Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 87154

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medication for Asperger's disorder PaulB

Posted by IsoM on December 17, 2001, at 18:39:38

In reply to Re: Asperger's disorder, posted by PaulB on December 17, 2001, at 18:19:58

Paul I just want to add a comment. My son benefited greatly from the addition of clonazepam for his social anxiety. He no longer needs it as he's now in a working & study environment where his Asperger is no longer a handicap but his strong point. I have heard that SSRIs are good for the depression part, but he does better on clomipramine & continues on a low dosage of it.
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> > Hi folks. Does anyone here know anything about Asperger's? I've read about it, and it's been suggested that I may have a "mild" form of it, but I'm sort of confused as to what it means! It's not a "popular" dx like ADD, especially in adults, so most pdocs don't bring it up, but I'm curious about it. What about treatments -- are there any?
> >
> > TIA,
> > -elizabeth
>
> Hi Elizabeth
>
> Its nice to hear from you again. I have received a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome which is a mild form of Autism. In fact I have just this minute come back from my weekly meeting. I have read quite a few of your posts over the last year and I think you have had social anxiety and take buprenorphine. Social Anxiety can be a symptom of Aspergers as can depression. At first I as skeptical but now I definetely see symptoms of it in myself. I posted a message about it a short while ago when I first received my diagnosis:
>
> http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/social/20010915/msgs/11773.html
>
> As I mentioned here a great introduction to Aspergers is a book by Tony Attwood and he has a website too that I have provided a link for.
>
> As to meds, the only medications currently indicated for Asperger's Syndrome are the SSRI's. Fluvoxamine has been tested but unfortunately unlike depression and anxiety, Asperger's is more of a behavioural disorder than chemical, not to say that all people with depression or anxiety have chemical imbalances, but I hope you know what I mean. Therefore my psychologist spoke in the meeting a few weeks ago about how people have to learn to live with it to a certain extent.
>
> In Britain if you receive a diagnosis of Asperger's you can receive both income support and disability allowance.
>
> Clomipramine is another medicine that has also been tested and I suspect is probably one of the most effective medications for Asperger's due to its very potent seroternergic properties.
>
> Im new to the fascinating world of Asperger's and I look forward to learning more about it. Its tough but Asperger's people can do things normal people cant, i.e. Remember that Tom Cruise film Rainman with Raymond who had full blown Aspergers. Theres people at my group who have similar abilities.

 

Re: medication for Asperger's disorder

Posted by borderliner21 on December 17, 2001, at 20:54:00

In reply to medication for Asperger's disorder PaulB, posted by IsoM on December 17, 2001, at 18:39:38

Tricylic antidepressants help the repetive actions in autism. I also read that SSRi's can cause autistic people to become suicidal but this can probably happen to anyone; this happened to me.(another reason why I think I have something similar to asperger's and not tourret's) Also, Anti-psychotics have been shown to help with the loss of reality in asperger's folks. How do ssri's work for autistic folks. I tried ssri's but I find that when I am on them I lose my creativity , crave marijuana and I lose interest in my family.

 

SSRIs for Asperger's disorder borderliner21

Posted by IsoM on December 18, 2001, at 1:25:32

In reply to Re: medication for Asperger's disorder, posted by borderliner21 on December 17, 2001, at 20:54:00

That's quite an interesting point about TCs as compared to SSRIs. Perhaps that explains why my son never responded well to the many different ones that was tried on him, & yes, he became suicidal twice & needed to be hospitalised.

He does well on the clomipramine, better than any other kind. Haloperidol was tried on him when he was young to control his anger, but it wasn't anger we discovered as he grew up. It was his extreme frustration in trying to deal with life & people, & he had no suitable way to express it.

Thanks for your information about that.

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> Tricylic antidepressants help the repetive actions in autism. I also read that SSRi's can cause autistic people to become suicidal but this can probably happen to anyone; this happened to me.(another reason why I think I have something similar to asperger's and not tourret's) Also, Anti-psychotics have been shown to help with the loss of reality in asperger's folks. How do ssri's work for autistic folks. I tried ssri's but I find that when I am on them I lose my creativity , crave marijuana and I lose interest in my family.

 

Re: Asperger's disorder

Posted by Seamus2 on December 18, 2001, at 21:05:33

In reply to Re: Asperger's disorder, posted by PaulB on December 17, 2001, at 18:19:58

> >Theres people at my group who have similar abilities.< <

How do you find a group? I'm "on the spectrum" and would like to meet some others like me.

