My son was officially diagnosed today.

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NathansMommy
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25 May 2010, 3:26 pm

Mild/Moderate Autism. I had thought Mild, more toward Aspergers, but the psychologist said at this point he is exhibiting more signs of classic Autism. Nathan is 3 Years 11 Months old right now. According to her assessment, his vocabulary/general language skills are at 4 Years 3 Months, but his comprehension of language is only at 1 Year 1 Month. He also has a social deficit, but it isn't as severe as we had originally thought. She also said that he appears to have very high (above average) intelligence, but she could not get a difinitive IQ score because Nathan doesn't do anything he doesn't want to, and he doesn't like to follow directions! So, there it is. I now have to contact the speech therapist so we can start working on his deficites in language comprehension. We will continue seeing the psychologist (I really like her) and I need to reevaluate how I punish Nathan because I am starting to realize (now especially) that it probably isn't helping much to scream at him and be mean to him when he misbehaves; I need to let up on him. I kind of want to cry right now, not because of the diagnosis, but because I'm wondering if all those time I screamed and him or swatted him for being bad, he had absolutely no idea why I was doing it. I never beat or abused him, but I still feel bad and I don't want to keep going about things that way. It obviously hasn't done any good and hasn't changed the bad behaviors. I can't change what I have done, but I will definitely, honestly change now. So, there you have it...



Kiley
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25 May 2010, 3:33 pm

I kind of want to say Congratulations on the diagnosis but that seems a little weird as you aren't feeling celebratory. I'm sure it's a relief to be out of limbo and know where he stands, where his strengths and weaknesses are and to be able to start changing things to be better for him.

I do recommend the 123 Magic book. It's a goofy title but a great book. It's a very simple non emotional discipine system and is commonly used in schools (the consistancy is really good for kids). It was first developed for classroom teachers trying to cope with kids with ADHD, and is often really good for kids in the spectrum as well, though you might have to make modifications based on your son's abilities and deficits. He might not be able to understand what a time out is yet. :) My eldest, who has AS and some other stuff, sure couldn't at that age.

Kids are resiliant I'm sure he'll appreciate any positive changes in your parenting and won't be overly damaged by a bit too much yelling in the past.



NathansMommy
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25 May 2010, 3:54 pm

I will look into getting that book. I'm up for any disciplinary tips. And I doubt I have ever done anything that would scar him emotionally for life or anything like that when it comes to discipline, but I hate to think that there have been times that I screamed at him and scared the heck out of him or made him cry and he honestly had no idea why mommy was doing that. I am very greatful for the diagnosis because now I can get him into the therapies he needs. I'm not sulking or anything like, but when the psychologist said that his understanding/cmprehension was so low, that was the first thing I thought of. this whole diagnosis process has went on far to long (we first went to an early intervention program over a year ago and are just getting a diagnosis now), so I am very happy that the daignosis is here and we can move forward.



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25 May 2010, 4:01 pm

I think every parent knows that feeling. It's even worse when you find youself *still* doing things that you know aren't helpful in the long run. But the simple truth is we are only human, and parenting is stressful. Nobody does everything perfectly with their kids, so cut yourself a little slack. At least you are able to see and learn from your mistakes.


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DW_a_mom
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25 May 2010, 5:16 pm

I still have moments I look back on and wish I had known more, and had handled differently. It is inevitable. You have the information now, so keep your focus forward.


