Not sure, but seeking advice....

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WindozeNT
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08 Feb 2009, 8:41 am

Good day to everyone. I discovered this site coincidentally on one of typical Internet browsing trips where one link leads to another and you end up finding something completely opposite of what you set out to discover. And already I'm rambling. I have 2 sons, 16 and 20. Reading some of the posts on this site has been a revelation to me in terms of recognising my older son and I am now relatively certain that he may have some form of autism. He has always been an extremely quiet and reserved individual that never had many friends. He was exceptionally good at one particular sport which he began at the age of 5 and continued up until he turned 14. In this sport, he competed internationally and was considered one of the best, but for some reason, he seemed to be lacking that extra little something that would put him right at the top. His explanation for this was simply that for him, winning had no meaning or purpose and the reward of a medal or trophy was something that "the others" could strive for, but he was not interested in that side of it at all. His brother however competed in the same sport and had the "typical" desire to win at all costs. My older son is currently studying at University and lives at home, but does not have a single friend. He states categorically that he's not really interested or motivated in building relationships and considers everyone his age absolutely immature. In a crowded room, he will not take the initiative and approach anyone to converse, but instead he stands rather awkwardly waiting for someone to strike up a banter. He was introduced to video games at the tender age of 4, but seemed to grasp them instantly and is an absolute master at FPS's. He is interested in girls, at least based on some of the pinnups that he views online, but has never had a girlfriend and would have absolutely no clue how to approach the finer sex. He appears to be very happy at home and loves the company of his parents and I (the father) seem to be the only friend that he has and we often play PC games or watch movies together. he loves to discuss, at least with us, and when he does, there's an immense depth in his way of thinking. He has disdain for society and the typical norms that everyone seems to be following, hence his dissociation with them. I have suggested summer jobs in other cities where he could stay with friends of the family, but he refuses stating that that would only be possible if he would be able to stay alone. Motivating him to take on any summer job is a painful exercise for him and he panics at the prospect of having to deal with people. He will only consider jobs that have absolutely no contact with other people.

All in all, he seems quite content and gets on with his studies, his Internet PC games or internet research (he certainly manages to discover the most interesting and informative corners of the web). I, as the father, however, have been trying to push him to become more sociable and in my naive way of thinking, I was hoping that he just needs a friendly nudge to take him there. It didn't work when he was still competing in sports - neither I nor his coaches succeeded in releasing what we all thought was the winning streak. So having discovered this site and having read a few hours of material on the subject of autism, I see many characteristics of my son reflected in those descriptions. I myself can relate to being anti-social - although I do converse similar to all other NT's (I just adore that name), I feel like I'm on the wrong planet most of the time. Given that, I hope that I am not negatively contributing to my sons condition.

Based on my modest little post, what are the immediate things that come to mind ? I would be very appreciative of any feedback. At this point, I'm only just now discovering this vast area but already feel differently about my son in a very very positive way. Maybe I'm totally off-base and there's something else at work here, but his total lack of social skills leads me to believe that I'm on the right track. I would also be happy to receive your suggestions as to whether or not a diagnosis is something to consider and if so, how to broach this with my son.



gramirez
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08 Feb 2009, 9:20 am

Wow, your son sounds exactly like me. I'm sorry I don't really have any advice for you, I just wanted to point that out.


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WindozeNT
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08 Feb 2009, 9:37 am

gramirez wrote:
Wow, your son sounds exactly like me. I'm sorry I don't really have any advice for you, I just wanted to point that out.


What sport do you compete in then ?



oblio
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08 Feb 2009, 10:32 am

WindozeNT wrote:
gramirez wrote:
Wow, your son sounds exactly like me. I'm sorry I don't really have any advice for you, I just wanted to point that out.


What sport do you compete in then ?


same here, sort of...

more linguistically-based logical thought, less numbers and math;
also take away modern pc-gaming (card games me, and mines, oh and where can i get pin ball??)

love sports, and good at it
(soccer, hockey, cricket; natural knack for anything with a ball (and especially subtle spin),
this includes some continental billiards, and snooker
(don't really like pool)
(need not even be a ball: remarkable talent for diving-saves in badminton!! !??? and can apply side to shuttle)

physically used to be a bit too on the big side to claim real athleticism, but i am a decent creative midfielder in teamsports
(assist-scoring rather than ever finding home myself),
in cricket a decent enough fielder with exceptional one-hand reflex-catches (both left and right; pseudo-ambidextrous)

WHY am a hopeless at proper basket-shooting; cannot miss with tissues (and again: pseudo-ambidextrous throwing, although genetically it would seem that the dutch cannot throw properly)

not to worry: now you found out:
your son will have all the time he needs, and
(somewhat sadly maybe) a lot more where that came from,
that part is usually referred to as
(weak) planning and executive function, short: Executive Dysfuntion

Welcome!/[email protected]


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08 Feb 2009, 12:32 pm

WindozeNT wrote:
...Given that, I hope that I am not negatively contributing to my sons condition.

