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Lilbutterflie 01:36 PM 06-21-2012
I have posted about one of my dcb's before, and the limited number of those who responded seemed to think this boy was just a bit quirky. But I really do feel that I have witnessed enough to believe that he is on the autism spectrum somewhere. Please let me know what you think:

DCB is 4. He seems very intelligent, and he is very loving and social. But here is a list of things he seems to be very different socially:

1. He knows NO personal boundaries. He hugs & kisses everyone around him multiple times a day, even those he has just met. Today he was my only daycare boy & we got permission to take him to the pool. He grabbed a girls hand to hold it that he had never even spoken to. He climbed on top of a girl he had just met and compromised her swimming ability. He was only trying to "snuggle" with her; and never realized that being on top of her compromised her swimming ability. He often kisses me all up and down my arms & hands.

2. He is a repeater.
For example:
I hear this about 10-25 times every day he is with me: "Umm, umm, Hey!" I then remind him that my name is not Hey, it is Miss So and So. "Ummm, Ummm, Miss So-and-so? Ummm, ummm, you're pretty."

If he is saying something to me or to the other children that really excites him; he repeats it 5-6 times; even after they respond positively to what he said.

He sometimes repeats my questions back to me without answering.

Anytime a parent is picking up their child, he tries to engage them with repeating words or phrases. Lately, he has been telling them about his new hamster. Over. And Over. And Over.

3. After asking him a question, he stares at me (no eye contact though) blankly, or he will answer with a nonsense response (a word or words that has nothing to do with what I asked). For instance, during Thanksgiving time we had a discussion about being thankful. We talked about what it meant, my son said what he was thankful for; and then I asked him what he was thankful for. He answered with "A, B, C, D, E, F, G." When I asked him again in a different way, he answered "T"

If I give him directions, he will often not follow them or just sit and do nothing. So I usually get down to his level and demand eye contact, which is impossible for him for more than a second or two. If I ask him to repeat back to me what I just said, he often will just say one word of the direction. Like if I told him "Do not pet the dog"; and asked him to repeat back what I told him; he would say "Dog". Today at the pool, I asked him to put his shoes on because we were leaving. He proceeded to pull down his pants and expose his naked body to everyone around us!! When I asked him why he pulled his pants down when I asked him to put his shoes on, he replied "Because I was wet."

4. He has a hard time putting his words together. Like today during lunch, I told the children they had to eat their crackers, cheese and lunchmeat in order to get their cookies (we had Lunchables at the pool). He was telling my son this by saying "John, you have to eat the white (pointing to the cookie), and then you can eat your crackers." And then he repeated it again. The sequence which he used was backwards, I told them to eat their lunch before they could eat their cookie.

5. He gives things his own names; he doesn't seem to learn vocabulary well. For instance, he kept talking about a game called Funny Chickens. It wasn't until he wore an Angry Birds shirt and pointed to them saying "Funny Chickens!" that I realized he was wanting to play Angry Birds! He calls ranch "white ketchup". He called the cookie today "white" (it was an oreo). He named every member of his family according to what they like to eat. He refers to himself as Corn, his mom Protein, his sister Bacon.

6. He fixates on objects or events. If he hears an airplane in the sky, he gets way overly excited and that's all we hear about for the next 20 min or so. If we get a thunderstorm, it is all he talks about for days. I'm still hearing about a hamster he got a month ago about 10 times a day.

7. Almost ZERO self help skills. Eight months ago when he started with me, when he almost 4; he didn't know how to put socks on, put shoes on, put clothes on, nothing. After a LOT of patience with him; he can finally do all of those things. But today I drove them to the pool (the neighborhood pool is just a little too far to walk) and he had absolutely NO idea how to unbuckle his seat belt. He looked at me blankly like I was talking to him in a foreign language.

8. He is hypersensitive to sounds and smells. He smells a dirty diaper from a mile away! And he hears things that I don't usually hear, like the fridge running, etc. Every time he absolutely has to know "What is that smell?" or "What is that noise?"

