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Suspected autism(6 Posts)
Hi, my 4yr-old daughter was referred for an autism assessment last year and it begins next week. I'm not coping very well with what I may be facing and don't know where to turn. She was referred on three counts - hand-flapping (only when happy), speech delay, poor eye contact (which has improved) and she doesn't like her peers. She has no problems with routine, sensory issues, loves rough and tumble and is a great eater and sleeper. She has been receiving excellent intensive speech therapy over the last three months. She is a loving, happy child. I do see a gulf between her and other children now but a lot of this is down to speech problems alone. Has anyone else been in this situation?
My three year old has just had her assessment (the end of August) and has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
She does sounds similar to your daughter but we also have a lot of problems around routines, sleep and sensory stuff (mainly sounds and eating).
It was a bit different for us as we have high functioning autism in the family so sort of 'knew' before the diagnosis if you see what I mean.
We found The National Autistic Society website very helpful.
You'll find a lot of support in the special needs section of mumsnet. Lots of parents/carers post there and some great ideas/information shared. my dd was diagnosed with ASD a year ago.
DD1 had issues when small, we thought all down to speech problems. As she got older the issues have become clearer and we progressed after she started school to realise that there was much more to her SEN than just speech. She is 12yrs old now and to be honest many people still don't realise her issues until she spends some time with them. She is a girl with autism and some googling will find you many articles about how girls with autism differ to boys, one of the main reasons seemingly being that they learn copying behaviours which helps to hide their differences. We didn't get her autism diagnosis until she was 7yrs old and by the time they formally made the diagnosis it was actually a relief to understand her with certainty, not that we would wish any problems for her of course. Since that time she then had genetic testing carried out and we have a full understanding of her as she has a problem with one of her chromosomes - everything fits into place now.
Life isn't obvious to her all the time but she is the most amazing and lovely child. She likes rules and is usually the best behaved of my three children. She attends a special school now so that she gets the right sort of emotional and academic support as well as school based speech therapy and OT which are going a long way to helping her function as normally as possible in our world. She may never be a high flyer but if she can be happy and cope with life and possibly a job too in the future then we will have done the best by her.
As a parent it is so hard to hear a diagnosis that you don't want but it opens doors to support and advice (sometimes even these are a fight mind you) and you at least have an idea on what you are dealing with. She will still be your same wonderful daughter with or without it though - what you are facing will hopefully just be that bit easier for you if you know.
OP remember that your daughter will the same wonderful and cherished daughter after the dx if she gets one. It won't change her, but it will help you support her just as any child needs individual support with or without a dx
My five year old was diagnosed a few months ago. It is a daunting time for us but the best thing for him. It means he will always gets the support he needs. Every child with Autism is different. My son never flapped his hands yet my non autistic daughter does! He had a severe speech delay, poor eye contact which has improved a lot. My son is also a great eater & sleeper. He has no major issues with routine. However, as a family we are very routine (makes me wonder if I'm autistic myself lol). My sons obsessions are a big problem. He is obsessed with anything to do with buttons such as: arcade machines, ticket machines, ATMS, vending machines and even lifts which is hard work as there is usually something like this everywhere you go and he just wants to play with tem for hours.
Autism is often milder in girls compared to boys.
Although, diagnosis is a scary time. It is also for the best and it won't change her.
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