Tag Archives: Autism

Question?: Autistic Savant

Sharon asks…

Can someone be an autistic savant with mental retardation?

Please answer only if you are pretty sure that you know the answer.

admin answers:

One of the hallmark features of Autism is what is called “scattered skills” meaning good in some areas, less in others and perhaps a specific area of high skill. When you are talking about diminished cognitive skill – yes there is a % of the population of Autism that will have some to extreme cognitive deficit – so by that information – yes someone can be a savant and be cognitively impaired.

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Question?: Autistic Artist

Steven asks…

How common is it for people with Aspergers not to have a special interest?

I don’t have a special interest. There are just things that I am passionate about the same as other people so I am curious about how common it is.

admin answers:

Just as common as in the general population. There’s this stereotype purveyed by the popular media that all people with aspergers or more sever autistic spectrum disorders are savants or really dedicated to one particular subject.

What you see on TV are only the people who they deem interesting enough to show you. Who’s more interesting? An autistic artist or a “normal” autistic person who doesn’t really specialize in one thing? Most people with a disorder such as aspergers or autism do not have one special interest.

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Question?: Angry Autistic Child

James asks…

What actions to take when a disabled child is being bullied at school.?

I have a 13 yr. old son with Autism and he is constantly being bullied at school because he is a little different. The school has been notified on three different occasions and nothing seems to be working to prevent this from happening. What can I do?

admin answers:

Go the the district superintendent if the principal isnt doing anything. If that doesn’t work,draw your kid out of school and enroll him in a different school. Bullying an autistic kid is unacceptable! My mom is a life skills teacher and all 4 of her students are my close friends. It makes me angry to hear that someone would bully these kids. I truly hope that this is solved and he doesnt have this happen to him anymore.

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Question?: Angry Autistic Kids

Thomas asks…

Need help if my three year old sounds autistic?

Hello I have a three year old, that has recently been tested for autism, but came back inconclusive for a number of reasons i.e. When asking me about my sons communication skills, I didn’t know what they meant by Joint attention or gestures ( I know I’m stupid) so I would say ‘no’ that he doesn’t do those things… even though judging by my son’s speech therapist and the psychologist and developmental ped that assessed him could see that he could do those things. So anyway, my son is going to have a second assessment and when they ask me questions, I want to make sure that I get it right. Here are a list of things that my son does.
1. Uses joint attention…. to much intact.. he would look at me..point.. and look at me to show me a thing he’s interested in i.e. this could be images in a book, showing me he’s drawing… showing em something he’s interested in etc etc.
2. My son has a speech delay
3. My son uses a lot natural gestures ( That I HAVE NOT TAUGHT HIM).. so this could be ” brushing his teeth” would be in gestures, using his fingers, showing his teeth and animating with his finger the motion to brush his teeth…..” wash hands” would be the two of his hands clamped together doing the motion of washing his hands…..” upset’ would be shrugging shoulders would be or folding arms. ” open” would be animating different ways with he’s hands to open with an object.
3. Plays toys appropriately and has good pretend/imaginary play skills i.e. flying helicopter or rocket, cooking, feeding baby etc.. although occasionally he would lie down sideways and build he’s blocks ( which is a concern
4. If he does not get what he wants this would go into a tantrum
5. doesn’t seem to understand patience some of the times *sigh*
6.Flaps arms when angry
7. Plays with kids and knows how to share
8.Has no routine issue whatsoever, but remembers the places which I treat him too e.g. Mcdonalds…toy stores and if we walk past these ” special treat stores” wants to go in *sigh again*
9.Toilet trained.. sleep is fine
10. Can be too hyperactive, running around ( which is tiring)
11. Always wants to play with me ( which can be annoying sometimes) this could be him making me want to out on our 3D glasses and him pointing to the mirror so that we can pull faces… our sleeping game, so he would gesture sleep, and I have to fake sleep and he would diliberalty make noise and I’ll have to wake up and tickle him…. also with games too.
12. Self care needs are advanced
13. Really good at imitating
14. Can be shy
15. seems to understand more, even though speech is limited
16. seems to always want my attention…through crying… wanting me to cuddle him… playing
17. Has a good sense of where I am, e.g say like if I am out of his sight, he would always look back to s where I am or where I have gone too.