Ideally, I'd like to find a social, not "support" group. I don't bewail nor obsess on my condition, just take it as the hand that fate dealt out. But it's lonely sometimes. Something like Mensa for AS would be perfect! (IMX, anyone with AS qualifies for Mensa)

 

Re: medication for Asperger's disorder IsoM

Posted by Seamus2 on December 18, 2001, at 21:09:25

In reply to medication for Asperger's disorder PaulB, posted by IsoM on December 17, 2001, at 18:39:38

> >but he does better on clomipramine & continues on a low dosage of it.< <

What's he taking it for? Obsessional thoughts or depression? And how old is he? And what's the dose?

And does IsoM mean what I think it does? < g >

 

Re: medication for Asperger's disorder Seamus2

Posted by IsoM on December 19, 2001, at 2:52:10

In reply to Re: medication for Asperger's disorder IsoM, posted by Seamus2 on December 18, 2001, at 21:09:25

Seamus, my son takes the clompramine for depression. He had some bad, bad times & has been hospitalised twice for depression. Once he was really suicidal. He'd been doing fine on clomipramine when he was in his teens, but out of the blue, he developed pancreatitis & had to hospitalised. We had just moved, didn't know any doctors, & that doctor took him off all his meds. After years of SSRIs & depression full force again, I asked our present doctor if he couldn't be tried on clompramine again & he was agreeable to write out a prescription. He's done well ever since.

His environment at home has also changed (no more angry father that no one can meet his standards), & he's working at a software company where he's well suited & valued. It makes a real difference.

I could tell you his dosage tomorrow but right now, he's asleep & his meds on his bookcase in his room. He's had certain obsessional thoughts but the depression was always the worse. He still has panicky feelings in large crowds that he's not familiar with & really doesn't like crowds at all. He's 26 & because he needs to be around people, college courses at night & work by day, he's slowly getting used to people.

IsoM is just short for isomorphix a user name I picked. I'm a science geek, especially biology & it's just a twist on a biology term. I'm not sure what you meant it to be. Maybe I'm just naive.

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> > >but he does better on clomipramine & continues on a low dosage of it.< <
>
> What's he taking it for? Obsessional thoughts or depression? And how old is he? And what's the dose?
>
> And does IsoM mean what I think it does? < g >

 

Amount of Clomipramine Seamus2

Posted by IsoM on December 19, 2001, at 13:22:50

In reply to Re: medication for Asperger's disorder IsoM, posted by Seamus2 on December 18, 2001, at 21:09:25

Seamus, my son takes 50 mg only of clominpramine at bed-time. He does take Dexedrine through the day as needed. On the weekends, he prefers to give the Dex a holiday. The amount of clomipramine is pretty small. He used to take more but in his situation now that it's good, it's been lowered & he does fairly good on it. Much more & his heart-rate increases.

 

Re: Asperger's disorder

Posted by Noa on December 19, 2001, at 18:56:49

In reply to Re: Asperger's disorder, posted by Augusta on December 17, 2001, at 0:03:09

I think another common aspect of Aspergers is intense interest in one thing--like collecting, or fascination with one topic or hobby, etc.

 

Re: Asperger's disorder Noa

Posted by IsoM on December 19, 2001, at 19:41:55

In reply to Re: Asperger's disorder, posted by Noa on December 19, 2001, at 18:56:49


Most times, yes, intense interest in a narrow range of subjects is quite true, but not always. It may depend on their intelligence & how many interest they were exposed to as a child. Even though my son has Aspergers, & computers take up his main interest, he's also very interested in Japanese culture, language, art & cuisine. He's interested in other aspects of art, a lot of different literature, wood-working, astronomy, & other things but I can see the intense focus on computers mostly.

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> I think another common aspect of Aspergers is intense interest in one thing--like collecting, or fascination with one topic or hobby, etc.

 

Re: Asperger's disorder

Posted by caroline on December 21, 2001, at 14:45:31

In reply to Asperger's disorder, posted by Elizabeth on December 16, 2001, at 23:15:18


Hi,

I have aspergers. I use 75mg remeron, 75mg of anafranil (to help me sleep) + Imovane (zopiclone) taken as a day drug to help me think laterally, deal with social situations etc. I usually take 3x7.5 a day. It all works like a dream; has done for about 18 months now.

