Autism or regular kid stuff?

I've started up my reading on autism again (my emotionally batteries were recharged by my time off from reading). The following is an account from the beginning of chapter 7 of A Mind Apart: Understanding children with autism and Asperger syndrome by Peter Szatmari, MD with my comments.

"The office was more of a mess than usual after the last appointment of the day. I looked around at the scene - my papers were on the floor, books had been pulled from the shelves, crayons had been broken, a new toy truck thrown against the wall, and my coffee cup smashed. All in a day's work, I thought, but this was a bit much."

Sounds like everyday at my house. Neither of the kids have broken anything of mine in a while because I tend to put the things I really value out of their reach. Hubby hasn't completely caught on to this particular tactic yet. I've gotten him to keep most of his important stuff in a room the kids aren't allowed in but with Ethan knowing how to open doors now there are still problems. Mostly because Isaiah follows in Ethan's wake and he doesn't know yet not to mess with daddy's stuff. (Or maybe he knows but just can't not have his fun.)

"Teddy was very hyperactive and difficult to control since his understanding of language, and of the word 'no' in particular, was so limited. It had become obvious that he was not behaving this way to get attention or because he was mad. But he had not yet developed any play skills, he could only amuse himself by watching things move through the air and make a sound as they hit the floor or the wall."

This sounds a lot like Isaiah except that he knows how to play with toys quite well, he just likes to throw/knock things over. (At the moment he's taken a liking to knocking over my aloe plant). One of my sisters was the same way. Consequently my parents no longer have any of the nice things they had when they first got married. She chucked them all out the front door or window. What didn't break was carried off by strangers. (I can't imagine how/why my mom let her get away with it.) The totally disgruntled look Isaiah gives when he hears the word "no" and the fact that he often drops what he's doing and runs indicate that he knows all too well what "no" means.

"He was quite impulsive; a thought came into his mind and he acted on it, regardless of the consequences. I was told that at home he was much the same - jumping on the couch, climbing on tables and shelves, pulling out the pots and pans from the kitchen cupboards."

To me this sounds more like a normal kid rite of passage than anything else. I used to think that Ethan would be responsible for many trips to the ER but not any more. There seems to be a limit to the crazy things he will try. My dad noted early on that for all the things Ethan would wander off and do he never really did anything really dangerous or life threatening. Isaiah on the other hand is a regular dare devil. Just this morning he was standing on the back of the couch surveying his domain contemplating diving into the pile of toys below. He's got a little piece missing from one of his front teeth and I still have no idea how it happened.


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