I think the main thing for me is his tantrums, he may have an allergy too. Also, he is quite shy and does not show his true self to people.. most of the things have mentioned on this list..only me, his speech therapist, family and close friends have seen this side of him, to strangers he doesn’t open up easily which is sad. Anyway, does my list sound like he has autism and what concerns should I bring up to the psychologist?
@Alicia- Thanks for your comment, when actually listing things which my son does, autism sounds less and I am actually thinking that it could be ADHD..OR ADD.. his dad has said this, that it sounds like ADHD not autism. Although, It can be argued that the fact because he is speech delayed, this adds to frustration..if it is ADHD and not autism, I would be worried that it may result for him to take medication.. which I would not result too. I am aware that ADHD cannot be diagnosed under the age of 5.

admin answers:

Autism is the inability to understand other people as being people with their own wants, needs, and emotions. Something that three-year children also tend to be bad at. Like what has been said before, most of what you are describing sounds a lot like a normal three-year old. The speech doesn’t seem to be important, as your son seems to be able to communicate. Most children learn to talk well because baby talk just gets a “What did you say” response from adults, so children learn to enunciate so as to be understood and get what they want from adults. You’re sons gestures sound like he has found a way of getting out of having to talk properly (if you have ever learned a second language, then you would know how difficult this is). I am curious as to what what would happen if you refused to acknowledge his gestures and insist that he talk more to get what he wants.

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Question?: Autistic Angry Outbursts

Robert asks…

Parents of Older Autistic Children w/ Aggression?

I have been using Safe Crisis Management holds for my son’s aggressive “outbursts” since he was diagnosed (PDDNOS). I have been having some problems lately due to the fact he’s getting bigger and is very flexible.

Earlier today Austins in-home therapist pushed him a bit to far and he lost it. Once I got him in the hold he began to wiggle and fight. He threw his head back and managed to bust my lip a bit and when I tried to steady his head he turned and bit my arm leaving a decent little bruise.

I was calm through it all, and finally managed to get him calmed down. But once he went back to his therapist and my husband got home, I locked myself in the bathroom and seriously considered pulling my hair out LOL. I asked his therapist for advice, but he was no help at all.

Did you have this problem when your child got older? If they were able to overpower the holds, what did you do to keep them from harming themselves/others?
No judging my son, especially if you have no experience with children on the spectrum. He is the sweetest kid on the planet 90% of the time. He just has trouble expressing his “bad moods”.
Erin: I hope it works out with your son. I’ve been through the pre-diagnosis phase, it’s rough. Austin is 8 now, and generally his episodes will send him “after people”. He won’t really sit still through it.

admin answers:

Well, my son is 2 1/2 years old, and not yet been diagnosed with autism, but we believe he has it. He has the same outbursts that you describe your son to have. I have tried holds as well, but all it does is hurt us both. I really don’t have that great of an answer for you, but I do know that you need to keep yourself safe as well as your son. My son will usually stop when he wants to, and I’ve found that the holds just made him angrier. What I do may sound terrible, but it’s the best way I’ve found so far. I have a big, soft chair that I set him in and just let him go. He can’t really hurt himself on this chair, it’s very soft and it’s over-sized. Maybe try something like that, just let the outburst run its course, while making sure he stays safe and doesn’t hurt himself. To me, it’s better than you getting a busted nose or something, and then not being able to help him through is problem because you have something you need to tend to on yourself.

Good luck, if you find any better advice, let me know.

Edit: I am really sorry to hear that. Nick’s a little bit the same way, until I sit him down and let him go at it in his chair. He’ll come hit and kick and bite me, hit his little brother, and the works. Plus, he beats himself up something fierce. I don’t have any better advice for you, but I think, if that therapist saw it, he should have been of more help. Maybe you should get another therapist? I don’t know, but I think they should be able to help with that.

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Question?: Autistic Disorder

John asks…

Autism reported to get worse with a patient?

I have been talking to care staff that work with an autistic man, who is siad to be getting worse autistically.

The mans mother claims that in the past, he was able to ride a bike, go out for walks, run, play and so on when he was a child.

However, his mother claims that it is because he is on medication today and that this is why his behaviour has got worse with time.
She would like him to come off medication.

His dose of medication has been reduced, but not much of a behaviour difference has been observed by the staff.

As I understand it, AS and Autistic disorder remains unchanged in its magniture through out life. But there are variables that can make its effects more or less noticable, such as adolescence and becoming an adult.

