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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Community
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544302 tn?1217517084

How can I help my son

  

I dont really no where to start, but this is a brief overview of the past 12 years.  I am desperate for some answers so I can help my son.  I have had peolple suggest aspergers, add, adhd, nonverbal learning disorder, being a bratt, and may other things but no one seems to be getting a grip and helpin.  I feel i am bein fobed off all the time and now  we need help.

Born march 16th 1996, had trouble breathing  but soon started.  Placenta would not detach and had to be removed surgically.  Suffered from colic and when put on formula milk became worse and had to be changed to soya milk.  

Dtw vaccine _ had a slight seizure after first vaccine and cried non stop for hours after.  Doctor was called and said it was a reaction to the vaccine, to call him back if things became worse.  


At 9 months old Callum fell down some stone cellor steps and fractured his skull.

Hair cut - when callum was about 11 months he had his hair cut for the first time and was terrified, to the point that for some reason his  face became blisterd where the hairdresser had sprayed water on him.  From then on he could only have his hair cut when he was asleep.

Food - unable to get callum on to solids for some time because he could not tolorate the texture of sloppy food so was wined on dry bread and raw veg ect.  Up until the past two years he still would not eat anything sloppy, eg ice cream yogurt ect and still  has never tried beans  spaghetti ect. Will not touch anything  greasy or sloppy with his hands without a cloth. And hates being messy.

Did not settle in play group or school.  Cried franticly when i was taking him and leaving him. and for a short time we were worried about his hearing because he seemed to not hear people calling him, especially when he was busy . The teacher also thought he could read until we pointed out that he just memorised the books etc. He would also only learn spelling and time tables in the order he had wrote them from the bored and if given in a different order he became very distressed.


Callum has always be difficult to get to bed and sleep.  When he was little it had to be me or his brother that put him to bed. As he became older he had to listen to a certain tape every night and bedtime. Then it went to having his step dad read him a certain story.  Callum has also suffered from horrendous night and  terrors and still does but thankfully only when he is ill now.

Speech -  Callum was a slow developer with his speech and used to get very frustrated because he was not easy to understand, he did go to speech theorepy for some time which helped a great deal.  Callums speech is now very good and he loves finding new words, unfortunately he never never stop talking, even when no one is listening to him he will carry on talking.

He also can watch a film, advert or tv show, and remember most of the words to certain parts to the point where it is really annoying because  he will say them over and over again,  even when you have told him you no and you have heard it ten million times already.

Social interaction.  Callum interacts great with adults and younger children, but with his peers he find it very difficult.  He feels he has no friends and is different to the rest. He find it difficult to take genral jokes and micky taking and takes everything very personally, which in turn makes him a target for the other children.    He has problems taking turns and always feels that he has been choose last, even when he clearly has not, and is an extremely poor looser and blames every one else for him loosing.

High School - callum started high school in sept 2007, since then he has become worse in many of his social skills, he  isolates himself at break times  so as not to have to interact   and deal with the other kids.  He rings home when he arrives at school and often in between lessons and always at break and lunch time.

General Health -  Callum constantly has a sore thought  a stomache  or a head ache.  He hates bright light , loud noise and lots of people.  He suffers from ashma and has and allergic reaction to some animal hair, usually horse hair.


Recently - At the moment it is  school holidays.  For the past few weeks Callum had had shared education between home and school, because he was find school extremely stressfull.  It is now the holidays and he does not want to contact any of his (friends) from school and does not really want to go out of the house unless it is with me or a family member.  He is ok ish going to the corner shop but that is about it.

He has made several remarks about life being worthless and  feeling different and not being able to change the way he thinks and feels.   If he has something on his mind, and activity or such like he can not get it out of his mind until he has completed or got what ever it is he was thinking about.  He will have to wear the right clothes for any occasion, eg football  clothes for football, climbing t shirt for climbing, he can not just go out and have a kick about or go for a walk or anything without first having to get changed  into what he sees as the right things for the event.


This is just a brief overview of my son, believe me I could go on and on.  I need some help  with this young man as I fear he will end up very unhappy or even dead.   Can you please give me some answers and advise on how to make his life better




