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Does my 6 year old DS have aspergers? What should we do next?

59 replies

Burgundycoralpink · 12/09/2015 22:36

Hi everyone,

After a difficult Reception year DS has just started in Y1 with the same ongoing problems with his behaviour. I think it's getting worse.

Brief history of him. He was clingy and cried a lot as a baby. Really difficult to settle and very fussy. He got along well at nursery but teachers noted he has difficulty transitioning between activities. He hates leaving something if he hasn't finished it. They accommodated him well and understood him.

Apart from that no problems at nursery. Fast forward to school, a much bigger and noisier environment and he has struggled. He doesn't always do what the teachers ask him to. He is physical at playtime and lunchtime, and sometimes in the classroom. Scribbling on his work or someone else's, pushing, name calling, annoying behaviour. Not stopping when asked to.

Have had a meeting with class teacher and SEN. They don't think we need to look at SEN. They think he is immature and lacks impulse control. He is a September birthday. They want me to continue talking to him at home but no other action will be taken. SEN said that at our school they decide if a child "needs support or is choosing to behave like this". My DS is choosing to behave like this according to their observations. Therefore they will not be offering any additional support.

His other personality traits are:

Very loving and cuddly
Very polite, beautiful manners
Extremely articulate
Lies awake after lights out, needs less sleep than other children his age
Is brilliant one to one, very engaged in conversation
Can go on and on describing something without realising he needs to edit and has lost other persons interest
Bad loser
Excellent with number/sums
Excellent with Lego and Puzzles from a very young age
Excellent memory
Loves a couple of subjects but does show interest in all sorts of things
Naturally inquisitive
Finds change difficult - it makes him behave more rigidly
Very grumpy when he's anxious or unhappy
Not at all intimidated by adults and talks to them as though he is talking to another child
Likes to get his own way, dictate the game, is bossy with other children
Finds it difficult to have friends in his bedroom/space/sharing his toys
Hates loud noises (motorbikes, sirens) and noisy places
Very good at concentrating for long periods

I suspect he has mild aspergers but know very little about the condition. School do not think it's a special need at this point. What should I do next? I would like his observed by an ed psych but do I need schools cooperation and back up for this?

OP posts:

MsMarthaMay · 12/09/2015 22:47

You might get some help if you post on the SN board.


Littlefish · 12/09/2015 22:51

Schools usually have a long list of children waiting to be seen by the ed psych. Given your description of your ds, he would be waiting a very long time (possibly years) before being seen at my school as his difficulties sound much less severe than other children who would be waiting to be seen.


Burgundycoralpink · 12/09/2015 22:54

I would happily pay to do this privately if it meant it would help him at school. At the moment he is struggling and losing friends fast.

OP posts:

BlackeyedSusan · 12/09/2015 22:59

see your gp with your concerns. they can refer. you do not need school to do it. do it as soon as possible. there may be a long wait.

second, go over to sn chat, or sn children. ask there.


arethereanyleftatall · 12/09/2015 23:00

To be honest, I imagine your list of characteristics describes many NT 5 year olds.
I also think the senco will know what to look for.
What sanctions are in place for the naughty behaviour?


WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant · 12/09/2015 23:00

Is there an asd website? They might offer some advice.


Burgundycoralpink · 12/09/2015 23:05

What does NT stand for?

Naughty behaviour means being separated and asked to sit elsewhere in the classroom, losing some of playtime.

OP posts:

Titsywoo · 12/09/2015 23:05

To be honest there is nothing that stands out as asd to me there.


HaydeeofMonteCristo · 12/09/2015 23:08

Most of what you describe in your list at the end (not the initial paragraphs) sounds like me/my dd or both of us (mostly me to be fair - every point on your list is me apart from needing less sleep than most). I have been told I do not have aspergers but am very right brained, and also suffer from anxieties.

At school I also got told I was "immature" because things upset me. I am an autumn birthday too. I wasn't physical or prone to name calling, but I did find alot of things overwhelming or difficult to understand and would cry. I didn't have SEN but wasn't doing things "on purpose" either.

I suppose it's where you draw the line between SEN and just finding some things harder than most?


Burgundycoralpink · 12/09/2015 23:09

Thank you for replying everyone.

Surprised as the Gt Ormond St site description seems to describe him almost exactly. I hope the bad behaviour is something he will learn to manage soon. We are doing everything we can think of at home to help but he is just getting worse. I'm really worried.

OP posts:

AmIReadingThisCorrectly · 12/09/2015 23:10

Your list could have been describing my NT DSS a few years ago. I think your DS sounds very similar and although DSS is a very sensitive soul who struggles with new things, he does not have ASD.


yorkshapudding · 12/09/2015 23:14

I work in child and adolescent mental health. Obviously no one will be able to tell you whether your DS has ASD based on info given on mumsnet but if you're concerned you could see your GP and ask to be referred for an ASD assessment. Based on the information in your OP you may well be told that there isn't sufficient evidence to warrant an ASD assessment but they may recommend that DS sees an Ed psych in the first instance, so you can then take that recommendation to school if they're reluctant.


apricotdanish · 12/09/2015 23:14

It's possible, every Aspie is different. There are characteristics there that my DC possesses and was given a diagnosis recently . As someone upthread said ask your GP for a referral it's a long process took us about 9 months in total for us but persevere.


