The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, California
    Posts
    4,428

    Default Could he have "mild" autism?

    My friends son is 8 years old. When he was younger, he used to do this thing where he would just sit on the floor and flap his hands in the air. His older sisters called it "happy hands". I was visiting them the other day, and their son was in the living room running back and forth and just sort of slapping his hands together. He did this for at least ten minutes. Sometimes he would stop for a bit, but then it would continue.

    Again, his sisters just said he was doing his "happy hands".

    I don't have children, but I have never seen a child exhibit such interesting behavior. His parents have never said anything about it and I don't feel comfortable asking. He has good verbal skills, and other than spending too much time on the computer playing games, or entranced by a Wii game, he seems to be a typical 8 year old.

    So what's with this behavior? Any child behaviorists around?
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    5,943

    Default

    There is a whole range of autism, as with anything. I think if we look hard enough, we can diagnose anything. I sometimes think I have autistic tendancies. I worked at an autistic school for awhile, and the hand flapping you see is typical, but if that's what it is and there's no other problem, I'm sure he's fine. If he's communicating and reacting to other people in a fairly normal way, I wouldn't worry about it. We're all weird in some ways.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,572

    Default

    The flapping hands is definitely a sign of autism, and in particular "Aspergers Syndrome," which is one disease on the autism "spectrum."

    But like the previous poster says....if he is otherwise highly functioning, and doing well both in school and socially, there is really honestly nothing to worry about. If it gets to an extreme point, it's perfectly okay to remind him that it's a little odd and that he needs to stop it, or only do it while he's alone, etc. I suspect he already does some level of self-management.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,865

    Default

    Autism is a developmental disorder.
    Autism is considered a spectrum, where some are affected minimally, others more severely.

    What seems critical to how well a kid and later adult will adjust to whatever developmental glitches it encountered in the early years will be the severity of the impairment and what intervention it was lucky to receive for them, that permit that person to integrate as well as possible in the normal world.

    Sounds like that boy is doing ok.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, California
    Posts
    4,428

    Default Thanks Everyone!

    I appreciate you all taking the time to chime in. As far as I know, this behavior does not happen in public, so it's quite possible he is capable of self regulating since he does seem to function well otherwise.

    Thank you for educating me.
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2007
    Location
    SE CT
    Posts
    1,002

    Default

    Both of my kids had this behavior when they were younger, my daughter more than my son. She would sometimes get very excited, and her little hands would start flapping about....It seemed a bit odd to me, so I asked my pediatrician about it. It is sort of an energy/excitement release.

    My daughter is now a very talented 20 YO art student, double majoring in Graphic Design and Illustration, and she is always very focused and busy...No more "spazzy hands".

    My son is 16, he does have ADD, but we control it carefully. He still can get excited (for example, about an upcoming airsoft game), and he will almost leap around the living room, expelling the energy. Then I send him out to split firewood, walk the dog, etc., and his "spazziness" goes away...

    If this young man is otherwise "normal", I think he's OK, and the behavior will lessen as he matures, like it did for the most part, in my kids.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    2,989

    Default

    Asperger's is a better guess than autism, because of the spectrum thing. Lots of Aspie's do ok in the lower grades, and then start having more problems when in high school, college and the job world (where social skills become more important.) Parents and teachers need to keep an open eye, and provide supplemental developmental assistance as needed. Most people with Asperger's are highly intelligent, if not brilliant.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,865

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pony4me View Post
    Asperger's is a better guess than autism, because of the spectrum thing. Lots of Aspie's do ok in the lower grades, and then start having more problems when in high school, college and the job world (where social skills become more important.) Parents and teachers need to keep an open eye, and provide supplemental developmental assistance as needed. Most people with Asperger's are highly intelligent, if not brilliant.
    Autism is a general group of developmental disorders, Asperger Disorder one classification of several, some equal it to High Functioning Autism.
    Will have to wait for the latest Diagnostic Manual to see how all will be defined next, will we.

    Sadly, not everyone diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome is highly intelligent or brillant, as some may think.
    To put that pressure of supposedly being super intelligent on those with Asperger Syndrome is not good for the many of them that are not.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2001
    Posts
    9,265

    Default

    The difference between Asperger's syndrome and high functioning is language development. Symptoms are similar otherwise. Both have average (or better) IQ. The diagnostic differential is Asperger's patients have normal language development, autistics don't.

