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Son with possible Aspergers...looking to join this group.

Forum: Learning Disabilities and Special Education


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December 12th, 2012, 08:25 AM
RunningMommyTo5's Avatar Marathoning Mom to 4!
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 4,443
Hello everyone! I'm new to this board, but not to JM. My name is Katie, and my 6yo son, Tommy, is showing some strong signs of Aspergers. Initially we all thought ADHD, but it's becoming evident that he's "symptoms" are lining up more closely with aspergers. I feel somewhat guilty that I didn't notice earlier. He has always had some, shall I say, "quirks", from the time he was a baby, but with him being our first, we didn't make anything of them. It became apparent that something is different about him when my 4yo son matured in many ways beyond my 6yo, especially socially.

Tommy loves people, and loves having friends. But, he most definitely talks "at" people. It's hard for him to have a 2-way conversation. He doesn't read social cues and will go on and on about what he's interested in. His focus at school is almost none existent and it's a struggle for him. He can't control his impulses. Thankfully, his teacher is wonderful and knows our situation, so she is working with him instead of him constantly getting in trouble for daydreaming or talking instead of doing his seat work. He is a logistical thinker, though, and really enjoys analytical things like math and sciences. He likes to know how and why things work.

Yet, while lacking focus at school, he can focus for hours at a time on his video games. And, when he's not playing them, he's thinking about them and talking about them. They are his obsession. It got so bad that he's limited to playing only on the weekends and only for limited time increments.

He thrives on routine and any small change in what's expected will no doubt cause a meltdown for him. Also causing tantrums and meltdowns is anything that he doesn't understand WHY he needs to do it. He has trouble adequately expressing his feelings, so they are usually expressed in meltdowns, as well. He can also seem cold sometimes and say things that sound very rude and "mean", but in reality, it's that he has trouble reading others emotions or understanding why something he said would hurt someone if it's the "truth". I've also had trouble with his need to be perfect causing meltdowns. He gets overly frustrated and can tantrum if I so much as gently try to correct him on his homework. It's not that he thinks he got it right, either, it's that he's overly upset that he got it wrong. He breaks his pencils in his hands or over his head, throws his erasers across the room, pounds the table with his fists, yells and screams, all over something as little as me saying "Great job, buddy! You spelled that word correctly, but you wrote your 'p' backwards. Let's erase it and turn it the other way."

Also, he has a few sensory issues. Loud noises still bother him (have since he was a baby). He is a chewer, too. He chews on so many things. I'm constantly having to tell him to get things out of his mouth. He chews holes in his shirts, chews buttons off of them, the cords on the video game controllers, pencil erasers, certain toys. Crowds and crowded spaces are extremely overwhelming to him and cause him to almost panic. It's a sensory overload to him. He hates certain strong smells, as well.

Also, he's an extreme worrier to the point of it being an anxiety issue.

I just feel so overwhelmed some days. I have 4 kids, and he takes up so much energy some days. I'm happy we're on the road to getting him help. I never wanted anything to be wrong with my children, but I am almost relieved to know it's not his fault nor is it a result of "bad" parenting. We don't at all tolerate any of his bad behaviors, and for the longest, we couldn't understand why he kept on reacting like this when it's never resulted in anything other than punishment and discipline for him. Now, it seems to make a lot more sense. We're changing our approach to match what he needs to help him understand why his behavior is inappropriate, but have not seen any results as of yet.

A couple of my initial questions:
1-Discipline: especially in relation to meltdowns and tantrums? what about teaching empathy and not saying what others will view as hurtful, even if it is honest; one of the biggest challenges for an aspie?

2-Chewing: Have you found anything that works to curb the behavior? Do you find the chewing necklaces to be an effective deterrent to keep them from chewing their clothing?

3-Medication: Are any of your aspergers kids medicated? If so, what are they currently on? Has it helped their compulsions? Have you notices a difference in their impulse control and focus in school?

I know this is long, but it's hard to find parents who truly understand what it's like. I hope I'm not being too long winded. Any and all advice or support it welcome!!!! Thank you all so much. I'm looking forward to being a part of this group moving forward.
*~*~ Katie; Mommy to 3 fun-loving boys, one sweet little baby girl, and #5 on the way! *~*~

Last edited by RunningMommyTo5; December 12th, 2012 at 08:30 AM.
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