What do you all think?
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Lilbutterflie 02:53 PM 06-21-2012
Just wondering why no one seems to respond? Sorry the post was so long, I was just trying to be thorough with my observations. I just would really like some opinions and thoughts! Do you think my observations warrant a talk with his parents?
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Mary Poppins 03:06 PM 06-21-2012
Autism has such a wide spectrum and each child is so unique which is why it takes a lot of diagnostic testing to get an official diagnosis. So my opinion means nothing, really. However, as someone who has done hundreds of hours of research trying to figure my own "quirky" kid out, and I am pretty confident that the child you describe has Asperger's.

I would mention it to his parents and see what they think.
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SilverSabre25 03:17 PM 06-21-2012
This is the first I've seen the post.

Honestly, I don't think it sounds like he's on the autism spectrum, but I do think he needs intervention. It could be PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) which is often autism-like. He sounds decidedly...odd. The name thing is bizarre. I mean, my DD is 4.5 and calls things by goofy names sometimes, but she doesn't refer to people that way

Another possibility is cognitive delays form something else--I know a boy (my sister's neighbor) who is VERY odd and for awhile she and I thought he might be autistic--but maybe not--but there's something off about him and it looks kinda autistic! She found out recently that when he was born the cord was around his neck and he didn't breathe for three minutes--she believes his "quirkiness" (because she's aware of his oddities) stems from that.

If you are on good terms with the family, or if they have expressed their own concerns to you, I would sit down with them when there's nothing else crazy going on (try for a time when their family life isn't chaotic from some trauma, maybe), and let them know that he has behaviors that are concerning and you're worried about him and think--as a friend, fellow parent, and educator--that he needs an evaluation so he can get the help he needs to succeed.

So yeah, you're right that there is SOMEthing off with this child. It's up to a professional to put a name to it, and treat it. Or at the very least document the difficulties so he enters school with an IEP because I think he's going to need one.
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Lilbutterflie 03:19 PM 06-21-2012
Originally Posted by Mary Poppins:
Autism has such a wide spectrum and each child is so unique which is why it takes a lot of diagnostic testing to get an official diagnosis. So my opinion means nothing, really. However, as someone who has done hundreds of hours of research trying to figure my own "quirky" kid out, and I am pretty confident that the child you describe has Asperger's.

I would mention it to his parents and see what they think.
Thanks for your response! I have absolutely no experience with children on the spectrum; and because it is so different for each child I always hesitate to jump to the conclusion that he's on the spectrum.

I hesitate to talk to the parents about it for a few reasons. 1. I have no experience with it, so who am I to say their child might be autistic or have aspergers! 2. They seem to not have any clue that anything is different about him. They seem to adore him and even baby him, perhaps way too much! I don't think they will take it well. 3. I don't even know how I would go about telling them, or what I would say. Any suggestions?
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Blackcat31 03:19 PM 06-21-2012
Originally Posted by Lilbutterflie:
Just wondering why no one seems to respond? Sorry the post was so long, I was just trying to be thorough with my observations. I just would really like some opinions and thoughts! Do you think my observations warrant a talk with his parents?
I did read your post and I actually have a few opions but I wanted to say the reason I did not respond is I think that whenever there are ANY concerns to a child's developmental milestones, we should NEVER try to diagnose or assign a condition.

I think our job is to mention/talk to the parent about our concerns and recommend that the child be evaluated by someone who does have the education and means of diagnosing.

I don't mean to say this snarky or rude at all but I hate playing arm chair pediatrician...... kwim?

I think you did a FABULOUS job with observing and documenting the things that concern you! I think you should have a sit down discussion with the child's parent and recommend that the child be seen by someone who can tell whether or not there is something to be concerned about and if there is anything that can or should be done to work with and help the child and family.

I hope that helps and please know I am not trying to be rude or unhelpful and I fully understand that you were not diagnosing, but merely trying to gain a bit of insight for the benefit of this child and for yourself!

