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By muchagecko (Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 09:45:10 AM EST) autism (all tags)
My son has been seeing an OT for a month. On Monday, she insinuated something.

Update [2007-1-15 10:18:33 by muchagecko]: unholed so as not to lose good advice.



My boy has many autistic traits. You'd have to be stupid not to admit that his extreme reactions to change aren't autistic traits.

Some of his good qualities: He's wicked smart. He understands math almost at his sister's 7th grade level, even though he's only in 1st grade. He kicks my ass in checkers - every time. He can do that Rainman trick with counting. He's precise and definite.

Some of his bad qualities: He doesn't like leaving the apartment and almost always throws a tantrum when we have to leave. He gets way to obsessive about video games. His tantrums on occasion are extremely violent.

Anyone know anyone dealing with autism? Any suggestions?

I'm trying to look at autism as a hurdle rather than a definition of who he is.

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probably autistic | 53 comments (53 topical, 1 hidden) | Trackback
How often does he play video games? by dr k (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 09:58:00 AM EST
I personally feel that 90% of autism is caused by environment, and if you've filled his environment with electronic entertainment -- tv, computer games, mp3 player -- then you are only encouraging this kind of self-absorbed behavior.

:| :| :| :| :|

awesome. by garlic (4.00 / 3) #3 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:31:24 AM EST
I take it that your dr title was confered by a university and not by yourself?


[ Parent ]
I am a graduate of Hulver U. by dr k (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 04:04:07 PM EST


:| :| :| :| :|

[ Parent ]
I've been limiting his electronics use. by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:36:46 AM EST
In fact, this Christmas, Santa at mom's house didn't bring any video games.

Dad's house is a different story. His dad actually called me up and questioned why I didn't give his son any games for Christmas. I explained again the negative influence of video games and how I'd made a conscious choice to not give any games to our son. So his dad went overboard and got a bunch of games for his deprived son.

Not surprisingly, video games took the bulk of his time while he visited his dad during the holiday.

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.

[ Parent ]
Videogames are evil by Gedvondur (4.00 / 2) #7 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 11:33:24 AM EST
And how, exactly, are video games self absorbed?  You don't think about the "self" that much when you play them.

Perhaps you should ring up Jack Thomson, you might have something in common.

Kids are obsessive about everything they do because its all new.

When a kid first gets a bike and finally learns to ride it, they do it for hours on end.  While that might be more healthy from a cardio-vascular standpoint, it is still obsessive behavior.

Singling out video games is to miss the forest for the trees.

Gedvondur
"I don't have enough middle fingers to communicate my feelings to you." --clover kicker

[ Parent ]
There is something by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 02:44:50 PM EST
about video games that is more disturbing for my son than any other activity. My boy's OT is all for banning video games for my son or at the very least strictly limiting his video game playing. We're working on limits - he has a timer that he sets before he starts playing. So far it looks like playing for more than an hour at a time is a recipe for disaster.

In contrast, for hours my son can read, ride his bike, play with his action figures, and etc. with rarely a tantrum. And most of the tantrums he has while participating in these activities can be attributed to antagonism from his sister.

Video games are number 1 in stress in my son's life.

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.

[ Parent ]
My nephew has Asperger's by Lady Jane (4.00 / 1) #17 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 04:19:53 PM EST
You probably know this, but since I'm not seeing this written here yet... know that this isn't your fault.  Too many video games?????  Give me a break!  I don't think 24/7 on video games is good for anyone, but it does not cause Autism/Asperger’s!  You are clearly doing the best possible for your son as you are already seeking therapy, educating yourself and being cognizant of his activities.  And as far as video games/TV/etc... all things in moderation. 

My nephew is now seven.  At the age of two, he was one of the youngest of children to have ever been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  (And he did not play video games, nor had he watch much TV at that point.)  He was non-verbal at the age of 2.5 and now, with much therapy, you can't get him to stop talking!  There are still social challenges, and inflexibility (especially around transitions, like leaving the house…) but good therapists at a young age have helped him grow significantly.

