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I think my friend's DD has mild aspergers, should I tell her?

(30 Posts)
pedalpants Thu 25-Aug-11 22:31:03

reasons for concern in 5 yo

very anxious. cannot be apart from mum, even to go to the loo
very early talker and reader
did not settle into nursery and took a long time to settle in school (is settled in school now)
very late in making friends. has friends now but mainly boys. also some odd behaviour (could be construed as spiteful or naughty) which I think are to do with the fact she doesn't really get some social rules
hysterical about hand driers
will only wear certain things
not a good eater (but will eat)
screams for no apparent reason if something isn't 'right'
ignores friends outside school
will not go to friends houses for tea

Overall, I think she is improving, but still seems quit different to a lot of girls her age.

I think that Aspergers has not occured to my friend, even though she openly talks about how different DD is to other kids.

What should I do, any thoughts appreciated

coff33pot Fri 26-Aug-11 01:23:32

Thats a tricky one to be honest. If someone came up to me, friend or not and said I think there is something wrong with your child or have you thought your child has AS, I would have probably thumped them. But that is me grin

depends on just how close you really are. It is funny ground my eldest is 21 now and NT however at 5 most girls that age still mixed with boys my DD was more boys in actual fact so was I as I was a tomboy grin She was also an only child until she was 11 so was used to having her own way (and I was on my own with her) and yes we had tantrums. She hated school but behaved well when she was there but cried everytime I took her. She refused to wear dresses, shorts just only leggings, and if she stayed at a friends or family she would scream the place down to come home and I would be picking her up in the middle of the night.

It is a real sensitive area, I would just let your friend work it out for herself. Let her talk to you as she is now. If she ever broaches the subject on her DD needing some help or other then yes you could say why not it wont do any harm or something like that. She will know if there is something wrong and maybe if she is commenting on how different she is, she is slowly working it out for herself smile

DiamondDoris Fri 26-Aug-11 01:29:55

I'd wait until your friend voices any concerns and then casually mention Aspergers or ASD. From about age 2.5 I knew my DS was different, people kept saying the usual "he's being a typical boy" etc but I knew something was up and was so relieved when his reception teacher suggested ASD - I wasn't affronted in the least. He's now awaiting diagnosis.

ParisTravelodge Fri 26-Aug-11 10:23:13

I have an 18yr old Aspi Ds. Diagnosis of AS is much easier the younger a child is so if she was struggling with things that would be a good reason to talk to your friend.
This little girl sounds like she's doing pretty well.

At that age Ds had loads of behavioral probs eg biting,rocking
and refused to learn to read/write til he was 7.
He didn't have a single friend til he was 14.

Kids do tend to learn to cope with AS over time, and any treatment is managing behavior ect.
What I'm getting at is that if she is diagnosed with it, will this help her?
lots of adults have undiagnosed AS and do fine.

There isn't any service where we live for over 18s with AS, so any support we got has finished now.

proudmum74 Fri 26-Aug-11 10:38:49

Hi, I wouldn't say anything to be honest, as it's unlikely to go well. Instead could you maybe gently suggest she talks to the school or her GP next time she voices her concerns about her dd?

IndigoBell Fri 26-Aug-11 10:57:55

My friend said to me "Your DS reminds me a lot of my nephew who has Aspergers."

I am forever grateful to her for saying that as I had no idea at all - never even heard of it.

She wasn't a good friend, just a school mum I saw occasionally. But I had mentioned to her that I was concerned about him being bullied....

So I think if the Mum already thinks she is different, there would be a way to slide it into the conversation.......

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Aug-11 11:15:08

Agree with Indigo. Wish we weren't all so reserved in this Country. Someone told me that they knew my ds had ASD 6 months before I did but because they didn't know me very well didn't say anything. They, - apparently, were so torn up about the decision that they discussed it with their pals at a disability support group hmm who all advised her that she shouldn't raise it shock.

I don't hate this woman, but I am so frustrated that she didn't mention it.

You don't have to go outright and say something. After all, you're not medically trained to do so. But the next time she says something you could suggest that if she has concerns, why doesn't she go to the GP for a referal to a developmental paediatrician to rule out ASD or just investigate if there is a reason and make suggestions about what the parent might be able to do to head of any future problems that aren't apparent now.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Aug-11 11:18:32

BTW, I'm not saying that your friends dd needs a dx. I have no idea, even if she does have AS if this would be helpful.

But I think all parents can do with INFORMATION about their child's strengths and weaknesses, especially when they are a bit outside the norm, so that they can make informed decisions in their parenting and choices iyswim.

tabulahrasa Fri 26-Aug-11 12:27:59

If she's bringing up concerns I'd mention it as a possibility, I've had to do it twice and it didn't go badly, we're still friends it's not awkward or anything.

I wish someone had been able to raise it when my DS was younger - as nice as you're worrying over nothing was at the time it would have been infinitely more helpful if someone had been able to go, do you know what, your concerns aren't in your head and there are things that could be causing this, look into them and see what you think.