Not likely. Thank you for caring. I intend to show this post to my parents.

Your son sounds like me. My sport was ballet. I excelled as a ballerina but was not motivated to make a success of it. I had not realised that as a hobby it was 'optional'. I believed it was necessary to attend these classes in the same way that school was compulsory.

It may also be useful to read about schizoid personality disorder, if only to eliminate this possibility as the criteria can be quite similiar to that for AS. Does your son have private access to the internet? If only for a couple of hours per day. All of my meaningful socialising is conducted online. In addition there are penpal sections of such magazines like Asperger United for less anonymous contact.

Good luck. The fact that you have recognised the difficulties your son faces and still portrayed him in such a positive way means a lot, I hope my parents would do the same.



DW_a_mom
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08 Feb 2009, 3:00 pm

At this point, whether or not your son should pursue a diagnosis will be up to him. It may give him insights into his life, and he may enjoy that, but he may also prefer not to give himself a label. Without knowing him, can't say which side of the coin he would fall on. You'll have to use your own insight and instinct for that.

As for what to do as a parent, nothing really has changed: you get to know your child, and help him be the best "him" he can be. Support him in his interests and ventures; help smooth the way on things that are difficult for him. Knowing about AS, assuming he is AS, may help you do that better, by giving you new insights.

Do realize that if he is AS, he will have difficulties with some things that seem easy to us, and he may always need help with those. Keep your eyes and heart open, and try to never "assume" he should be able to do something.


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DW_a_mom
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08 Feb 2009, 3:00 pm

oops


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Last edited by DW_a_mom on 09 Feb 2009, 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DW_a_mom
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08 Feb 2009, 3:01 pm

double oops (sorry for not seeing the triple post sooner - my new laptop is hypersensitive, it seems)


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Last edited by DW_a_mom on 09 Feb 2009, 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WindozeNT
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09 Feb 2009, 8:28 am

Thank you to the few people that took the time to respond. What I was hoping for is for someone to comment on whether or not the tell-tale signs of autism appear evident form the brief description that I've given. I guess I'm looking for a very informal "sanity" check from a very large community that seems to be extremely well versed in this subject. How does one obtain a diagnosis ? Is this as simple as starting out at a family doctor and move up the line from there ?

You will have have to excuse my ignorance as I am only now unveiling the facts surrounding this subject.



oblio
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09 Feb 2009, 9:43 am

WindozeNT wrote:
Thank you to the few people that took the time to respond. What I was hoping for is for someone to comment on whether or not the tell-tale signs of autism appear evident form the brief description that I've given. I guess I'm looking for a very informal "sanity" check from a very large community that seems to be extremely well versed in this subject. How does one obtain a diagnosis ? Is this as simple as starting out at a family doctor and move up the line from there ?

You will have have to excuse my ignorance as I am only now unveiling the facts surrounding this subject.


you seem a bit miffed a the lack of response, which includes a fumble-double-spam as well...

the real problem is: you said it all yourself, really

no one online will ever be able to give you the ' official ' dx you seem to be wanting;
there is an enormous amount of threads on the subjects of diagnosis: READ

yes, go to the gp, but maybe first: read about how many of us have gone through
the inevitable set-backs that go with it;
don' t get worried - maybe your gp will set you on the right course directly, maybe not...

BUT YOU GOT TIME

READ...critically/sceptically/[email protected]


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WindozeNT
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09 Feb 2009, 10:28 am

oblio wrote:

you seem a bit miffed a the lack of response, which includes a fumble-double-spam as well...

the real problem is: you said it all yourself, really

no one online will ever be able to give you the ' official ' dx you seem to be wanting;
there is an enormous amount of threads on the subjects of diagnosis: READ

yes, go to the gp, but maybe first: read about how many of us have gone through
the inevitable set-backs that go with it;
don' t get worried - maybe your gp will set you on the right course directly, maybe not...

BUT YOU GOT TIME

READ...critically/sceptically/[email protected]


Ah, so you must be the Alpha dog around these parts ? "Miffed" ? "fumble-double-spam" ? "the ' official ' dx you seem to be wanting" ? "the real problem is: you said it all yourself" ?

