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Is this normal behaviour for a 10 year old girl?

(29 Posts)
hopingforamiracle Mon 19-Jan-15 22:14:30

My little sister is 10 (I spend a lot of time looking after her) and I'm somewhat concerned about her behaviours and her development. She seemed pretty normal as a toddler/baby, but these odd behaviours started at around age 5.

For example, she is a very shy and anxious child but doesn't seem interested or doesn't make any attempt to interact with other children. She always stands on her own at breaktime and watches the other kids.
In social situations she is almost mute and only speaks if spoken to and usually gives one words answers. She has one best friend but she seems to use her as a crutch and can be quite possessive over her.

She is generally very immature with most things. All of the girls in her year now wear trousers instead of skirts/dresses. However, my sister still wears pinafores and refuses to ever wear trousers. She also sometimes refuses to wear knickers because she doesn't like the way they feel. She'll wear the same pair every day until my mother manages to get them off her to wash them. She gets very upset and refuses to wear any other knickers.

She gets obsessed with things and keeps asking the same questions over and over. She loves to play with cars and lego. She lines the cars up and tries to make roads and parking spaces and traffic jams.

Another thing she does is staring at her heels/back of her shoes as she's walking. She also does this to the person infront of her - she'll stare at their heels/shoes as they are walking.

Lately she is obsessed with leaded windows and doors. She'll ask loads of questions about them and has started spying on the neighbours opposite our house because they have nice 'diamond windows'. She's been doing this for months and was embarrassed when I caught her looking through the blinds in her bedroom. The neighbour has even complained sad

Blackout234 Mon 19-Jan-15 22:16:18

IMO its not normal. does she have autism, adhd, social anxiety maybe?
goodluck Op, hopefully someone who knows more than I will be along soon

HealthyChanges Mon 19-Jan-15 22:16:22

Has she been assessed for ASD? Her behaviours sound very similar to someone with that.

Purplefrogeatsalily Mon 19-Jan-15 22:20:18

It does sound a bit atypical- maybe autistic traits? I'd get the little girl's parents to take her to the GP, in your shoes. Maybe ask school, also, what they think. Nice of you to be so in tune.

JsOtherHalf Mon 19-Jan-15 22:24:29

Have a read through these?

Cleorapter Mon 19-Jan-15 22:37:25

Sounds similar to my daughter, she has been diagnosed with ASD. I'm surprised your sister has got to the age of ten without the school picking up on it sad

CrispyFern Mon 19-Jan-15 22:42:54

Can't really diagnose over the net but she sounds a bit autistic maybe.

Things will be easier for her at school and in the future, if she gets help. Will your mum take her to the doctors about this?

Shakirasma Mon 19-Jan-15 22:44:54

See a gp about a referral to Camhs. Something's not quite right but we can't diagnose, she needs a proper assessment.

Shakirasma Mon 19-Jan-15 22:45:59

Unlikely to be autism if the behaviours didn't appear until she was 5.

MumsyFoxy Mon 19-Jan-15 22:49:18


foreverondiet Mon 19-Jan-15 22:50:28

Isn't your mother concerned? Haven't the school commented? It might be anxiety rather than ASD but should discuss with GP.

PhaedraIsMyName Mon 19-Jan-15 22:56:41

Please don't nag her or make her feel odd just because she doesn't want to dress the same way as every one else.

As for "spying on the neighbours" she was looking out of her own window . It might be a bit and odd to spend a lot of time doing nothing but stare out of the window but I'm struggling to see why it causes the neighbours a problem that needs to be apologised for.

hopingforamiracle Mon 19-Jan-15 23:14:21

Thank you for the replies. The teachers have never said anything and my mum is in denial and thinks it's normal and she'll grow out of it. I think she's on the spectrum somewhere but so much of it is also anxiety and shyness too so it's difficult.

FloraFox Mon 19-Jan-15 23:20:35

She may have anxiety and shyness because she realises she's out of step with other kids / adults. It might help her cope and make her less anxious if she gets help to understand herself and the adults around her understand her better as well.

ChocLover2015 Mon 19-Jan-15 23:43:24

I am a bit hmm about going to the doctor. What is it about her you want to fix? She sounds within the bounds of normal to me? Some of your ideas such as it is abnormal for a 10 yr old to like dresses or look out of her bedroom window .She clearly thinks about things deeply.I am struggling to see this as a bad thing

nikki1978 Mon 19-Jan-15 23:54:41

My son is quite like this and he has dyspraxia - it isn't just about being clumsy so maybe have a read about it. He is also being tested for ASD but they think if he is it is very mild. She definitely needs to be referred. It is strange that she hasn't been yet. DS seemed 'normal' until he started school and we started noticing the difference between him and other kids. This has become more and more apparent each year.

