

I guess even an informal dx is not going to change any of this.

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