Two aspies about to make a baby!

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knifegill
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30 Jul 2013, 7:13 am

We'll be parents in September and we both exhibit extremely obvious and numerous aspie traits. Any signs to watch for in our little buddy? Any other aspie parents have normal kids, or non-verbal offspring? We just don't know what to expect. Kind of a fun mystery, actually. Any help is appreciated.



momsparky
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30 Jul 2013, 8:19 am

That's what making a baby is about - mystery. Hang in there, read up but realize that all of the books are gross overgeneralizations so they may or may not help.

As for AS traits, our son is a carbon copy of my husband and myself (both undiagnosed, both certainly somewhere on the spectrum.) Where he did get all our disadvantages, he also got all our assets plus more. Of course, with genetics there is a huge amount of variation possible, so you could literally wind up with any kind of kid.

As for things to watch for, during the baby years, doctors really keep an eye on kids and developmental milestones, so normal visits to the pediatrician are all you need to do. Doctors are supposed to be screening for autism through preschool these days, so just ask about it when you get there.

Things to look for: not meeting the communication milestones - this is important, and if your child seems to be behind, it warrants having him or her looked at by your school system's early intervention team. All the other stuff can be compensated for by caring parents, at least for the time being - but speech and communication problems are best caught and addressed through intervention soon.

Once your child is in school, you can take a breath and see how he or she does. If you've got concerns, we're always here!

ETA - Congratulations! Parenting is a wild ride, but it can be a fun one! I, personally, love being a Mom.



ASDMommyASDKid
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30 Jul 2013, 8:22 am

Congrats! I am an aspie (informally, but unofficially diagnosed, if that matters) and my husband is ADHD with Aspie tendencies. My son is HFA, and his language issues are pragmatic. He has very poor social skills, and impulse control problems, but he is an awesome little guy. He is hyperlexic (loves letters, numbers, symbols and logos), was an early reader, is awesome in fluency but has reading comprehension issues. He is really good in math and science.

He had poor eye-contact as an infant and would stare at weird things instead of looking at us. He was really fussy and would cry a lot. He had trouble sleeping. He had sensory issues with noises and smells, and would alternately crave and be aversive to swing/car motion. Not sure how to answer such an open-ended question, other than the fact that they have diagnostic lists for little ones (I bet someone will post a link) but at the same time you should try not to think about this stuff too much. 9I know you said you are not worried, but just emphasizing it anyway) Enjoy your little one.



Willard
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30 Jul 2013, 11:36 am

AS is not always handed down in a direct succession. It is entirely possible your child may not have it at all.



TiredMom
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30 Jul 2013, 4:17 pm

Whether your child is an Aspie or not--congratulations! All children are a blessing.



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30 Jul 2013, 9:34 pm

Oh! Congrats! I LLLLLOOOOOOOOVVVVVEE babies...well, when they aren't mine! LOL Seriously, my two were enough for me.

I don't know if I would watch for or look for anything in particular. I think it's just best to be there for your kid. Be hands on. Love them. Tell them you love them. Be kind toward any deficits and help them play up their strengths. But if it appears help will be needed, start young. My daughter had that luxury and my son did not. It made a difference.

But most of all....love unconditionally. That's what's most important.


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yelekam
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31 Jul 2013, 2:34 pm

Congratulations
As for signs of Asperger's, one possible indication is persistent crying, that lasts into the age of three.



Ettina
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31 Jul 2013, 6:30 pm

Quote:
As for signs of Asperger's, one possible indication is persistent crying, that lasts into the age of three.


There are a lot of conditions that can cause persistent crying. If your child cries persistently, get them checked out by a doctor. They could have a serious medical problem causing chronic pain.