As Persimmon said, all people develop at their own pace, but by acknowledging his challenges you are on the right track.

There are some amazing books out there, and some great websites/groups.  My sister swears by The Explosive Child by Ross Greene (she has read it twice), and there are some others that she uses… let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get the info from her!

I would also like to highly recommend The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for people (“Dr.” K perhaps) who might need some help understanding Autism from an insider’s perspective.  


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"Buttons aren't toys" -- Trillian

[ Parent ]
genetics by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 07:48:13 PM EST
autistic genes.

Or maybe it's a virus I caught when I was pregnant with him from a good friend I had that was autistic.

I'd put money on the autistic virus. ;)

I'll check out The Explosive Child. His OT recommended The Curious Incident and it's been very enlightening.

It's good to hear that therapy helps. I especially like how his therapist makes him give me hugs after each exercise. It's sweet.

Thanks.

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.

[ Parent ]
re: The Curious Incident by dr k (2.00 / 0) #28 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 07:50:26 PM EST
IT IS FICTION!

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[ Parent ]
good fiction. by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #31 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 08:08:29 PM EST
Even though it's not SciFi - I like it.

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.
[ Parent ]
SciFi Curious Incident by Gully Foyle (4.00 / 1) #39 Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 07:03:19 AM EST
Elizabeth Moon wrote a book on a very similar theme a couple of years before Curious came out. Speed of Dark. It's not a bad read.

[ Parent ]
More books by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #38 Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 12:49:43 AM EST

Not sure of their transpondian availability, but look out for some books by a lad called Luke Jackson. He has Aspergers, and has 3 brothers at various points along the Apsergers/Autism spectrum. Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence is one and he's done a cookbook aimed at a Gluten free diet as there is evidence that this can exacerbate symptoms. Couple of columns by him at the BBC though his personal site seems to have gone.

[ Parent ]
"all things in moderation" by dr k (1.00 / 2) #27 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 07:48:53 PM EST
What a load of shit. Please join us in the 21st century, where aphorisms != reality.

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[ Parent ]
Are you suggesting by Lady Jane (2.00 / 0) #49 Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 09:59:10 AM EST
that you are unable to place limits on yourself?  Or was my comment over your head?

Not surprising...

Perhaps you could use a fidget toy in lieu of a keyboard?

-----------------------------------------
"Buttons aren't toys" -- Trillian

[ Parent ]
over my head? by dr k (1.00 / 2) #52 Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 06:47:11 PM EST
Probably. Because, silly me! I jumped from "all things in moderation" to "well, eating just a little rat poison couldn't hurt."

In this great era of supercomputers and cable television and the information supertube, there's nothing like the homely advice of "all things in moderation" to really drive home the fact the people aren't in control of their own lives, and they like it that way.

:| :| :| :| :|

[ Parent ]
Exactly, see my comment below. by Phage (2.00 / 0) #37 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 11:38:38 PM EST


[ Parent ]
From your description above... by lb008d (2.00 / 0) #40 Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 09:52:58 AM EST
he sounds normal to me. I am not a doctor, and am not playing one, either.

[ Parent ]
videogames are in the environment by dr k (4.00 / 2) #13 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 03:59:54 PM EST
You make my point for me when you talk about kids riding bikes. There is an external, body-moving-through-space aspect to bike riding that distinguishes it from playing a game on a screen. Given the choice, kids seem to prefer the eye-hand activity of games to riding on bikes, and this is a change in the environment that has occurred at the same time as autism rates have increased.

But tell me, why are you so defense about video games? Do you see it as a personal attack on your choice of hobbies? I have to suspect that there is probably something wrong with these games when so many people have the same kneejerk reaction.

:| :| :| :| :|

[ Parent ]
Because, and I hate to be blunt, by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #21 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 05:06:06 PM EST
but we know something you don't. People actually deserving the title doctor have shown a specific lack of support for playing video games as a cause of autism better than you have argued any support for it.

