Does Cameron really have Autism? // 23.02.13

Autism

 

Since being told that Cameron may have Autism, Matt has been doing a lot of research into the subject and is not convinced. At first I genuinely believed he did have Autism because I put my trust in a professional.

I thought Matt was saying what he was saying because he didn’t want a child with a disability but the more I listened to what he had found online, it was becoming clearer and clearer that it is very unlikely he has. He just doesn’t have enough of the symptoms.

The more Matt found online, the angrier we became with the first speech therapist who had mentioned Autism once and then it appeared that everyone had jumped on the ‘Autism bandwagon’.

Why?

All because Cameron is not talking much and yet is very highly intelligent. If you have seen my other posts, you will see some of the things he is able to do. It’s like Cameron is being punished for his hard work in learning things, it can’t possibly be all his own doing, he must have a disability and it must be Autism.

The document that Matt wrote up to take to the TAC meeting at Cameron’s nursery.

Confirmations or counter arguments are based purely on high quantities of observation and simple, undocumented experiments.

(S1)- Extreme difficulty in learning language. 

= Subjective.
Cameron has a very good understanding of language and is able to understand and act upon requests, identify variations of commands, (eg, put the ball ‘IN’ the basket, or, put the ball UNDER the table) On the other hand,
Cameron has developed extremely slowly with regards to verbal speech. (As
noted)

(S2)- Inappropriate response to people. A child with autism may avoid eye contact, resist being picked up or cuddled, and seem to tune out the world. 

= Not applicable.
Cameron makes eye contact very well, but can be easily distracted. Cameron enjoys  being picked-up and cuddled, and is always keen to get involved when something unusual is occurring. (eg, if an unfamiliar
person enters the home, Cameron is keen to meet them and interact with them)
  

(S3)- Inability or reduced ability to play cooperatively with other children or to make friends.

= Subjective.
Cameron enjoys having company and having people with him when he plays. Cameron is very comfortable meeting new people, including children his own age.  Although Cameron prefers to play by himself within a group or ‘parallel play’. (eg, enjoys playing alone in a group as opposed to completely solitary.)

(S4)- Inability to understand other people’s feelings.

= Not applicable.
Cameron has a very strong sense of empathy and in very sensitive to the feelings of those around him. (eg, when Cameron playfully snatches a ball from me, I will begin to ‘cry’. At which point Cameron will return the ball, hug me and even attempt to apologise verbally, or by gifting me with another toy (as well as the ball he returned) as a type of compensation). Cameron is very sensitive to feelings of anger or aggression. (eg, on times when myself or Cameron’s mother have had to raise our voices to him, he has become very passive and tearful, electing to make amends as opposed to remaining defiant)
 
Cameron is very good at detecting when others need help. (eg, Cameron was recently  observed by his pre-school worker attempting to help a boy put on his shoe which had fallen off. When Cameron was unable to assist, he  successfully gained the attention of another pre-school worker and showed them that the boy was struggling)

(S5)- Need for a rigid, highly structured routine —  and being very distressed by changes in
routines.

= Very subjective.
Cameron has a ‘routine’ in which he eats meals, attends pre-school and goes to bed at consistent times, but does not have a set order in which he performs tasks on a day to day basis. (eg, Everything from, the toys he plays with, the clothes he wears and his preferences in activity vary from day to day at his own discretion and he has no issues with this.) Cameron can become quite irritated in certain circumstances, such as, if his dinner time is a little later than
usual. But this is simply due to him being hungry. As such, when Cameron is irritated, he acts no differently to any other hungry 2 year old.
 

(S6)- Extreme hyperactivity or unusual passivity, and extreme resistance to change.

= Not applicable.
Cameron, by nature, is a very laid-back and easy-going child who is perfectly comfortable with change in most circumstances, whether it is his home environment, the company around him (children or adults), or even for simple things like different toys or routine. Cameron has no abnormal hyperactive tendencies. He will become excited or passive predictably, based on his preferences. (eg, Cameron enjoys playing with toys cars with myself, so he will become excited if he thinks this is going to happen. While he will also become disappointed if I refuse to play at the time.)

(S7)- Aggressive, self-injurious behaviour.

= Very occasional.
In the past, Cameron has, on very rare occasions, resorted to banging his head on the floor if he has been refused something or has become frustrated at unsuccessfully attempting to communicate his wants or needs to us (His parents). This behaviour seems to have since ceased and there has been no circumstance of this within the last 2-3 months. I believe that this behaviour stopped as Cameron disliked the feeling on pain and he has realised that this behaviour is not acknowledged by myself or his mother. (Further enforcing the observations and
counter-arguments outlined in (S4)

(S8)- Repetitive body movements, including pacing, hand flicking, twisting, spinning, rocking, or hitting oneself.

= Not applicable.
Cameron has no obvious abnormal physical behaviours or ‘ticks’ whatsoever. There have never been any instances of the behaviours mentioned or any repetitive variations. Like any other child, Cameron will frequently run, jump, spin around or dive on a sofa or bed, but has never shown any desire to do these things consistently, or in a predetermined sequence or routine.

(S9)- Insensitivity to pain or lack of response to cold or heat.

= Not applicable.
Cameron has no abnormalities in his responses to temperature change, or feeling of pain and discomfort. He dislikes the feeling of being too hot or too cold when he sleeps, but is more than happy to run around and play outside on very hot or very cold days. Cameron has a perfectly normal threshold for pain, where his responses will vary between; rubbing the injured area, to seeking reassurance from myself or his mother.

(S10)- Impulsive behaviour and no real fear of dangers.

