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Anxiety or Autism? Please help...

(8 Posts)
persianpeach Thu 15-Sep-16 00:11:43

Someone suggested that my 8 year old daughters extreme separation anxiety could be a form of autism.
I really have no idea if this could be the case and I just don't know where to start.
Thinking about other possible symptoms now such as her always getting distressed in new situations and not wanting to go to any new after school activities, friends houses etc. Hating loud noises such as hand dryers in public toilets and holding her ears if a motorcycle passes and her hiding behind me. Being scared of the underground and crowded noisy places. Scared and begging to leave the circus with her when I took her there for a birthday treat because it was dark and she was frightened. Not wanting to try any new foods. Never, ever admitting she is wrong and always making excuses for any mistakes she has made, she never accepts responsibility. Being very serious with friends a lot of the time and not lightening up if you know what I mean.
All these things sound trivial I know and I have no idea if these incidents are normal behaviour for an 8 year old or not or if she had general anxiety about lots of things or could this be a sign of autism?
Am I overreacting?
The thing is she is so anxious and telling me she doesn't want to go to school because she misses me and doesn't want to be without me she says it makes her feel sad sad She's crying a lot at school and needs constant reassurance from teaching staff. These anxieties seem to be becoming more common and are ruling hers and my life.
I don't know what I should do to help her, I'm getting preoccupied by how unhappy she is and worried I don't understand her and therefore won't be able to help her. I'm left feeling quite low and isolated myself watching everyone else's children skipping happily in and out of school whilst mine is a quivering wreck.
Please can anyone help me.

PolterGoose Thu 15-Sep-16 07:08:39

Poor dd sad

If you suspect then it's definitely worth reading up and getting her assessed. It can help to make notes to support a referral and to know a little about how autism can present in girls, as it's often more subtle and not all doctors are aware of the range of autistic presentations.

FeistyColl Thu 15-Sep-16 15:52:16

Poor you and your poor dd. It doesn't sound trivial at all and I don't think you are overreacting. I think it would make sense to pursue a referral (CAMHS probably). I don't know if your dd has asd but mine does, and the increasing anxiety was very much a part of initial concerns (aged 8).
I understand exactly how you are feeling (whether or not your dd's anxiety is asd related). It's not a nice place to be but there are sadly quite a few of us. I found it really helpful talking to others in a similar situation.
There is a lot of information out there about girls and asd but as Polter says not all professionals are as well informed as they should be 😞
Good luck

Idliketobeabutterfly Thu 15-Sep-16 19:42:44

You could go to your GP and ask for a referral to a paediatrician.

zzzzz Thu 15-Sep-16 21:03:29

Regardless of if she has ASD or not she does have anxiety. It's far more common than people realise and it can get MUCH better.
It takes more than 20 +be experiences to balance one -ve. This is because as children we are programmed to be very averse to things that are dangerous. It's what keeps small children alive but for some it can be really debilitating. My opinion is that this facet of behaviour is magnified in some children and definitely in children with ASD. It takes risk averse to new heights.

Ignore everything and just focus on what makes her happy. Be it snacks, juice, trips, toys, experiences or cuddles, just keep doing it till she rights herself.

Ohmuther Thu 15-Sep-16 22:17:50

Hello - I could have written your post myself OP! DD8 has been referred to CAMHS for extreme anxiety & paediatrician is now saying she suspects Aspergers. Having read up a bit on girls & Aspergers DD seems like an almost textbook case. We'll have to wait and see what the professionals think. After my initial shock & sadness wore off I'm left thinking well at least now she might get the help she needs (& so might I). The national Autistic Society has a helpline - it might help to give them a ring I send hugs it's a bloody challenging time flowers

Ineedmorepatience Thu 15-Sep-16 23:16:42

I have a Dd with Asd/aspergers, she has massive anxiety issues especially with separation.

I am her safe space and her voice because she cannot speak when she is anxious! School was very difficult for her and she is now home ed!

Its really working for us because as her confidence builds she is much less anxious.

The most difficult thing that may people get wrong with anxiety is thinking that exposure to the things that cause the anxiety will eventually make it fet better! I dont think that works with people with autism. I think it just breaks them.

Go to your GP and ask for a referral to the autism assessment pathway.

Good luck 💐

persianpeach Wed 21-Sep-16 16:38:01

Thank you so much everyone for reading and replying to my post. It's such a relief to feel heard and to know that I am not alone.
I am totally uncertain as to whether my daughter is suffering with severe anxiety on its own or if autism or similar could be the underlying cause.
One things for sure I do feel compelled to ask for help in trying to ascertain that so that I can insure the best possible support for her.
I am currently working on a self referral to CAHMS, I will also contact the educational psychologist for advice in the meantime as school is the catalyst, we can avoid most other things for the time being!!
I would love to home educate if I thought I was clever enough and financially able to give up my part time job but that feels impossible. I can definitely see the logic and agree that forcing an anxious child to face their fears can be catastrophic sometimes.
Where do all of you go to talk to one another to get advice and support? I could really do with some of that sometimes, it's so isolating sad
Thank you all again x x x

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