Autism: Maybe not?

We have been struggling to put a name to what is going on with BigM. He doesn’t exactly fit Autism but he doesn’t exactly fit any others that have been suggested either. Some that were suggested I just looked at people like they had three heads because there was nothing about my son that would fit. Those left field ones included Oppositional Defiant Disorder and a typical three to four year old. Others that seem close but not quite a solid fit have been ADHD, Bi-Polar, Sensory Processing Disorder, High-Functioning Autism, OCD and a couple other I can’t think of off the top of my head.

Now, I do think that BigM has high anxiety and extreme emotional responses. BigM is also socially awkward in that he doesn’t always play with kids his own age very well. He does great with older kids who are tolerant of him though! He is constantly on the move. Even when sitting down and attending to work or watching TV he is moving. The thing is, that could fall under ADHD or it could fall under a sensory problem. He doesn’t really exhibit many of the other signs of ADHD aside from the “hyper” part of it. He is in no way shape or form ODD and his social skills and self help skills are too advanced for Autism. Bipolar is a slippery slope and could be hard to get a doctor who would agree with a diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder. BigM is typically in a better mood than what is described in the symptoms lists I can find and while he does exhibit close to half of the symptoms, I’m not 100% convinced that it is a good fit for him. I don’t see OCD as being a good fit either as it doesn’t disrupt his life a lot.

One thing we do know is that BigM is very academically smart. At a meeting when he was 3 1/2 years old I was told that he was advanced enough to be able to enter Kindergarten if he were not under the age cut off. This tells me that he is on the end of being a gifted child. It is not unusual to see negative behaviors from gifted children. In more reading I discovered gifted children can have problems with intense emotions, hyperactivity and even some other sensory problems. This sounds more like BigM than anything else does!

Over the next few months we are going to be looking more into having a child with special needs, I’m looking at emotional and anxiety problems, who also is gifted and picks up on things fast enough to be able to be ahead in school by half a grade or more. We will be looking to see if there is someone out there that can help him not only with the behavioral and emotional aspects but serve as a school tutor and help him maintain his advanced skills academically. With his hyperactivity he can attend to work but sometimes he needs a little help channeling it.

If you have any ideas or recommendations on what to look for be sure to leave a comment! Have you had a special needs child who was also in the gifted program at school?

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