Other spectrum kids in son's class

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laplantain
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04 Feb 2008, 12:22 am

Have any of you gone into your child's class and worked with other spectrum kids, then seen them in a different environment?

There is a new boy in my son's pre-K class. Very withdrawn. The day I worked in the classroom, he wanted to spin paper plates and coins and line up all the toy animals. Very typical and obvious ASD behavior. He was even taken out of the room for extra playtime when things got overwhelming.

Here is the wierd part- all the kids went to a birthday party today. They had music blaring, all the kids running around this indoor playground. He did not stand out at all from the rest of the kids. The times I saw him, he had sat down to eat with the rest of the kids, went around the room following the clown's activities with the rest of the kids. All but one of the special ed kids in the class were doing the same thing, but this boy is brand new and has more severe behaviors than all of the other spectrum kids in the class, but you never would've known it today.

It's very interesting to me because you never would've known (except for the GFCF food) that there were any spectrum kids at the party at all, except one of them did not want to eat anything and one of them didn't want to follow the clown around at all. Plus my little clumsy boy leaned too far over a rail and tumbled over. But overall it just seemed like a typical kids party.



Mikomi
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04 Feb 2008, 12:33 am

Sometimes spectrum kids do seem normal. I think more so when there are not expectations placed on them at a given time, like at the party when they were just having a good time.


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Asterisp
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04 Feb 2008, 12:43 am

Music does not have to be a problem, especially if you can choose the music yourself. It is annoying and hurting when you do not have any influence on it. Sometimes I like to have the music in my car really loud.

And I can behave like a normal person, only it does not last longer than a day.



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04 Feb 2008, 1:48 am

I always think the higher spectrum people will act worse in environments where they are "expected" to be autistic such as in isolated classrooms. I found when I was around other Aspies I had a harder time speaking and would tend to stim. Its almost as if its contagious somehow! lol I find I will stim like mad in front of my psych and my other dr who diagnosed me and I do this without thinking about it but if I am in a normal public situation I do not stim and act fairly normal.

Its kind of like a self fulfilling prophesy so I am glad I was not diagnosed as a kid nor put in a separate classroom because I think I would have turned out worse in the long run.



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04 Feb 2008, 6:19 am

Yea even sometimes the very severe autistic children can be grouped in with other kids. I remember trying to teach this girl who was nonverbal sign, she was totally in her own world, no communication what so ever, no interest in me whatsoever, more on the severe side, when i walked in to greet her one day, while she was eating the cafeteria, she was just sitting there eating with the other kids, making noises happy as a clam eating, if anybody walked in for that brief moment, you would never know anything was wrong with her. I can be somewhat Nt for maybe a couple of hours, seem like nothing is wrong whatsoever, but afterwards my brain is fried, like its extra work for my little brain haha.


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04 Feb 2008, 8:58 am

School isn't the best environment for those with ASDs (it brings out the worse).

Apart from the symptoms, we're normal people who enjoy doing normal things; I distinctly remember that I loved going to birthday parties all throughout primary/elementary school, all of my "peers" that I knew and grew up with, all of the food, all of the running around, the cake.... They were always good times to me, away from school but still with those I attended school with; I was the only person on the spectrum in all of them, and I didn't stand out at all.



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04 Feb 2008, 10:05 am

Some kids are worse at school than at home. I really didn't realize there was anything too different about my son until he started preschool. Even still, it took kindergarten to convince me.

So, if you saw my son in a regular classroom, he would appear autistic...even nonverbal at times. Outside of school, you'd be telling me he's a normal kid. He's not withdrawn, but he appears that way under stress.

The new kid probably doesn't have more severe behaviors all the time.



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04 Feb 2008, 10:19 am

Tortuga wrote:
Some kids are worse at school than at home. I really didn't realize there was anything too different about my son until he started preschool. Even still, it took kindergarten to convince me.

So, if you saw my son in a regular classroom, he would appear autistic...even nonverbal at times. Outside of school, you'd be telling me he's a normal kid. He's not withdrawn, but he appears that way under stress.

The new kid probably doesn't have more severe behaviors all the time.


That may be the factor of the classroom making your son uncomfortable... I know that I was very uncomfortable in the classroom setting for a long time... it wasn't really until college that I was able to become comfortable (mostly because I'm there by choice, not forced, and I can leave at any time...)



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04 Feb 2008, 10:29 am

It depends on what is going on for my son. Sometimes he really stands out and sometimes he really fits in. It's one of the dangers in seeing autism as a list of deficits rather than just "different brains".
My family sees autism that way and so when they see Pop, they think he's not really autistic. He gets really Jeckyll and Hyde around people like them. I don't know why.
He used to be a monster in the pancake restaurants, the places he liked to eat in. We had to leave early so many times. But he's an angel in a pizza parlor, when all the NTs are running around like beheaded chickens. He can surprise us.
He mimics whatever at school, so if he's around the NTs and undiagnosed kids in regular ed, he picks up their bad habits (and is singled out for it). If he's in the special ed room, he picks up their stims and interests.
I don't think it's fair to say that autistic kids are "expected to act" autistic at any given time. It seems that self-contained classrooms have less structure (ironically) and may create stress or alleviate a lot of stress in kids, which leads to stimming and other stuff.



