My nephew is autistic-should I tell his dad?

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Red75
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09 Feb 2009, 10:43 am

I have a 5 year old son who is autistic, on the HF end, maybe Aspergers. He has dx of PDD-NOS.

My brother's son is 9 years old, and I've been pretty sure that he is also on the Spectrum since I learned about it through my own parenting experiences. He flaps, has flat affect, poor eye contact, goes on and on about his obsessions (super-hero comics, cartoons). He is on medication now for ADD. He was also a late talker.

Yesterday when we were at there house he came down stairs and said, "Can I have new sheets for my bed? Ryan's (my 3 year old) snot is all over my bed."

That's because Ry was upstairs crying in his bed! Instead of telling us that Ryan was upset, he was focused on the sheets on his bed...this is very autistic-minded (can't see the forest for the trees).

My question is this--should I tell my brother that I think his son is on the Spectrum, or just Mind My Own Business? What are the benefits either way? Would you want someone to tell you?

I really appreciate any feedback!

-Red



Detren
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09 Feb 2009, 11:36 am

I think I would bring it up. How you phrase it is going to be crucial.

As long as you keep the child's best interest at heart and they know that you DO have the child's best interest foremost in your mind it should go more smoothly.

Find literature from reputable sources (sources you know THEY would find reputable) and let them peruse them at their own time if it's a touchy subject. After that, I would let them bring it up next, if you never hear about it again from them just know that you let them know and you gave them literature with the pertinent information in it.

Later, if nothing is done, and you have a decent relationship with your nephew the topic might come up directly with him and answer questions he's always had.



ster
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09 Feb 2009, 1:01 pm

i think alot depends upon your relationship with your brother- does he take your advice usually ?
if you think you have a good chance that he'll listen, then try to make "I statements"........this means saying things like: " my son does A. I have noticed your son does A also. have you ever noticed that ?"



Dark_Red_Beloved
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09 Feb 2009, 1:28 pm

PDD-NOS is in the neighborhood with autism under the pervasive developmental disorder umbrella in the DSM. When your brother starts looking around for things to help his son, you could point him to that general area and let him connect the dots for himself.

http://www.firstsigns.org/screening/DSM4.htm



DW_a_mom
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09 Feb 2009, 2:00 pm

Actually, I would say my 8 year old NT daughter would have focused on the sheets as well :) Kids are, by nature, self-centered. Just FYI. But it's a cute story :)

I guess my question is this: is your nephew experiencing any issues that make you think he could benefit from having a diagnosis? Is he doing well in school, is he happy, does he have a positive relationship with his family, etc.? Knowing, by itself, isn't everything; it's what the knowing GETS you that matters, IMHO. Services in school, accommodations, a key to understanding a child that may have had a parent otherwise mystified.

If your child has a diagnosis, odds are that your brother has given some thought, even if very lightly, to whether or not his own child could be on the spectrum. Whether or not he would share those thoughts or do anything with them would depend, most likely, on a variety of factors.

If you do decide to bring it up, start from the assumption that he is likely to have considered it already, and ask questions first.


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irishwhistle
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09 Feb 2009, 3:51 pm

He might be receptive, seeing as how the kid is already known to have issues. If the medication is helping though, odds are that he does at least have ADD. But they might be interested to consider it.


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12 Feb 2009, 2:48 pm

From what I remember of reading the DSM PDD-NOS is considered an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The main difference between PDD-NOS and Aspergers is only that PDD-NOS onset is after the age of 3. So basically its the same thing so your brother probably already knows what's wrong with his son.

I'd be careful though telling anyone there loved one has Aspergers as sometimes that's like unloading a bombshell and will blow up in your face. If the kids already got an IEP and getting counseling, or an OT or some kinda help with social issues then that's about all he needs and having a AS diagnosis probably wouldn't get him anymore services.

Just hold tight when the new DSM V comes out the whole spectrum is going to be reclassified or restructured which may actually require getting rediagnosed.



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12 Feb 2009, 5:45 pm

PDD-NOS is NOT onset after age 3. No autism spectrum disorders have onset after age 3. You must be thinking of something else.