I have an 8 year old who has some emotional issues. I have spoken to his doctor about it and he says that he is an anxious child with possible OCD. He has given him Xanax before to help him. He ( the doctor) believes his condition has a lot to do with the fact that we have one child with a long term illness and it has put a lot of stress on the family. But as I was searching the web and reading up on information, I realized my son has all but one of the sympt. of Aspergers. He is not clumsy at all but the opposite. He excels in physical activity. But the violent outburst. the anxiety, not seeing where he is wrong in a situation, and the obsession with basket ball and cleanliness all concern me. I am a bit hesitant to mention this to the doctor b/c I do not want him to think we are looking for excuses for his behavior.
There are many characteristics of autism and aspergers, and a child has to have enough of them to get a diagnosis. Not every child is clumsy, or cannot make eye contact etc. Those are just two characteristics. I know an autistic teenager who is brilliant at gymnastics, and he is self taught. He only needs to see a move once and he can do it. I have seen him on the trampoline and he is like a professional. A trampoline coach wants him to sit exams eventhough he has never had a lesson! But he doesn't want to do that because it makes him anxious having to complete a test. So, being clumsy is not a requirement.
Only thorough assessments by a multi disciplinary team experienced in diagnosing autistic spectrum disorders and aspergers can say whether he is or isn't on the autistic spectrum.
I just got on my cpu after a major melt down with my son again. He did have a doctor appointment yesterday and my doc said he believes he is just acting out. We have a great doctor who has worked well with us for years but he seems like he is not concerned with this situation. We were visiting family tonight and as we were leaving our 8 year old through a fit b/c he did not get the seat he wanted in the van. His father told him to get in the back. He started kicking and hitting. He swore at us and took off down the drive way. When we got him in vehicle ( my husband had to pick him up and put him in) he started punching his 13 year old brother in the head. We pulled over and opened the door to pull him off and he once again started kicking and hitting. I finally decided to just take the other children and walk home if this was going to continue. He decided he wanted to walk with me. We walk the 15 min. walk home in total silence and when we arrived home I told him to go to his room and think about how to better handle the situation. Well before I knew it he had torn all his clothing out of his dresser and was kicking and screaming again. I am at a loss for what to do. I just picked him up and decided to drive him to the hospital before he hurt himself. By the time we were there he was calmed down and begging us to take him home. He apologized for his actions and said he knows he is wrong. He is now sleeping on the couch on my husbands lap due to exhaustion. It is like we are holding our breath waiting for the next explosion.
As your son is verbal, I think you can talk to him to try to get some answers. He may not always be able to tell you why it happened. But for example with the van incident. Ask him if he got upset because he couldn't sit in the seat he normally sits in (or likes to sit in). If that is the case, then that explosion might have been down to him not getting the seat he expected ie. a change in routine or expectations. My son used to have similar problems at school because the children used to work in groups at a table doing one subject, and then would move to another table to do another subject. That caused huge problems for my son because he couldn't cope with someone else sitting in his chair. He wanted to take his own chair with him, and the teacher wouldn't allow it. Now he is in a different school that is autistic friendly, and that situation just wouldn't arise because they know it could cause problems.
And he may feel that he hasn't done anything wrong and shouldn't be punished because YOU or his DAD made the change that upset him. Does that sound like a possibility?
Also when they get upset it is like a total flooding of emotions in the brain which they cannot control or stop. It was explained to me like this. 'Typical' people can control and contain their emotions rather like a shower curtain contains the water. Those with autism don't have the shower curtain. So the water (emotions) go everywhere. And I think there have been MRI scans that prove that a greater area of their brain is affected by high emotional states. What I do is I use my son's bedroom as a place he goes to calm down. I don't use it as a punishment, I saw "I can see you are upset/angry/mad about XXX and you need to go to your room to calm down". When he is calm we can talk it through. But not during a meltdown. There are many reports of children hitting or kicking out because an adult has tried to talk to them or touch them when they are in the middle of a meltdown. At that time they are totally over stimulated and talking or touching means there is more sensory information to process ie. auditory talk and tactile touch. They will lash out. Provide an escape route and a time out strategy as above.
