Me and my girl and boy, raising awareness and acceptance of autism

Should I be worried?

I have been thinking these thoughts for the last four years…well ever since D got diagnosed.

I’m asking for a bit of advice please.

My middle son, T is 10 years old and I’m wondering if he’s got high functioning Aspergers.

Easier to list my concerns:

From the time T could pull himself up, he has bounced on the balls of his feet, he still does it now when playing on the wii or watching football on TV, doesn’t seem to be aware he’s doing it.

He still walks on the balls of his feet and almost bounces along. Very easy to spot in a playground.

He does not eat hot food – apart from toast. I am trying to get him to try new things like spag bol, pizza, macaroni cheese and he will pick at it for about half an hour, eat barely a third and then ask for toast. If he eats the pizza, it will be just the base ie. everything scraped off. Definitely prefers “white” foods. Will not eat veg, will eat limited fruits.
Does not like hot drinks, best I can get him to have is warm squash when it’s really cold, weather wise. Soup is a no-no.

We had to move him in school as he was working two years above ability, new school accepted him with open arms and he is being challenged more work-wise but still finding it all too easy. Only one in his class who is a “free reader”. Handwriting is amazingly neat for a 10year old. Very mathematical brain. He got incredibly cross with his school report last term when it mentioned that the presentation of a particular piece of homework could improve. He also gets extremely frustrated if he gets any spellings wrong – not that he does very often.

Issues around jumpers and jeans – prefers football shirts, shorts and jogging bottoms.

Could recognise and say all the premier league football badges at 18 months old! Will write and write his own match reports, football fixtures, league tables.

He plays in a local football team, but finds defeat very hard whether it be his team or football team he supports or playing on the wii or ds. He will happily go to football or football training but that is it, we have had a lot of going-out refusals in the summer holidays.

Would not sleep by himself for the first five years, it was either in between Hubbie and I or on a mattress in our room. We only got around this by letting him choose his bed etc and even then there were teething issues. Whether its anxieties around being by himself or something else, unsure.

(Linked to above, maybe) he does not like to see street lights through the obscured bathroom window, they scare him and also says that the eyes move on a wedding picture in the hall.

Does not have meltdowns in the way his autistic sister does but definitely has his moments when he will retreat completely from the situation. Does not seem to sympathise with his sister and will provoke and provoke her.

Takes things extremely literally, there is no middle ground, everything is black or white.

Always has to know when Hubbie is leaving, what time he is back. If we do go out, he has to know where exactly we are going and there cannot be deviants from that list. Similarly if I am doing something whilst he is at school, he will need to know timings, route etc.

Did not do imaginative play/dressing up etc. The closest he will get to this is bouncing on the trampoline with a ball, commenting in the guise of a sports reporter. In the garden, he has to do his bouncing etc (and car play when younger) in a certain way.

Immense issues if a comic is creased or a book is marked, they will be immediately discarded and he won’t be happy until they are replaced.

Likes to be independent to the point of immense stubbornness and will refuse to take advice, no matter how well-intended.

Extremely inconsiderate to his sister’s feelings/emotions/anxieties. For example, I have explained to him that due to her sensory imbalance, she will feel a push/a knock stronger but it’s not taken into consideration.

School reports no concerns as they have a very positive, structured day as there is a high proportion of ASD children in school (1 or 2 per class) and if there are any issues throughout the day, he will bottle them up until he is home.

UPDATED as meeting with School SenCo on 12 September 2012, UPDATED again for CAMHS referral form 11 December 2012.

Comments on: "Should I be worried?" (12)

  1. I’m 50/50 on this one , monitor him a little more , does he have any OCD tendencies ?
    Umm go with your gut .
    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help xxx

  2. i would air your concerns with the doctor if you video him doing things even better

