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WorriedDADNMOM

***********Your childs Autism/Aspergers***********

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Hello all!!!! I am normally on the Pandas side of this forum so Autism/Aspergers is not in my brain database and I have not "lived" it I don't think. I know very little about it. But the more I read, I am beginning to wonder about the overlap of Autism/Aspergers and Pandas.

 

My dd was quirky to say the least. Upon age 5 got impetigo, age 6.5 came down with eye tic from asymptomatic strep infection treated with amox, then penicillin. Also the eye tic preceded by severe emotional lability. Then High fever with flu for a week and she became a brand new kid----everything improved--appetite, behavior--literally everything. Fast forward 6 more months and she starts head bob and other Chorea like movements. Confirmed very high titer for mycoplasma pnuem. This all was coupled with early quirkiness,3-4 yrs old and now at 7 almost 8.

 

Can you please describe your journey? I have always thought my dd exhibited close resemblance of Aspergers, bi-polar. Thought like an adult, very literal, very impulsive in thought and deed. We have no diagnosis of anything other than Pandas or Pyroluria, but am wondering. We have seen great improvement in treatment for these things, but want to learn more.

 

I look forward to your responses. Thanks in advance for sharing your story.

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Hi Worried --

 

I'm normally on the PANDAS forum, also, but I check in here from time to time because, particularly during exacerbation, my DS15 can look as though he's got Asperger's traits. Like your DD, my DS has always thought and talked like an adult; he's also typically preferred adult company with a rare exception or two, two friends that he's had since roughly 1st grade. He's very literal, and during exacerbation or even moments of high anxiety outside of exacerbation, that literal thinking goes into high gear again. He generally is not, however, what I would call impulsive. He also has OCD behaviors, though, so I'm guessing his perfectionism and concern over doing the "right thing" tends to win out over whatever impulses he has from time to time.

 

My bet is that you will continue to see improvements in your DD's Asperger-like traits as you continue to treat for PANDAS and pylouria, though just as we're each seen as having our own, individual personalities, some personality traits that are in line with what clinicians call Asperger might just be a part of who your DD, or who my DS, is. Since not everybody who catches strep or myco-p or lyme winds up with PANDAS/PANS, and not everyone who develops PANDAS/PANS has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) traits, I think it's a fair assumption that there is more than one player in this band: there's genetics, microbes, immunology and brain chemistry in concert, don't you think?

 

As my DS has regained his health and his mental capabilities, his Asperger traits have faded, almost impercetible now unless you spend a lot of time with him. Then you notice his strong focus on an area of interest sometimes at the expense of other information he should also be taking in, or his tuning out when one of his friends is talking about something that interests them but in which he has no stake, and you see that, perhaps, this is who he is and the illness exacerbates it. In fact, when we changed psychs about 18 months ago and went to our current one for the first time, he was in exacerbation . . . he was unreasonable, agitated, intense OCD behaviors, etc. She immediately pegged him as Aspberger. I bristled and told her that if we could get the anxiety under control, what she thought was Aspbergers would not be present. At first she didn't believe me. But about 6 months later, after antibiotics and glutamate-modulating therapies, she removed the "diagnosis" from his file.

 

I feel as though, in a gross generalization, our kids' illnesses exacerbate their underlying wiring, underlying tendencies. How many times have you heard people say, "I have a little OCD" because they double-check the toaster before they leave the house or arrange their papers or files carefully at the office? Or organize their CDs or computer files alphabetically or by genre? And what successful person doesn't have some single-mindedness when it comes to their chosen subject of study, or their field of endeavor? But what if those sub-clinical, even "normal" tendencies were hijacked by a microbe and/or an immune disorder? Exacerbating, creating almost an "allergic reaction" wherein what is, at a lower level, a positive mental trait into one that runs amok, tries to overrule the reasoning and thinking capabilities normally accessible?

 

Hang in there with your PANDAS and pylouria interventions! I'd bet good money you're on the right road! :D

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My son has a diagnosis of Aspergers and I notice a distinct difference between his aspergers and PANDAS. PANDAS is abrupt sudden onset. Aspergers in our case was not.

 

But are his thinking and communication skills more "Asperger-ish" during PANDAS exacerbation? My DS's are, and I've read several other accounts of similar symptomology. I'm not suggesting that they are the same thing, or that "curing" PANDAS or putting it into remission will entirely eliminate ASD traits in many children.

 

All I'm saying is that what lies behind and drives one condition appears, in our case, to exacerbate the other, as well. And that treatment that improves his PANDAS and OCD behaviors has also improved upon his cognitive flexibility, communication and sociability (all of which were, at one point in time, tagged as lying within the Asperger range).

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