Specifically, you can't support that the following (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism) is caused by video games:

Although the specific causes of autism are unknown, there is a large database of links between autism and genetic loci that span every chromosome. Further, observations and studies that autistic children have generally larger head circumferences are intriguing, but their roles in the disorder are unclear. One group of researchers claims to have found a link between autism, abnormal blood vessel function, and oxidative stress, with potential for new medical therapies should this line of evidence prove fruitful.


Chill out, snowflake.

[ Parent ]
awesome. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #34 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 09:06:51 PM EST
I have to suspect that there's something wrong with you since you have this anti video game kneejerk reaction.


[ Parent ]
He's a closet autistic. by debacle (4.00 / 1) #53 Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 03:15:25 PM EST
Which is why he's so autistophobic.

IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

[ Parent ]
agree, and not by persimmon (4.00 / 5) #22 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 05:34:17 PM EST
Most Aspies have areas of extreme (and, to others, sometimes baffling) interest that they maintain. My brother's include yoyos and the history of Macintosh computers. To a lesser extent, that's a normal trait in humans, including the younglings; I certainly drew an awful lot of rabbits as a child.

Though I acknowledge the self-selecting sample, specifically liking video games overmuch is common to most of the Aspies my brother knows. I've heard speculation that the screen conforms better to the way autistic persons see the rest of the world, that video games represent a predictable and controllable world, or that that the repetitive music and graphics are soothing or druglike on some level. I dunno, and certainly my parents have managed to spin the occasional round of Super Smash brother or Tetris into a fairly social occasion, but video games reward single-minded obsession--something most autistics excel at--to a degree that the world usually doesn't.

All of this is my long-winded way of saying that while video games certainly don't cause autism, autistics as a goup may be obsessive about them for reasons having to do with autism itself.

Although, really, I'm a layperson here, and talking largely out my arse. Drug receptors, anyone?
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"Nature is such a fucking plagarist."

[ Parent ]
Who can resist? by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #33 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 08:54:57 PM EST
irresistible

Your screen theory makes sense. My son's friends (not autistic) may enjoy video games, but none of them are as obsessed with the games as my son.

I'd like to quote my son's OT "Nintendogs has gotten out of control. Nintendogs needs a time out."

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.

[ Parent ]
Autism by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #18 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 04:32:16 PM EST
Signs of autism usually show up long before kids are even able to play videogames, though most parents don't recognize those signs.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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So... by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #20 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 04:40:13 PM EST
Do lots of research, did you? I figure you must have, to have made a claim at odds with the literature. There's a lot more evidence for TV->ADHD, and ADHD is pretty much the opposite of autism.

(Before you level the "denial" charge, my son was not allowed any TV until the age of three, and now only gets 3-4 hours of TV/videogames a week. (And will get even less when we move him out of the shitting daycare we currently have him at.))
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
obvious rebuttal: by dr k (1.00 / 5) #25 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 07:45:43 PM EST
You will never get him out of the "shitting daycare" he is now "at". Sorry, thanks for playing.

:| :| :| :| :|

[ Parent ]
I've got a brother with Asperger's by persimmon (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:05:22 AM EST
And, not uncommonly for persons with autistic conditions, most of the other family members share a few of the traits but none of us have the syndrome.

My siblings and I get on tremendously when we don't live together, horribly when we do. The brother devoted a lot of effort to learning how to pick through the social cues most of us can intuit. For my family the autism has been not a hurdle but an angle of approach that requires the jumping of many smaller hurdles. It is not who he is, but it is certainly the way he is.

Your son's milage, of course, will vary; you are welcome to email me.
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"Nature is such a fucking plagarist."

Was your brother diagnosed early? by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:39:44 AM EST
Did he have OT?

I'm really encouraged by the results of just the little bit of therapy my son has had. It really seems to pull him out of his shell.

I'll e-mail you.

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.