Autistic babies do sometimes cry a lot, but mostly just due to sensory issues. It can be hard to tell when a baby has sensory hypersensitivities, but if you know what to look for you can probably distinguish that from random crying.



aann
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01 Aug 2013, 12:15 pm

Similar to others, as a baby my son had poor eye-contact but would stare at things with a pattern. One example was to put him in front of a book shelf. He loved to look at the lines of books. He was really fussy and had trouble sleeping. He had sensory issues with noises and smells. He was so confusing because he wouldn't pay any attention to me, but craved being held all day. So did my NT daughter. Cooking was impossible and I could never leave him with a babysitter. I never knew what to tell her to do with him. As a pre-schooler, he was highly perfectionistic. We learned (not as quickly as I wished) that he wouldn't respond to discipline the same as most kids.

All kids have some traits but my son didn't have a dx until he was almost 9, so just enjoy him as he is until you see a real problem. Maybe there will be none.



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01 Aug 2013, 12:54 pm

Well the first really obvious sign in my son was that he wouldn't play with toys the normal way. He just liked to make things spin. He was staring at things like ceiling fans and also water.

I remember when he was around one and a half someone asked me if my son was waving good-bye and I though, no, is that something he is supposed to be doing?

By two he could speak but was not using words to communicate at all. He knew the whole alphabet and could count to ten by this age. This was when we started to suspect autism.

He is five now and still really can't speak, he usually only talks to request something he wants, usually food. He is starting to be able to follow one step instructions but he is in the "substantially separated" class at school.



momsparky
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01 Aug 2013, 2:54 pm

Wreck-Gar wrote:
I remember when he was around one and a half someone asked me if my son was waving good-bye and I though, no, is that something he is supposed to be doing?


With DS, sometime post-diagnosis I finally realized we'd been teaching him to do all kinds of stuff that other kids learn naturally - I even coached him through crawling at an early age (not realizing my own stupidity) and he learned it before the milestone - but I could see that he needed the coaching and didn't realize at the time it was unusual. You made me think of it because we taught him to clap by saying "You wave this hand, and you wave the other hand, and you meet the waving hands in the middle." (Never occurred to me that an NT kid just claps when it is developmentally appropriate!)

All this said: I will relay Scott Simon's story about adopting their second child - I really like his daughter's statement "you get what you get and you don't get upset." While it can be scary starting a family and doubly so when you start out with concerns - but families find a way to work it out. The key is keeping your eyes open and to be willing to admit you need help as the occasion arises.



Wreck-Gar
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01 Aug 2013, 10:15 pm

momsparky wrote:
Wreck-Gar wrote:
I remember when he was around one and a half someone asked me if my son was waving good-bye and I though, no, is that something he is supposed to be doing?


With DS, sometime post-diagnosis I finally realized we'd been teaching him to do all kinds of stuff that other kids learn naturally - I even coached him through crawling at an early age (not realizing my own stupidity) and he learned it before the milestone - but I could see that he needed the coaching and didn't realize at the time it was unusual. You made me think of it because we taught him to clap by saying "You wave this hand, and you wave the other hand, and you meet the waving hands in the middle." (Never occurred to me that an NT kid just claps when it is developmentally appropriate!)

All this said: I will relay Scott Simon's story about adopting their second child - I really like his daughter's statement "you get what you get and you don't get upset." While it can be scary starting a family and doubly so when you start out with concerns - but families find a way to work it out. The key is keeping your eyes open and to be willing to admit you need help as the occasion arises.


My son actually crawled backwards at first. I don't know if this is ASD related or not. He eventually figured it out and then started walking a month or two after that.

Now that I think of it though he does seem to need to be taught/told to do things on his own. He is still putting my hand on stuff trying to get me to do it...like open the refrigerator. Yesterday I said "pull it" and he finally opened it by himself.



Phielya
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02 Aug 2013, 9:19 am

for me, I have struggled with my parenting style, simply because being their mother and knowing what they need, while never having been given that myself, I didn't fit in with any other parents I knew.

