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Is my DGS just a late developer or could he be autistic?

(28 Posts)
GranLou22 Wed 05-Sep-18 10:46:32

My GS is 5 and seems to be abit slower than other 5 year olds sad He only recognises certain letters of the alphabet where as my friends GS is 4 and already knows the aphabet. He also still wears a pull up at night as he wets the bed still, and he finds it hard to wipe his own bottom and needs assistance. Apart from that he seems a bright little man, but my friend said DS should get him tested for autism?

Jane10 Wed 05-Sep-18 11:15:05

Autism is not the only cause of developmental delay! It's up to his parents to take action if they are sufficiently concerned.

ninathenana Wed 05-Sep-18 11:23:55

What Jane said.
We all know you can't compare children with one another. They develop at their own pace.

mcem Wed 05-Sep-18 11:34:11

Autism is not a catch-all diagnosis.
My grandson (9) is currently having anger/behaviour issues and my DD now wishes to visit the school (where there seem to be no behaviour problems) so that she can discuss whether he might be on the spectrum.

He has an awkward unpleasant and belligerent father whom he sees 1/2 days a week.
Mum is so preoccupied either with her own health or with dealing with the recent cancellation of her wedding that her parenting is not currently very good.

The visit to the school is not a bad idea as I hope the sympathetic HT will point out that there are other possible explanations.
I hope your family might go into a meeting with the school with an open mind (as I hope DD will)!

Nonnie Wed 05-Sep-18 12:06:39

I think it could all be down to what parents have taught him. If a parent, or nursery, has always wiped his bottom he won't have learnt to do it himself. A child of 4 would only know his alphabet if a parent or nursery had taught him and there is a school of thought that says 4 is too young.

I would not go looking for a diagnosis of autism as I know someone whose son has such a diagnosis and the school is using it to try to get him moved to a special school because his learning is a little slow. His parents think it is because this affects the school's statistics. His parents feel that if he goes to a special school his future will be bleak.

Jane10 Wed 05-Sep-18 13:38:02

Special schools can be wonderful! Far better to have specialist attention and care helping the child to his maximum potential than left as perpetual bottom of the heap in mainstream. Not teachers fault. Just no time for specific input that boy might benefit from.
Special schools are very expensive. Those parents should be pleased that he's being put forward for one. Many LAs try to resist this for funding purposes.

luluaugust Wed 05-Sep-18 14:30:26

I don't think wearing pull ups at night at 5 is at all unusual, although maybe somebody could try lifting him at some point late evening to see if he can become dry. The letter recognition suggests he can do it but small boys can be slow at learning to read, I assume he is already at school so his parents could have a word with the class teacher to see if he/she is at all concerned with GS behaviour. If he needs help of course he must have it but it he maybe fine.

Jalima1108 Wed 05-Sep-18 14:41:04

Teaching children at five to read and write can dent their interest in books later on, according to Lilian Katz, a professor of education at Illinois University, who will today address an international conference on nursery schooling at Oxford University.
"It can be seriously damaging for children who see themselves as inept at reading too early," she told the Guardian. Boys were particularly vulnerable when rushed into reading too soon, she said.

That is from a few years ago, but certainly in other countries children do not start more formal learning until at least 6.

Perhaps encouraging an interest in books by reading to him and discussing the pictures etc would be a better way forward.

I have heard parents boast that they children could read at three - well, some may and others may not be ready at 5.

If those are the only worries then perhaps it would be best to adopt a wait and see policy.
I think your friend, unless qualified to assess children, should mind her own business.

MiniMoon Wed 05-Sep-18 14:54:47

My DGC are all on the autism spectrum. The two eldest read well, the 8 year old is just starting to read, and the 5 year old is being read to with mum and dad. He now recognised all his letters and DD suspects that he can read more than he lets on about. They were all dry at night by 5.
Every child is different. The above, is just to let you see that even being on the spectrum, children learn differently.
Please don't go looking for a diagnosis of autism just because your GS is slow learning to read, and still isn't dry at night.

Jalima1108 Wed 05-Sep-18 14:57:45

DGD's friend was diagnosed as autistic and he was reading far and away better than some of the others in the class by the age of 6.

Eglantine21 Wed 05-Sep-18 15:29:47

There is no link between the ability to read and autism. Or the ability to control your bladder.

Your friend has absolutely no idea what she is talking about.

I have to stop there before I start rattling on about reading development in young children........

And ignorant people making diagnoses of autism!

Not cross with you OP, just your silly friend.

oldbatty Wed 05-Sep-18 15:43:12

a 5 year old is " not slow at reading".

Jane10 Wed 05-Sep-18 15:49:30

Understandable Eglantine! I was exasperated too!