I really do think though that you should have your concerns listed and then go to the parents and suggest evaluating him.
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SilverSabre25 03:22 PM 06-21-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I don't mean to say this snarky or rude at all but I hate playing arm chair pediatrician...... kwim?
The only thing with that is that some of us have credentials, education, or knowledge that do enable us to give insights to things.
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Mary Poppins 03:36 PM 06-21-2012
Originally Posted by Lilbutterflie:

I hesitate to talk to the parents about it for a few reasons. 1. I have no experience with it, so who am I to say their child might be autistic or have aspergers! 2. They seem to not have any clue that anything is different about him. They seem to adore him and even baby him, perhaps way too much! I don't think they will take it well. 3. I don't even know how I would go about telling them, or what I would say. Any suggestions?
I would just leave it alone then, honestly. Some people don't want to hear that their child is "different" and then there are moms like me who know it and want to know WHY, WHAT, WHERE, HOW?!?! lol

I would just embrace his uniqueness and work with him the best you know how. If the parents happen to mention he is X, Y or Z at some point then I'd ask for information specific to whatever it may be.
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Lilbutterflie 03:37 PM 06-21-2012
Thanks for the opinions, ladies. Blackcat, I think you are completely correct in that we shouldn't be diagnosing anything. And I appreciate your opinion always!

I definitely just wanted some other opinions before I talked to the parents and suggest an evaluation. Even just suggesting an evaluation is suggesting that I think he might be on the spectrum, ya know? I didn't want to even bring it up with them if it wasn't warranted.

Sounds like I probably should make a checklist for them and talk to them about it. I dread this type of stuff, though.
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Blackcat31 03:39 PM 06-21-2012
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25:
The only thing with that is that some of us have credentials, education, or knowledge that do enable us to give insights to things.
I know, but I still think that unless we are actually working in the capacity of evaluating and diagnosing kids, insights are just guesses and the child would still need to be evaluated by a professional so that terms and such aren't tossed around needlessly.....

I dunno, I was just kind of thinking from a parents point of view in that I wouldn't want to hear my provider say they thought my child had Autism when it was something completely different.....kwim?

Parents can be funny about this kind of thing.
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Blackcat31 03:53 PM 06-21-2012
Originally Posted by Lilbutterflie:
Thanks for the opinions, ladies. Blackcat, I think you are completely correct in that we shouldn't be diagnosing anything. And I appreciate your opinion always!

I definitely just wanted some other opinions before I talked to the parents and suggest an evaluation. Even just suggesting an evaluation is suggesting that I think he might be on the spectrum, ya know? I didn't want to even bring it up with them if it wasn't warranted.

Sounds like I probably should make a checklist for them and talk to them about it. I dread this type of stuff, though.
Honestly, I would do exactly that. Just make a list of concerns and observations and just say to the parents that there are a few things that concern you about DCB. Then tell them to bring the list to their pediatrician and see what happens.
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SilverSabre25 04:01 PM 06-21-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Honestly, I would do exactly that. Just make a list of concerns and observations and just say to the parents that there are a few things that concern you about DCB. Then tell them to bring the list to their pediatrician and see what happens.
See, that's more or less what I said to say!! I never said to say that she thought something on the spectrum!

No, we shouldn't be telling parents a diagnosis, but we DO need to tell parents when we KNOW their child isn't normal. Some people shy away from even mentioning that and I think that's wrong.
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safechner 04:05 PM 06-21-2012
Most Likely, he has Asperger's on Autism Spectrum. I have a daughter who has PDDNOS. There are so many different on Autism Spectrum that he may be in. As you mentioned, he is 4 years old and he should be in preschool. He can get free evaluation through school or special doctor in Texas.

I would bring up your concern to his parents what they think. Most parents think it is normal when they see their kids all the time. My daughter was normal kid before three years old and she talked (ASL) a lot and doing great with other kids that she loves to play with. At three years old, I noticed something is not right when she stopped social, talk, non eye contact, you name it.... I thought she might was jealous of her sister and she will outgrow of it. I was wrong, the school called us to have an ard meeting that they had concerned about our daughter. We agreed that she got evaluation through school when she was in preschool. They thought she has autism but I don't believe them and I took her to special doctor who evaluation her. He found that she has diagnosed PDDNOS, which is perfectly sense to me. Hope it helps!
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Blackcat31 04:16 PM 06-21-2012
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25:
See, that's more or less what I said to say!! I never said to say that she thought something on the spectrum!

No, we shouldn't be telling parents a diagnosis, but we DO need to tell parents when we KNOW their child isn't normal. Some people shy away from even mentioning that and I think that's wrong.
See we are on the same page! Love how the internet messes with our communication
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youretooloud 04:23 PM 06-21-2012
Most of the kids I've had that were considered autistic did many of the things you describe.

