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I'm wondering if my son has aspergers

My beautiful son is 8 years old. He is very smart, gets A's in school, learns quickly. However, there are certain things that make me feel like there is a problem. He has difficulty with socialization. He is very social and wants to have interactions with kids but they seem to be kind of one-sided. He is not rude or pushy or bossy, just seems to lack interest in what the other kid/kids may want to do, or what they think. He may ask how they feel, or what they think, etc. from time to time, but it is more of a conscious effort vs. being natural. He is very sensitive to criticism and often fells as if he is being criticized--even if he is not. He seems ultra aware of himself and how others perceive him which seems odd for his age. He seems more like what you would expect from a teenager in that department. He is perfectionistic and has what seems to be an unreasonable fear of making mistakes. Also, he doesn't seem to be able to relax and enjoy things much. He seems kind of "keyed up" all the time and it just seem like he takes much joy in anything.
He isn't 'odd' or 'weird' or 'slow' or any of the things that seem to be listed in a lot of Asperger/autism websites. He doesn't bang his head, act out violently, hurt himself or anything like that. But to me, he seems to be unable to connect with people--not that he doesn't try. He just doesn't seem to feel he fits in, doesn't feel like others really like him, doesn't seem to be all that interested in others perspectives. However, he does seem to feel hurt that he doesn't connect. It isn't like he is oblivious to his disconnect like the websites seem to indicate is the case with Aspergers.
As a baby he was loving but very clingy. I was also an overprotective mother as he was my first child. He walked early, talked early, had great eye contact with me, kissed, hugged, had a great vocabulary. I can say that he was facinated by spinning fans and loved to arrange his toys in straight lines when he was little.
By his second or third birthday, he began with some oppositional behaviors. He would refuse a sucker when offered to him but then when it was put away, he'd cry for it and get quite upset. Then when offered it again he might take it, or refuse it again and then it would start all over again. He would do that with hugs or playing tickle also. He'd stiffen up when being hugged in the morning but if I then went to sit back down at the table, he'd fuss for me to come back to him. He might then hug me or would refuse the hug, back away, and act stubborn. WHne he'd see me leaving to go sit back down, he'd rn to me and hug me and act angry. This sor t of thing went on for months and months. Different events.triggers, but the same basic behavior.
Around this time I had twin boys. He became more angry and obstinate. This was understandable because I was sooo busy with the twins and had very little to no help with caring for the kids/house. My husband works long hours and really didn't pitch in as much as he should/could have.
As you can imagine, I was overwhelmed and didn't spend nearly as much one-on-one time with him. I also didn't take him out to places much anymore. Before the twins, we went to the park, library, museum, for long walks.... After the twins, we didn't do anything. Fast forward to now, he is having such a difficult time at school with the kids. We don't have any kids his age in the neighborhood, so he is alone much of the time. There haven't been any kids in our neighborhood for a long time. He has played alone most of his childhood. I've played with him, his father, grandfather also. He now has his brothers but there is an age difference and, with his brothers being twins, they are much closer to eachother.
Now I'm not sure what to do. My heart is breaking and I am crying myself to sleep every night because I cannot bear the thought that he is having these difficulties. My husband says he is just a boy and boys go through this kind of thing. I feel that he has problems that he needs help with. I feel like he fits some of the aspergers symptoms but he is so high functioning and smart. He is disconnected in a way from kids BUT he is aware of it and it causes him pain and distress. Could he have aspergers? Is there anyone reading this in a similar situation? He also jumps around a lot and flaps his hands while he does it. He does this often and says it calms him down and helps him focus. Again, just a nervous habit or is it an Aspergers symptom?
I'm so lost and in so much pain. I would appreciate any info especially if you have a similar situation. I have looked into having an eval done by a neuropsychologist or a neuropsychiatrist. My husband is upset about this but I feel like if there is a problem, we need all the info we can get so we can help him have learm to cope with this. I just want him to be able to have a happy life.
Thanks for reading this. I so need some support right now.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:47 AM on Mar. 10, 2011 in Kids' Health

Answers (4)
  • I'm an educational psychologist, from your description your son does show typical traits e.g. difficulties with social interaction even though intent to socialise is there, academic ability, fear of making mistakes & inability to relax suggests he may be experiening some anxiety which is typical, his good vocabulary is consistent as those with a diagnosis of Asperger's do not necessarily present with a language delay (unlike those with more 'classic' autism) and spinning fans, lining things up, flapping hands are also consistent. Those with Asperger's often do very well in life. If you wish to pursue a diagnosis the GP can refer you to the appropriately. You may wish to speak with the school and discuss the option of meeting with their educational psychologist - support can be put in place without pursuing a diagnosis or indeed if he doesn't meet criteria for diagnosis e.g. social skills group.
    Hope this helps & good luck.

    Answer by babybell386 at 3:58 AM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • Apologies there's a typo in my reply - I meant to say the GP can refer you appropriately rather than 'to the appropriately'!

    Answer by babybell386 at 4:00 AM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • I agree that it does sound like it, have him tested, you can go through your doctor and they can refer you to a palce to have it done.

    Answer by jenn4443 at 6:23 AM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • have him tested

    Answer by WildCat73 at 6:14 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

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