You're not communicating with a 3 year old here. Substitute miffed with "surprised". Given the enormous amount of traffic that this website receives along with the staggering number of posts, I was hoping (emphasis on the word hoping) for a few more responses. No, I am not "wanting" a diagnosis.....if you read my opening post carefully, you will notice that I was asking for general feedback/input/thoughts as opposed to an all encompassing diagnosis. I fully realise that the forum members cannot provide a definitive diagnosis, but again, I was hoping for some very constructive and objective feedback from what I thought was a considerate and knowledgeable community. Was that too much to ask for ? Were my expectations too high ?

And I should READ ? What makes you think that I'm not ? If you had any idea as to the number of total posts contained in these collective forums, perhaps you wouldn't be so trigger happy in making such suggestions ? What is your idea of a forum anyway ? Is it for individuals to simply post information and devoid of any bi-directional communication whatsoever ? Is this supposed to be more of a library where folks can spend vast amounts of time browsing endlessly for potential answers ?

I certainly wasn't "miffed" at all, but your response has definitely triggered that reaction. I am somebody that absolutely loves to communicate, through writing...it's very inspiring.....you on the other hand seem to be "policing" the forums with subtle flame-bait and not really contributing anything constructive whatsoever. If I am to only read, why does anyone bother posting anything in the first place ?



ster
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09 Feb 2009, 12:56 pm

oh my..........i know it's frustrating to post something & have tons of people read it & not respond...........sometimes, we just don't have any answers . other times, we're short on time & only have a few minutes to respond.........in your thread's case, your title made it seem ( to me at least) that I could answer quite quickly.........unfortunately , that's not the case.

it's hard to say by what you posted whether or not your child is on the spectrum. there are many other dxes that it could be. the diagnostic process is expensive, long and arduous. ....sometimes you come away feeling like you've finally gotten the answers that you've been looking for. other times, it just leaves more questions in your mind..........we just finished going through the eval process with our daughter- we did not like the results, but are dealing with it......my son has gone through 2 evals....my hubby has also been evaluated............

one of the issues we had pre-dx for son was that we didn't know what we were looking for- that is to say, we knew there were things that weren't right, but we didn't know how to explain them to others........we also didn't think twice about some things son did- until they were brought up during his 2nd eval............
there are also a few websites that have links to diagnostic tests for spectrum disorders. perhaps that's where you should head next......you could bring a printout of your findings to the doctor and then go from there.



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09 Feb 2009, 1:48 pm

sorry to provoke such strong emotions; i do not like dogs at all, myself

did you read my first reply: i' d say that was a constructive attempt to get more specific & helpful -
it went unanswered: please, i am interested in this son of yours,

his attitude and sporting ability and lack of killer-nature

but if stated so generally: yes: the gp is the first step, practically

of course, and certainly if that doesn't prove helpful, there are other courses to be travailed,
but one specific step at the time would be best,

you take that as you take it...

woof?/[email protected]


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DW_a_mom
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09 Feb 2009, 1:52 pm

WindozeNT wrote:
oblio wrote:

you seem a bit miffed a the lack of response, which includes a fumble-double-spam as well...

the real problem is: you said it all yourself, really

no one online will ever be able to give you the ' official ' dx you seem to be wanting;
there is an enormous amount of threads on the subjects of diagnosis: READ

yes, go to the gp, but maybe first: read about how many of us have gone through
the inevitable set-backs that go with it;
don' t get worried - maybe your gp will set you on the right course directly, maybe not...

BUT YOU GOT TIME

READ...critically/sceptically/[email protected]


Ah, so you must be the Alpha dog around these parts ? "Miffed" ? "fumble-double-spam" ? "the ' official ' dx you seem to be wanting" ? "the real problem is: you said it all yourself" ?

You're not communicating with a 3 year old here. Substitute miffed with "surprised". Given the enormous amount of traffic that this website receives along with the staggering number of posts, I was hoping (emphasis on the word hoping) for a few more responses. No, I am not "wanting" a diagnosis.....if you read my opening post carefully, you will notice that I was asking for general feedback/input/thoughts as opposed to an all encompassing diagnosis. I fully realise that the forum members cannot provide a definitive diagnosis, but again, I was hoping for some very constructive and objective feedback from what I thought was a considerate and knowledgeable community. Was that too much to ask for ? Were my expectations too high ?