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04 Feb 2008, 3:38 pm

Ticker wrote:
I always think the higher spectrum people will act worse in environments where they are "expected" to be autistic such as in isolated classrooms. I found when I was around other Aspies I had a harder time speaking and would tend to stim. Its almost as if its contagious somehow! lol I find I will stim like mad in front of my psych and my other dr who diagnosed me and I do this without thinking about it but if I am in a normal public situation I do not stim and act fairly normal.

Its kind of like a self fulfilling prophesy so I am glad I was not diagnosed as a kid nor put in a separate classroom because I think I would have turned out worse in the long run.


I don't know the kids diagnoses, but I did make one interesting observation when I subbed for special ed at the school I student taught in. These kids were all mainstreamed part of the day, and I had observed many in their mainstream classrooms. They were just like any other kid there, except they struggled more with the work/recalling. In the special ed classroom, they didn't want to listen at all, ran around etc. I asked the aide who was in the room with me and she said they were always like that. I never once saw that in the mainstream rooms. And I wonder if its because the mainstream teachers wouldn't allow it, but maybe the special ed teacher was thinking "Well they have behavioral problems, they're not going to be able to sit still for a whole lesson"



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04 Feb 2008, 3:46 pm

KimJ-That's interesting about how our son behaves in different restaurants. Maybe its just a matter of some Aspies are good at mimicing. I would imagine the isolated classrooms would be stressful. I never was in one, but I know I get very stressed and agitated around lower functioniong Aspies than myself and also around the mentally retarded. A lot of LFA are badly behaved and like one boy I know throws things so if someone was throwing stuff at me or getting rough, yelling, etc I would totally freak out.

So maybe her son appears normal at the birthday party because of the other kids are also giggling and having a good time playing... so he picks up on that energy and does it too. But maybe the classroom is just way too much for him.



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04 Feb 2008, 6:22 pm

It made me equal parts happy and sad but a neighbors kid was over and said to me "I like (son's name) when he's not acting weird". It was just the right day with the right circumstances though.



kit000003
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10 Feb 2008, 11:05 pm

Hi.... um i know it is the parent's discussion an' all... but have you ever thought that the reason they act "better" is because in the mainstream classroom NT kids are mean to them when they appear different? I was undiagnosed aspie my entire childhood in the public school system. I quickly learned that I had to mimic what the other kids did. If I didn't then at some time during recess I would regret it. I hated those kids, because I couldn't be myself around them.

We try harder around people who we know (or beleive) aren't going to accept us as we are (even at age of 6 and 7 which is what i was remembering). but it is also hard work, and stressful. look at your kids after those people go away watch them relax again, you might even see them take a nap or go do their favorite comfort thing afterward



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11 Feb 2008, 1:11 pm

kit000003 wrote:
Hi.... um i know it is the parent's discussion an' all... but have you ever thought that the reason they act "better" is because in the mainstream classroom NT kids are mean to them when they appear different? I was undiagnosed aspie my entire childhood in the public school system. I quickly learned that I had to mimic what the other kids did. If I didn't then at some time during recess I would regret it. I hated those kids, because I couldn't be myself around them.

We try harder around people who we know (or beleive) aren't going to accept us as we are (even at age of 6 and 7 which is what i was remembering). but it is also hard work, and stressful. look at your kids after those people go away watch them relax again, you might even see them take a nap or go do their favorite comfort thing afterward


Even as young as first grade kids know that "something is wrong" with the ones who go to the special class. For one thing, their work is "very easy" compared to everyone else. And when kids know there is something that is truly different and not something that is just another kid being intentionally weird, they're often quite kind an accepting. The ones who aren't get harassed by the others for being mean. I feel your explanation only holds up when applied to kids who don't leave the room to attend a subject class with another teacher



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11 Feb 2008, 2:16 pm

kit000003 wrote:
Hi.... um i know it is the parent's discussion an' all... but have you ever thought that the reason they act "better" is because in the mainstream classroom NT kids are mean to them when they appear different? I was undiagnosed aspie my entire childhood in the public school system. I quickly learned that I had to mimic what the other kids did. If I didn't then at some time during recess I would regret it. I hated those kids, because I couldn't be myself around them.

We try harder around people who we know (or beleive) aren't going to accept us as we are (even at age of 6 and 7 which is what i was remembering). but it is also hard work, and stressful. look at your kids after those people go away watch them relax again, you might even see them take a nap or go do their favorite comfort thing afterward


I agree with you. I have observed that my son is extremely tired after social gatherings. He gets fatigued from having to hold himself together around peers.



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11 Feb 2008, 2:32 pm

Same here.