Autism Testing Questions
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    Registered User tigo's Avatar
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    Default Autism Testing Questions

    Our littlest guy had his 3 yr check up yesterday. The nurse and doctor asked a ton of the usual questions. Thrilled he has grown 3 inches and put on 3 lbs. With his food allergies he was behind in growth for the first two years. just when I think we are about done the doctor says she wants to see him in six months to start paperwork to have him tested for autism and to see if they should start spectrum therapy. What in the world? I will tell you I have zero experience or understanding of anything to do with autism. I know I must have looked at the doctor like she was insane but I can't think of anything that might have prompted her to go this direction. Anyone been down this road who could help educate me - your insight and advice would be so helpful.

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    My child is Autistic. He is 4 and was diagnosed just before he turned three. You need to ask the doctor why they are delaying testing him, the sooner a diagnosis is made the sooner you can get the therapy and help that you need. My suggestion to you is this, call the pediatrician ask what made him mention the Autism diagnosis and then set up an appointment with a neurodevelopmental pediatrician, they are the doctors that can accurately diagnose your son and tell you what is going on. There is always a waiting list and you may have to call around, start with your local children's hospital. We live in close proximity to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia but they had a two year wait list to be evaluated, I got into a local children's hospital that isn't as well known in about 4 months. I cannot stress enough that time is of the essence here. feel free to PM me if you like, I will try to help as best I can. I also have an older son that is in the process of getting an Aspergers diagnosis, he was diagnosed with sensory disorder at age 5 and has pretty severe OCD, so I have been around the block a little with all this craziness, lol. Good luck.

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    My older son was diagnosed with autism at 3-1/2. I would wonder why the doctor wants to have him tested? Did you bring up any concerns about his behavior or development? I know at our doctor's office they do a checklist for autism around age 2, and depending on your answers they will send out for an evalution.

    The other odd thing is that if the doctor thinks he might have autism, why does he want to wait 6 months to get him tested? Yes, there is a waiting list most place, but if you start the paperwork now you can get him tested sooner than waiting 6 months to start the process.

    At age 3 he will be too old for Early Intervention, but should be able to get services through the local school system (if diagnosed). Our personal experience was that Early Intervention was just about useless, but the school system has been awesome to work with.

    I guess the real question for me is - do you think he might have autism? I knew that my son was very different from other kids since about a year old, even though it didn't occur to me he might have autism until just before he was 3. He was tested and diagnosed at 3 years, 10 months.

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    Registered User tigo's Avatar
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    I have no idea what might have made the doc go in this direction. He isn't potty trained yet, no big deal. He has some anxiety issues (screamed in terror the whole check -up except when the doc and nurse left). I think the school's testing has the six month waiting list. I think I will have him seen at a different practice for a second opinion before we try testing. I appreciate the advice ladies! Thank you

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    My niece is autistic; she is 5 now and diagnosed when she was 3, she is having symptoms like anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, doctor tested her so many times, may be they tested so many times to ensure the cause of autism whether it is caused by a change in genetic information (DNA) or else.

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    I am not sure if i should post this or not because i truly do not want to offend in an way shape or form......I am going with my gut feeling on this and think maybe the screaming etc while the doctor and the nurse were in the room might have been one of the reasons he wants to test him....is your child able to carry on a conversation with you or anyone? I don't mean "what color is this" or what number is this" because alot of children that have autism are very very smart but when it comes to just having a day to day conversation something gets lost ....does he look u in the eyes...does he look other people in the eyes..does he tend to rock or flap his hands....tend to line things up....I am just going with my own personal experience and people are right time is of the essence however if he is 3 then he will not get early intervention however he would qualify for help in a preschool setting etc...don't fret though because it could be a number of things....we have a little boy in our classroom that was diagnosed with autism.....myself and the other ed techs saw him in action for around 8 weeks and said absolutely not....we didnt see autism in him...we did see very extreme adhd....however he went the year with the diagnosis of autism...however this summer he was retested and i believe he lost the diagnosis of autism and has extreme adhd....he is the sweetest boy ever and i am so sad that i will not see him this coming year.....all i can say is if ou had him that day just be prepared to move.....haha....bounce bounce bounce....

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    I just wanted to add - there's been a shift in the last few years towards diagnosing Autism as a spectrum disorder. One of the reasons I never thought my son had autism was that he never displayed the "classic" symptoms, even though I always knew there was something a little "off." That was just a feeling I had in my gut. He never lined up toys, hated transitions, was a picky eater, insisted on certain routines, flapping, spinning, or toe walking. He's never had anxiety or OCD type behavior. He's very social outgoing (at the time of his diagnosis with adults, not so much with other kids). So don't think that just because he doesn't conform to a checklist or present the same as a cousin's friend's child with autism that he can't possibly have it.

    There's a great saying I've run across in our journey - when you've met one child with autism, you've only met one child with autism. It's a great way to say that they're all different and have different ways of displaying it.

    Also, many people are afraid of the diagnosis. They think it will haunt their child forever. There are plenty of functional adults with autism, not just Temple Grandin. Having a name for how your child thinks, feels, and behaves differently doesn't change who they are. It doesn't mean that they become a different person. I have the same little boy at 5 that I did at 3-1/2. Also, while a lot of people can get behind the spectrum idea and there are various degrees of autism, people are still scared of being labeled autistic. It's "better" to be Aspergers, or SI, or ADHD, because somehow autism is "worse." Let me tell you, if my son is has the "autism" diagnosis and is in a social skills group with a boy with the "Aspergers" diagnosis, then they're still both getting the services they need and it doesn't matter what label you put on it. There's a lot to be said about a diagnosis being accurate, but what's more important is that the treatment you get works and is helping your condition. And effective treatment is way more important that an "accurate" diagnosis.