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liloleme
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25 May 2010, 11:31 pm

I dont think there is a parent alive who hasnt screamed at their kids! Its the toughest job in the world to be a parent and you are a single mom right? .....that makes it even more difficult. At least now you know and you are prepared and ready to make an effort to be understanding. I know how hard it is, I had to raise my first three basically by myself. I remember sometimes looking at them while they slept and any frustration I had would just leave me.
I used the 123 magic thing with my first three....The one place it worked the best was in the car. My kids would fight in the car and make me crazy so I would give them the warnings and then I would pull over to the side of the road or in a parking lot and just sit there and ignore them and act like I was perfectly happy. Eventually they would be begging me to go and there would be no more fighting.....MAGIC :lol:



NathansMommy
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26 May 2010, 1:19 pm

I have a boyfriend who is very much involved with my son and he helps a lot, bowever he is not the biological father and we do not live together. My son's "real dad" only lives 2 and a half hours away, but he very rarely takes the time to see him and it has been about 4 months since their last visit. He is no help what so ever. Basically, unless i'm at my boyfriend's house or he is over visiting me, I am a single mom. Weekends especially. And it is very hard to do it by myself. Rewarding, yes, but hard. I went online earlier this morning to look for that 1 2 3 Magic book and found the entire series as well as DVDs. I will look over them in more detail later and will probably get the first book (the original, i'm assuming). I need to try something because my son's behavior is not good at the moment. I like to believe he is the cutest, sweetest, most fun child in the world, but I also strongly believe he could very well be the most defiant and difficult at times. I need to try something new because nothing has worked up to this point.



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26 May 2010, 1:26 pm

I guess if it makes it better, he's only 3 and probably will not remember any of your correction of his behavior.

But you are very fortunate. I guess the 00's-10+ are the years of autism awareness. I wasn't diagnosed until 2005, and told in 2008. His life is ahead of him, and in school he will get the help he needs. You know his problem and you can accommodate. :)


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Kiley
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26 May 2010, 1:26 pm

liloleme wrote:
I dont think there is a parent alive who hasnt screamed at their kids! Its the toughest job in the world to be a parent and you are a single mom right? .....that makes it even more difficult. At least now you know and you are prepared and ready to make an effort to be understanding. I know how hard it is, I had to raise my first three basically by myself. I remember sometimes looking at them while they slept and any frustration I had would just leave me.
I used the 123 magic thing with my first three....The one place it worked the best was in the car. My kids would fight in the car and make me crazy so I would give them the warnings and then I would pull over to the side of the road or in a parking lot and just sit there and ignore them and act like I was perfectly happy. Eventually they would be begging me to go and there would be no more fighting.....MAGIC :lol:


Oooo, I like it!



Kiley
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26 May 2010, 1:31 pm

NM,

He could also be overstimulated at times and needs to find a stim that works for him. Mine was very manic, and still is. In fact it's developed into some pretty serious mood disorders (not that your child will do that, it's pretty normal for a 3yo). He might need some time outs where he is somewhere safe and quiet. I know that "crying it out" is generally a bad thing, but there were times my eldest had to do that. He'd get quite hysterical and touching him or talking to him would only make it worse. I'd put him in his crib and tell him I loved him and was giving him time to relax and calm down. I'd let him have comforting objects because that was the only thing that seemed to help. He's still like that and carries a whole bunch of stuff with him everywhere he goes. I hated doing it, but for him it was the best way to get calm. His younger brother wasn't like that at all. He was the quietest happiest little baby. He also has AS.



NathansMommy
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26 May 2010, 1:49 pm

Kiley, Nathan is actually fairly quite and super happy, too, but when he gets mad or throws a fit, it is almost unbearable. I think the reason I get so mad is because one of his favorite things to do that always includes a fit is the "I want it, I don't want it" game, and he does it a lot when I am driving. He will ask for a toy, like his Spongebob laptop or Leap Frog hand held game system. I try to give it to him and he will start kicking and saying "No, no! I don't want it!" So I take it away and he will start screaming and crying "I want it. I want it". So I will give him a second chance and he will do it again. After that, I refuse to attempt to give him the toy at which point he goes in to an uncontrollable fit. When he gets mad, he throws things at me if he can't get close enough to physically hit me, like from his carseat. He has thrown expensive toys, books, my ipod touch (which made me SO mad) and even open cans of soda when he gets mad. It infuriates me at times, and I blow up.