If you suspect Aspergers you don't have to wait for your doctor to agree with you. You can ask for a referal to a multi disciplinary team that has experience of diagnosing autistic spectrum disorders including aspergers. A family doctor is not qualified or experienced in this area to make this judgement as to whether he is/isn't on the spectrum.
Thank you so much for your advice. I am going to try to put it to use. I agree that when ever my son is in one of these rages physical touch sends him over the edge. I am also going to ask our doctor to refer him to a multi disciplinary team.
You could try to see a developmental pediatrician, which is a specialist doctor. We saw one for our daughter to get a diagnosis. They can diagnose autism, OCD, and other behavioral/developmental types of issues. Many people go to a pediatric neurologist to get a diagnosis of autism. I think they have different approaches to how to diagnose, but both are good routes.
I can not thank you all enough. Finding this site has been a God send. I was about to fall apart. My husband and I knew something was not right. The same methods do not work with him that worked with our other children. We could not figure out what we were doing wrong. All your advice has helped us handle this and given us much insight. Thank you. We live in a very rual area so now I need to research on line to see where we may find a doctor who will be able to work with us.
He put your son on Xanax!!!!!! Do you know how addictive that medication can be. I have anxiety/stress off the planet and my psych would not touch Xanax. Is your Doctor a paediatrician or a medical Docotr who specialises in Autism spectrum disorders? If not be careful.
"He is not clumsy at all but the opposite" there are many on the spectrum who are gifted athletes. I know a female who is an artist at figure skating. Many medical Doctors believe you must avoid eye contact to have autism. Some can maintain eye contact, some will stare into your eyes or fixate on a facial feature to alleviate stress.
Have him assessed by a Clinical psychologist who specialises in Autism/aspergers. A neuropsych assessment would be an advantage to ***** his strangth and weaknesses.
BTW I was reading information the other day that the majority of people a diagnosed with Aspergers at adolescent age. Just some trivia!!
Yes he put him on Xanax. We will not give it to him. We did once when he was in a complete melt down and he looked like a zombie. We are working on getting him up to Buffalo to a Developmental pediatrician. Of course with our insurance we must have a referral. The school psychologist ( who specializes in Autism) is working on an assessment and then she is going to contact our doctor about referring him to a specialist. I have to say all the advice I have been given is helping me if nothing else. My whole attitude has changed when it comes to dealing with him. I do not take his outburst so personally. I see my response had a lot to do with his actions. If I just walk away and let him figure it out, most of the time, on his own it does not go on as long and then he comes to me and wants to sit with me for a bit. He did tell me one time after an outburst. Mom, I feel like my insides are all shaken up and I can not make it stop. I am sorry for yelling at you. I just cried for about 1o min. It was the first time he took responsibility for his actions.
That is exactly how my son responds after an outburst. He will say something like 'this is making my brain crazy'. And when I ask him to try to calm down he will say 'I can't stop it, I can't control it'.
It was explained to me like taking a shower without a shower curtain. For them the water (emotions) are not contained by a shower curtain and the water gets everywhere and floods the brain completely with emotions that they cannot control or contain. For us, we have a shower curtain that contains the emotions helping us to get them under control and in relation to the incident that caused the upset. They don't have that resource. That doesn't mean they have permission to do anything when upset. What it means is, they need a quiet place to calm down, and afterwards they will be better able to talk about it. They do recognise that their emotions are out of control and it can lead to low self esteem. For example my son has called himself stupid, rubbish a loser etc. He has asked me 'why can't I control myself'. These are very deep insights from children on the autistic spectrum. But if you listen to him and explain to him why he loses control and what he can do to help himself recover, then he won't put the blame onto himself. If you try to meet these emotions head on, they will just escalate. Use a time out strategy instead.
Yes, this is so true, Josh accidentally dropped a toy on my foot. All I said was ouch that hurt and he said to me " I am stupid an idiot." It was just an accident. I told him that and that it was no big deal but his attitude was I can not even do that right. I told him that attitude was not allowed in our home. Everyone makes mistakes some preventable some not preventable it happens. But then last night he was doing a word search with his ten year old cousin and he turned to him and said move away from me your breath stinks. I could have crawled under the table. Everyone just looked at me like what are you going to do about that. I explained to Joshua that this was not nice and you should never speak to people like that. I told him to offer him gum or something but his response was well it's true he smells.
