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Hi,

I've been on the TS side of this site and, until recently, thought that the behaviours etc that my 6 year old son displayed were due to tics and nothing more. I've completed numerous forms regarding Aspergers and these have always come back 'highly unlikely' so I dismissed this as an option. Our little boy has had motor and vocal tics since he was 2 1/2 and although he's seen a paediatrician and phychologist, he's yet to be diagnosed with anything.

He's always been the 'difficult' child and his emotions run very high and close to the surface whether it's to laugh, cry or become angry. He's incredibly impulsive and I spoke to his teacher last year (his first year at school) to explain that he had certain qualities that would make it difficult for him in the classroom environment but this was not acted on. Needless to say he had a tough time at school, was constantly in trouble for behaviours that I really didn't think he could control very well but felt powerless to help him as I didn't understand what was going on within him. He communicates well and will give eye contact most of the time and is sociable and seems to make friends. All these factors steered me away from any form of Autism. However, this year at school he has a great teacher, she's incredibly perseptive, understanding, patient and open minded (all the things his last teacher was not). In the first term he had an incident with another pupil and was suspended from school for two days. As parents we understood that he needed to be punished but the suspension seemed a little harsh but that a whole other story! Anyway, before he went back to school he met with a behaviour management teacher who spoke with him briefly and then spoke with my husband and I in depth, she then went into class to observe him. Over a three minute period she noticed that he was unable to hold a stable position, blinking and facial tics, calling out univited comments, using funny voices, slapping knee, bumping into other students, grimmacing, closing eyes, shouting out, saying sorry over and over again then saying 'on the page and 'I'm tired' and repeating the teachers words.

After this episode we're happy to report that something is finally being done to help our little boy reach his true potential in class. He's a bright boy who would otherwise get lost in school if things aren't put into place to help him learn. My question really is about Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Otherwise Not Specified (PDD-NOS). I hadn't heard of it before the behaviour management teacher slipped it into our conversation. Does this seem likely with our son? He does seem to be oversensitive to stimulation and also unaware of the behaviour that he exhibits. He's always worse when there's more people about, such as in the classroom, although at assembly he seems to be able to conform and sit quietly (at least most of the time).

His teacher gets him to use the computer when she instructs the rest of the class as he's quite disruptive at times and will or cannot focus. This usually settles him down and then she can give him the instruction. Once the class is split into groups he usually quietens down and can join in well. His teacher has set his desk slightly away from anyone else as he keeps grabbing at other childrens work and pens. She allows him to take toilet breaks quite regularly when he's struggling and she notes that he's managing this quite well.

I'd love some feedback with this as he has another appointment with the paed in a couple of weeks and the school are wanting a diagnosis (for funding I guess) so any help would be appreciated.

Cheers,

kathy

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Kathy,

I went through similar things with my son. He was first dx adhd, ocd, and tics disorder. Then, a psychiatrist dx him PDD. Later a team at the The Autism Program dx him Aspergers. From what they told me and how I understand they are all part of the Autism pr Pervasive Developmental Spectrum. It starts with PDD-NOS as being mild, then Aspergers, then High Functioning Autism, then Autism. The specific dx is determined by how severe their social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors. There is tons of information on here and on the internet on these disorders. Good luck with your search.

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Hi Kathy,

 

Sorry for the challenges you are facing, but it's good to know your son is now finding some help at school.

 

There's a fair amount of disagreement among professionals on how to distinguish different conditions on the autism spectrum. This summary from Yale School of Medicine seems to be an overview for PDD NOS that is easy to relate to: http://childstudycenter.yale.edu/autism/pddnos.html How do you feel that description fits for your son?

 

Meanwhile, just wondering -- have you seen any ideas on the Tourette forum that seem to resonate with you--approaches that might help your son's behaviors and tics, or anything that seems to make him better or worse?

 

Best wishes, Sheila

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Firstly I would like to thank both of you for your replies to my post. I've looked at the Yale link you put up Sheila and I've also done a little more research and I'm beginning to see that PDD-NOS could be likely. It's getting to a cruitial stage at school as he really can't sit still to do his work and finds writing very hard. He can read well but his eyes seem to flick over the page too quickly for him to actually progress with reading for any length of time. He says school is boring but I think it's probably because he finds it all too frustrating. He's only just turned 6 and I hate the thought that he's against school already! My husband and I are seriously considering home schooling or at least looking into shared management where his education would be split between home and school. I already believe he has TS as he's had motor and vocal tics since he was at least 2 1/2, he shows signs of ADHD and anxiety so it's a lot for a little person to deal with.

I'm going to do further research into all this and hopefully we can put together a learning plan that will work for him.

Thanks again for your support, I'll let you know how we get on at the paed appointment.

Cheers,

Kathy

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Firefly,

Have you considered looking into medical causes for your son's behaviors? PANDAS/PITANDS maybe something you'd want to rule out.

 

It's something I'll certainly look into, although looking back through my husbands family there's definately some history of tics in both him and his mother. I've heard of PANDAS but not PITANDS so I'll look into both and chat to the paed about in when he has his appointment on Monday. Thanks for your input and I'll let you know how we get on.

 

Cheers,

 

Kathy

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