Asperger's Syndrome

Specialties Pediatric


  • Specializes in Geriatrics, DD, Peri-op.

I took my son to a psychiatrist yesterday. He thinks that he he might have Asperger's Syndrome and/or ADHD. I've read about AS and it seems to fit. ADHD, I dunno. Doc doesn't want to give a definitive diagnosis until my son is 5 (he's about 4 and a half).

Do any of you have any experience with AS and any tips to help us handle him? Doc thinks he may need medicine for the ADHD, and we are going to start Focalin.


1 Article; 2,334 Posts

asperger's and adhd do have very similar behaviors and children can have both. given your son's young age it is probably best to delay an "official" diagnosis until he is older. some of the information and observations needed to differentiate between the two will not be developed this young due to limited vocabulary, social skills and opportunites for structured learning.

is your son in preschool? if yes did the teacher(s) participate in the observations?

will he be starting kindergarten this year?

if not i encourage you to contact your school districts early childhood intervention/education program.

if he is to attend school this year it would be to his benefit for you to contact his school now and get the ball rolling on the testing the school will need to do to formulate an iep (individual education plan). he does not need a dignosis for this as the testing should identify his strengths and weaknesses and learning style. this information goes into a document/tool that guides the teacher in educating him.

medication is an option especially if his behavior interferes with development of social skills. a couple of things to consider is that the stimulant meds for adhd will not work if he does not have it and not all meds work for all kids, it is sometimes necessary to try a couple of drugs until you find the one that works for him.

this (link) contains or links to some very good information:

and (not .com which actually a private commercial site) does contain a list of doctors who state that they are familiar with asperger's disorder and willing to evaluate children and/or adults who have it.


329 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, DD, Peri-op.

I talked to his daycare teacher today. She's only been with him a week, but, she does not think he has ADHD...neither do I. I have the bottle of Focalin sitting right here...but, I think I'm going to wait on it. I hate to give him something that he may not need. The doctor pretty much left it up to me anyway. However, doc DOES want him in play-therapy..which is scheduled to start in couple of weeks.

Nick (my son) was in Early Intervention in Alabama back in 2002. He then went to Project AIM at Auburn University. I took him to a pediatric neurologist once and he said it could be pervasive developmental disorder-NOS.

He will not start school this year (he'll be 5 in December)...but, I am going to see about getting him back into Early Intervention.

He's so smart, though...which I think can be characteristic of AS. And, he does not have all of the odd behaviors now that he did when he was 2....he would head bang, fascinated with bottle caps, wouldn't speak, hated loud noises, hated clothes, severe tantrums, did not really socialize, did not play with toys perse...etc.

Just now we're still having problems with some tantrums. But, I think with strict routine, we might be able to curb some of that. I'm just worried that he/we won't get the help that we need.

I'm heading to those links now. Thanks.

Specializes in Med-Surg.

I have a 13 year old with Aspergers...

I disagree with waiting to get a diagnosis--the earlier you get a diagnosis and start getting help the better your child will be able to cope.

The OASIS webiste is a great one for information

Also look for seminars and/or books by Tony Attwood. He is one of the leaders in Asperger's.

I can probably give more info later--getting ready to go to work.


56 Posts


I have a 14 year old son with Aspberger's, originally dx. at age 4 with mild autism. If you have any specific questions about my experiences with AS, I'd be happy to discuss them with you privately, feel free to e-mail me.

Good luck

My son (just turned 13) has aspergers . We opted against any meds , we had trouble getting past the psycologists bias . We live in a very rural area and the psy. was also the school psy. . We took Buddy out of school when he was in the 4th grade he has just started going back this week . I miss him already :o . He is now in the 7th grade . Homeschooling was not always the easiest thing but for him it was the best option . We have done many types of behavior mod. Basically we let him be him and try to teach/help him learn how to better function in the "normal" world. His IQ is between 149 and 155 depends on who is doing the testing . Your guy is much younger and so I don't know exactly how I can be of help to you , but if I can , PLEASE let me know . It is so amazing to watch him sometimes , he is so smart.... however he has problems dealing with social situations . He has a great sense of humor which has made this whole thing MUCH easier . You will need to educate your extended family in order to avoid all of the well intended "parenting advice" My "weird" kid behaves ALOT better than their "normal" ones ever have . :chuckle But they still label him as "weird" . :angryfire ANYWAY ... If I can help , just ask .

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

108 Articles; 9,984 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

I feel for you. My 16-year-old has Asperger's, and he's always been labeled "weird" by his peers and even some of his teachers. I live in a small city and there isn't a lot of knowledge out there about Asperger's, although there is an excellent program in the next town for kids who have full-blown autism.

