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It was determined this morning that my son is falls in the autism spectrum....and I need a little help understanding.

I'm really not trying to be in denial, but nothing I see in my son's behavior says autism to me. He went through evaluations with a handful of specialists and I freely admit that I don't know much about the disorder, however the things that I've read and even the reasons they've given me don't add up to autism to me. His biggest weakness is in his ability to focus and pay attention to activities that don't peak his utmost interest. I know there are different types of autism, but does anyone have any experience with inattention being the largest part of their child's autism? They gave some other smaller examples of their findings as well, but I have a very hard time feeling like those aren't age related, or even something like ADHD that he can/may grow out of eventually vs. a disorder that will stick with him for the rest of his life. I know they are the specialists which is why I'm trying not to second guess them, I guess I just need a little advice to better understand the disorder.

(Really wishing there was a category for this now!)

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maecntpntz219

Asked by maecntpntz219 at 7:21 PM on Feb. 14, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 31 (51,557 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • Oh, also, they came up with an IEP and recommended placing him in a specialized class which I entirely agree with and do think it will help him. In a way I'm glad they are recommending an education class versus using a diagnosis like ADHD and going straight to recommendations of medication. Regardless of what they are labeling it, I feel like he will be getting the help he needs. I guess I just don't understand why autism.
    maecntpntz219

    Comment by maecntpntz219 (original poster) at 7:23 PM on Feb. 14, 2013

  • Hmm, I'm not sure. Autism can vary widely from what I understand. Bump for you, & hugs!
    KA91

    Answer by KA91 at 7:27 PM on Feb. 14, 2013

  • I felt like this with my youngest, like I was missing seeing something that they were seeing. One thing that they kept coming back to was that he would stay stuck on a subject that he loved (penguins) and if the conversation was about something else, he would keep trying to steer it back to penguins. A lot of kids his age just want to talk about stuff that interests them, so I didn't see it as that significant. I am still on the fence, not sure if I really think he might be a little on the spectrum, or not. I agreed to the diagnosis (academic, not medical) because it gets him the extra services that I know will help him, because he needs a little help with writing and stuff like that. I did tell them that I will be requesting another complete evaluation before the three years are over though.
    JulieJacobKyle

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 7:32 PM on Feb. 14, 2013

  • Thanks, that's exactly how I feel and exactly why I agreed with them as well. That makes me feel a lot better :)
    maecntpntz219

    Comment by maecntpntz219 (original poster) at 7:43 PM on Feb. 14, 2013

  • was he evaluated for autism or add/adhd?
    i dont know what the autism eval is like but the add adhd one is really just forms and like a one hour chat with a kiddie shrink (at least for us with two different kids)
    feralxat

    Answer by feralxat at 7:44 PM on Feb. 14, 2013

  • Somethings before I start
    1) I have a child who is a classic 'flap and tap' autistic
    2) I am a special education teacher

    That being said. I DO see children who are diagnosed with autism who, I am most others who work with them (including school psychologist who were not the once who did the initial diagnosis) feel the child is in no way on the spectrum. Part of the reason they are tightening the criteria for diagnosis is to prevent this type of diagnosis from happening.

    However, if you are the only familiar with the 'Hollywood' portrayal of autism, you might NOT be able to see how your child falls on the spectrum. I can clearly see how my ex (my son's father) is on the spectrum after knowing more about the disorder. My ex is 52 years old, hold a job, but does clearly have the disorder once you know the clues. I am also aware the my one former step son is on the spectrum as well.

    In attention can be a big part of it.
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 7:46 PM on Feb. 14, 2013

  • People on the spectrum can pay attention to multiple things , whether it interest them or not. People with adhd can have a hard time paying attention if they are not interested.
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 7:49 PM on Feb. 14, 2013

  • Sorry, bed time for kiddos, I will try to be back later for more of an explanation of why this might be.
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 7:49 PM on Feb. 14, 2013

  • He could be very high functioning. Don't be alarmed by those labels - the most important thing is you have early intervention (re the IEP) and he will have resources he wouldn't otherwise get in the regular classroom.

    He could very well mature and have few remnants of his disability. If you would like to talk more, PM me.
    tasches

    Answer by tasches at 8:05 PM on Feb. 14, 2013

  • He was evaluated for both ADD/ADHD and Autism Spectrum. We had multiple charts and forms to complete as well as appointments with the "kiddie shrinks" lol. I feel like all his "symptoms" almost scream ADHD but they decided upon Autism. He is hyperfocused on trains, most definitely, and lacks the ability to focus on almost anything for any given length of time. They did determine that he is exactly where he needs to be academically (and in fact if it weren't for the lack of focus might chart even higher) and has no problems learning. They mentioned his social interaction, however I've never seen a problem with it. For one, he is an only child and this year in preschool is his first experience in a group setting with peers so I can't be surprised that likes to play alone at times. With that said, when we go to the park he loves to join in with the other kids playing.
    maecntpntz219

    Comment by maecntpntz219 (original poster) at 8:08 PM on Feb. 14, 2013

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