Instead I came at it absolutely blind when he was 7 and already too old for all the early intervention stuff.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Aug-11 13:45:38

Yes, I agree. It is a bit of a risk how it might go, but sometimes it can be bloody helpful for there to be someone to take your concerns seriously.

All my friends were saying 'oh, there's nothing wrong with him. He doesn't have autism silly' even when we had the working diagnosis. They meant to be kind, but when coupled with the professionals who were all trying to underplay his difficulties at the time to and made me have to battle for a referral, it would have been much more helpful for someone to simply say 'Actually, I do think you should get it checked out, either to get things ruled out, or to ensure that you get some early intervention if needed'.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Fri 26-Aug-11 15:00:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

grumpypants Fri 26-Aug-11 15:06:49

unless this is your professional area of expertise i really think you would be wrong to do it. suggets she speaks to school/ senco with any concerns, or makes a gp apptment for a referral. tell her those are the ways to work out if her dd has additional needs. you , i assume, are not qualified to dx - there are a range of reasons for a child's behaviour, and some one needs (maybe) to rule them out.

timetoask Fri 26-Aug-11 15:12:59

well, I am foreign, so I think I am more outspoken that the majority of British people so in your situation, if your friend is more than an acquaintance, I would try to guide the conversation and gently introduce the concept of ASD.

The only person that agreed with me when I started to have concerns about my DS is my sister, so refreshing to know that someone agreed with me. Everyone else (including DH'S very lovely and polite English family) would say the typical (oh he's doing well, they all catch up, look but he's smiling)

IndigoBell Fri 26-Aug-11 15:32:05

I don't think you can suggest she goes to the GP about her concerns without giving her a name for those concerns.

Because the GP probably won't might not recognise what she's describing as ASD......

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Fri 26-Aug-11 15:45:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArthurPewty Fri 26-Aug-11 15:59:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tabulahrasa Fri 26-Aug-11 16:05:25

The way I approached it both times was to say, (after she'd been talking about her child) look I could be way off the mark, but they way they x, y and z reminds me a lot of DS at that age, I'm not a doctor and obviously lots of AS traits are normal parts of development - but it might be worth looking into an assessment even if it's to rule it out and be told that they'll grow out of it.

I wouldn't try to diagnose someone else's child, just suggest it as a possibility in my opinion - limited as that is. I'd also be delighted for my opinion to be wrong on something like that and for an actual expert to send them away as a paranoid mother.

I'd much rather be paranoid than be right, lol.

Marne Fri 26-Aug-11 17:36:20

OP, you just desribed my dd1 grin, she has a dx of Aspergers but TBH it hasn't really made any difference to the way she's schooled, we dont get any help (other than DLA). I often meet children with similar traits and the parents are oblivious, i don't think i could bring myself to tell the parents unless they were family or very close friends.

tabulahrasa Fri 26-Aug-11 18:02:07

If it wasn't causing any issues at home or at school, and I'd just noticed some small things that made me wonder - I'd not mention it at all btw

pedalpants Fri 26-Aug-11 18:22:26

thanks, that's all very interesting. As the child seems currently to be doing pretty well as I agree with PP in that GPs may not know much, if anything, about Aspergers, especially as she is a girl and an early talker. So I'm unlikely to say anything. too risky. If she takes a turn for the worse I might broach the subject very gently as you suggest ie. she reminds me of X sometimes in the way she does Y.

I can't imagine there would be any difference in the way she is schooled. tbh my main concern is my friend, not her child, as I'm sure she must feel rather isolated sometimes. but I'm not sure I'm confident to broach it with her, especially as 80% of the time our children are present when we meet.

It's interesting to me that nobody has said this doesn't sound like aspergers. I thought the early talking/early reading thing ruled it out but it seems that is not necessarily the case.

tabulahrasa Fri 26-Aug-11 18:28:51

One of my friends that I did have that conversation with, her DD was diagnosed at 5, she was talking at 11 months, meaningful words - only three or four, but she then went on to pick up words at a rate of knots, so no, it doesn't rule it out at all.

In fact speech difficulties often lead to a different diagnosis altogether, even if everything else is consistent with Asperger's

IndigoBell Fri 26-Aug-11 19:53:13

The early talking rules out Autism but not Aspergers.

The early reading makes it even more likely that it's Aspergers.

Many many Aspies teach themselves to read before starting school. I think MRZs DS taught himself to read at 18 months!

I agree with you about it helping your friend. But as her DD gets older, like a teenager, it will also probably help her to know.....

Tiggles Fri 26-Aug-11 22:00:18

As she thinks there is something different about her DD I would probably say something. My best friend said to me that I should read A Curious Incident of A Dog in the Nightime, as she had just read it (DS was 4 or 5 at the time) and she couldn't believe how DS spoke just like the lad in it. It was the start of a very useful learning curve for me, as it turns out DS has severe AS.

Tiggles Fri 26-Aug-11 22:03:05

Oh, meant to add, DS was talking in full sentences by 18months and reading fairly well by 3 - he was reading Harry Potter by the time he was in reception. So definitely doesn't rule out AS.
It is the 'way' AS children talk that is different, and the way they 'talk at' people.

mumslife Fri 26-Aug-11 22:33:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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