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Behavior: indicative or just copying? (Asperger's)

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Last spring we discovered by daughter has Asperger's Syndrome. This answered a ton of questions we had about her behavior. She was 11 years old at the time.


My son, who is 6.5 years old right now, is showing behavior (tantrums, meltdowns, etc) that could be indicative of Asperger's or it could just be he's copying some of his sister's behavior issues.


Anyone know how to tell the difference?


Thanks for any insight you can give me!

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I have three of them and still - I cannot tell if part of it is copying or just the way they are wired.


I had an uphill battle getting the youngest diagnosed because a lot of experts (evaluators and such) thought he was copying and I wasn't much help.


(My number one pet peeve when it comes to evaluators is spilling our story - three on the spectrum - and then getting the 'so how does he compare to typical kids devlopmentally'. I have no clue. I've never had a typical child.


Time told the tale for us. While all three have some similar challenges - literal thinkers - don't adapt well to change - can't read social cues well - they are all different in their presentations. Two are diagnosed with High Functioning Autism and one with Aspergers. All have comorbid conditions that muddy the waters - one dyslexic and ADHD, one CAPD and OCD/PANDAS and one with ADHHHHHHHD.

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Don't you just love it when you go asking for help and then the very people you asked for help from turn around and treat you like you know nothing? Or that your answers on something were wrong? I had them do that to me last spring. They gave me a stack of 'evaluation' forms to fill out and on one of them, the psychologist said I seemed a bit harsh. Hello?? You give me a bunch of forms with subjective answers, I answer based on my own comparisons of my child vs. other children I know at that age (a very few) and then judge my answers?


Guess that's why I'm asking the Hive first, before I go try to get assessment on my son.


Anyone else have some insight?

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I don't really have an answer for you. I have the same questions sometimes with my 10 and 3 yr olds. And you would think that I would know...


A friend of mine has one on the spectrum and one not. There was a time when the younger one seemed to be imitating the older. She said that they would teach the appropriate behavior to the younger and then promise rewards for showing the behavior at the right time. The younger really wanted the rewards and stopped the behavior himself while the oldest child could never control his meltdowns and such at the same age.

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As they get older, it gets easier. When dd was younger I wasn't sure if she was nt or not. I figured that if her preschool teachers didn't say anything, she was probably okay. She eventually stopped being shy, stopped tantrumming and started approaching other kids more, probably all at just the right time. I still wonder sometimes if she's completely nt and then I have to mentally stop myself and remember that everyone has their quirks and dd blends in pretty well in a group of 7yo girls (especially when you consider that she does have 2 asd brothers, she's probably gifted and she's hsed). It's helped to see other nt kids occasionally meltdown, act bratty, refuse to participate in a group activity, etc.


If you're in doubt, I'd think a bit about how your ds interacts with other kids his age. Does he join in their play? Do the other kids accept him? How does his language compare?


I hope you get the answers you need.

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I would look for more specific characteristics of Asperger's such as hyper-focus behaviors, lack of eye contact, social issues, etc.. Because tantrums and over-the-top behavior definitely can be copied by siblings..


That said, if your daughter has Asperger's, chances are that your son will be somewhere on the spectrum as well.

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