Mother Looking for Info on Asperger's

Updated on April 01, 2008
L.Z. asks from Louisville, KY
14 answers

My 6 year old stepson may have Asperger's. Can anyone tell me what to expect from this child in regard to changes in behavior, etc??

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A.

answers from Spartanburg on

My brother (37) was just diagnosed with this so I grew up with it but didn't know it. He was't diagnosed when he was younger because the syndrome wasn't in the diagnostic book (DSM-IV) until 1994 and he was already out of college. It is a form of autism but it does not have a speech delay and the people with it generally are of average or above average intellegence. My brother says he can't read other people - he can't really understand fascial experssions etc...

Some good web sites are www.autism-society.org and www.aspergers.com.

There are also some great books out there that can help too. Hope this helps. If you want more info let me know and I can send it directly to you.
Ann

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S.K.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi L.,
I just wanted to say first of all that I commend all the mothers here for their dedication to all the "little angels" out there whom they have been entrusted to care for.

L., I visit a website frequently. It has great information, but no site takes the place of your physician. The is WebMD, www.webmd.com.

If you visit the site, you can view tons of articles on your concerns. In the search box, simply type in your phrase, Asperger Syndrome. You will receive a vast amount of information.

My son was diagnosed with Autism at age 3 and he is now 10. It was time to begin seeking because the questions were rolling in even before we took him to the neurologist to be evaluated. He now has speech and occupational therapy each week and I homeschool him. (This is actually a blessing to me).
I get to do all kinds of neat things with this "differenly-abled" little person. He loves water too; helps with his sensory processing issues. Asperger is on the Austism Spectrum, so there may be slight similarities. Even still, each child is unique. If you do see any symptoms, I would suggest you see your family physician to get an accurate diagnosis.

L., hope this helps.

From one Mom to another,

S. K

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P.K.

answers from Louisville on

Asperger's Disorder is usually considered a form of autism. You can expect your stepson to suffer from impairments in his use of nonverbal behavior (i.e. he may have problems with making eye contact, showing facial expression, use of body language, etc.). He may also have problems with developing peer relationships -- rest assured, he will learn how to interact with others, he will just need to be taught (it takes practice for him, much like if you were to learn to play an instrument). He may have a tendency to be clumsy (it's called motor dyspraxia). He may be apprehensive to changes and prefer to stick to a certain routine. Children also sometimes lack social and emotional reciprocity, which pretty much means that he doesn't know how to show emotion towards people. As with autism, he may show signs of a superior intelligence and may have a tendency to become preoccupied with a particular object.

Therapy is usually available and is often aimed at teaching basic social skills. (As I said, interaction with others is something he will have to be taught and practice in order to master it. Unlike other children, he will not pick up on social skills automatically just by watching others.) There is also medication available to help treat the anxiety and rigidity that some children experience. There is a lot of information at www.aspergers.com --- Good Luck and I hope this helps!

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S.K.

answers from Iowa City on

I don't know any children with Asperger's, so I can't help you in that regard, but I have a friend who has it, so I can tell you what to expect in the long run.

My friend is in his twenties now, and just moved away to go to Clark University. He's extremely intelligent, and exactly as socially inept as he is intelligent. He genuinely cares about other people, he just doesn't understand social cues. It's like a different language to him. You have to tell him exactly what you're feeling all the time, because he usually can't tell. He knows he has this problem, so he isn't easily offended. It's better to tell people with Asperger's when you're annoyed or angry at them because it helps them adjust their behavior. Giving subtle hints or trying to be nice works on other people, but people with Asperger's won't get it unless you spell it out for them. Most people find him annoying, and he knows it, but he has a lot of friends as well who are used to him and understand him (I don't think you can expect any kids his age to understand your stepson, though; kids are notoriously cruel to other kids who are different). He needed a lot of help writing his admission essay for college -- it took him months and he needed someone else to write an outline for him and asked about half a dozen people to proof read it for him -- primarily because social things like that make him very nervous. None the less, I know he will be very successful in his career because he is very intelligent and organised. I understand all these aspects of his personality are very typical of people with Asperger's.

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C.P.

answers from Charleston on

I just found this post So I hope Its not to late to reply
My son is 13 and has asperger syndrome he was diagnosed when he was 6 after his father passed away .
He Has had a rough road and Im sure he will face more .
He also is highly intelligent ranking 99 percintile on his wes test .His grades are now falling because he is so preoccupied with pokemon and Garfield that he doesnt do his classwork so I am close to his teachers(mainstream school)to have him to do the work at home,He also WILL NOT go to OT or speech because they pull him out of clas and this really messes up his day and will throw him in a complete meltdown Shedual is extreamly important to asperger children ,He also has/shows no emotion other than anger(meltdowns) He does have friends however he does not see that they are his true friends he thinks he has none But this does not bother him thank god .
There is so many diffrent things ,he does still have bathroom accidents (he will have a bowel movement occasionally)
These are extreamly loving children who in my case is really attached to moms .
Hope This helps
C.

