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Asperger's Syndrome Community
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Whats next??

My son is 10 and has been diagnosed with Asburgers,ADHD, and poor impulse control,dyslexia, and severe learning disabilities. He does walk, talk, and dress himself but doesnt do it to the ability of most 10 year olds. He is in fifth grade and works on a first grade level. Since school has started he is masturbating a lot. He does do this privately but it is very frequent. He has already been in trouble for talking back, bad attitude, and shoving another child. I realize that this is due to high anxiety and frustration. For some reason the school decided to place him in a regular science class and that is the class he is getting in trouble in. I feel like I have a two year old again because I am constantly watching or getting on to him. He has a horrible attitude and is negative about everything. He talks back to everyone and says horrible things (like he hates me and wishes he could just leave or will call me names). I have gone most of his life with no resources and he has never qualified for any services due to my income. I am looking for advice/help. He does see a psychiatrist but I never know whats normal and what needs to be dealt with. I feel like I shouldnt complain because I have seen other Autistic children and know he could be worse. Is it common to have Autistic children on antidepressants or mood stabilizers?  Is the masterbation normal?  What do these kids do about school (keep going and be frustrated/miserable)? Do any of your children have bad/negative attitudes all the time?
3 Responses
470168 tn?1237474845
I don't know what country you are in, but I would recommend contacting the National Autistic Society.  They have an educational helpline and may also have a parent to parent line.
I don't understand your comment about services being tied to your income.  For example, we are a family of 4 and my husband works part time.  I don't work.  So we don't have any money.  In the UK services are not tied to income.  If your son has these diagnosises, he need access to the supports to make it (a) possible for him to learn in school, and (b) those structures/approaches/differentiation etc will lead to him being less anxious and stressed out all the time.  That will have a positive effect on his behaviour and self esteem.
If that isn't happening it is like us having a full time job that we don't understand what we should be doing or how to do it and no-one is explaining it to us in a way we can understand.  Bearing in mind he is at school for 6 hours a day, how long do you think he can cope with that is a positive way?  Then of course, he comes home and off loads his stress/anxiety/frustration onto you.
In your country, can you get like an Educational Statement/IEP that states exactly what kind and level of supports he needs?
Do you think he is capable of coping in his present school?
I have just moved my son from a mainstream school to a mixed mainstream/enhanced resource, and the school has experience and expertise in autism/aspergers.  I managed to get him in as a 'normal' student because I education authority did not agree that he needed this extra support eventhough their own professionals who observed him said that he did.  Plus, by the time they had finished doing their assessments/reports all the enhanced resource places were full.
However, at least he is now at this school and he has made more progress in 3 weeks than he did in three years.  But I am also going to an educational tribunal to get it put on his Statement (which is a legally binding document), that he needs an enhanced resource place.  If I don't push for this it will mean that when he gets to secondary age they will try to mainstream him again.
As there are no enhanced resource places in this school left and this school is the only one in my city that has experience/expertise in autism.  I have the legal right to find an appropriate private school and ask that the State pays for his fees.  I have had to appoint a solicitor and I have a 50/50 chance of getting him into on the countrys leading private school for high functioning autism/aspergers.
My point is, you need to get some legal advice via the National Autistic Society and/or a legal advocate that specialises in Special Educational Law.
The fact that your son has a number of complex issues going on is going to work in his favour.
I know it is hard to keep pushing to find out this information and what you and your son are entitled to.  But no-one is going to do it for you and if you don't push for it to make your son's and therefore your life better, then you are going to continue with more of the same.
I would also recommend joining a parent support group, especially if they meet and socialise together as it will give you a chance to meet other families who will have lots of advice and information, and your son will also meet other children on the spectrum.
