Message Boards

Topic : Asperger's Syndrome

Number of Replies: 125
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Sunday, September 17, 2006, 11:59:34 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
If your child suffers from Asperger's syndrome, find support and share advice with other parents here.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

November 14, 2006, 6:03 pm CST

CHILD WITH ASPERGER/ADHD

HI I AM NEW TO THIS ARCHIVE I NEED SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO HANDLE MY 13 YEAR OLD BOY, HE NEVER WANTS TO DO WHAT HE IS TOLD AND ALWAYS ARGUES AND DOSEN'T LISTEN TO ANYTHING ME OR MY FIANCE TELL HIM.  MAYBE SOMEONE OUT THERE COULD GIVE ME SOME ADVICE AND HELP ME.  I TRY TO COMPROMISE WITH HIM BUT HE STILL DOESN'T WANT TO DO AS HE'S TOLD.  WHEN HE SEES HE'S GETTING ME FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY THAT IS WHEN HE WANTS TO DO WHAT I TOLD HIM.  BUT BY THEN IT'S TO LATE. 

 

SOMEONE PLEASE HELP I FEEL FRUSTRATED, ANGRY, CONFUSED.  ANYONE WITH ADVICE PLEASE LET ME KNOW

 

THANK YOU

 
November 14, 2006, 10:27 pm CST

auditory overload

Quote From: lornad36

 My son was diagnosed 3 yrs ago with ADHD (he is currently 9 yrs old).  I thought that he was autistic (high functioning) or had aspergers.  I believe that he will be diagnosed with aspergers by the time he is 20.  He was a little late to walk (18 mos.) and late to speak in simple sentences (3 1/2 yrs.) but was and is hyper-verbal and by the time he was 2 1/2 yrs old he could read 10 words, knew all his letters, colours, and numbers 1-9.  He has melt-downs frequently and daily, but not at school.  I believe his "good" behaviour at school stems from his high anxiety and fears.  He is more relaxed at home and feels more comfortable being himself.  He has many fears; most are either noise related (I couldn't get him to go to school at all during his schools Fire Prevention Week because of the announced fire drills and he has to leave the room when I vacuum) or due to fear of unknown or change.  He can memorize very well but his UNDERSTANDING of a concept is below his peers.  He will obsess about things...a kid who is mean to him, Spongebob, trains, but not completely exclusively.  He smiles alot, constantly tries to be funny but it's really off even for the kids his age, and is very cuddly.  He doesn't make eye contact very much and though it was officially remarked upon by the Speech/Language Therapist who assessed him other doctors have just poo-pooed it (along with the hyper-verbal, hyperlexia, high anxiety, noise sensitivity, and oh yeah the fact that when he was a baby until he was 1 1/2 he would spin the wheels on Matchbox cars for hours and hours.  He only stopped when he discovred the phone book and would pore over the yellow pages for hours and hours.  That little obsession ended when he was given a calculator at the age of 3.  He taught himself that if he pushed the 1 then the + followed by the = he could make the numbers scroll up into the tens of thousands.).  He is not very coordinated but does not have the text book specific coordination problems of autism and aspergers.  When he was being tested, they discovered that although he is left-handed, he is right-footed (will kick at a ball with right foot).  He is also very socially inept and gets bullied quite a bit.  Kids in his class in general seem to like him but he has only one buddy who is somewhat excentric himself.

I need parents of kids with aspergers to read what I have written about my son and tell me if he sounds like their child or not.  I'm tired of doctors who take out their textbooks to diagnose him.  I'm tired of his fears being blamed on me.  I was told that it is attention seeking behaviour.  His pm teacher (who is also the VP of his school; she team-teaches with his am teacher) had to send him home the first day of Fire Prevention Week because he became hysterical when fire drills were announced.  He is usually good as gold and quiet as a church at school.  When I told her that his pediatrician thinks it's attention seeking behaviour she said that she was convinced that his fear was authentic and that she would support me if needed.  It feels really good to have someone unbiased in my corner.  So what do y'all think.

