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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.

SN children

Is this positive/progress?................

13 replies

blossomhill · 25/06/2004 20:35

As you probably all know I am a serious born worrier, especially since it became apparent that dd (nearly 5) had special needs. The only dx we have is a language disorder, and sometimes I do feel this is a bit "general" and worry about her having a possible ASD, which has been ruled out - I still worry though. Lately dd has been doing things that have been reassuring me really, even though they are quite naughty!!!. 1 is telling little lies, ie "did you draw on that wall?" and she says no her brother did it. She also helps herself to ice lollies whilst I am having a shower and when I come downstairs she sits on it to hide it so that I cannot see them. Lastly she absolutely hates running off now, something she always used to do and worries if she cannot see me to the point that if she is doing something that I want her to stop all I have to say is "I'm going now" and she runs after me going "Mum, wait!". Don't get me wrong dd has significant language problems and can appear odd and different but that's a small amount of the time. It's almost as if she is completely NT until she talks/says something and then you think "that's not right".
The point I am trying to make is that does the above mean that dd has a theory of mind?
Sorry to have babbled but I type as it comes!

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SoupDragon · 25/06/2004 20:48

The lying thing is meant to be quite clever because it means the child has come to realise that you don't know everything and if you haven't seen it then you don't know IYSWIM. Before that, the child assumes you know everything they are thinking/have seen/done etc.

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Jimjams · 25/06/2004 21:05

Looks like theory of mind is developing well to me!

Don't worry so much about the ASD stuff- it's only a name. if you a) understand your dd's needs and b) are getting access to the services she needs then it doesn't matter what its called!

have you read any of Thomas Sowell's books? You may find them interesting. A lot of the children described in there are borderline ASD/language disorder- very few ended up with ASD dx and the majority were pretty much completely "normal" by adulthood.

Your DD certainly seems to have more TOM than some very high functioning, very bright AS teenagers I know!

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blossomhill · 25/06/2004 21:57

Ah thanks Jimjams, how reassuring was your post! I know what you mean about that it doesn't matter what the label is, I personally am not too bothered as yes we are accessing lots of services. The ONLY time it really bothers me is when a situation arises that I have to explain dd's difficulties and when I say she has a language disorder I may as well have 2 heads. People don't know what it means and TBH until recently I didn't understand and still don't fully!
Eg in a park the other day dd walks up to this grey haired man and says very loudly "Hello old man" (please ground open up and swallow me!)and how do you explain this to a man in his 70's? Luckily this man had a sense of humour and he just said "well I am" but some people aren't as understanding, unfortunately
I am def. going to buy some Thomas Sowell's books, I have been looking for something like that for about 3 years. Thanks again Jimjams, you always have so much useful information! BlossomHill

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Jimjams · 26/06/2004 08:52

No-one knows what autism is either though. They just assume its a excuse for having a naughty child. I don't even use the term very often (and certainly not to 70 year olds "artistic? I don't care how good he is at colouring in he shouldn't be behaving like that" I just say "he can't talk" and leave it at that! Otherwise - even if they have an idea of what autism may involve, and even if they are symnpathetic they still can't seem to get their head around the idea thaty if they talk to him in great big long sentences he's not going to understand a word (and probably won't understand if they talk to him in short sentences either). But then lots of people (eg his class teacher) still cannpt grasp that after knowing him for a year!

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blossomhill · 26/06/2004 12:46

Jimajams, I know what you mean about lack of understand. People don't and don't want to understand do they? I do have friends with nt children (and obviously my ds is too) and they are good but like you I prefer being around other parents with sn children. It's more relaxing and dd is more relaxed too. Maybe I'll try the she has a speech problem and leave it at that. Most people don't understand langauge anyway so it may save me explaining all of the time.
It's funny you mentioning your ds's teacher, in dd's last school I remember the Nursery teacher saying at a meeting that dd didn't have a language problem (as dd does have a massive vocab, just doesn't always know how to use it correctly) and I was astounded. Dd's main problems are language, mind you this is the same old bag that put a hand over dd's mouth when she shouted out in assembly so she was hardly my favourtie person!

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blossomhill · 26/06/2004 13:09

I just wanted to add this article by Thomas Sowell, I found it very interesting:-

Thomas Sowell



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The autism "spectrum"




www.NewsAndOpinion.com | When Billy's mother sees her 12-year-old son's popularity with team mates on his baseball team, she thinks back to predictions made when he was a pre-schooler that he would have so much trouble making friends that, among other things, he would probably never be able to get married and have children.


It is a little early for Billy to be getting married, but the predictions have been off by miles so far. Why were such dire predictions made in the first place?


Billy was late in beginning to talk and was supposed to have been autistic. Once that label had been put on him, nothing could change the minds of those who saw him that way.


Contrary evidence from his emotional attachment to a little girl in his pre-school was dismissed, even though the two of them were inseparable on the playground -- and even though an inability to form emotional attachments is at the heart of autism.


