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    "Worrying is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."
    Van Wilder, posted by Daniel
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Hi there.

As well as having my own catalogue of disasters I am anxious to help a relative of mine. She has a son, almost 15, and it is as plain as the nose your face that he has Asperger's. If not, it is something very closely linked to it.

However, she refuses to acknowledge that there is anything wrong. As he is very intelligent, she just believes that she has an over gifted child, her head is buried in the sand and I don't know what to do.

She has mentioned that there has been several episodes of him being bullied in school.

Also, he has no friends, has no life outside of his house, never kicks a ball, lives at his PC when not at school. She really isn't helping him but we cannot seem to get through to her.

Also, another worry, he is very fond of my 7 year old daughter. He is forever touching her (not intimately, just very tactile) and trying to hold her and he also seems to be able to relate to her better than kids his own age.

It worries me as I wonder, how far will this go before I have to say something? And possibly alienate my relative?

It saddens me when I think of my stepdaughter who is just 18 months older but is doing all the normal things a child of her age should do whilst this guy is stuck in limbo all because his Mother won't acknowledge that there is a problem.

Any suggestions? Thanks for reading.

Manic.
 

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Re: Asperger syndrome advice please

It is not at all uncommon for parents of a child with neuro-psychological or neuro psychiatric disorders to be in denial.

Some insights into how the dynamics of denial can affect a family have a look at this Psychlinks Thread

Delivering knowledge is your best strategy, and suggesting the child be seen by a neurologist in order to rule out other disorders and to lead toward a difinitive diagnosis.

It would be unfair to the child not to know what is his diagnosis, as he enters adolescence and adulthood, becuase it's only by knowing, that he can develop the strategies to become a productive and contented adult.

I am anxious to help a relative of mine

It can be very frustrating to see someone about whom we care, ignore the health needs of their child.

You can present the proposition that if the child was having difficulty with digestion, had blurred vision or seizures, there would be no hesitation to consult a doctor.

The same logic should be applied to matters of behavioural, psychological or psychiatric disorders.

The bottom line, is, however, you can give this relative the information, but it is that family's responsibility to act on it.

and it is as plain as the nose your face that he has Aspergers.

Is this based on a diagnosis made by a medical professional or your own observation?
 

David Baxter

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Re: Asperger syndrome advice please

What makes you believe this young man has Asperger Syndrome, Manic?
 

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Re: Asperger syndrome advice please

Information on Asperger's Syndrome can be obtained from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

ClICK HERE for NINDS

The information can be emailed from their site to a third party, or formatted for printing.

I would classify this resource as reliable as it is associated with the National Institutes of Health (U.S.A) and as of this posting the info was last updated July 31, 2007 .

The above information has been made available as a posting on Psychlinks for your convenience:

What is Asperger's Syndrome? - Psychlinks Psychology and Self-Help Forum
 
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David Baxter

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Re: Asperger syndrome advice please

But the most important part of diagnosis is differential diagnosis - ruling out other possibilities and/or choosing the best or most accurate diagnosis out of alternate possibilities.

Reading a list of symptoms and using it as a checklist is only a small part of that process. That's why diagnosis is restricted to certain trained professionals and why I always state that self-diagnosis is a bad idea.
 
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Re: Asperger syndrome advice please

Thank you all. I didn't mean to come across as an arrogant so and so regarding this - I am after all not a Doctor. Blimey, some days I can't add 2 and 2! Anyway, I digress. The reason I am convinced that this boy has AS is because my daughter showed certain signs of it so we had her put under assessment for 18 months. She was discharged after that time as she did not meet enough criteria for a 'label'. Fair enough. She's a quirky girl but her signs of AS gradually fizzled out, though from time to time something rears up and I do wonder. But that's another story.

Because of this earlier episode I read up a lot on AS, and, I do apologise for diagnosing him myself, I know it was wrong, but I have spent enough time with the boy to hazard a guess. He displays all the classic traits and a few years ago his teacher called my aunt into school and suggested he may have AS. Aunt was having none of it. Perhaps I should have explained myself a little better in my original post.

I really want to help but I can't see how I can. I don't mean to be unkind but the boy is getting worse and I know I shouldn't say this but we don't look forward to them visiting anymore mainly because it puts us in an awkward situation having to pretend that everything is okay. The poor thing can't look at us when talking and speaks in monosyllabes all of the same tone, he doesn't seem to register when we speak to him, he walks around with glazed eyes, almost robotic, almost like he has taken drugs.

As I said, please don't for one minute think that I am being unkind. I just want to see that he gets some help without offending my aunt who insists that there is nothing wrong. I know I'm not perfect by a long chalk, not a super mum by any means, but I feel that she is doing him a huge disservice by ignoring it.

