Is my son autistic?

Hi folks. I'm new here.

For a while now, I've been worried about my eleven year old. Here is some info:

  1. Doesn't like hugs or cuddles from people but does from animals.
  2. Can avoid eye contact when in conversation.
  3. Extreme hatred for collar shirts and avoids wearing them at all costs.
  4. Difficulty swallowing certain foods, such as red meat and some vegetables.
  5. Feels depressed at times, tearful and can't say why.
  6. Feels different from other children and can't say why, just that there's "no resolution".
  7. Very difficult to get motivated to do anything that doesn't involve an electronic device (iPhone, etc).
  8. Expanding on the above: piano, taekwondo and Chinese studies take constant nagging to get done, whereas iPhone videos (YouTube) or Xbox games will have his full concentration for hours and he can tell me all the intricate details.
  9. Has some close friends at school, no issues there.
  10. Often mean to his younger sister, impatient and doesn't often talk in a kind way.
  11. High academic achievement. Second to top of the class in English, Maths.
  12. Currently in year 6, none of his teachers have ever brought up any concerns and parents evenings always very positive.

I’ve made him an appointment at the doctors, initially for points 5 & 6 above, but only tonight my wife and I have read online that points 2, 3 & 4 may indicate autism. My mother had mentioned to me in the past that point 1 may be a sign, too, but I didn't pursue it. 

I'd welcome any thoughts, please. Many thanks. 

  • I have asperger's myself. Wondering if I can help you at all.
    I understand you're concerned-- but I wonder what is your goal or what you are looking to do?
    In my opinion, he most definitely is on the spectrum.

  • Hi, your son very well can have autism. Points 1-8 speak to that and none of the points 10-12 are evidence to the contrary. Perhaps you might expand with specific examples, so we could elaborate, but indeed it all looks familiar

    You might try to read on the NAS website and in here to see what other behaviours of your son could be evidence of autism. It is not unusual for bright high functioning children to not be picked up until secondary school. Some autistic people go through education and life without diagnosis until quite late, I heard one woman as diagnosed at 83. But many children really start to struggle in mainstream secondary and absence of proper support could rapidly deteriorate into anxiety, school refusal and mental health crisis. So it makes sense to pursue the diagnosis as it is a very long and slow process.

  • Thank you, both, for your helpful replies. My goal is to understand my son, his needs and how I can help him. I will continue to read more. Thanks again.