9/20/08

Aspergers - the anecdotal evidence

Even though Orangeboy was originally diagnosed with PDD(NOS) - Pervasive Developmental Disorder (not otherwise specified)- he seems to most resemble an Aspie or someone with Aspergers; especially as he gets older and his speech improves. Because PDD is hard to explain, I usually explain that he is on the autism spectrum or even just say he has Aspergers.
He recently "graduated" Speech class at school. Not necessarily because he sounds like the average 9 year old, but because "on paper" he tests very well and is not hindered academically by his monotone Elmer Fuddish voice, so he does not qualify for speech services.
He does have a pretty advanced vocabulary and can converse with adults on a fairly sophisticated level - when he chooses and is engaged by a topic of interest to him. There are other times, when he may be distressed or off his ADHD meds, when he stammers, stutters, mixes up words and abandons grammar, and is very difficult to understand.
I think Orangeboy is most Aspergers-like when I read about or read blogs or posts online that were written by people with Aspergers.

Here is a streamlined summary of criteria for Aspergers from the DSM IV:
1. Severe impairment in social interaction
2. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, and activities.
3. Clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
4. In contrast to Autistic Disorder, there are no clinically significant delays in language.
5. No clinically significant delays in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behaviour (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.
6. Criteria not met for any other specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or for Schizophrenia.

And here is a list of anecdotal qualities and tendencies that seem (to me) to be common to almost all those with Asperger's or high functioning autism AND to Orangeboy:
(If you are someone who falls into the above criteria and are easily offended you may not want to keep reading - remember I tout this blog as being humorous.)

1. A tendency to be pedantic or wordy when asked a simple question.

Example: Mom asks, "Do you have homework?"
O answers, "Actually, I thought I was supposed to do two math sheets and practice my times tables, you know, the times tables that are listed in the front of my agenda, but... oh, and also need to read my fluency poem in 25 seconds, which I think is not enough time, but it turns out, well, my teacher actually let me do one math sheet at the end of class, you know, when we had some time after Specials and it wasn't time for car-riders to leave yet. So I really only have one math sheet, which is pretty easy for me, and I already know my 7 times table and we are only on 5 times table, so I really only have to read my fluency poem and do that math sheet real quick. So I really don't have that much homework to do. But I do also have a library book to read."

2. The propensity to "sweat the small stuff"; especially the WRONG small stuff.

Like STILL being upset at 6 pm on Friday evening that he didn't get to take a test that day at school. Fridays are TEST DAY, but because they were taking a standardized test all week, they didn't take any other tests on Friday. Most kids would be happy about this, but Orangeboy's schedule was thrown off and he could NOT get over not having a test on TEST FRIDAY!

3. Spends more time reading the rules than playing the game.

This can literally happen or could be an analogy for how an Aspie lives life in general.

4. Can be hilarious when trying to be serious and can be decidely UN-FUNNY when making an attempt at humor.

Orangeboy thinks it's funny to turn lights on and off and on and off when we are all rushing around in pre-dawn darkness trying to get ready for school and work on time. NOT!
He thinks it is hilarious to call his sister fat or stinky or dumb until she gets mad and pinches him - hard enough to make him cry. Not funny or thinking ahead.
On the other hand, you can read other posts and see how hilarious he is when expressing things he has worked out with his own unique brand of reasoning.

5. A strong tendency to put shirts or underwear on backwards well after the age of five.

6. Finds activities that are very enjoyable to most neurotypicals (like an hour of Saturday morning cartoons in jammies or horsing around with friends) to be boring torture and a complete waste of time, but will spend hours playing Spidersol or Sudoku on the computer.

2 comments:

  1. I have just read a bit of your blog so far, but I can so relate to the things you write about! My Aspergian daughter "Marie" used to go to religious education classes and debate relentlessly with the catechist. She will NOT blithely tolerate things that don't make sense to her. :-)

    "Mama"
    http://momofmonkeys.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love Orangeboys sense of humour!!

    ReplyDelete

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