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AIBU to think that something is wrong?

(27 Posts)
worriedorprecious Tue 11-Oct-11 10:54:43

I am a regular here but have name changed as all of the following is going to make me really identifiable (or maybe not - maybe everything is normal and IABU and paranoid):

Basically please can you tell me if you think IABU to think something is wrong with my DD (age 9) and that it is not just her being naughty (despite expert opinion!).
A quick checklist of what concerns me:
. she didn't learn to talk until she was nearly 4. no hearing problems. her older siblings talked very early. the speech therapist was sure she was autistic as she showed no understanding not just no speech. we were terrified waiting for diagnosis but the expert we saw laughed and said she was just naughty and frustrated from being a late talker.
. her gross motor skills are fine but her handwriting and drawing skills if anything are getting worse as the years go by. she is still forced to write in pencil at school (year 4) despite all her friends getting their ink licence in year 2
. her reading age is above average but her writing and spellings are terrible (despite support at school and practice at home). again she seems to be going backwards as she used to be average at them.
. she is terrified of everything. she has phobias of all animals, water, some foods and some textures this has an impact on everything from schooling to buying clothes to learning to swim to walking past a dog in the street!
. she is babyish. not in the usual ways of needing her bottom wiped or anything like that but in what interests her. she likes watching baby television. she likes baby toys. she likes playing with her pony toys and has nothing in common with other 9 year olds who are all into phones and music and boys! she has very few friends.
. she is impulsive and naughty. she will fly into a temper and rip up her homework or kick over a game and then sob for an hour that she is sorry. I am consistant in boundries and discipline although she does suffer from having older siblings who are both exceptionally quiet, well behaved and sensible but very patient with her and treat her like she's 2!
. she has a strange imagination (really detailed and odd role playing with toys but nothing sinister) and frequent vivid nightmares (not sinister but about everyday things coming to life and chasing her - that kind of thing)

As she gets older all of these things are becoming worse (except for the talking - she talks fine now) and at the same time they are less accetable and make her seem odd to her peers. Playing with baby building blocks is O.K when you are 5 but gets you laughed at when you are 9! Being scared of water is O.K in Year 3 when swimming is new but exasperates the teachers in Year 4 because after a year she still screams blue murder every fortnight.
Please - does any of this sound alarm bells? Do I need to do anything? The negative effect of being teased and being in trouble is making her very upset and me very anxious but I feel like a bit of a nutter going to the GP with the list above and asking if there's something wrong. The school say she is very quiet (except for the times she explodes or screams the leisure centre down in swimming!) They agree her writing is getting worse but they think she is not trying hard enough.

squeakytoy Tue 11-Oct-11 10:58:23

I would certainly be going to see a GP, and am surprised you even have to ask. confused

It is normal for the youngest in the family to be "babyfied" by everyone, but her behaviour is not what I would consider average for her age.

GypsyMoth Tue 11-Oct-11 11:00:31

My friends dd was similar. School did a CAF report with her, not sure how far its gone since we last spoke

GypsyMoth Tue 11-Oct-11 11:00:57

Also, what are school saying?

lovingthecoast Tue 11-Oct-11 11:02:51

Hi! I've no real advice but just wanted to answer your post. Personally, I think you should get her reassessed. It does sound as if she exhibits some autistic traits but only a paed or a clinical phychologist can diagnose that. However, the spectrum is so huge and the children on it vary so much that just because her speech is now fine it doesn't mean she doesn't have communication difficulties.

I would say that from your post, it does sound as if she have some form of sensory difficulties. These can go hand in hand with ASD but children who do not have an ASD can still have sensory issues.

If school are not being helpful in terms of a reassessment then you need to see your GP. If you list the difficulties you have here and say that when she was younger the SALT was convinced she did have an ASD then you should have no problem getting a referral althought they can take a while. If you can afford it, you can also seek out a private assessment but if you go done this route make sure you stay on the NHS waiting list too.
Good luck

worriedorprecious Tue 11-Oct-11 11:06:12

See now I feel bad that I even have to ask blush but the expert we saw about 4 years ago literally laughed when I sat there terrified of what he was going to say (based on how very worried the Speech Therapist who referred us had been) and he said that she definitely was not autistic.

And since then, the years have gone by and what was acceptable behaviour last year or 2 years ago is still present but suddenly is less acceptable or not acceptable at all.

