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Does anyone else have low vocab score and ASD?

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I am wondering if anyone else has this profile with their child with autism? My son is 8 and had some testing done recently including WASI (Wechsler Abbreviated).


His scaled scores were:

Vocabulary -- 4

Similarities -- 10

Block Design -- 8

Matrix Reasoning -- 10


I also have an ASRS (autism rating scale) and he has 3 areas where both raters rated him as average: stereotypy, behavioral rigidity, and attention/self-regulation.


I feel like I tend to know people where either the IQ-type scores are all average (or above average), or all below average.


Then I feel like I tend to know people where sensory issues (often and anxiety) are primary concerns.


Then I feel like I tend to know people where rigidity and attention/self-regulation are primary concerns.


My son doesn't really fit in with any of that. There are always some things in common with ASD on some level, but I don't know anyone else right now who has his level of struggle with language while doing pretty well in other areas.


Right now I also feel like I know a lot of parents where their kids have good language skills overall AND scripting to some degree. My son rarely, rarely scripts. It is just not something he does. And his language overall seems not as good. It is just different.


I have asked providers if they see kids like him, and they absolutely say yes. But they will tend to say they are reminded of a kid they worked with a couple of years ago or a few years ago. It doesn't seem like it is as common (or maybe it is just chance for me locally).


Does this sound familiar for anyone?

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On my ds, the scripting was a stage of language development, yes, but it also reflected an amazing ability to memorize. Like at one point he literally said give me the book and I'll memorize it, referring to an audiobook. 


So to me, with that degree of vocab issue, you're seeing all kinds of issues come together, like maybe different strengths that would work together. Someone could memorize but not understand. So maybe (just thinking here, theorizing) you also see that your ds is not a memorizer?


But nuts, I'm saying that and my ds doesn't know phone numbers, even useful ones. He finally learned his aunt's. If he needs to call us, he's screwed.


Have you asked the SLP why it's this mix for him? And have they done basics like hearing?

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Eli said a couple of things that seemed scripty when he was little too, he used to say "I knocked down a building" when he was excited, he meant he was excited. That is the only one I remember and it has been probably 5 years ago!


He scored pretty low on "echoic" when he started ABA, he couldn't really imitate at all, so I am kind-of like "well it seems nice to me" even though I know it isn't like that.


I was at a birthday party a couple of weeks ago where some parents were talking about cutest scripts, funny stories about figuring out where a script came from, who loved Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, etc, and I felt slightly left out! My son did like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse too, though, I should focus more on that ;)

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I think I'd feel out of place in brag contests like that too. It's like they're defining themselves by it, just like homeschoolers who brag about their kids' academics. :(  Your ds probably has his own charms or things he brings to the world you can focus on. 



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Btw, those similiarities and matrix reasoning scores are quite high, right? Like hadn't they considered him on the low side of average for IQ? Those are some pretty rockin' scores. How do those show up in life? I don't even know what they are, but 10s are really nice, smack in the middle, good scores. Those are relative strengths for him, so maybe they're showing up places. Maybe it gives you an insight into how he processes...

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They are like a 100 :)


He has always tested low, or really extremely extremely extremely low, before this...... but we have always had examples of him having good problem-solving skills and being able to learn some things very quickly. There have always been things where if he sees it done one time then he can do it, and things where he will try different ways to do something and figure something out.


For example, he broke the leg off a ceramic horse his sister painted at a birthday party, and on his own he got scotch tape and taped the leg back on well enough to be able to prop it up on her dresser.


When he was younger it was more figuring out ways to get into things he shouldn't, I had to go to great lengths to hide the garage door opener from him and we put chain locks on the doors just to slow him down (and I would hear the noise from the chain). For things like that we have always been told he has good (aka average) problem solving skills and that it gives reason to think his test scores are either not accurate or could improve.


In real life he has really pretty good adaptive functioning skills in all the ways that don't require talking ;) He is honestly a pretty resourceful kid in a lot of ways and he is thoughtful and responsible in a lot of ways, too. It is more in a "good personality traits" kind of way than anything he is good at, imo.

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And for the people at the birthday party, they aren't bragging, they are just having something in common.


I feel like -- I can go to a birthday party with my daughter and have stuff in common like that, and then even at a party with kids from his same autism room I go and don't feel like I have too much in common. Some in common for sure ---- but I would like to have more.


I "get" cute scripting, too, I think, I don't think it is weird or whatever. I think it is cute (especially some things are very cute!) and it is very clever to communicate a lot of the time.


I especially feel like -- for whatever reason he is in with kids who have always had PDD-NOS kinds of situations and I had more in common when he was more with kids who had autistic disorder, but he has changed to where that doesn't really fit him either.


I really prefer to have more in common at least sometimes.


It is also very vague in some ways and I prefer things to be pinned down instead of changing!!!!!! I dislike change even when it is good change.

Edited by Lecka
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That's really interesting. It sounds like a brain energy thing, that one area isn't working so well (communication, language), so it's going to this other area, making it a relative strength. My ds had that, and what you're describing seems reminiscent of that. And that's cool. Like if he's a good problem solver, maybe that gives you a way to go vocationally...

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