Best, Caroline

 

For CAROLINE: Re: Asperger's disorder caroline

Posted by IsoM on December 21, 2001, at 15:16:40

In reply to Re: Asperger's disorder, posted by caroline on December 21, 2001, at 14:45:31

Caroline, I'm eager to talk to any one else who truly has Asperger - not just traits or possible Asperger. I've learned how to deal with my son (he's 26) through trial & error as he wasn't diagnosed till he was 22. There's questions I would love to ask to help me & him understand whether some of his thoughts & actions are specific to him alone, - personality traits as vs Asperger traits.

If you'd rather be private about all things, I can understand. It's something my son wouldn't talk around others unless he knew & trusted them a great deal. But if you would be willing, could you please e-mail me at isomorphix@hotmail.com
I promise I won't ask very personal questions or anything rude. I'm just still continuing my quest to understand him better & he'd love to know more about his nature too. (I have read innummerable books on this subject, some with case histories but it's not the same as comparing & asking.)

>
> Hi,
>
> I have aspergers. I use 75mg remeron, 75mg of anafranil (to help me sleep) + Imovane (zopiclone) taken as a day drug to help me think laterally, deal with social situations etc. I usually take 3x7.5 a day. It all works like a dream; has done for about 18 months now.
>
> Best, Caroline

 

Psychotherapy and CBT

Posted by caroline on December 22, 2001, at 4:13:12

In reply to Asperger's disorder, posted by Elizabeth on December 16, 2001, at 23:15:18

Hi,

Elizabeth, I realised that in my last post I wrote only about the drugs. They are great but I also have weekly psychotherapy and CBT to help me deal with particular issues.

I frequent the OASIS message boards b/c it's great to find that others can empathise with how one feels.

I was not diagnosed until I was 28. Until then I'd been diagnosed with clinical depression, OCD, anorexia, schitzo-typical personality disorder, Bipolar ... the works, basically, and the shrinks would all say, well you don't really fit the criteria for any one of these conditions but we got to diagnose something!

Being diagnosed AS has really helped me, it's allowed me to make sense of my life. I have rarely been depressed since, and the anafranil controls the OCD (which can rule my life if untreated), but apparently OCD is found to be comorbid in 70% of those of us with aspergers.

I suppose some people would say my AS is 'mild' but I don't entirely agree. I function at a high level in many many areas - I'm great socially, have a professional job which I love and I do so well my company are sponsering me through my masters. But in other areas my functioning is very low - I'm finally getting somewhere with learning to drive, but it's taken 13 years, I'm still not overly keen on kissing due to sensory issues and I don't really have friends other than work colleagues because I resent people taking up my spare time which I use to write! It's a strange swiss cheese type of disability, AS!

All the best, and season's greetings from,
Caroline

 

Re: Psychotherapy and CBT caroline

Posted by Dinah on December 22, 2001, at 9:10:31

In reply to Psychotherapy and CBT, posted by caroline on December 22, 2001, at 4:13:12

Wow Caroline,
That last post hit home. I thought I was the only one with difficulties kissing because of sensory problems. I have OCD, and it has been strongly suggested I have schizotypal personality. I've often wondered about Asperger's myself, but isn't the inability to "read" the emotional reactions of others an integral part of the disorder? I am often bombarded by the emotional reactions of others, although I can't seem to do anything with the information. It's like the input is fine (or even oversensitive), but there's something wrong with the processing of it to social output.
I think I also read somewhere that people with Asperger's have trouble seeing the whole of people's faces. That they instead saw eyes and ears and chins, but couldn't put them together. That's what first made me wonder about it in relationship to myself, since that's what happens to me. And I also think I remember something about lack of both social and physical rhythm. But I might be confusing that with something else.
I was just wondering, are there certain qualities that have to be present with Asperger's and that would rule it out if you don't have those qualities?
I'm sorry if this post is muddled. It's still early.

 

Re: Psychotherapy and CBT Dinah

Posted by caroline on December 22, 2001, at 12:02:12

In reply to Re: Psychotherapy and CBT caroline, posted by Dinah on December 22, 2001, at 9:10:31

Hi,

According to DSM IV, I guess there are certain criteria you have to meet to get a diagnosis - if you do a search for aspergers on the net there is a page listing DSM's criteria; I have a print-out of it somewhere, but I'm darned if I can lay my hands on the wretched thing this evening, sorry.

In my opinion, however, from research I have done, and I do work as a psychologist, I don't think it's fair to rule people out if they don't fit DSM, particularly if they are adults, as most of us learn ways of coping. I know many adults who have been told they don't have AS based on DSM criteria. Most of these adults have been made suicidally depressed by their inability to fit in, in the world. I haven't met many adults who fit all of the criteria by the time they get to 25, but if they'd been asked back when they were ten they probably would have.

