My son speaks 8 languages and is learning 5 more. He is not even yet able to interact socially with strangers and he switches languages whenever he feels uncomfortable, which is often. He also inappropriately touches his female classmates and sometimes starts laughing for seemingly no reason. He's still not learned to go to the bathroom at night, he wets his bed instead and prefers to eat with his hands...

We haven't yet taken him to doctors because it's a scary thought that if he's diagnosed with autism, how will it affect everything? His future? Our life?

  • 4
    If he remains undiagnosed but is autistic, how would that affect his future and your life?
    – Acire
    Apr 7, 2016 at 18:09
  • 10
    It would appear your son is extraordinarilly talented at languages. This puts him squarely in the gifted category, but why would you jump to "autistic" now? Not all autistic children are gifted, and not all gifted children are autistic. This is a myth which should be dispelled. If you have other concerns about autism, have him tested (surely with all the other problems he's having, you've discussed this with his doctor?)
    – anongoodnurse
    Apr 7, 2016 at 18:23
  • offtopic: which site does he use for online lessons?
    – arved
    Apr 8, 2016 at 15:07
  • In some areas doctors will often give or withold the formal diagnosis depending on what the parents want and what impact it will have on the child. If the diagnosis will be label that creates problems then they won't give it, but if its the key to accessing official assistance then they will. However this is not going to be official policy, so try talking informally first to get the lie of the land. Apr 9, 2016 at 17:58

2 Answers 2


If anything, it's not the diagnosis you should be concerned about, but the underlying condition and the specific problems it presents to the child.

The sooner you have your son diagnosed, the better the chances that he can get help both to address his behavioral problems and to help him develop his extraordinary gifts.

Many people are afraid of the mental health system (and in your case, maybe your country of origin is playing a role in that fear as well), but the US has some major advantages in this area:

  • You can be fairly confident that nothing will be done to your son without your consent.
  • There are considerable resources available to assist both gifted and autistic children (that part probably varies a lot by where exactly in the US you live).
  • There are also considerable resources available to assist the parents of gifted and/or autistic children. You're NOT the only parent concerned about a child in similar circumstances.

I simply cannot conceive of any circumstances in which you and your son would be better off by NOT having him looked at by a professional.

  • Absolutely this ^ - there is nothing specific in the OP's commentary that says "autistic". Get your son checked, and then you know what you need to deal with and what support there is
    – Rory Alsop
    Apr 9, 2016 at 13:10

It can be scary to think about something like this, but having an autistic child isn't the end of the world. There is a large supportive community of parents to help you. Only a qualified medical professional can tell you whether your son is autistic. It is better to seek a professional opinion so you have a better idea of what you might be dealing with. Hearing what you described, I personally don't think it is autism.

Sounds like your son should learns to communicate in a language others can understand him in. My siblings and I were raised bilingual, but we always talked to people in a language they would understand. We only mixed languages if people were bilingual in the same languages.

Your son might also benefit from interacting with other polygots since he is really interested in languages now. But it is hard to tell what he will be interested in later. When I was his age, I loved dinosaurs and spent a lot of my time learning about all of the different kinds. As I got older, my interest shifted to other things too.

Good luck.


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