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

My son has been evaluated by a neurologist. It was a short evaluation and she just told us he was on the spectrum. She made it sound like he was too young to tell exactly where on the spectrum he is. He was just about to turn 3 at the time and now he will be 4 in 1 1/2 months. My son is attending a special ed pre-school and his teacher bluntly tells us he is severely autistic but then tells us that she can't "diagnose" because she's not a doctor. My husband and I don't deny something is going on but that really got us upset . We were just starting to digest everything going on with him. His teacher told us this at our 1st parent-teacher conference right before the holidays. So we didn't enjoy this past holiday season. We felt better when others we know who work with autistic kids said there is no way he is severe and our son's early intervention teacher who is also a special ed teacher said that was so unprofessional and tactless. She also disagreed with our son's teacher's "diagnosis" and said even if it was true it still wouldn't be right to tell us like that. Our son will be seeing a developmental pediatrician in October after a long wait. We will hopefully get more answers then.

I spoke to someone who works for a DAN doctor and when I described my son he said it sounds like PDD. My son is very affectionate (mostly with adults but he has been affectionate with his little sister), does make eye contact most of the time, does listen and comprehend directions most of the time. He doesn't do any hand flapping or rocking but sometimes when he is extremely agitated he will hit himself in the head. He does do some visual stimming. He has a language delay but he can ask for things with simple words most of the time or he leads us to what he wants. When we can't understand what he wants he has a meltdown or when he can't have what he wants he has a meltdown. He socializes with adults great unless he doesn't like them. (With the ones he doesn't seem to like my husband and I don't blame him). He has hugged adults he never met before. His socialization problem seems to be with other kids. There are very few he plays with. He does have the capability to socialize with kids because he has played with a few kids of friends of mine who are his age. He sees them about every 2 to 3 months when we get together. But the kids at school (who he sees almost everyday) or other kids at play places we go to he doesn't care about. Most of his classmates are older than him. Don't know if that has anything to do with it. He has no sensory issues that we notice. Loud noise (he loves his drums) or bright lights do not bother him at all. The only thing we did notice was that when we brought him to Chuck E. Cheese he just ran around the place and drove us nuts. He didn't actually play with anything. Maybe there was too much stimulation? This happened recently. He was there when he had just turned 2 for his cousin's birthday party and was just fine. He sat and ate, watched the other kids and rode the rides.

There are no cognitive issues with our son. He knows letters (upper and lower), colors, shapes, can spell his name, is starting to write some letters....his teacher said that he is very smart and cognitively there are no problems. It's just social. So that's why we don't understand why she would "diagnose" him as severe. We have seen him with the paraprofessionals in class when we are invited to his class. He is very affectionate with them. We thought if a child was severe he wouldn't touch anyone or want to be touched.  

Have any of your children been diagnosed with PDD? My understanding is that kids are diagnosed with PDD when they don't fall in the Asperger's category or the Classic Autism category. The spectrum is so big my husband and I just want to have some idea where our son falls on it.

