Autism vs. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
The BM to my skids is saying that the SS10 falls in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is total and utter bull.
My bio-son16 has autism. I am a social worker that has taken several classes on recognizing and diagnosing autism, and have done a ton of personal and academic research on the topic. I'm not claiming that if "you've seen one case of autism, you've seen them all" or that I am some sort of ASD expert, but I do feel confident in claiming to be a little more informed about the topic than the average Joe walking around in the world. I know full-well that it's called a "spectrum disorder" for a reason and that it can take years to accurately diagnose some children with ASD.
This kid has NONE of the behaviors that fall ANYWHERE on the spectrum. I repeat, NONE. N-O-N-E.
My SS10 does NOT have any form of autism.
However, he DOES have all of the physical characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS): wide-set eyes, epicanthal folds, upturned nose, smooth philtrum and thin upper lip. His ears have the "railroad track" appearance. I don't normally touch the kid though, so I don't know how to look at his hands and fingers to see if there are abnormalities there as well. I will do what I can - maybe when he's sleeping... I'll be honest and say that I noticed the characteristics the first time I met him. His features are just a little "off."
He does not struggle academically (gets great grades actually) and is very athletically inclined (at all sports). Behaviorally? Holy smoke. The kid has so many behavioral issues it's hard to list them all. None of the behavioral issues are autistic behaviors though. They all center around and look more like ADHD (always moving around and making noises) and ODD (becomes super aggressive when he doesn't get what he wants). When he was a baby, he had delayed speech and cried non-stop.
BM did drink alcohol and do cocaine while she was pregnant and while she was nursing. My DH tried to get custody (spent $12k in legal fees in the process), but the judge over-ruled the FOC decision to give him custody. The judge justified his ruling by saying, "What is a home? A home is where the mother is..." I shit you not. But that's another story altogether.
Well, I know the BM well enough to know that she lies about almost everything. If her lips are moving and sound is coming out of her mouth - she's lying. Usually it's easy to figure out what she's trying to gain by her lies: sympathy, money, attention, etc.
When I first saw that she was claiming that SS10 qualifies for ASD, I was stunned. Um, NO. Not even close. I repeat, not even close.
Then I started to really think about it. WHAT could she possibly gain from lying about her son having Autism?
Then it occurred to me:
He has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. By saying that he has ASD - she can deflect attention and deflect anyone from looking at what is REALLY going on with this kid.
I've asked DH to (please, please, please) get something, ANYTHING from the BM that says that SS10 is Autistic. I want to see what kind of testing was done, by whom, and when. My guess is she has nothing, because testing was never done, because he doesn't have ASD.
I don't know what would be gained from proving that she is lying. One of my biggest concerns is that this kid is walking around and telling people that he is Autistic. I laughed at him the first time he said it. I didn't laugh on purpose. It just came out of my mouth. I said, "Uh, no. You aren't." Then he became really upset and yelled at me, "MY MOM TOLD ME I AM!" I just shook my head and said, "Ok, whatever."
I mean, what do you say to that crap?
I'm going to look into it and figure this thing out.
For the first time, I mentioned the FAS to my DH. His response was as expected: overwhelmed and sad. I knew that it was going to be difficult for him to hear it. But I showed him the pictures of FAS children and compared them to the SS10. My DH saw the resemblance.
I suppose that I just feel that it is really important to not let the BM lie about this. My DH asked what he could do. I suggested that he email the BM, and "CC" the school social worker and the special education teacher (that is already involved with SD10) asking the BM for the results of the testing that was supposedly done on SS10 to say that he has ASD. Then, when she can't produce said material, he could ask for it to be "stricken" from the school records until testing is done to confirm.
I honestly do NOT feel that this lie needs to be in this child's school records.
Also, I will go so far as to submit that ALL of the problems (academically, socially, cognitively, and behaviorally) that the SD10 is having is also a result of FAS. She doesn't have the physical characteristics so much, but she meets, across the board, all of the behavioral characteristics.
I wonder if the fact that they were twins has something to do with how one looks FAS and the other acts FAS? Interesting. I think I will have to research for twin studies on FAS.
The BM is such a dumbass.