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Persistent tiredness, difficulty sleeping, possible Asperger's

(8 Posts)
StuffEverywhere Mon 01-Feb-16 20:41:28

Got a doctor's appointment for my 11y old DS in two days, so trying to write things down, so that we can get the most out of it. If you lovely people could help me make sure all the important stuff is there, and if you can think of any important questions to ask, or ways to frame it, that'd be seriously appreciated. Karma points guaranteed wink

The reason for the appointment is persistent tiredness, not wanting to go to school (to the point of tears - often), low energy, difficulty falling asleep as well as 'keeping' asleep iykwim. He wakes up 2-3 times a night, at 1am, 3am and 5am roughly, he sometimes comes to my room, sometimes not. That's up to 4 hours a night of sleep gone, every night, to waking up and trying to fall asleep again! This is going on for months. The tiredness is of the extreme kind where he says his music lesson on Saturday morning was hard because he had to keep his eyes open for the whole lesson (30min). He feels tired even after a lie-in or a lazy weekend. Mornings are particularly hard and the first two lessons in school, he says, he has difficulty staying awake. We started a new school in September, so no doubt this is partly why he is so tired, but five months on, and it gets worse not better. No actual problems in school, as far as I know, apart from the usual settling in stuff. He is very bright and very academic, can concentrate for hours, and so is doing well in school in that sense.

Separately, or maybe not so separately, there is a history of obsessive behaviours that in my mind point to Asperger's and anxiety. Over the years we went through bad habits like biting nails, chewing jumpers, pulling hair. Once we get rid of one habit he starts on the next one, and so it goes, in circles. He knows by now that these habits are not socially acceptable but at times when he's not happy (like in the recent months) he can't help it. He can be rude or overly controlling without realising it - but this is a tricky area where I find it hard to tell whether this is just a preteen experimenting with what works in social situations, or whether it is indeed quite off the mark.

He eats a limited range of foods and never touches raw veg in any shape or form. Trying new foods, getting used to new people or environments is a major challenge, every time. He prefers to be on his own, to spending time with people. Very sensitive skin (he had eczema when he was a baby/toddler), and hayfever which can sometimes be so bad he needs an inhaler.

I'm thinking of asking for a blood test (thyroid etc), and Asperger's assessment.

Will see what other suggestions the doctor will put on the table too.

Thoughts? (Or just handholding)... Thank you.

StuffEverywhere Tue 02-Feb-16 10:33:06


fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 02-Feb-16 10:34:35

Have a handhold from me.

Hope you get some answers and ideally a referral to a paediatrician.

noblegiraffe Tue 02-Feb-16 10:50:14

If you want an ASD assessment then it would be worth going to the National Autism society website, looking at their lists of behaviours and seeing how your DS fits them and ticking them off so you can show your doctor.

What does his school think?

StuffEverywhere Tue 02-Feb-16 11:25:22

Thanks! Great idea, I'll go through the National Autism society website and will write things down. I just looked at it briefly now and remembered that DS is also very sensitive to touch - he is mega fussy about his clothes and shoes, he prefers wearing the ones that he already has to new ones, and is very fussy with regards to textures. He has dry hands and uses hand cream daily, but still finds some things (like crayons) very unpleasant to touch.

His previous school thought he was fine (despite school jumpers being wet through from chewing on some days, literally top to bottom!) In the new school I am going to see his teacher tomorrow and then arrange a meeting with senco following that. I think the fact that he is doing well academically leads people to believe he's fine. And mostly, in school, he is. He puts a lot of effort into studying and being 'good', he really tries his best.

bangheadhere Tue 02-Feb-16 11:32:59

We are in the system waiting for aspergers assessment. The labels, textures things sounds very similar. Will come back shortly when I have chance to post properly.

StuffEverywhere Tue 02-Feb-16 11:43:41

thanks bangheadhere

StuffEverywhere Mon 08-Feb-16 10:37:31

GP said that the noted behaviours warrant an assessment, in her view, but that it's better if the referral goes through school and that I should speak to the school nurse. First time I hear about it - is this really how things are? I don't really mind speaking to the school, and was planning to do it anyway. The school is known to be pretty clued up about Asperger's, from what I've heard.

With regards to tiredness, she suggested to pay attention to the routine and see whether it's just a phase, she said that if it were tiredness / low energy for no reason and all the time, she would suggest a blood test, but because DS is actually waking up at night so much, and this is the likely reason of his fatique, then she thinks it's worth trying to 'fix' the sleeping part with changes in routine. She suggested no screens after 6:30 and bed at 7:30. We're giving it a go.

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