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My mom has suggested to me that Toby might be somewhere on the spectrum, and I’m beginning to think she is right. He has ALWAYS been highneed/spirited and he seems to be getting worse, not better. We have a strong family history of autism, (my brother, my dad, my sister shows all the signs but doesnt want a diagnosis, several uncles, cousins and my paternal grandfather all have significant autistic tendancies but no DX) so the chances of me having atleast one child on the spectrum are high.

My mom thinks that he has either ADHD or else is high-functioning ASD. He is very bright, and to coin my sisters phrase, behaves like a monkey on drugs most of the time. He doesnt sleep much, has a very short attention span, has no impulse control AT all. It’s getting to the point where I can’t even leave him with other people because he is too much for them to handle. Some days I want to run and hide because he is too much for ME to handle. I’ve tried all the usual discipline techniques and none of them make the blindest bit of difference.

At what point do you start to think “Maybe there’s more to this than I thought?”
Is there much point in pursuing a diagnosis at this point? I wouldnt want him medicated and I don’t know how much help they could be otherwise.
At what point WOULD it be worth getting him looked at? Is there a chance he will outgrow these behaviours?
Would a diagnosis affect our plans to Home ed in any way?

I hope you are able to deal with this at the moment and have lots of support IRL and on here and hugs to you if you need them smile

If you have started to ‘suspect’ something it wouldn’t hurt to ask the doctor how you could go about diagnosis, etc. No-one is going to force you to put ds on meds but it may give you a start point to know how better to help him especially if it is draining to prent at present, I have always seen diagnosis as a positive thing as then you can help in a positive way, change of lifestyle, diet, supplements or therapies if that is a way you would go. 
Of course you then have a label but people would only know if you told them, I also can’t see how it would affect homeschooling in fact wouldn’t it be beneficial?

Hope you find the right way forward for you,

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.

LETS number 64

For a diagnosis of autism the person is required to have problems in three areas - social communication, social interaction and social imagination (someone on my placement described to me that people with ASC like colouring in and jigsaws because they can see when it’s finished, but are less keen on open-ended art “do a drawing” type thing).  I think recently they’ve talked about adding sensory difficulties such as being noise sensitive (most commonly).  I don’t think liveliness really comes into it, I’ve just done a placement as part of my training at a special school and the young people who were hyperactive and autistic also tended to have adhd labels.

The National Autistic Society has a good website with plenty of information  Obviously this can only spur or disprove hypotheses, and if you want a diagnosis you need to go through medical routes.

If you did get a diagnosis you may be able to access help through the children and adolescent mental health services.  People with autism respond well to structure and visual structure in their lives, so it maybe that some behaviour support may be useful if you were chosing not to medicate.  For example, the young people on my placement had timelines they carried with them with pictures of the activities they were doing in order so they could see what was coming next and when.  There’s a movement called neurodiversity which claims that people with autism don’t have a disorder, but just a condition that makes them different, but because of this condition they have different needs, just like my husband has dyslexia so can read better when there’s less information easily spaced out.

I’m not an expert by any means, but have done a 6 month placement in a school for young people with autism so may be able to help.

I’d look at his diet first, see if there is anything there that might trigger wild behaviour.

To be honest though, no attention span and no impulse control is fairly normal at this age (and older.), so I’m not sure if that’d be enough to go on just yet.

Actually, Katy is (usually) very calm, can sit and play by herself and make little games up. But Molly even now at 6, is still somewhat as you describe Toby. I could have written the same about her. And there have been times her dad has said “get her diagnosed!” because she is very quick to react (negatively) to a situation, has no impulse control etc. And compaed to Katy her attention span for non-directed play is very short (ie she will sit and paint for hours, or play on the computer, but she doesnt seem able to sit with her toys and invent games/act out events with them like Katy does).
I’ve also spoken to a friend with a daughter who has diagnosed aspergers/ASD, and some of Molly’s behaviours seem to match this lady’s daughter’s. Molly was vaccinated, and was born three weeks prem, and weighed less than 6lbs at birth, which are all factors that supposedly increase likelyhood of ASD. So I’ve not ruled it out. She’s getting better over time though and I just keep explaining to her (why xyz is not nice, shouldnt be done etc) and reminding her how to behave (ie not to start screeching and get so wound up over little things, lol).
I’ve personally not gone to the Drs over it because I don’t see the point. She is how she is, and she’s not that bad to be honest. She’s very loving at times, she just does better 1 to 1 (so like now, she is out with my mum, and sometimes my mum has Katy for a bit so I can have a few hours just with Molly). Like you, I wouldn’t be medicating anyway, so I’m not sure how much good a possible diagnoses would be.

HE’ing, formerly co-sleeping, BF’ing, BWing, BLWing & Cloth-nappying wannabe eco-warrior, organic-eating, mostly vegan mum to K (16/11/06) and M (26/04/04) and squish due 5/7/16 :D.
Also 2 dogs, 6 cats, and 6 hens.

