Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Mixing with other ASD children(16 Posts)
Hi everyone! I feel like this is going to be hard to explain without sounding insulting so I really hope that it isn't taken the wrong way Basically, dd was recently dx with ASD at the age of 11, we have however known ourselves deep down that she has autism. The process just took a long time and by the end I had given up on pushing it anymore. Anyway here we are - doors have opened thanks to voluntary organisations and we have been accessing various groups for children with ASD. Dd fits right in and it is a joy to see. She usually tries to hide her ASD and really you need to know her well to see it - however she is letting her inhibitions go when at these groups and it is clear to look at her that right away that she has autism - if that makes sense. I love that she can just be herself. However since attending I am finding that she is being the same at home now - not hiding it and her behaviour has been incredibly challenging - it has led me to wonder whether these groups are actually benefitting her or not? It is early days, perhaps she is just reacting to the diagnosis? I don't know. I suppose I am wondering if anyone else has encountered this and whether you wise people think it is a good thing or a bad thing that she isn't 'hiding' her behaviours at home? I really am at a loss as to how to handle this.
I think it's a good thing. Not masking is certainly better for her mental health in the long run. My DD2 was an expert masker until she fell apart at school aged 11 and is now home ed. She basically couldn't keep up not being herself any longer. She now doesn't have any friends and refuses to go to any groups or activities but is much happier.
It might take time for you to get to know her autism and she might settle into her new freedom. My DD1 and DS, also ASD, were always just themselves but I feel a real sense of relief for DD2. And that's great your DD is happy and socialising.
I don't think pretending to be nt is any more healthy than a homosexual pretending to be heterosexual or a child pretending their absent parent is dead. Poor thing to have been holding it in even at home till now.
I wouldn't say 'poor thing' as she actually appeared happier then, hence her behaviour being more challenging now. Thanks for that though.
Onlyoneboot, thanks I think you are right that she might settle down again. Isn't it funny how the things that WE think will be better for them isn't necessarily what makes them happy? Really that is all I want for her, to be happy.
I'm sorry MissD I absolutely didn't mean she was miserable before I'm not expressing myself very well. What I meant was I would think long term it is better for her to just be herself especially at home. Perhaps she hadn't realised she was allowed to chill to that extent before? It must be a lot to get her head around and perhaps it will settle down to a new normal. If you think she was happier before then you could do less of the groups for a bit and give yourselves a bit of time to get to grips with it all. I think dx is probably always a bigger deal than we expect.
My ds is 11 and was diagnosed just before Christmas. For us not much change as it was more a "what are we going to call it" exercise than a "does he have asd" exercise.
You might find this post by Cynthia Kim on Musings of an Aspie helpful.
Lots of us who get diagnosed as adults go through a period of something akin to regression (certainly a period where everything seems just 'more' and life is harder to manage and tolerate) post-diagnosis. We've got so used to masking that it is both liberating and hugely unsettling to get a diagnosis. It's possible she's experiencing something like this but she's still young and probably doesn't have the words or knowledge to articulate it. Just a thought.
dd was dx last summer with ASD. It was a surprise as she has always masked very well. She was relieved and has found it helpful and is now expressing how difficult some things are for her which she felt she 'wasn't allowed to' say before.
This is mainly at home but a little at school. She certainly seemed less happy than previously but more recently has got onto more of an even keel while still being much more open about what she finds difficult.
She hasn't been to any groups as that is not her thing and she is too old for anything available here anyway.
I think that what is happening to my dd is along the lines polter suggests and that may be true for yours too.
When I first told Dd3 that she has autism it was as if she had read the diagnosistic criteria over night! She suddenly stopped masking at home and allowed herself to to be the real her.
We didnt know much about masking then but she continued to mask at school and over time it made her ill! Her masking was so effective that the staff at school despite knowing that she has autism didnt put any of the necessary provisions in place to support her.
I have my own story relating to masking too but thats for another day!
Personally, while I understand its difficult when behaviours come tumbling out, it will be better for her mental health in the long term if she has a safe place to be herself!
Good luck :-)
Another thing to keep at the back of your mind is that she is 11, and puberty may be a factor.
I think there needs some care when talking about masking. DS patterns behaviour, he adopts language and behaviour of those around him and uses it to express himself. He interacts with other people by aping the behaviour of those around him. It could be argued it is masking (although DS isn't going to be passing himself off as neurotypical any time soon) but it works for DS. Thus essentially he benefits massively from time with NT peers as it gives him more behaviour and language to utilise.
Also (controversial opinion) I've found a few groups where a healthy acceptance of difference and different behaviour has shifted into difficult behaviour is unavoidable so why do anything to intervene ever "people just need to be more accepting". It is a very subtle difference but one which makes a massive difference to childrens' behaviour within the group.
That and as zzzz said many of the SN kids I've seen growing up are hitting puberty, boy is that a challenge. For these two reason we go to less and less SN specific activities.
Thank you so much for all of the replies. It has given me a lot to think about!!! I am battling a lot with my emotions around it all and I am glad that none of you gave me a hard time because I know my op probably sounded ridiculous. You know, I think I am worrying too much about how she appears to the outside world instead of just letting her be herself. I have always worked hard to try and get her to conform to 'social norms' and it was to some extent working. However I don't know if the dx has either caused me to stop trying as hard, or made her fight it more - but either way she is happy the way she is right now so I need to stop pushing it and go with the flow. I think it is just worrying me because she will be transitioning to secondary school later this year and I am so focussed on trying to help her to 'fit in'. I do agree that puberty may well be influencing things too.
Ok, why can I post a word and not my reply
My DS prefers being around other children with ASD or similar type communication and social difficulties.
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