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    #239644 - 09/11/17 10:31 PM Re: Special interest or gifted trait? [Re: BananaGirl]
    Eskes Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/05/17
    Posts: 56
    Thank you for sharing this checklist. What does it mean when they have an even amount of checks on both sides?

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    #239645 - 09/12/17 06:01 AM Re: Special interest or gifted trait? [Re: Eskes]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4221
    While an article, book, or checklist can help raise awareness, a diagnosis can only come from a full neuropsych eval.

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    #239646 - 09/12/17 06:40 AM Re: Special interest or gifted trait? [Re: Eskes]
    Nolepharm Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/31/17
    Posts: 25
    Loc: Florida

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    #239649 - 09/12/17 10:42 AM Re: Special interest or gifted trait? [Re: Eskes]
    Thomas Percy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/18/12
    Posts: 206
    Originally Posted By: Eskes
    Thank you for sharing this checklist. What does it mean when they have an even amount of checks on both sides?


    Maybe he is both? Gifted with Aspergers?

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    #239650 - 09/12/17 11:12 AM Re: Special interest or gifted trait? [Re: Thomas Percy]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
    Originally Posted By: Eskes
    Thank you for sharing this checklist. What does it mean when they have an even amount of checks on both sides?


    Maybe he is both? Gifted with Aspergers?

    As a mother of two gifted children on the spectrum, I can confirm that I check a roughly balanced number of boxes on both sides of the chart, except that they are all on the right side for motor skills.

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    #239655 - 09/12/17 12:45 PM Re: Special interest or gifted trait? [Re: Eskes]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: Eskes
    I am concerned that maybe my son was misdiagnosed and could just be showing some gifted traits. He does not socialize with kids at school and does not like recess. However he is able to have friends outside of a school setting. I just can't get his therapist to agree.


    Eskes, I don't have experience with autism, but I have a 2e ds who is diagnosed with dyspraxia, which includes some symptoms also found on the autism spectrum. I'm going to share a little bit of his story with you, not because I think that his symptoms/diagnosis are related to your ds, but because I can identify with the questions you've asked and perhaps my journey as a parent might help with thinking through how you want to proceed.

    My ds is in high school now, but fwiw, when he was very young, before he entered school, we (parents) had no clue that he had any type of challenge - he fit in very well at home and preschool, he was clearly highly intelligent based on his verbal communication skills, and he was happy. School, starting around 2nd grade when the demand for academic work began, brought a lot of difficulty. None of that made sense to us as parents, because we knew (at home) our ds as this obviously highly intelligent kid. His teachers, otoh, saw a child who couldn't communicate, was isolated socially, and was staring off into the ether as if he didn't have a clue what was up during class. When I talked to the teacher, I was coming from the point of view of a parent who saw my child as high IQ and the expectation on my part was that ds must be bored or a perfectionist or the classroom was a misfit or whatever... the teacher otoh, with experience teaching a wide range of children, saw my ds as a kid who was having severe difficulty in the classroom and based on her experiences felt she was seeing a child with ADHD. Neither one of us was "wrong" - but neither one of us had the correct understanding of how to put together the pieces of what was really challenging my ds.

    I wouldn't toss out a professional's diagnosis or report etc off-hand because it doesn't fit what you feel you're seeing - there's value in both what you're seeing and what the professional saw. If you haven't had either a development pediatrician assessment or a neuropsych evaluation, I'd consider one or the other as the next step in better understanding what's going on with your ds. I wouldn't think of that step as a step toward either removing or retaining an ASD diagnosis, but instead look at it as an opportunity to find what tools are available that will be helpful to your specific child.

    Our ds was diagnosed through a neuropsych evaluation, and the diagnosis wasn't what either myself or his teacher had anticipated - but it was spot-on, and so very helpful to ds and myself in making a plan forward for remediation and advocacy.

    If you've already had a neuropsych eval or developmental ped assessment, and that's the diagnosis you're feeling isn't accurate - consider having a follow-up evaluation if the evaluation was several years ago. We've returned to our neuropsych when our ds started middle school as the age/grade and maturity changes he'd been through meant it was time to re-look at what his needs were relative to his challenges. Since that time we've also consulted with other professionals as needed (SLP, counseling etc) all based on what we learned from the original neurospcyh as well as what we've observed and what ds feels his needs are as he grows. You'll find that there isn't one answer at one point in time - kids grow, demands change (social, academic, fine motor, communication... just about everything!) as time passes.

    Quote:
    He does not socialize with kids at school and does not like recess. However he is able to have friends outside of a school setting.