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Replies (11-18):
jeni1212
by on Jul. 17, 2012 at 7:48 PM
My son was recently diagnosed pdd-nos, he is 3.5. He sounds alot like your child. My son does no hand flapping or anything like that either. He speaks wonderfully, somethings are hard to understand still but I can understand him haha. He gets speech and OT. He is very loving, understands emotions, is interested in other children as well. He has some sensory issues mostly seeking I think and has a fine motor delay. He is very smart as well scored 100 out of 100 on his cognitive eval. He is aggressive tough, he gets angry quick. His tantrums are short though, maybe 15-20 sec sometimes longer. We redirect him when these things occur. He has trouble focusing and sitting still. Its his way or the highway most of the time. If he doesn't want to do something he gets upset or lately tells us he's tired and then starts snoring like hes sleeping(little booger). Also my son really enjoys trains, trucks and cars and will just play with those all day unless we get him to do something else, which turns into a tantrum but he quickly recovers. When we got his very first eval we were told he wasn't on the spectrum, 6 months later we saw the develop per through his special ed preschool and they told us pdd-nos. She said he shows some signs of classic autism but not enough to have a diagnosis for classic autism. I was so upset BC I knew there was something wrong I just didn't want to hear that. I like to say its a double edge sword bc you don't want your child having something wrong but at the same time with a dx you get services now that will help so much. Hang in there, it does get easier once you have some sense of which direction you need to go in!!
jeni1212
by on Jul. 17, 2012 at 7:58 PM
Also we see a DAN Dr too and the supplements and diet change have really worked. We started in Jan. And my son is a totally different child already. If you can I would look into it, we started there before we even had a dx BC it also helps for add/adhd which my son could possibly have as well but is too young still to find out.
Good Luck
SaturnsMom
by Member on Jul. 18, 2012 at 12:21 AM
My son was diagnosed pdd
Your son actually sounds like he is higher functioning than mine.
Although my son also dx'd as ADHD as well. That could be the difference but yeah that sounds like pdd to me.
<--also not a doctor though.
smiles412
by on Jul. 18, 2012 at 1:05 AM

I would'nt take the diagnoses of a teacher. They are not supposed to say he has  a spectrum problem. My daughter was seen by a developmental pediatrician who referred us to the Autism Spectrum Disorder testing facility with our insurance company. Until they refer you to a specialist like a Psychologist specializing in Autism I would not label your kid. By the way every kid with this is different and I see with my daughter that the symptoms change as they get older. I think if her teacher had not said there are some funny behaviors going on I would have noticed it in the last couple of months. Sometimes you can't tell until the kid is older. The PDD is usually with girls who are very hard to diagnose.

There are a lot of areas on the spectrum.

Hope this makes you feel better.

03071012
by Bronze Member on Jul. 18, 2012 at 2:44 AM
My dd was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. I am beginning to think that they dx'd her with that because she is young (2). She has all the classic signs of autism, no,eye contact, no response to her name, cognitively delayed, doesn't follow simple directions (she can do simple commands like sit down, but not go get your shoes), has sensory issues, echolalia...all that fun stuff. Her dev. ped wanted to see how she does with therapy for a while and re-evaluate. He thinks she will "out grow" the diagnosis, but I am not sure I agree. I do pray that will happen, but I dunno.
kajira
by Emma on Jul. 18, 2012 at 3:17 AM

My son hyper stares or has fleeting eye contact. he's academically fine and his IQ is fine. he's affectionate. he's clingy. he's intentionally social.


he's also classic autism. I would have the ADOS test performed... find a specialist in autism who is trained to perform it.

My son has ZERO concept of boundaries, he'll touch strangers randomly, hug whoever, didn't have any concept of fear...

His sister appears to be NT - as a toddler, she's cautious and slowly warms up to people, she looks to her dad and I for cues on if she should trust the other adults or kids. That's normal for her age.

my son would walk up and go with anyone. he had zero attachment to caregivers in a "caution" sense. He didn't look to them to lead or give signals for the situation.

My son's IQ is normal. He's academically ahead of his peers on paper when it comes to school work. He's classic autism.

I'm a mother of 2 kids, I'm happy married, my IQ is average/normal whatever you want to call it. I'm severely classicly autistic based on criteria needed for diagnosing.

It's going to look different for everyone. being diagnosed with autism doesn't mean you can't be smart, or verbal or affectionate, or have a good life.

Autism is a social and language communication disorder. That's it's definition.

marisab
by Gold Member on Jul. 18, 2012 at 5:56 AM

Too young?My son was diagnosed at 2 1/2.And schools can so testing there is an educational diagnosis and a medical diagnosis.While the schoolks diagnosis wont be as officiala nd u cant get ssi off that it is a diagnossi and a start .I would get a second drs opinion so u know what kind he has.They are only ones to diagnosis properly look for a developmental pediatrician .

klrino
by on Jul. 18, 2012 at 9:01 PM
My son is finally seeing a developmental ped in oct. We've been waiting for an appt for @ 9 months. We are hoping to get more answers then.
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