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Have I been oblivious? (3yo DD and ASD?)

(9 Posts)
LadyBunnyFluff Mon 14-Nov-16 12:01:50

I fear I have been incredibly naive regarding my daughter and the possibility that she has some form of ASD. I had suspicions early on but because she met most of her milestones i just assumed she was sensitive, but having recently spent more time with other parents I realise we have actually changed our lives significantly to assist her.

She has always been 'sensitive'. I've posted before regarding her very limited diet and eating problems but I'm afraid to say we have rather played down some of the other sensory issues . For example her utter dread and hatred of hand dryers, vacuum cleaners, noisy cars, musical instruments and more bizarrely singing, especially in groups). She regularly wears ear protectors but won't go near a public toilet.

Her dislike of bright lights or changing of lights (e.g. Lights flicking between trees whilst in cars, camera flashes, and people's faces that she just takes a dislike to.)

Touch wise she's incredibly fussy over clothes (seams etc) and having blankets over her, doesn't like her hair or teeth being brushed (I've been known to detangle at night). Doesn't like mucky hands or feet.

She is generally hard to settle to sleep and is frequently awake to very late.

Socially things have become severe. She's never liked strangers and this has always been excused by family as her being shy. But the more we've tried to socialise her the more withdrawn and distrusting of people she seems to become. When children speak to her she usually ignores them or reacts inappropriately (e.g. A child pushed into her and she laughed). She speaks about going to see her friends but doesn't really have any and when in the company of children she doesn't interact with them and doesn't want to. She is very happy to do her own thing. These things are often very active repeatedly climbing or sliding etc.

When unknown adults talk to her she usually turns away or covers her eyes. This sometimes happens even with family members that she hadn't seen for a month or so.

If we are outside and she sees/hears something she dislikes she will freeze and refuse to move, gesture to be picked up. Once in arms she hides her eyes and ears and in effect shuts down until we are out of the area and sufficiently reassured.

She spoke early but lost her speech completely at a year and it didn't come back to just over two when she started speaking in full sentences, Drs etc have excused this however as being due to sore throats, we even had her hearing tested at one point, but she has sensitive hearing not impaired hearing. I realise lately that even at three alot of her common phrases are echoed from tv etc.

I know as things are she will never accept going to school. If left on her own she would shut down completely and likely refuse to move leading eventually to a tantrum where she will scream and fling herself around. We actually planned from birth to homeschool so this isn't a major problem but does stand to outline the difficulties.

However: she holds eye contact well with myself and close family members. Is potty trained. Met her milestones on the early side. Is very active. Can count to 50 and knows her alphabet. She is incredibly loving to myself and close family and adores animals (quite obsessed actually). She is genuinely incredibly happy.

Am I imagining problems? Have I been naive or oblivious? I feel like the worst mum ever. Where do I go from here? Health visitor?

LadyBunnyFluff Mon 14-Nov-16 12:04:58

I'm sorry that that is incredibly long! It's been playing on my mind.

I know that mumsnet isn't here to diagnose I just need to discuss things with people that hopefully won't judge too harshly (I've lost a lot of friends because we just aren't that capable of meeting up frequently without drama).

I also fear putting my daughter through assessments for suspected ASD if she hasn't got the condition because I know that she would probably find the sessions distressing.

zzzzz Mon 14-Nov-16 15:55:08

She is unlikely to find the assessment distressing and if she did you would pick her up, cuddle her, and do it later.
She sounds quirky and fascinating. If you did want to try school they really will help and make it ok for her (particularly at Reception level). She might enjoy a Montessori nursery if you have a real one nearby. They are peaceful and FULL of interesting things to try but everything is child lead. They also tend to be quiet and ordered.

Ineedmorepatience Mon 14-Nov-16 16:52:17

You havent been oblivious! She is 3, all toddlers display bizarre behaviour at times and now that she isnt growing out of it you are taking notice and acting on it!

That sounds like an on the ball parent to me not an oblivious one!

We are home edding now after yrs of struggling through the system and we love it, if you think its a good fit for you and your family go for it.

Good luck flowers

FrayedHem Mon 14-Nov-16 17:19:05

In your position, I would self-refer to Speech and Language Therapy, and either contact the HV or GP about being referred on to a pediatrician. All of the initial assessments my DC had were very gentle. DS1 was particularly hostile towards strangers when I first got referrals and the SALT really didn't push things, she tried a few things to get him to engage which DS1 ignored apart from throwing hmm faces at her. She visited him at home for balance where he was slightly more willing to engage. The next visit was about 9 months after, and he greeted her like an old friend and tried to stop her leaving!

And no, you haven't been naive or oblivious, sensory issues tend to creep in and aren't unheard of in preschoolers. I think when it gets the point daily life is becoming something that has to be managed carefully from start to end, getting a professional opinion can be helpful.

LadyBunnyFluff Wed 16-Nov-16 11:10:04

Thank you all for your replies.

zzzzz - I'm pretty committed to home educating regardless of any issues DD may or may not have so I'm not really interested in giving school a go. I'm a qualified teacher myself so I'm not afraid of taking on the commitment and have always understood HE to be an alternative to school not a safety net.

Ineedmorepatience - It's great to know home education is working so well for you.

Frayedhem - Yes I think I will speak with our health visitor. Her speech is really very good on reflection, she will happily chat for hours about things she is interested in.

LadyBunnyFluff Wed 16-Nov-16 11:13:56

To be honest things have improved since I wrote my OP. There seems to be triggers (perhaps the stress of being pushed around at playgroup?) that seem to make her sensory issues considerably worse and things get severe for a while; then we settle back into a more everyday hatred of sounds etc.

zzzzz Wed 16-Nov-16 12:52:16

smile sorry I should have explained I HE my DS go several years, and it was a fantastic experience for us and beneficial all round. I'm not anti HE or dismissive of it in any way. I was just thinking back to what HAS helped and what was beneficial.

For us HE was a choice. DS has ASD and language disorder.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 16-Nov-16 18:10:30

Your not naive or missing it. You actually sound extremely clued up to your DD needs and are meeting them.

Assessment is often observation at this age so shouldn't impact her too much but you know how to respond if she's upset.

My Ds is also extremely sensitive to his sensory difficulties when already anxious. It really is best to do what your doing and do what she manages and increase activities as and when she manages them and manages them well over a period of time.

It's only because social norms seem to dictate everyone should want to be around a lot of people we attempt it with our children - but plenty of non autistic people enjoy their own company and own space. If she's happy doing that it's better than a fraught music session!

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