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I'm more sure than ever that DD2 needs assessment.

(39 Posts)
Lougle Mon 12-Nov-12 12:07:32

DD2 has been off school since half-term with a virus. I took her to the GP (OOH) yesterday and she was given antibiotics.

We were talking about school today, and she said that she doesn't like school. She said that friends were tricky, because children always want to follow her around at play time, and all she wants to do is drink because she is thirsty.

She worries about lunchtime because all she likes for dinner is macaroni cheese, and they might not have macaroni cheese (this is odd, because she's a real foodie and likes pretty much everything, but I guess it's a consistency thing).

She also said that she doesn't like school any more because her new classroom is different and it looks different and everything is in the wrong place sad

silverfrog Mon 12-Nov-12 12:22:35

lougle, if it helps at all, we are coming to the same conclusion with our dd2.

all fine (apparently) according to her teacher, however I look at dd2 at work/play while in school and get a very different picture.

her teacher sees her playing with group of children. I look that little bit closer and see her playing (entirely on her own, inc talking to herself) very close to the group of children.

her teacher is impressed that she can do XYZ in class. I know she can actually do more, but will not volunteer this information as she is terrified of being wrong/doing wrong - she cannot cope with the idea of failure at all, whether that is her getting an answer wrong, or the fact that dd1 was better behaved when having her hair washed (yes, really!)

she is yet again getting hysterical at the thought of the things she cannot do in school - which, given her recent report was all 'is working consistently across the board at least two years ahead of her chronological age' is just very sad, tbh. she is constantly praised for trying, not achieving, yet she is still petrified of failure, while actually being ahead for her age. she cannot cope with us even praising dd1 for what (to dd2) is an incredibly minor achievement, without saying 'but I can do that too!' and floods of tears because we think that she (dd2) is not as good/clever/whatever.

we too, after a half term where it became clear she was struggling with some social aspects of school, are now thinking we need to get her in the system, to have that piece of paper for when the situation at school hits crisis (if it does, but it looks likely if they continue to not see her issues).

she is a dream in the classroom - highly organised, follows the rules, remembers everythig she needs to, etc etc. but I fear for when she leaves KS1, and the work gets harder, and the demands mean she is using more and more energy to just 'get by' - I worry she will not cope well at all.

Lougle Mon 12-Nov-12 12:39:10

silverfrog, it does help. It really does. I am so hard on DD2. I think in my mind that I saw DD1 as the 'SN one' and DD2 as my 'NT one' (even the blush emoticon doesn't cover the shame I feel, it feels too trite to type it). Tbh, I could never understand the stuff around 'imaginative play'. Then, DD3 was born, and suddenly we're thinking 'ooooh that's what imaginative play is...'

DD2 has never drawn us an imaginative picture, you know. Any picture she draws is something that she has experienced herself. DD3 came up to me last week and said 'here you go Mummy, I've drawn you a picture. It's a shop that sells strawberries and beans.' My jaw dropped. Of course DD3 has been to shops with strawberries and beans, but the fact that she thought 'I'll draw a picture' then chose something so abstract blew my mind.

I, too, understand the 'playing alongside' thing. I once dropped DD3 off at preschool, and just happened to look across the playground. There was a group of girls playing, and Jasmine, just slightly off to one side, watching, sucking her hand.

I worry that she's going to struggle once concepts are more abstract, when more independent thought is needed, when inference is used. She needs explicit explanations, including explanations of when the rule doesn't work, and what she can do in that situation.

silverfrog Mon 12-Nov-12 13:18:59

oh, dh and I were just talking last night about how we are (unintentionally, and mostly completely obliviously blush blush) too hard on dd2.

she, as you say, is not 'the SN one'. so she should just walk nicely/behave/whatever (normal 5 year old behaviour aside, naturally), and we are, at times, quite abrupt when she doesn't/isn't.

she is, on the one hand, so very very capable that it is frightening. yet on the other hand she is so naive and vulnerable that is it equally terrifying, tbh. there is no middle ground with her.

we are going to run into trouble (with lay people) because dd2's imagination (eg story writing) appears quite good. I would lay money on 90% of it being cleverly regurgitated descriptions from memory - time will tell. likewise, her teacher has already told me that she 'plays imagination games nicely - she was playing at being fairies today'.

yes, she probably was. and yes, it will have been with a few friends. but I bet that dd2's part was quite heavily scripted, and virtually the same as last time they played fairies. and I know that she wasn't happy with one of the girls wanting to change/adapt the game slightly. she has learned how to 'do' imaginative play, to an extent. and on a good day can extend/stretch that. but it does not come naturally, and she opts out a lot of the time, and certainly cannot join in with another group's game easily, or willingly.