One kid would ask the parents the same questions every day. He expected a certain answer each time. So, even if the real answer was "no" he wanted a "yes" so he could say the next thing. The parents (bless them) learned to answer appropriately, and had patience with him.

He would ask me about the calender every day. I HAD to mark off the number on the calender BEFORE he got there, or it would ruin our day. "Today is November 23..today is November 23, today is not November 22" Even if I changed the number it was too late. The whole day was wrecked.

When I was having the carpeting stretched, the carpet guy removed the little metal strip holding it down between the kitchen and the living room. He became so obsessed over that, that it took a whole summer to get over it.

He talked JUST like Rainman.

The other kids were not so obvious. One girl had all the hand things... flapping, fluttering etc, but never spoke a single word.
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Kaddidle Care 04:41 PM 06-21-2012
He sounds like quite a character - love the names of everyone in his family. Some of that may be encouraged by his family because it is funny.

Some of the things sound very much like my oldest who was DX'd ADHD but I swear he's an Aspie. He even had a roommate in College last year ask him if he was an Aspie.
I remember telling him all the time when he was young "Space!" because he was unaware that he was in people's personal circle of space.

You can't diagnose but you could mention that a few things he does is unusual and fish around a bit to see if the parents are suspecting something isn't quite right yet.

It is very difficult to bring up - I would focus more on his not being able to understand questions, statements and his lack of ability to form the right words.
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itlw8 05:41 PM 06-21-2012
Who knows what his letter soup is but there are enough things there the parents need to get him evaluated.

Learned something today. The young man I have this summer is likely Asbergers but he does not have a final diagnisis. The parents need to hurry and get it nailed down if possible because the classifications are changing and there will no longer be asbergers.
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familyschoolcare 05:47 PM 06-21-2012
Op-- I think you should give the parents a a written list of the things you have seen and heard fr your self and tell them that those are the things you have seen

that could (not are, but could) be considered part of a social or learning disability and you sujest they talk to their doctor about it. Thst is all you should tell the

parents even if asked for more information. If parents ask what do you mean what kind of disorder say I do not know I can only tell you about the out of the ordinary

behavior I see. Repaet that as often as needed. Be honest with the parnets you do not know what if anything that theire child has.
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EntropyControlSpecialist 06:22 PM 06-21-2012
You know that I am on the spectrum, and what you wrote screams, "ON THE SPECTRUM!" to me. For sure.

I like the idea of giving the parents a list of "odd behaviors." If nothing else, when someone says it to them again in Kinder or 1st grade maybe they'll move forward with getting him diagnosed.
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MizzCheryl 07:29 PM 06-21-2012
This is a hard thing to approach with most parents.
There could be some things that he could be helped with OT. He may have some sensory dysfunction as well. The hugging , hyper sensitivity to sounds and smells could be a sensory issue.

Perhaps you could have them talk with his doctor but really doctors, in my experience, have been more of a hinderence than a help when it comes to helping parents recognize their child may need help.

Sounds like you are really helping him. I hope you are able to get him some extra help if he qualifies.
In the 14 years I have been doing this job only a few parents have been open to getting their child the help they really needed. Many times I set up speach screening and all the have to do is sign the paperwork but will not do it. It is a shame but we are limited in what we can do.
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SilverSabre25 08:19 PM 06-21-2012
Originally Posted by itlw8:
Who knows what his letter soup is but there are enough things there the parents need to get him evaluated.

Learned something today. The young man I have this summer is likely Asbergers but he does not have a final diagnisis. The parents need to hurry and get it nailed down if possible because the classifications are changing and there will no longer be asberger
s.
Source for that information, please?

Edit: never mind, I found a few references to it. I would like to point out though that the classification may be changing; the recognition, existence, and characteristics are not. The parents don't "need" to do anything; he'll get the right help even if the name changes. Asperger's IS high-functioning autism; that's been known since 1994. They're just renaming it again. That doesn't make it go away. It might actually make it simpler to deal with, actually.

From the article linked above:
Originally Posted by :
For Hernando County mother Stacy Walsh, a big book of health conditions isn't going to change what she knows about her 11-year-old son, Gavin, diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and as a high-functioning autistic child.