Such honesty!! He won't understand about not saying things that could hurt someones feelings. But you can teach them this stuff, but it never becomes second nature, they always have to think it through, and even as an adult they will say what is obvious to them. For example, an adult with aspergers was listening to a woman who was upset because her relationship had broken down. The adult said "maybe it is because you are fat." Hmmmnn.
Have a look at Social Stories, or speak with an Ed Psych about these difficulties and what would they suggest you could use to help teach some skills. Try to use whatever mode would interest him eg. book or computer or game etc.
Enjoyed both of your comments in relation to your sons. You both have good insight into their difficulties and expected challeges in life. Lovemykids465 what your son said about the tantrum being uncontrollable rage is true, total lack of self control and such hurtful things can be said. I was annoyed with a NT mum the other day who said, "sorry just is not good enough". I have tried most of my life to control the outbursts with little success. Only recently with counselling and visual therapy have I noticed this problem has reduced significantly, I'm very proud of myself.
Those emotional moments with your sons that you shared is much appreciated. Many of the ASD people I have spoken with on a personal level are very sensative and full of kindness. We lack that automatic mechanism to stop from being inappropriately blunt and observant of peoples deficits whether physically or personally. Although buying flowers each Friday for my wife means very little to me I know this pleases her and brightens her day. My way of showing affection towards my wife is doing the ironing, moping the floor and the cooking which are more practicable and she was not aware until we had relationship counselling. Try and be aware of little things your boys do for you, this maybe their way of showing affection towards you.
Thanks guys. Sally44, I needed the laugh this morning and Rigil, you are right. I do see lots of affection in my son at times. He loves to work on art work and cooking and he will make me something or help me in the kitchen and these moments are great! As for the flowers Vs the house work. Your wife is blessed! Wow! would I love for my husband to show his affection that way!
Well Saturday is probably the worst day of the week. As long as his day is planned out same old same old, he does pretty well, I mean we still have moments but nothing like Saturday. During the winter he had basket ball from 9-12 and this was great but now that is over. He can not just relax and have a good time. If I am not keeping him busy with something he is fighting with siblings or throwing a fit about something. I finally had to take him on a bike ride just the two of us. But then I had the older 3 feeling left out. Plus I had so much to do today and none of it was accomplished. Now I am emotionally drained and exhausted and just want to go to bed.
My son falls short of Asperger's though he has many of the characteristics. And until he broke his back he was very physically agile. But there were severe problems nonetheless. He is emotionally fragile, has tics, ADHD, and OCD. He refuses to listen to authority and generally is "allergic" to people.
You need to be talking to his pediatrician about this. And every family has stresses. My daughter also had a life threatening condition but he was already on the road to his behaviors. Now, I'm dealing with her being resentful of his behaviors.
A neuropsych revealed a lot about our little boy. He was 8 when he took it. It lasted 9 hours (most of it shall never have to be repeated). We found out he is highly disorganized, exceptionally bright and relatively speaking - very rigid. It was enough to get him all the services (including a private school paid for). By the way - don't be afraid - we would have never known how smart he was so now we play to his strengths which has bolstered his confidence. The insurance company paid for all of this with the proper notes from the proper doctors. If not, school districts can also be forced to pay for this because their psychologists do not administer the tests for the behaviorally challenged.
I assume this behavior is happening at school - if not - you are probably looking at emotional issues that are closer to home.
If he has something on any spectrum - it is not going away today or tomorrow. My son is 10 1/2. He is in 6th grade and we are still struggling every day to keep him on keel. But it is getting better.
Okay just got back form pediatrician again. Told him this was insane we needed something done soon. Put my son on Zoloft for OCD and social anxiety for two weeks and clonidine to help him sleep at night. Then we will set up appointment in 2 weeks if need be with psychologist. I am willing to try anything at this point seeing he seems to be getting worse but I want to do the right thing for him and I do not know if anti depressants are good at such a young age yet if it works may be.
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