Asperger's - Cleveland,TX

Updated on January 13, 2011
M.L. asks from Cleveland, TX
9 answers

If your child has Asperger's, when did you find out?
My second daughter has issues, and, we've often suspected her having this. We very much conform to her needs, do not make excuses for her, and her teachers spot her 'differences' right away.
She fits very much in the 'mold' when I read up on Asperger's, but she is very high-functioning.
She has just two friends, and one is not even in public school while the other is in a different grade than her.
I am scared of her being tested, but I'm thinking after some recent outbursts that really were too out of control to manage, I probably really should.
Are the tests easy, or are they traumatic? She is 6.5 now, and I would rather at this point learn more how to help her, than have a downward slope the rest of her school years.
I read someone's comment about a social skills class her daughter took, and that sounds fantastic so I will be looking into that. She's also been going to the chiroptactor, and overall that has helped her temper, believe it or not.

Thanks for any and all input! What I thought once was just a headstrong little girl who we love so much is becoming so much more difficult. :(

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answers from Louisville on

My son has Asperger's and was diagnosed at age 10. First by a private psychiatrist, and then by school personnel. The tests are not traumatic, but the therapies can go a long way and help with school. Tae Kwan do helped him a lot too. That being said, there are a lot of things that mimic this. My son was misdiagnosed as having OCD, ADHD, and depression prior to this. Also, giftedness can look like this. So it is important to have professionals look at her, and if the treatments do not work, have them look again.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I have several friends and relatives who have had their children evaluated. None thought the process was at all traumatic. They mentioned it was a long day, if all done in one day, but mostly for the parents. All have said that getting the results of the evaluation has helped them understand their child, work with teachers and medical professionals, and be sure that their child is getting the assistance needed.

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answers from Columbus on

You have two evalutions. Since Asperger is on the Autism spectrum, it is a medical issue. This medical issue just happens to create educational needs. You are responsible for getting her a medical diagnosis of any Autism Spectrum disorder, just as you are responsible for getting your child diagnosed with any medical problem. They are two seperate issues, although they will overlap in treatment. The school is there to educate your child, so, their only interest, and their only obligation is to make you child functional in the classroom setting and to provide her with a free, and appropriated education.

Evaluations are neither traumatic nor difficult, and when behavior pops up, it is noted in the evaluation data and becomes part of her profile. That is evidence that you need to fully understand her.

First: Call the nearest children's hospital and make an appointment with a Developmental Pediatrican. This will take months before you will be seen. You do not want to be guessing about what ancellary evaluators she needs, like speech, ot, pt, genetics, ENT, audiology, and so on. All may be involved, and rolled into one evaluation report for you. The DP will conduct a medical exam, and a battery of neurophsychological evaluations, and a pshychlogical evaluation, which may, or may not, be done by the DP, many work with Nueropsychologists in thier offices too. One of my children saw 7 evaluators for different areas for her full report. You will not have to guess if you are leaving anything out.

Next, call around to speech therapists, they very often conduct social skills classes, and you will also want to get a speech evaluation now, and start therapy based on what the therapist sees. Even though kids with asperger seem to have great verbal skills, they have a basic disfunction in langague and communication skills that will respond to thearpy. Contact an OT and start OT based on what is going on now, fine motor and vestibular-sensory issues are very common, nearly universial issues for kids with AS. Ask your OT for a referal to a Developmental Optomitrst, and have all aspects of her vision evaluated, not just if she can see 20-20, but how her visual perceptual, scanning, tracking, and descrimination skills are, these are very frequently weak.

Write a letter to your school districts special education director and request an evaluation because you suspect that your daughter has a disablity. The issue is going to be educational need, if she is doing OK, which many will for their entired school career, some, need help right away, some, will qualify at some point. They must both have a qualifying disablity and an educational need for special education. She does not have to fail to show need.

You never want to know less about your child than the school does, so get the private evaluations. She may need psychatric care. My Aspie is a real challenge, and some of the symptoms she had were eased with medication. You treat the issues that they have, if they have attention issues, you treat that. If they have mood issues, you treat that. If they have aggitiation issues, you treat that. Medication is a tool, it helps them to access all the therapy you will provide. Meds alone are not going to really help your child, but use them if they are helpful, because they certainly can be. For most Aspies I know, meds are essential when they enter their teen years; these are the most challenging, and they need all the tools that they can get to help them control their behaviros.

Here is the real nitty will provide the lions share of her therapy. All the medical care, the medical diagnosis and evaluation (which will keep the school district honest) and much speech, ot, pt, social skills, cognative behavioral therapy, play therapy...

start learning about advocacy at Get an advocate if you feel lost. What you need to do, is to know what your daughter needs, via the private eval, then you get all you can from the school, and provide the rest. Remember, the school is not there to maximize your daughters potential, they are there to make her functional, and there is a huge difference.