Have a look on the net for the criteria and go through them, thinking about how you'd have answered ten years ago, even twenty, see how you get on.

I have to say, for what it's worth, finding out I had AS with associated OCD has made my life about a billion times better. I've not suffered depression since I learned more about the disability, and through CBT, psychotherapy and the right combo of drugs (for which I have to thank soley the contributers to this site), I've beaten the insomnia and the OCD. These last 2 years have been the best of my life.

Wishing you all the best, and season's greetings!

Caroline

 

Re: Assessment of Asperger Dinah

Posted by IsoM on December 22, 2001, at 13:28:10

In reply to Re: Psychotherapy and CBT caroline, posted by Dinah on December 22, 2001, at 9:10:31

Dinah, - first a disclaimer from me.
All this comes from long heart-felt conversations with my son, Erin (I know - but it's also a guy's name) & with living with him for 26 years & observing his reactions to situations & always asking him questions about it.

It used to irritate him that I'd ask questions. His reactions to siturations seemed so different to me & I knew something was different about him & I was desperate to understand him better as I love him so much. But when he was diagnosed with Aspeger 4 years ago, he no longer minds me asking as he realises the reasoning behind the questions. He said the questions used to make him feel like he was some sort of freak but he wants to understand himself better too now.

So all in all, I'd say my comments about Asperger are fairly astute but some of them may be specific to him alone & not necessarily all people with Asperger.

He can hug me warmly & often - that sort of contact doesn't bother him. He can shake hands with new people he meets. But any other physical contact disturbs him. Even when younger, if he had sore aching shoulders, he'd refuse to let me massage them but my other 2 sons loved it. I never pushed him about touch. Even as a little child, he wasn't very cuddly after he stopped nursing. My other two sons would've nursed forever if I hadn't weaned them myself, but Erin weaned himself & when I'd ask he wanted "nummies", he say "no!" & run off.

Erin can judge emotions expressed in the face not badly, but it's been through a lot of 'training'. I'm very good at reading people, body language, etc & have taught him. But he does get overwhelmed very easily by the display of too much emotion in others, even good. He has to retire alone to recoup, so to speak. He does have trouble with faces otherwise though.

He, for the life of it, can't ever judge how old a person is unless there's tell-tale signs like wrinkles & gray hair. Once a person is an adult, they look the same sort of. He has a lot of trouble telling the same face with make-up of hair changes done to it. If you were to show him a picture of the same person done with red hair, black hair, & blonde & alter the face with glasses, make-up, etc, he wouldn't know it was the same person, but most everyone else could see the same person. That sort of thing is what he can't judge about faces.

When the psychologist accessed Erin about Asperger, he spent a couple of hours on two separate appointments to run tests & then another appointment to discuss with us the results. Any one who gets 'diagnosed' by reviewing whether they fit some critieria in a manual, hasn't had a thorough job done of it.
\**************************************************************************************************

> Wow Caroline,
> That last post hit home. I thought I was the only one with difficulties kissing because of sensory problems. I have OCD, and it has been strongly suggested I have schizotypal personality. I've often wondered about Asperger's myself, but isn't the inability to "read" the emotional reactions of others an integral part of the disorder? I am often bombarded by the emotional reactions of others, although I can't seem to do anything with the information. It's like the input is fine (or even oversensitive), but there's something wrong with the processing of it to social output.
> I think I also read somewhere that people with Asperger's have trouble seeing the whole of people's faces. That they instead saw eyes and ears and chins, but couldn't put them together. That's what first made me wonder about it in relationship to myself, since that's what happens to me. And I also think I remember something about lack of both social and physical rhythm. But I might be confusing that with something else.
> I was just wondering, are there certain qualities that have to be present with Asperger's and that would rule it out if you don't have those qualities?
> I'm sorry if this post is muddled. It's still early.

 

Re: Assessment of Asperger -Thanks Caroline IsoM

Posted by Dinah on December 22, 2001, at 17:24:13

In reply to Re: Assessment of Asperger Dinah, posted by IsoM on December 22, 2001, at 13:28:10

Thanks for all the information.

I did an internet search and the many of the criteria did look familiar, especially in the more informal descriptions. My husband recognized me in the descriptions as well. The overformal language and concern with precision in language, the social problems (I've been practicing smiling and greeting people), the rocking, the overstimulation, even what I call my "enthusiasms" were all described. It doesn't look like a bad thing though, just different.

I will definitely do more research on this and bring it up with my doctor next time I see him, if I have the courage. When you read the description of something, it's all too easy to think you have it. And there does seem to be some overlap with OCD and especially schizotypal personality disorder in the criteria.