The above is the general advice.  But more specific:-
a) could he be being bullied at school?
b) does he have access to a dinnertime club or the computer suite/library during break/dinner times, as most children on the spectrum find unstructured free time very stressful and can also be bullied during these times.
c) try building as much predictable structure into his routine as possible so that he knows what he will be doing throughout the day.
d) try to improve motivation by using symbols eg. first (reading), then (TV).  That will help him see what he has to do first to get the second thing he likes.  Lots of praise for good behaviour/attitude.  
e) when he has an attitude and is talking back to you, is there anything in that that you could do differently to change the outcome.  Eg. if you walk into his room, turn off his computer and say you have to tidy up your room would you get a problem?  If so, knock on his bedroom door or call his name until he responds, then go into his room and give him a time warning using a time-timer showing how long he has got left to play on his computer.  Tell him that when it is time to turn off the computer he has to tidy up his room.  Use a picture board with symbols to show what is expected of him.  If he would need help with it help him.  When he has finished give him a personal reward or use something like a token system whereby when he has 5 token he can choose a treat off a list of possible treats eg. going to the cinema, swimming baths etc.
Does any of that help?
Regarding the masturbation, everyone does it.  It is good that he is doing it in private.  If his stress/anxiety levels are high that might make it more frequent.  I would mention it to the doctor, but if it isn't causing a problem to him or anyone else I wouldn't medicate for it.
You could also have your son checked to see if he has bi-polar or depression as these can accompany the other disorders he has.  Excessive sexual appetite can be connected to bi-polar, but he is also just becoming a teenager and hormones will be all over the place anyway.
I think it is more common in the USA than the UK for children to be on medication.  I am not totally anti-medication as sometimes it helps.  But there is no long term research as to what any of these medications could be doing to your child.  I personally think it is wrong to medicate a child so that they stay in an environment that has not been properly adapted/adjusted to meet their specific complicated and complex educational and social needs.  So seriously look into whether the school is the right one for your son.
The fact that they moved him into a mainstream science class could be a good or bad sign.  Many children on the spectrum do well at science, so although you say he has severe learning difficulties, he may be perfectly intelligent enough to access that lesson if the issues causing the learning difficulties are addressed eg. the dyslexia/autism etc.  However, they haven't recognised that that environmental situation is not suitable to him for any number of reasons.  It could be too big a classroom, too noisy, not structured enough etc.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your advice. I think resources here are different I have been told our income is too high for most services but there is a waiver rpogram (that excludes income) and I have put him on the list but as of July he is eight years away (he is 10 now so you can do the math) from being at the top. I have never heard of schools like you are talking about and here they go to school in the district you live in or I can pay for private school. He can do the science but it is the 27 kids around him and the fact that the class in interrupted for lunch that he is having a hard time with. His school also has not accepted his diagnosis of Autism (here even if you have 5 doctors give a diagnosis the school has their own team evaluate the child). I am just extremely frustrated right now but i will check on the Autism Society.
470168 tn?1237474845
What country are you in?
If your son has been seen by a Speech and Language Therapist, Educational Psychologist and Occupational Therapist who all have experience of diagnosing autistic spectrum disorders, then they should have produced reports that made recommendations to the school.
If it is just a local school that has no former expertise/experience in autism then it is going to be an uphill battle because they just won't get it.
Get in touch with the NAS.
If you find the school is unresponsive I would start searching around for another local school (especially for the secondary level age 11+) that has some understanding of his diagnosis, or at least an interest in meeting his needs.  Remember you are not the only parent with an autistic child.  Somewhere in your area there will be a school that has more experience than the rest and you will know that because they will have a number of autistic children in their school.  Get in touch with a parent support group and ask them.  Go to their meetings as an opportunity to meet other families in a similar situation and for your son to meet other autistic children.  You will also get heaps of help, advice and information.
If you can afford it, I would then go and get private reports from an Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist so that their reports and recommendations are sent into school.  Again make sure these are professionals with experience of autistic spectrum disorders.  In the UK the cost of a top class professionals report is going to be around £1500.  But if it makes a difference to your sons day at school or gives you access to certain services then it is more than worth it.
Through the NAS find out what your legal educational rights are.
Does your son have any sensory integration issues.
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