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Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?

 
MartianPrincess
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07/01/2013 10:44 AM
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Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
To make a story short (not really - lol), my 5 yr old was diagnosed with autism. He has a speech delay and we were getting him tested across the board when I was taken by surprise last week by this diagnosis. Not shocked - I now understand why he's so... quirky but I'm trying my best to understand this condition better so I can better help him navigate through life.

My son was born at 35 weeks after a very complicated pregnancy, I suffered from the worst case of hyperemesis gravidarum my doctors had ever seen, so keeping us both alive (with zofran and phenergan)until I delivered was the ultimate goal. Thankfully at birth, aside from low birth weight my son was otherwise healthy. He did have some GERD he outgrew eventually. One thing I did notice is how high-needs my baby was - he wanted to feed constantly and if I was not next to him he'd wake up even from a deep sleep and cry. He cried a lot as an infant. He did reach his developmental milestones a month or two after kids his age, which I chalked up to his being a preemie, but he was a late walker. Now in retrospect I realize his fine motor skills have always lagged behind. He was starting to talk normally and started walking by 14 months of age; shortly after that his speech began to regress from "mama, dada, moon, dog, cat, etc" to just babbles. I was going through a difficult time with my divorce and dealing with a difficult ex and learning how to be on my own for the first time, so I was distracted by other things. It wasn't until the nanny mentioned to me that the baby was "regressing" that a flag went off in my head and I raised the alarm at the doctor's. Thus began an endless stream of visits to specialists (ENT, speech clinics, etc) and no one could tell us what was wrong with my son, who could not speak clearly by 2 and 3 yrs old. He was enrolled in an early-intervention program where a therapist would come do therapy at home - didn't help at all. Finally we had him tested and accepted into the program for children with disabilities at our local school and he began to thrive under this structured environment. He made huge leaps and bounds and has now "graduated" from the program and will be going into regular kindergarten, which I find both exciting and terrifying.
We found him to have a submucus cleft palate which makes it hard for him to form some sounds and his diagnostic visit to the Phd resulted in the autism diagnosis.

My son speaks fine now, but some sounds are hard to understand until that cleft palate gets corrected. He is extremely intelligent and speaks a lot. He's very curious and always wants to know what's going on, hes a funny, hungry, chatty, curious 5 yr old like any other boy - I just am nervous about him being put into a regular classroom, and how this will affect his condition. He's very normal in his interactions - he's verbal, good eye contact, high curiosity, very physically active, but he has poor muscle tone and fine motor skills, he's clumsy and uncoordinated and talks nonstop and sometimes doesn't realize how he can be really "in your face" or how he can overwhelm you with his nonstop energy. He does hate being alone, hates loud sounds and doesn't seem to have the same "logical" way of processing information that his older sister does. He seems to require constant reassurance and direction. He doesn't have a security blanket, but he loves video games (Sonic and Mario) and when he's not playing video games or watching "Max & Ruby" he wants to eat constantly - I think he's using food as his "security blanket". He seems unable to play by himself and is poor at following directions. Depending on his mood, he's either very friendly with other kids, or doesn't want to participate in group play. He can be very stubborn, and although he cries very easily, he doesn't really have meltdowns in public, doesn't do the screaming tantrum, etc. but he's very compassionate, loving, affectionate and just overall a happy kid. I don't treat him any differently and than his neurotypical sister and I never coddle him- I've found that consistent discipline keeps him from becoming defiant and a brat. He's just too high-energy for me and has made managing my own condition very difficult (I have rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis - sleep poorly and struggle with fatigue, pain and stiffness daily).

I'd love to hear from adult HFA or Asperger's or parents of such children in terms of what to expect, tips on how to handle the challenges. I want to understand more about how he views and processes things. I'm nervous other kids will make fun of him or pick on him for being a little different even if he looks no different than any other kid his age.
I'm physically and emotionally exhausted at times just caring for him. He sometimes wakes up early and he goes nonstop until late at night; I love him more than anything but some days are rougher than others - the nonstop talking and rambling, the neverending questions, the neverending asking for food, or video games having to correct and redirect him constantly, it just takes a toll on me. The constantness of it can drive me nuts. Now with a diagnosis it's easier for me to try to understand him but I would welcome any helpful tips on how to cope and what to expect going forward.