What you describe when there is a fire drill at school might be auditory sensitivity.  Many children with autism/ asperger's have sensory sensitivities.  They experience not only anxiety with loud noises but actual pain.  Often children with this sensitivity cannot tolerate the hum of fluorescent lights which are in almost all classrooms.  Most people don't even hear this hum, but to kids with this sensitivity it can be distracting or even painful.

Many doctors are hesitant to label a child autistic.  Parents are more accepting (for what ever reason) of the diagnosis of ADD.  The important thing is that they need a diagnosis to get services from the schools.  What ever your son's diagnosis his Individualized Education Program (IEP) should be adapted to fit his needs regardless of diagnosis.

See my message of November 12. 

Our kids might not be able to catch a baseball or skip, but they have so many other talents to accentuate!  Compliment him often on the things he is good at.   When he is into one of his "interests" get interested with him.  My son changed interests so quickly I could hardly keep up but we have had fun together with them.

 
November 15, 2006, 5:39 am CST

thanks

Quote From: angel1972

I do not know if you have taken advantage of the opportunities that the public school system offers parents.  Special Education Services are willing to help you with your situation.  They can and  do offer to test your child.  They will also observe your child in a class room setting. They do need your permission to do these tests.  Once the tests are done and they tell you what they can do to help you, you can take their results and concerns to a Psychiatrist that specializes in the area you need, (whether that is Asperger's or something else).  

 

 

Public schools are not all the same, see what yours is willing to offer and what the law REQUIRES them to offer.  It is a lot harder for a doctor to dismiss a parent's concerns if those concerns are shared by those that are considered to be equally  "educated". ( you know your child better than anyone, if you truly feel there are concerns that need to be addressed, don't stop until they are! ) 

 

Cody, our youngest son, was in the public school system since he was 3. I home school him now because my husband and I felt that it would beneficial for Cody.  Most of the teachers Cody had were lacking some very common teaching skills, some common human skills and the district is not equipped with the knowledge as to where to place and help children with Asperger's Syndrome.  Children Cody's age (12) begin to form clicks in schools and bullies tend to be a bit more rough then in the elementary ages they  also have found ways to bully others without being physical.  It is very easy for those that don't fit the mold to stand out and to be ostracized.  He did not have any friends (if you asked him, a friend is someone who would not be mean to him) only those that tolerated him. For Cody it was best we removed him from this situation, he was beginning to suffer emotionally and academically. My husband and I thought long and hard before removing Cody from the public school setting and for us, we believe we have made a good decision. 

 

I wrote that last part only to show that a child with Asperger's ( any child really) and the parents who raise that child need support, knowledge and a willingness to do all they can to help that child be all they can be. The sooner you get that support, that knowledge, the better!  We are grateful for the help we received from public school system when it worked for our son.  The time came to take another avenue.  Look for all the avenues you can, and don't fret when they don't lead were you hoped they would.. just try another!  

 

 The responsibility of being a parent is a gift, don't throw it away.

 

I don't really know what you mean about opportunities at the school.  Although I was told when he was in SK (he's in gr. 4 now) that he would need "substantial" special ed he has yet to have an IEP.  Homework has always had first priority in our home and I have supplemented it with worksheets from the web when I felt it necessary so he has avoided being "identified" by maintaining a c+/b- average.  He has seen pediatricians and when he was diagnosed with the ADHD, the diagnosis was made by a child psychologist at CHEO who specializes in Autism and PDD.  The thing is that everything I read about aspergers be it dsm-iv or parents describing their own child it sounds amazingly like my child.  Also, the ADHD diagnosis was made when he was only 6 by a doctor who only spent 1 hour with him.  What I really need is people who spend hours and hours with children who have aspergers to tell me if my kid sounds like their kid.  I think I would find parents more of an authority.  Whether or not he ever receives an "official" diagnosis of something other than ADHD is really immaterial cause I treat him as an individual and deal with his peculiarities as they come up. 
 