[ Parent ]
kinda, and yes by persimmon (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 03:39:09 PM EST
There's some irony here, in that my dad works in behavioural pediatrics and he still had a floating diagnosis (ADD? ADHD? WTFBBQ?) until he was, I dunno, 13 or so, but clearly something was up. He still got services through the school district tailored to his needs and profile, but once he got the diagnosis, he could get more support from both people experienced in autism-spectrum conditions and other people with similar conditions.

He had OT as a kid, I think from K-2.
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"Nature is such a fucking plagarist."

[ Parent ]
Not uncommon by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #19 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 04:36:22 PM EST
People are real bad at recognizing such things...both because people tend to be in denial and also because people know their own kids so well that they don't see the forest for the trees (especially if the kid in question is their first, and thus their first experience with child rearing.)

Hell, my father didn't recognize that my half brother was bipolar until he was 18, and my father is a goddamn psychiatrist!
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
heh, yeah by persimmon (4.00 / 1) #23 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 05:39:34 PM EST
I think the reasons it was clear fairly early that something was up neurologically was that he has a twin, and I'm the oldest, so my parents had multiple comparators.

On the other hand, I wasn't kidding about those family traits. Behaviourally, my brother's a dead ringer for a grandfather who had a successful marriage (inasmuch as arranged marriages are successful) and raised 5 kids, so if we weren't hooked into the behavioural pediatrics network, it might not have occured to anybody that there was stuff to help.
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"Nature is such a fucking plagarist."

[ Parent ]
not a doctor by 256 (4.00 / 3) #6 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 11:17:48 AM EST
but my job does have me work closely with people with all sorts of disabilities, both physical and psychological, including children.

though i haven't seen what these kids are like in their home environments, i have had a fair bit of experience with autistic kids interacting with their parents in public and semi-public.

the main thing that rung true with me is that what seems most important is to hold children with conditions of this sort to exactly the same standards of behaviour as all other children, rather than allow the diagnosis to change what is acceptable.
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I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

I appreciate the leeway by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 03:00:41 PM EST
he's been given in school. His teacher keeps him in the back of the classroom so he's less disruptive. There's always some part of his body that's moving. He can't help it.

So in that regard, I'm glad he's not being held to the same behavior standard as his peers. But I can see that holding him to other standards is important - such as chores - even though it'll be more difficult to get him to cooperate. I can see that it is important.

Thanks.

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.

[ Parent ]
VSTFP by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #8 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 02:19:30 PM EST
Also, I love you.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Your son is an Operating Thetan? n/t by Captain Tenille (4.00 / 4) #12 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 03:53:56 PM EST


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/* You are not expected to understand this. */


No no, you amateur by debacle (4.00 / 4) #16 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 04:13:18 PM EST
It's "Has reached Operating Thetan?"

Get it right.


IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

[ Parent ]
Funny, I'm learning all this stuff now. by Corky Sherwood (4.00 / 1) #15 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 04:10:05 PM EST
my new job is working with these kinds of kids in a day-treatment program.  These kids are probably way more severe than your son.

The OT is great.  Does the school have him working with a socal worker (do they have that available?) and trying to get him a written program that works for him?

As far as him sitting in the back of the room: perhaps he should have what we call a "fidget" - a little hand-held toy that doesn't make noise for him to play with.  This helps divert his energy to that, yet he can still pay attention.

The video games:  yeah, i'm not for them, but i think the limiting his time is the best thing.  Watching him closely at this point and noticing patterns will be crutial to his therapy.

Also, these kids love and need structure (same thing same time every day).  it helps keep them on course.

If you need anything, Pm or email me!

Causes of autism by chuckles (4.00 / 2) #24 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 06:30:47 PM EST
A good friend of mine has a webpage that explores a possible cause of autism, and why the occurrence of autism is on the rise.

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
oh gee! by dr k (1.00 / 2) #30 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 08:00:57 PM EST
A webpage?

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[ Parent ]
Maybe. by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 08:47:35 PM EST
My ancestry is Swedish - so maybe a Finn crossed over f**ked one of my ancestors.

