Autism or Neurological Problem?

Have you ever seen anything like this before. This is how Gavin writes now. It never used to be like this but as of late this is a very common occurance and dominates the way he writes.

I don’t know if this something related to Autism but I think this may be more of a neurological issue. I getting more and more concerned about this whole neurological thing. Gavin starts out writing using most of the page but a few lines later he begins using less and less of the page until he’s whittled it down to only one or two words on each line.

I fear this is another emerging symptom pointing to some sort of a neurological disorder.

Does anyone have experience with something like this? If so, what was causing it? It’s not a writing style. It’s more like a perceptual thing. I do know that he doesn’t realize he’s doing this.

I’m worried. Very worried. Any advice would be appreciated.

 

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Rob Gorski
Father to 3 boys with #Autism, 1 with Fragile Health. Award winning blogger, techy and advocate. #AutismDad @GuardianLocate
Rob Gorski

Rob Gorski

Father to 3 boys with #Autism, 1 with Fragile Health. Award winning blogger, techy and advocate. #AutismDad @GuardianLocate

0 thoughts on “Autism or Neurological Problem?

  • August 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm
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    I agree with some kind of visual aid to show him where to start each new line. Watch him as he writes, and see how he holds the paper still. Gentle encouragement and correction as he goes should help. My son still prints like he’s in JK and he’s almost nine, which makes me wonder if there’s a neurological aspect to his condition as well.

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  • August 25, 2011 at 12:24 am
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    My 1st thought is to ask if your child is left-handed.  Growing up left-handed caused me to develop some rather unusual habits in my writing.  Left-handers (in particular) are prone to demonstrating conditions through writing with a pencil.  One reason has to do with the fact that the hand must rest in what has already been written.  This leaves graphite all over the outer side of the hand and side of the pinky finger.  An OCD child MIGHT (for instance) write in such a way as to not get any on them.  Regardless, there are numerous possibilities and many are very benign.  You might see if any quirks persist when a crayon is used (pens and markers can smudge as well but crayons are wax and do not).  You may also observe the results of them coloring with various mediums to see if it is isolated to handwriting.  Even if your findings leave you with more questions than answers, you at least will have tested a few things out to be able to describe more fully what is and is not taking place.

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  • August 24, 2011 at 12:23 am
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    i did this alot when i was about 6…I have aspergers… it helps to use the paper with the visible line and just keep correcting it I didn’t get really good at righting strait down the page-without erasing- until I was about 9, i’m 23 now and it isn’t a problem

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  • August 24, 2011 at 12:17 am
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    Is your son left-handed? That looks like how I sometimes write when I’m in an awkward position, which is particularly likely with a journal. I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m left-handed. My hand obscures the left hand side of the page, which makes it hard to figure out where I am in the page. It’s also more comfortable for my hand to rest on the page, as opposed to on the edge of the journal/page/whatever. So, if I’m not paying attention, my hand gradually takes up more and more of the page. It’s an even progression right-ward because if it jumps too much, then I notice that I’m shifting right-ward. This leads to a similar pattern to what’s in your picture.

    Maybe something similar is happening with your son?
    Hope that helps! Good luck.

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  • August 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm
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    I don’t think you should be too worried.  I don’t think this will get progressively worse.  My guess is that the newness of this problem is because there’s something different with the paper/pen/writing environment or he’s concentrating more on forming each letter or something else (like not skipping or misspelling words or whatever) and he’s missing out on the big picture.  http://www.childsupport.in/html/ourservices_handwritingskills.html and other sources can be found by typing in something like “inconsistent margins in children’s writing” or “dysgraphia”.  There are numerous exercises and techniques to help children correct such issues. 

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  • August 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm
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    Okay, as always here’s the disclaimer: Don’t consider anything anyone says on here as definitive, or anything more than a vague and possibly terribly inaccurate possibility. And that’s coming from someone who is studying in the field.

    That being said, superficially, you said your child isn’t aware of it, coupled with the fact it’s visual spatial does lend it self to being most likely perception based.

    However, no one here can give you a reason for the possible “neglect” or “inattention” your child is showing. Especially given autism is complex in its self…what could be neurological impairments for people without autism, can be symptomatic manifestations of the effects of autism in your child.

    The best bet is to see a neuropsychologist. Or at least a GP that could recommend one (or even a neurologist). That way, neurological impairment can be ruled out, and instead dealing with changing the behaviour can ensue.

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  • August 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm
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    i think even if there is a problem you should try to help your child cope with it… point it out to him and keep giving him verbal cues so that it becomes routine for him to do the “two-finger indentation” or “one-finger space” thing after every word. whatever it is. hate to be cliche and sound random, but a rose is a rose is a rose… whatever you wanna call it, the point is to make sure that the kid knows what a rose is. some kids need more help in certain aspects than others. i worked with a child who was suspected to have adhd and mild autism and noticed some social cues she lacked, so i spent the better part of the school year working with her on it. i’m sure the teachers didn’t appreciate it, but being NOT socially awkward and kind of just blending in with the rest of your peers (knowing when to put your things away, having your books ready for the next class so you’re not ostracized for holding up the group, eye contact) is all we really cared about when we were young.  but this is just my opinion – i’m no expert by any means but my strength is in anthropology (unbiased/open-minded), english (analysis/literature knowledge), and education (helper). and i’m a parent to boot!

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  • August 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm
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    My name is Crystal Lee, and I am a doctorate student in clinical psychology at Baylor University. I am beginning to collect data for my dissertation, and I am hoping that you will help me. My study is interested in stress and ways of coping with stress in parents of children ages 5-12. Specifically, I am looking for parents of children ages 5-12 in three categories:
    1.       Parents of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
    2.       Parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes
    3.       Parents of children with no diagnoses

    My hope is to use the data from my dissertation to create an intervention to help parents cope with stress.

    If you meet the above criteria, please take this survey: https://baylor.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0GJF7ldjuBwBWEk (the first page is the informed consent, so you can take a look at it before agreeing to take the survey).

    If you do not meet the above criteria, please consider forwarding the survey to any parents you know that fit the above criteria. I’ve attached a flyer to this email with the information from this email that you can send to people at your convenience.

    People who complete the survey can participate in a drawing for one of three $50 giftcards to Amazon.com. Additionally, people who refer others to the survey get their name added into the drawing for each person they refer.

    The current study is being conducted by myself, Crystal Lee, under the guidance of Dr. Helen Benedict, who can be contacted at 254-710-2961 or via email at Helen_Benedict@Baylor.edu. This study was determined to be exempt by Baylor University’s IRB. If you have any questions regarding the study, you may contact me at Crystal_Lee1@Baylor.edu
     
    Thank you for your time and help,
    Crystal Lee, M.S.
    Doctoral Student
    Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
    Baylor University

    Reply
  • August 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm
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    OCD with some phobia.

    I used to write sideways on the paper.  I would turn the paper sideways and write on it.  I had odd beliefs.  I believe it’s because a teacher told us to turn the paper a certain way, and I made up a story to go along with it.  I also used to drag my feet.

    Have you tried to get him to stop doing it?  Have you used verbal therapy to try to get him to reason through the things he does?  Children left to their own devices will start to do all sorts of odd things.

    Reply

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