Autism / Asperger's / PDD Support

I am new here and think my son may have Aspbergers
January 30, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Hello Moms!

I just joined this forum here because I needed a place to start to get some information, and who has more information on kids than Moms!

My son Thomas is a twin, and he is 14 years old.  He is very well behaved most of the time, and he is very smart.  I homeschool him and his brother, because was having problems getting along with other kids.  There was a lot of taunting and teasing, even thugh Thomas is not overly awkward, but acts a little different than other kids.  One boy kept teasing Tomas until Thpmas punched him, and he was suspended for it.

Anyway, I always knew Thomas was a bit quirky, but in the last year I have noticed some strange things.  He started to snap his fingers when he walks and can't seem to stop doing it, even though he tries.  He has always whispered sentences under his breath after speaking them.  I have always thought he would grow out of this, but he hasn't, and he does it worse when he is nervous.

So I mentioned this to a good friend who just happens to be a family councilor, thank you Jesus!  She told me to look up the symptoms of high functioning Autism.  I looked up the symptoms and my son has 90% of the symptoms of Aspbergers Syndrome.  I have only talked to my husband and my oldest daughter, who is 18, but haven't talked abou it with my twins yet.  I don't want Thomas to be self conscious or upset over it, and I can gaurantee it will upset him.

So my question is, should I get him diagnosed?  Will it really make any difference?  He is not a problem at home, and is such a sweet, loving child that cares so much for others.  He is also a dream to homeschool because he is so smart.  I have books of comics he has written and drawn, starting at 5 years old.  He also wrote his first novel at 12 years old and now is working on computer animation.  Brag, brag, brag, I know. :)  But I am so very proud of him.  He does have a little awkwardness making friends.  In fact, he has no firiends outside of family.  His twin brother is a god-send, because he picks up on his social cues, I believe. 

But as he gets older, I just need to know what would be best for my Thomas.  What would you Moms say would be my next step?  Thank you for any help!



  • dmsfr
    by dmsfr
    January 30, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    So my question is, should I get him diagnosed? 

    That's a very personal decision that really only you can answer.

    Will it really make any difference? 

    It could inform treatment for him, interventions to helping him make friends, it could open up additional services from the school district that could also help him. It could also help him to understand himself and how he is hard wired.

    But as he gets older, I just need to know what would be best for my Thomas.  What would you Moms say would be my next step?  Thank you for any help!

    Talk to his pediatrician and/or the school district. Even if he is not in a traditional classroom, the school can test him for the educational piece. This would open up other services to him that the district may have to offer. To do this, you would have to contact the head of special education in writing. Send the letter certified mail because they only have so many business days by law to respond to you. Also, you may want to have a full neuropsych done on him. The pedi can recommend someone. This could also help show what his strengths and weaknesses are educationally and also make recommendations on what treatments would be best for him long term.

  • Pegv
    by Pegv
    January 31, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    The previous comment was correct, and that it is a very personal desision on what is best for your family.

    I have a a 15 year old son with Aspergers.  My experience is a bit different because i do not homeschool him. We had him diagnosed early  with different outcomes.  Some tests said he had traits across the spectrum but not Aspergers, then i had others say he had Asperger.  The bottom line was that his brain worked differently and he needed tools to understand the people around him so he could respond appropriately to certain siduations. As he has gotten older the Asperger if VERY aparent now. We watched other kids his age and he is on a different maturity level.  We never told him until last year that he was diagnosed with Asbergers.  We only ever told him that,  just like some people need to study really hard at math or science to understand it.  He needs to study and work on social skills.  We decided  to tell him the lable because the few other Aspie kids that we knew, all knew there diagnosis and they seemed to embrased it and felt relief to understand why thy were different.  My son says he is happy to know that it is something alot of people have and that there is a name for it and that he is not so different. 

    I also really appriciate all the services that come with having the diagnosis. You also mention that he does not have any friend other than family members.  One day that will change and he will need to know how to deal with situations outside of the house.  With the fact that you are homeschooling, kind of limits the opportunity for social interactions outsite of the family. Are you in a homeschooling group? ( my son does not react the same with us in the house as he does with kids and new people he meets) But he does go to therapy to learn what is an appropriate reactions. He use to be physical in is reactions, then it changed to inappropriately verbal.  Things have gotten alot better and he can control his first reactions . 

     Does he know he is different?  If so , does he embrace his differences?  If he does not know it now, one day he may wonder why he does not have the same social interactions that others have. If you choose not to get a diagnosis, i would just watch and see how he feels about his differences. If he does not notice or care then don't put a spot light on them with therapy visits. If he seems to get sad over friendships or tries to escape into activities like video games i would address it. You said he can't stop the snapping fingers even when he tries. Does that make him frustrated or upset that he can't stop it.?  My son does get depressed that he cant make friends as easily as others. So he likes to get lost in video games because it is an environment he can control. We do limit it. But it is his comfort zone. 


  • Chelle777
    February 1, 2014 at 1:01 PM
    Thank you dmsfr and Peg for your replies. It really does help.

    Peg, to answer your questions, yes my son Thomas is involved in groups and he does get quite a bit of social interaction. He does know he is different and he does seem to embrace it to an extent. He doesn't really seem to care how others see him. I don't think it is him trying to cover up his feelings but acts like he truly doesn't care. He lives in his own brain so much that I don't think he misses having friends. I know this will probably change in the future and I do want him to know how to interact with people his age.

    He does notice that he cannot stop his snapping his fingers, but it's actually a game to him now to see how long he can go without doing it. He does sound a lot like your son in wanting to be playing video games. If we would let him he would do it all day long but we limit him also. He doesn't seem like he gets depressed or anything but I worry about him as an adult.

    I am considering getting him diagnosed but the problem is that my husband doesn't want him to be tested and he doesn't want Thomas to know either. So right now I am taking one day at a time. The good thing is that my husband now sees the signs and if Thomas struggles in any way in the future he will do what's best for Thomas. He is a good dad.

    Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it
  • KrissyKC
    February 23, 2014 at 11:10 PM
    We are in your same shoes with my eldest girl. She is 12.

    She will flick and snap her fingers or clench and unclench her hands when speaking with peers, in new situations, or when she has gotten in trouble.

    She has other issues as well.

    Mainly I'm just commenting that my kid has to have limits placed on books. People think I'm nuts but she gets grounded from books when she has gotten in big trouble.
  • moodymelody
    October 24, 2014 at 8:35 PM
    "The bottom line was that his brain worked differently and he needed tools to understand the people around him so he could respond appropriately to certain siduations."
    Yes, this! Get the DX, you will be so glad you did. Just knowing "why" can be so helpful to all of you. My hubby still balks, despite the DX, but we both communicate better with our son now because the DX has given us all a better understanding of each other and a knowledge that we all think and learn differently. I feel the DX has removed some of the frustration we used to feel and we have more patience with him. It has just made for a better environment for everyone. And knowing has given my son the ability to do his own research into how his brain works and enabled him to find ways of coping in our social society all on his own.
  • emarin77
    October 25, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    It is now diagnosed as High Functioning Autism.  Have him evaluated by a private child psychologist.  I would also question if his behaviors are affecting him in the classroom and learning?  If they are I would contact special ed services and give them a copy of his diagnosis.  His public school will do their evaluation.  An IEP meeting will be set up in 2-3 months.

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