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Could my cousin have Aspergers?

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Could my cousin have Aspergers?

Postby ncaptiva » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:41 pm

I am hoping to find some insight and advice here from others more experienced with Aspergers. My cousin seems very normal from most people's perspectives; however, there are a few personality traits that make me wonder if he could have a mild case of Aspergers. He is not socially reclusive at all. In fact, he's almost too outgoing (he'll walk right up to a table of strangers at a restaurant and introduce himself). He's also almost overly affectionate (at random, or seemingly inappropriate times, he'll kiss or hug you and/or say "I love you"). He has lots of friends, and is very, very social. He always wants to be the center of attention, and will do over-the-top things to get there.

The traits he does have, however, are what have brought me here to question the possibility of him maybe having mild Aspergers. He is very sensitive to sound, as well as temperature (mostly with food). He is unbelievably picky about what foods he will eat. For example, he will ONLY eat chicken fingers, or plain cooked noodles, and they always have to be almost cold before he'll eat them. Also, he has little ticks, like clearing his throat, or chewing on his fingers or his tongue (sometimes until they bleed). He gets extremely upset or frustrated when he does it, too... like he can't control himself (obsessive/compulsive). I believe the obsessive chewing started when he was put on certain meds for ADHD (what he's been diagnosed with). He has to wear gloves to keep from chewing his fingers.

Also, he speaks in a high pitched falsetto voice a lot of the time, which I understand some aspie kids do. He also LOVES dinosaurs, but I wouldn't say it's to the point of the other kids I've seen with Aspergers. The ones I've seen know everything there is to know about dinos... even their scientific names. My cousin seems to have a somewhat normal (although high) interest in them, and even carries a plastic dinosaur with him to the movie theater (at nearly 12 years old).

He also throws tantrums sometimes, which he's way too old to be doing. He's nearly 12. He can NOT handle certain things like losing at a game. Another thing that sends him over the edge is if he's trying to learn something totally new, and he doesn't "get it" immediately. If he struggles with it at all, he has a meltdown. A good example would be learning how to ski. If he falls ONCE (maybe twice), he will throw the poles on the ground, throw himself on the ground, get a very angry face on, and either pout, cry or yell (or all three). I've always felt this was more of a parenting thing, but I felt it was worth mentioning here. It's not uncommon for him to throw a tantrum in order to become the center of attention. The whole family will be sitting around having a really great time, playing guitar, singing, etc. and he'll find something to melt down about and go lock himself in the bathroom, slamming the door for extra emphasis. I've always believed he does it because he KNOWS someone will run in after him to coddle him.

That's all I can think of for now... please let me know if you have any questions. I would love to get some feedback & thoughts on this. Thanks!
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Re: Could my cousin have Aspergers?

Postby Chucky » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:19 pm

Hey,

The things you mentioned in your second paragraph are very common in people with Asperger's, including myself. I have been eating the same food everyday for the past few years now; and I get very upset/depressed if I cannot eat it. I'm 27 years old for God's sake...! :) Fish fingers are nice, but I'd rather them hot. The other stuff you mentioned might be half related to parenting and half related to Asperger's. Therefore, it could be made 'better' if his parent's were perhaps more strict. I was terrible for throwing tantrums when I was younger too, but my parents put me firmly in my place and I then resorted to being completely docile and not speaking at all.

Regrettably, your cousin might be in for a big fall if he doesn't change the way he behaves. I mean, going up to strangers as if they are your friend will not always have a good outcome later in life. As he's young, people might give him some leeway, but as an adult, it might not be the case. Anyone else in the family (...his father?) have symptoms too?

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Re: Could my cousin have Aspergers?

Postby ncaptiva » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:02 am

Thank you for the feedback!
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Re: Could my cousin have Aspergers?

Postby mels8780 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:43 am

Well...he *could* have it, those are some traits. but also some traits of other things, like being an HSP. (highly sensitive person, yes its a noun not an adjective...i guess its not commonly known. said to be 20% of our population). How old is he? If hes not having any problems with nonverbal cues then he cant have AS. and it is not possible to literally have "a little AS". maybe some traits from it u could say that but u have to have certain things to certainly have AS or is it not AS. Maybe if hes young the other difficulties havent been discovered yet. but usually in people with AS those other ones do...do you know other things about AS? =)
I always wonder why
When you look down into my eyes
My feeling swiftly changed between happiness and sorrow
And tears begin to fall
I’m not you and you are not me
But your pain becomes my pain
When you are sad, I’m the one who foolish cry
When you are wounded, my heart is hurt
-
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Re: Could my cousin have Aspergers?

Postby ncaptiva » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:23 pm

Thanks - I didn't know there was no such thing as "mild AS" or that there weren't different levels of it. I thought there were. I have seen kids diagnosed with AS that seem to act a lot like my cousin does. I also didn't know that the child HAD to have issues with nonverbal cues in order to have AS.

He is almost 12 by the way. I checked out HSP, and he definitely does not have that, but I do feel that the ADHD diagnosis he received is worth second-guessing. Thanks for the feedback!
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Re: Could my cousin have Aspergers?

Postby MeELC » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:34 pm

Well, I personally think there is such a thing as “mild AS” but I think the degrees are related to the ways the symptoms manifest themselves. I think if you’ve developed good coping mechanisms and can function well in life, whether it’s because of your character or the way you were brought up, then your AS may manifests itself in a milder form. I sincerely believe that. I also think that AS can be different for different people. Some aspies have strong OCD traits, some are highly anxious; some have ADHD traits, etc. Then again, maybe the range of intensity in AS depends more on the coping mechanisms you have and the nature of your symptoms than the “disorder” itself.

But I will agree that while you don’t have to show ALL the symptoms, you can’t really be diagnosed as having AS if say you don’t have any social problems. Or if you don’t have any unusually strong/odd interests. Or if you only have either of these.
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Re: Could my cousin have Aspergers?

Postby ncaptiva » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:43 pm

Well, it seems like this is all good news, really. Perhaps he's just a special kid =) That little cluster of unusual traits is what brought me here (the sensitivity, the OCD, ticks, tantrums/meltdowns, the complete inability to lose or fail, speaking in a falsetto voice, etc.). I haven't mentioned my theory to his parents or anything because I wanted to see what kind of feedback I got here, first, and I'm glad I did just that. I appreciate everyone's help!
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Re: Could my cousin have Aspergers?

Postby Chucky » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:46 pm

I had written a reply but there was an error, and I lost it. All I asked was if you intend to raise this with his parents? You indicated that you might. If you do, then be prepared for a firm dismissal of it. People seem to favour the option of brushing mental health problems 'under the rug', as they say. If it does happen, just print off a list of Asperger's symptoms and a list of the kid's symptoms, and then give them to them. This was the only way I could convince my mother that I have AS.

Kevin
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Re: Could my cousin have Aspergers?

Postby MeELC » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:23 pm

Ha! Same with my mother. (I read her the symptoms list). Of course it didn’t help that she associated Apserger’s with Rain Man.

When I was reading the symptoms, she agreed that I was doing those things but she would say “Yes, but a LOT of people do that!” I was like “Yeah, but how many do you know do ALL of these things!”. Then she realized while hearing this that my dad probably has it too and she believes me now. But we don’t talk about it. She’s been a lot nicer to me about certain things though. She doesn’t tease me about the extent of my obsessive interests anymore, which is good.

So yeah, I agree that you should raise the matter with the kid’s parents. But then only way you can know for sure if he has it or not is by going to see a professional. (I haven’t though. Not yet. But I’m 100% convinced.)
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