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Sophist
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07 Feb 2006, 8:23 pm

tk, Aphasic symptoms are very much a part of ASDs and might not be due, or completely due, to your son's CP. Although the Aphasia is usually more obvious in those with Autistic Disorder, especially when young.

Do you live in the UK or elsewhere in Europe? I wondered since you mentioned the doctor might change your son's dx over to AS from HFA if his speech improves enough. I know AS has a broader use outside of the US.

:arrow: If you're in the US, I'd recommend very much that you make sure his dx keeps to Autistic Disorder, High-Functioning, in just those words, in case he ever needs any services or aid. It's easier to get aid for Autistic Disorder than for Aspergers, even if the aid is only minimal.


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tkroach
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07 Feb 2006, 10:56 pm

I didn't know that aphasia is linked to ASDs. I'm glad you pointed that out because I've often wondered how the CP could affect his speech when he doesn't appear to have any facial paralysis. The hemiplegia is only obvious in his left arm and leg.

I live in south Texas, and my son's dr. just moved here from Philadelphia. Thanks for the advice on keeping his dx HFA. If it means he will get even slightly more help because of it, that's fine by me. I really appreciate you taking the time to share this info with me. I know I still have a lot to learn.

BTW, great avatar. I love the Black Adder series :)



renaeden
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08 Feb 2006, 6:59 am

I am 28 and HFA.
When I was younger and did not speak, most of the time it was because I CHOSE not to. It did not mean that I was retarded. Far from it. I guess that the teachers thought it was great because I was not noisy like most of the others in the class.
Also, I went to 7 different schools, so by the time the teachers would pick up that something was not quite right, I would be off to another school. Then at the new school, the teachers would think that I would just be having settling in troubles. Until it was almost time for me to move schools, that is. Then the whole process would start again.
I hope your son has the best reaction possible to the SSRI. They can work wonders, depending on which one they are. I am going well on Lexapro. Effexor is also an SSRI, but I had a really tough time with my pulse rate and blood pressure skyrocketing. I have also tried Lovan (Prozac) but nothing really happened.
I wish the best to you and your son.



tkroach
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08 Feb 2006, 3:20 pm

I can see how always changing schools would be really difficult, and I won't do that unless I see no other option. I think moving to a new school would be really traumatic for my son. He seems to have a really good comfort level rignt now with his teacher and classmates. I feel fortunate that the aide who is in his classroom has been with him for the past 3 years. Do you consider yourself to be very verbal now? Did you exhibit echolalic speech as a child? Sam is using it less frequently-mostly when he's stressed, angry, or trying to get out of doing his homework. He amazes me the way he can quote entire movie scenes. Then he'll clam up and pretend he can't hear me. Sometimes it seems like he's playing a game, but he won't tell me the rules :)

Having people think that my son is retarded because of his lack of speech/echolalia is something we have dealt with since he was very small. It's hard not to get angry at people who make those assumptions. For now, my son doesn't seem to notice the reactions of others towards him. I realize this may change as he gets older. Right now he not only doesn't seem to care what others think, he doesn't care if he's clean/dirty, dressed/naked....actually, he seems to prefer not wearing clothes, and he doesn't seem to feel the cold. He even prefers cold baths. I have had to force him out of the pool because his lips were blue! I've heard it's not the cold that makes one sick, so I guess I shouldn't worry.

I've heard a lot of good things about Lexapro. I hope we don't have to try too many SSRIs before hitting on the right one. My son's father takes Effexor, and I'll be sure to tell him of your experience as those are very bad side-effects you had.

Thanks so much for your kind words. Our best to you as well.



renaeden
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08 Feb 2006, 10:16 pm

I am glad that you can tell that moving schools would be hard for your son. There are a lot of parents out there that would think nothing of moving their child from one school to another.
I just asked my mother if I was echolalic as a child. She told me that I would repeat words that I liked the sound of, no matter what they were.
As Sam grows older, he'll be able to use his great memory to his advantage.
I can be very verbal, most of the time when I am, I am making quite an effort, mostly to be friendly. It does irritate Mum when I hear the phone ring and just let it keep ringing while ignoring it. I think this is because I have to change my train of thought to answer the phone and start talking, to me the change is drastic and takes a lot of effort. Heh, I hope this makes sense. :roll:
I don't think Sam is playing a game, it maybe just his way of dealing with different things. One thing I should say here, is that all of us autistics are different, so what I am telling you could be wrong, I am guessing and telling you how it is for me, and how it used to be.
I remember going about with just underwear on when I was younger, it was the most comfortable way to be, the least chafing! As I got older, however, it was not socially acceptable, it took me a long time to come to terms with that. :)
I hope some of this that I have written helps, feel free to ask more, I don't mind answering your interesting questions.
from renaeden.



tkroach
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09 Feb 2006, 2:43 pm

renaeden, not wanting to answer the phone makes perfect sense to me. It drives my family and friends insane because I rarely answer the phone. Sometimes I don't feel like talking or I'm in the middle of something and I don't want to be distracted. That's why I love email.

Yes, I thought Sam's playing deaf to be a coping mechanism, but there are times when he does it and he'll glance at me with the most devilish grin on his face that I think the little stinker is using silence as a form of manipulation. He's more clever that way than some give him credit for.

That's interesting you picked certain words to repeat as a child. As you said, you're all different. However, the more posts I read, the more I see a lot of similarities. There are definitely differences, but sometimes they are subtle. Sam's dr. said that having great memories makes AS/HFA kids good candidates for drama class. I just can't picture him doing that, although he can act very dramatically here at home sometimes.