    I know that this is kind of long and not really an answer to the original question, but I wanted to put my opinion out there and maybe it will help someone going through this.

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    I personally feel that a child gets the diagnosis of autism when they don't seem to fit any other diagnosis....I see it everday....i work with them everday..and quite frankly it irritates me because its okay to be different. We live in a world where most people want everyone to fit into a circle and when they are a square its almost impossible thus leading them to get a diagnosis...Where i work we are to try and get the kids to stop flapping, i know the reason behind it is so that they will fit in when going to school so that they don't look any different etc....However when a child has a book and flaps under the table...i personally don't see an issue with it....however i do what i am told but again its okay to be different and we as a society need to educate people and help them understand....

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    so telephus if he didnt portray any of these symptoms then why was he tested.....not being rude or anything just trying to understand as it might help someone in the future.....What i mean is someone may have a child that doesnt fit the classic autism symptoms and knowing what else to look for would be wonderful... thanks!

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    No problem, no offense taken - I just like to thinking that telling bits of my journey may help someone else, even if they are just lurking.

    My son had the following symptoms:
    *didn't do imitative play (clap your hands and they'll clap too, that kind of stuff)
    *didn't do imaginary play (couldn't get that this bucket was a hat because we were playing a game)
    *lack of sensory reaction. He was never "hot" or "cold" even when it was 100 degrees out or his lips were turning blue. Lack of pain reaction. He broke his toe and never said anything, we didn't discover it until 3 days later. Once he had pnuemonia and I didn't take him in because he was still playing and running around like normal. Even the doctor commented on his high energy level.
    *would repeat phrases from books (echolalia - this is a classic symptom)
    *would repeat conversations. Like everytime we passed the library, we'd have the same conversation word for word. "Is that the library?" "Yes, it is." "That's where the books are kept." "Yes, they are."
    *had no interest in playing with children his age. He had plenty of interest in talking to an interacting with adults, but not kids his age.
    *could not follow directions
    *when attending to a task would either hyperfocus (at 2-1/2 he would color with crayons independently for 45 minutes) or have a total lack of focus. Not a normal attention span
    *liked rough-housing or any extremely physically play
    *lack of awareness for safety or personal space
    *lack of empathy and understanding emotion
    *not reading body language. This was most frustrating when I'd raise my voice and he couldn't understand that I was mad at him.

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    Thanks so much....i appreciate your answers....

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    Telephus, I agree with all that you said. My oldest is an Aspie and my youngest classically Autistic. Everyone thinks my Aspie is "normal" and sadly he has a harder time than my little guy right now. His anxiety level is off the charts, so much so that we had to start medicating him this year, we have been holding off for some time as you never know how the meds will work or make things worse. People really do not understand if they don't live it day to day, people don't see the outright panic at going to a friends birthday party or at the prospect of having to go to school in the morning. Allotofgooddeals, I have to be honest when I say that I am a little offended by your reaction. I get that you work with special needs kids and that you feel that some of these kids are fine and just "quirky", but even though you see them for a period of time, it is a pretty controlled environment. I cannot imagine a parent that wants their child to have a diagnosis and honestly, my kids have had pretty thorough evaluations to determine their issues. I have answered as honestly as possible and they were observed. My in-laws have the same views as you and feel that my son will be fine and he is just going to "outgrow" his Autism, as a parent who is scared to death that my son will never be able to be an independent man, this type of reaction really frosts my butt. I get that you might not mean anything by it, but as a parent of special kids, it offends me on a core level.

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    Sophie has a DR app. next week and I will be asking for testing...she has anxiety....and she does the rocking thing sometimes...she also draws at a 9 year old level...I just want to know so we can help her when she feels overwhelmed.

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    I have a lot of family members that are in the "he's just a little quicky" mode of thinking. That the school is "picking on him because they just want to dope up all kids on ritalin so that they don't have to teach them and turn them into drones." That "he's just being a boy, boys are like that." That "he's only 5, that's why he won't sit still." That "he's so smart so he's bored in school."

    Now don't get me wrong - he is a boy, he is 5 years old (ok, almost 6), he is very smart (reads on a 3rd grade level and has advanced academic skills), but he is ALSO autistic. I don't care what you want to call him as long as he's getting the best services for his particular situation. But it does get me a little riled up when I hear people saying "he had autism, but it was the wrong diagnosis" or "he outgrew his autism." My son will always have autism, regardless of what a doctor writes on a piece of paper or how old he is.

    I have a longer rant on the subject, but I'll save it for later.

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    Autism has always been a spectrum disorder. Even back in 2001 when my oldest was diagnosed, it was considered spectrum because there were many people who were diagnosed that exhibited everything from high levels of intelligence to an entire lack of communication, eye contact and bodily movements that are signified as autistic in nature.

    There are many questions that they will have to ask when your child's being tested. The entire test, itself, is a two-day process. They will test for things like fine and gross motor skills, communication, body tone, etc.

    I would suggest that you do a little reading about the various tests out there today and remember, not all autistic children are the same. Every single one is different from the rest. There are also a lot of really great treatments out there from ABA to dietary restrictions to various other therapies that include occupational therapy, speech, etc.

    Just breathe and know that there are a lot more resources out there today than there were 10+ years ago.

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