November 15, 2006, 6:03 am CST

thanks to you too

Quote From: fromthesquare

What you describe when there is a fire drill at school might be auditory sensitivity.  Many children with autism/ asperger's have sensory sensitivities.  They experience not only anxiety with loud noises but actual pain.  Often children with this sensitivity cannot tolerate the hum of fluorescent lights which are in almost all classrooms.  Most people don't even hear this hum, but to kids with this sensitivity it can be distracting or even painful.

Many doctors are hesitant to label a child autistic.  Parents are more accepting (for what ever reason) of the diagnosis of ADD.  The important thing is that they need a diagnosis to get services from the schools.  What ever your son's diagnosis his Individualized Education Program (IEP) should be adapted to fit his needs regardless of diagnosis.

See my message of November 12. 

Our kids might not be able to catch a baseball or skip, but they have so many other talents to accentuate!  Compliment him often on the things he is good at.   When he is into one of his "interests" get interested with him.  My son changed interests so quickly I could hardly keep up but we have had fun together with them.

What do  you mean by "skip"?  My Alex can't skip with a rope but he does the skip-walk when he's in a good mood.   Also he can't catch a baseball either but with some success he can catch a bigger ball (one the size of a large honeydew melon or small watermelon).  Do his abilities, in your opinion, preclude a diagnosis of aspergers?  I also want to say that I'm not asking for anyone in this message board to diagnose my child, but I really want your opinions and input and won't run to my doctors office saying "but they said...".
 
November 15, 2006, 8:16 am CST

Understand Completely

Quote From: mena1969

HI I AM NEW TO THIS ARCHIVE I NEED SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO HANDLE MY 13 YEAR OLD BOY, HE NEVER WANTS TO DO WHAT HE IS TOLD AND ALWAYS ARGUES AND DOSEN'T LISTEN TO ANYTHING ME OR MY FIANCE TELL HIM.  MAYBE SOMEONE OUT THERE COULD GIVE ME SOME ADVICE AND HELP ME.  I TRY TO COMPROMISE WITH HIM BUT HE STILL DOESN'T WANT TO DO AS HE'S TOLD.  WHEN HE SEES HE'S GETTING ME FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY THAT IS WHEN HE WANTS TO DO WHAT I TOLD HIM.  BUT BY THEN IT'S TO LATE. 

 

SOMEONE PLEASE HELP I FEEL FRUSTRATED, ANGRY, CONFUSED.  ANYONE WITH ADVICE PLEASE LET ME KNOW

 

THANK YOU

I am a Mother of a 14 year old with Asperger Syndrome. He fully responds to rules when they are written and understood beforehand.  Most of the frustrations our kids seem to have is understanding the why of having to do things.  Time is not important to them and talking endlessly and begging and yelling does not get the job done.  I've tried it all.  The University of Chapel Hill in North Carolina sponsors a wonderful non-profit group called TEACCH.  They have some great workshops for parents and teachers but you can also access help on their website.  Google it  and see.  I have learned a great deal about handling issues due to their approach.  One thing I would encourage you to do is pinpoint the problem areas.  It is usually during "transitioning" like getting ready for bed, getting ready to leave, getting up in the morning, etc.  If these seem to be the trouble spots then sit down and break the task into 1, 2, 3's write it down and ask him to check off each task done within a time frame to begin and end.  It may sound extremely elementary but it is extremely effective (at least for us it was).  Arguments are reduced - he is happy because he knows what to do and when and how to do it.  Be sure and set up a reward system for tasks completed - can be something small but that is also very important.  Good Luck.  Our son handles the transitions much, much better now and feels in control of himself. 
 
November 15, 2006, 2:50 pm CST

Any ARDs ?