In many cases, as such people grow to become adults, I hear reports of a decline in such behaviour.

Can this condition become more or less severe in terms of brain structural damage?
If so, why?

admin answers:

Cosmic… The question wasn’t regarding a child, but an autistic MAN who, I’m assuming, is in a group home.

You didn’t state if this is a new medication or he’s been on it awhile. If it’s a fairly new med, first of all why is he on it? Second, maybe it needs to be lowered more? Or, a different one tried. All of these can affect change in any individual,so they really need to be thought about for the individual, not just as the group as a whole. Asperger’s and autism CAN and often do change throughout the person’s life, depending on what is being done with that person. As they mature, they can learn to live with it better, some even covering it up better. But because it affects them socially and emotionally, the way it affects them can change depending on their situations. For my son, I notice changes in him if he’s sick or getting sick, too tired, hasn’t been stimulated enough sensorily, or he’s been over-stimulated. Those are just a few of the things that bring about temporary change. Long-term changes can be (in terms of improving) brought about through working with the individual, helping them learn self-control, etc. Problem is, as an adult, they’re usually not as open to change and won’t cooperate with it, so typically there is ‘less’ change when they hit adulthood. Now, in terms of regression, what is his day like? Is anyone trying to stimulate him, or engage him in his world, or are they just leaving it up to him? He might be going through a rough spot like we all do, not feeling motivated enough to do the things he was doing. If that came about after starting the meds, I would say his mom is right. So, really you have to look at the things leading up to his regression, what is being done to try to help him out of it, and how responsive he is. Maybe his mom could try getting him to do these things. Really, even though he’s autistic you’re still dealing with an individual personality who is going to have ups and downs. It’s just that with autism, they’re usually much more pronounced, more severe. In terms of brain structural damage, what has he been exposed to? I’ve seen with my son that changes in diets, changes in chemicals that he’s exposed to, will drastically affect him. Check to see if the cleaners used to clean around the facility have been changed or increased in the amounts being used. Maybe a new employee is using too much of something, and that’s affecting his ability to function. I realize this isn’t actually structural damage, but these things drastically affect how they function, their ability to process.
Hopefully this gives you some different things to look at to find the culprit. I’m hoping this facility is respecting the mom’s wishes, though, if the only deciding factor ends up being the meds?

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Question?: Pdd-nos Checklist

Steven asks…

Worried! Autism reg flags in 21 month old.?

Hi. We have twins. 1 boy ,one girl(21 months) – they were slightly premature. We are very blessed as they are both beautiful. I know boys develope slower than girls(this is the answer I get from everyone, even our Pediatrician)and I know I cant help but compare, but my “red flag” sensor is gradually building with our son. The things that I worry about the most are:
He walks (started at 16 months) but is still clumsy – he doesnt walk on tiptoes though.
When I come home, my daughter runs over and hugs me shouting dada. My son looks up, will eventually come over, gives me a quick look then goes off again to play alone with some toy. BUT When I hold him or swing him up, or play horsey/rocket ship – he loves it and I will get a lot of eye contact/big laughs. When I put him down he holds his arms up to go again(so there is interaction)
Another problem is the regression of speech – he used to babble a lot and got to the mama dada stage and was saying A O E vowels etc but then stopped at about 17 months – he rarely says anything now except grunts, though I may get a dada out of him if I work hard.
A few times a sudden loudspeaker and the loud cellphone beep in my car has made him explode into screams.
He will spin the wheels of a toy car rather than playing with it like a car. If theres an alphabet button toy he will hit the same letter-button over an over again (interestingly- there was a truck toy with letter buttons all around it-he was pressing the J rpeatedly. I turned the toy around, but he turned it right back around to go for the J again. I dont see any rudementary “prentend games” with any toys. He does NOT stack/line up toys though.
He’s an extremely picky eater. He does the hand flapping and finger flicking, and sometimes curls 1 arm up a bit when he walks. He doesnt spin but I suspect this might be coming. He will sit with a toy/object and study it over and over like he’s a little engeneer/scientist.
He wont use the phone-as-a -phone or brush-like-a-brush like his sister