Lougle Mon 12-Nov-12 14:28:38

You know, silverfrog, I wish I lived near you! We could have a coffee together and see each other's DD2s and say 'yep, you're not wrong!' or something grin

DD2 said today, that if she is pretending to be like Mrs Trunchball from Matilda (her latest obsession, thank goodness she's moved on from 101 Dalmatians) then the children might think she actually is Mrs Trunchball and that isn't good. But she doesn't mind if other children want to pretend to be someone else, because she'll know it's pretend.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 12-Nov-12 15:42:31

Lougle YOu know your dd2 sounds like she could be alright. That she could learn whatever social rules she needs to get by and that she could achieve highly. But I don't think she'll do it on her own, or incidently. If you can get her the right help you probably don't have to worry about her, but I think you do need to act soon.

Lougle Mon 12-Nov-12 15:51:46

I see exactly what you're saying Star. I don't think she's going to need 'care' as an adult by any means. I think what she is going to need is understanding and extra explanations/tolerances so that her anxiety doesn't ramp up and she can function.

silverfrog Mon 12-Nov-12 17:28:11

are you very far away, lougle? maybe we could do a halfway meet in the holidays <clueless as to where anyone is>

it would be interesting to chat about other people's perceptions of borderline/less obvious ASD traits.

dd2 doesn't like pretending to be other people in case everyone thinks she is really like that. and doesn't understand even obvious teasing/wind ups - eg last week she was playing 'creep up on daddy' - cue huge pantomime gestures and stifled giggling and then leaping out and shouting 'boo!' dh always endures this well, and then on the 5th or 6th attempt surprises ehr back by startlign her before she creeps up on him - she loves it, and roars with laughter. I was having a lie-in in ds' room, and she kept running in to me laughing and telling me daddy was making her jump etc. so I said 'oh yes, that daddy, he's such a meanie', laughing, completely in the middle of the game etc - and she suddenly got all serious, and was really upset that I thought dh was mean, and was at great pains to list all the reasons why dh isn't mean, and how he is nice really but just playing a game, etc. hmm. that was one of the real penny-dropping moments for dh and I - how, at the age of nearly 6, she still doesn't really get jokes, or games, or teasing, even within the family - god only knows hows she survives in the playground where no one is making allowances for her.

ArthurPewty Mon 12-Nov-12 17:42:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

porridgelover Mon 12-Nov-12 17:57:50

Lougle, silverfrog, can I join please as I have very similar worries about DD1.
DS is already confirmed as HFA/Aspergers and I am now pursuing about DD1 also.

Like you, when I spoke to school they see nothing; 'she socialises well'. What I see is a little girl who adopts a submissive posture when approaching the group, who latches on to the new girl in class (who has no 'clique' yet), who watches intently to try to catch the rules. She gave up on Dora at age 7 'cos everyone thinks its babyish' even though that's the level she likes.
She comes home from school and has the most amazing tantrums, almost a complete meltdown daily.
This weekend I really realised that she is struggling as we watched Mr Bean. She seemed to laugh appropriately....but she was prompted by the sound track- when I asked, she just did not know why it's funny.
And School Principal had spoken to her class on Friday about an event....she followed what Principal said to the letter.

Silverfrog....your first post is a copy of my DD.
She is at the top tier for her class. Her language is assessed as way ahead of her age. But it doesnt reassure me....

I am heartbroken for her as I think she has been struggling quite badly without my realising.

Who would you suggest is the best person to see the nuances of her behaviour? I took her to a SALT who was fooled by the compliance as far as I can see. School see a child who is academically excellent and to my mind want to see no further. The Psychologist who diagnosed DS was good so prob back there?