And I should READ ? What makes you think that I'm not ? If you had any idea as to the number of total posts contained in these collective forums, perhaps you wouldn't be so trigger happy in making such suggestions ? What is your idea of a forum anyway ? Is it for individuals to simply post information and devoid of any bi-directional communication whatsoever ? Is this supposed to be more of a library where folks can spend vast amounts of time browsing endlessly for potential answers ?

I certainly wasn't "miffed" at all, but your response has definitely triggered that reaction. I am somebody that absolutely loves to communicate, through writing...it's very inspiring.....you on the other hand seem to be "policing" the forums with subtle flame-bait and not really contributing anything constructive whatsoever. If I am to only read, why does anyone bother posting anything in the first place ?


OK, sit back for a moment. Does your frustration seeking an answer here, and reading what you have actually received, remind you at all of interacting with and trying to get information from or reaching conclusions with your son? If not currently, in the past? Before you got used to his way of being?

Think about it. While the parenting board does have some NT's, most of the posters here are AS. As a result, you can expect tangents, inappropriate answers, disinterest when the question doesn't inspire them, misreading of emotion, and so on.

The first time I asked a question in an AS forum I was a bit mystified by the responses. And then I started laughing. Because, I realized, the posters were doing exactly what my charming son usually does.

So, perhaps, that is the best guide for building on your intuition as to if your son may be AS: does trying to carry on a conversation here remind you of how things go with your son?

Yes, you've said things that could be markers for AS. Or not. Even when given by an expert who has met your child, AS diagnosis is not a precise science, especially when dealing with an adult who has already learned to cope with or cover up the more severe markers. If you need to know - or, more importantly, if your son needs to know - you can ask your doctor for referrals. My son's diagnosis was done through the school system, so your path will have to be different than ours was, and I can't advise beyond what I already have.


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09 Feb 2009, 2:16 pm

To get my son seen by someone who could help me get AS ruled in or out I went to www.webmd.com and copy/pasted the "symptoms" page into a word document.

I went through each "symptom" and wrote a sentence or small paragraph for each one about my son, how he does or does not seem to have that symptom and an example of it, if appropriate. The sites words I did in one color, my writing about my son I did in a different color. I then printed out my paper (2 copies) and took them to the the family doctor with me. One copy I read off of and went into deeper depth about my thoughts on each statement and the other copy I handed to the Doctor when he came in to follow along.

My doctor said that some of the things that I mentioned should be checked out, though there may be no reason for concern on my part. He then referred me to a specialist (neurologist) that he trusted with a note to specifically screen for Autism. I went home and reprinted my list and took another one to the Neurologist, then she did a fun little test with my child where you look at a book and tell her which picture doesn't belong.

I had to fill in a questionnaire and send it in to the neurologist before my appointment so they had information that they wanted from us. (I got to pick from a series of 1-5 on a how severe chart a couple things were.. couple as in about 5 pages of questions...) haha

We left her office that day with a diagnosis. Many people seem to hit a lot, may I emphasize LOT?, more road blocks on their path.



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12 Feb 2009, 2:35 pm

WindozeNT wrote:
Thank you to the few people that took the time to respond. What I was hoping for is for someone to comment on whether or not the tell-tale signs of autism appear evident form the brief description that I've given. I guess I'm looking for a very informal "sanity" check from a very large community that seems to be extremely well versed in this subject. How does one obtain a diagnosis ? Is this as simple as starting out at a family doctor and move up the line from there ?

You will have have to excuse my ignorance as I am only now unveiling the facts surrounding this subject.


Hi and welcome to WP. Yes pretty much everything you describe about your son is the same for me. I was diagnosed with AS at 35 though in kindergarten I was diagnosed with dyslexia and in high school a counselor said I had a developmental disorder though Aspergers diagnosis didn't exist in the US at that time. I think it never hurts to get a AS diagnosis as you never know when you might need it in the future.

As far as the lack of friends I was/am like him and dislike people my own age. I hated all the kids in my classes and instead made friends with teachers. Where I live now there is no one my age I ever run into so all my friends are in their 50's & 60's. Nothing wrong with having older friends. Its often quite rewarding to make friends with a respectable older adult or professor especially one who shares the same interests as your obsession. At university he may even run into other Aspies who became professors.

The main thing is moving to the next step of adulthood ie: working. Its darn near impossible to find work alone type jobs. Has he gone to counseling to learn how to deal with other people and to learn socializing skills? He really needs to learn social skills in order to get on with his life. You can learn them alone the hard way, but it takes longer and you make a lot more mistakes along the way. Better to learn the right way from the beginning.