Thanks again.
Dinah

 

Re: Assessment of Asperger -Thanks Caroline IsoM Dinah

Posted by IsoM on December 23, 2001, at 1:23:34

In reply to Re: Assessment of Asperger -Thanks Caroline IsoM, posted by Dinah on December 22, 2001, at 17:24:13

Dianh, you say "It doesn't look like a bad thing though, just different."
I'm so glad you said that - I consider it the right way to look at it. My son doesn't mind having Asperger now that he knows what it is. I also have certain Asperger-type qualities but have no problems being around people. I really like it but can get overstimulated very easy.

So many Asperger qualities are wonderful to have & my son said he feels sorry for those who have difficulties with things that's a breeze for him. The only thing that bothers him is his desire to find a soul-mate & his difficulty to connect that way.

If you do find that you are diagnosed with Asperger (or even if you're just different), celebrate the differences with pride & not shame! Society needs to learn that sameness is not necessarily desirable.

> Thanks for all the information.
>
> I did an internet search and the many of the criteria did look familiar, especially in the more informal descriptions. My husband recognized me in the descriptions as well. The overformal language and concern with precision in language, the social problems (I've been practicing smiling and greeting people), the rocking, the overstimulation, even what I call my "enthusiasms" were all described. It doesn't look like a bad thing though, just different.
>
> I will definitely do more research on this and bring it up with my doctor next time I see him, if I have the courage. When you read the description of something, it's all too easy to think you have it. And there does seem to be some overlap with OCD and especially schizotypal personality disorder in the criteria.
>
> Thanks again.
> Dinah

 

Re: Couldn't agree more above post - IsoM Dinah (nm)

Posted by caroline on December 23, 2001, at 3:51:08

In reply to Re: Assessment of Asperger -Thanks Caroline IsoM Dinah, posted by IsoM on December 23, 2001, at 1:23:34

 

Re: Asperger's disorder Augusta

Posted by adamie on December 25, 2001, at 20:57:05

In reply to Re: Asperger's disorder, posted by Augusta on December 17, 2001, at 0:03:09

just because a person has a good memory doesn't mean they're intelligent. Memory is unrelated to true intelligence. a person's judgement is what's important.

 

Re: Asperger's disorder

Posted by Sara T on December 26, 2001, at 2:01:33

In reply to Re: Asperger's disorder Augusta, posted by adamie on December 25, 2001, at 20:57:05

Hi all,
I haven't posted here in awhile. But tonight I wandered over here and I saw this thread, and I had to post. My son, aged 10, is AS. He was 6 when we recieved the DX, and since then, I have been frequently on the OASIS message boards and in chats. That site really is a life line for many, many people who are AS, or are parents of AS kids, etc. So I, too, highly recommend it for information as well as support. I also recommend an edited book that came out last year titled ASPERGER SYNDROME, edited by Ami Klin, Fred Volkmar and Sara S. Sparrow. These are the top researchers in this field, at Yale, and the book contains the most recent research available on this syndrome. It's a very academic sort of book, but even a layman can get alot of information.

My son was always eccentric, and did OK through pre-K, but when he got to Kindergarten, he couldn't cope and would come home saying he wanted to hide himself underground or burn himself up. He withdrew because he couldn't take the sensory overload and the demands that sitting still and paying attention placed on him. And he was more than academically ready, in fact, rather precocious. We were fortunate that the school's observation team saw ticks and called attention to his toe walking and directed us to a neurologist. We got the dx from him after thorough testing from a psychologist also.
He has benefitted greatly from SSRIs because they help him control the OCD-like symptoms of this syndrome. He has been on Zoloft for 2 years now. He also takes Concerta (an extended release methylphenadate)and has taken Adderall for the attentional issues. In addition, we have done behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and social skills training.

At age 10, he is doing well. He likes school, he works 2 grades above his level (4th grade), has some friends, is appreciated for his knowledge and sense of humor. He is a great kid. Even so, the AS is still very much a part of the picture. I doubt he'd be able to function as well without the meds. Even though he has "friends", his interactions are often one sided, he likes to lecture (he IS the Little Professor) and reciprical friendships are still something I don't see him participating in. Usually, he will develop a buddy who will call him but it will not occur to him that he could call them. He gets lonely but it never seems to occur to him to call one of his buddies. We, the parents, usually set up invitations. In spite of that, the kids in his class seem to really like him. His teacher in 2nd grade told the class about his AS and instead of rejecting him they all seem to protect him. Of course, this is elementary school, I don't know how things will be once they hit middle school.

