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Is my son Autistic?
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Is my son Autistic?

I realize that no one on here is able to make a medical diagnosis.  I am just a mom looking for advice from other parents.  Here is my story:

My son is now 6 almost 7.  Developmental milestones were normal other than speech.  He did not fully communicate until after 3.  He has always walked on his toes and we are unable to break this.  When he walks he is either spinning or flapping his arms.  Sometimes he touches his middle fingers to his thumb very rapidly.  All symptoms of autism, that much I know.  He adjusts very well in social settings and communcates with his peers very well.  He does mostly prefer to play alone or with only one friend.  When he was younger he used to line up his toy cars or turn them over and spin the wheels.  His teachers in the past have stated that something is wrong.  He does not stay on task and does not complete his work.  He is also usually in his own world.  Also any loud noises seem to disturb him and he will cover his ears.  My biggest question is can this be autism?  Everything that I have read states that autism is a social disorder.  Socially he is for the most ok.  He will talk to anyone and everyone.  His dad's cousin in autistic and his aunt has stated to me that I need to have him checked out.  She also told me that the school can test him.  Is this true.  We live in Texas.  

Thank you so much for your time in reading and responding to this post.

Sincerely,

A concerned mother
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9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, absolutely have him tested.  I don't know anything about TX, but in my state (PA) you can request that the school test him for an education based need.  The actual medical diagnosis of autism needs to be made by a developmental ped or another doctor.  Your son sounds like he has many of the symptoms of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  I have a son on the spectrum & I have also been working with ASD children for 12 years.  Many, many of these kids are very social.  They enjoy having friends (my son included) and interacting with people.  That does NOT mean that they do not have autism.  Socialization is often not 'typical' with these kids.  They may misread social cues, misunderstand situations, talk too much, talk about their own preferred topics, etc.  They can appear to be very social, but something about the social interaction will be off.  It may be hard as a parent to recognize, so it is important to seek an evaluation so that you can get treatment for your son.  Good luck & take care.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much.  What kind of doctor do I take him too?  His regular doctor?  I have suspected autism for quite some time now and know I am only holding him back by not getting the diagnosis.
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791606_tn?1240597111
A little more info:
Ask his school for the "Autism Specialist" to do the testing. Just about every school district will have one...and if yours doesn't they can refer you to another district that does have one. This is the person you want to do the testing. They usually have a Ph.D. and are educated in Autism. The testing is many hours long and is usually broken up into several days. They will be able to give you a full report to tell you what will best help your child. It is also an official diagnosis which will be invaluable to you through out the years. I got my daughters when she was in 6th grade...and now as an adult she was able to use it to get her Social Security and Medicaid. There will be times throughout his life that it will be very handy to have if he is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder, or any other disorder. It also gives occupational therapists ideas of how to best help your son and give you areas that he will need help in.
To help with the testing you'll want to write down all the things you notice about your son. This will help you and the therapist remember the specific things...and time lines are important....ages when you first started to notice things.
I hope this is of help. OH and all the testing is FREE. They can not charge you for this. AND the therapy he gets from the school is free. Sometimes you have to ask for Occupational therapy and speech if needed. I know there are several great support groups in Texas...I actually wish I lived there because of the parent groups. I see them in online groups all the time.
Good luck and take care....give yourself a big hug...you deserve it. You are doing what is best for your son.
Take care,
Carolyn
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I'm a teacher in Tx and I have a nephew that is autistic. Yes, you can ask the district to test him. Also it will help if the teacher refers him for testing. But the district can only tell you what behaviors they see, they cannot diagnose. You will have to take him to the family doctor and he will refer you to different specialists. Also try Child Study Center in Fort Worth. They are great. They will do all kinds of testing to find out exactly what your son's problem is. They charge according to your income. Good luck and God bless.
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Avatar_f_tn
I would suggest testing as well.. I wouldnt say Autism, sounds like high functioning aspergers... can you tell us more about him? You should keep a journal as well... before you take him in to be tested...Hope all goes well..
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Avatar_f_tn
I am sorry I have not been on here in a while.  Well I requested help through the school district and that was a flop.  They will not help me because he can read.  Whatever.  Right now I am waiting on the Child Study Center.  I hope they can get us in soon because I am getting a call from Luke's teacher almost everyday about him roaming around the room and him spinning in circles when he should be sitting down.  She said they can be in the middle of a test and he just gets up and starts walking around.  He also has "starring spells".  He does not like to touch anything that may feel icky and does not like loud noises such as the toilet or the shower.  He seems to miss social cues.  Ex:  He talks when he is not supposed to, interrupts adults, and will argue.  I understand these things can be normal for a 6 year old but he goes beyond the norm.  My mother and his dad do not understand and say "He's not autistic, he's just off in his own little world".  DUH?  They are always yelling at him to stop spining or to sit down.  I tried to explain that I do not think he can help it.  He has even said that he can not stop.  He is still walking on his toes and constantly spinning with his head up.  I know something is not normal.  He did not speak until he was 3 and at almost 7 still wets the bed at night.  As I said before, absolutely no help offered from the school so we are waiting on the Child Study Center.  Any other resources or information would be greatly appreciated as I feel I am all alone in this.  My poor Luke!
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973741_tn?1342346373
Your son and my son could be brothers.  What you describe is more than familiar to me.    