AmIReadingThisCorrectly · 12/09/2015 23:15

OP surprisingly one of the things we found made DSS worse was actually trying to "help" him to become more socially adaptable. It stressed us out and I guess he noticed that which also stressed him too and sometimes made his behaviour and fears worse. When we are really chilled out with him but making sure we are praising what we see as social/emotional progress (that he is making without our intervention) then he is much better and has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. He actually gets much worse when he's with members of his family or circle of friends who try to help and over-protect him.


Burgundycoralpink · 12/09/2015 23:55

Correctly, that is my big worry. Should I be hovering close by in social situations in case he is unkind or pushes someone? Or should I hang back and stop watching him all the time? Obviously I don't want him to get to the point where he pushes another child or starts falling out with a child.

Do I give him big consequences for his bad behaviour or just keep talking and reinforcing verbally what he needs to do?

Sometimes he needs a really firm stance and stern voice or he takes no notice. Sometimes I think removing his privileges is doing no good just making him more miserable.

OP posts:

Spartans · 13/09/2015 07:45

Did you post about him before? That he behaves at home but not at school?

Apologies if that's not you, the behaviour sounds similar.

I have aspergers and your son sounds nothing like me. That doesn't mean he isn't. We are all different.

To me his behaviour could be a sign of aspergers or just behaviour of a small child. It's very difficult to tell.

Tbh removal of privileges isn't meant to make him happy, it's meant to teach him the consequences of acting bad. Which will make him miserable. For it to work you need to explain its a consequence of his actions. If you decide not to remove privileges (it's doesn't work for all kids) what other things would you do instead?

How does he feel when he separated?


hattyhatter · 13/09/2015 07:50

To be honest there is nothing that stands out as asd to me there.

You're joking, surely?

None of us can say one way or the other OP but I'd be keeping a close eye on it with a mind to assessment.


ohtheholidays · 13/09/2015 10:02

It does sound like autism to me but not aspergers.

I have to children that are on the autistic spectrum and have worked with children with autsim and other types of extra needs.

Make an appointment with your family DR and mention everything that you've wrote about your DS on here they can refer you to a specialist.


PolterGoose · 13/09/2015 10:18

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vaticancameos · 13/09/2015 10:23

Do not reply on your school Senco full stop. While I'm sure there are many good ones, the one at my son's infant school was shit. I got the school nurse to do a referal to camhs and paediatrician when he was five because it was clear he had something going on. To the day we left the school the senco said there were no issues. Since then OT have diagnosed SPD and spatial awareness problems and the paediatrician is assessing for ASC. School was just shit.

Go to the GP or school nurse for your referrals but in some areas especially for services such as camhs the threshold is very high and it wouldn't surprise me if you were turned down to begin with.


Purplepoodle · 13/09/2015 10:29

Try gp. Also could he be frustrated with work level if he's smart - they are not pushing him enough


GudrunBrangwen · 13/09/2015 10:36

I'm not sure what to say, but it doesn't sound anything like my own perception of asperger syndrome. (I probably have some kind of ASD, and my son is waiting for assessment at the age of 8)

Fwiw I think your son sounds quite angry, and doesn't sound like he has trouble expressing it (ie, it comes out, albeit in an inappropriate manner).

My own son's traits include some very different things;

He was an extremely quiet and calm baby (he did not cry more than twice in his first six months)

He did not point, would stand quietly looking at the wall sometimes, was considered 'strange' by many people who encountered him;

He is extremely compliant at school and also was at preschool;

He does not talk a lot except at home when he will switch between saying nothing, and going on and on and on about a certain topic in great detail, far too much detail tbh, to the point of OCD - he also has language idiosyncracies which are common to autism (word-final dysfluency)

He behaves perfectly at school and would rather the other children just left him alone; he would never attack them physically, or touch their work.

He is very good at maths, very academic, does well in most subjects, can read far beyond his typical age level;

He has great anxiety socially, and personally, and internalises a lot of his emotions.
He has physical 'tics' as well.

I suspect Asperger syndrome due to his intelligence and logic, as well as the anxious element of his character. Certain situations at school make him worried but he doesn't make any fuss; he just bottles it up and cries later, or does his tics and so on.

The other children mostly like him, there's nothing not to like - but they think he is 'weird'.

School are backing me fully on the assessment front, helping him with social skills, speaking to the class on his behalf to try and integrate him better.

I'm finding it hard to see any crossovers with your lad apart from the love of certain subjects and dislike of noise.

It could be that both have an ASD; it could be that yours does and mine does not; it could be that neither does.

I hope you manage to access some help for him sooner rather than later as it sounds as though he would benefit from that; I sympathise, it is very hard to see your child struggling.


ohtheholidays · 13/09/2015 10:38

Polter I know it is for heavens sake.

But it's a different kind of autism,aspergers is usually called a high or high functioning form of autism.


GudrunBrangwen · 13/09/2015 10:39

Oh also - critical thing - he can't deviate from a plan. He can't get changed into pyjamas as he doesn't know what sort to wear - long sleeved, short sleeved etc

He can't make up stories; he is concerned it will be 'wrong'.

Everything has to be planned and consistent and ordered. There is very little flexibility there; even putting on shoes is an epic ritual, he is convinced there is a right way to do everything and if he can't do it right, he will sit alone in the dark indefinitely till I come and find him and tell him what to do.

OTOH this means he has a vast mental structure on which to pin information. Times tables are a breeze.


Lightbulbon · 13/09/2015 10:41

Op what outcome do you actually want?

Even if he is asd and gets a diagnosis it isn't going to change anything much.

How do you want the school to do things differently? Because they may not change their behaviour management strategies even with a diagnosis.

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