My son is obsessive. A hallmark trait of AS. When he develops a special interest, it is all consuming, 24/7, and every conversation, no matter how it starts, will end up being about his special interest.

When things become overwhelming, sensory overload will result and he will start to stim (repetitve movements). Stims are conforting and help one organize oneself internally. Autistic spectrum individuals often are hypersensitive to sensory stimulation. My son cannot be in stores very long, or around smells he doesn't like, or loud noises. Proximity to others is not comfortable to him, and he doesn't like to be touched although he likes massages (his muscles are often cramped because of anxiety or toewalking).

Tourette's Syndrome does occur at a higher incidence in Autistic populations. But ticks and nervous twitches and facial grimmaces are also manifestations of anxiety. The higher the anxiety level, the more my son will toewalk, grimmace and stim (flapping or making finger movements), as well as try to hide under something or wrap himself up.

As well adjusted as my son is, I still worry for his future. How well will he cope with whatever life hands him? I went to a conference last year on High Functioning Autism and Asperger's and probably 75 to 80% of the parents I met, who's kids were in middle and high school, home schooled their kids because the school situation had become intolerable.

Many individuals with AS do need to go on disability because they cannot handle the demands of the workplace. It is a very real disability, and many of those who are employed are underemployed because they can't cope with job stresses.

My son has a good chance to grow up and be successful at what he wants (to be a scientist). But it will take alot of hard work for him and it is sometimes very painful to watch. I am thankful we got the right DX and the meds are available to help him stay stable and grounded enough to do what he needs to. I wouldn't change him for the world, but I wish I could make the AS go away sometimes, so his life could be easier to live. AS is a pervasive neurological developmental disorder, it doesn't go away, but we can learn to cope. And I've seen tremendous change.

Thanks, and sorry this is so long.

Sara T


 

Re: Asperger's disorder for Sara Sara T

Posted by IsoM on December 26, 2001, at 2:46:37

In reply to Re: Asperger's disorder, posted by Sara T on December 26, 2001, at 2:01:33

Sara, it was a wonderful post & not too long at all.

As I read it over, I relived my son's childhood inyour story. I had no idea what he had, but I knew he was different. He was a real toe-walker too & I had no idea then why he did it. I'm so glad that most of the strategies used to teach kids with Asperger, I ended up doing as it just seemed the best & most logical. My son was finally diagnosed at 22.

I agonised over what his adulthood would be like & whether he would ever be okay on his own. He's not just intelligent but extremely brilliant & has such an ease with computer related subjects. He can program as easily as most people write a grocery list. Dealing with ordinary people would be very difficult for my son, but in the computer field in which he works, he's right at home & fits in very well. His stresses are almost none & feels accepted & valuable. It has done so much for his confidence & ease in being around people who are similar to him in interests & intelligence.

I'm sure your son will make a great deal of process as he grows. What comes naturally to us in social situations doesn't for people with Asperger. But they're highly intelligent & can learn by rote how to handle different situations as they develop. I despaired of my son learning when he was younger - he seemed so out of it - but as he matured, his awareness of learning "how" to act around others grew quickly. He realised what sort of behaviour & actions seemed strange to others & by being aware of them, stopped doing them around others.

I'm positive your son will learn all he needs too as he grows. His intensity with what interest him & his logical sense of reasoning will definitely stand him in good stead to become a scientist.

My son actaully found high school (grades 10-12) to be far more tolerable than earlier grades as students had matured some & he had grown much taller & wouldn't let anyone push him around. Other smart students respected him as he helped those who had difficulties & was also an assistant for one blind, handicapped girl.

I'll admit childhood was very difficult for both my son & me but the skills developed from coping has made his adult life much easier for him & has enabled him to derive joy out of his skills, abilities, & interactions with coworkers. I really believe your son will have a happy future.