The school say she is quiet - very quiet and timid and shy and under confident (except for when she gets a bad mark in spellings and explodes in rage or except when the Year 4 teacher tries to coax her into the pool and she literally screams so loudly that staff at the leisure centre come running!!)
Reading between the lines they blame me. They say her spellings are bad because she hasn't tried. I protest that we spent an hour at the weekend doing them and 15 minutes every day practicing them. They obviously don't believe this (in light of her terrible mark and in light of the fact that her spelling level wasn't as bad last year) and think I am blindly defending her and that her troubles therefore stem from having an overprotective mother that is blind to her faults!

squeakytoy Tue 11-Oct-11 11:08:11

Sorry, I was a bit harsh, but read your post back and so many things stand out that are not average behaviour from a 9 year old.

It does sound like the school are not being very supportive too though.

mousyfledermaus Tue 11-Oct-11 11:09:20

make an appointment with the gp and give him a printout of what you have written in your post.
insist on him/her reading it and don't leave until you have a referral.

cestlavielife Tue 11-Oct-11 11:11:12

is it a private school?
or do they all do "ink licences" ? mind boggles...

anyway - you can ask GP to refer her for an assessment
you can call LEA educational psychologuy and ask for an assessment - but you really need school alongside - if LEa school then get them to do this .

or you could cut corners and get a private assessment done with an educational psychologist - there are lots of standardised assessments they can do which will tell you her strengths and weaknesses, look at dyslexia and other stuff, as well as those like vineland which look at behaviours.

PosiePetrifyingParker Tue 11-Oct-11 11:11:38

Try physical, emotional, learning and mental health issues....

A little girl who slipped like this, sort of, had a tumour....

So no stone left unturned.

cestlavielife Tue 11-Oct-11 11:12:40

i suggest you also buy and read the out of synch child
www.amazon.co.uk/Sync-Child-Carol-Stock-Kranowitz/dp/0399523863

cestlavielife Tue 11-Oct-11 11:13:39

newer edition
www.amazon.co.uk/Sync-Child-Carol-Stock-Kranowitz/dp/0399531653/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

goes into all the sensory issues you descibe and suggests strategies

lovingthecoast Tue 11-Oct-11 11:14:15

They cannot blame you. Your DD clearly have some issues going on, none of which are your fault. If she's desperately anxious and phobic then of course learning will take a back seat.

I know a child who have quite severe sensory issues and he is not considered to have an ASD despite showing various traits. The paed has been great with both him and his mum and cites his very difficult, traumatic birth as possibly contributing. He is also dyspraxic so pencil grip/writing and gross motor skills are also 'dodgy'. He has to have all labels cut out and will only wear terry towelling socks not standard ones. He is also terrified of dogs and birds and will not enter a public toliet due to the presence of hand driers. They have been giving both strategies to help him emotionally and excercises to help him physically. He is 6yrs.

I really think you need to go to your GP and get referred. Your DD is almost 9yrs and needs professional support now before her anxieties take over.

Redbluegreen Tue 11-Oct-11 11:15:21

Just because she has not been diagnosed autistic doesn't mean she has no other special needs. The school sound very unhelpful. Talk to your gp and insist on a referral. I would also be considering other schools, but it might be best to wait until you have gone further down the medical line before deciding what would be best for her.

LadyThumb Tue 11-Oct-11 11:17:18

Please, please get the optician/hospital to do an Irlen Test on her eyes.

www.irlen.org.uk/

My son was exactly as you describe your daughter over the reading/writing - and then we found out he couldn't see what the rest of us saw. The coloured glasses he was given made a total difference to EVERYTHING.

PrideOfChanur Tue 11-Oct-11 11:17:26

Yes,I would talk to your GP.
Some of this sound similiar to DD who has dyspraxia.She has always seemed younger than her peers,DH reckons she is 2 years younger in real terms.As the eldest I don't think I would have noticed her playing with baby toys as she played with DS,your Dd will stand out more through being the youngest.
But I am old and I don't consider being into music,boys and phones is "normal" 9 year old behavior either...