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.
[ Parent ]
Stepson is by Phage (4.00 / 1) #36 Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 11:36:52 PM EST
on the autistic spectrum but very mildly so. Over time he has learned to compensate and whilst his social skills still lag his peers, it's not enough to mention. Other skills seem also to lag, i.e. fine motor control, emotional control, multi-tasking (such as when crossing roads) etc. Needless to say he is happiest in a rules-based worlds of sport, video games and maths where everything is predictable.

However, he does get over wrought very easily in sports and video games leading to tantrums, so we strictly limit his times.

If you would like to talk, PM me.

Is "insinuate" a medical term? by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #42 Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 04:21:16 PM EST
I'm a complete outsider on the issue, but has anybody actually diagnosed the boy as autistic? Or are we just seeing some strong parallels?

(This comes from a guy who doesn't even know what an OT is.)


OT - occupational therapist by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #43 Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 04:32:44 PM EST
The OT has run the sensory integration tests. She's given me a thorough report based on those tests and the input from school and me. The report is way over my head. Maybe there's a diagnosis inside, but I haven't seen it.

I used the world "insinuate" because the OT didn't say that my son was autistic. She's merely accepted him for therapy, and recommended that I read "The curious incident of the dog at night" because I'll recognize my son's antics.

You're going to make me pull the report out again, aren't you?

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.

[ Parent ]
I'm not going to make you do nothing. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #44 Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 04:38:32 PM EST
Except, maybe, if he's really that good at video games make you let me borrow him. I want him to humiliate this friend of mine who will never recover from having a first-grader whoop his ass in video combat.

Seriously though. You're a smart woman and a good mother, you'll do the right thing.

[ Parent ]
Next time we're on your coast, by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #46 Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 06:46:34 AM EST
I'll drop him off so he can humiliate your friend.

Seeing the mild weather you're having and comparing it to the bitter weather here, makes me wonder if I made the right choice when I migrated left.

Funny to think that when you were doused by the boy, we didn't know what his deal was. He was only perplexing then.

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.

[ Parent ]
I though he was charming. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 2) #51 Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 02:12:33 PM EST
Though he did show affection for Gizmo, the most clearly autistic of all the Teen Titan villians.

[ Parent ]
Question about the OT/Diagnosis or lack thereof! by Lady Jane (4.00 / 2) #48 Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 09:50:05 AM EST
Is this a school or private Occupational Therapist?  The reason I ask is that you typically can not rely on the school system to provide the best resources for your child when it comes to their mental/behavioral health.  They do the best they can, with their severely limited budgets, however schools typically try to avoid paying for accommodation/therapy when possible.  (Some schools are great, but most are restricted by budget.) 

If Autism or something in this spectrum is suspected, I don't think the OT can diagnosis this!  I would have your pediatrician recommend a diagnostic clinic, in which your son will be evaluated (typically) by an OT, Speech Therapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, and perhaps Audiologist.  This sounds like a lot, but usually only takes a few hours, and then the team gets together to compare notes.  (Unfortunately the report takes like a month, but they usually give you a preliminary impression.)  If he doesn't have a solid diagnosis yet, I would really recommend this route.  Not going through the school system.  Having a diagnosis, if one exists, will be crucial in getting him all the necessary help.  In certain states a diagnosis of Autism will qualify him for some exceptional services. 

Aside from having 3 special needs nephews, I've worked in the mental/behavioral health field for a few years, so let me know if I can be of any assistance!

-----------------------------------------
"Buttons aren't toys" -- Trillian

[ Parent ]
OT has submitted her report. by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #50 Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 11:31:14 AM EST
It's just way over my head. Her report is based on Sensory Integration testing she did in December. She did at least 3 hours of testing and plans on having more testing (auditory, visual, etc.)

My son's pediatrician hasn't impressed me through this process at all. He's brushed off my questions - probably because he handles way too many children.

My son's school has been extremely helpful and accommodating. He'll be taking the exceptional student testing at the end of the month. We all expect that he'll be in accelerated classes soon.

Thanks

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.

[ Parent ]
probably autistic | 53 comments (53 topical, 1 hidden) | Trackback