We've had a hard time keeping him OFF medications, because he can be disruptive at times and some teachers seem to think that any kid who can't sit still for hours at a time needs Ritalin. His social skills are clumsy, he tends to blurt out things that make absolutely NO sense to anyone but him, and he is genuinely confused when we can't follow his line of reasoning. He also used to have terrible tantrums and a violent temper, although he has NEVER physically attacked someone without being provoked first and is as gentle as a kitten with small children and pets. I'm happy to say that he has improved greatly as he's grown older, and his communications skills have developed to the point that he can now tell us what's upsetting him, instead of throwing a fit.

The process---and it is a process---does slip on occasion, sometimes badly, and we end up with a phone call from the school or he says something so off-the-wall that we all wonder if he's losing his mind. His schoolwork isn't what it ought to be; it's like pulling teeth to get him to do his homework. He suffers from periodic depression, and of course he's going through adolescence, which in itself is a difficult process even under the best of circumstances. But as long as he receives plenty of loving attention and we can maintain patience with him, he does learn, and he responds beautifully........even at 16, he's still openly affectionate with us (especially me) and he is an incredibly talented artist, drawing cars and planes that look as if they could jump right off the page. We have to help him keep up his self-esteem, as he is VERY hard on himself and tends to think he's stupid just because he's different, but in the end I think he'll do fairly well in life.

That's been my experience, anyway........I wish you the best with your little one, it's a tough row to hoe; but it can be sooooooo rewarding when that light bulb goes on and the child finally 'gets' a concept. I wouldn't trade my Asperger's boy for anything! :)

tiroka03, LPN

393 Posts

Specializes in LPN.

I have two kids with this. This first is in college. The reason I state this first, is that it can be a pretty scarey and long process getting through grade school, Jr. high and high school with this syndrome. There were plenty of times I wondered how he would turn out, or if he would be a misfit forever. There is a lot of hurt involved on both sides, the childs and the parents.

I made enemies with the school in no time flat, as I choose to advocate for him, and not let them run pal mal over him. He was actually not allowed to finish Jr. High school in one district, as they were tired of dealing with ME.

The school came up with all kinds of wierd and strange ideas, ones I instinctively knew wouldn't work. The weirdest one was to place spikes in my dtrs mouth while at school so she wouldn't talk so much. Get real. So after years of being the lone parent looking out at a sea of experts, I decieded to bring in my own panal to the meetings, I brought in a team of family, neighbors, freinds, and experts to a IEP meeting. We accomplished more in that meeting then you can imagine. Even if nothing had come out of it, it was worth it to see the expressions on the IEP team as 25 people walked in after me and my daughter and son. Even my Ex decieded to show for this one.

My son now avocates for himself. He tells me he's learned from the best. My daughter is a freshman in high school. I am again having trouble in this new school. They are taking her out of classes without notifying me, and changing her schedule as they see fit. This is a new city, and they don't yet know who they are up against. But, I believe in my daughter, and even though Aspsies have their strugglesk, I believe she can learn to cope with her stuggles and live productively and happily. I will not let a school dictate her course, and ulimately block her progess in their goal for conformity.

I think an interesting comment from my ex says a lot. He said, I wish someone would have stood up for me when I was in school, as you do for our kids. I bet I would have turned out differently. A lot coming from him.

Good luck in your journey.

Oh, one thing, Ritlin is not compatible with Aspbergers. It is deadly. Please look up all the information before you give it.

That is why we took our son out of school ... they just wouldn't listen to us . He is OUR child and WE have a good idea what would work for him and what wouldn't . His biggest academic problem is handwriting , we suggested letting him bring our laptop so he could type notes and such they said it would be to much of a distraction , so they suggested that he have a special ed. helper follow him from class to class to work with him and do most of his writing for him . That would be ALOT more distracting than a small laptop to me . ANYWAY the last straw was when they said the only thing left to do was to medicate him and put him in the special ed. class . They refused to even look into the things we suggested . So we took him out of school . The Psycologists (both of the ones in town) work for the school system and basically said they wouldn't see Buddy untill he was back in school where he belonged . :angryfire We have fought a LONG battle with the school and just got fed up . We live in a better district now and are trying again ... he has progressed bunches as he has gotten older ... however the teenage thing is comming up fast . :uhoh21: Thankfully he hasn't displayed any major anger/rage issues . (yet) Most of his major issues revolve around fixations , motor skills , and his inner monolouge not being very "inner" . :chuckle He is such a great guy tho' , most people who know him over look these . Onward and Upward is the only way to go .

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