ArthurPewty Mon 12-Nov-12 19:41:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheLightPassenger Mon 12-Nov-12 19:47:36

watching this thread with interest, I have a DS whose DX was only ever language delay with autistic traits, and who presents similarly to the girls described here. That bit you were describing re:meanie and not realising about jokes is rather like me as a child and TBH as an adult blush

justaboutchilledout Mon 12-Nov-12 19:48:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justaboutchilledout Mon 12-Nov-12 19:52:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lougle Mon 12-Nov-12 20:19:01

Reading Justa's thread now, will pop back here after smile

Lougle Mon 12-Nov-12 20:54:40

Ok, back smile

Silverfrog - I live near Southampton.

Regarding jokes, today was classic. Dad was trying to teach DD2 how to use a yo-yo. He was motioning with his hand and saying 'up, up, up'. DD1 joined in, and it seemed quite funny, so we all joined in. DD2 said 'if you say 'up up up' again, I'll go into another room.' DD1 found it all hilarious, and when DD2 started trying to yo-yo again, we said 'up, up, up' blush In fairness, she had seemed to be enjoying it, and joking.

DD2 stormed out of the room, then came back in shouting at us about how mean we were, how we were not kind, etc. I explained that we were joking with her, and she was just so tearful, saying 'you weren't, you weren't! You weren't, you were just unkind to me. I don't believe you.'

She can't take any sort of joke.

Yet, she was able to make a joke that she'd make a 'Grandad Jelly' she obviously can 'pretend' confused

Leonie, thank you!

Porridgelover, come on in.

Justa, I know exactly what you mean. When I met DS1, it seemed obvious to me that you were justified in your concerns, yet you seemed so conflicted. I understand that now!!

mariammma Mon 12-Nov-12 21:13:23


mariammma Mon 12-Nov-12 21:14:45

anyone got a NT girl who is like this?
I don't know what 'normal' is really, so it's a b****r looking for it....

mariammma Mon 12-Nov-12 21:20:31


Lougle Mon 12-Nov-12 21:21:11

I can't answer that, mariammma.

What I do know, is that I have a nearly 7 year old who goes to special school, who seems to be more advanced socially than my 5 year old 'NT child'. Then I have DD3, who at 3.6 is light years ahead of both of the other two sad

mariammma Mon 12-Nov-12 21:23:19

atm i'm struggling to find any close family member i could confidently say isn't firmly on the spectrum. I'm either imaging things big-time, or the genetics is much stronger than i thought...

Lougle Mon 12-Nov-12 21:30:09

My DH and I laugh every time we look at ASD questionnaires for DD2, because he starts nodding along to questions, knowing that he scores soo highly every time grin

porridgelover Mon 12-Nov-12 22:50:20

Leonie your comment has sent chills down my spine. I emailed the Psychologist to ask for an appointment.
I feel so disheartened....with my poor DS, it was so obvious to me from about 3 months that he had lots of issues. DD1 was/is my NT one who was (I thought) managing fine. I bonded with her so strongly, I adore her.
And I feel so sad for her, that she has to face life with this on top of everything else.
For every issue that you all mention above, I nod my head in recognition.

Am gutted TBH. Even in the absence of a professional opinion, I know this is what is going on for her.

I think I may be over-identifying a bit too. Since DS has been diagnosed, I have realised that I am prob on the spectrum too. I struggled big-time with social skills, play, groups, understanding what goes on unspoken between people. I ended up in a severely abusive relationship. I'm not playing the violins for myself but I did not want that for her. Sob.

porridgelover Mon 12-Nov-12 22:53:54

Sooooo if following an assessment, DD1 is also autistic; what then? What is the approach to use? Is it more of the skills groups? Teaching emotions?
Any advice?
DS seems easier to me as his difficulties are so obvious. He has big sensory problems, big gross and fine motor stuff. I dont know where to start with her.

Lougle Mon 12-Nov-12 22:54:04

porridgelover, if it's any consolation, I said exactly that to DD1's carer today. I struggled socially at school (badly) and said tonight 'I did not want that for DD2'. It hurts, doesn't it? I feel offended that the teacher at school thinks DD2 is just being 'quirky', even though she likes her 'quirkiness', because I think 'wait a minute...there's more than quirkiness, and DD2 is going to unravel.'

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