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AwakeningAspergian
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05 Jan 2013, 10:10 pm

Most forms of autism are usually diagnosed at age three or four. Do you guys think this is a good age? Do you think that the earlier the better? Or do you think that diagnosis should wait?

Personally, I vouch for option three. I believe that a child's brain isn't developed enough to clearly display their disorder, and if it isn't clearly displayed, how accurate is the diagnosis? In my opinion, autism testing should wait until the child is about eight to ten years old, around the time they hit puberty.

Keep in mind, this is for mild- to high-functioning autism. For severe cases, it will be obvious in a child and it should be treated immediately.

Please don't hate, if you dislike my opinion, keep it civil.



raisedbyignorance
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05 Jan 2013, 10:21 pm

I'd wait until the child is in school but BEFORE middle school. School is usually the ultimate environment where a person's social skills are truly defined. If you wait till middle school it will create a lot of problems emotionally for the child. I say give it some time and gather inquiry from others as to how your child is behaving and doing in a socially demanding environment.



hblu1992
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05 Jan 2013, 10:32 pm

For regular AS? kindergarten around age five.For Classic Autism,; probably as soon as possible.



Marcia
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05 Jan 2013, 10:36 pm

My son was 7 years old when he was diagnosed with Asperger's, and he was at the start of his second year in Primary School when the school raised concerns with me, primarily about his tendency to bang his head against hard surfaces, such as brick walls.

He was always different from his peers, but as he grew older his differences became more apparent, to him as well as to others.

I would say it's uncommon where I live, in Scotland, for children to be diagnosed with Asperger's before they start school, and I know of some who weren't referred for assessment until they were 8 or older. In many ways, particularly his stimming, my son is very obviously autistic, so he was diagnosed at a relatively young age. The wait for assessment was 14 months - he was referred by the paediatrician when he was almost 6 years old.

My son himself knew that he was different and said that it was a relief to know why.



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06 Jan 2013, 2:38 am

As soon as possible. The earlier kids can start getting help, the fewer problems they'll have once they start school.


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Curiotical
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06 Jan 2013, 6:54 am

Three or four? I would think that that applies more to Lower-Functioning people. Generally, it tends to take longer for the High-Functioning. I've been told that my diagnosis at the age of five was rare.


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06 Jan 2013, 7:20 am

[quote="WardenWolf"]As soon as possible. The earlier kids can start getting help, the fewer problems they'll have once they start school.[/quote]

This.



Tuttle
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06 Jan 2013, 3:11 pm

My parents spent the time that I was in elementary school fighting with the school trying to recognize that there was something unusual with me. They knew something was abnormal with me noticeably before it was actually recognized by anyone else.

Why would you delay a diagnosis? All you are doing is delaying help.



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06 Jan 2013, 5:10 pm

I think diagnosis is necessary as early as possible. It won't always be of benefit, but I think the likelihood of beneficial outcomes increases.



Kalika
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08 Jan 2013, 5:23 pm

I have to agree that the best time for a diagnosis is around the beginning of puberty. Saying this because going by my personal experience, that was when it became more obvious that I was "different" from other kids my age, and if AS had been known about back then, I might have been diagnosed/gotten the help I needed.



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10 Jan 2013, 10:58 pm

WardenWolf wrote:
As soon as possible. The earlier kids can start getting help, the fewer problems they'll have once they start school.
This it's hard to imagine this even being an honest question.

I think the better question is when should the child be told why they are different. I think this might be slightly more complicated.

I personally, as a partial autistic, would probably of been harmed if I were told to young, I wouldn't of bothered to learn many of the things I did. Or atleast that's how I feel.



peterd
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12 Jan 2013, 2:40 am

If you've parents willing and able to do what they can, then the earlier the better. Two's not a bad age to start. Usually, of course, there's a parent with some variant of the condition, but you might be lucky.



DanDaMan
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13 Jan 2013, 2:43 pm

I would say the earlier the better

I was diagnosed with Aspergers at 26 and was and still am quite angry it took that long and often think if it was picked up earlier would things be different now



DevilKisses
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13 Jan 2013, 7:31 pm

I was diagnosed at four. Even before I was told about my diagnosis I could tell that the adults were treating me differently. They didn't give me as much freedom as my peers. Even people in younger grades than me got more freedom. Just when I was starting to make friends in elementary school my mom told my classmates about my diagnosis. After that I lost a lot of friends and I got bullied a lot more.
While it is important to diagnose kids early, I think it should be done with caution. I think kids who are diagnosed should have the same freedoms that typical kids have. I also think that it should be completely up to the kid whether other students know about their diagnosis.


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BornThisWay
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13 Jan 2013, 8:18 pm

Devil Kisses...your post brings up an important aspect in the development of atypical children. Once they are labeled and categorized, the main thrust of their education in most schools seems to focus on ways to make them become more 'normal' - often at the expense of any positive traits that their autism endows. The restrictions on peculiar but relatively harmless interests and behaviors that are deemed inappropriate, the forced eye contact and other socialization 'skills' practice and the lack of freedom that you cite are all reasons that I am incredibly grateful that when I was a child there was no HFA or Asperger's dx. The lack of sensitivity displayed by a poorly educated school staff when it becomes known that a child has a dx can be appalling and as much a crippling burden to the child as their inborn struggle to develop and communicate.

I was definitely a difficult and exasperating child, but I was allowed to go my own way enough of the time - and it helped! I screwed up a lot socially, but I learned from my mistakes...I was fortunate to come from an lovingly eccentric and 'different' family and had great advice from my father ( I'm certain that he was on the spectrum). I had to learn to forge my own emotional armor and develop the necessary survival skills - and while the bullying was awful and the humiliation ran deep, I can say without a doubt that not being diagnosed was fine for me. I cringe to think of the 'treatment' I would have endured had I been diagnosed. I've seen kids who are HFA or Aspies being almost tortured by the system's clumsy attempts to 'help' them...and parents who regretted ever letting their children be diagnosed at all.

I'm not talking about kids who are hurting themselves physically, or in a painful meltdown state most of the time, are totally non-verbal or 'lost',and who struggle deeply to communicate. I'm not referring to the timely dx of kids who really need assistance. I'm talking about the proliferation of diagnosing milder AS forms as a disorder, and this being used to boost a schools rating for $$$ and resources. All these burgeoning offers of 'help', whilst simultaneously upping a lockstep fascist approach to a test results driven education is destructive to our society as a whole. I've seen schools loudly proclaim a zero tolerance for bullying while they bully and prod an independently creative and odd spectrumite child into conforming with an externally driven agenda. Not every Aspie or HFA needs an IEP. Sometimes they just need a little advice, compassion, understanding and respect.

If a school or parent recognizes that a child is seriously different and needs testing for a dx, then the matter should be kept confidential and handled with the utmost care towards helping the child optimize his strengths rather than focusing on eradicating his oddness and insisting on conformity. So,at what age should a kid receive a dx? IMO, as late as possible without imperiling his or her growth and development. Of course, for some severely affected children, this could be pre-school age, while for others it might not be until the middle or even later grades...perhaps not even until adulthood, when he or she takes a test online or in a psych class. I'm considering that counseling and joining fora like WP can help them then gain a measure of self understanding and acceptance.



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14 Jan 2013, 11:49 am

My son was diagnosed at 7 and it was, basically, in the nick of time. Faster identification after he started school would have been nice, age 5 or 6, but that would have taken a super savvy set of eyes and at least he hadn't had to deal with too many years of frustration.


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