Could it be something other than Aspergers?

I started doing more research and stumbled across an interesting webpage when I googled "Hyperlexia vs Aspergers" and found this link: http://pediatricneurology.com/autism.htm
Now it doesn't give much insight on the difference between the two, but it did go further in describing expanded ASD which are not included in the DSM-IV, which basically means they are "unofficially" considered on the spectrum. According to the summary chart, Eric looks like a blaring NVLD candidate, but when I click on the resource link provided on this webpage, I got about halfway through and realized, nope, this isn't him. He does have a follow-up appointment in 6 months with the neurologist when they are going to do an EEG, we should be able to rule this out. He hasn't had any trauma to his head so though he is delayed in his motor skills, it is not to the extreme of what I was reading.

Here is another good resource that explains the Spectrum: http://www.freewebs.com/calnaa/autismspectrumexplained.htm

The other possible diagnosis is Semantic-Pragmatics Disorder (SPD). Here are articles solely on SPD that describes Eric and Terry very well: http://www.hyperlexia.org/sp1.html and http://members.tripod.com/Caroline_Bowen/spld.htm . I intend to ask his doctor why Aspergers with SPD versus SPD as a stand alone. My intellectual deduction are the quirks (finger twisting, awkward gait, the "da da da di di" type sounds he makes for no apparent reason), and according to this article, http://www.mugsy.org/spd4.htm, it appears that another difference is the superior intelligence. SPD does not mean necessarily that the patient has above average intelligence.
Here is a great graph (you know me, miss visual...) from the Bishop article at http://www.mugsy.org/articles.htm. The author also suggests that because Eric has obsessive and ritualistic behaviors that he should retain the diagnosis. I know from talking to a teacher/speech pathologist friend of mine, an Asperger's diagnosis is a good "label" because he will get what he needs for early intervention through the school system because it is more widely recognized. I still want to ask his doctor what is the significant difference though.




4 Responses to "Could it be something other than Aspergers?"

David (visit their site)

Hey...
I'm not trying to start anything, but is it possible that Eric is just a normal little boy with superior intelligence? The symptoms that you describe have been experienced by at least one of my boys at some time in their early developmental years(ages 0-5). I'm not trying to minimalize anything, but he sounds like a normal little boy with an above average intellect who is trying to get the rest of his mind/body to adjust.

I went through similar things as a young boy... oh - maybe that explains things... lol.

No, really. I don't think I'd put much credence in this or that for a few more years. Brian is now 8 and still sometimes gets in trouble for humming aloud in class which is one of his 'thinking-mode' habits.
William still gets frustrated with his class because he is bored and being held back by others...

I'm not saying that there isn't something there in Eric, I'm saying that what IS there could possibly be normal.

David

Jennifer (visit their site)

Of course you can assume whatever you what, but I don't want Eric to get in trouble at 8 for doing things that are normal things for his age but at inappropriate times. The purpose of the intervention is that he can assimilate. You know what happens to above average intelligent people. They either aren't hung out with because people can't relate to them or they don't reach their potential so people will hang out with them. It is a social dysfunction. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him other than his communications skills and his sensory issues. Why don't you read about it some more about it so you can understand that this isn't a bad diagnosis. It gets him the therapy that he needs to be able to assimilate with other people and to respect others, his peers and his adults. Why would I wait until he's in school and his friends won't hang out with him or his teachers peg him as the class clown or bully? Plus the intelligence tests don't lie and totally explains why he can't answer open ended questions even though I know he knows the answer. How would that go over in school? If it isn't Aspergers it is definitely SPD. But with Aspergers he gets the therapy he needs. I don't care what it is called. I'm just glad that I know how to deal with him now and what is going on his head when he won't look at me when I talk to him.

Thank you for your concerns But also realize that genetics do play a role and it usually affects males, so your comment is insightful since I didn't know you as a young boy (seeing that I'm YOUNGER than you!). =o)

I know that I'm going to be my children's biggest advocate, so I'm not offended. But if I can help them NOW to learn how to deal with this nasty world LATER, then I'm going to do it.

PLANET3RRY (visit their site)

Even if the kids appear "normal" there may be something "under the hood" that is configured in a way where although it seems normal on the outside but internally is all over the place. Kind of like a "fast car", sure it goes fast and looks great on the outside, but open the hood and everything is so crazily hookup, you know there must be more efficient way.

One thing that has been obvious since our first looking into everything is the fact that I share A LOT of the same characteristics. Hell, I am normal. I'm functioning normal enough but as we learn about Eric, it is explaining so much about myself on how I think, reactions, attitude, etc. Man... how easier would my life have been had I not been asked "Are you in a Bad mood" over and over growing up... especially when nothing was wrong. And if I was, I knew not how to constructive express my emotions.

One of the nice things of hiding behind computers is that I can be the person that I want to be. My planet3rry persona is who I am striving to be and have created a reputation for myself much different from those that have spent time with me or caught me on an off day or just "being Terry". So when it comes to actual real life experiences, I feel as if there is a "proverbial mental membrane" that I have to break. As I have been getting older (i.e. more experience) and through OT with Eric, the membrane is getting thinner and thinner. This year so far has been such an "awakening" for me, not just with Eric but my personal experiences. I can tell that I am moving in the right direction.

So, if Eric is as close to normal as I am, then the therapy now will help him so much more than when he is my age.

In the Knox County schools, since Eric does has some social inabilities, he would probably be red flagged for an evaluation early on. His current evaluation is such that the school systems will (i.e. must) provide extra (i.e. more challenging) schoolwork in the same classroom as his peers to challenge him in school. So while his classmates are learning that "The A says 'Ahhh'" he's "hooking up words, phrases and clauses" (because it has trains).

The Kid is a Kid because he's a Kid. And with his abilities, he should have a good handle on everything sooner than later.

David (visit their site)

hmmm.... I get the feeling that I am being misunderstood. I'm honestly not trying to say anything impersonal or overly critical.

I guess that what I am trying to say is that if Eric gets therapy that helps him adjust, well, that's wonderful! I'm just not so sure about slapping a label on someone just because they act "out of the norm."

What I am afraid of, is that in later years, Eric could use this as a crutch and it could actually hold him back. In other words, I don't want him looking back and saying, "Well I can't do this , or I act this way because I'm have so-and-so."

Jen, you know what it is like to be treated differently because of who we are. And it is easy - at one time or another - to just blame it on that. I hope you are understanding the point I am trying to get across.

I know, as a parent that we are always searching for answers and labels to identify unknown things. The problem comes when/how we - and others - react to those answers and labels.

Hope I have explained myself a little better... prolly not, but I hope...