For a while, we decided no more spanking, no more yelling and did time outs. They seemed to work for a while, but after a period of time, he would do something bad and immediately say "Go stand in the corner" or "You're goign to time out" and put himself in time out. It's like he got over the initail anger of having to sit in time out and got used to it, like it didn't bother him anymore. I think I may want to try time out again. I guess it doesn't matter if he gets used to time out and it doesn't "bother" him anymore, so long as he is able to calm himself doan and behave. I will do everything I can to get him the therapies he needs to develop better communication and social skills, but the discipline aspect is all up to me. Hopefully in time his behavior will get better and it won't cause such a severe frustration as it does now.



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26 May 2010, 1:53 pm

I'm sorry that that happens. Raising a child with Aspergers is hard. But just remember that you are human, and you are allowed to feel mad and get mad. Don't think that that makes you a bad person.

You are braver than me, and I respect you a lot. Your child is fortunate to have such a lovely parent who wants to help him. I wish mine were the same. :)


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27 May 2010, 3:45 am

Hi there,

Welcome to Wrong Planet. :) I'm quite new here myself, my 5-year-old daughter was just diagnosed with autism 2 weeks ago. Before that, she'd just been labelled as having developmental delays. I had to take her to few different specialists before she was finally diagnosed with autism by one of the top ASD specialists in my city.
My daughter is severely delayed with receptive language as well. That tends to be one of the hallmark features of ASD.
I remember times in the past when I got overly mad at my daughter because of naughty things she'd done. I cringe a bit thinking about it now but at the same time I tell myself that I didn't know back then that she had ASD. Don't sweat past mistakes. Now you know why your son is the way he is and you're trying to find more effective discipline methods with him, which is commendable. :)
Dr Phil (from TV) once emphasized that parenting has to be a guilt-free zone. Repeat that to yourself like a mantra! No point in rueing on the past; spend your energies on focusing on the present and future. :)



nostromo
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27 May 2010, 4:33 am

NathansMommy wrote:
Mild/Moderate Autism. I had thought Mild, more toward Aspergers, but the psychologist said at this point he is exhibiting more signs of classic Autism. Nathan is 3 Years 11 Months old right now. According to her assessment, his vocabulary/general language skills are at 4 Years 3 Months, but his comprehension of language is only at 1 Year 1 Month. He also has a social deficit, but it isn't as severe as we had originally thought. She also said that he appears to have very high (above average) intelligence, but she could not get a difinitive IQ score because Nathan doesn't do anything he doesn't want to, and he doesn't like to follow directions! So, there it is. I now have to contact the speech therapist so we can start working on his deficites in language comprehension. We will continue seeing the psychologist (I really like her) and I need to reevaluate how I punish Nathan because I am starting to realize (now especially) that it probably isn't helping much to scream at him and be mean to him when he misbehaves; I need to let up on him. I kind of want to cry right now, not because of the diagnosis, but because I'm wondering if all those time I screamed and him or swatted him for being bad, he had absolutely no idea why I was doing it. I never beat or abused him, but I still feel bad and I don't want to keep going about things that way. It obviously hasn't done any good and hasn't changed the bad behaviors. I can't change what I have done, but I will definitely, honestly change now. So, there you have it...

Great insightful post on your own behaviour. Interesting I just posted very similar thoughts about myself in this other thread http://www.wrongplanet.net/postxf126999-0-15.html
I had the same thing going on. Without an understanding for the childs behaviour we tend to just think they are naughty, and like you I used to yell and blow my top (not that that's any use to anyone - even if the child is being naughty!).
I just don't do that anymore, I just gave it up like that once I really understood, and it took a while to get there, but I remember exactly when and where I simply gave up being angry, and it was a look on my daughters face that finally put the piece of the puzzle in place. Life is sooo much better now. But yeah I feel guilty too, but I use that feeling to remind me and as motivation to do better!