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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

New here...need answers

Posted by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 1:36 AM
  • 6 Replies

My son is 7 years old and was just unofficially diagnosed with asd. He also has anxiety which they have decided to treat with an antidepressant. He was evaluated by a psychologist who said he "likely" has the diagnosis but he doesn't like to attach a "label" to the child. I just feel overwhelmed as a mother. I am not sure how to handle his behavior. He is extrememly inteligent and has no problems in school except for being a distraction and difficulties with peer relationships. At home he yells, pesters his sisters, he is always loud, and does not follow through with anything we ask him to do. My husband and I have had so much contention between us because our lives feel like chaos! He never sits still unless he is submerged in his legos or drawing trains. I am just not sure how to be an effective parent. Especially when the dr. won't confirm a diagnosis!

by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 1:36 AM
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kajira
by Emma on Jun. 26, 2012 at 1:47 AM

You need to see an autism specialist... preferably one who's trained to adminster and diagnose the ADOS test.

You'll get your diagnoses either way.

My son is 8 and a lot like your son is, minus the anxiety.

I'm also autistic, classic autism, and was diagnosed as an adult with my son - so no matter how hard it is today, there's hope for the future, especially for a verbal, intelligent child.

Even if he's 7 - if he's autistic, he's mentally/emotionally probably a few years younger, even if he's academically bright.

If your psyciatrist is overly willing to give you drugs for anxiety, but not diagnose an autism label, I'd probably seek out a new doctor who wants to be sure of the diagnoses BEFORE they treat the root cause/symptoms because ther'es ways to cope with anxiety, that aren't meds.

Meds, in some kids also make behaviors worse.

marisab
by Gold Member on Jun. 26, 2012 at 1:49 AM

hey welcome !!!look for a developmental ped ..he can help u get a dx or rule out asd better then a psych can

kidadvocate
by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 1:57 AM

Thank you so much for your response. I just don't really know where to even look for an autism speciallist. And I do feel his behavior has been exacerbated since starting him on the antidepressant. It is such ancharted territory for me and his pediatrician even said this is all an experiment. I am just not sure who to trust. Thank you for your response..It is comforting to find someone who relates to what we are going are through

kajira
by Emma on Jun. 26, 2012 at 2:03 AM

for an autistic child, if their chemicals aren't out of whack, messing with the chemicals often make it waaaaaaay worse.

I'm one of those people.

First, I'd start googling your area, and look up autism specialists, or, look up on autismspeaks.org - there's also a 100 day kit after a diagnoses for parents that may be worth reading.

Second, it's not a death sentence if your child is autistic, there's a lot of options, you also don't have to do every intervention known to man either. We don't do any, other than what we implement at home. My son and I regress when outsiders get involved and it makes our family life go insane.

So, we limit things.

Structure, transition downtime, knowing what to expect and what comes next, clear boundaries and rules (and explaining WHY the rules and boundaries are in place) - warning before you change from one activity to the next, making accomodation for sensory issues, or things that bother us.

Stimming behaviors often come off as anxiety related, when it's the exact opposite. I stim because i'm happy, not because i'm nervous. 

Behaviors, feelings, facial expressions - none of them are accurately always going to match, so you need to ask him to try and communicate with you, and not go off body language or observation, because it could very well be wrong.

Also - using his obsessions to reward him for desired behavior, and praise/rewards for the things you want/expect will get you a lot further than punishment will.

Quoting kidadvocate:

Thank you so much for your response. I just don't really know where to even look for an autism speciallist. And I do feel his behavior has been exacerbated since starting him on the antidepressant. It is such ancharted territory for me and his pediatrician even said this is all an experiment. I am just not sure who to trust. Thank you for your response..It is comforting to find someone who relates to what we are going are through


Living with Autism - The quirky kitty.

Our autistic Family - A Dad's point of view on living with Autism

kidadvocate
by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 2:16 AM
1 mom liked this

Awesome! I will look tomorrow. I feel a sense of burden being taken off my chest with what you have said. I have had my doubts about the medication but I was hoping for a solution. I have wondered if I should get a second opinion but the psychologist said they tests are all uniform and we are so invested now financially. But I do realize it isn't his specialty. We actually went to him because we thought our son might have ADD. He was recommended for that testing. But then he went in this other direction and it was so unexpected. I know I will feel more validation and support if I can find someone who knows more about asd. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.

kajira
by Emma on Jun. 26, 2012 at 2:23 AM

not a problem. ADD and anxiety at that age often are the "outward" behaviors in appearance, but aren't close to what it actually is.

it can look similar, but are for opposite reasons.

the person who did our testing, specialises in only autism, she said we were both able to focus when we understood the directions because asked, and had zero signs of ADD - most people have no idea what they are talking about.

overstimulation can cause manic/add type behaviors or escelating behaviors that lead to either a shutdown, or a meltdown and the signs of overstimulation often mimic ADD behaviors in appearance.

Most people who are not specifically trained for autism talk out their ass and don't have any idea more specifically, and even those who are trained to diagnose often buy into the myths. (i.e. if you make eye contact, you aren't autistic, if you can talk, you aren't autistic, if you like your parents, you aren't autistic, if you want friends, you aren't autistic, etc.)

so do your research be as throrough as possible - and specifically look for someone who does the ADOS test. It's a set test, it's over 95% accurate... and there's no personal judgement or bias invovled. It's just looking for specific behaviors that most autistic people will exhibit during the testing.

Quoting kidadvocate:

Awesome! I will look tomorrow. I feel a sense of burden being taken off my chest with what you have said. I have had my doubts about the medication but I was hoping for a solution. I have wondered if I should get a second opinion but the psychologist said they tests are all uniform and we are so invested now financially. But I do realize it isn't his specialty. We actually went to him because we thought our son might have ADD. He was recommended for that testing. But then he went in this other direction and it was so unexpected. I know I will feel more validation and support if I can find someone who knows more about asd. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.


Living with Autism - The quirky kitty.

Our autistic Family - A Dad's point of view on living with Autism

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