The negative effect of being teased and being in trouble is making her very upset and me very anxious
I think this stands out for me in your post.My DCs are older now and things are much easier,but I remember how it felt before.Whatever is going on with your DD you both need some strategies for helping her cope with the things she has to do so you can both be a bit happier.If she is upset and you are anxious it makes it so much harder for her to behave differently and for you to find ways to help her.
I do hope you can get some real help and advice from your GP.

worriedorprecious Tue 11-Oct-11 11:33:45

Thank you all. I am slightly more scared now but at least I am not imagining that this might not be good. I am going to make a GP appointment today. The school won't help I am sure.
The school is a regular school and our most local one but not lea (church school so voluntary funded) and yes they have ink licences that children earn by having neat writing. It took a couple of the boys a bit longer to get theirs but DD is the last one by a long way and still doesn't have it. They are not supportive. They don't like people who question anything or make a fuss (not that I have made a fuss really except to defend the criticism that DD's bad results were down to not doing enough work at home because that was just untrue).

Nothing that I am concerned about cannot be explained away (as far as they see it) as attention seeking or being naughty or not trying properly or being silly. When she started the school she had only just learnt to talk and they weren't very nice about that either and certainly made no allowances. Maybe alarm bells should have rung then!

Thank you for all the suggestions. I am literally going to take the list I made in my first post and ask for a referral. Am I likely to get this does anybody know or is it a case of having to battle for one? Last time the Speech Therapist did it for us so it came from a professional being worried not just a mum.

mousyfledermaus Tue 11-Oct-11 11:38:47

do you still have the notes from the therapist? take them as well.
hope you don't have to fight!

PissesGlitter Tue 11-Oct-11 11:47:27

i would be making a gp appointment and changing school if possible
the one she is at sounds dreadful!

PrideOfChanur Tue 11-Oct-11 11:48:27

The school sound as if they are being less than helpful.
I read (while I was trying to help DS) a child psychologist who said that if children can learn and behave they will,so if they are having problems you have to find out why.

I have typed a few thing here and deleted them,because I am feeling quite angry on your and your DD's behalf.
How does this: "very quiet and timid and shy and under confident" fit with the explanation of her being naughty,silly and attention seeking?
FGS.
I hope you don't have to fight as well.

Dawndonna Tue 11-Oct-11 11:53:14

You really do need to see a gp. As has already been said, change schools too, it sounds horrific there.
You do not have to see the same (bloody rude, from the sounds of it) consultant, you can specifically request a particular consultant if you have any recommendations from local people, or ask not to be re-referred to the same person.
Good luck.

worriedorprecious Tue 11-Oct-11 11:58:15

Thank you - I do still have the notes and the referral stuff and the Speech Theraist folder from last time so I'll take that too.

SenoritaViva Tue 11-Oct-11 12:00:33

I don't have experience of this and others have given good advice. The one thing you do have 'control' over is how her older siblings treat her. Can you have a chat to them about the way they treat her (I know they don't treat her badly but they do baby her which probably doesn't help).

Good luck.

worriedorprecious Tue 11-Oct-11 12:26:00

SenoritaViva - you are right. And I am guilty of it too I am afraid. It is just so hard. For example she will see a dog outside a shop that we need to walk past and she will literally scramble up me or jump in the road to escape so I end up carrying her past - which is no mean feat - she is nearly as big as me!

She gets unreasonably cross with her siblings or cries if they won't let her watch a baby programme. They just give up and let her win. They put her toys away for her, let her go first for games, carry her school bag for her, make her drinks - not because I tell them to or encourage it but because they want to / feel they need to as she is "only little." She is the youngest and acts much younger and seems very vulnerable plus (like a toddler) there is no reasoning with her:

If left to carry her own bag for example she would drag it along making noises like it was heavy and then cry that we were leaving her behind and sit down wailing that she's scared and she's going to get lost and nobody cares that her arms are falling off and that she's very very tired and then one of the older kids will roll their eyes, snatch up the bag and carry it for her. If challenged or ignored, she would literally lay there wailing.
So she can be bratty - I am not defending that but it is such a babyish way of behaving. All 9 year olds can be defiant I am sure but not many seem to be so toddler-ish about wanting their own way. Many of them shun babyish things and baby behaviour. They might be rude or argue back but not launch a full scale toddler tantrum.

Maybe that aspect of it is my fault.

thinNigella Tue 11-Oct-11 12:34:47

You could also get her assessed by the early years forum in your area. This is a group of adults who are there to help and support your DD. You will need a referral frm the schools SENCo in order to get this .

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