    Aside from the DSM IV, the real diagnostic standard for autistic spectrum disorders is Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).

    The symtoms described, particularly involving hands and feet (toe walking), are indications of neuromotor abnormalities (autism spectrum disorder being one) if they are present past the age of 2 years old.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2007
    Location
    lexington, ky
    Posts
    1,222

    Default

    My daughter is on the autism spectrum. We're waiting to get the results whether she's high-functioning or aspergers, since there is a very fine line between them. She's very smart but doesn't comprehend very well. She does do the hand flapping, she has delayed speech, really bad mood swings (like flipping a switch), doesn't interact well with other kids (wants to play with them but can't bring herself to do it), she doesn't like to be touched or have someone close to her at times, very picky at what she eats (must be certain textures and flavors), she can't keep eye contact, and is often in her own little world.

    She also has a sensory problem which means when she's stimulated too much she'll shut down. She'll throw herself against the wall or onto the floor. She'll spin around in circles to calm herself down too.

    With that being sad it's a little more then just hand flapping.

    Just wanted to add: to the poster above kids with aspergers can have speech delay. My aunt works with a couple of kids with aspergers that have a delay and the doctor for my daughter is not ruling that out.
    Last edited by spotted draft x filly; Nov. 28, 2010 at 05:23 PM. Reason: to add



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pony4me View Post
    Asperger's is a better guess than autism, because of the spectrum thing. Lots of Aspie's do ok in the lower grades, and then start having more problems when in high school, college and the job world (where social skills become more important.) Parents and teachers need to keep an open eye, and provide supplemental developmental assistance as needed. Most people with Asperger's are highly intelligent, if not brilliant.
    My son is a very high functioning Aspie and is highly intelligent and creative... We will wait to see about brilliant LOL

    I would take this child and have him tested. I went with my gut that my son was a bit different and am glad I did, as I was then able to learn how to help him. As a result he has pretty decent social skills and that reads to, for a ten year old, friends. And that is the most important thing to him, because it is the thing he struggles with the most. I just had his conference and has to explain this to his teach... Good times, not. But he's worth it.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,865

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr View Post
    The difference between Asperger's syndrome and high functioning is language development. Symptoms are similar otherwise. Both have average (or better) IQ. The diagnostic differential is Asperger's patients have normal language development, autistics don't.

    Aside from the DSM IV, the real diagnostic standard for autistic spectrum disorders is Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).

    The symtoms described, particularly involving hands and feet (toe walking), are indications of neuromotor abnormalities (autism spectrum disorder being one) if they are present past the age of 2 years old.
    My understanding of the criteria for intelligence as part of the diagnosis in Asperger or HFA is that it not be below normal, not that it be higher than normal.
    Below normal is then considered autistic, I think.

    Asperger or HFA used to be differentiated by being verbal before two, AS or not, then HFA.
    The lines used to be blurry between both, some considering them not enough to make a clear distinction.
    I heard there will be some changes in how autism and it's differences are treated for classification in the new manual.
    That will be important for schools and the aid they are to give those students.
    Right now, depending on the label, kids can get more or less aid, although that is changing, the internet such a great help:

    http://www.wrightslaw.com/



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2001
    Posts
    9,265

    Default

    The tendency to use the terms Asperger's and HFA interchangeably makes it difficult to gather data on the differences between them. But they are distinct. And they are distinguished primarily by language development. Children who have or had language delays are diagnosed inappropriately as AS. It is actually a pretty important distinction because, rightly or wrongly, it often impacts the level of services children are eligible for from their school district.

    Just wanted to add that the best work I have ever found on autism was done by Dr. Steve Gutstein. His book solving "Solving the Relationship Puzzle" was life changing for my family.

    http://www.amazon.com/Autism-Asperge...3&sr=1-1-spell
    It is an easy read. Anyone was lives with someone on the spectrum, will find it really valuable.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,865

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr View Post
    The tendency to use the terms Asperger's and HFA interchangeably makes it difficult to gather data on the differences between them. But they are distinct. And they are distinguished primarily by language development. Children who have or had language delays are diagnosed inappropriately as AS. It is actually a pretty important distinction because, rightly or wrongly, it often impacts the level of services children are eligible for from their school district.
    The kids that have AS and central auditory processing disorder may be wrongly diagnosed with HFA if we go only by how verbal and at what age a kid is, to make a distinction there.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2001
    Posts
    9,265

    Default

    so then what would you say is the difference between AS and HFA, Bluey?



