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Thread: Aspergers: "catch-all" diagnosis?

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    Aspergers: "catch-all" diagnosis?

    After reading this article, I wondered what everybody else's perception is on Children Behaving Badly.

    What percentage of children diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum are correctly diagnosed?

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    Re: Aspergers: "catch-all" diagnosis?

    I'd put it at somewhere around half, maybe a little less. I was diagnosed with Asperger's when I was a kid, and since then, I've lost pretty much all the characteristics. Really, I don't think we should be diagnosing kids with mental diseases at all. They're still developing.
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    Re: Aspergers: "catch-all" diagnosis?

    I honestly have no idea, but I have learned to NEVER say in a forum full of mom's to aspies that it's possible any child is just behaving badly. No lube was involved in the destruction of my posterior.

    /sniffle

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    Re: Aspergers: "catch-all" diagnosis?

    One of my specialty areas is Asperger's Syndrome. Similar to ADD/ADHD, it is slowly becoming a "garbage can" diagnosis. If a child is showing ANY social "oddities", they get pigeon-holed with this. It's really not as common as one might think with all the talk of it and requires someone trained in being able to diagnose the disorder. There are certain criteria that must be met. Just being "odd" or having social difficulties isn't enough.
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    Re: Aspergers: "catch-all" diagnosis?

    In my opinion and personal experiance, 9 times outta 10 if a child misbehaves constantly it is because the parents spoiled the crap outta the kids or did not or were too afraid to properly discipline the kids.
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    Re: Aspergers: "catch-all" diagnosis?

    Quote Originally Posted by BDBoop View Post
    After reading this article, I wondered what everybody else's perception is on Children Behaving Badly.

    What percentage of children diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum are correctly diagnosed?
    Is there a conflation between badly behaved kids in the US with Autism / Aspergers?

    The article seems to discuss badly behaved kids / parents with zero discipline skills taken into adult oriented space rather than the Autism / Asperger's brain spectrum. From the POV of a parent of 3, I find it a constant battle to keep my eldest two behaving however I do have to say I demand the very best from them and I am very very hard on them for poor behaviour. They learned early that if I said "no" to something - I meant it. Punishments were never physical but they had no doubt I was punishing them for something when I had to.

    From the POV of dealing with around 6 students in 15 years who had Autism / Aspergers - there was very little similarity between evidence of Asp / Aut and evidence of poor behaviour.

    I think there's a general problem with people understanding social niceties of behaviour, consideration of other people and aggressive behaviour but that has little to do with brian malfunction and more to do with our cultures as a whole.

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    Re: Aspergers: "catch-all" diagnosis?

    From personal experience, I would say that a lot of the kids diagnosed with various forms of autism are just late bloomers and introverts. I would wait until at least post-puberty to make a diagnosis like that, especially since there's not really any treatment you would want to start at a young age.
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    Re: Aspergers: "catch-all" diagnosis?

    I think it's a catch-all diagnosis. I've seen plenty of people who have been diagnosed with Aspergers who I figure aren't really autistic, they're just jerks. Lots of people use it as an excuse for anti-social behavior, they've been improperly raised and figure they have a "get out of jail free" card by claiming a disease. Not everything is a disease, people. Bad behavior and bad upbringing can't be blamed on biology.
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    Re: Aspergers: "catch-all" diagnosis?

    It's tricky...if the child does fit the spectrum there are many programs, learning techniques, and social coaching skills that can help them develop to their highest potential. If the child doesn't fit the spectrum is there harm in using those programs anyway?

    About a year ago, I stumbled across an article about this girl and it presented a whole new view of autism to me. If this girl is representative in any way of somebody with autism or somebody with symtpoms that fall on the spectrum I see no reason why we shouldn't offer social coaching, learning techniques, and other programs to these children.

    Then again, behavioral disorders =/= autism, necessarily, and the same with poor behavior related to a lack of discipline or structure. Autism spectrum symptoms and behavioral disorder symtpoms can sometimes be similar, but there should be marked differences that lean towards one assumed diagnosis or another.

    I would also add that socially awkward behavior =/= autism, either. Some people are just socially awkward. Sometimes it's a cultural thing, sometimes it's because of a lack of exposure, sometimes it's because you have crazy ass parents who indoctrinated you with a concept of society that is so far removed from reality that you can't comprehend the world around you.

    So background is important. A family history and observations should be done before a diagnosis is made regarding behavioral disorders and autism.
    Last edited by tessaesque; 07-07-11 at 11:40 AM.
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    Re: Aspergers: "catch-all" diagnosis?

    First of all, YES YES YES to this article. Thank you. Someone had to say it.

    But anyway.

    It is possible Asperger's is becoming a catch-all, in the same way ADD/ADHD was when I was a small child. I was diagnosed as ADHD by a lazy GP when I was 4. My dad took one look at the Ritalin prescription and said, "Speed? You want me to give her speed? **** you." And we left.

    15 years later, I finally found out what the real problem was, and it wasn't even a mental disorder: I had sensory defensiveness. Not only did they get the specifics wrong, but they were in completely the wrong category.

    No one had bothered to actually run any tests on me. I never even got a proper psych eval. My dad did not believe I had ADHD - the symptoms didn't fit. He was right. I still thank him sometimes for standing up for me.

    The thing about young kids is that they can't communicate as well as adults. Acting out is their response to EVERYTHING. You have to try harder if you want to find out what the real problem is.

    I also see a clear difference between kids who are just ill-raised, and kids who have problems. I learned not to act out in public by the time I was 3. But I had to start learning to tell people when something was getting past my threshold of what I could visually/auditorily tolerate. Fortunately it's pretty specific things for me, so it wasn't too bad.

    I see a similar thing in other kids who have genuine problems. They often really, really want to behave. You can watch their focus shift in and out, between trying really hard to be good, and slipping back in to whatever is bothering them.

    Kids who have just been allowed to run loose and believe they're the best thing since slices bread aren't like that. They don't care that they're annoying everyone around them. They know they can get away with it. And a young child doesn't yet have a true sense of empathy - so they don't really understand HOW annoying they are.

    Kids are really over-diagnosed and mis-diagnosed these days. Our understanding of child psychology is incredibly weak. If a child isn't developing normally, then help them develop normally and hold off on the labels until they're a bit older and there's a clearer picture of what's going on. A lot of the time it's nothing. Kids just develop at different rates.
    Last edited by SmokeAndMirrors; 07-07-11 at 11:48 AM.

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