He’s not a sad child, infact his laugh lights up the whole house, and he will join in with us if we are all playing – but then he’ll wander off alone – then come back in 2 minutes, back and fourth.
As you can see- I’m all over the map with my worries.He actually started babbling first, then stopped, then started again a few weeks later many times in the first 14mths. But this time is much longer (4+ months).
I’m taking to the PED next week – and want to get an evaluation – but Im scared I’ll get the “too-soon-to-tell” speech.
I am more worried than my wife.

concerned parent
I hope im paranoid. Im going to get his hearing checked. Him squealing at the loud noise those times makes me think his hearing is fine. As we all know the internet can be a blessing and a curse. It has a lot of very good info, but also it can make you believe the worst. Twins are like winning the lottery – but if there were one tiny downside is that you see 2 babies develop at different levels. Its X2 fun – but can also make a sane person paranoid too. I will get to the Pedriatrician. Thnkyou for advice everyone.

admin answers:

Sorry, this is a bit long, but I wanted to provide as much info as I could, hopefully it will be helpful and won’t make it more confusing 😉
The main thing with autism is in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. Autism affects each person on an individual basis, so the symptoms are unique to each individual, they can be in any combination and range anywhere from mild to severe. You can have 2 people with the excat same characteristics and they will act completely different from each other. There are also different forms of autism…. Autistic disorder (aka classic autism), asperger’s disorder (some refer to it as high functioning autism), and pdd-nos (pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified aka atypical autism). Each has it’s own criteria for a diagnosis and each form can also range anywhere from mild to severe . This will tell you about what criteria has to met to be diagnosed with the forms of autism: http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_whatis_PDD There are also related conditions of autism, which can have similiar symptoms and/or share some symptoms of autism or can co-exist with autism: http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_whatis_related When someone is evaluated for autism, various medical tests may be ordered to rule out or identify other possible causes of the symptoms because many of the behaviors associated with autism are shared by other disorders.To be diagnosed with autism, they would need to be evaluated by a psychologist; developmental pediatrician; pyschiatrist; or a neurologist. The evaluation they use would depend on who they see but regardless there is certain criteria that has to be met in order to be diagnosed with any form of autism. An accurate diagnosis should be based on observation of the individual’s communication, behavior, and developmental levels.
By what you have listed, I would be concerned, much of what you have stated I have seen in my son (he has autistic disorder, sensory integration disorder, expressive & receptive language disorder, delays in fine & oral motor skills, and oral aversion (sensory to food textures/flavors). It appears he may have a form of autism/and or sensory integration, many of the characteristics you are stating can be considered for both disorders. Your son may not have autistic disorder but rather a milder form such as asperger’s or pdd-nos or a related disorder that shares some of the same characteristis of autism. I would look into him being evaluated by a speech language pathologist since his speech has regressed and is a picky eater..they can help with any speech/language delays, any issues related to eating, and help in other areas if needed. I would also look into him being evaluated by a occupational therapist, they can can help him with any sensory issues and help in him in other areas as well if needed. This will tell of the charcteristics related to sensory disorders http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-processing-disorder-checklist.html
This will tell you of the characteristics of autism: http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_whatis_char
I think you’ll find that what you have listed can be found on these pages..if you check out the link above for criteria for diagnosis, along with the characteristics of autism page, I think you’ll know in your gut if he does or doesn’t. The reason why I state that is because not only did we see much of what you are stating in our son, but we began noticing things weren’t quite right around the age of 2, however we had no suspicion of autism, we thought he was just slow and would catch up. We seen a show about autism and the charcteristics of, and they were describing our son, we had only heard of autism at that time, we had no idea what autism really was and consisted of until we seen that show. That made us do research about it as you are now, I went to the links I have left here in regards to characteristics and criteria for diagnosis among other sources and after reading tons of info about autism, we just knew/felt he had it before we had him evaluated and I feel if you continue to do your research about it, you’ll know in your gut/heart if he does or does not, you can describe characteristics you see in your son to us, but you are the one who is experiencing them first hand. Our son was evaluated for 1 month and diagnosed with it 1 month after turning 3…had we known the characteristics of autism before seeing that show, we would have had him evaluated much sooner..and during his evaluation we actually realized he was showing some signs much earlier than the age of 2 however we had no clue. Even if you have any doubt, as the saying goes, better to be safe than sorry. If he is found to have a form of autism, it is not by any means the end of the world, it has been proven that the earlier they receive help the more likely they will live very normal lives. Many tend to excel in math, music, and art; and many have excellent memory skills. Many can pick up on skills with very little or no help at all. Many with asperger’s have higher than normal intelligence. Even though my son has difficulty in certain areas, my son has a superior memory and is very smart, I think it would really surprise you with what he does know for his age (he’s 5 now), and I find that I don’t think it would of been possible for him to have such a gift without his autism, a gift that I would never want to take away from him. I will admit that you’ll have good days and bad days, you’ll have your ups and downs, etc., but that is typical for any child.