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M.D.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi, my 7 year old is has ADHD and OCD and is currently being evaluated for Asperger's. I think there is lots of degrees of it, but I have noticed with my son, he has social issues. He has a hard time making friends, argumentative (he knows EVERYTHING), extremely shy, won't look people in the eye, he said a lot of his ADHD traits are also traits of Asperbergers. We go for another appt. on Monday. Do you know how long it takes for them to diagnois?

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S.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

If you don't mind giving me your email address, I know a woman who has a 19 year old and he has had Asperger's for a long time. She found a school that catered to his condition and has done lots of research. I can give you her or her husband's email address if you would like. Let me know!
:)

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M.L.

answers from Huntington on

All I can tell you is how my son reacted at that age, He is now 13 and I have very few problems now. But at 6......he acted out because he could not explain how things bothered him. School was awful until we got him with the right teacher who knew what aspergers was. He had 4 years of H... before they finally put him in an austic classroom. He is now in regular Education an honor student and even recieved student of the month for October. My son taught himself how to deal with, Hair cuttings, clothing issues, and social issues (which is still the biggest problem he has)and ignorant people. If you have a pacific thing or question just email me and I will try to help in any way I can. It will get better and You are doing the best YOU can so smile, My son is the best blessing I have ever recieved in my whole life! M. L.

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T.Z.

answers from Norfolk on

My son was diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of 8 (misdiagnosed from 5-7 with ADHD, Sensory Integration Disfunction, and OCD). He's now 11 1/2 and doing well. I am actually looking at starting a support group for parents of Aspie kids, as there seem to be quite a few in the tidewater area who would benefit from shared resources.

One of the best things would be occupational therapy for him at this age. My son went through it and it made a big difference for him. Easter Seals is a great resource and most of the time, if you have health insurance, they will take whatever insurance pays as 100% (no co-pays). Or, will do the service for free if you are uninsured.

Another hint for you is find out what triggers he has. Is he sensitive to certain sounds, smells, touch, etc. This will save you future meltdowns with him. For example, my son hates the dimples in the toes of socks (solution...sandals or no socks with shoes), can't stand loud noises (avoid all together), various lighting sets him off (avoid the mall), etc. Once you have these sensory issues figured out, if he is sensitive in this way, you'll both be much happier.

I have done 4 years of research on Asperger's, as well as dealt with the public school system, etc. and would be more than willing to share what I've found.

Good luck!

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D.T.

answers from Raleigh on

I have a friend who's 6yr old son has it. She lives in Indiana, but could probably be a great source of information.

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S.

answers from Spartanburg on

the symptoms and behavior mirror autistic behaviors although they are two separate disorders. If he is diagnosed I would pursue therapy options, both behavioral and speech/motor skills. You public school system should offer these services either free, or at a much reduced cost of a private therapist. also you don't want to treat him any different, than you would other children. He may need some special care, but he doesn't need to be sheltered and kept away from circumstances this can actually make it worse. There may also be a support group in your area with parents who children also have this disorder that you might ask your doctor if he knows of any. I wish you the best.

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L.E.

answers from Indianapolis on

Did you ever get responses regarding Asperger's info? Yours is an old posting on Mamasource but I would be glad to help.

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B.R.

answers from Asheville on

Well, it is several months later but I thought I would put in my 2 cents worth...I read a few responses that said that Aspergers is not a form of Autism and that needs to be corrected. Aspergers is under the Autism umbrella and you use the same stateies as you do with any child with Autism. Using schedules, timers to allow them to know when they are to do something next, least preferred activities before preferred activities (first and then schedule) and allowing quiet times when needed. I am very involved with my son at home and at school and do volunteer work to help other parents in my area. You can e-mail me at [email protected]____.com and I can give you resource information for any area you are in. I would like to suggest a really good book. It is called "Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments" It has made a dramatic difference in helping me inform people like teachers and family members. Hope this helps...

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A.C.

answers from Des Moines on

Hi L.-
My son Drew, as with most of the prior responses to this, was dx'd with ADHD, OCD, possible bi-polar disorder - if it had a name, he had the diagnosis. We are still unsure what his diagnosis is, but the school system set his IEP based on Asperger's, had him in Autistic/Asperger's class rooms, the Des Moines Public schools actually did a marvelous job working with us on this. He has total melt-downs, he has small melt-downs, his coping skills have pretty much been the primary topic due to his reaciveness to situations. Wal-Mart is a big no-no for us - the noise, the crowds -we learned the hard way. He's sixteen, but has the social skills of a 10 year old - but ranked in the top 90% on the basic skills tests at school several times. These are very loving, gifted kids. Believe it or not, Orchard Place in Des Moines has great therapists that work with kids with Autism/Asbergers - they did a great job with my son. And school districts have Autism specialists at their beckoned call. If they say they don't, they haven't looked hard enough! Good luck to you!

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