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(41 Posts)
Lougle Fri 09-Nov-12 14:01:08

DD2 is 5.3. She's 'quirky' and 'individual'.

She got really very cross with me today. I need insights as to why.


Background - DD2 has been off all week with a bug. DD3 insisted on going to montessori despite having a temperature of 38.5 degrees. Checked with montessori, who were happy to have her as everyone seems to have had it/has got it, so no point in staying away. When DD3 came out of preschool, we walked to the shop and were on our way home.

Incident - DD3 coughed repeatedly.

Me: 'Oh DD3, you really aren't feeling well, are you?'

DD2 (really cross): 'Why are you saying that I'm not poorly???? I am!'

Me: 'I didn't tell you that you aren't poorly, DD2.'

DD2: Yes you did! Yes you did! Yes you did!!!

Me: DD2, I really didn't say you aren't poorly.

DD2: Yes you did, I heard you! You said 'DD3, you really aren't feeling well are you, and I am not!'

Me: 'But DD2, of course I said DD3, you really aren't feeling well are you, because I was speaking to DD3.'

DD2: But why did you say I'm not poorly, when I am?

Me: DD2, I wasn't talking to you, sweetheart. I was talking to DD3, and I know that you are poorly, because I've been with you all day, but DD2 has been at Montessori.

DD2: Well I am poorly.

Me: I know that, DD2. Do you understand now that I was talking to DD3?

DD2: Well I do now because you told me about it!!

Help me unpick it, please. I know there is something not quite right there. I know it. People are telling me she's just 'August-born', but there is something in the way she's hearing or processing the language, I'm sure of it. This is typical of her - she gets so distressed because she hears something different to what is being said.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Nov-12 14:03:50

Lougle That is more than August-born if it it is just one of many examples.

Has she had a recent hearing test?

zzzzz Fri 09-Nov-12 14:15:45

The statement

"XXX, you really aren't feeling well, are you?" is very complex if language is weak.

If "you" said by some one else means " me " to your daughter, it becomes a statement about her.

You go on to say "aren't" and then "are" with a "really" that seems to mean something more definite, but is about not feeling something that is actually being felt. Clear as mud eh? wink

Next time, just say, "oh sorry, let me make it clearer, I think dd3 feels sick".

When we are ill deficits are often more noticeable. I would want her language assessed.

Lougle Fri 09-Nov-12 14:33:13

She passed her Reception hearing test.

I tried whispering her name very quietly while we were walking home, and she said 'what?' so I think she's hearing the words ok.

However, very, very often, she says 'what?' with a screwed up face when I talk to her. I'm not sure if it is inattention, or that she doesn't understand what I'm saying?

I'm confused, because I don't know what a normal 5 year old is like. But if I give you a list, tell me what you think:

(I did the CHAT test yesterday with DH, for her. She scored 20/30 when I did it alone. 22/30 when I did it with DH (I was soft on a couple of questions when I did it alone, because I felt so mean blush) The site I was on said a cutt off of 15/30 was 'highly likely to have an ASD')

-No real friends. Quite a lot of people she calls a friend, and children say hi, but she only interacts on her own terms. A friend came for play and DD2 came downstairs and put 101 Dalmations on while DD3 entertained her friend (I swiftly instructed DD2 to go back upstairs and play, but she thought I was quite, quite unreasonable!).

-School teacher says that it isn't that children don't want to be friends with DD2, but that she doesn't seem to know how to break into friendships. She'll see a group of girls colouring, so she'll sit down on the same table and start colouring, but doesn't talk or say hi, etc.

-If she needs to go into the classroom and other children are blocking the door, she will just push her way through them. She doesn't say 'excuse me', 'I need to go inside', or even 'out of my way' - she just pushes past, no eye contact, no interaction.

-If people say hello to her, I have to prompt a response. Otherwise, she'll just blank them, often not even acknowledging that she's heard their greeting. For example, DD3's teacher said hello to DD2 when we took her to Montessori. DD2 just walked straight past her. I had to call her back, quietly say 'eye contact, DD2, say hello' and the teacher had to crouch down to engage DD2 in conversation.

-DD2 gets quite chanty with new words. For example, DD1's carer said she was 'bone idle' and DD2 was chanting all afternoon 'bone idle, bone idle, bone idle, bone idle....have a bone idle partyyy'. Last night, it was 'pepperami, pepperami, pepperami.'

-DD2 always thinks that people know what she's thinking. She often doesn't communicate something, then gets cross that we don't know about it. An example: She wanted to show Mrs K her cartwheel. So she marches into reception, and simply does a cartwheel. Then she was completely bemused as to why Mrs K didn't say 'wow'. I had to explain that Mrs K didn't even know DD2 had come in (she had her back to the area, so hadn't seen us) and that DD2 must say 'Mrs K, look at this'.

-DD2 is very, very, literal. For example, a present came, inside a post box. I told her that Uncle had sent a present for her, and she was excited. DD3 said 'DD2, I wonder what the present is.' and DD2 said 'DD3, it isn't a present, it's a box'. I think this was because at that stage, she hadn't opened the box to reveal the present.

-Rarely manage to have a conversation that we initiate - DD2 derails it by interrupting and talking about something totally different.

-Does give hugs and cuddles, but it seems somewhat non-reciprocal - if she wants a hug, she gives you one, regardless of what you are doing, there's no 'exchange'. She does say I love you, though.

I have to codicile this with the fact that her teacher thinks she's perfectly fine, and that she's just a summer-born child. She sees her as 'quirky' and 'individual' and 'doesn't get led by others' but likes those qualities.

Lougle Fri 09-Nov-12 14:40:03

zzzzz thank you. I think I understand. Perhaps I am not adjusting very well. DD1 is obviously quite language delayed/disordered, but would seem to understand that phrase (probably because she wouldn't understand it, but would pick up on the tone of voice, put two and two together). She would also say 'Me??' if she was confused. So she would check that I meant her. Easily corrected with 'No, DD1, I meant DD3.'

DD2 is meant to be NT, meant to be doing well with language. Meant to be doing well in every area. Yet, she doesn't seem to be able to pick up on these subtleties, often thinks something is about her, even if it isn't. For example, if I say 'who would like Shreddies?' DD1 won't say anything, because she doesn't want Shreddies. DD3 will say 'Me' because she does want Shreddies. DD2 will say 'I don't!!' because she hasn't realised that the question is an affirmative one, she just hears 'shreddies' and thinks 'no thanks!!'.

DD3 is very well advanced in most areas, I think, or at least compared to DDs 1&2. She is 3.6 and uses quite complex language herself, with full articulation, correct grammar, tenses, the works.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Nov-12 14:41:37

Oh Lougle. You must have seen this played out close to a hundred times on here. Impossible for us to say what is going on, but easy to suggest you have nough in your post to go and get an investigation underway.

Difference between what the home and the school observe is also something that comes up a lot. If she is borderline with difficulties then getting some additional support and help early could give her the boost she might need, or flag her up for the future.

If you do nothing, your 'instinct' and feelings won't go away, - you'll just do what you are going do but later but with less time to help her if she needs it. She may well not need support now, but she might need intervention now in order to reduce her need for support in the future iyswim.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Nov-12 14:42:56

And LOL at your shreddies example! smile It sounds like a lot of fun in your house wink

DameMargotFountain Fri 09-Nov-12 14:42:59

Lougle, she sounds very much like my own DD

but also have to add, alongside Star that we can't say what is going on....

Lougle Fri 09-Nov-12 14:55:07

Arrgh you're right. I think I'm worried that we'll get referred to DD1's Paed, and that he'll think I'm just trying to shove a label on her.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Nov-12 14:56:37

Is it a legitimate worry? If so, could you ask for a referral to a different paed?

Lougle Fri 09-Nov-12 15:01:34

I'm not sure, Star. I don't know if I know anything, these days. I know that DD1's paed is the one with a specialist interest in Autism and Neurodisability, so I guess he might be the natural choice.

I'll make an appointment with the GP, I think.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Nov-12 15:05:47

If the paed is any good then they will have the expertise that means recognising the conditions that can and do run in families. If there are concerns, you won't be the first family they have seen where they know more than one child.

Lougle Fri 09-Nov-12 15:13:19

True. Isn't it crazy that I, after 4 years in the 'system', still need someone to say 'do it'?? We forget how much harder it is for people who haven't been in the system to do it.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Nov-12 15:22:56

Well do it! smile

Have you made a list from the CHAT questionnaire and dyspraxia symptoms etc. of things that concern you with real life examples? Your GP will 'probably' take you seriously due to your other dd but it helps clarify your thinking and will be useful when you get the referral.

Lougle Fri 09-Nov-12 15:25:59

I've done it. Or at least, I have the GP phoning me this afternoon after surgery to discuss getting referred. I really don't want to have to take DD2 in and discuss it in front of her, yet. She's 5, with no learning disability, so she'll be completely aware of what we're saying, and she'll think I'm talking about her. Which of course, I will be confused

zzzzz Fri 09-Nov-12 15:41:49

If you or the school have the "language for thinking" book, you could run throu the assessment with her. It might highlight if there are subtle language difficulties.

Lougle Fri 09-Nov-12 16:40:29

Thanks, zzzzz, I'll look it up.

This is a classic example:

DD3 comes running in crying, with DD2 hot on her heels. DD2 is saying, hysterically, 'sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry I'm sorryy...' DD3 then says 'you're not sorry'.

DD2 looks at me and says 'I accidentally pinched Isla'. I explain that you can't accidently pinch someone (well I know you can, say if you are adjusting some clothing and grab skin as well as clothing...but you know what I mean). DD2 is insistent that she accidently pinched her.