Quote From: lornad36

I don't really know what you mean about opportunities at the school.  Although I was told when he was in SK (he's in gr. 4 now) that he would need "substantial" special ed he has yet to have an IEP.  Homework has always had first priority in our home and I have supplemented it with worksheets from the web when I felt it necessary so he has avoided being "identified" by maintaining a c+/b- average.  He has seen pediatricians and when he was diagnosed with the ADHD, the diagnosis was made by a child psychologist at CHEO who specializes in Autism and PDD.  The thing is that everything I read about aspergers be it dsm-iv or parents describing their own child it sounds amazingly like my child.  Also, the ADHD diagnosis was made when he was only 6 by a doctor who only spent 1 hour with him.  What I really need is people who spend hours and hours with children who have aspergers to tell me if my kid sounds like their kid.  I think I would find parents more of an authority.  Whether or not he ever receives an "official" diagnosis of something other than ADHD is really immaterial cause I treat him as an individual and deal with his peculiarities as they come up. 

Opportunities such as IEP's, BIP's, testing including IQ.  They can  help you find, and offer to send you to, conventions, programs, and meetings that have to do with your son's condition.  They also, (often) have special libraries with books, tapes and videos that provide more information and ideas.  The public schools here in Texas use licensed professionals to test and observe your child.  I'm not sure where you live but here in Texas when your child enters the special education program you have ARD meetings every year to discuss what changes you, or they, would like to make in your son's educational structure plan.  I know you mentioned an IEP but it seems like (from what you've said) the school seems to be dragging their feet.  I hope they have given you a copy of your rights and  their obligations to you and your son.

 

These test and observational results are helpful when discussing things with your family doctor and your psychiatrist. It's helpful for your doctor to know all the little peculiarities that your son exhibits.  What if your son has more aggressive behaviors than ADHD behaviors? Wouldn't the correct or better suited meds be more helpful?  When Cody started having tics and exhibiting behaviors that were considered aggressive, and impulsive they put him meds that better suited the symptoms. 

 

I'm not sure what you mean by, "Homework has always had first priority in our home and I have supplemented it with worksheets from the web when I felt it necessary so he has avoided being "identified" by maintaining a c+/b- average."  (the last part is what is confusing me, Identified?)

 

  I feel the need to clarify the reason my husband and I pulled Cody out of public school.  Cody has always been an honor roll student and was in the gifted & talented program; I was told that was in part because of the Asperger's.  As far as him suffering academically before we pulled him out of public school, it was because there were so many "emotional incidences" (children bullying and picking on him ) in class that he was always being removed; this went on for 2-3 years. It got to the point that he was spending so much time in cool down that he wasn't getting any academics. They decided to put him in a behavioral class, for his safety. It was then the  teacher  had some real emotional problems. (that's a whole different and scary story)

 

My son does have an official diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, and all that does is help us focus on where to look for and obtain knowledge and ideas. It also helps when a new quirk pops up, we can look to see if that may fall under the Asperger umbrella or if it is something totally different.  Cody is not LABELED with Asperger's in any form or fashion.  We didn't see a need for it considering there are no medications that are made specifically for Asperger's.  Our doctors know what he has, we know what he has and that's all that matters. What also matters is that your Doctor knows what he is dealing with, Asperger's can come with all sorts of symptoms, anxiety, depression,  ADD,  and ADHD.  My son has tics, and has been also diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome.. I have heard of others that have been diagnosed with bi-polar.  It's in you and your son's best interest that he gets a clear picture and diagnoses by a licensed psychiatrist/physician.This is not to label him but to make sure everyone is on the right track and everyone, doctors and teachers, are doing exactly what you are doing, working for your son's best interests.

 

It does sound like your son may have Asperger's, but to ask other parents to be the authority on that is not fair to you, your son or  us.  YOU at this point in his life are the best authority your child will ever have, you are his mother and I can tell you care very deeply about his  well being and happiness.

 

God Bless!