Manic.
 

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Re: Asperger syndrome advice please

MSP,

I didn't mean to come across as an arrogant so and so regarding this

There was no interpretation made as to your motivations, but only some suggestions taking all the circumstances you described into consideration.

The one thing you will find about Psychlinks, is that there is no judging of anyone..we just share information.

Dealing with disorders that are intrusive is not easy and requires a great deal of understanding by everyone involved.

The poor thing can't look at us when talking and speaks in monosyllabes all of the same tone, he doesn't seem to register when we speak to him, he walks around with glazed eyes, almost robotic,

This seems to be the way in which this disorder is expressed, and being a neurological disorder, the expressions are involuntary, if I am not mistaken.

I do not have as much experience with AS as I do with Tourette Syndrome, but if the manifestations of AS are involuntary, then the family and all the young man's acquaintances need to be educated in what they can expect from the boy...which may seem to be disruptive, but by accomodating him is special ways while he is visiting, the boy can be made to feel comfortable and the adults can enjoy their time together.

However none of this can come about until the boy is seen by people who specialize in neurological disorders in order that a diagnosis can be made.

The course of action would be to see a pediatrician who can refer him to the appropriate center where the boy can be properly evaluated.

Disorders such as AS and other similar behavioural, or learning or tic disorders have come a long way in recent decades, providing hope for young people to live productive and contented lives.

The journey must begin in childhood, and parents must be made aware of their responsibility to their child to be given every opportunity to grow into an adult who can enjoy the best quality of life possible.

The other alternative is to hide from his disorder, where his self confidence and self image will deteriorate to the point where he will have a very difficult time to integrate into society.

I wish I could ask your aunt, which of these two prospects would she like to see for her son.
 
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Re: Asperger syndrome advice please

Oh, Steve, I wish I could ask her too. I really really do. I don't know what to do.

And sorry if I came across as being a little defensive. I have been on some quite heavy duty forums in the past, I am pleased it's not like that here.

I thank you for taking the time out to help.
 

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Re: Asperger syndrome advice please

I have been on some quite heavy duty forums in the past,

I know what you mean, but be assured, we're light duty on Psychlinks.

Feel at ease about speaking freely, and even venting if you wish.

If you still have reservations, have a look at our repertoire of "Smilies"..:hippy:.which should give you an idea of how we enjoy ourselves, despite some very serious topics.
 

David Baxter

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Re: Asperger syndrome advice please

I didn't mean to come across as an arrogant so and so regarding this - I am after all not a Doctor. Blimey, some days I can't add 2 and 2! Anyway, I digress. The reason I am convinced that this boy has AS is because my daughter showed certain signs of it so we had her put under assessment for 18 months.

To confirm Steve's comments, I didn't mean to imply that you were coming across that way at all, manic. I'm simply cautioning you and anyone reading this thread about the dangers of self-diagnosis from a symptom list (cf. the "medical student syndrome").

Your subsequent comments clarified why you have a concern about Asperger Syndrome with this child and I would agree that getting someone to see the child would be a good idea. However, there are other syndromes, including a non-verbal learning disability or social anxiety, that might account for the symptoms.
 
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Also, another worry, he is very fond of my 7 year old daughter. He is forever touching her (not intimately, just very tactile) and trying to hold her and he also seems to be able to relate to her better than kids his own age.

It worries me as I wonder, how far will this go before I have to say something? And possibly alienate my relative?

Hi Manic and welcome! :)

Your worry is understandable. It is time to teach your daughter to say no to such excessive touching and "holding". It doesn't have to be intimate to be invasive and teaching our children to set boundaries is an important part of their social upbringing.

I hope your sister will eventually seek help for her son and i wish you good courage in your own struggles. Good to have you with us!

Blessings,

Jos?e
 
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I hadn't considered the social anxiety aspect, David. Thank you.

I just so wish I could get her to listen. The poor kid desperatley needs help with whatever it is.:(

Hi Manic and welcome! :)

Your worry is understandable. It is time to teach your daughter to say no to such excessive touching and "holding". It doesn't have to be intimate to be invasive and teaching our children to set boundaries is an important part of their social upbringing.

I hope your sister will eventually seek help for her son and i wish you good courage in your own struggles. Good to have you with us!

Blessings,

Josée


Thank you so much. Trouble with this is that my daughter doesn't seem to mind. It is me who has the problem with it. Whether that's just me being over protective or not I don't know but I do not like it. Also, my daughter is such a blabbermouth she is likely to say 'my mummy said you are not to touch me' or something to that effect, making the whole situation even more awkward!
Oh, and she's my aunt.:D
 
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