Sorry for rambling, I really needed to vent.
Occam's Razor, morans!
Anonymous Coward
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07/01/2013 10:49 AM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
This is a subject that has been discussed frequently on this forum. It's interesting that your son regressed? Was this after vaccines?
Anonymous Coward
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07/01/2013 10:59 AM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
There used to be a very good forum you could discuss this with others. aspergerinfo.com
MartianPrincess (OP)

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07/01/2013 11:09 AM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
This is a subject that has been discussed frequently on this forum. It's interesting that your son regressed? Was this after vaccines?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 32938997


I have seen this being discussed here before and also due to the nature of this forum, I could imagine a lot of Aspies and HFA would be hanging out here.

You know, I've always scoffed at the militant anti-vaccine folks but this did happen around 12-14 months of age so he had received vaccines after this. Whether or not this played a part, I cannot prove, as I've read similar arguments in favor of air pollution and its correlation to autism.
Then again, he was very high-needs as a newborn before any shots, so it's hard to ascertain.
Occam's Razor, morans!
Anonymous Coward
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07/01/2013 12:08 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
This is a subject that has been discussed frequently on this forum. It's interesting that your son regressed? Was this after vaccines?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 32938997


I have seen this being discussed here before and also due to the nature of this forum, I could imagine a lot of Aspies and HFA would be hanging out here.

You know, I've always scoffed at the militant anti-vaccine folks but this did happen around 12-14 months of age so he had received vaccines after this. Whether or not this played a part, I cannot prove, as I've read similar arguments in favor of air pollution and its correlation to autism.
Then again, he was very high-needs as a newborn before any shots, so it's hard to ascertain.
 Quoting: MartianPrincess


"profit ratio"

so many people
a few that can see
labelled and treated
in silence are kept.

~H
We Who Watch

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07/19/2013 01:25 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
... I would welcome any helpful tips on how to cope and what to expect going forward.

Sorry for rambling, I really needed to vent.
 Quoting: MartianPrincess

For the best info and to find others:

[link to www.inspire.com]

[link to www.rarediseases.org]

You will find every human emotion there, but it will heal the spirit if not the body.
7 Billion people on the planet!
That's a BIG number!
And I am one.
Anonymous Coward
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07/19/2013 01:30 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
I might be, but I was never diagnosed. Granted, that was back in the late 60's so it wasn't diagnosed like it is now. I was closely studied by the doctors when I was very young because my mom was type 1 diabetic, and I was a premie. Slow in early development.
Anonymous Coward
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07/19/2013 01:40 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
Get him off video games and cutback TV....at 5, his brain is getting rewired by the fast pace of video games.
Anonymous Coward
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07/19/2013 02:00 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
I am Aspergers and so is one of my sons.

Here's what to expect.

He will be a night owl, insomnia basically. It will come and go and be with him forever most likely.

He will continue to lean in far to close when speaking to you, or even worse put his lips right next to your ears and speak to forcefully. Always put a hand out and adjust where he should be standing when talking to you until he does it on his own.

When he starts to mumble incoherently with one of his long dis-jointed stories have him hold his hands in front of him or behind him (like a little gentleman or soldier.) when speaking to you. It will help center him and make it easier for him to concentrate on his speech and the situation.

His friends will come and go as his body language will always send the wrong impression inadvertently. This will be very hard on him because he will want to be around people but friendships just never seems to work out or last very long.
He can become introverted if this happens.

His family circle is all important to how we develop. You and his sibling must be kind and understanding to him and never hesitate to defend him if someone is treating him badly or dismissing him out of hand because of his autism. This can be hard for siblings who want to treat him like a typical annoying brother. In front of others she may be the only thing making him feel safe and if she treats him bad it will make him very upset and he will likely hide his deepest feelings. This is bad, it makes him feel unworthy or not worth peoples consideration. He has to have someplace and some people where he always wanted and treated with respect.

You know how sensitive he is. He will only think he is as important and relevant as his family circle makes him feel.
Give him a solid sense of self worth and he will carry it onto adulthood. Thats is the most important thing you can do for him at this age and through his elementary school years. People will be mean to him, guaranteed. If he knows his family will not treat him that way and not see him as some problem no one wants to deal with he will be okay. You have to prove to him love is possible for someone like him.

I can could go on forever. Protect his feelings of self worth and his body language at this state in his development.