1) please have the healthiest pregnancy and partner possible. This includes knowing your diet, and prioritizing your mental and emotional conditions above all else, I feel from experience these things can contribute to how severely affected your child may be.
2) Do whatever you need to, in order to give yourself the confidence you need to be a parent, it's quite likely with the reading and research you are by default better equipped than most typical adults are.
3) follow your instincts, it may be harder said than done to ignore or manage them, it really depends on your life circumstances.
4) research the latest approaches in autism, from the severe to the mild.. it will make a big difference, and you may find yourself living in multiple worlds or universes, if your child needs extra support, you want to pursue integration into a public school or church setting, etc.
5) find all the financial resources you can and make it easy for you to tap into them, regardless of your ability, kids especially kids with different needs, cost a lot.



0223
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03 Aug 2013, 1:02 am

Congrats! I knew at 4 months of age something was up. He hated being picked up but would cuddle in once he was no longer moving thru the air. He rubbed and rubbed my sleeve from 5 months thru 4 years of age whenever he wanted to settle down or sleep. He never cooed or babbled and did not speak words until age 3. He did learn around age 1.5 to scream and grunt. I started teaching him sign language at 2.75, should have done it much sooner and a lot of parents do it now for even their NT kids to help them not be frustrated. Check out "babysigns."

As for motor skills he did not crawl or creep. He did walk right before turning 1. He flapped his hands - I didn't know that was autism style hand flapping until a few weeks ago (he's now almost 12 years old!) He had obvious motor planning issues and still can't really clap with any sort of rhythm. He wouldn't walk on curbs or jump off stuff but he did start hanging upside down off furniture. Still had issues being picked up - I'd get his attention first and his "approval" which wasn't verbal as he wasn't speaking but was more of a body language thing. Didn't follow my finger when I'd point - still doesn't, LOL.

Sensory issues were big especially once he got walking - he already had tactile and vestibular stuff but after starting to walk he got visual stuff too and it became hard to get from point a to point b. Impossible to trim nails, hair, wash hair or face or hands, would not use finger paints, did not want to get food on his fingers. (Now he's a mess and doesn't know or care when he has food all over him, hands and face.)

Then at 1.5 he started head banging in his crib at night. He started more proprioceptive seeking - crashing into things. Hated tags and seams. Didn't seem to know he had a mouth - he never never never explored objects with his mouth, and he'd pack food and forget it was there and choke, and he drooled constantly and had a rash all down his chin and throat. He only recently entered his toddlerhood as far as mouthing objects, about a year ago he started putting anything and everything into his mouth.

So those are some of the earlier things I noticed. He was initially excluded from an autism diagnosis at age 3 due to his affection and ability to make eye contact with people he knows well and some eye contact with people he had just met. The eye contact thing with not well known people actually got worse as he got older. He just got an autism diagnosis after the change to the DSM. Prior diagnoses were apraxia of speech, global dyspraxia, oral dyspraxia, sensory integration disorder (two therapist said he was the "worst" they had ever seen - well it's good to be known for something!) and then at age 5 bi-polar disorder and adhd. But even without the autism dx at a young age he got early intervention services due mostly to his speech issues, and that helped a lot. Speech therapy helped with the food packing, not really being connected to his mouth - they did sucking pudding thru straws, blowing bubbles (he could not purse his lips), a hand held massage for his cheeks and lips, pop rock candy, chewing gum... Helped a LOT.

He also got occupational therapy which really worked on his avoidance issues but we never really figured out what he needs for his low register stuff where he's seeking... Other than I guess things like not forcing him to try to sit still, allowing him to hang upside down off the furniture. We tried a weighted vest and deep pressure but it was only a tad different. But we got him touching weird textures and allowing things to touch him. For his tactile issues he played with all sorts of weird stuff and dug thru rice to find little hidden toys and eventually even touched clay and finger paint.

