My 8 year old son's teacher has suggested he might be on the autism spectrum? due to his complete inability to concentrate in class and is falling drastically behind in maths. His reading is fantastic and can seemingly concentrate for a full chapter book. what should i do to confirm this?
Dr. Chris Briggs
Dr. Chris Briggs
Gp
Burleigh Waters
Do you have any concerns yourself? If he is fine at home, but not so good at school, then you would have to consider the school environment.Have any other teachers had concerns in previous years? If not, then again, perhaps it is the current environment that is causing the issue.
What is he like socially? If he is fine in that area of development, autistic spectrum disorder is less likely. But he may have a learning disability.
But whatever the concerns, the first step would be to see a GP with an interest in paediatrics, or a paediatric psychologist. Asking the teacher to write down their specific concerns that you can take to the GP/Psychologist/Paediatrition will be of great help.
Good luck!

 John Karamanos
John Karamanos
Psychologist
St Albans
It is important that you ask several teachers in your son's school about your son's overall academic performance, social involvement both, within the classroom and in the playground, his school behaviour both in the classroom and outside and whether there are any bullying issues at school.
At home it is important to assess whether your son is getting sufficient sleep, whether he spends excessive time playing electronic games, the level of quality in your relationship with him, his eating habits and whether he is a happy and secure little boy at home.

If you are very concerned about these issues you should definitely seek advice from a suitably qualified psychologist or a paediatrician.

 Katherine Hurrell
Katherine Hurrell
Psychologist
Quakers Hill
I would seek the assessment of a child psychologist who has expertise in the area of both educational (learning) and clinical assessments to determine whether your son's difficulties are due to autism (or other psychological difficulty) or learning. Of course, there can be some overlap, but a thorough assessment would be worthwhile.
Children who are on the autism spectrum also have other difficulties, e.g. in social interactions, communication, interests, does he show any of these problems? Have other teachers raised concerns with you previously?

See your GP/paediatrician and the consider a referral to a psychologist for an assessment.

Mr Daniel Wendt
Mr Daniel Wendt
Psychologist
Newcastle
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are characterised primarily by social difficulties and repetitive/fixated behaviours. Learning is also often disrupted in children with ASD however other neuropsychological conditions/causes could also be playing a part in what you describe.
A comprehensive assessment by a Child Psychologist would be a good starting point. It also important to remember that children develop at different rates. A Child Psychologist can assist in identifying what may be a part of normal development or if it is something more than that, requiring additional assistance.

Dr. Raj Khillan
Dr. Raj Khillan
Pediatrician
St Albans
Information given is very limited to comment on ASD. Lack of concentration may be due to multiple factors-Eye sight, hearing, lack of sleep, Iron deficiency, ADHD. another medical illness.
If he is falling behind-considering he was all right academically before-you should paediatrician advice who can go though detail history and dig the story and reach to conclusion before thinking about ASD.

 Susan Loane
Susan Loane
Psychotherapist
Gold Coast
Mathematics is a difficult subject for a lot of children to grasp. Not concentrating in class maybe due to many different variables. Autism has other significant indicators which I would also be looking for...how does he relate to others in his school, and school playground, and other social settings... I am also querying why his teacher has selected Autism Spectrum as the cusp of the behavior. If he is reading well and able to concentrate on reading chapters of a book, concentration doesn't seem to predominate the child's behavior. Literacy skills are at an all time low in schools, with many students in later school years leaving with poor levels of reading skills and comprehension and writing skills which are also very poor. Some children with Autism can have areas where they can excel, and can become obsessive, however I am thinking have your young fellow checked for all Spectrum disorders, just to be sure, then get his eyes tested. Its easier to see what is in front of you.

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