Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
12yo DD, looks like Asperger's?(9 Posts)
I've not ventured over to this board before.
I'll try and be brief with the history... DD is just 12, she's always been 'quirky' but she is displaying more and more 'traits', and life is harder for her than it should be.
She's had CAHMS involvement before, at 10 she had had almost constant tummy ache for 3 years (did ALL the exclusion diets etc) and the GP was convinced it was anxiety (she has always been high anxiety, never medicated), CAHMS were a bit hopeless, didn't really know what to do with her so discharged her. Anyway, she had her tonsils out and that has solved most of the tummy aches.
But the anxiety is still there, and the clinginess and the need for routine and the upset and stress if anything unexpected happens, or is even planned. Last weekend it really brought it home to me that she was struggling, we went to a concert that she really wanted to go to and had been planned since January, but she was so anxious about the whole thing she was tired, pale, black bags under eyes and constantly asking 'whataboutery' questions (she had a ball when we were there, thank goodness).
One of my friend's friend's asked just outright 'is she Aspie?', I said no? She has a little experience with Aspie girls, so I looked on the internet, found Dr. Tanya Marshall HERE
So she ticks 38.5 of the 40 characteristics. I thought she was unique! But it's her. I read it out to my partner last night and he said 'well that's just bizarre, it's like they know her.'
I've called the GP (different one, as we've moved, she's not met DD before) and got a phone appointment tomorrow, but I've no idea what to say or what I want.
I've been umming and ahhing over whether I want a diagnosis for her, as atm she is just my adorable quirky girl, but having read the internet stories of older girls and women with Asperger's I think her mental health might thank me later. We have always been worried about how she would cope in the real world.
Oh, and to add, she's Y7, and since September her lovely teacher and year head have identified her as a child in need of extra support and she has been offered counselling (she really didn't want to) and has a peer mentor. I think her school would be pretty supportive. But I've no idea what now.
Anyone with experience or advice, please talk to me?
...having read the internet stories of older girls and women with Asperger's I think her mental health might thank me later
Yes, this. Able verbal girls are especially prone to sometimes serious mental health problems if their autism goes unnoticed.
Yes, worth pursuing diagnosis. My DD1 and DD2 were diagnosed within months of each other at 11 and 14 when things suddenly got too much for them both. Understanding why has helped enormously.
The referral to CAMHS came from school for DD1 and from the GP for DD2. It all happened quite quickly because we were in crisis but times vary so good to get the ball rolling.
Yes definitely pursue it as you say her mental health might thank you later.
when things suddenly got too much for them both
Yes, I can see this happening. Ok, you've steeled my resolve.
How pushy am I going to have to be? I am an HCP (but different field entirely). Will the GP likely refer her from me and my list, or are there hoops? I'm also asking this in Chat as it's busier (sorry! not posted here before and wanted quick replies, I feel bad now, as you've all been marvellous)
Perhaps print off the check list and take it to the gp?? Ime, health professionals are really shit at HFA/Autism in girls. Like many on these boards it took over 2 years to get dd diagnosed. A real plus is that you have school seeing issues also. Now we are at cahms, who in our area do a lot of work with ASD and are very well-versed in girls. At support meetings they are always quoting tony Atwood (I think he often works with Tania Marshall).
The co morbidity of mental health disorders and ASD certainly scares me. My ASD dd also presents with OCD like behaviours, which ATM are considered part of her autism but may be reconsidered in the future. With schizophrenia and bipolar in the family, it's made me very aware to seek out the best help for dd.
Yes, you have to be very pushy. Do the research and don't be afraid to quote it in meetings etc.
Thank you, I've got a phone apt with Dr first do have printed it off and stuck it in my bag
The future mental health issues are my biggest worry I think. She has phobias, fears, anxiety and I can see them spiralling without some proper help.
Thanks for the tips. I'm going to find out who specialises in my area
I think your dd may well have an autistic spectrum condition.
My son is 15 and was diagnosed at age 4 with asd. For me, he was very typical of the condition, very obvious. At age 10 he was diagnosed with additional co-morbid OCD and is now treated for that. He is now a high functioning Aspie. He has a great sense of humour, is very articulate, artistic and bright in lots of ways. He is also very, very anxious, socially isolated (much of that, HIS choice) and would never leave our home unless we dragged him out.
The reason I tell you this is that I am his mum who, I believe, was never diagnosed myself. I believe myself to be high functioning Aspie material. I am articulate, had a 26 yr career as a nurse in the NHS (was a community sister for ten years) so, a career which requires excellent communication skills. I have a few close friends but wouldn't care if I never socialised again. I have always been like this. I was an anxious child, thrived on routine and needed to "shut down" frequently in order to get through the ordinary stuff that "normal" kids just "did".
You are going to have to be very pushy, is my suggestion. These teen years are so important in finding out where we "fit" and belong. Anxiety is rife for many teens. The school sounds like a supportive one, which is good. I know without doubt that my childhood/adolescence was different to my peers. I was always on the outskirts of things, thrived on routine, wouldn't go out unless I absolutely had to and can honestly say that I had to watch "how to" relate to people, almost "acting out" social relationships in order to fit in with others. I was and still am, an excellent mimic. As is my DS.
Can I suggest a website? Have a look at The Girl With The Curly Hair Project. The young woman's name is Alis Rowe. Her site has made much sense to my son, me and my own (now ageing) mum who recognises that as a child/teen, I was more than "the shy, quirky one" of her two daughters!
Good luck. You are doing the right thing for your dd in pursuing this. Keep us posted
Thank you Eliza for sharing your experience - and The Girl With The Curly Hair Project is going to prove very useful in explaining things I think - so kind of you. Oddly enough we are in very similar professions
Only update is that the GP was lovely over the phone and completely understood what I was saying. We now have to go in together for a double appointment to talk about it all. I think I'm going to sell it as a review post CAHMS, especially in light of what her teachers have said.
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