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Possible Aspergers 14 year olsd girl - how to explain it to her?(14 Posts)
Friends DD aged 14 has been under CAMHS for a while due to an eating disorder - she is now going to be assessed for Aspergers but her parents don't know how to start to explain it to her. Any tips??
there are a lot of books she could read look on nas website or amazon some are factual for a child with AS some in story form, my favorite is all cats have aspergers syndrome but dependant on her understanding / level of reading that might be too young but it does explain it basic and with a cat theme if like my DS he loves animals , i did try many times to chat about it but DS just got angry and switched off but perhaps reading a book like all cats together is a good way.
DD2 is 13 and is being assessed next week (eeek, aaargh and multiple other threads in the offing)
we have had lots of gentle introductory type conversations over the last year or so (while waiting) i've read books and left them lying in strategic places.
The programme that was on last year, i think it was called autistic and stagestruck, helped alot as DD wached it and it opened up lots of chats, and also watched the Temple Grandin film (which DD2 loves and has watched loads of times).
I think the very first conversation we had was after one of her meltdowns (when completely fully over it) when I asked her whether she thought there might be something different about her.
My dd was diagnosed at the age of 4, we told her when she was 6 that she has AS. I guess it was easier telling a 6 year old than a 13/14 year old, she also has a sister with ASD so was asking about 'why does dd2 not talk?', i explianed taht 'dd2 has Autism' she then asked 'what have i got mummy?' so i told her, i explained that she sometimes see's things differently than others and gets upset/anxious because of the AS, she took it very well (but then she was only 6).
There are a lot of books out there that may help but i think its best to explain it to her the best you can, she probably knows she's different and may be relieved that there is a name for it (a reason for feeling how she does). I felt different growing up, it wasn't until both my girls were diagnosed that i could see that i am on the spectrum (no one knew about AS when i was at school, you were just classed as 'weird' or 'different').
Thanks - some good advice there I can pass on. My ds is 3.9 and I'm very open about his autism with his NT sister who is 6 - teenagers are not my area!
Girls are a lot harder to diagnose but i think they are more likely to realise they are different, most girls learn to hide their traits, i think i was a child now (and not the 80's) i would have been diagnossed with Autism/HFA, looking back at my childhood i was very autistic, chewed everything, didn't talk, was not toilet trained when i started school, loved to hang upside down , took everything seriously and struggled to listen at school. My brother and my cousin constantly took the mick out of me , at the age of 10 i was told i may have dyslexia (but never got a dx), i was told i would never pass my GCSE's, at 15 i passed all my GCSE's and proved them all wrong, i dont think i have dyslexia (although my spelling is not great), i just couldn't process information given to me in a classroom full of people (but could learn from books and 1:1).
I'm not sure if my youngest will ever understand that she has Autism, i will always be open with her if she asks but at the moment her understanding is not that great so i cant explain it to her, her sister is a lot more understanding and asks a lot of questions and i always tell her the truth, she's not bothered that she has AS (at the moment) but doesn't tell her friends at school, i think she is happy with who she is but i'm sure it could all change as she gets older.
My guess is that your friend's daughter will already feel that there is 'something different' about her. My DD had said that she felt as though she was 'different' for many years before she was diagnosed.
If that is the case it may come as something of a relief to her to understand 'why' she is 'different'.
The important thing is that she understands that there is something 'different' about her but NOT something 'wrong' with her.
Maybe this book Freaks, Geeks and Aspergers?
I would just come out and tell her. "You know how you find X,Y and Z hard, and A, B, and C easy......"
She might also like this forum Wrong Planet
If she does have ASD, then she'll probably think 'she's on the wrong planet' and be very relieved to find out there's a label to describe her thinking.....
The Freaks, Geeks and Aspergers book is really good, it's written by a 13 year old boy so it's from a teenager's perspective. DS2 has recently been diagnosed, and although he is only 7 I am reading the book to see what's in store for the future . We have told DS2 nd DS1 about his diagnosis but I think in some ways it's easier when they are younger as they just tend to accept things rather than wondering "why me?" etc. Temple Grandin has also written several books which might help from a female point of view. There are loads on Amazon and you can get many of them secondhand.
Surburban- have you read 'The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time '?, its written by a boy with AS (woth reading).
My son recently dx with AS-last february. Hes 11yrs and took the dx really badly. Became very withdrawn at school etc .Was very upset that he has this condition though thankfully its very mild.After several weeks of making light of it ,explaining that all it means is that he thinks differently to others sometimes and can act a bit differently he seems to have completely accepted it . Had great help from school etc. I've decided to completely 'minimise' the whole issue and carry on as normal. Obviously,give him all help he needs,as and when, but otherwise its business as usual!
I think an older child will always struggle initially, but will happily come to terms with it eventually if they realise everything carries on normally as before dx.
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