My son is 4. I am very worried about some behavior he is exhibiting.
He has a very hard time looking at people, even me, in the face when he is spoken to, especially when we try to discipline. My husband and I have tried for 2 years to get him to look at us when we address him but it is only on his terms. If he wants to speak to us then he will look.
He also gets extremely distracted and will completely zone out if the TV is on. It is nearly impossible to get his attention.
When he is excited about something he does flap his hands and can hardly get his words out, there is a lot of stuttering and talking loudly.
When he is seeing friends his age he doesn't start chatting with them at first he just make some sort of strange hand motion mimicking a scene from a movie, which leads me to one of the other concerning issue, he started speaking in sentences after he turned 3 but so much of talking (especially to himself) are phrases from movies. He will repeat them over and over during the day. After he has warmed up to his friends then he will start playing.
If we do something without TONS of warning- for example take him out of the bath tub- he goes crazy- there is no talking to him- its like he cant even hear. The tantrums are long and he is hyper focused in getting back to the tub so he can do it his way. He always is hitting during his tantrums but if I can catch him in time and warn him sometimes he can stop himself. We try to give him warning but sometimes I feel like he is trying to manipulate us by saying “ok mommy- I need 5 more minutes” over and over. If he has his way the bath would be 2 hours long! His tantrums are violent and terrible. He is completely out of control.
He is very focused on his sister behaving- he cannot handle her not following the rules, he gets so mad he starts to hurt her to make her listen- yet he has no trouble not listening to my husband and I. He is getting a little better at trying to talk to her nicely to get what he wants but there are still a lot of times when he resorts to violence.
He also gets very over stimulated-if we have had a busy day, I know the evenings are going to be bad and sometimes he gets adamant about turning of either TV or radio but that happens randomly.
He is very emotional and he used to be painfully shy- especially in large social situations. That is actually getting better the older he gets and has improved since preschool but he is fairly reserved. My son does like to cuddle, he loves hugs and kisses and he is great at puzzles and memorizing different species of sharks and dinosaurs, he also has a great imagination. After he has time to warm up to social situations he does do fairly well but he repeats a lot of what his friends say.
I am just not sure where to go from here- do I need to pursue a diagnoses for aspergers from our pediatrician or is there something else going on here? Is this normal behavior??
Thank you so much for your time.
Well, I don't think that anyone could (or should) give you a diagnosis based on a description in a post. However, you've noticed differences in your son's behaviors compared to his peers and you've started asking questions. That is the first step. The next thing you can do is look for a developmental pediatrician or a pediatric neurologist in your area. Either of these dr's should be able to observe your son and provide you with the information you are looking for.
Is your son in school? If not, your public school may have an autism itinerant or some other special educator who you could speak with.
Please remember, however when speaking with "experts" and/or professionals that you are this child's mother. If you are not satisfied with the answers you are getting, be persistent. If someone misses a piece that you think is significant, point it out. You know your son better than anyone else (your descriptive post is proof of that!). Don't let anyone make you feel as though they know him better than you do.
If you start pursuing therapies, be warned. There are several out there. My advice to you is try anything that makes sense to you. Be wary of therapists who tell you to stick with their methodology and not to try another. There is no way to predict how a child is going to respond to a particular therapeutic methodology. What may seem to work miracles for one child may not be effective with another. The only way to find out is to try.
Be patient. Be open-minded. But above all be and advocate for your child.
YES! from what you are describing, your son is very likely on the autism spectrum. where exactly, is hard to say but seek a diagnosis as soon as possible, because 4-6 are the prime years for intervention and can greatly improve long term outcomes. Also if you can establish an IEP before kindergarten you may be able to improve the school experience from the get go. Aspergers can be hard to diagnose because the children "look" so normal however the problems that you are describing don't just improve or go away with time. children with aspergers need to be worked with and taught coping skills and ways to deal with transitions and over stimulation without "melting down" as well as ways to ease both situations. Any way i think you should definitely have your son evaluated so that if indeed he is on the autism spectrum he can receive the help he needs and deserves.
ps. I am a nursing student and adult with aspergers, I also have a nephew who is diagnosed.
The only other thing I would mention is for you to google echolalia and see if that is what your son is doing. If so, this shows he has a speech disorder which typically accompanies an autistic spectrum disorder. However it is good news that he is speaking, and eventhough he is echolalic it does show that his speech will develop, but that he learns language differently.
my sister is sat with me and she has a son with asperger who is now 14 and she says you have just described her son at 4years old. speak to his school and express your concerns and see if your health visitor can help you out with any advice this is the route i have taken because i have concerns about my 4year old daughter good luck
First, thank you mom for taking the time to give such a well rounded description of your son. And noting his kind qualities as well. I am just starting to hunt down answers regarding behaviors of my 4 yo daughter. It is so difficult to know what is considered "normal" but my first child is stand offish in a group of children she has known for a year now. She is a firecracker when she is denyed her demands. If she asks for a book that's, say, sitting on the coffee table and her younger sister sweetly brings it instead of mom or dad or whoever she had specifically asked there is always a hysterical tantrum. She is amazingly bright and can hear a story like Bearnstein Bears book just once then pick it up a few hours or days later and flip thru repeating every word verbatim. But she can only actually read her name and a few other small words. She is often seen as rude and unaffectionate but is very loving at times with those she knows very well. Hitting yes, often despite the consequences. She does play w her sister but it still seems more parallel than interactive. I am so defensive of things that extended family say bc I know the whole of this wonderful child but she just seems to try to antagonize family adults and really show her worst side at family functions. So I feel like I'm an awful parent. But she gets consistant consequences like time out, removal of toys or not being allowed to go do something fun until she has calmed down. I don't know if this is just a very strong willed child or if there is more going on. The social peer interaction bothers me as she hangs with her preschool teachers to converse until they "force" her to interact w peers but then she finds a way to play alone or to the side. Unless its a competitive activity she does not have to do as a team -in those situations she is very focused and precise. She does have a sense of humor and like gags and jokes.
my son is 4 and i am also concerned with some of his behavior as well. He repeats the same rituals daily, talking about the same things and acting like certain characters. I have to answer him a certain way or he gets very upset. He is obsessed with characters and will ask me questions about them and ask which one am i talking about, and when i dont know, he gets mad. He is very smart, and is really into numbers and letters. Wants to know what the temp is soon as we get in the car, wants to know the time every few minutes. Its nonstop...and he doesnt stop til he goes to bed. Could this be asperger's or ocd behavior?
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