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,865

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr View Post
    so then what would you say is the difference between AS and HFA, Bluey?
    I think that as a clinician you will have cases where it will be obvious right off where to classify someone, others may need more time to get a case history built to call it either.

    I wait to see what the next DSM will tell us, the rest is speculation.
    For school IEPs, a generic "autism" diagnsis will get the kids the most leeway for help.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2001
    Posts
    9,265

    Default

    I think that as a clinician you will have cases where it will be obvious right off where to classify someone, others may need more time to get a case history built to call it either.
    OK, in a clinical setting what makes a child obviously AS instead of HFA?


    I wait to see what the next DSM will tell us, the rest is speculation.
    Actually it isn't. According to the Autism Society of America

    One of the major differences between Asperger's Disorder and autism is that, by definition, there is no speech delay in Asperger's. In fact, children with Asperger's Disorder frequently have good language skills; they simply use language in different ways. Speech patterns may be unusual, lack inflection or have a rhythmic nature, or it may be formal, but too loud or high pitched. Children with Asperger's Disorder may not understand the subtleties of language, such as irony and humor, or they may not understand the give-and- take nature of a conversation.


    http://www.autism-society.org/site/P...life_aspergers

    I think it is described that way in the DSMIV+ too. But I don't have my copy at the moment.

    It often makes parents feel better to get a diagnosis of Asperger's.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,865

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr View Post
    OK, in a clinical setting what makes a child obviously AS instead of HFA? Actually it isn't. According to the Autism Society of America

    One of the major differences between Asperger's Disorder and autism is that, by definition, there is no speech delay in Asperger's. In fact, children with Asperger's Disorder frequently have good language skills; they simply use language in different ways. Speech patterns may be unusual, lack inflection or have a rhythmic nature, or it may be formal, but too loud or high pitched. Children with Asperger's Disorder may not understand the subtleties of language, such as irony and humor, or they may not understand the give-and- take nature of a conversation.


    http://www.autism-society.org/site/P...life_aspergers

    But it often makes parents feel better to get a diagnosis of Asperger's.
    Again, the semantics and pragmatics of languages are a co-morbidity found often in autistic people.
    That will blurr the diagnosis, if depending on verbal abilities only to make that diagnosis between those two, if it is present in either.

    I think the differences between AS and HFA, if we want to use them as a diagnostic, are not always that clear where the lines ought to be drawn.
    I don't know, that is my answer, just know there is an ongoing discussion about this and no clear resolution yet I am aware of.
    Then, I may be wrong too, so I leave that to the ones making the diagnosis.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    5,943

    Default

    Just to give my two cents again. I worked in a school with what you would call severe autistics. I also get Ausberger's kids in my class once in awhile. From my experience, they are very intelligent, but just see the world in a different way. They don't take on the cues you would see as normal from other people.

    As others said, autistic people tend to not talk. I had a 13 year old I worked with that I taught his 7th word. That was a big thing. Ausberger's do, but they don't give in to social cues, especially in school. I love them because, by not responding to others, they force others to change to get them to respond. I had one kid in my class that I just adored. He never really responded as you would see as "normal," but I always did great with him. I paired him with one of my wonderful high level students as a project. In his write up of trying to work with this student, it was fascinating to see him go through the process of trying to "make" this kid do something, and in the end, he had to change the way he did things to get this kid to respond to him. He really had great respect for this Ausberger's kid.

    I had an Ausberger's kid in my forensics (public speaking) class last year. He was fabulous. He challenged himself way more than the other kids and was able to memorize a really long piece.

    Some of the autistic kids in our school have had heavy early intervention with constant training to always speak and look at the person when they respond. With this kind of heavy duty training, they can actually become very vocal and respond in what you would see as pretty normal.



Similar Threads

  1. Looking for Brown and Mild, aka "Hal"
    By aramatams in forum Missing Horses
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Jan. 11, 2014, 03:11 PM
  2. Is there such a thing as "mild" anihidrosis? Advice needed
    By IfWishesWereHorses in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Aug. 18, 2011, 05:26 AM
  3. Replies: 45
    Last Post: Jan. 9, 2011, 08:34 AM
  4. Looking for old horse "Brown and Mild" aka Hal
    By aramatams in forum Missing Horses
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Sep. 14, 2010, 06:53 PM
  5. Replies: 14
    Last Post: Apr. 20, 2009, 05:31 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness