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Extrovert kids with asd...

(19 Posts)
DaveMccave Thu 11-Oct-12 20:06:31

I know it's more common for children with asd to be very anxious and introverted, but am aware it's not always the case. Do any of you have very extrovert, very confident asd kids? Particularly girls? Do you mind telling me what their traits are? Because in my experience having both these personality types makes it harder to tell. My DD is 5, and is being referred for ADHD. I have had a few people hint about her quirkiness and mention asd. She does have some traits but I think it is more to do with her ADHD personality rather than aspergers. She just doesn't match the aspergers personality I know well. But she is low on empathy, talks to strangers inappropriately, is very quirky, controlling, never had any separation anxiety etc

I find it really impossible to tell what is NT and what isn't. I don't know if I'm just a crap parent who massively struggles with an NT child, if she is a little hyperactive and difficult, a lot hyperactive and difficult or has adhd and asd. In my experience it's so easy to make a judgement on other peoples children, but when it's mine, I haven't a clue, I've completely lost sight of the situation. I have had people saying they definitely think she is on the spectrum to those that insist she is a NT 5 year old and I just don't know what to think any more.

bialystockandbloom Thu 11-Oct-12 20:19:44

Well firstly try not to listen to anyone's opinions except for those who really are qualified to assess and diagnose. You'll get a thousand reasons why she is/isn't from all and sundry, many of whom just know of asd or adhd through someone's cousin's neighbour/someone at their child's school/butcher's son/they saw a documentary on it....

ASD can come in all shapes and sizes, and the stereotypical picture of an introverted, isolated loner locked in their own world can be so, so far from the reality.

I have a ds (5yo) with high functioning ASD, and he is extremely sociable. Also low on empathy, talks to strangers inappropriately, and is (or used to be) controlling.

It is very hard to be in the place you are. My only advice is, while you're waiting for anything more definitive from professionals, is forget about the 'label', and look at any difficulties she is actually having and what you may be able to do to help them.

Hope that leoniedelt may see this thread as she has a dd a bit younger than yours who has asd and who sounds very extrovert.

lisad123 Thu 11-Oct-12 20:21:42

Dd2 has a dx of autism which was given as working dx at two and full dx at three. She will talk to anyone, say inappropriate things to anyone, yell at teenagers in the street, spin in circles, walks on tip toes, flaps her hands, licks lots of odd stuff. She screams if people touch her, screams if things don't go her way, hates to share, poor eye contact, lines things up, likes to play with others sometimes but only if following her rule, has no real friends, and hates noise.

lisad123 Thu 11-Oct-12 20:22:40

Funniest the other week was walking past a teenager and she shouted "he looks like mr bean" blush

Catsdontcare Thu 11-Oct-12 20:28:26

Ds is incredibly extroverted. He's sociable and loving and has a great sense of humour and fun. Most people including professionals comment that he doesn't have a lot of the classic traits but his speech is the give away, delayed, echolalic and often out of context.

DaveMccave Thu 11-Oct-12 20:51:08

Thank you for the quick replies. Your right, they are all so different and I am trying to keep that in mind. I work at a play scheme for children with additional needs, most as/asd and no two are alike. My brother has HF AS, and is the classic obsessional, introverted, sensory issues etc which is what I always think of. That's another thing, my DD doesn't have any sensory issues which I think is unusual for asd. Although I do wonder if she is in fact hypo sensitive so it's not as obvious. She is always LOUD, and has to climb things and touch things, and will wear any clothes, and often doesn't notice cuts or shoes that are rubbing. Will eat almost anything and has never complained about any texture she doesn't like with food etc

She shouts out to teenagers too lisad123, if anyone rides past on a bike she will shout 'I have a bicycle! I HAVE A BICYCLE TOO!! And it's pink and has sparkles! We BOTH have bicycles!' and it's awkward because they can't really stop whilst they are riding, but she seems not to even notice that they haven't caught a word.

The awkwardness about the talking to strangers is she can be so random. They might ask how old she is, and she'll say '5 today, and I had a picachu, but I went to gullivers, and I didn't know, and then I lost it when we were in the museum in london with the toys' (and what she means is she was 5, 6 months a go, got a pokemon toy for her birthday, and she went to gullivers as a surprise birthday trip and didn't know 'til we got there where we were going, and a month or so later we went to a toy museum in London where she lost it.) I can't help thinking this kind of conversation is cute at 2, but she should be easier to follow by now? But maybe it's completely the norm for excitable 5 year olds?

bialystockandbloom Thu 11-Oct-12 21:00:50

Sorry, hijack, but lisa you must have seriously struggled not to laugh at that grin (though hope the teenager in question didn't hear, of course!)

lisad123 Thu 11-Oct-12 21:03:11

He did and I tried really hard not to laugh. She also tells them off for riding on the path, one of them took the Micky outbid her voice the other day so she yelled at him too blush
She tells people off for smoking, making a mess and told my friend "leave him alone your very mean" when my friend told her son off!! grin

DaveMccave Thu 11-Oct-12 21:13:36

I have had many of those embarrassing moments. There are so many hilarious and embarrassing moments I write them down. A recent:

Mummy, in year one, there is a teacher who's really really really really fat. And she's not even got a baby in her tummy.

Oh...? how do you know she's not pregnant. Please tell me you didn't ask...

Well, I saw her eat allllll the dinner in the cafeteria. AND she ate some of my packed lunch.

Don't tell fibs. And it's not nice to talk about someone who is fat, they would be sad if they heard you.

Oh ok. She's not fat. ....she's a porker. And I asked her.

DrWhoExterminatesMyBrain Thu 11-Oct-12 21:42:42

Op my ds is not diagnosed and i presume not ASD probably for the same reasons you are saying, but i have very often wondered. He is 6 and has sensory seeking issues and he is VERY extrovert. Ds appears to be the biggest attention seeker ever he wants constant attention from anyone hes around friends, family he will climb over and want constant attention, neighbours he will approach and annoy, people he dosnt know if say me or dh know in passing or checkout operators etc he will start telling them all about himself and when we are out of the house he needs to be constantly engaged or he runs wild, touches everything, spins about, makes demands, disobeys etc, never had seperation anxiety he literally couldnt care. Hyper and disobedient are words that would be used to describe him. Like you ive had people tell me that something is amiss and others say that hes a normal boy and i have no idea who is right.

As well as the above to give you an idea of other issues we have. Ds wants friends but he seems to think everyone is his friend even if its clear they dont want to play with him. When he plays he is very bossy and wants everything his way. He wont be told that he cant do anything he thinks hes great at things he clearly cant do eg ride a bike (he insists to us he can do it properly because he manged to peddle forward with me steering and stabalisers) he always wants to win, he has little genuine interests never really played with toys as a toddler, unless they were someone elses! LOVES dr who watches approx 3 repeat episodes per day for last 3ish years but retains NO information from them. If a 'friend' though says they like something he insists he does too even if hes never heard of it! he always wants to match up and copy people. Hes very emotional, cries alot and likes his own way. He is obsessed with the time and how long until something happens, how many minutes etc, he is obsessed with food and talks about little else

there is lots more but i dont want to bore you to death lol just wanted to give you an idea of how confusing it can all be when things dont seem to tick boxes for anything.

Ineedalife Thu 11-Oct-12 21:43:01

My Dd1 is very extrovert, very loud, very bubbly. No social graces and used to embarrass me all the time when she was little. She has no dx but I believe she has ASD and ADHD.

Dd3 has Aspergers and is both extrovert and introvert if that is possible, she would talk to anyone when she was younger but is becoming more aware now.

When we first went to CAMHS the MH nurse asked me if she would be likely to embarrass me on a bus. I said "Take her on a bus, you have to be kidding!!"grin

She suffers from terrible separation anxiety though which Dd1 never did.

DaveMccave Thu 11-Oct-12 21:54:27

Drwhoexterminatesmybrain- I think your DS and my DD were seperated at birth. You could have just described her in every way, except she does like to play with her toys, but will play with anything, bits of string, stones, shells. She mostly spends her whole time drawing, she used to be quite ahead with it, but seems to be about average now. She insists she can 'bicycle' as she says too, although she can just about manage stabilisers with me helping. Whenever I try to tell her about something she couldn't possible know, she usually replies with 'yeah I already knew that'. She doesn't have any concept of time or days though. She still doesn't know the difference between yesterday, today or next week, but other parents of NT 5 year olds tell me theirs are the same in that respect.

Ineedalife-oh god! Buses! I can guarantee she will embarrass me on a bus. She tends to wander over to the back whilst I am buying tickets and sits next to someone and starts chatting and doesn't shut up. Everyone looks up to listen, they looked delighted with the entertainment (mostly, some oldies completely ignore her! not that that stops her) but I am quite an introvert and find it mortifying.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Thu 11-Oct-12 22:01:19

My DS is pretty extrovert, well, not friendly at all but very smiley and noisy. He's also hypo sensitive, bouncy and flappy. He's currently pacing up and down the hallway muttering happily to himself about some PC game or other. He's very atypical of the classic Aspie, but was still DXed at 3 due to eye contact issues, delayed speech, echolalia, hypo sensitivity, lack of empathy, very self directed, strange toned voice, lack of imaginative play, repetitive play, etc etc.

DrWhoExterminatesMyBrain Thu 11-Oct-12 22:09:31

Oh really can be good to know im not alone with ds sometimes it feels like everyone else i know has it so easy, im sure we can both share the feeling of exhaustion too.

Hmm well ds is the same in that he will fiddle with anything and everything and to him i suppose he is playing (he usually makes noises like oooh oooh, bang bang) so it can be hard to tell what hes doing. When he was 2/3 he used to just line everything up, a big worry at the time but as he got older he would play with cars (still lines up but now he says its traffic waiting) and dr who toys are playd with but its very samey, when i asked him what he wanted for christmas this year he just repeated last years items back at me. If you give him a toy to play with eg a gun he will play with it and know what to do but once hes figured out how a toy works hes no longer intrested he has boxes of toys he wont touch hes always 'bored' and can amuse himself dosnt even enjoy computer games. He was always destructive and taken his toys apart. Ds does understand days of the week and has a rough idea of time now, he has a watch and so knows when the hands are X then its time but will still continually ask how many minutes more etc if he knows something going to happen by god you will NEVER hear the end of it he will ask and talk about it and need reassurance over and over.

Handywoman Thu 11-Oct-12 22:22:18

Dave I totally know what you mean, my dd2 is 7.5 and awaits formal ASD assessment. This is the second time she has been referred! Your dd sounds very much like mine, she is incredibly sociable, and asks to go to after school club on the days when she doesn't need to, but her conversational skills are rooobish. This is especially evident with adults: she will answer a question, but potentially not the one you asked! She also lacks 'cognitive empathy' and will explode with rage and disgust if you don't prepare her meal a certain way, yet completely ok with changes of routine. She is very inflexible about 'rules' and impossible to correct about anything. Her language was once severely delayed, but now normal except for non-literal language which is on the 1st centile. Is she on the spectrum or is she just eccentric? Who knows?!!! We will find out in July when she is assessed! The wait is absolute torture! You have my sympathy. It is nice to hear I am not alone.
Handy xxx

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Thu 11-Oct-12 22:27:52

My son is 10 and is ASD and will introduce himself to children in the park, will join in people's conversations in the supermarket, etc. Not shy in the slightest.

used2bthin Thu 11-Oct-12 22:37:02

My dd who is six has severely disordered language and so its been hard to work out what she is thinking, she is definately an extrovert too so its really since her sensory issues have become apparent and her development has caught up enough for her to let us know what she wants that it looks more like she has autism-we are waiting for assessment and I would be very surprised now if we don't get an autism and adhd diagnosis tbh.

She would shout at people in the street too, and also can be the first on the dance floor at parties but its like she doesn't care what people think because it doesn't occur to her! She is also at times extremely obsessive and at others almost unusually adaptable. Also her sensory issues are more sensory seeking so she will eat sand, run into the wall, jump off the sofa screeching. I am quite quiet really so find it exhausting!

bochead Thu 11-Oct-12 22:50:59

DS didn't get his diagnosis till 8. Part of the reason I think for this is that he's an extrovert - though his interactions are quirky. He has a desperate desire to be in the thick of things socially, even if it's often just too much for him iyswim.

Best description I've ever heard is from my Somalian elderly neighbour - she calls him "the health and saftey inspector" & oh he is! His logic is so rule based that it either makes his behavior incredibly easy to manage or virtually impossible (depending on context) once the sensory issues are removed. He also has NO sense of social hierarchy whatsoever, which has managed to seriously offend several teachers/general public at various points. as he insists on telling it like it is to ANYONE. I'm naturally cheeky, but DS's ASD means life gets plain "odd" at times. He does care about those around him and has a VERY protective streak.

A day in the life of mini-boc to illustrate my point.

He got worried about one of his friends wanting a pair of sketchers shoes. He thought they were alive (& that thought scared him) cos he'd seen an advert saying the fabric breathes. In his head the shoes make a sound like that of a badly bred British Bull Dog. These wonderful revelations were made on Tuesday's school run as he earnestly tried to explain to his friends Mum why she should never ever give into her son's request for sketchers shoes (much to his mates increasing annoyance and his mother's total bemusement).

I'm not even gonna get into the comments he's made to random members of the public on the bus over the years.

DaveMccave Thu 11-Oct-12 22:51:59

I've just looked up sensory seeking behavior, and perhaps I was naive to think she didn't have any sensory issues
•Splashing in mud, seeking dirty types of play yes
•Dumping toy bins rummaging through them aimlessly yes
•Chewing on inedible objects or shirt collar yes, she chews her finger and sucks her top lip and sleeves
•Rubbing against walls or furniture and bumping into people yes, especially the wilfull bumping into people, jumping on my back etc. She ran up to a stranger and stroked their coat the other day, because it was furry
•Loves spinning in circles, amusement rides, and is constantly moving yes, and I have never known a child to get so excited about fast fairground rides and she loved to be thrown around and spun particularly as an infant
•Fidgets, has difficulty sitting still and takes bold risks yes, she also does this very embarrassing shaking of her legs on certain plastic chairs because she says it tickles her tummy and bottom, in public, and becomes furious when I make her stop
•Frequently wants bear hugs and vigorous playground activities yes
•Seeks visually stimulating screens, shiny objects, strobe lights, or sunlight – may want to watch endless TV or constantly play video games yes, particularly shiny things. Her teacher last year was particularly concerned about her 'unusual affinity for shiny objects' and said it was the main reason for her being distracted through the day-scavenging for bits of tinsel or glitter etc. She has the nickname Maggie magpie
•Loves loud noises, TV or music volume, crowds and places with lots of action she gets over excited in crowds, doesn't usually like loud music
•Problems sleeping yes, nightmare. Takes her several hours to fall asleep
• Enjoys strong odors, even unattractive ones doesn't seem to notice smells
•May lick or taste inedible objects and prefers spicy or hot foods yes, I have a salt rock lamp which I've had to put away as she insisted on licking it
•Frequently attempt to engage in rough play, such as wrestling just generally jumping on me and people

She ate sand until she was about 3 or 4 too, which people used to be horrified at at playgroups.

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