I'm glad to know that Sam is not the only one with the alter-ego of "Underwear Boy" as he calls it :) It is something I will have to address as he gets older. He has even stripped-down when we go visit other peoples' houses, and I'm constantly having to remind him to shut the door when he's in the bathroom :roll:

I know his being oblivious to cold temps is a sensory issue. Have you heard of anyone else being this way, or maybe having a similar issue? I know him having a meltdown during haircuts is also fairly common. I've almost given up on cutting his hair as he acts like it's akin to being tortured, and to him it probably is from what I understand.

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. Besides help with parenting, insight into how my son thinks and feels is also what I am looking for here at WP.



renaeden
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11 Feb 2006, 5:46 am

Heh, what you said about having haircuts has brought back so many memories for me!
Haircuts = torture to me. Right now my hair is growing over my eyes, Mum is begging me to cut it, even if I do it myself.
At the hairdressers', they always manage to touch the funny nerve near my ear that sends me into meltdown-mode. 8O
I do like the smell when I am there, though.



tkroach
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11 Feb 2006, 11:31 am

It's the same with Sam. If you get near his ears...watch out! And forget about even having an electric razor anywhere near him (or a blender, vacuum, lawnmower...you know what I mean). The sound of electrical appliances sends him into orbit. He has recently allowed his teacher to snip his hair a little, so at least it's shorter than his sister's :). At least you found something to enjoy at the barber's, Sam starts freaking out as soon as we walk in the door, so we just don't go anymore.



Sophist
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11 Feb 2006, 2:55 pm

tkroach wrote:
I didn't know that aphasia is linked to ASDs. I'm glad you pointed that out because I've often wondered how the CP could affect his speech when he doesn't appear to have any facial paralysis. The hemiplegia is only obvious in his left arm and leg.

I live in south Texas, and my son's dr. just moved here from Philadelphia. Thanks for the advice on keeping his dx HFA. If it means he will get even slightly more help because of it, that's fine by me. I really appreciate you taking the time to share this info with me. I know I still have a lot to learn.

BTW, great avatar. I love the Black Adder series :)


Well, it's not really linked per se. It's part of the Spectrum, kind of an "understood" component. Sort of like Obsessive-Compulsive traits are part and parcel of it, too, but aren't diagnosed unless it reaches the level of OCD. And there's a range of the Aphasias within the Spectrum, because Aphasia essentially encompasses any abnormality in the written or verbal expressive or receptive speech processes (speaking, reading, writing, listening). For example, Dyslexia is an Aphasia though many people don't know this.

Usually Aphasia improves during the person's lifetime because the brain is so malleable at such young ages. I, myself, have AS and have some Aphasic symptoms mostly of naming things, finding the right words, grabbing the wrong words or putting one noun in the position of another (like placing grammatically the direct object in the place of the subject), or just initiating speech in the first place. I also stutter and I suppose if one thinks about it, it could be considered an Aphasia but I don't know if they consider it part of the Aphasias. And a vast majority of others on this site alone have described similar symptoms (I've begun several threads or taken some threads over with the subject of Aphasia).

If you say it to the doctors, they might look at you strangely since most don't think of Aphasia as part of the Autistic Spectrum because it isn't due to a stroke or some other form of later life brain damage, which is who most of the Aphasic research is done on. But Aphasia, technically, includes anything involving a disruption in the language process, verbal or written, and it's the end result and not the cause.

If you talk to a neurologist, they might be less inclined to look at you strangely. But be rest assured, there's PLENTY of Aphasic symptoms in the Autistic Spectrum which are part and parcel of the disorders and each person usually has them to varying degrees.


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My partner's autism science blog, Cortical Chauvinism - http://corticalchauvinism.wordpress.com/


tkroach
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11 Feb 2006, 6:59 pm

Sophist, thanks for the aphasia information. You're right about it most commonly being linked to strokes. Anytime I have looked for imformation on aphasia, all I can find is how it is related to stroke victims. And although Sam did have a mild stroke around the time of his birth (not sure exactly when), the CAT scans have shown that the "insult" is on the right side of his brain. I rememer his first speech pathologist being perplexed as to why he even had a speech problem because the speech centers are typically on the left side.

Also, Sam doesn't speak like someone who has had a stroke. He can clearly articulate words...up to a point. Usually in the middle, or near the end of a sentence he'll start to mumble. He also has the sing-song way of talking that is sometimes seen in HFA, and his speech sometimes sounds like he's talking with something in his mouth. On the flip side of this, he is a First Grader reading at a Second Grade level. And he reads quickly--road signs, tv commercials.

Sam has a neurologist, but he hasn't seen him since the HFA diagnosis. I've never had a really in depth discussion with him re: Sam's speech. His main concern has always been with Sam's muscle spasticity. I will have a talk with him about Sam's aphasia at his next appt.

I'm a bit stressed right now because Sam's ABLE classroom teacher called me on Fri. about the ARD we'll be having this Thurs. and told me that the Principal had approached her and asked why the Spec. Ed. people would want to put Sam exclusively in a regular classroom. She was upset enough to call and tell me that this is something I might get ambushed with on Thurs. This really makes me angry because just last week, she and I specifically told them that Sam was not ready to be mainstreamed. He was only just moved out of Life Skills into the ABLE class last Fall! I can't help but think that they are purposely making this difficult because I went outside the school for a dx which turned out to be different from theirs. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt, but at least I'll know to be on my guard come Thurs.

Thanks again.