Tying his shoes and buttoning his own pants will be difficult for him. As well as getting dressed. Practice practice practice these things. They will make him very unlike the other children when he reaches 7 or 8 if you do not. People will treat your brilliant boy like a simple minded freak because of little things like this.
Anonymous Coward
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07/19/2013 02:02 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
No such thing as aspergers syndrome
Anonymous Coward
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07/19/2013 02:49 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
Hello Martian Princess:

I'm aspie and so is one of my sons, and I can detect the trait in my other kids too. Always remember that when you know one aspie, you know (only)ONE aspie!

There is a huge difference between each of us, just like between all other human beings. We are often gifted - we have genius IQ running through my side of the family. We think logically to a fault, and that's where the social problems begin.

He'll probably do just fine until age 11 or so, when girls become important. Teaching how to be social, sexual, and learning the arts of seduction is something he needs. For most guys, this comes naturally, and in its own time. For aspies, it generally doesn't, and everything social is done by rote, without him seeing the social feedback.

Test him for face blindness and non-verbal fluency. These are key. Autism is a left-brained deficit, Aspergers is a right brained anomaly. From what you say, he's probably aspie. I speak from experience and lots of research. It took forever to find a woman who would be physically close and intimate, though women love to be "friends". Unfortunately, guys need more than that, and if he doesn't learn the art, he'll be behind the 8-ball for life. Girls have it easier in the sense that they don't have to be the social aggressors, but men are expected to do this and will fail if they don't. He'll probably do just fine in business or graduate school with a little guidance, but the social thing is about advanced non-verbal communication using facial expressions even more than body language. Tonality needs to be taught, and persuasion skills are a plus. Perhaps when he's older he should practice sales.

For the record, I had my shots(unfortunately), but my kids never got any, yet they did show the trait. I think shots are a factor in autism/aspergers, but not the only cause. My kids never got any medical care not under my direct supervision, and they're all super healthy.

Good luck. It's a challenge, but it seems you are up to it. I wish you were single, but you're obviously not. Attraction is a very difficult skill for aspies, and since the kids' mother left, I'm still working on attracting another woman/life partner.
Anonymous Coward
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07/19/2013 03:05 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
Stop getting him the vaccines! My son gets better and better since his last ones.
Put him in occupational Therapy, and ask the OT about stuff to do at home, get him off all meds, my specialist told me it only masks the problem.
We Who Watch

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07/19/2013 03:40 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
I hope no one takes this the wrong way, but GLP is a conspiracy forum, not a forum for rare diseases or those who have or are dealing with such. The links that I posted above are exactly that, places for those with rare needs, places where people around the world share what they find in the search.
7 Billion people on the planet!
That's a BIG number!
And I am one.
Anonymous Coward
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07/19/2013 03:55 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
My son is age 29. He had some developmental issues, but nothing extreme. At about age 12 he started having great difficulty in school, and was so distraught he made himself sick. I got him counseling and that's when he was diagnosed. I tried to work with the school, they had special programs and a team of experts but nothing worked. (This is a political issue too - a lot of federal funding for these kids gets diverted by the school districts and the kids never see the programs that were funded.) From then on he stayed home and learned from his computer. This was the best decision for him.

Later on I encouraged him to find work, which he dutifully did, but we found out quickly that it was too much for him. I had a psychologist test him thoroughly and used her 10-page report in applying for Social Security, which he was granted, for life.

Today he's reasonably happy. He's brilliant and articulate - a lot of people can't even tell there's anything different about him. And he's a treasure. His sister and I love him dearly.

I would caution you - do your own research and go with your gut rather than the experts. A lot of autistics/asperger people are extremely sensitive and get into drugs and suicide, especially if undiagnosed. They need to not be forced into an enviroinment that's poisonous for them. Let go of all expectations and find your own way. Good luck!
MartianPrincess (OP)

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07/19/2013 03:58 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
I am Aspergers and so is one of my sons.

Here's what to expect.

He will be a night owl, insomnia basically. It will come and go and be with him forever most likely.

He will continue to lean in far to close when speaking to you, or even worse put his lips right next to your ears and speak to forcefully. Always put a hand out and adjust where he should be standing when talking to you until he does it on his own.

When he starts to mumble incoherently with one of his long dis-jointed stories have him hold his hands in front of him or behind him (like a little gentleman or soldier.) when speaking to you. It will help center him and make it easier for him to concentrate on his speech and the situation.

His friends will come and go as his body language will always send the wrong impression inadvertently. This will be very hard on him because he will want to be around people but friendships just never seems to work out or last very long.
He can become introverted if this happens.

