Autism

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by emmakate218, May 22, 2009.

  1. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    May 22, 2009

    Hi y'all! I was just wondering if anyone has anything to contribute - advice, personal stories, etc.

    I have two nieces and three nephews. The two nieces are sisters - one is 13 years old and the other just turned 3 years old in April. Their mother, one of my older sisters, has always remarked on the 13 year olds weird social behavior and I suggested she research Asperger syndrome. She had no clue about it and she's not one to research things that she's concerned about. My sister is one to be concerned, but she's not one to take matters into her own hands. Her daughter is 13 and she's still just remarking about her odd behavior - not researching anything. When I suggested she research Asperger syndrome, I saw the gears her head start going and she started commenting more and more on the 3 year olds behavior. My sister has been commenting on her behavior since last fall and is still commenting. She asks me whether or not I think she may have Autism. I've told her I didn't think so because I thought maybe she was jumping to conclusions and with me just recently suggesting looking into Asperger syndrome as a cause to weird social behavior of her 13 year old. My sister is known as being a bit ditzy so jumping to conclusions about any weird behavior her children do, is something our family would laugh and roll their eyes at. It's been on my mind more and more though.

    My 3 year old niece definitely isn't where she needs to be with language development. I don't believe she gets enough interaction with other people and children to develop in that area. It's just my niece with her mother, father, her older sister, and an occasional vistor here and there. She simply doesn't talk as she should for being 3 years old. She's been known to echo what's been said to her and babble to herself while she's in play. Every now and then, she'll surprise us and be very clear in what she's saying. When it comes to interactions with others, my niece doesn't interact peacefully whatsoever, even after she's "warmed" up. She can be downright vicious with throwing violent tantrums, just from someone trying to play with her. Her mother jokes with the family, "Don't engage her!" She doesn't do this all the time, but our family has experienced her getting mad if she catches you looking at her. We were suggested to not even look at her. She has just recently started playing as if it's all ritual, which I know is quite normal for young children, but I didn't know if this type of play is indicative of Autism. When she plays, she will have a toy in one hand, dance around in circles, while motioning with her open hand over the toy - it's almost as if she's a witch and she's doing a ritual. She did it in a restaurant recently with a napkin. While she's doing this, she tends to babble. Another thing she does is line her toys up. She does this with almost everything. Just recently, she received some counting bears and the first thing she did with them, was line them up along the coffee table in a straight line - they looked like a little bear army that was mobilized! She did it was such extreme precision and I didn't dare mess with the bears because she would have thrown an extreme tantrum if I had. My brother in law also told me about how my niece will throw a fit if her shoelaces aren't perfect. My sister and brother in law joke about how she has OCD. My niece just doesn't interact the way she should for her age and I feel like she's been delayed for some reason.

    So, has anyone had a child that had similar behavior at this age and grow up "normal?" Does anyone with experience and education in Autism have any comments or advice?
     
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  3. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    May 22, 2009

    emmakate218, I had a little boy this year with Asperger's and he'd become fixated on something and I couldn't get him to mentally change to the next topic. He'd stay mentally attached to whatever for an extended period of time. He was a savant when it came to math. There's so many different stages of autism, I'm going to suggest the child be tested by a professional so all of you don't have to guess.
     
  4. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    May 22, 2009

    I agree with Hoot Owl... Having worked with children with autism for over 12 years, some of the behaviors you describe are behaviors that children in the autistic spectrum exhibit. I think your neice should see a pediatrician. Have your sister write down and share the behaviors that she observes in her daughter. If anything maybe he would suggest that your sister seek speech and language therapy for your neice.
     
  5. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    May 22, 2009

    Thanks for the reply. I realize my post was extremely long. :) I've been doing a bit more research and watching videos of children with and w/o autism at age 3 and comparing them. I just keep thinking of my niece's language development. Her receptive language is very little. I've noticed it over the past year now and have just kept thinking, "Shouldn't a two/three year old be talking more by now?" She doesn't converse with anyone, she will say "No" or her favorite when she's with me, "No, Emma!" (if I "engage" her...and that's her polite response), "Doll", "Juice", and other than that, she pretty much just babbles to herself here and there. She's totally in her own world. I really feel for my sister and her husband because of their financial situation...I hope taking their daugher to a doctor and taking her through all the necessary diagnosis steps is covered by whatever insurance they have. One of my three nephews has MR and Autism so...it would be quite a blow to have another child in the family with special needs. It's strange...my three sisters are my half sisters and two of them are the ones with the children with special needs...Autism is thought to be genetic...I wonder if it's come from their biological mother's side. Interesting.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 23, 2009

    In Oregon, early intervention services are free. I thought that it was free in all states.

    Some of the behaviours might be normal. I would have to observe her to determine normal/delayed. Some of her behavious sounds like her development is delayed. If the issue is just a delay, she needs to be in a play group. I have know children who did not speak or have vocab due to environmental issues.

    Yes, she needs to be evaluated.
     
  7. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    May 23, 2009

    Emma in Texas you can to the school district's Spec Ed department talk to them. We have a program called ChildFind. It is to help identify children with special needs. I think they can be placed into the PPCD class if the district has one. That way they can begin to be socialized as well receive other services available to school aged children.
     
  8. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    May 23, 2009

    Thanks for the replies, y'all. I researched what options are available for my sister if she chooses to acknowledge that her daughter may be delayed or have special needs. My niece just turned 3 years old so she's not eligible for ECI services anymore, but is eligble for services provided by the local school district. I'm definitely going to have a talk with my sister and recommend that she refers her daughter for evaluation before she starts public school...once she's in the system, they'll give the RTI runaround, but since she's not in the system yet, her evaluation can hopefully be fast tracked a bit. This will be a touchy talk with my sister though because she'll feel as if she's not a good mother and all that, and one of our other sisters has already experienced all the grief that comes with having to acknowledge she has a child with special needs. It won't be easy. I feel though that she already suspects something is not "normal"...she definitely needs help wth knowing what services are available. Thanks again, y'all!
     

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