***************************************************************************************************

> Hi all,
> I haven't posted here in awhile. But tonight I wandered over here and I saw this thread, and I had to post. My son, aged 10, is AS. He was 6 when we recieved the DX, and since then, I have been frequently on the OASIS message boards and in chats. That site really is a life line for many, many people who are AS, or are parents of AS kids, etc. So I, too, highly recommend it for information as well as support. I also recommend an edited book that came out last year titled ASPERGER SYNDROME, edited by Ami Klin, Fred Volkmar and Sara S. Sparrow. These are the top researchers in this field, at Yale, and the book contains the most recent research available on this syndrome. It's a very academic sort of book, but even a layman can get alot of information.
>
> My son was always eccentric, and did OK through pre-K, but when he got to Kindergarten, he couldn't cope and would come home saying he wanted to hide himself underground or burn himself up. He withdrew because he couldn't take the sensory overload and the demands that sitting still and paying attention placed on him. And he was more than academically ready, in fact, rather precocious. We were fortunate that the school's observation team saw ticks and called attention to his toe walking and directed us to a neurologist. We got the dx from him after thorough testing from a psychologist also.
> He has benefitted greatly from SSRIs because they help him control the OCD-like symptoms of this syndrome. He has been on Zoloft for 2 years now. He also takes Concerta (an extended release methylphenadate)and has taken Adderall for the attentional issues. In addition, we have done behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and social skills training.
>
> At age 10, he is doing well. He likes school, he works 2 grades above his level (4th grade), has some friends, is appreciated for his knowledge and sense of humor. He is a great kid. Even so, the AS is still very much a part of the picture. I doubt he'd be able to function as well without the meds. Even though he has "friends", his interactions are often one sided, he likes to lecture (he IS the Little Professor) and reciprical friendships are still something I don't see him participating in. Usually, he will develop a buddy who will call him but it will not occur to him that he could call them. He gets lonely but it never seems to occur to him to call one of his buddies. We, the parents, usually set up invitations. In spite of that, the kids in his class seem to really like him. His teacher in 2nd grade told the class about his AS and instead of rejecting him they all seem to protect him. Of course, this is elementary school, I don't know how things will be once they hit middle school.
>
> My son is obsessive. A hallmark trait of AS. When he develops a special interest, it is all consuming, 24/7, and every conversation, no matter how it starts, will end up being about his special interest.
>
> When things become overwhelming, sensory overload will result and he will start to stim (repetitve movements). Stims are conforting and help one organize oneself internally. Autistic spectrum individuals often are hypersensitive to sensory stimulation. My son cannot be in stores very long, or around smells he doesn't like, or loud noises. Proximity to others is not comfortable to him, and he doesn't like to be touched although he likes massages (his muscles are often cramped because of anxiety or toewalking).
>
> Tourette's Syndrome does occur at a higher incidence in Autistic populations. But ticks and nervous twitches and facial grimmaces are also manifestations of anxiety. The higher the anxiety level, the more my son will toewalk, grimmace and stim (flapping or making finger movements), as well as try to hide under something or wrap himself up.
>
> As well adjusted as my son is, I still worry for his future. How well will he cope with whatever life hands him? I went to a conference last year on High Functioning Autism and Asperger's and probably 75 to 80% of the parents I met, who's kids were in middle and high school, home schooled their kids because the school situation had become intolerable.
>
> Many individuals with AS do need to go on disability because they cannot handle the demands of the workplace. It is a very real disability, and many of those who are employed are underemployed because they can't cope with job stresses.
>
> My son has a good chance to grow up and be successful at what he wants (to be a scientist). But it will take alot of hard work for him and it is sometimes very painful to watch. I am thankful we got the right DX and the meds are available to help him stay stable and grounded enough to do what he needs to. I wouldn't change him for the world, but I wish I could make the AS go away sometimes, so his life could be easier to live. AS is a pervasive neurological developmental disorder, it doesn't go away, but we can learn to cope. And I've seen tremendous change.
>
> Thanks, and sorry this is so long.
>
> Sara T

 

Re: Asperger's disorder for Sara IsoM

Posted by Dinah on December 26, 2001, at 8:22:49

In reply to Re: Asperger's disorder for Sara Sara T, posted by IsoM on December 26, 2001, at 2:46:37

I hope you don't mind if I ask another question. Both of you mentioned toe walking. I have always walked on my tippy toes when allowed to walk naturally. And if I am in shoes that force my heel down, there is a very noticeable bounce to my walk. You would not believe the size of my calves. I got teased no end about these things, and I remember that someone (a doctor) once told my mother that it was a sign of a problem. Is that what toe walking is, or is there a special meaning to it?
I have visited several internet sites and read "Pretending to be Normal" by Liane Holliday Willey, but neither mentions toe walking. I also glanced at a rather scholarly text that mentioned the overlap in criteria between the schizoid and schizotypal personality disorder and Asperger's. If I read correctly, they look to family history, which in my case would lean towards schizotypal since I have at least one aunt and two cousins with a firm diagnosis of schizophrenia.
I really appreciate that the two of you, and Caroline, have been sharing your experiences. I'm sure that many of us have been educated about the syndrome.

