DSM-5 and Autism: Developmen​t and Course, Part 4

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Autism and the DSM 5: Part 10: Development and Course: Part 4

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11 responses to this post.

  1. Your ramblings are helpful :) my grandma would complain I acted deaf when I was little. I think of it more like lost in a daydream. I wasn’t willfully ignoring her but was preoccupied with my thoughts. And I have bitchy resting face too. I’m not too happy about that, at 33 I already have pronounced frown lines even though I never feel myself frowning. But catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, feeling content and surprised to see I am scowling. I have trouble isolating voices in a crowd and actually hate having conversations over music, especially with lyrics (classical ok). I keep getting pulled to the words and can’t focus on the speaker.

  2. You are so awesome! You are saying exactly what I have guessed about my preschooler. While he has limited communication, we keep working on teaching him scripts that apply to his everyday situations. He also has been diagnosed with auditory processing disorder as well as autism. Giving our kids go to phrase works. I have also been so inspired by your blogs we are beginning to teach him to type. He is only four but he loves the computer and we always keep it short and fun. In a few years perhaps it will be another useful way for him to communicate when he is short on words.

    • Thank you, nomie! It is so good to hear that I am helping and TERRIFIC to hear that your boy is thriving and happy and making progress. Keep up the great work and keep loving the heck out of him!

  3. Fun thing: the point about deafness shook me: My parents took me to get my hearing tested when I was 5 or 6 (forget how old, school aged anyway because I wouldn’t respond to teacher’s instructions and would emotionally insist I she didn’t say something she obviously just said when she punished me for perceived defiance). My hearing tested above average.

    Thereafter, every time I insisted I didn’t hear something they’d said, my parents would reply, “B*******! You’re not deaf! You can hear just fine! We had you tested!”

    … even though, no, I really didn’t hear them. Sometime around when I was a preteen they figured out that I was just focusing so hard that I didn’t notice anything – I think it was when they had to start confiscating my book when we were walking on the street because I’d walk into lampposts and signs and traffic without noticing, so absorbed was I into my book.

  4. Posted by insideout on October 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I’m not autistic, but I am hard of hearing, and your experiences really resonate with me. I, too, am cognitively lost in crowds and noisy places; I’ve developed coping and compensatory tactics that isolate me; I don’t respond appropriately, or at all, to voices, sometimes even in the absence of other distractions; I avoid social situations I know will stress my ability to act “normal”; I’m constantly the butt of hearing folks’ assumptions that I *choose* not to hear. Your post really enlightened me about at least a couple of aspects of autistic individuals’ inner lives. Thank you.

    • Thank *you*. I think you have hit upon one of the many similarities that explain why I have felt so at-home in Deaf community (with the obvious exception of the minority of strongly separatist people who refuse to accept me because I can hear) from the moment I began to tentatively approach it. I see a lot of similarities between Autistic community and Deaf community and I try to be a good ally to the Deaf community because of the solidarity I feel as a result.

  5. […] DSM-5 and Autism: Development and Course (Part 4): The fourth paragraph continues the early signs of autism, referencing deafness and the fact that allistic children show some of the same repetitive and restrictive behaviours as are typical of autism, but not to quite the same extent (“[t]he clinical distinction is based of the type, frequency, and intensity of the behavior”). […]

  6. Posted by Mel Peeke on November 9, 2013 at 4:31 am

    You are so, so helpful. I love reading everything you write. My daughter was sent for a hearing test 3 times by Speech & Language experts who were convinced that her inability to pronounce consonants properly was a result of deafness. Each time I was told she had above average hearing, but of course they are testing in a quiet environment where you only have to listen out for one sound. When she was 5 years old she did some auditory integration therapy where she listened to modified music through special hi-tech earphones. After just four days she said ‘Mummy, I can hear you so much better than before. Your voice isn’t louder, it’s just much clearer’. Her speech also quickly improved afterwards. Have you had any experience of AIT? I’m usually very wary of ‘quackish’ interventions for ASD but this one really seemed to work.

    • I haven’t had any personal experience of AIT. I have heard of it, but didn’t pursue it because I know the brain is much less plastic after age 12 so I have assumed that most of the early interventions are only helpful in the early years. Because there was so much less knowledge back when I was 5, my windows of opportunity for a lot of therapies closed decades ago. :-/

  7. Posted by Courtney on November 30, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Although the brain has less plasticity as we age, some of my deepest learning has occurred as an adult. I wouldn’t discount a therapy based on the issue of brain plasticity. New research is showing that new neural connections are created all the time no matter what the person’s age is.

    • True, there is ongoing plasticity. But I shy away from adult therapies that claim to utilize brain plasticity because my experience of them so far has been more along the lines of torture than therapy.

      It’s probably an unfair bias on my part, but there are only so many times I can allow others to torment me before I begin associating the words they use with the horrible experience of what they offer and begin to avoid anything marketed for adults that uses the phrase “brain plasticity” in its promotional literature.

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