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small, furry, loud, dangerous

bahamut's Avatar Picture bahamut – November 15, 2008 09:46AM Reply Quote
a thread about our spawn.

ARL (Moderator) – September 07, 2016 10:25PM Reply Quote

Autism spectrum disorder... (Apparently saying aspergers is old hat)

My daughter is supposedly on the spectrum (or at least she officially is as of yesterday).

My daughter certainly has some quirks and problems but I'm not sure if I'm ready to accept that her new diagnosis is as accurate as it is convenient.

My daughter isn't great at reading social cues (talks over the top of people and tries to dominate conversations) and has difficulty dealing with change and unexpected disappointments. One on one and in small groups she seems to be fine, but in larger classrooms her focus and organisational skills are terrible and she does chew up a fair bit of the teacher's time. Sometimes she will talk to you while looking at something else. Her "executive functioning" needs room for improvement and she can be impulsive upon occasion. I think she has an underlying level of anxiety and some control issues because there's a lot of things going on in her life she has little control over (she's sometimes at my house, her mothers house, her grandmothers house, other people's house with no real consistency). As such in her social interactions she tries to be quite controlling to set things on her terms she can deal with. This sometimes does not go well with kids her own age.

Academically and intellectually she's around the average of her peers with no glaring deficiencies, although I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out she's at least mildly dyslexic (for eg. she keeps writing her 5s back to front). If allowed to, she can be a lazy student and easily distracted if she's doing anything that requires hard work or heavy concentration. She has been taking up more of her teacher's time than she should be.

I dug up a list of indicators and in my opinion there's only a few she definitely meets. This is unfortunately aimed at younger kids but I couldn't find one for kids aged say 5-8.

- looks away when you speak to him/her (sort of/sometimes - more like keeps looking at what she's doing, doesn't actively turn away)
- does not return your smile (no)
- lack of interest in other children (no)
- often seems to be in his/her own world (only when the TV is on)
- lack of ability to imitate simple motor movements eg. clapping hands (no)
- prefers to play alone (no - quite the opposite)
- very limited social play (no)
- not responding to his/her name by 12 months (no)
- not pointing or waving by 12 months (no)
- loss of words previously used (no)
- unusual language pattern (no)
- has unusual interests or attachments (no)
- has unusual motor movements such as hand flapping, spinning or walking on tiptoes (what? no more than any other 6-8 yo kid)
- has difficulty coping with change (yes)
- unusual distress reaction to some everyday sounds (no)
- uses peripheral vision to look at objects (no)
- preoccupation with certain textures or avoids certain textures (no)
- plays with objects in unusual ways such as repetitive spinning or lining up (no)

The school wants a diagnosis from a specialist so they can get extra funding/assistance so they're pushing quite hard for it. My ex-partner also qualifies for a payment (small but still an incentive) if my daughter has this diagnosis. Going through the checklist with the specialist yesterday I felt like there were numerous items given a yes (things like repetitive arrangement of objects, preoccupation/dislike of certain textures, distress with loud sounds, unusual language patterns) that should have been a no. At times it felt like a fishing expedition.

In fact, when I was reflecting on some of the issues on the checklist (socially awkward, talkative, impulsive etc etc) they could put me on the spectrum

My concerns are firstly that rather than a spectrum it's being treated like a scale ranging from "slightly to very" and any kid brought in is basically going to be placed on it. I think my daughter has some autism-like behaviours and some that are decidedly not. I'm concerned about the labelling and stigma this also may have - it may get some assistance right now but other schools and institutions may be quite discriminatory and unenlightened. Labels are hard to remove.

My daughter has some issues, I'm just not sure the diagnosis is the right one or has been arrived at for the right reasons.

ghidorah – September 07, 2016 10:51PM Reply Quote
Raise taxes on cavemen. --jw
WOOHOO--way late but congrats Remy!

ghidorah – September 07, 2016 10:56PM Reply Quote
Raise taxes on cavemen. --jw
not quite so horribly late--CONGRATS JK

ghidorah – September 07, 2016 11:16PM Reply Quote
Raise taxes on cavemen. --jw
Your daughter sounds alot like mine T. In grade school they tried to pigonehole her as adhd, but her mom and I were convinced this wasn't accurate. She had severe anxiety issues that were exacerbated by getting bored in class and daydreaming while she waited for the teacher to bring the other kids up to speed, yet she was singled out as the problem! Things went much better for her once she got placed in the Explorers (task-based, "gifted" program) and teachers allowed her to work at her own pace. Now she's in high school and fantastically excited about art as a career.

