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Four year old signs of autism but being brushed off

(7 Posts)
Notonthisplanet Sun 03-May-15 22:33:58

Hello,
So my dd who is 3.9 is showing some signs of possible autism, well I think she does. The nursery she goes to heavily imply there is something not right about her with behaviour pointing towards Autism ( speech delay, not approaching other children, (but does get very excited when they approach her and she does try to play with them as much as she can talk). She is also resistant to toilet training and seemingly doesn't engage much. Also she will do something physical repeatidly like jump or run up and down a room. She's seen two GP's, two nhs speech therapists an ENT specialist to rule out ear issues, her future school senco and is involved with someone from the local council early years intervention through nursery who all rule out any autism. Personally I think if it is Autism (I don't know about it in much depth) she could have it not too badly which is why they are ruling it out, I mean she's not too young for them to see it. Not sure what else to do maybe when she starts school will it become clearer? as nursery do seem rather concerned and it doesn't help when my family do not believe in these types of conditions

Notonthisplanet Sun 03-May-15 22:35:01

Ps her now private speech therapist doesn't seem to think so

monkeysaymoo Sun 03-May-15 22:41:32

Not one of the professionals you've mentioned is in a position to rule out autism.

I would return to the GP with a supporting letter from nursery and push for a referral to a paediatrician. Personally I wouldn't wait until your dd starts schools (nothing seems to move quicker at that stage)

DS had an excellent private SALT who has helped him enormously but even she didn't feel it was autism (it was)

Goldmandra Sun 03-May-15 23:27:33

I agree with the PP.

A proper neurodevelopmental assessment can rule out Autism. None of the people you describe is qualified to carry one out.

Go back to the GP and be clear that the people who look after your DD on a daily basis, i.e. you and nursery feel that she is no developing normally and insist on a referral to a community paediatrician or CAMHS, whoever carries out neurodevelopmental assessments in your area.

Don't take no for an answer. You have concerns and you have the right to be heard and either reassured or have your suspicions confirmed. Either would be better than being fobbed off.

JemimaPuddled Sun 03-May-15 23:36:12

Gold, spot on. You need a qualified professional to assess your dd. Girls tend to be either at the very capable or severely affected ends of the spectrum but that's a massively sweeping statement which obvs doesn't take account of every individual. The thing that does stand however is that diagnosing girls with asd is notoriously difficult as they can score well on ADOS even when they're clearly evidencing typical spectrum traits, behaviours and difficulties. It takes real expertise to get it, giving further weight to both previous posters' pov that you need a referral to paeds/camhs/child psychiatrist to get properly assessed.
Good luck and keep going til you get an answer. flowers

Goldmandra Sun 03-May-15 23:57:52

Personally I think if it is Autism (I don't know about it in much depth) she could have it not too badly which is why they are ruling it out,

Children can appear to function well and, especially girls, can mask their difficulties in an attempt to fit in with the people around them. This may mean that the signs are quite subtle but the effect on their lives can be just as severe as children with more classic symptoms.

My DDs were diagnosed at the ages of 12 and 7. Until then, nobody had raised concerns about their development. They had both been masking and working very hard to fit in socially but the cost to them was huge.

This ability to mask and blend in could be interpreted as having the condition mildly, unless you knew that DD1 missed a year of school at the age of her diagnosis and spent several months unable to even leave her bedroom despite intensive support from CAMHS and DD2 is now attending a small independent school funded by our LA because she cannot function in classes of more than a very few children or in a school where there are people she doesn't know and CAMHS are working really hard to undo the damage done by her first school who refused to recognise or meet her needs effectively because she masked her difficulties in front of them.

Autism can present quite subtly yet have a huge impact on a child's life, especially if their needs aren't recognised and met by the people caring for them.

Don't allow anyone to tell you that your DD's needs aren't significant just because they aren't obvious. Listen to your gut feeling and have confidence in your right as her mother to make sure she gets properly assessed and, if appropriate, properly supported afterwards.

Marvel101 Wed 06-May-15 20:11:03

You need a full assessment by professionals to diagnose autism.

DS was seen by a psychologist, occupational therapist and a Physio. They tested him over 7 sessions. We and his teacher had to fill out lots of questionnaires, they did intelligence tests on him, they did a play session where they looked at his interaction, the psychologist observed him in school.

Then after all that he was diagnosed with mild autism.

The lack of engagement you mention would be concerning to me. DS can be very interactive with certain people - but with others he can be a bit zoned out and does his own thing

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