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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 413  
Subject: He's not exactly Austistic, but... Date: 4/1/2009 5:55 PM
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I'm currently working with a young boy (age 7) in our taekwondo class. Billy* is bright and inquisitive. He has an older brother who has a heart condition (who also takes TKD with some limitations) and he's really a sweet kid. His parents have taken him to pretty much every specialist you can imagine to try to figure out what's going on with him. His general list of symptoms follow:

extremely hyperactive. Often climbing on things and jumping off them when given any free time at all (before and between classes)

Short attention span unless it's something he wants to discuss. It can be a challenge to get him on track.

Easily angered/frustrated. Will take any and all criticism to heart and lash out if he is corrected by any of the other students who are ranked above him, but are near his age.

Has trouble following directions, up to and including not being able to distinguish between suggestions and orders.

Somewhat OCD. Last night we had a very scary incident in which he forgot his attendance card for class and was prevented by the instructor from going back to get it when the class was lining up. He began to get more and more agitated and finally began banging his head against a padded post. At this point a black belt, who is also a doctor, pulled him out of class and told him to sit down on the sidelines. This lead to 20 minutes of him crying and wailing. It was very disruptive.

His parents, who are possibly two of the most patient people I've ever met, have told me that he has been diagnosed with ADHD and also with Auditory Dyslexia. He was put on medication to help with the ADHD issues of focusing, but apparently, the medicine gives him anxiety, which might explain the tantrum.

This little guy is so bright, I just know that there is some way to really reach him, but I haven't been able to find the right path with him. Any ideas? Could he have an austistic spectrum disorder, or is it possible that the auditory dyslexia is the main root cause of all this? Any direction with dealing with him is greatly appreciated.

TIA,

LWW





*not his real name of course
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Author: masonjarjar Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 390 of 413
Subject: Re: He's not exactly Austistic, but... Date: 4/2/2009 12:15 PM
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Children with higher-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspergers or Non-verbal Learning Disorder have a hard time socially. They just don't have an innate knowledge to be able to read non-verbal queues from people, or to know what is appropriate to say in a certain situation.

A conversation might go like this:

Friend: I got a new bike today! Do you want to see it?

AS Child: My dog is sick.

So, the "Friend" would go find some other kid who was interested in his bike, and the AS child would be left alone.

Now, I know from experience that difficulties with understanding and communication can lead to MAJOR meltdowns. Whether or not this child is having a meltdown due to this, it's hard to say.

I do know that many people with AS also have problems with Sensory issues, body control, "space" and such.

It's hard to know from the information given, but I hope this helps some. I would think that in this day and age, if he is on the spectrum, it would have been diagnosed by now, BUT.. I've been constantly shocked by what doctors can miss too..

I do know that what AS kids sometimes need is someone to listen.

We know a family who has a son that was recently diagnosed with Aspergers. (I'm thinking, OMG what took so long! he's 12 and it was obvious to me the first time I'd met him a few years ago..anyway..)

His "thing" is Star Wars (most Aspergers people have a thing they really really into and will focus on it to the point of being experts), and he really wanted to talk about it. I'm sure his family and other friends were probably just about sick of hearing about it, so when I had the chance one day, I decided to just talk to him about it (I was a huge fan as a child too.. hmmm). Now, mind you, it wasn't a normal conversation (he did most of the talking and jumped from subject to subject, movie to movie), but he was excited and seemed to enjoy having someone to talk to. It was nice, and it felt good to help.

Since I have girls, a lot of the time when I'm with other families, I find boys that have bouncing-off-the-walls super-energy hard to deal with, so I can't offer too much advice there. But maybe, just maybe give a little extra attention, as the child might not be able to express himself as well as the other kids..

-Mason

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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 391 of 413
Subject: Re: He's not exactly Austistic, but... Date: 4/2/2009 2:35 PM
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His "thing" is Star Wars (most Aspergers people have a thing they really really into and will focus on it to the point of being experts), and he really wanted to talk about it.

Interresting. My little guy is obsessed with all things space-related. He loves Star Wars but will also talk your ear off about the possibilities of life on other planets, how many of the stars we see at night might possibly support life, and how it might not be life as we know it. Like I said, he's a really bright, inquisitive child.

I'll be seeing him this again for class this evening. I'm wondering if I should manipulate the lines a little to get him in our group so he has someone to spend some one-on-one time to help him. It might help prevent another meltdown. Well, that and making sure that he has his attendance card in hand before class starts!

LWW

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Author: Thetis Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 393 of 413
Subject: Re: He's not exactly Austistic, but... Date: 4/3/2009 12:21 PM
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Sounds a lot like our daughter at that age. A couple of things that might help. Making sure he has his attendence card is great. AS kids generally have a hard time with transitions so anything you can to to make it routine is good. Also, we had a lot of luck with Carol Gray's "Social Stories" technique.

http://www.thegraycenter.org/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=page...

We had a problem when ours would melt down if the waitress in a restaurant didn't say "your welcome" when thanked or served someone else first. We made up a social story to cover this situation and repeated it to her before we went in to eat. Worked great.

Regards. Thetis.

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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 394 of 413
Subject: Re: He's not exactly Austistic, but... Date: 4/3/2009 2:22 PM
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AS kids generally have a hard time with transitions so anything you can to to make it routine is good.

We tend to have issues during line up time anyway, since we never know how many kids of different ranks are going to be in line and whether we'll do lines of 4 or 5. Often we get lined up and one extra person shows up and everyone has to shift. He always looks irritated, you know? The eye roll/blowing air up his face and making his bangs move look? I may suggest that link to his dad. Anything that might help him adjust socially is a great asset!

Thanks!

LWW

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