John Willoughby – September 07, 2016 11:35PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Yeah, I'm not convinced of the school's case, from what you've said. Can you afford a private diagnosis from child psychologist or other professional? Another opinion now wouldn't be disruptive and, as a parent, I would worry about my child getting labeled so young. It could also be a real burden on her as she grows older and has teachers and others repeating the "autism spectrum" thing to her. It's hard enough to grow up without needless obstacles being thrown in one's path.

ARL (Moderator) – September 08, 2016 01:57AM Reply Quote
Yeah, I'm thinking I want a second opinion. If she must be labelled something (I'd of course prefer none), I want it to be accurate.

Having a disability has as many social ramifications as the mental/physical/medical ones. And none of them are in a good way.

That said, for whatever reason she is currently struggling at school and if this gets some constructive assistance that's at least something.

El Jeffe – September 08, 2016 04:11AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
I wish I had any/some pragmatic advice for ASD. Friend(ex-roomy) 4 of his 5 children are autistic. Two are unable to care for themselves.
Seek professional help. I know t/he/y did some chelation therapy when kids were young. Not sure if that helped. I've been researching that A LITTLE BIT, due to son being in Flint, Michigan now. And one treatment does seem able to do 'something' with heavy metals. (shrug... ). Being our house is at the terminus of the water pipe/line, I always wonder about water quality. And especially NOW that Flint has prompted me to look into it. Water quality is very bad/spotty and over time varies in USofA. I looked at reverse osmosis again today. Being that me AND my next door neighbor both got cancer in 30s and 40s, I always wonder about such things. (and Radon). But doesn't change that I must wake up and go to work.

My son SEEMS to have social issues. But not sure a diagnosis of any sort would help.

Do what you can do. Don't beat yourself up for what is out of your control.

ARL (Moderator) – September 08, 2016 04:22AM Reply Quote

I know t/he/y did some chelation therapy when kids were young. Not sure if that helped.

Helped lighten their wallet maybe. That's all that new-age woo is good for.

I don't buy into any of that "heavy metal", vaccine or any other tin-foil-hat pseudo-science regarding autism or similar disorders.

My daughter has a few behavioural issues that have been interpreted as borderline ASD mostly due to pressure from the school and possibly her mother. Convenience is the main "cause" of her diagnosis, nothing more.

El Jeffe – September 08, 2016 04:28AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
I have not been around my friends for 25 years. So, I can't say which medical tests, blood work might have pointed them to heavy metals. But recent google searches show me, at least, that lead in water here is a real thing, and on the surface there is some medicine that can help with heavy metals in the blood; in cell tissue, though, I am unclear. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/basics/treatment/con-20035487
I called it wrong. It's EDTA... I guess technically not chelation. But MAYO CLINIC cites it.
Chelation therapy. In this treatment, you take a medication that binds with the lead so that it's excreted in your urine.
EDTA therapy. Doctors treat adults with lead levels greater than 45 mcg/dL of blood with one or more of three drugs, most commonly a chemical called ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Depending on your lead level, you may need more than one treatment. In such severe cases, however, it may not be possible to reverse damage that has already occurred.

ARL (Moderator) – September 08, 2016 08:17AM Reply Quote
Sorry, I think we got our wires crossed there. Lead is most definitely bad for you if it gets in your system (it builds up and there's no such thing as as a "safe dose") Anyone around Flint Michigan with that contaminated water supply are right to be justifiably concerned.

For lead poisoning, if done properly and carefully (ie not by a "alternative" practitioner using unapproved substances) chelation can treat that but it's not to be done lightly as there can be nasty side effects up to and including death.

I would never try it as a treatment for autism as it won't do any good and is likely to cause harm, especially if it's alternative practitioners peddling woo products.

Hope that clarifies thing So!