= Not applicable.
Cameron has not shown any real impulsive behaviours, (save for the instances outlined in (S7). He seems to make assessments of situations very well, (eg, will wait patiently when crossing the road, or staying close to myself and his mother in public places.) Cameron is understandably wary about large heights, or fast-flowing water (such as a stream or river), in such cases, Cameron will seek assurance from myself or his mother as to whether it is safe or not. Cameron also has a friendly, yet cautious nature towards animals. Again, Cameron will seek assurance from either myself or his mother when approaching an animal of any kind.

(S11)- An unusual attachment to inanimate objects such as toys, strings, or spinning objects.

= Subjective.
Cameron, like most children, does have ‘favourites’ amongst his toys and books, and will, on occasion, actively seek them out. However, should he be unsuccessful locating the toy, Cameron will usually find an alternative toy to play with, or on rare occasions, will seek assistance from myself or his mother to find the toy. Cameron has, in the past, had a mild attachment to his toothbrush. But overtime this has diminished to the point that he no longer cares for it anymore than anything else. Cameron has always has a particular fascination with objects that spin, especially the wheels of his toy cars. Again, overtime this has diminished and has no particular interest in them.

(S12)- Frequent crying and tantrums for no apparent reason.

= Not applicable.
Cameron has an extremely balanced temperament and very rarely loses his temper or becomes excessively upset. On occasions, Cameron will raise his voice or become defiant, but no more than is to be expected from a 2 year-old.  Cameron does occasionally become frustrated with his inability to fully communicate with myself and his mother. But, as a result of this, Cameron has become very creative with his methods of trying to communicate, ranging from; taking our hands and motioning us, to spelling out words on his easel using magnetic letters.

(S13)- Peculiar speech patterns. A child with autism may use words without understanding their meanings.

= Not applicable.
This particular ‘symptom’ is extremely difficult to assess for a variety of reasons. For instance, Cameron is unable to speak efficiently. So the few words he uses are repeated enough for him to understand them and use them in context consistently. (eg, When Cameron sees a picture of an Owl, he will say ‘Owl’.) Cameron’s system for communication is a melodic ‘humming’ sound. Due to his accuracy with syllables and context, this method is surprisingly easy for even a complete stranger to understand what Cameron is trying to communicate. This was confirmed at the meeting with the Paediatrician

(S14)- Abnormal responses to sensations such as light, sound, and touch. At times, a child with autism may appear deaf or may be extremely distressed by everyday noises.

= Subjective.
Cameron has never exhibited any abnormal behaviours relating to specific lights or sounds. We have noticed that Cameron becomes intrigued with bright colourful lights, but has no specific attachment to them. Cameron enjoys music and will frequently dance or attempt to sing along with songs or music that he likes or is particularly familiar with. On the other hand, Cameron does have slightly unusual responses to certain textures, particularly with food. On several occasions Cameron has tried a new food and has immediately vomited as the food touches his tongue. These have included; Mozzarella cheese, Bananas and sweet foods, such as doughnuts and pastries.)

Summary

Cameron is, quite obviously, a very intelligent and curious child. As such, myself and his mother believe that these traits are what is causing the confusion and uncertainty regarding Cameron being potentially Autistic. Cameron is very talented and advanced with numeracy, (eg, shape and pattern recognition, numeric sequences and numeric logic).

Cameron has also recently become very interested, and skilled, with written English,(eg, spelling, picture and word recognition and sentence structure). Cameron’s mother and I understand that these kinds of skills, coupled with his
inability to speak fluently, enforce an inclination towards a diagnosis of Autism. But due to our permanent interaction with Cameron, our own personal research and our observations on his growth and development, we would fully refute any diagnosis relating to Autism. We would like to respectfully request that any suggestion or investigation into Autism become a secondary course, and that assessments into Dyspraxia, (particularly focused on Motor-Oral and Cerebellar deficiencies).

 

 

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Autism

6 Comments

  1. Kath Bee February 24, 2013 / 8:31 am

    Reading those symptoms I'm surprised all 2 year olds aren't diagnosed with autism, they nearly all sound like typical behaviour for a 2 year old! I know mine went through phases of most of these and came out the other side as normal human beings (well as normal as they can be with me as their mother!!)

  2. admin February 24, 2013 / 7:38 pm

    Hi Kath. We thought exactly the same with the Autism Symptoms. And family members have said that apart from Cameron's speech there is no difference in Cameron's development than there was in mine or Matt's when we were that age. Must mean Matt and I are autistic too!!! lol!!

  3. PinkOddy February 25, 2013 / 12:20 am

    Every child on the Autistic Spectrum is unique and will not have all the symptoms. We often said our oldest (now 16) couldn't have it because he lied. Basically if they have problems in all 3 areas of the triad is what is likely.

    I'm sorry you are going through this. Ask yourself what are the difficulties, how much are they an issue to you and Cameron, and are you being helped with them – labels don't matter – unless they are a vehicle to help.

    Best of luck.

  4. admin February 25, 2013 / 10:41 am

    The only difficulty Cameron is having is his talking. The only reason they are saying he may have autism is because of this and also his high intelligence. He is doing things that are only just expected of 5 year olds. Will be hopefully writing part 2 to this story tonight for the follow on from Cameron's Nursery Meeting with the Speech Therapist, HV, Cameron's SENCO and Cameron's Nursery Key Worker. 🙂

  5. Anne Stone February 26, 2013 / 8:43 pm

    I've always thought that 2 yrs was a little young for an autism diagnosis unless it's really severe. Hopefully as he grows things will become clearer and Cameron will get the help he needs. x

  6. admin February 27, 2013 / 8:43 pm

    Thanks Anne, we have been told we are on a long path because everyone is so baffled by Cameron.

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