When he aged out of the early intervention services I just took over. We live on a ranch, so touching the horse feed, the animals, the grooming tools, the dirt, all that helped a lot. By age 2 he'd touch stuff out there and by age 4 he started to get really into it more and now he's a dirty boy all the time... At age 2 he'd ride in the feed cart while I fed - the cart holds hay pellets, and he'd sit in them as long as he had pants on but he'd hold his hands up in the air to avoid touching them, but he liked to try to help me and to try to feed the animals so he overcame his aversion to touching them.

So, good luck, and when are you due?



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03 Aug 2013, 9:35 am

I'll post the opposite end of experience. My DS was fine as a baby -- neither too difficult, nor too good (some austistic kids don't cry at all). He cried when he needed something, and it was easy to figure out what it was (food, diaper, sleep, etc) and soothe him. He walked relatively early (9 months), and had his first words relatively late (14 months), and started using two-word combos at 25 months (24 is the cutoff where you're supposed to get an eval.) Then his language got stuck -- by 30 months he had only progressed to using three word phrases, and a very astute and experienced preschool teacher noted that he wasn't interested in the other children. We got an eval from Early Intervention, and they said he was not autistic, so we paid for six months of speech therapy and everything seemed to be fine.

He didn't seem to get the "terrible twos" until he was three. My husband and I started to disagree more and more on how to discipline. DS was getting a LOT of timeouts, and often there would be this downward spiral where he would get a timeout, get in trouble for not sitting in the timeout spot, then have a meltdown and I'd have to carry him to his room. I noticed my friends were not complaining about having trouble with their kids or husbands, and couldn't figure out whether they really weren't having issues, or were just not being open about them. Real trouble in preschool started at age 4 -- not sitting in circle, not helping with cleanup, throwing sand, knocking over other kids blocks, not wanting to color or learn to write letters. The other kids began to ostracize him. We thought the preschool was just incompetent -- shouldn't they be experienced with teaching kids not to throw blocks instead of complaining to us? So we switched preschools, and at the new school DS started having full-on 15 minute meltdowns, which the teacher made worse by trying to hug him. I started reading all kinds of books but even the ones on ADHD and Aspergers didn't really seem to fit. DS was 5 by the time we finally found the right professional to give a diagnosis.

To summarize, watch the early language milestones, and then watch for social and behavior trouble in preschool.

On the other hand, you might have a completely NT child, and be baffled by how much they want to talk to you, especially about social topics! Either way, having kids is (on the whole) a wonderful experience that is worth all the trouble. Congratulations, and enjoy the ride!



MiahClone
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03 Aug 2013, 10:34 am

[quote="zette"DS was getting a LOT of timeouts, and often there would be this downward spiral where he would get a timeout, get in trouble for not sitting in the timeout spot, then have a meltdown and I'd have to carry him to his room.

Real trouble in preschool started at age 4 -- not sitting in circle, not helping with cleanup, throwing sand, knocking over other kids blocks, not wanting to color or learn to write letters. The other kids began to ostracize him. We thought the preschool was just incompetent -- shouldn't they be experienced with teaching kids not to throw blocks instead of complaining to us? So we switched preschools, and at the new school DS started having full-on 15 minute meltdowns, which the teacher made worse by trying to hug him.

On the other hand, you might have a completely NT child, and be baffled by how much they want to talk to you, especially about social topics! Either way, having kids is (on the whole) a wonderful experience that is worth all the trouble. Congratulations, and enjoy the ride![/quote]

The behavior sounds like my youngest. The problems in preschool just kept getting worse and worse until they very politely asked that he not return. We're still waiting on real testing, all the school system had to say this spring was "social skills delay".

My middle child is not on the autism spectrum (ADHD and ODD), and he is definitely my most challenging child. He <i>needs</i> to go places and see people--pretty much daily or it just wears him out. All the rest of us are the opposite and too much time out and about with people wears us out. He's pretty baffling to me a lot of the time.

But yeah, even challenging kids are still generally a wonderful experience. (And if your kid goes through 8 months of alternating acting like a dog and having hour long tantrums, remember even during those times there are rays of sunshine)