Mokers (Moderator) – September 08, 2016 11:28AM Reply Quote
Formerly Remy Martin

It's a tough situation. I think there is a lot of good in early identification and prevention because getting people identified early and treated early often helps. However, like you said, it is a spectrum. Some kids are like Ghidora's and are really just bored and need a more open type of learning environment but is otherwise fine, others are like Jeffe's friend who may never really be able to take care of themselves. I think you hit the nail on the head that the tests often can't capture other environmental things that are going on that may affect a diagnosis. Children also just develop so much differently. If you can see a specialist for a second opinion I think that would be great, but also don't think that such a diagnosis consigns your daughter to a certain track in life. I think the biggest thing would be what the school is going to do with the extra funds. If they are just going to throw her in a room and let her run around all day or if they want some help with the primary teacher and keeping her in her classes with her peers. As long as they aren't just saying "you're on the spectrum, you go here" I think you are OK.

I see people in my twin parents group already getting their kids tested at like 18 months. It seems silly to me because development varies and some things that are warning signs (I laughed at the "hand flapping, spinning or walking on tiptoes") can often be part of normal behavior, but I think knowing that they might get extra help or attention for their child is comforting and I can see why they have concerns.

El Jeffe – September 08, 2016 06:51PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
I never meant to tie stuff like lead, etc directly to autism. Again, I have no clue on the events and logic about my friend. I could imagine they ran some tests, and he identified lead somehow.
He's a health, NUT, by the way. A former winning "MR. _____ University" at TWO schools, non-steroid user. Also a published author on Amazon and his book/s is used in some courses at some college/s. I'd have to pull up notes.
So, one thing might not be linked to another. I never knew hi to do anything to harm his body. Never saw him take any medicines or drink alcohol or smoke. Can't imagine he'd do anything he had not thought out, to 4 of his 5 children.

John Willoughby – September 22, 2016 12:51PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
This technically comports with the thread's title:

Our Bichon Frise vanished Tuesday evening, missing dinner time (her High Holy Hour), and after three hours of tearing the house apart and hiking for miles through our neighborhood, calling and whistling, she was discovered at midnight sitting at the top of the stairs, wagging her tail. We have no idea where she could have been hiding. I suspect sorcery. Everybody in the family (except the dog) was deeply traumatized by the incident. Damned dog. The frustrating thing is that, because we didn't find her hiding place, she'll probably do this again.

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a dog who wasn't there.
She wasn't there again today,
I wish she would not go away.

Cloudscout – September 24, 2016 10:04AM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
Glad she reappeared. My Maltese (who everybody thinks is a Bichon) disappeared on Wednesday afternoon. He has never done that before. He managed to find a spot where he could squeeze underneath the fence. I was going nuts trying to find him. About 20 minutes into my search around the neighborhood, a woman several blocks away called my cellphone to say that she found him.

So glad I keep tags on his collar with contact info.

johnny k – September 24, 2016 10:28AM Reply Quote
I remember one cat we had crawled deep into an HVAC vent and wouldn't come out except on her own time two days later.

This week, the deaf couple next door lost their 3-year-old human at 6 in the morning. Rustling in the bushes woke my wife up. Cops found him a few blocks away.

John Willoughby – September 24, 2016 04:11PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Our big danger around here is coyotes and raccoons, both of which have killed cats and small dogs. Very rarely, bears or cougars, but the nearest reliable sighting of one of those has been a mile away.

We had neighbors down the street who let their small dog out to go to the bathroom at night. She ran across the street into the bushes, the bushes shook violently, and they never saw their dog again. No idea what took her.

We were very worried for our dog, and the little jerk was at home all along.

Cloudscout – September 24, 2016 07:55PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
My dad lost his Yorkie to an Eagle.

ARL (Moderator) – September 24, 2016 08:41PM Reply Quote
In Australia it's usually snakes. We've lost several dogs to snakes (on one occasion we found the mauled snake next to the dead terrier).

John Willoughby – September 24, 2016 08:42PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Damn. It's a hard world for small dogs.

bahamut – September 25, 2016 12:28PM Reply Quote
Australia is just like that, from what I understand.


So my son's 11th is coming up Tuesday. I'd like to give him a pocket knife of some kind. I don't want it to be huge, but his interests are whittling and survival/setting fires (I know). Also, I'd like to get him a book that talked about survival, how to build forts, etc. Any thoughts?

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