    Sorry for quoting this a second time, but fwiw, this describes my ds in middle-elementary school. It took a long time and a lot of research on my part in addition to the professional evaluations, but eventually I was able to put the puzzle pieces together (and it helped a lot as ds grew and his communication skills increased). The reason my ds was able to get along in social settings outside of school but not within school was a combination of the dynamics of communication required in each place - at home and in the after-school activities we attended there was a lot of predictable social structure as well as a lack of a specific type of need for communication that was required at school and on the playground. Over time, this inability to communicate and make connections with peers at schools led to a build-up of anxiety. I would suggest not putting aside this lack of friends or solitary time at recess at school as just a misfit situation due to giftedness - perhaps it is, but it's a really difficult situation for a child to be in. I'd want to really understand fully and address what's behind the lack of connections with peers regardless of the cause.

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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    #239665 - 09/12/17 10:37 PM Re: Special interest or gifted trait? [Re: polarbear]
    Eskes Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/05/17
    Posts: 56
    Thank you so much polar bear for sharing some of your story. It was very helpful to see your journey. I can tell I may have a longer road ahead and there may not be a simple concrete answer I was hoping for. Just reading your story is encouraging and a reminder that there is some cause of his social struggles at school regardless of a diagnosis. I never viewed my son as gifted until the school brought this up to us as parents in first grade (he was not formally tested by the school until the end of third). During that same time he had started staying in the classroom instead of going to recess and he has continued to not make friends or socially interact at school with children. He did have an evaluation by a developmental pediatrician who gave him the ASD diagnosis. It seems so unclear to me but it maybe just because he is 2e.

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    #239666 - 09/13/17 04:36 AM Re: Special interest or gifted trait? [Re: Eskes]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: Eskes
    During that same time he had started staying in the classroom instead of going to recess and he has continued to not make friends or socially interact at school with children.


    Eskes, does your ds' have any kind of social skills training or goals in his IEP (if he has an IEP)? Does he have support for social skills at school or is the school staff working with him to help him with social skills? Is staying inside during recess his choice or the school's choice? Is he still staying inside during recess?

    I realize I'm only seeing a snippet of the full situation in a post here, but the first thought that crosses my mind is that not participating in recess is going to add to social isolation among an elementary school group rather than help a child who is having difficulty forming connections with classroom peers. On the other hand, there are many things that could be actively done by school staff to support your ds in forming connection with his classmates. It's possible he's in a situation where he's so far beyond the curriculum etc that he needs a different academic fit, but if the social isolation is due to a different challenge, it's important that helping provide support and a chance to practice social skills at school can be invaluable.

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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    #239684 - 09/13/17 09:06 PM Re: Special interest or gifted trait? [Re: Eskes]
    Eskes Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/05/17
    Posts: 56
    Thanks Polar bear. DS does have 504 that we got last year. The school said he did not qualify for an IEP because his issues did not impact his academics. They did have him go to a social group once per week during lunch. The school counselor said he was like an expert in the social skills group. However, the group was during recess and after the educational piece the other children chose to go to recess and he stayed by himself with the counselor playing games or puzzles. He knows the social skills but still not applying it with peers or interacting with others on the playground. I am not sure what will happen this year yet. He is a very sweet and quiet child. The school is great but I don't think they see the need to help him since he does not cause problems. They have lots of children who need more support.

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    #240320 - 11/01/17 01:31 PM Re: Special interest or gifted trait? [Re: Eskes]
    Shift Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/15/11
    Posts: 7
    Also, as some others have pointed out, if you're on the spectrum and gifted, the profile may have more features of a typical gifted child and perhaps fewer classic autistic traits. For instance, I am autistic, but I had a well-developed understanding and frequent use of sarcasm and idiomatic language by the time I was eight, a bit earlier than many of my neurotypical peers. I also didn't relate to the "distraction from internal source" point. Disruption of attention has nearly always been due to external sensory factors (or more accurately, my oversensitized perception of them), such as loud noises or lots of movement, such as in a crowded lobby or classroom.

    I was also keenly aware of how different I was from the time I began going to school. While I could have a relatively sophisticated understanding of social dynamics when considered from a quiet, low-distraction room, with the enormous amount of sensory bombardment of real social situations, I couldn't apply it. I was too busy processing basic sensory input like what words mean, trying to filter background noise, and trying to formulate words and detect a lull in the conversation so I could participate as well, so I couldn't stop and analyze social dynamics in the moment on top of that. To even think about what someone else might be thinking was sometimes just too much for me to do, even if it would be obvious in a quiet room with the time to go through it step by step, as an observer.

    Actual practice with the social skills will be key. You can't improve something you don't practice, after all, even if it's tempting to avoid due to social feedback (social skills difficulty is tricky that way).

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