PhaedraIsMyName Mon 19-Jan-15 23:56:13

I agree ChocLover and another "oddity" is liking playing with Lego and cars . There is another thread complaining about children having too much screen time and not doing this type of playing.

So far as the knickers , presumably they can be handwashed every night and will be dry by morning? Or take her shopping to let her choose ones she likes?

And if she were a boy who wanted to wear a dress, well there would be dozens of posters saying "why not?"

nikki1978 Mon 19-Jan-15 23:57:56

It was the not liking the way underwear feels and the watching her heels that made me think dyspraxia or something else sensory by the way. DS hates wearing tight underwear and most of his clothes and shoes are uncomfortable to him. He watches his legs when he tries to swim as he has issues with proprioception which is the awareness of his body in space basically. Exercises help smile

Quitethewoodsman Tue 20-Jan-15 00:14:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

liketohelp Tue 20-Jan-15 11:56:00

Are you sure the teachers have never said anything to your Mum? From what you say, I would guess your sister may be struggling a bit in classes.

If your Mum is "in denial" as you say, could you ask your sister about this? How does she find class work? Is she enjoying anything?

A referral to the Educational Psychologist could be appropriate if she has problems in class, but that would of course have to come from the teachers.

An Ed Psych would also be able to assess the behaviours you are concerned about.

Well done for seeking advice here.

ThereIsACarInTheKitchen Tue 20-Jan-15 12:15:09

Haven't read the full thread, but my first thought when I read your OP was ASD.

I have ASD and your sister actually sounds very similar to what I was like at that age. I didn't have any friends and would be all alone at break time. I would watch everyone else playing instead. I wanted to join in but I honestly didn't know how to.

The not liking trousers and knickers thing is probably because of sensory issues. I have always hated wearing jeans and bras, unfortunately for me my mum always made me wear jeans even when I wanted to wear skirts or dresses. My mum hated me wearing skirts and dresses for some reason and still does today. I remember I used to cry a lot because jeans just felt so horrible and uncomfortable against my skin.

Does she have any stims, like hand flapping or clapping? That's common for people on the spectrum, I still have to clap my hands obsessively whenever I feel excited or upset. I always go somewhere private to do it now though...when I was about your sister's age I would just do it anywhere which lead to a lot of teasing and bullying sad.

It defiantly sounds like she could be on the spectrum. Speaking as someone who wasn't diagnosed until I was 20 (which I know is actually still young compared to a lot of people) I would say try and get her assessed as soon as possible. I really wish I had been diagnosed earlier because I just felt like such a freak for so long. I was so happy when I got diagnosed because I finally knew there was a reason.

Be warned though, some HCP's will fob you off and will be reluctant to refer her for a diagnosis as she is a girl. Autism and aspergers are still viewed very much as male things that HCP's will often fail to spot it in girls or think that's what it could be even if all the evidence is staring right at them in the face.

5Foot5 Tue 20-Jan-15 13:01:06

Can't comment on the rest of it but I don't think there is any reason to be concerned about playing with cars and Lego and making traffic jams. I can distinctly remember playing traffic jams for hours as a child. I have no idea why I found it so enthralling but I can assure you I grew up normal!

ChocLover2015 Tue 20-Jan-15 13:17:19

But this girl isn't friendless- she has a best friend?

DeWee Tue 20-Jan-15 13:20:39

For example, she is a very shy and anxious child but doesn't seem interested or doesn't make any attempt to interact with other children. She always stands on her own at breaktime and watches the other kids.

That is like dd1 though. It isn't that she doesn't want to, but she's so scared of rejection that she will choose not to try rather than risk it. The number of times I've watched her playing alongside someone similar each giving glances at each other but neither making the first move. She'll choose to stand next to me rather than go and join in as a general rule-even sometimes if the others are asking her to join in.

Equally well the skirts/trousers. I hate trousers and almost never wear them, and have always been like that. Dd1 never wore trousers until she went to secondary. Then she discovered leggings and never wears anything else. Partually for her is not liking anything new. Once she's tried it and found it okay she then sticks with it.

I wonder if she'd find the shorts style pants more comfortable as they're looser.

However the rest rings certain alarm bells as others have said.

PhaedraIsMyName Tue 20-Jan-15 13:21:06

Again I agree with you ChocLover

I am a bit worried that OP might have identified 1 or 2 issues which might need to be addressed, particularly with a view to making the most of school, and several other issues which are simply her sister apparently not being like everyone else.

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