 

 
November 15, 2006, 7:39 pm CST

NO OFFENSE MEANT

Quote From: lornad36

What do  you mean by "skip"?  My Alex can't skip with a rope but he does the skip-walk when he's in a good mood.   Also he can't catch a baseball either but with some success he can catch a bigger ball (one the size of a large honeydew melon or small watermelon).  Do his abilities, in your opinion, preclude a diagnosis of aspergers?  I also want to say that I'm not asking for anyone in this message board to diagnose my child, but I really want your opinions and input and won't run to my doctors office saying "but they said...".

I certainly did not mean to imply that you son Alex is not able.  All kids are different.  Asperger's kids typically have difficulty with fine motor skills.  This is one of the considerations that a professional uses when diagnosing.  I am not, however, a professional- just a mom.  I took him to a neurologist and psychologist for a diagnosis.  Both were in agreement.  They are the professionals.  Since then I have attended conferences, spoken with other parents and read everything that I could about Asperger's.  I have been able to help my son dramatically using advice from the Autism Research Institute (. com) and the work of Dr. Bernard Rimland.  Please know that you are in my prayers.  This is the hardest time.  The uncertainty of not knowing how to help your child.  I remember worrying that I would hurt my son by labeling him.  7 years has past since I was where you are.  I can tell you that it did help Joe to have a diagnosis.  He is doing so well now.  He is happy, muscular and well adjusted.   Again, I am not insinuating that Alex isn't.  Good luck and God bless you and Alex.  Call on me again if you want to chat. 

 

Kathy

 
November 15, 2006, 8:00 pm CST

magnesium too!!!

Quote From: muffy13

I did not know that there is something that can taken for this.  It this bought over the counter ,and is it just called vitamin B6. I will look up that Dr. on the internet. Thanks so much.
Vitamin B-6 is great.  A health food store can also offer P5P, which is a form of B-6 that is more readily absorbed.  I found that this formulation helped more.  But don't forget to get a bottle of magnesium.  The 2 work best together.  Check out the Autism Research Institute for more info.  Good luck!!!
 
November 16, 2006, 10:45 am CST

hi again

Quote From: fromthesquare

I certainly did not mean to imply that you son Alex is not able.  All kids are different.  Asperger's kids typically have difficulty with fine motor skills.  This is one of the considerations that a professional uses when diagnosing.  I am not, however, a professional- just a mom.  I took him to a neurologist and psychologist for a diagnosis.  Both were in agreement.  They are the professionals.  Since then I have attended conferences, spoken with other parents and read everything that I could about Asperger's.  I have been able to help my son dramatically using advice from the Autism Research Institute (. com) and the work of Dr. Bernard Rimland.  Please know that you are in my prayers.  This is the hardest time.  The uncertainty of not knowing how to help your child.  I remember worrying that I would hurt my son by labeling him.  7 years has past since I was where you are.  I can tell you that it did help Joe to have a diagnosis.  He is doing so well now.  He is happy, muscular and well adjusted.   Again, I am not insinuating that Alex isn't.  Good luck and God bless you and Alex.  Call on me again if you want to chat. 

 

Kathy

Actually, in no way did I feel that you were implying that my son was not able.  I just wanted clarification.  I just wanted to know if a child can have aspergers and still do what my son can do.  Basically all the info that I have received in the past has been full of generalities and jargon.  I just wanted some input from the people who I consider to be the real experts.  The people who spend more than one hour with these kids.  I just want to understand and do what is right for my son.  People think that his behaviour is weird and they look at me like they are wondering what the hell I did to him. 
 
November 16, 2006, 11:00 am CST

Asperger's Syndrome

Quote From: angel1972

Opportunities such as IEP's, BIP's, testing including IQ.  They can  help you find, and offer to send you to, conventions, programs, and meetings that have to do with your son's condition.  They also, (often) have special libraries with books, tapes and videos that provide more information and ideas.  The public schools here in Texas use licensed professionals to test and observe your child.  I'm not sure where you live but here in Texas when your child enters the special education program you have ARD meetings every year to discuss what changes you, or they, would like to make in your son's educational structure plan.  I know you mentioned an IEP but it seems like (from what you've said) the school seems to be dragging their feet.  I hope they have given you a copy of your rights and  their obligations to you and your son.

