My 5 year old received an ASD diagnosis a year ago. We were in denial, because he didn’t have any of the classic ASD symptoms, other than the intense focus on things that he’s interested in, and some social delay. However, his behavior became increasingly challenging at preschool, and now kindergarten. We sought second opinion and went to see a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, who thought he is not ASD, but was ready to diagnose ADHD, due to his very poor impulse control.

Intuitively, we think he has some gifted traits. He figured out simple multiplication by himself (say, up to 5x5), and taught himself two-digit additions, and some three-digit additions. For a while he’s into astronomy and was able to sit through long planetarium shows, engaged and excited with lots of questions. He’s better/faster at LEGO than I do. He corrects my grammar mistakes. He is very curious and sometimes asks deep questions that surprise adults. However, his full scale IQ score is only 121. I wasn’t sure if he’s twice-exceptional, until I saw the “Matthew” case study here, and realized my 5 year old could be twice exceptional (or just normal with ADHD… I really don’t know at this point). What are your thoughts?

His WPPSI-IV subtest scores are:

Verbal Comprehension 98th percentile
- Information 98th
- Similarities 95th
Visual Spatial 88th
- Block Design 95th
- Object Assembly 63rd
Fluid Reasoning 87th
- Matrix Reasoning 95th
- Picture Concepts 63rd
Working Memory 75th
- Picture Memory 25th
- Zoo Locations 95th
Processing Speed 13th
- Bug Search 25th
- Cancellation 9th

We are in the process of developing an IEP (eligibility is established due to his extremely disruptive behavior in classroom), but unfortunately our state doesn’t have a gifted/twice exceptional program. I know every kid is different, but would really love to know if there’s someone like him who’s traveled down the same path, and what worked/didn’t work. My main concerns are (1) compliance in the classroom (2) his ability to regulate his emotions to enable learning

He had a functional behavior analysis done, and his very disruptive behaviors (hitting, ripping paper, pushing and throwing things, running around, screaming, attempting to leave classroom) can be mostly explained by (1) task avoidance and (2) seeking attention. He actually loves social interactions and initiates those interactions, not always in an appropriate way of course, but adults have been very patient and encouraging, given his age. He does really well one-on-one with an adult in a quiet room, but is a completely different kid in the classroom. He hates putting pen to paper, despite having really good fine motor skills. Wouldn’t practicing writing/letter formation, even one-on-one with me, but would happily draw/write if HE chooses to.

He loves being read to, but his reading skill is a bit of a disappointment to me. He had good phonemic awareness early on, and using my other kid as benchmark, I thought he’d learn to read by age 4. He’s 5, and still not there. He seems to give up quickly and avoids hard work. It’s perplexing for me, because I also see how driven and persistent he can be in other circumstances. He seems to have poor self-control. I don’t know if it’s worth the struggle now, trying to get him to follow instruction, or is it something that he’ll grow out of, and I should give him a free pass most of the time, as long as it’s not a safety concern.

We are about to start ABA. He currently has a one-on-two aide in the classroom, but that doesn’t seem to be sufficient. He will hopefully get speech (for social) and resource room pull out. What else could the school district provide to support him? His current aide isn’t a trained BCBA, and I feel like he needs social classes/groups, plus one-on-one support from a BCBA. But of course, that’ll be too much to ask from an inadequately funded school district.

Thank you very much for your input!!!

Edited by yp44 (12/07/19 10:12 PM)
Edit Reason: omitted one test score earlier, filled it in now