?Aspergers and emotional trauma

Hi, not sure if anyone is in the same boat as us. DS1 is 11, we adopted him and his brother (full siblings) aged 4 + 2.

In June 2011 - DS1 was diagnosed with PTSD and complex grief reaction. Subsequently in October 2011 he started undergoing EMDR therapy.

In January 2012, at the advice of the professionals involved with his care we removed DS1 from mainstream education and he started attending CAMHS day unit and a hospital school.

Over the past few weeks there has been discussion of Social Communication Difficulty, initially thought to be linked to attachment. However we were then asked to fill in some questionnaires and we provided some nursery reports that came with the boys at the time of adoption, to look for evidence of ASD.

This week, having spoken to the nurse in charge of DS1's care at the CAMHS day unit, I have been advised that at the final assessment next week they will be recommending to the Consultants that DS1 ticks near enough every box for Aspergers (the first time this has ever been mentioned to us). The psychologist responsible for the therapy who sees DS1 weekly has already expressed a reluctance in making a formal diagnosis of ASD as there is evidence to the contrary in the therapy sessions.

At the end of April my husband and I have a meeting to discuss the outcome of his time in the Day Unit.

We are struggling on many levels with DS1 behaviour, but having looked at info on Aspergers we can recognise many traits that DS1 exhibits. However the added issue of emotional trauma makes this a complex situation.

On another forum it was suggested that we do not concentrate on waiting for the dx but deal solely with the behaviour issues. The problem with this is the way we deal with DS1 is different as we do not want to exacerbate the symptoms of the emotional trauma whilst dealing with day to day stuff. He is extremely agitated at the moment (may be due to the holiday routine changing) and in a very fragile state of mind.

Has anyone else experienced similar issues in dealing with Aspergers and emotional trauma who may be able to offer us some advice, help us to see the way forward and how we can best support our family as we go through this?

Thanks for reading.

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  • Hi,

    I have a diagnosis of PTSD from complex trauma that started in early childhood. I suspect that I may be autistic but as yet not be tested due to advice that treatment of PTSD should be done first. When I was younger my behaviour was sometimes rather incomprehensible. I think that the most useful thing for your son will be to try to work out as far as possible a best guess of the reason behind each behaviour as it occurs. Think about what need might not be being met, what sensitivities might be leading to overwhelm, what action might be needed to allow the feelings pass without the situation escalating or becoming dangerous. A repetitive but easy action that requires a little bit of thought sometimes helps me. 

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