My son has a developmental delay called sensory integration disorder which affects his nervous system.  He was diagnosed by an occupational therapist at 4.  We've worked very hard on his sensory needs doing occupational therapy once a week and a full "diet" of activities at home.  Here is the good part------  he is doing beautifully  now.  He is almost 6 and in kindergarten.  He is able to focas, stay on task and complete work.  He is reading social cues better.  He is really doing well.  I never imagined it would be this good as he was having such difficulty in preschool.  He did all the things you mention-----  including having tantrums in music class because he took that as an opportunity to spin and would get upset if another child got into his area!  He bounced from one activity to the next, he wandered, he is a sensory seeker so he banged into things and wanted to spin.  He had tactile problems too (defensive to certain touch things)------  washing his  hands made him cry like his hands were on fire.  

I feel like we were really blessed to get his diagnosis and it gave us direction for what to do with him.  Here are some things you can try for your son to see if it helps (and they are good for all kids, so it won't hurt.  My son that is 15 months younger than my sensory son just does it all with us).  Physical "heavy work" things are so important.  They don't always work that minute but have an afteraffect of calmness to his nervous system as well as organizing his brain allowing him to focas.  He does big activities like swimming, soccer, football (he's almost six, so these can just be in the backyard), we run, skip, jump, roll down hills (which is spinning side ways), jump into and crawl through big stacks of pillows, he moves a laundry basket that is full across the floor, he carries a weighted bag across the room, he does wheel barrow walk, he swings, he does animal walks especially crab walk, bear walk, leap frog and snake, he rock climbs, he throws himself on the ground (?  loves it for some reason), he will spin at home all he wants (then  he doesn't do it at school), he drinks thick liquids through a straw like smoothie, applesauce or milkshakes, he blows bubbles, he chews a thick piece of bubble gum (every day on the way to school bus), plus anything else we can think of to get "heavy work" in.  You would not believe what this does for him.  It is amazing.  My son is very smart as well  like yours.  That is not the issue-----  but his nervous system is not working properly.  So we do these activities with great success.  He has had only one bad day at school with the complaint being he couldn't focas and wanted to be the class clown and couldn't be redirected or do his work.  Sound familiar?  If you'd like any more info, let me know.  But my guess is you should see an occupational therapist for a look at his sensory system and see if ot activities would help him.  I'd bet my life that they would.  Good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes someone once metioned to me about Sensory Intergration Disorder.  I have read about it as well.  This surely seems it can also be an issue.  I just have to wait for an appointment at this point.  I will keep everyone posted.  Thanks for the replies.
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While you wait, try some of the things I've mentioned.  They are all okay for any kid to do.  Especially before school----  have him do some crab walks across the floor back and forth a few times and give him a thick piece of bubble gum to chew.  The gum was the first thing mentioned to me as "organizing" to the brain.  Why this is, I have no idea . . . but it does seem to help my son.  Good luck-----  occupational therapy is very cool and my boy LOVES it.  But both my boys love the activities that are physical that we do.  Good for all of us.  
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