"The changing of the definition is probably a formal thing, but in the field that's already been accepted for a long time," said Walsh, co-director of Special Students of Hernando. "It's overdue."
And there you go. I typed the paragraph above the quote before I even read this part of the article.
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sfp 08:37 PM 06-21-2012
Sometimes it's us moms (or caregivers) that diagnose ASD first and then the doctor figures it out. I can't tell you how many moms I know that knew and insisted their child be tested before any doctor ever suggested it (and were right). We know our kids. However, the spectrum is so wide and diverse it's just really hard to say.. if you have concerns I'm guessing the mom may have concerns too. Definitely worth a discussion...
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sfp 08:55 PM 06-21-2012
Sorry, didn't read where you said that the parents don't have a clue...

Geeeze... that makes it harder, but still worth a discussion.

Good luck! Touchy subject.

Check out Autismspeaks.org for some great resources....
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cheerfuldom 09:01 PM 06-21-2012
Are the parents open to the discussion?
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Willow 09:14 PM 06-21-2012
If I were you I wouldn't recommend they bring him to a pediatrician. Too many times parents will bring a kiddo in, make an off hand remark about an overly nosey daycare provider thinking kiddo has a problem, and then bury it with a bunch of information that gives the pediatrician the impression that the child is perfectly fine. Rarely does it go anywhere unless the parent is genuinely concerned themselves and pushes for further intervention. Not to mention many don't have much in the way of education in the areas of behavior and psychology.

If I were you I'd encourage the parents to get him a preschool/pre-K eval. He's four, so plenty old enough for one, and most schools offer them at no charge regularly to try to catch kids needing intervention before they get into kindergarten. Undoubtedly they'd pick up on what you're experiencing and be able to give the parents the wake up call it sounds they need.

I have one 4 year old kiddo who was really struggling socially and cognitively. I too couldn't pin down why. I encouraged the family to get him evaluated when I saw a district wide one was upcoming on the premise that all of my other preschooler aged kiddos were having one and it would be nice for them to have a baseline. Thankfully they took him. He now falls under the special ed umbrella and the evaluators convinced them he needed to start receiving services now. They are fantastic about working with children AND getting their parents to come around.

Call your local elementary school and find out when the next one is. Then let them know most kids his age are going. Encourage them to see where he's at, let them know you'd love to learn how it turned out so if there are any weak spots you can find ways to help him strengthen them up before he starts school. Most parents are pretty receptive if you come across in a "this is a very typical thing to do" way.
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SilverSabre25 09:54 PM 06-21-2012
Originally Posted by Willow:
If I were you I wouldn't recommend they bring him to a pediatrician. Too many times parents will bring a kiddo in, make an off hand remark about an overly nosey daycare provider thinking kiddo has a problem, and then bury it with a bunch of information that gives the pediatrician the impression that the child is perfectly fine. Rarely does it go anywhere unless the parent is genuinely concerned themselves and pushes for further intervention. Not to mention many don't have much in the way of education in the areas of behavior and psychology.

If I were you I'd encourage the parents to get him a preschool/pre-K eval. He's four, so plenty old enough for one, and most schools offer them at no charge regularly to try to catch kids needing intervention before they get into kindergarten. Undoubtedly they'd pick up on what you're experiencing and be able to give the parents the wake up call it sounds they need.

I have one 4 year old kiddo who was really struggling socially and cognitively. I too couldn't pin down why. I encouraged the family to get him evaluated when I saw a district wide one was upcoming on the premise that all of my other preschooler aged kiddos were having one and it would be nice for them to have a baseline. Thankfully they took him. He now falls under the special ed umbrella and the evaluators convinced them he needed to start receiving services now. They are fantastic about working with children AND getting their parents to come around.

Call your local elementary school and find out when the next one is. Then let them know most kids his age are going. Encourage them to see where he's at, let them know you'd love to learn how it turned out so if there are any weak spots you can find ways to help him strengthen them up before he starts school. Most parents are pretty receptive if you come across in a "this is a very typical thing to do" way.
This is excellent advice and she said everything I was trying to make my thoughts say. DS has a fever and has been clingy all day, so my thinking kept getting interrupted every 5 nanoseconds by a needy darling baby.
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Tags:autism, autism spectrum disorder
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