Don't know anything about chiropractic care for ASD, but if you see results, go. Don't count on fringe stuff to be what she needs. Go the the DP, and all the therapists and spend your money there first. If you have any left, spend it on non standard care, like the chiropractor, supplements, food allergys, diets, and on, and on and on. There is no shortage of people who will take your money, be careful not to waste it.


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answers from Columbus on

I know it can be scary to get a child tested, but please do for her sake. Once she has the proper diagnosis, then you, as mom, can get her in to see the people she needs to see, or whatever other help she needs.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

We are in the process of having our 10 year old tested through the school psychologist. I am a licensed speech-pathologist, and I have known since he was 3 that he was "different". It wasn't until he started school that his differences became an issue and began to interfere with his learning. We sought out independent testing immediately, knowing that early intervention would be in his best interest. Unfortunately, autism and Asperger's are often the "elephant in the room" that very few want to be held accountable for diagnosing, much less introducing them as a possible concern to parents. Even being in "the business" I have only now found a professional who is on the same page with me and is not afraid to call it like it is. Denial is self serving, and does the child a disservice in postponing access to resources and help they need.

Having said all that, as an SLP, I have worked with my son on social skills since he was born. He has seen at least half a dozen professionals, including my colleagues and friends. The challenge with higher functioning Asperger's kids is that many of them are very bright, and they have the intellectual knowledge to be able to role play, answer questions, or apply their knowledge to social scenarios, but when they are in the moment, they are unable to apply their storage of information and react/respond appropriately. Many of them have other issues that complicate things further, such as depression, anxiety, sensory processing deficits, OCD, etc.

The testing my son is currently undergoing assesses intelligence, academics, sensory processing, self perception, social skills, and language skills, and includes questionnaires for teachers and parents to rate behaviors and responses in the different environments. Some medical professionals may also request blood tests and other things in order to rule out things like thyroid problems, anemia, metabolic diseases, etc. Your family history is also a factor. The noninvasive tests are not traumatic and a good professional will develop a relationship and trust with the child before jumping right into the actual testing. Don't settle for less! You want someone who is interested in learning who your child is, not just what she can do.

My advice is to talk to the school LSSP (Licensed Specialist in School Psychology) and have him/her observe your daughter during the school day, then have a meeting to discuss his/her observations. What's important for your daughter is that her parents understand her needs and can advocate for her throughout her school years. Your LSSP should have resources she can share with you, should you need them.

A speech and language evaluation would also be helpful to determine her strengths and weaknesses. Social skills are a component of communication often overlooked and left untreated or under treated. Even if there is no formal diagnosis, it is what it is, and her difficulties in forming meaningful, long lasting relationships with peers are important and should be addressed early on while her social skills revolve more around play than verbal and nonverbal skills. Talk with her often about how to make and keep friends, what a true friend is, etc., but don't wait until she has had a bad experience to do so. Give her the tools to go into situations with some confidence and strategies (like how to start a conversation or how to take turns talking) that she can build on. And get help. :) You don't have to do this alone.

I wish you, and her, the best.



answers from College Station on

My sons with Asperger's haven't had "tests" but have been evaluated. I just recently went through a battery of evaluations for one of my sons and it was so much harder on me! LOL

I had questionnaires to fill out, to the best of my ability, while my son was 1) observed, 2) interviewed, and 3) answered questions for a "Children's Communication Checklist". Well, these "tests" evaluated his responses to pictures showing different combinations of facial expressions, the "Test of Language Development" and the "Social Language Development Test".

My child is older than yours (he's 11). Still, I know the "tests" are evaluations given by a counselor or therapist, not some sort of written test or blood test.

It seems to me that you have questions. Ask your ped or a child psychiatrist. You may get answers and find an evaluation is not needed. You might find that an evaluation will help pinpoint areas of concern where the school district will help instead of you paying a therapist outside of the school setting. This is the time to "learn more how to help her"! That is certainly the best thing I got out of getting my sons evaluated, with getting therapy support at the public school being a close second-best thing.

Go get the information you need!

And good luck!



answers from Houston on

We had a child who had a different problem than Asperger's, but a very wise friend of mine who is a middle school counselor told us that even though we didn't want to "label" him, he would label himself if we didn't and that we couldn't deal with the problem until we knew what it was. It was the best advice I've ever gotten.
I'm going to guess that life for you and for him will be better once you know what the issue is and have professionals to guide you through dealing with it.
Best wishes to all of you. I know this isn't an easy road to walk.



answers from San Antonio on

We went through this in my extended family. If there is a diagnosis, your daughter may qualify for services in her school that can really help her.



answers from Austin on

Please get her tested as soon as possible. Schools can come up with appropriate services if they have and accurate diagnosis. The tests are just one more series of tests of the time children are used to taking in school. She won't even know the difference. My son with ADD was in a social skills class in middle school which helped him enormously. Testing will only narrow down the problem and help. It may confirm your suspicions or point to something else entirely. If this were a medical problem with blood tests and so on you would do it immediately, so please treat it that way!

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