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    Joined: May 2017
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    How do you know the difference between a special interest as a symptom of ASD or a gifted trait? My DS9 has been diagnosed with mild ASD, but I don't agree. He is also in the gifted program at school. His therapist says his intense interests are ASD related such as engaging in his origami hobby for hours a day. He has a number of interests usually related to science or creating with his hands, but will focus intensely for several hours or days before switching to something else. Do gifted children have the same level of focus/intensity without a diagnosis of ASD?

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    Our DS9 (DYS) was assessed at age 3 and 6 because of struggles arising out of his intensity. Two different assessors. Teachers were concerned about potential ASD. Both assessors found him to be profoundly gifted but not ASD. For all his life he has had super intense interests like you describe. They have ebbed and flowed over time (Supercuts, ocean life, rocks and minerals, magic the gathering, Hamilton and the revolutionary war, politics and the presidential election come to mind). I can't say whether this is relevant to you. And I'm guessing that a lot of the coping strategies are the same either way. But DS is apparently not on the spectrum despite sounding similar to your child.

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    Thank you Suevv for your feedback. It was helpful. 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.

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    Thank you for your response Portia. I really think my DS uses the information he learns creatively from what I can observe. For example, when making origami birds he follows the instructions for several types in a book and then goes on to make his own bird creations. He also makes up his own board games and spends hours perfecting them. He is a very quiet child and will not share much of any information he learns or reads unless you ask him. I do think I need to find another therapist for him. His school counselor describes him as very creative and a deep thinker.

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    Why did you have a therapist for him? What issues are you trying to solve? I think special interests/intensity can be thing for so many kids and it really doesn't have a lot information. Who diagnosed ASD? Did they do an IQ test as well?

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    Originally Posted by Portia
    Gifted also display the intense interests. Those not familiar with gifted traits will point to ASD. The difference is not in the what, it is in the how and it is very subtle. Is the information learned used creatively or simply regurgitated?

    Portia - can you expand upon this statement? Our DD12 (DYS) is also crazy intense, fairly introverted, and just is - different - than so many kids. We read up on girls on the spectrum, but it never quite fits. I am interested in your info used "creatively vs regurgitated". Therapists have wondered about DD...

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    Thanks for your feedback Thomas Percy. We had DS in therapy thinking he was having anxiety issues. He was refusing to go to school in second grade and had no friends. He also was struggling with other social settings such as team sports. The therapist thought right away he was on the spectrum and sent him to a developmental pediatrician who officially diagnosed him. In third grade DS still had no friends at school but no longer refusing to go to school and over coming a lot of his anxiety issues. We pulled him out of team sports and he is now taking piano lessons. This is a much better fit for him. He was tested by the school and was determined gifted with their cognitive tests. No formal IQ testing. He does very well academically so the school will not pay for this. We can not afford it privately.

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    This is hard. The only thing that can give you a definitive answer probably will be a full neuropych evaluation. If you go to some of the main children hospitals, your insurance often picks up most of the expenses.

    Failing that, I would think the approach to his social deficits are going to be similar regardless of diagnosis. My son, who has no diagnosis, goes to a social skill group because his teacher thinks he needs to be more assertive and less timid in new situations, and one of the kids in his group has Aspergers. So ASD or not, they both benefit from the same group.

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    Originally Posted by greenlotus
    Originally Posted by Portia
    Gifted also display the intense interests. Those not familiar with gifted traits will point to ASD. The difference is not in the what, it is in the how and it is very subtle. Is the information learned used creatively or simply regurgitated?
    Portia - can you expand upon this statement?...I am interested in your info used "creatively vs regurgitated".
    Although I am not Portia I will jump in to mention that some kids can recite memorized facts (regurgitated information) but do not make connections or see the opportunity to apply the information in fresh new contexts (using information creatively).

    The article from the Davidson Database which is linked in this old post may be of interest, as it discusses gifted traits, ASD traits, overlap between the two, and some distinguishing features.

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    http://mcgt.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/%CB%86x-Giftedness-Asp.Dis_.Checklist.pdf

    I found this checklist the other day while researching the same thing.

    Last edited by BananaGirl; 09/11/17 05:56 PM.
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