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Could this be connected to autism?

  : : I have a son with aspergers disorder.  He is 6.  His sister is 4 1/2 and I have some concerns about her that are puzzling.  She does not alternate feet when going up and down stairs, she doesn't peddle a bike, she doesn't socialize with kids outside of immediate family (she is hostile if they approach her), she picks at everything like it has lint on it, she prefers soft foods, she won't play like other kids..she is fearful of heights and movement.  She wouldn't go outside for weeks when it was windy.  She panicked saying the wind would blow her away.  Her speech is odd.  It seems out of context..inappropriate use of words or pronouns.  (Is it dark out, the sky will break?)...(Because that's how the way it goes?)...(Tomorrow  I not goina get married when I'm dead first).
  : : Her 2 year old brother speaks and moves better than she does.  Oddly, she draws very well..good details and very exact.  She has been getting PT for over a year (one on one gymnastics...) She has problems w/"motor planning" and praxis according to PT.  I have seen some success.  At 4 1/2 she can now hop twice on one foot and at times hold her balance on one foot for 2-3 seconds.  She just recently caught a ball!
  : : I don't know what direction to go.  I had her evaluated by Child Find and they referred her to special ed a few days a week.  She presented as nervous, shy.. talking almost inaudibly,  and didn't pass tests (ex. point to dog...she pointed to every picture)  After a few months she was dismissed from the program because "she seemed fine"...they interpreted her language as "being silly".
  : : Any thoughts?
  : : Does this sound like a connection to autism?
  : Gayle,
  : Hi.  I am 35 years old and have Asperger syndrome.  You probably already
  : know that Asperger syndrome is considered to be at the "high functioning"
  : end of the autism spectrum.  You may also know that autism spectrum
  : disorders may have a genetic component, so it is certainly possible to
  : have more than one child on the spectrum, though it may appear differently
  : due to where on the spectrum, personality differences, and whether the
  : child is a boy or a girl.  The main diagnostic difference between autism
  : and Asperger syndrome is that in autism there is usually a significant
  : delay in acquiring language while in Asperger syndrome there is not
  : (although language use may be "odd").  Your daughter sounds a lot like my
  : son, also age 4 1/2.  I suspect that he has Asperger syndrome (he is a lot
  : like me), but I was told that usually a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome
  : cannot be made easily until the child is of school age because of the way
  : the diagnostic criteria are written.  Sometimes a younger child who has
  : AS will be diagnosed with PDD (pervasive developmental disorder), which
  : is also on the autism spectrum.  I'm not pursuing a diagnosis for him at
  : this time for that reason, though the autism specialist I see (for myself)
  : does think that my son appears to be on the spectrum.  Asperger syndrome
  : does make life more difficult in many respects, but people with Asperger
  : sydrome usually excel in some areas which should be encouraged and
  : developed.
  : There is a lot of info on Asperger syndrome at this web site:
  : http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/
  : Also, you can ask specific questions about AS on the message forum at
  : this web site:
  : http://web.getonthe.net/~rsanders/judevine/
  : I do the HTML for that one.  The message forum is not used much right
  : now, but you can get answers to any questions about Asperger syndrome
  : from someone who works all the time with Asperger Syndrome and autistic
  : children.
  : An *excellent* book about Asperger syndrome (I recommend it *very*
  : highly) is:
  : Tony Attwood. Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals
  : (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1998). ISBN 1 85302 577 1. 224 pages.
  : There is more info about that book at:
  : http://www.jkp.com/autism.html#asperger
  : Also, if you e-mail me, I can put you in touch with other parents of
  : children on the autism spectrum.  My e-mail is ***@****
  : I hope this helps.
  : Kathleen
  Hi,  I read your email with some concern.  
  I am a psychologist and have done quite a bit of research into
  autism and aspergers.  I really think that you need to get your
  daughter evaluated by a team that is very knowledgeable about
  autism.  Dismissing her language issues as "being silly" strikes
  me as inappropriate.  If you want to email me, my address is
  ***@****.  Good luck
  Taffy Reed
It's too bad our pediatric neurology specialists have not answered this post and followups. As an adult neurologist, I have very limited experience with autism or Asperger syndrome, though I do suspect the language difficulty is related to that and not "silly." The follow-up comments have been excellent, better than anything I could contribute. Good luck. CCF MD mdf.

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