MissAdventure Wed 05-Sep-18 15:52:10

I couldn't even recognise my name at 5, simply because I had no interest whatsoever in reading or writing.
I soon caught up though, and overtook quite a few.

sodapop Wed 05-Sep-18 16:35:26

I agree Eglantine why are people so ready to diagnose at the drop of a hat.

Iam64 Wed 05-Sep-18 16:37:53

I echo what Eglantine said - absolute nonsense to suggest Autism may be responsible for delay in reading and toilet training. there would have to be many other features before ASD could be considered.
By the way, children who are on the Autistic Spectrum benefit from the diagnosis. If a school is suggesting a child needs to go to Special School, it's unlikely the school are just concerned that their Sats results may be brought down by a child who isn't academically gifted. Places at special schools are like gold dust. They are usually centres of excellence and the children who meet the criteria to go to one, usually thrive as a result of the small classes and different expectations.
I'm pleased that more children are diagnosed, not labelled. I wish people wouldn't blithely suggest any child who doesn't quite fit is probably autistic!

Doodle Wed 05-Sep-18 21:41:36

I agree with others. The things you mention are not necessarily signs of autism. Like walking and talking some children are able to do this before others. My friend has identical twins. One is walking and the other isn't walking but can say a few words. If a child can't recognise letters I would have thought dyslexia would be a more likely diagnosis than autism.

Melanieeastanglia Wed 05-Sep-18 21:49:25

The things you mention are not necessarily signs of autism.

He is still young. I wouldn't worry yet as children develop at different rates.

Bottom wiping - I agree he ought to start learning to do this pretty quickly but I guess it's up to his parents.

Doodle Wed 05-Sep-18 21:50:28

Just re read the OP. Is your 'friend' who suggested getting your DGS tested for autism the same one who has the 4 year old who knows the alphabet? I am not saying this is the case but there are some 'friends' out there who like to brag how wonderfully talented, clever, advanced, handsome etc their own GC are and like to talk down others. Your DGS might just be going at his own pace just because he's a bit behind your friends GS at this point does not mean This will always be the case.

MissAdventure Wed 05-Sep-18 21:56:40

I don't actually think those things mentioned would necessarily be classed as delayed.
They sound within normal range from what I can gather.

Deedaa Sat 08-Sep-18 22:30:11

I wouldn't worry at the moment. He sounds a pretty normal 5 year old boy to me. Don't worry too much about the reading, but encourage his particular interests with stories and pictures.

DIL17 Sat 22-Sep-18 07:40:44

I know a few 5 year olds like that. I’d say that your friends gs is ahead a little for 4 years old.

BlueBelle Sat 22-Sep-18 07:49:29

It seems a real trend to jump to some diagnosis ‘my child is slow at reading ....oh may be autistic’
Leave kids alone this is all nonsense my friend who was a world travelled opera singer bi lingual and very intelligent didn’t speak till she was 4 but isn’t on any spectrum
Leave them to find their own level in life wasn’t Winston Churchill a very late starter ? I seem to remember
He will find his own level in his own time

PECS Sat 22-Sep-18 08:46:50

The National Curriculum suggests that children should be able to link letters and sounds by the end of reception. Children are tested on their phonic skills in May of Yr1. Knowing the alphabet is fine at 4 but it not a sign of being more or less able than a child who cannot! Some children a brilliant at learning by rote but may not have the skills or maturity to apply the "knowledge" in reading or writing... some do. Either way it is not a "symptom" of autism!!

nonnie a place at a specialist school is hard to come by! If the school think your friend's child would benefit from the expertise and specialist provision it will not be a decision taken lightly. Schools do not usually waste precious time and resources putting a child through a full assessment unless they feel a) it will have a benefit for the child, b) there is a chance they will get some specialist provision.
Special schools do amazing work. If a GP kept trying to treat a broken bone without referral to a specialist orthopaedic consultant that would be wrong..same for mainstream schools..GPs of the education world!

mcem Sat 22-Sep-18 09:58:33

I simply don't understand why some families get so obsessed with the alphabet. It is far more important that children start by knowing the sounds of the letters - basically the simplest of phonics from the outset.
Later, the alphabet is a useful tool that helps us to use a dictionary or for formal spelling but knowing letters in alphabetical order is not really essential for starting to read.

In the same way, children are often groomed to count from 1 to 10 but reciting the names of the numbers is not as useful as knowing what the numbers mean.
I've seen children have 5 blocks put before them but if they are not mature enough to count one by one they simply recite the 1-10 mantra.
I am in no way dismissing the importance of the alphabet and counting but wish parents would not skip the vital first steps which provide an understanding of concepts.