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.