 

These test and observational results are helpful when discussing things with your family doctor and your psychiatrist. It's helpful for your doctor to know all the little peculiarities that your son exhibits.  What if your son has more aggressive behaviors than ADHD behaviors? Wouldn't the correct or better suited meds be more helpful?  When Cody started having tics and exhibiting behaviors that were considered aggressive, and impulsive they put him meds that better suited the symptoms. 

 

I'm not sure what you mean by, "Homework has always had first priority in our home and I have supplemented it with worksheets from the web when I felt it necessary so he has avoided being "identified" by maintaining a c+/b- average."  (the last part is what is confusing me, Identified?)

 

  I feel the need to clarify the reason my husband and I pulled Cody out of public school.  Cody has always been an honor roll student and was in the gifted & talented program; I was told that was in part because of the Asperger's.  As far as him suffering academically before we pulled him out of public school, it was because there were so many "emotional incidences" (children bullying and picking on him ) in class that he was always being removed; this went on for 2-3 years. It got to the point that he was spending so much time in cool down that he wasn't getting any academics. They decided to put him in a behavioral class, for his safety. It was then the  teacher  had some real emotional problems. (that's a whole different and scary story)

 

My son does have an official diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, and all that does is help us focus on where to look for and obtain knowledge and ideas. It also helps when a new quirk pops up, we can look to see if that may fall under the Asperger umbrella or if it is something totally different.  Cody is not LABELED with Asperger's in any form or fashion.  We didn't see a need for it considering there are no medications that are made specifically for Asperger's.  Our doctors know what he has, we know what he has and that's all that matters. What also matters is that your Doctor knows what he is dealing with, Asperger's can come with all sorts of symptoms, anxiety, depression,  ADD,  and ADHD.  My son has tics, and has been also diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome.. I have heard of others that have been diagnosed with bi-polar.  It's in you and your son's best interest that he gets a clear picture and diagnoses by a licensed psychiatrist/physician.This is not to label him but to make sure everyone is on the right track and everyone, doctors and teachers, are doing exactly what you are doing, working for your son's best interests.

 

It does sound like your son may have Asperger's, but to ask other parents to be the authority on that is not fair to you, your son or  us.  YOU at this point in his life are the best authority your child will ever have, you are his mother and I can tell you care very deeply about his  well being and happiness.

 

God Bless!

 

I live in Ontario, Canada.  Having worked in a school office, I know what the standard procedure is for kids with learning or behavioral issues.  First they are "identified" by their teacher or some other faculty memer (principal or special ed teacher), they are tested, they are given an IEP and either accomodated in a regular classroom or are placed in a special ed classroom (if there is one in their particular school), and every year staff members involved with the child attend an IPRC meeting to which the parent(s) are invited to attend as well.  My son has not been "identified" because he is not disruptive in the classroom and is able to achieve a passing grade.  What I meant about the homework is that it's a big deal at our house and most days if he is not assigned homework I give him a worksheet to do (usually basic math or grammer) and we do some spelling.  In short he has been tutored so he has been able to just keep his head above the water.  I can see that he does have ADHD, but there are so many other behaviours that aren't explained by the ADHD but I think could be with the addition of aspergers.  I just don't want to look like a lunatic by pushing this after I have taken him to experts (some of the best in our country).  I just wanted some feedback from people who spend a significant amount of time with kids with aspergers.  I really appreciate the feedback that you have already provided.  I do take all of it as opinion and not as a diagnosis.  I am also ready to hear that it doesn't sound like he has aspergers behaviours/traits. 
 
First | Prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next | Last