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Question?: Autism Signs In Toddler Girls

Michael asks…

Does my son just have a speech delay or is it something more?? Maybe autism?

So I already know that he has a speech delay & I am already planning on taking him to get evaluated. But I just want some opinions from some other moms out there, especially mothers with sons. Okay I have a 3 year old son, he speaks a lot actually, ask him his name & he responds with both his 1st & last name. He knows his age, he knows his colors (but always calls red, blue for some reason lol) He can count 1-30 & recognizes all of them including the number 100. He knows a lot of shapes, when he sees a stop sign he says octagon. He also knows his ABCS & recognizes them & will sing the whole alphabet song clear as day. He follows directions, I tell him to pick up his toys & he will. He’ll sit down when I tell him to, etc. He even will comfort his little brother when he’s crying and says It’s okay baby, I’m sorry. Shhhh be quiet. He will let me know what he wants, I want a drink a water. Or I want cheese, popsicle, juice, milk, poptart, chicken, fries, cereal etc. Also since I’m mentioning food, he’s very picky, he’s only ate pizza once & that was when he was 1, he won’t try cheeseburgers, sandwiches, etc. He’s very sweet & loves to cuddle. He’s a little too social sometimes & embarrasses me at the store b/c he says hi to pretty much everyone he encounters. He loves other children but also I can see that they don’t accept him sometimes. Like maybe he’s trying to hard to be their friend. I’m trying to teach him that you can’t just expect everyone to give you attention. Anyway there’s one HUGE concern of mine… he sometimes, to converse will repeat exactly what I am saying or what the other person is saying like for an example, you say Hi Gavyn & he will say Hi Gavyn back… I know its echolalia. I hear autistic children have it sometimes but also I hear children with just a simple speech delay have it. I’m just scared though for him b/c I do feel like little kids are being overdiagnosed these days so a part of me wants to protect him from the label & that its my job as his mother to protect him but then at the same time I want him to get the help he needs if it is something serious. He has been a stay at home kid since day 1. My husband & I have been trying to think if we should home school or not but I would really like him to have the whole public school experience & make friends. To me he’s just a normal boy but sometimes I do catch people looking at him weird especially when he repeats stuff. So I was wondering was your son like this as well? Did he end up being okay? I just love my son so much & want the best for him. Any opinion is appreciated. Thanks

admin answers:

From what you posted…it doesn’t seem like he has Autism. My son is now 8, when he was a toddler I thought he may be Autistic because of some of his behaviours. He had a speech delay and sensory issues but…not Autistc. Alot of kids have Autistic traits, some adults also. My main concern with my son was flapping his arms. That is a charactaristic of Autism but also a sensory thing. I was told by alot of people..he is fine, he will grow out of it. BUT…i went ahead and got him tested. I had to because…what if? So..relax…get your son tested to be sure. He seems very vocal and very smart. Alot of times children that are very smart…have quirks.

Home Schooling is something I never concidered….it wasn’t for me. I have a friend who homeschools her 4 children. She sent them all to preschool and kindergarden. She was is a teacher, but isn’t working in a school. I asked her why she sent her kids to preschool and kindergarden. She said, she wanted them to go to learn to be social, learn to be around alot of other kids, and make there own friends, and have that backround. . At that age learning to share with others, and be around other kids was important to her. She also gives the choice. She homeschools 1st and 2nd grade, then asks the children if they want to to to school, or homeschool. They have all chosen to homeschool. They are lovely girls and very social. To me, it could be there personalities but..all of them are very outgoing and try hard to make frineds..which is good, but makes me wonder if they “need” to be in a classroom. But they are able to make that choice. The do have friends, they are in karate, and go to a homeschool group once or twice a week, and are very involved in there church and go to chruch school.

What is his speech delay? Seems like he talks alot. Lisp, studdering?

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