Atypical Autism

by Tertia
(South AFrica)

Our little girl is turning 6 this year - I am confused by what professionals say and what is the problem and what we experience her to be:


Her doctor leans towards "atypical autism" but he says that this is due to the fact that she is too sociable and her eye contact is too good for an autism diagnosis - her functioning in some aspects he says is higher than that of an Aspergers child for example she is quite good at reading others' emotions - except for fear but then her world is pretty protected, other than her own fears she does not know what fear looks like; however her speech is delayed.

Her sensory issues he says are a symptom of something according to the diagnostic manual (and common professional practice); but he acknowledges they are quite prominent e.g. she is super cautious - no plaster on her EVER, she would not tolerate it in any case. Mornings putting on sun block, brushing hair etc is a NIGHTMARE. She battles to chew gritty/hard foods. Has only now starting eating sweets such as jelly tots and cheese curls. She is terrified of the dark, lifts, escalators, flickering lights actually, any change of brightness e.g. when we go from the garage into the sun or visa versa.

She is inflexible to move from the safe to new when it comes to things like TV shows and she battles with transitions, need routine and rituals. She stims - opening and shutting doors and washing her hands - but that actually involves opening and closing taps - our home lights must be on at all time and she loves fans.

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Jan 29, 2011
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Your child diagnose is correct!
by: Anonymous

Hi, I have a 22 year old son with PPD diagnose since the age of 2 years. This can be an challenging time for the parents when the child is young. But you may see the child change with time in their sensitivities or behaviors, which is why they are diagnosed as PPD. They do not fit the general term of autism since they have only some of the behaviors. PPD is the term use for those with varying symptoms,like some can talk well, but can't social properly or prefer being along. However, some of the behaviors a young child displays may improve dramatically with age and exposure to everyday living.

My son started without communication ability, preferred routine activity, and highly sensitive to sound and touch. Now, he out of the routine behaviors, communicates normally, mildly sensitive to sound, and welcomes change. I never really listened to the doctors ways of thinking and exposed him to everything I exposed my other children to. This included activities whether he liked them or not, but focused on the likes for building. I found that in his case, the things he liked he excelled at,like acting and singing classes. The byproduct of the exposure actually helped him understand his surrounds better, and he stated it helped him see how he needed to be. He then started to fight against his behaviors, so he could do the things he loved doing. He is also better able to explain to us how we could help him fight the urges of repetitive behaviors or understand why he does them in the first place. Keep stimulating their minds, you maybe surprised at the results. Believe that they can, and they will believe they can too!

Jackie


Nov 09, 2010
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PDD-NOS
by: Shelly

My son has many of the issues here but he was diagnoses PDD-NOS which is on the autism spectrum. He is very social as well, he has many characteristics of Asperger's such as excellent speech and a photographic memory. Maybe this is what many of you are dealing with. Our neurologist does not like to pick a specific diagnosis, he just uses the term "autism spectrum disorder". It is definitely more correct than any one type of autism. PDD-NOS is kind of the catch all category where they are not straight Autism and not exactly Asperger's.

Jul 13, 2010
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concernd
by: Anonymous

i have a 3 yr old daughter who displays some unusual behaviour also. she was assessed before 2 and they labeld har as global developmental delay 3-6 mths in all areas. 1 yr on although reluctant i am finally getting paediatrician and specialists recognising sensory sensitivity coupled with autism spectrum disorder. although they tried to say she was too social too be autistic i knew different which has been frustrating. lots of long waiting lists for therapy and it seems just dead ends when it comes to help. i have found a great occupational therapist who is proactive and taking control. things are now being done which is a huge relief!!!!!!

Jun 06, 2010
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Feeling Frustrated
by: Anonymous

My son also has a number of the signs of spd.And i am so confused and frustrated about getting a diagnosis because we are also looking into autism.I do believe that early intervention is one of the best things that I could have done to help my child get through the issues that he so sadly suffers from.But because of the lack of a diagnosis we are at a stand still.I feel so helpless.I want so badly to know just exactly what it is that mt precious little boy is really suffering from.And without a specific diagnosis the treatment is limited.Wondering if anyone else is feeling the same way?Any and all advise welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apr 23, 2010
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I doubt the diagnosis too
by: Anonymous

I have a son that is very similar to yours. Very social with some speech issues and sensory about particular things like toilets flushing. We have also been quite confused about the multitude of diagnoses that we have gotten for him. One thing that is true from reading about the topic is that SPD seems to be the main culprit for our son. Spd produces lots of anxiety and the self stimming and routine behaviorschool can be explain by that as well. The one thing that has helped for us more than anything else has been occupational therapy. Quite counterintuitive to me thinking that physical exercise can affect neurology so much but it has for our son.

Apr 20, 2010
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Could be just spd
by: Bonnie

So I don't know about atypical autism but what you describe could very well just be spd. I am assuming since you are on this site that you have read over the descriptions and all the different aspects or types of spd. I have also found that often times anxiety blends with spd and speech delays (my son has both) and makes it difficult to see what exactly is going on. I know with my son I am always asking does he have anxiety as a separate issue or is it caused by his spd and speech delay or is it a little of both?

My point is that you may be seeing some spd things and some just anxiety things. The stemming things can be caused by anxiety as well and not autism or spd. They can be ocd (obsessive compulsive disorder- an anxiety based disorder) things and not anything else. You might try having her evaluated by a psychologist or a behavior specialist or a pediatric counselor or someone like that and see what they think. Good luck! I have read several books on spd, highly sensitive children, speech delays and now anxiety in children and still am not sure exactly what is going on!

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