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Worried about my sister

(9 Posts)
auntysocial Sun 12-Aug-07 18:34:39

My sister is 13 but I've been worried about her for quite a while now, everyone is.

She's very different from normal 13 year olds, she carries at least one teddy around with her all the time, sits it on her knee and makes it watch tv with her, occasionally she will point it at someone and say "hey, he's looking at you..." etc.

She has no motivation at all, last week for instance she stayed in her pyjamas from Sunday until Thursday, didnt go out of the house, hardly left her bedroom, refused to go to town with my mum etc.

She has no friends, delibrately tries to avoid situations where she might need to socialise, for instance a girl at school asked her for her mobile number so she gave it and then delibrately turned her phone off so she couldnt get through.

She has no confidence, wont join any clubs, wont even go swimming or anything with my mum.

She keeps saying about how she wont need to work as she will be staying in my parents house when they retire.

I cant see her having any future, I can imagine her sitting in that house on her own 24/7 never meeting anyone...I have always suspected she may have mild autism but my parents wont have it.

How can I help her?

EllieG Sun 12-Aug-07 18:44:28

What do her school say about her? She might need assessment by either an Educational Psychologist or referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for same. This can be got via G.P.
Maybe try talking to your parents again about your concerns.
Alternatively, you could try talking to her about why she is so shy etc - is she being bullied? Her behaviour with teddy is very regressive and might indicate some emotional distress.

HonoriaGlossop Sun 12-Aug-07 18:47:01

I think it's your parents you need to worry about unfortunately...it does sound as if your sister may have some issues, but then again she may just be extremely anti-social or shy, but to be honest it's down to her parents to get this sorted; you can't know and we can't, certainly!

It's no good them 'just not having it' tbh. They need to get her to the GP and go from there, if they're worried.

perhaps there's something, or perhaps your parents could get some new ideas for trying new approaches with her. It's impossible to tell from the internet which really; If I were you I'd start leaning heavily on your parents to start thinking of what they could do to help her.

auntysocial Sun 12-Aug-07 19:15:01

Her old primary school refered her to occupational therapy after concerns were raised there, she stood in the tuck shop queue and asked for a certain flavour of crisps and they didnt have any so she just stood there staring at them, they couldn't snap her out of the trance, they said it was as if her mind couldn't handle a disruption such as a change of flavour to what she normally gets.

My mum has sometimes found her thrashing around on her bedroom floor, throwing herself from side to side aggressively, laughing and blowing rasperies but she's on her own when she's doing this, if my mum goes in she gets nasty and screams at her to get out.

She was bullied at primary school and has had the odd incident at secondry school but the kids at secondry school tend to assume that she's "special" so mother her rather than bully her.

My mum took her to the doctor a couple of years ago after she found her having a two way conversation with a playstation game that was lying on the floor. He refered her to a physciatrist but they never managed to sort out an apointment.

Admittidly she doesnt seem *as bad* as she was (she used to talk to the toilet etc) but she's still certainly not "right" iyswim. It depends what mood my mum is as to how she takes my concerns, sometimes she will agree with me and shows how worried she really is, other times if shes feeling happy she shrugs it away and insists that there is nothing wrong with her.

She got her annual report from school a few weeks ago and it showed that she is well below where she should be in most subjects (including english and maths) but above average in science so because of the good science report my mum decided that the report was excellent and said it proved there was nothing wrong with her, despite it also saying that her progress in english and maths was worrying.

lljkk Sun 12-Aug-07 19:26:14

Is there someone else in the family that your parents would listen to, auntysoc? Like an older relative or an old friend of the family?

My 3yo doesn't talk to the toilet...

HonoriaGlossop Sun 12-Aug-07 19:49:43

occupational therapy seems a very strange thing to be referred to from a primary school, tbh.

Are you sure your parents have kept you fully informed? I would have thought a school would refer in the first instance to an Educational Psychologist. OT seems an odd solution to the scenarios you describe, TBH.

If you thought it would help you could ask your parents to ask for Ed Psych referral from her current school; they may even refer on to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) after they've assessed her.

I think it's so difficult for you that the force behind any help would need to come from your parents and they don't seem keen....

allgonebellyup Sun 12-Aug-07 19:54:12

this sounds like a pretty big problem actually and it also seems like your mum is in denial and pretending theres anything wrong..
she needs to see the Ed psych or make a separate appointment to see a psychologist,through the gp, as there is clearly something very wrong with her.

auntysocial Sun 12-Aug-07 20:43:50

I didnt get why they went the OT route either...that was just the story I got from my mum though. I don't think she does keep me fully informed because she knows I think there is something wrong and she doesnt want to "confirm" it for me so to speak...She said that when she tried to make an apointment with the Phyciatrist she couldnt get through but I suspect she maybe didn't try.

She was referred to a dietician as she was/is obese and my mum lied to them throughout about what she was eating, crisp sandwiches, glasses of coke for breakfast, a few cans of red bull a day at the age of 9 (my mum didnt realise what it was and assumed I was exagurating when I told her).

Even now my sister will go into the fridge and eat a couple of yogurts at a time, chocolate bisuits, crisp sandwiches, my grandad told her off last year because he offered her a biscuit and she took a handful out.

She has always been the same though with regards to her mental health, nothing has changed, its not sudden. When she was a toddler she carried a barney teddy around with her, spoke to it, blamed it for stuff, sucked its nose etc and the barney thing continued all the way uptil about the age of 9, then she moved onto a Crazy Frog teddy and did the same with that, then a cat teddy, now she's back to the crazy frog.

She used to put her playstation on, start it up and then sit there staring at the screen in hysterics as if she could see something nobody else could. She would never play on the games, just watch the intro screen coniuously.

My mum said she doesnt do this now but I think she does, last week my kids were playing on her playstation and when they opened one of her games she said "tell me what thats like because I havnt played it yet" yet shes had this game since her birthday 3 months ago and hasn't once played on it??

I do try and go on at my mum but she thinks I'm just getting at my sister, she doesnt see how worried we all are about her future.

HonoriaGlossop Sun 12-Aug-07 22:52:10

oh your poor sister, aunty...your mum seems to be sabotaging her chances of getting any help at all, doesn't she.

If you are really, really worried you could call social services and ask them to do an assessment.....they keep strict confidentiality. People always think "oh they'll know it's me" but there are lots of people in your sister's life who it could be; any amount of people at school, friends, neighbours. I'd say best to do it now while she is at school; if as you say, when she leaves, she's just isolated and doesn't go out, then it'll be more difficult for you to feel that an anonymous referral couldn't be assumed to be you.

i know that sounds drastic and obviously ignore me if you feel that's over the top.

Good luck to you with it anyway, let us know how it goes. At least she's got you on her side.

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