There is another kind of dogmatism from people who are not going to give up on the "autism" label. That is redefining the word to include a wide range of children who are said to be on the autism "spectrum." Billy's mother raised a fundamental question that seems to have eluded many professionals: Would you say that someone who is near-sighted is on the "blindness spectrum"?

What would we gain by such manipulations of words? And what would we lose?


Blindness, like autism, is a major tragedy. When some little toddler doesn't see quite as well as other kids, and may need glasses, what would be the point of alarming his parents by saying that he is on the blindness spectrum?







In the decade that has passed since I organized a support group of parents of late-talking children in September 1993, I have heard from literally hundreds of parents of such children, many of them re-living the anguish they went through when their children were diagnosed as autistic.


With the passage of time, it has become obvious that many of these children are not autistic, any more than Billy is autistic. Parents who are grateful that the hasty diagnoses their children received were wrong are also bitter that such labels were applied so irresponsibly -- often by people who never set foot in a medical school or received any comparable training that would qualify them to diagnose autism. But professionals have been wrong as well.


Instead of trying to reduce mistaken diagnoses that inflict needless trauma on parents and often direct children into programs for autistic children that are counterproductive for children who are not autistic, the expansive new concept of an "autism spectrum" provides wiggle room for those who were wrong, so that they can avoid having to admit that they were wrong -- and avoid having to stop being wrong.


It is as if people who told you that your little toddler would need a seeing-eye dog are able to get off the hook when the passage of time proved them wrong by saying that, because he now wears glasses, he is still on the blindness spectrum.


There is another aspect of this that affects the public in general and the taxpayers in particular. Time and again over the past decade, parents have told me that they have been urged to allow their late-talking children to be labeled "autistic" so that they would be eligible to get government money that can be used for speech therapy or whatever else the child might need.


Against that background, consider the widely publicized statistics showing an unbelievable rate of increase in autism in recent years. Is this a real change in the same thing or a redefinition of words? Worse yet, is this the corrupting effect of government money intended for children who are genuinely autistic?


Apparently no one knows the answer. But what is very disturbing is that such questions are not even on the agenda.


Studies of highly intelligent children show them to have many of the characteristics that can get them labeled autistic if they happen to be late in beginning to speak. For example, the book "Gifted Children" by Ellen Winner shows that such children "often play alone and enjoy solitude," have "almost obsessive interests" and "prodigious memories."


Such characteristics are an open invitation to false diagnoses of autism by those who are on the irresponsibility spectrum

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Jimjams · 26/06/2004 13:37

Thomas Sowell does have a bit of an agenda it has to be said. But his case studies are interesting. Some of the children are autistic though. Also a lot of it is more appilcable to the States where there is such a thing as early interventions- and children are put into programmes. Here its so difficult to get any sort of help that it may not apply iyswim.

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coppertop · 26/06/2004 14:03

In the U.S. they seem to be very keen to pigeon-hole children at a fairly young age. Children with SN are put into 'SN programs' and 'behavioural programs' while the brighter children are segregated into 'gifted programs'. If a child fits more than one category then it can be difficult to find the right program for the child. The wrong dx can make a big difference to the resources a child can access at school.

However, the article seems to be saying that a child cannot be autistic if they can form emotional attachments to people. It also seems to be hinting that an autistic person is unlikely to ever marry. I think there are a lot people on the spectrum who would disagree with that.

I don't think autism is being overdiagnosed in the UK. I hear far more about parents fighting to get a dx and extra resources than parents complaining about a false dx.

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Davros · 27/06/2004 22:00

Amen coppertop! I hate hearing that increase in numbers is due to better dx when we all know that its just as hard as ever to get a dx. Personally I think that PARENTS have got better, not DRs, although we're slowly educating them The thing to remember about autism is that its a word that describes a set of observable behaviours and that is all it is. I agree that ASD children are all different but I think that idea gets over-used as clearly all children on the spectrum have a certain amount in common or overlapping. BH, I know ASD children who lie and my son even does sneaky things but I do think your DD sounds different to ASD.

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Eulalia · 27/06/2004 22:24

ds is 5 next month and cannot lie, absolutely cannot, doesn't even understand the concept. He will quite happily come into the room and say "I hit dd".

Your dd certainly doesn't seem autistic.

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blossomhill · 28/06/2004 09:53

The frustrating thing is I seriously haven't met another child that has the same problems as dd, or even seems like dd. Nothing to compare her with. She's a one off in that respect .
We have her annual review in a couple of weeks so maybe the school will be able to shed some light.........

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Eulalia · 28/06/2004 11:22

blossomhill - don't know if this will help but if you go back to the Special needs main page and click on 'Alphabetical order' then scroll down there is a thread called 'Semantic Pragmatic Language Disorder'.

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blossomhill · 28/06/2004 11:25

Eulalia - Thanks, don't know if you know but I was KPB, changed to Blossom Hill so was on that thread quite a bit!!!

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