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Aspergers? Or surly pre-teen?

(5 Posts)
oldskoolmum Wed 12-Sep-12 10:29:39

I am wondering whether I should go through the bother and trauma of getting my 11 year old daughter tested for Aspergers syndrome. Whilst I realise it is a serious condition, in my daughters case it would be mild. It is entirely possible that she's just a bit of an odd ball! But her lack of emotional commitment to her her family, social awkwardness, and poor communication skills are really causing increasing concern. School has never raised it as an issue, she has always done well academically and is relatively popular. She's often described as a 'deep thinker' or 'an old soul', but she appears very detached a lot of the time and I have tried to talk to her over the years about how she's feeling and she cannot communicate it at all. I really don't know what to do for the best.

guineapiglet Wed 12-Sep-12 10:45:09

Bless her - it is a very awkward age for girls, hormones kicking in, periods etc - if she is doing well at school, is popular with her peer group, these are all positive things. If it has nt been flagged up at primary school, it might be that you need some independent advice, I have recently discovered a support group called Young Minds, who may be able to give you better help and point you in the right direction. If she has started high school, it might be there is a study support person you could discuss it with. Good luck!

oldskoolmum Wed 12-Sep-12 13:18:19

She's just started year 7. I might try and have a chat with someone at school. As although she is popularish, she really has difficulty in understanding where people are at or see the motivations behind their behavior, she has had some very difficult times in primary school. It's really her social and communication skills that I'm really worried about. Btw I believe my father had AS but spent his life undiagnosed.

DystopianReality Wed 12-Sep-12 13:39:19

Asperger's very often becomes more evident/more problematic at the starting secondary school stage. This happens because the relatively structured and safe place that was primary school has changed. Study becomes less prescribed and more self-managed. Friendships change and the environment often is bigger and potentially more challenging, more noise and hubbub.

Your DD sounds as if she shares some of the characteristics of someone with Asperger's and an earlier rather than later diagnosis id favoured usually. Having said that, if she is relatively happy, a new teacher is unlikely to notice anything untoward.

I would be more persuaded by her times at primary school and the general trjectory of her life until now.

True, this is a tricky time. I would watch carefully, but not necessarily leap in at this moment. Let her settle in. There will be more challenges to come and it will be interesting to see how she copes. But equally, follow you instincts if she looks as if she is struggling. You could try reading 'The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome' by Tony Attwood'. It may either reassure you or help you seek a diagnosis if she falls into the specrum criteria.

Good luck

Goldmandra Fri 05-Oct-12 19:30:55

I would consider what yo think she would gain by having a diagnosis.

Both my girls has AS and some of the benefits to them have been

Getting support to access the curriculum in school.
Having the opportunity to socialise with others with ASD and therefore feeling included for the first time.
Understanding why they felt different/excluded/bullied.
Knowing that they are not inadequate, they simply have a slightly different brain structure.
Having a shorthand way of letting people know their additional needs without having to engage in long explanations or justifications.

A diagnosis in itself isn't of benefit to a child unless it brings additional support or understanding.

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