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4 yo taking forever to do anything

(8 Posts)
alteredimages Tue 09-Dec-14 09:08:13

My 4 yo DD seems to be away with the fairies all the time. 15 minutes for a quick toilet stop, 1 hour to eat her supper, half an hour to get dressed. She has always been like this, so I suppose I thought it was normal or at least her personality. She is also very bossy and will still tantrum for very minor 'infractions', e.g. asking her if she is finished when using the toilet, cutting her sandwich, getting the 'wrong' clothes for her to wear. If I let her choose she would go to school in either a swimming costume or a princess dress.

She is also constantly acting out different roles, usually fantasy ones like Elsa from Frozen or Mowgli from the jungle book and at times refuses to answer to her name because she isn't alteredDD.

So I thought this was just her being headstrong or a control issue but I was called into her school last month because she is apparently the same at school, minus the tantrums. She is very calm and compliant but just never finishes anything, even her food,and is missing out on doing a lot of work as a result. Sometimes she misses playtime entirely.

Any ideas what this could be about? I don't think she is bored, she happily writes her name and new words at home and sings songs she learned at school. I did a similar thing when I started school but only maths because I hated drawing the venn diagrams I had to do.

I have considered some sort of ASD as she goes non verbal when upset and just screams and kicks and also because she finds it very difficult to initiate play with her peers. The complete investment in fantasy worlds also makes me wonder.

Sorry for the massive post, but has anyone else had something similar?

Goldmandra Tue 09-Dec-14 09:47:01

I would look further into the ASD. Being very compliant in school but zoning out a lot is quite common in girls with ASD.

The zoning out could be issues with executive function, sensory overload or a bit of both.

My DD2 who has AS was the same with fantasy worlds at this age and sometimes struggled to differentiate between them and RL. They were her safe place to be. Somewhere she could be in control and feel socially competent.

alteredimages Tue 09-Dec-14 10:18:30

I think you are right Goldmandra. sad

I have been putting it off because the initial assessment is so expensive and her teacher thinks she is probably fine, but I don't think her teacher has any experience of ASD girls as DD's school is very selective and wouldn't take on a child with a diagnosis.

I will update once DD has been seen by the centre. In the meantime,if anyone else has had a similar issue please let me know!

alteredimages Tue 09-Dec-14 10:45:14

Assessment will take a month and a half and costs around £300. shock This is about three months' salary on an average wage here. They need £40 just to accept the application form. When I phoned to book they told me all about the money they need but I had to ask to find out what they will actually do. I hate these people already. sad

Rockchick1984 Tue 09-Dec-14 11:13:20

If it helps, I was always like this as a child (the taking forever, not finishing etc) and I'm NT so for me it was just personality. I'm an only child and a daydreamer (even now) so personally it wouldn't raise any flags. My parents (mum is a teacher) worked with the school and I would be set bite-sized bits of work where possible as getting up to get more work seemed to reset my attention and I would get more done. Weirdly the only time I was able to focus for a long time was once I was reading, I could sit with a book for ages and read it happily!

Not saying she doesn't have any kind of ASD, but just wanted to show it can also be just personality.

Goldmandra Tue 09-Dec-14 13:43:22

That sounds very different from the UK system, altered. Do you feel confident in the system?

I agree that quite a few children could be like this in school, Rockchick. However there are other aspects of the OP's DD's behaviour which I think probably warrants looking into ASD a bit further. Breaking tasks down into small individual steps as you described is a great way to support a child who is struggling with executive function too smile

rhetorician Tue 09-Dec-14 20:45:42

I have a child a bit like this - takes forever, gets endlessly distracted, prone to react badly when things don't go as she wishes. Plus some difficulties around social interaction (acts silly, doesn't always respect physical boundaries, makes odd noises etc) - on the other hand, she can be loving, delightful, thoughtful and if not anxious/over-stimulated, behaves like any other child. Like you, her teacher isn't concerned or hasn't noticed - she is well behaved at school (not always outside of school/at home), and is doing reasonably well (although not I think, working to her potential). We are also not in UK, and paid €600 for initial Educational Psychologist assessment, which didn't diagnose (she isn't yet 6) but strongly suggested ADD, and possible ASD (this needs more investigation because of the mismatch between home scores on questionnaire and school ones). So we have now been referred on to CAMHS which will look at her from a multi-disciplinary perspective (she's almost 6 and still eats with her hands, e.g., pencil grip not great, can't do buttons easily). She manages pretty well, and I am not set on a diagnosis as such, but I would like to have some input on strategies that might help us to help her (and make home life a little easier to boot). Good luck.

alteredimages Thu 11-Dec-14 21:02:05

Thanks for posting your experience rhetorician, it's really useful to hear other experiences. DD has good fine motor skills and doesn't tend to behave inappropriately but the rest sounds just like her. She is frighteningly good at mimicking and picking up phrases so it's hard to know when she's meaning something and when she is just copying.

I spoke to her teacher again yesterday and she is adamant that everything is fine. Apparently DD never plays with the other kids though at playtime, she just wanders around singing. At dance class she plays with a little girl but she mostly just copies her.

Given my complete lack of faith in the system I am going to give it til easter and if things aren't settling down I will take her for assessment. Thanks for all your help!

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