 

re: Toe-Walking Dinah

Posted by IsoM on December 26, 2001, at 13:38:32

In reply to Re: Asperger's disorder for Sara IsoM, posted by Dinah on December 26, 2001, at 8:22:49

I'm not sure, Dinah, if there's more to toe-walking as I had never read it mentioned in any literature on Asperger either (& I've read quite a few books & articles on Asperger). But when my son was being evaluated regarding Asperger, the psychologist took a very detailed childhood history & I mentioned his toe-walking. He said it's commonly seen in Asperger but not all Aperger people toe-walk. It was the first time I learned about it.

My son no longer toe-walks but as a small child & baby, he did it a lot. Enough to give himself hard little calluses on his toe knuckles. He later switched to his tip-toes instead of bending his toes over & walking on them. He started walking at 11 months but he would've walked earlier if he hadn't been on his toes so much & would fall over.

I even have a photo I took of him when he was around 8 months old. He hated lying down or crawling & was happiest when he was in a walker. He would lean over the front of it watching one wheel as he walked around & around in circles, pivoting on the one wheel. He also would put his forehead down on the floor & push himself about on his knees, dragging that spot on his forehead over the rug. I used to have to forcefully stop him as he developed such a rug-burn there & would rub it raw each time.

As for over-lap in schizoid personality, I thought initially when he was young that perhaps he had that. My father had been diagnosed as such. But all tests came back negative (I'm glad to say). My former mother-in-law had VERY strong Asperger traits, as does my ex-husband. Look for any other members in your family that may exhibit Asperger traits.

Remember it was only in the late 40s that Hans Asperger thought of classifying this syndrome as a separate sub-type. I think that previously, many doctors were puzzled as to what they saw in some patients & classified it as schizoid type behaviours instead. It's only been fairly recent that Asperger is being recognised for what it is. Even now some psychologists don't believe it. One wrote an article lately saying it doesn't really exist but is just an overblown reaction to extremely bright boys (she never even mentioned females) who have trouble intergrating with those of lesser intelligence. I was indignant about such a stereotypical & arrogant assumption from her!

> I hope you don't mind if I ask another question. Both of you mentioned toe walking. I have always walked on my tippy toes when allowed to walk naturally. And if I am in shoes that force my heel down, there is a very noticeable bounce to my walk. You would not believe the size of my calves. I got teased no end about these things, and I remember that someone (a doctor) once told my mother that it was a sign of a problem. Is that what toe walking is, or is there a special meaning to it?
> I have visited several internet sites and read "Pretending to be Normal" by Liane Holliday Willey, but neither mentions toe walking. I also glanced at a rather scholarly text that mentioned the overlap in criteria between the schizoid and schizotypal personality disorder and Asperger's. If I read correctly, they look to family history, which in my case would lean towards schizotypal since I have at least one aunt and two cousins with a firm diagnosis of schizophrenia.
> I really appreciate that the two of you, and Caroline, have been sharing your experiences. I'm sure that many of us have been educated about the syndrome.

 

Traits ...

Posted by Willow on December 26, 2001, at 21:09:50

In reply to re: Toe-Walking Dinah, posted by IsoM on December 26, 2001, at 13:38:32

I too have been following this thread as my favourite cousin who will be turning 11 soon has autism, or probably asperger's. He was very late to start talking and that was with the help of professionals. My brother was also a late talker. My middle child was didn't talk much as an infant, but as she got older I've realised this is her choice. She isn't a big talker and talks slowly but is very mature in some of her perceptions of human relations though she doesn't crave them the same way as my other children.

When she was an infant I was concerned about autism because of some of her behaviour and had mentioned this in a conversation with her kindergarten teacher (she now in grade 2) who had replied that she understood why I would have thought this.

Many of the traits described someone in the family has, we also have schizophrenia which shows up later than the norm, in the mid-30's.

I think my reason for enjoying my cousin's company so easily is his intolerance for loud noices which I share, and others. I believe that we have come a long way with treatment including medications relating to the brain, but we still have so much further to go.

My opinions are the product of a happy dysfunctional family with a slightly different gene pool. As we get older these traits aren't as important to diagnose but to learn to live with, but for the young ones a diagnosis is needed so that they can recieve the assistance they need.

Whistling Willow

 

Thanks for all the information! (nm) IsoM

Posted by Dinah on December 26, 2001, at 23:57:50

In reply to re: Toe-Walking Dinah, posted by IsoM on December 26, 2001, at 13:38:32


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