Hi hon

Re HE and a diagnosis, I’d suggest you chat to Harriet tomorrow. Her boys aren’t autistic but their SEN has caused her loads of problems with Josh’s HE. Personally (and from the limited amount I see of T) I’d wait and see. Alfie still struggles immensely with impulse control esp when he gets excited and he’s a year older than T. Sorry for short reply, kids calling. Hopefully chat more tomorrow if kids run off and play.

Beck xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Radically unschooling mama to three gorgeous pickles Alfie (April 06) and Holly (Nov 07), Amber (Nov 2010)

Perhaps there is a mum on the boards who has a son on AS you could compare notes with? A friend of mine (IRL) is currently going through the SEN statement and diagnosis process for her boy, aged 9. If I have a chat with her, I could fwd and email to you of what he was like at Ts age, adn see what tallys up for you, and if you think you need, make more moves from there?

Sumo vestri semita sapienter- From Latin ‘Choose Your Path Wisely’

DD1 - 03/04 DD2 - 08/08

GP Lets Member 1

Hi, Lewis is 6, he has had a diagnosis since he was 4 of high functioning asd, and adhd since he was 5, he got statemented at school, and home ed was the best thing for him. If you want pm me, sorry for the short reply but rushing! xx

Crunchy hippy vegan mama to four gorgeous boys. Formerly known as bettywobble smile

Blogging again at

The bosom of the Mother is the natural pillow of her offspring.

Hi TEM, might be worth waiting until you move into your own space as youre living with family arent you? It might make a big difference… DD was a complete nightmare when our lives were v hectic and had other family living with us but things improved massively when our environment changed and life is much calmer. DD was a lot how you describe Toby, and she can still be like that when out of her routine or if we have people staying etc It may be that Toby IS ASD or ADHD, but what Im saying is that perhaps when your circumstances change (is that still happening later this year?), you may very well find his behaviour is something you can live with xxx Just a thought xxx

To dare is to lose ones footing temporarily, to not dare is to lose oneself.

LETS number 137

I am always wondering where that line falls too.  Some days Rowan is lovely, but other days he is manic and hard work, his tantrums are intense and he is very emotional boy.

I would be wary of diagnosis at this age as I think behaviours can overlap, they may just be a very emotional and sensitive toddlers/preschoolers behaviours. 

I have a freind whos son (aged 13) has just been diagnosed, he is overjoyed at the diagnosis as he always knew ther was something differnt about him, and a lot of the things she says of him at Rowans age(almost 4) are very similar, i.e: gets very fixated on things.

I have introduced a rhytym into our days and am trying to make it a little bit more structed, which seems to be helping.  Rowan likes to know what is coming next.

I worked for 5 years with children and young adults with ASDs so I have pinched a few ideas from there.

It may be worth trying a few things that are said to help people with ASD ie; rountine, diet before seeing a doc.


At it´s very essence autism is defined by social communication problems (behaviour is secondary), if there are no issues with social communication (speech, eye-contact, inability to read social cues, social awkwardness), then I wouldn´t even consider ASD.

? We must live with hearts wide open, hearts wildly open ?

Wild glamping in the mountains of southern Spain ...

Hmm, well his speech etc is fine, he had no problem talking to people, chatting to the checkout lady etc. He will make eye contact, although he prefers not to especially when he thinks he might be in trouble. He can play wellwith other children (as well as you could expect a 3yo to). The only concern I have about his socialisation is the ability to read a situation and behave appropriately, and to consider people’s feelings that are affected by his behaviour. But I think thats a 3yo thing.

I’m thinking more ADHD than ASD really. I’ve decided to wait and see for a while as far as proffessional evaluation goes. I’ve been reading up on a few things that might help to calm him down; more protein and fat, completely ruling out ALL chemical additive in his food -we do no sweeteners and no artifical colours as we knew they affect his behaviour, but I’ve been a bit lax about other things, so we’re stepping it up to include artifical flavours, colours, preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers etc - did a weekly shop today and was part amazed part disgusted by what is actually IN a lot of the food we’ve been using because it’s dairy free. More outdoor time (even if it’s raining), more firm boundaries, more routine etc. I’m contemplating some kind of fish oil suppliment, but I want to read more around it first. I’m also praying that when we move out and can relax a little more, things will ease up (thanks for pointing that out Yamba :D)

Thanks for all your thoughts. It really helps to have a sounding board with this.

have you thought of the long term affects of a statement, diagnosis ?? there is a huge sepctrum to these problems and as an adult will he be adversly affected by the term of the porblem ???
we all have special needs every individual. if you are planning on home ed any way is there any need ????? i would look into it but be very very cauious on getting a label, as once they are there they are hard to get rid of.

when life gives you a rainy day play in the puddles !!!
mum to 4 sons 13,7,4 and 2
a daughter 8 years ,
and always in my heart my angel xx

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