She goes on to rant at me about how she counted to 3 and Isla went and she didn't want her to go and she wanted a go on the scooter.

DD2 just doesn't understand that a) it's not acceptable to hurt your sister if they don't comply with your demands. b) regretting something is not the same as it being an accident.

DameMargotFountain Fri 09-Nov-12 16:59:07

DD accidentally breaks things, she accidentally stands in the way, she accidentally pokes things, she accidentally bangs things until they break...

i take it to mean she didn't realise there would be a consequence to her it's an 'accident'

zzzzz Fri 09-Nov-12 17:07:18

She's devised her own definition of "accident", probably based on countless examples where someone is hurt and must forgive the person who hurt them because it was an "accident". So she feels her sister hasn't understood the rules.

The positive of this is that she's obviously very bright, of course the flip side of that is "bright child who has developed own rules and definitions" is bloody hard to shift from what they "know" to be true.

Play a game "accident, not an accident". Explain what an accident is. Tell them a short story the funnier and more outrageous the better. They have to shout out "Accident" or "not an accident"

Example, Daddy was walking along the road, dd had dropped a banana skin on the floor, Daddy slipped on the banana skin fell down the stairs and landed in a bucket of tomatoe soup......accident or not accident?

Example, Daddy was sleeping peacefully on the sofa minding his own business, when a pesky little dd snuck up and emptied a bucket of tomatoe soup over his head....accident or not accident?

We play this kind of game while we eat because everyone is there (and also because my children take ages to eat and I've bored). Slowly make the stories more complicated and pertinent.

zzzzz Fri 09-Nov-12 17:10:29

I'm bored...sorry said children driving me potty

Lougle Fri 09-Nov-12 17:24:09


Yes, she is bright. That is one of the issues, I think. Her teacher says 'she can do it when I get her to concentrate'. But I know that she is really very smart. She is the youngest child in Yr 1, but she is well able. My concern is that her ability is masked by these issues. That when language gets more abstract, she will struggle.

She is so literal, and seems to learn specifically in one context, finding it hard to generalise.


DD2 is the only child who comes out with nothing after school. I say to her 'DD2, you need to bring your water bottle out after school.' After a few days of these reminders, she comes out with water bottle. Then, I said 'DD2, you need to bring your bookbag. Your bookbag.' After a couple of days with this reminder, she brings out water bottle and bookbag. Then, I had to say 'DD2, you need to bring your coat. Your coat.' After a few days, she can bring out her bookbag, coat, and water bottle.

Another example:

DD2 picked up 'Green Eggs and Ham' and started reading it. She managed to read the whole book. Then, she wanted to read it again. And again. And the next day, and the next. When I suggested she read a different book, she said 'I can't, I only know how to read Green Eggs and Ham.' So we had to explain that she can read any book, not just Green Eggs and Ham.

She gets rules, but she doesn't pick up the rules on her own, intuitively. I have to be explicit, but because she is so literal, I have to also explain situations where the rule can be broken. So, for example, if I said 'No telling tales' I have to explain that if there is something dangerous, or terribly bad, she must tell.

In fact, that's a great example of her making up her own rules, zzzzz. She gets so angry if I say 'don't tell tales' because she says 'it's not telling tales, because it's true.' She's decided, somewhere along the line, that a 'tale' is a 'lie'.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Nov-12 17:28:26

'My concern is that her ability is masked by these issues'

Yes, and her ability masks the issues too!

My dad was found severely dyslexic at the age of 60. The person making the dx found him very interesting because his brain had to do all kinds of things in order to cope and present as normal. He was able to present as normal and use amazing compensating strategies because he had a very high IQ. But he didn't achieve all that his IQ could have enabled him to achieve.

Lougle Fri 09-Nov-12 17:30:38

Exactly. It's a flipping minefield. Because she isn't disruptive (ie. deciding to sit on a chair instead of the floor at 5 is 'cute' and 'individual') it's not picked up on. Part of my worry is that as she goes through school, she'll be expected to conform more and more, and I'm not sure she will.

zzzzz Fri 09-Nov-12 17:47:31

I think your worries are real, and should be addressed, but I think teachers on the whole are not great at differentiating for language issues.

She sounds really bright to me, and I think you should persue assessment, but start working on the issues now.

The compensating will mask her difficulties, but it will allow her to access huge parts of life she wouldn't otherwise. That is why manners and behaviour matter so much. Of course we don't REALY give a flying fuck if ds uses his fingers to eat (not least because he is only half European), but he is overtly different already, using his hands widens the gap between him and his peers.

Handywoman Fri 09-Nov-12 17:52:18

Hi Lougle, your dd2 sounds so much like my dd2 (age 7) from the shreddies to the play dates to the 'accidents', to the parcel through the door. In our case it was a 'pass the parcel' because it had wrapping paper on. I think you need a full and competent assessment of her language. Is your other daughter having SaLT? Can you find a GOOD SaLT and get referred to your Paed?
Handy x

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