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Does this sound like Asperger's/ASD?

I have an almost 10 year old son who after seeing a number of Paediatricians and psychologists and after being told he had sensory processing disorder (apparently a type of ASD) we were told he likely had Austism Spectrum Disorder, however when we went to be assessed under the national disability scheme he was found not to meet the criteria due to his advanced language skills and ability to socialise. I still query this as I work with a number of children who have been diagnosed with ASD and most are capable of communicating and socialising, some even to a greater extent than my son.


My almost 16 year old had an extremely difficult childhood. From birth I felt something was a little off with him. he would scream constantly if i wasn't feeding him. he would sleep as little as 8 hours a day (which is extremely rare for a newborn!) he would not be settled at all unless I was feeding him. I did take him to the child health nurse who suggested he had a stomach ache from overfeeding, but when i didn't feed him he would just scream all day so i had no choice. As he got older he stopped screaming all the time and he would play. i remember him smiling and babbling and I think this happened at an age appropriate time, however if I held him up to look in his face he would try to look away and wriggle out of my grip. he didn't eat solid food until around 18 months and wouldn't take a bottle either so was exclusively breastfed. I would have to leave university to go to childcare and feed him. When he did start eating he was extremely fussy. he also ate sand, paper, playdough, really anything non food. As he got older and started going to school he would also eat rubber, glue and even chew the wood off rulers or pencils and eat that too. He was extremely hyperactive, literally climbing up walls. He never slept and I would often pass out from exhaustion before he did and then would wake up and go in to check on him in the night and he would be up playing with his toys. he was toilet trained by 4 but then he started soiling himself. he was eventually diagnosed with encopresis and despite all the treatments and therapy, he continued soiling until he started highschool at 12 and grew out of it. He was extremely aggressive and would lose his temper very easily, throwing chairs, trying to hit you with objects, and he was biting from a young age to the point he was expelled from daycare. However the daycare service was forced to take him back with inclusion support. By the age of two he knew a few words but could not put them together. by the time he started school he would only say 2-3 word sentences. he was referred for speech therapy but by the time his name came up in the waitlist he was talking so i didnt take him, not realising I shouldve taken him just to find out why he was delayed in speech. He performed very poorly academically and he was able to get a cognitive assessment in year 2 which showed he had below average working memory and verbal reasoning. I took him to two paediatricians a number of therapists such as OT, dietician etc and he saw a psych for nearly 6 years, however he was never diagnosed or even assessed for anything.

When he hit puberty he went through a sudden change. Normally hyperactive, he became sluggish and reclusive. however he tells me when he goes out with his friends they just run around all the time. he has a good appetite now and eats nearly everything except cheese. As far as I'm aware he doesn't eat any non food items. He does still occasionally have angry outbursts, smashing a window once, getting into a fist fight with his dad, and running away several times, but overall he is much less aggressive than he was as a child. He is very good at doing his chores and often does them without being asked and to a high standard, however if he is asked to do a chore outside the regular routine he can get extremely angry. He was given a guitar at around age 12 and he plays this almost to the point of obsession, sometimes even sleeping with it. He has quite a number of friends and appears to be quite popular. Even the younger kids on the street look up to him. He also has a girlfriend. However, I find his social skills lacking. Sometimes his friends come and knock on the door and when I go and tell him " Your friend is at the door" he just ignores them. He often wont go to the door unless I directly say to him " Go to the door". He has also skipped close friends birthdays because he just couldn't be bothered going. When it was his girlfriends birthday I suggested mowing the lawn to get some money to buy her a gift and he didn't want to. he was quite happy not giving her anything. He doesn't want to get a job because he doesn't want to talk to anyone, but he will look people in the eye when greeted and sometimes even ask "how are you?" out of courtesy. His language skills are poor. He mumbles a lot and his response to just about everything is " I don't know". Sometimes he doesn't understand words or concepts that even his 9 year old brother understands. He is also performing very poorly at school. I would think all of this is just normal teenage behaviour IF he didn't have the childhood history that he has.

I have been thinking about having him assessed for ASD, but just don't know if its worth the bother just to be told he doesn't meet the criteria again because he has friends etc. He certainly seemed to meet it when he was younger, but not so much now. Does his recent behaviour sound like he could have ASD?
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replied February 3rd, 2019
Thank you for asking at Ehealth forum!

I read your question and I understand your concern.
His behaviour is consistent with autism spectrum disorder. He would need psychiatric assesment for clarification.
I hope it helps. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider for further guidance as our answers are just for education and counselling purposes and cannot be an alternative to actual visit to a doctor.
Take care
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Tags: Autism, Puberty
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