4 Responses
470168 tn?1237471245
It sounds to me like he could be on the spectrum.  Usually if there have been speech delays or disorders that rules out Aspergers and a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum disorder is more likely.  However children are not always typical to fit the criteria!
I will go through your post and mention what I think you have said that sounds on the spectrum compared with my child who is 7.5 years old and is diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder and sensory differences.
I don't know about the blistering when he had his hair cut.  But my son used to be terrified of the hairdressers because he said it hurt when they cut his hair.  We had to leave the barbers once with half a haircut because he couldn't tolerate it anymore.  Now we have found a female hairdresser who warns him before she does everything ie. sprays water onto his hand first and gets his permission to spray his hair etc.  My son is also oversensitive to having his hair washed, it cannot be combed or brushed.  It hurts to cut his nails etc and wearing socks and shoes are sometimes very uncomfortable.
Regarding food my son complains that it is hot and spicy when it isn't.  He doesn't like certain textures and he cannot stand the smell of some foods to the extent that he would run away from them.  At the other extreme he can smell his favourite food from upstairs and will come down if I unwrapped chocolate, for example.
My son also hates getting his hands sticky, but is better about getting messy.  He didn't want to do it when younger.  If he gets wet in the rain even a little bit he has to change all his clothes, or if he gets the slightest bit of mud on his shoes.
My son also hated nursery and school.  Until he was nearly 6 I had to strap him into a childs pushchair to get him into nursery/school because he would have a tantrum and refuse to walk.
He has also had his hearing tested because he appears deaf when busy.
At this point, I would say that alot of these behaviours are sensory based and also rigid behaviours and routines associated with autism.
If you google the name Olga Bogdashina and read the articles by her printed in Autism Today you will find them relevant to your situation.  She is a reputable professional who has spoken to professionals and families in our area a number of times.  She is from the Ukraine and has two children on the spectrum.  Her book Sensory and Perceptual Differences in Autism and Aspergers also has a caregivers questionnaire at the back which you can complete to get a sensory profile of your child.
It is also important to know that sensory processing and perceptual differences can vary hour by hour and day by day.  And that is part of the child's problem as well so on one occasions something may hurt them, but on another they cannot feel anything.  But from their point of view if their perception is that it hurts, or does not taste nice, or smells bad etc then their reaction is understandable.  We can't understand their behaviour because we don't experience what they do.  It is very important that you son understands this.  He isn't mad or crazy, he literally sees, hears, feels, smells things differently to everyone around him.  He may also have problems with balance, co-ordination, internal body sensations such as hungry, full, needing the loo, feeling hot etc.  These are all sensory based.
My son has a speech disorder, but he can speak relatively well and is assessed as age appropriate.  However he has problems processing and understanding other peoples speech.  He also has literal interpretation of words; so if I say 'look you've turned the house upside down' (because it is a mess), he would literally look surprised and ask me 'have I turned the house upside down, how?'  This will explain his difficulties with subtle jokes, sarcasim, teasing etc.  He just won't understand it.
You could also google Semantic Pragmatic Disorder and see if that is relevant.
My son also memorises whole film dialogues and can memorise his reading book.  But he cannot read yet.  He also repeats alot of TV/DVD/Movie dialogue to himself and also incorporates it into his speech.  This is delayed echolalia.  If you google echolalia you should get some good examples of it.  This demonstrates a speech processing disorder and is associated with autism.
It is very common for those on the spectrum to socialise better with either older adults (because they take the time to try to understand them more), or with younger children (who don't question them or their behaviour), rather than their peers.  This is a social communication/interaction problem and is part of the diagnosis for autism.
Problems with taking turns and losing are also typical.  These skills have to be taught because they are not automatically learnt in the same way that other children pick up things.
Your son will find unstructured free time during breaks and dinner time unbearable.  He needs to have alternatives that give him structure eg. a dinnertime club to go to, or access to the library or computer.  If he has to be in the same environment as other children he will be teased and bullied and he won't be able to cope with that.
My son also rarely wants to leave the house because it is a safe and predictable environment for them.  If you bear in mind the sensory problems and the social interaction difficulties you can imagine how daunting it is to leave the house.  It might help to draw up a list of things you are going to do so that he can tick them off as you do them to see that he is moving down the list.  What exactly is he objecting to when you leave the house.  Is it the unpredictability of not knowing where he is going or for how long.  Does he get upset if you take a different route to the supermarket or if you do things in a different order to which you told him they would happen ie. you go to the petrol station before you go shopping.   These are rigid routines and behaviours that he uses to try to make his world predictable.  The more predictable and understandable you make his schedule the more he will be able to comply with it.  As he is 12 you can involve him in writing up the daily schedule.  Always try to build into it things he likes ie. going shopping and then watching a DVD he likes etc.
Also for any socialising etc try to do it through interests and hobbies he has.  Never go for team games if he cannot understand the concept of teams and doesn't like physical contact.  Try something else like trampolining, climbing, swimming, horse riding etc.
Having to finish an activity he has started is typical of autism.  My son also finds it impossible to leave something half finished, or even to put away toys that he hasn't finished playing a game with.
Again his association with certain clothes for certain activities is typical of being on the spectrum and again is rigid behaviours and routines.
At the top of this forum page, click on the Health Page and read the DSM IV Diagnostic Criteria for Autism.  I have posted it there and parents have posted examples of their child's behaviour that fits the criteria.
Your son does sound to me like he is on the autistic spectrum which could be Aspergers, High Functioning Autism, PDD NOS.  The important thing is he is going to find mainstream school very hard to deal with without the recognition of his difficulties and the supports he needs.
Contact the National Autistic Society in your country for advice about getting a diagnosis, what educational supports he should have access to, what your legal rights are regarding education etc.
I would also advise joining a parent support group and finding out about any clubs or groups where teenagers on the spectrum can meet.  
If your son does not understand 'why' he is different it is going to badly effect his self esteem.  Being autistic means that he will have some disabilities as well as some abilities way above his peers.
365714 tn?1292199108
If you find out he is on the spectrum don't hesitate to help him get connected with other autistic teenagers to let him know he is not alone. I can't tell you how much that helped me at age 12 when my dad got involved with ANI and some other autism advocacy groups. I got to see I am not alone and I also got to see autism in a more positive light than the doom and gloom that the mainstream puts out.  I also got to see yes I am different but I am no less a person and I can use the unique gifts that I've been given.  I don't have to live and believe I am hopeless. Unfortunately the media tends to feed off that sense of hopelessness and make things showing just the worst moments to feed off people's sympathies. It isn't helping...

Please pm me and I can give you some good links to look into that have a positive point of view.
Avatar universal
Hi I hope things get better soon.  My advice is to find a doctor that will address each problem behavior and issue.  A a naturopathic doctor has helped us sooooooo much. There are plenty of things B12, mag, etc supplements that will help if you find he is most likely deficient.  There has been much research into parental observations of these natural things but not a lot of medical research because big Pharma wont make a lot of money on them.  Good luck.  
180749 tn?1443595232
Do this exercise everyday with your child in a fun way.Note any difference you notice every week.
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Anulom Vilom –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 5 to 10  minutes twice a day(maximum 60 minutes in one day).
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.
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