  3. I think that you know him best, and if you have concerns, of any kind, it’s probably best for you to follow through with them so that you don’t ever have to feel like “what if”. One option suggested to us was to see a psychologist rather than a doctor. We’ve not done that, but I suppose that is an option as well. If his behaviors are manageable then I bet you’re learning enough with your daughter to apply to your son as well. It’s a lot to go through the whole process of doctors and diagnosis (or no diagnosis) but if you go through the process and find that all is well with your son, will you feel more at ease than if you *don’t* ever really know? If so, I’d say go for it – clearly he’s highly intelligent and you need to know ways to meet his needs. Bottom line, though, at least in my humble opinion, is that YOU know your son best. If you think there is a concern, you have every right to follow through. We know the struggles of daily life on the autism spectrum and worry often about how things will turn out. If he’s doing ok socially and academically, though, it might be that you can deter the bad feelings when things go wrong with something as simple as a social story. You are mom, and this may be something you need to follow through on for your own peace of mind in protecting your child, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And there’s nothing wrong with continuing to work with him on your own. (And now I’m rambling, so I’m going to stop!) 😉

  4. Lisa Johnstone said:

    Jeanette, this is a tough one, in all honesty i dont know! I think some of his behaviours could be described as Aspergers but equally just a typical 9 yr old! I’m a great believer in gut feelings & wonder if having D on the spectrum is prompting you to scrutinise T; i think this would be impossible not to do, I think most of us ASD mums can spot a child/adult with some degree of autism. My advice would be to make an appointment for T. Love & Hugs Lisa xxxxx

    appoinment for D, I think that until you do your mind wont be at rest. Lisa xxxx

  5. You are not being silly but if you have worries, then as Wendy says, have a word with the Doctor. My son has ASD and his difficulties became noticeable as a baby even though it took me years and years to get him diagnosed. My daughter has aspergers and her difficulties became more pronounced as she became older. Having another child on the spectrum, I often doubted myself and wondered whether I was being overreactive but it seems not. Teachers would often tell me that her behaviour was learnt which was rubbish as she presented so differently to her brother. I’m glad I got her checked out. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

  6. A close family member of mine has aspergers – there are some great books out there, when I read the one about being married to a guy with aspergers (given to me by his wife), I totally recognised him. Good news is that he is the best person in the world and I wouldn’t change him – but it does help to ‘understand’ him, so that I can work around it a little (like telling him what I need him to do).
    It doesn’t mean he is lacking in emotion, just that he doesn’t get other people’s emotions.
    So if you are worried, I’d try to get a couple of books about it and see if you recognise the traits. But if he is, try not to worry, because my ‘family member’ has a great job, good relationships and has really come to understand himself.

  7. Emma Hart said:

    The bit that jumps out at me and would tell me that perhaps Asperges is not the problem is where you have observed him to be quite sociable. I think one of the biggest indicators of Asperges is the inability to form relationships with people and to understand friendship. For example my son finds banter and teasing very difficult and he doesn’t understand that people are just joking and he takes it very seriously and gets upset about it. He is also quite intimidated by people and becomes very anxious especially around people of his own age. He seems to be more at ease with older people, but being an only child perhaps this is understandable. There do seem to be some autistic traits though, such as the very limited eating and him being able to remember vast amounts of information about his hobbies at such an early age. Although this could also be due to the fact that he is very bright. Thinking back to my college years there was a boy there who walked on his heals exactly as you describe and that was part of a syndrome, but I cannot remember exactly what that was, as it was many years ago. I think my advice would be to go and see your GP and have him assessed, then you’ll know exactly what it is your dealing with. Hopefully he’s just a very intelligent boy who has his eccentricities like the rest of us!

    • Thanks v much Emma, it’s something that I def need to clarify. T about to head into year 5 and we already know the secondary school we’re aiming for. Something I’ll be moving forward with once school starts up again.
      Really appreciate you taking a look x

  8. You have just pretty much described my middle child. Like you we have also realised after the diagnosis of our youngest. Obviously there are some differences, they are different children after all. But, my goodness, I could have written most of this. Even down to not taking the doc route, but seeing the senco. I’m almoat positive my son has aspergers, my problem is….what should I do next?? Xx

    • Thanks for reading, I would say write it all down and then get a meeting with the school SenCo. We have that tomorrow. Part of me feels guilty for doing this, a bigger part needs to know so that understanding and support can be implemented.
      Keep me posted x

  9. […] thing – the 1st – is that T is very very limited in what food he will eat, my post Should I be worried? refers. We’ve had some slight progress in that he will eat chips (MaccyD or chippy chips) but […]

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