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5 year old boy and autism possibility
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5 year old boy and autism possibility

My 5 year old son attends Early Intervention Preschool.  He has a language delay.   At parent/teacher conferences, I learned that they are concerned that he is displaying red flags for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  They noted that he doesn't always make eye contact.  They also are concerned about his cognitive skills.  They reported that many of his "skills"  may be products of a "good rote memory".  At this point they are recommending a Kindergarten placement involving a "regular" Kindergarten in the a.m. and a resource classroom placement in the p.m.

I am not convinced that he merely has a good rote memory or that he has ASD.   His language is delayed but he can put fairly complex sentences for instance: "Mommy, I'm going upstairs to put on my red pants.  I'll be right back.  He engages well with his younger sister.  They play pretend games like "going to the store".  The carry on pretty detailed conversations and both use toy purses etc. in this game.  He likes to pretend to be a "snake" in a hole etc.  He doesn't have any other same-aged peers to play but does fine at settings like the park, .  He does communicate with them but not as well as with his sister.  The school reports that he does not have any behavior problems there.  He follows rules and is not disruptive in any way.  He does not "show what he knows" however.   At home he dresses himself completely except for tying shoes picking out own clothes.  He writes his first name, draws a person w/9 parts.  Copies 9 block designs of a house, rote counts to 20, counts objects to 20 recognizes numerals 0-20, recognizes all letters of the alphabet, reads 20 sight words, cuts out shapes w/scissors, catches and throws a football well, hits a baseball pitched to him, rides a bike w/training wheels.  He engages well with sitters and relatives, he is able to communicate well and tell them the house rountine.  He travels well and does well in a variety of public places.  What is your opinion?
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242606_tn?1243786248
There is evry indication that he is developing well. A regular kindergarten program certainly sounds reasonable. Apparently the school personnel also think that he can benefit in great part from the regular program for much of the day. If he is able to receive some sound supports in the afternoon program, he might well benefit from that. Find out from the school folks what specific benefit(s) he would receive from the specialized afternoon component.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks!  I agree that he seems to developing well, overall.  However he is somewhat immature socially but I feel he has basic social skills. Its clear that his language delay is part of the reason for this.  

At the same time we are very concerned that the school thinks that he may have ASD and that he may be cognitively impaired though I have problems with these notions.  The students in the program that they are recommending for K are "cognitively delayed" or have "ASD".  By the time these kids reach 4th grade, they only participate in one "mainstream class.  The rest of their studies are done in the resource classroom.  The focus of this program is "life skills".  Its extremely rare for a kid to "test out" of this program.  Because of the focus or educational track of this program we will refuse this placement.

Based on this school's concerns would it be reasonable to pursue an evaluation of my son to determine if he has ASD or not?
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Avatar_n_tn
Addendum:

Frankly because of all the things that we have heard about ASD, we are running scared so-to-speak.  This is especially the case since the school is suggesting this as a possibility.  I have heard that very high functioning kids can demonstrate basic social skills, engage some forms of imaginary play.  Considering we are wondering if we should be alarmed
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242606_tn?1243786248
Not having the opportunity to directly evaluate your son, I cannot say with certainty that the school's perception is inaccurate. You would not be making a mistake to seek an outside second opinion. I would be a bit hesitant about agreeing to anything other than the regular kindergarten program.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi...

My daughter is 4 years old and is in a full day Pre-K program.  Within the first 2 weeks of school I received a phone call from the teacher suggesting that I have her evaluated.  She stated that my daughter was unfocused and although was very bright,  she thought that there may be some ADD or ASD tendencies.  I was immediately alarmed and a little defensive.  This was my child's first time in a setting with other children her age.  Prior to this prek program,  she had been in private daycare and had been the only child under 10 there.  She stated that my daughter was a bit immature.  Being that my daughters birthday is in December - she just made the cut off date for her to start pre-K.  therefore she was 3 when she began the school year.  Long story short,  she was evaluated and was given an IQ test as well.  She scored very high and the end result was that it was just a new experience for her that she had to get used to.  Now,  academically she is doing wonderfully and socially is progressing very well.  It seems like schools now really jump the gun and try to classify children.  You know your child best... just follow your heart.
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Avatar_n_tn
I want to provide an update.  My son was evaluated at a top children's hospital by the head of its autism center also a internatinally recognized pediatric neurologist.  He told us that my son does NOT have ASD.  He noted that my son my have language processing issues and appears to be "shy" and somewhat anxious.

My husband and I made a DVD of my son displaying various motor skills (thowing and catching a football, softball sized ball, tennis ball, playing tee-ball).  We video taped him sight reading words and then making sentences w/these words, answering question about name address, phone number, parent's first names.  We captured him identifying letters and letter sounds, identifying numerals, counting, copying a block design and writing first name.  We presented this DVD to a Catholic school that we are hoping to place him.  We also informed his EI pre-school of the results of the visit to the neurologist and provided them with the DVD.  His teacher was very happy to recieve this information and stated that the DVD will help them make educational recommendations for him.  She seemed supportive of the Catholic school placement as they have Speech/Language therapy and an aide in the K classroom.  We feel like things will work out for my son.  Thanks to all who have replied!
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242606_tn?1243786248
Good. Your example will help others, knowing that reaching out for a second opinion, regardless of the ultimate conclusion, is a sensible approach.
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