His family circle is all important to how we develop. You and his sibling must be kind and understanding to him and never hesitate to defend him if someone is treating him badly or dismissing him out of hand because of his autism. This can be hard for siblings who want to treat him like a typical annoying brother. In front of others she may be the only thing making him feel safe and if she treats him bad it will make him very upset and he will likely hide his deepest feelings. This is bad, it makes him feel unworthy or not worth peoples consideration. He has to have someplace and some people where he always wanted and treated with respect.

You know how sensitive he is. He will only think he is as important and relevant as his family circle makes him feel.
Give him a solid sense of self worth and he will carry it onto adulthood. Thats is the most important thing you can do for him at this age and through his elementary school years. People will be mean to him, guaranteed. If he knows his family will not treat him that way and not see him as some problem no one wants to deal with he will be okay. You have to prove to him love is possible for someone like him.

I can could go on forever. Protect his feelings of self worth and his body language at this state in his development.

Tying his shoes and buttoning his own pants will be difficult for him. As well as getting dressed. Practice practice practice these things. They will make him very unlike the other children when he reaches 7 or 8 if you do not. People will treat your brilliant boy like a simple minded freak because of little things like this.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1013996



Thank you SO very much for sharing this, it's very important for me as his mother to understand where he's coming from and what I should expect going forward and your post is chock-full of useful information. Thank you and also to AC 43460085. hf

Last Edited by MartianPrimate on 07/19/2013 04:01 PM
Occam's Razor, morans!
We Who Watch

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07/19/2013 06:36 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
[link to www.inspire.com (secure)]
7 Billion people on the planet!
That's a BIG number!
And I am one.
debintex
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07/19/2013 06:55 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
My 18 year old is Autistic--initially diagnosed as autistic, changed to Asperger's, then to PDD-NOS. Same pattern as others--fine until after the MMR shot and then regressed. He was put in early childhood courses, but he never needed any special education services beyond speech and "social cue" therapy until the second grade.

He graduated in the top 10% of his class last month, and he will be going to a 4 yr university on scholarships. He has issues with socialization, but holds two part time jobs with no issues. He is extremely bright and loves science--he is majoring in biochemistry. Sometimes he goes off into his own little world, and he does speak in monotone, but for the most part he is normal. I am hoping he will be fine in college. Have faith and know that these kids can do wonderful things!
We Who Watch

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07/19/2013 09:38 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
[link to www.clinicaltrials.gov]

[link to clinicalstudies.info.nih.gov]

NIH (National Institute of Health)Government Financed Clinical Trials (if accepted, free treatment with some of the most advanced ideas.) Links above.
7 Billion people on the planet!
That's a BIG number!
And I am one.
Volbeat
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07/19/2013 09:43 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
This is a subject that has been discussed frequently on this forum. It's interesting that your son regressed? Was this after vaccines?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 32938997


If a person is around lower level people all the time, they can only regress.

You must give your son time with other higher beings if you want him to evolve.

Good luck.

Only about 60,000 people live behind the 5th veil.

There are supposedly 8 veils.
beeches

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07/19/2013 10:02 PM

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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
good luck, OP, many practical posts here, and practical help is what you need.
That and a sort of long-range projection, which will unfold for your son as it does for all of us.

This is a perfect place to come for advice and experience. There are going to be a lot of viewpoints. Going to websites that are more specialized will be good too, but GLP will tell it to you as no other place can.

I am sure many here know a lot about things like this, either from their work, or from themselves or their own family life.

A supportive school environment is important whether it is public, private, or a homeschool cooperative.

Kids who have visible handicaps get a lot of understanding from other kids. It can be harder for them to accept kids whose disabilities are not visible.
Now is the time.
We Who Watch

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07/19/2013 10:50 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
Forgive the many links in this thread, but finding medical information is always important. Here is a great forum specifically for aspergers/autism:

[link to www.wrongplanet.net] things also seen with autism

[link to www.wrongplanet.net] home page

Last Edited by We Who Watch on 07/19/2013 10:51 PM
7 Billion people on the planet!
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And I am one.
Anonymous Coward
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07/19/2013 10:54 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
Has anyone seen a movie called Snowcake about a high functioning autistic woman? verycold

We Who Watch

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07/19/2013 11:28 PM
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Re: Are you or your child a high-functioning Autistic?
Adam


7 Billion people on the planet!
That's a BIG number!
And I am one.
Exemplar

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07/19/2013 11:44 PM

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