misdiagnosed student in my self-contained class

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by Proud2BATeacher, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

    Dec 27, 2005
    Likes Received:

    Oct 11, 2006

    I have a student in my mild autism self-contained class who I believe has been misdiagnosed with autism. My school diagnosed him last April and I disagreed with the diagnosis then because he also has severe ADHD and many of the behaviors could have been attributed to that and also because his behavior had changed so much from the beginning of the year as compared to January. Everyone who knew him, except for his teacher, classroom parapro, resource room teacher and assist. principal also thought he was not autistic.

    I talked to my assistant principal the first week of school and was told to wait 2 weeks for his "autism" to come out :eek: . Well, it hasn't. He is a major disruption in my class and most of the things that I will do with a student to help them focus causes a major disruption in my class because it over stimulates my other students. He is very impulsive and needs constant redirection. He takes up more time than my 4 autistic students put together. He is not bad but he lacks any type of self-control. I give him positive reinforcement for every little thing that he does and I even have the whole class cheer/clap for him. He is able to move about as much as he needs but he would walk in front of the other students while I am teaching, he will throw things and try to catch them and hit someone in the process when I give him something to hold, he goes "crazy" when I give him exercises to do.... I am thinking of doing Brain Gym with him.

    Unfortunately, his parents are now pointing out autistic qualities that are not there -- they are either age appropriate behavior or ADHD behavior. He is a bright student but can't focus, very social and has no language deficits. I believe he is not in his least restrictive environment, even though my assistant principal thinks I should keep him because he is doing well academically (but really, who wouldn't do well academically in a small group setting). I have talked to my new school psychologist and she agreed to reassess him.

    Now for my question, how do you think I should approach this with my students' parents without my school fearing that they will be sued for misdiagnosing him? They pretty well based his diagnosis using a screening assessment.
  3. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

    Sep 16, 2005
    Likes Received:

    Oct 12, 2006


    Read his last assessment report and see what it says about his "official" diagnosis. I also have AS and I was mislabed as having a "learning disability" which was totally untrue. I actually had mild autism and they had no clue about Asperger's Syndrome down in South Texas until the past 5-7 years now. It's ridiculous that it has taken this LONG to realize that autistic children are not all severe or lower functioning. He might have sensory-integration issues. I would talk to the Occupational Therapist for some suggestions. Make sure that you are keeping data collection on his behavior. I would suggest using the ABC model. Antecdent, Behavior and Consequence. Also, have you determined the function of his behaviors? Are most of the behaviors sensory or attention-seeking behaviors? I would make sure that you have quite a bit of data collection before you decide to make a decision. I hope this helps.

    Troy in Downey, CA

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