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3 year old with some issues - guidance requested

(6 Posts)
jwpetal Sat 23-Mar-13 18:36:17

This is my first time posting and sorry for the length but not sure what to and not to say. My ds2 is 3 year old twin (1) born at 29 + 5 with a level 4 brain heamorrage. She had seizures as a baby and was on medication for her first year. Considering this, she has been progressing well. She still has speech and is under pediatric care but these appointments are few and far between. I have a few concerns to the point that I started researching the possibility of autism/aspergers. I looked at the national autism website and I don't think she fits this but I could be wrong.

1. her speech is delayed with issues with language recall and expressing herself. 2. She has massive tantrums that can be combined with hitting and biting though this happens without the tantrum also. their is no reasoning or understanding in the tantrum - like a trance. 3. She likes routine - I can break the routine from time to time, but at some point - I am learning to read her - it is too much and she goes into a tantrum or becomes unreasonable ie hitting/biting her siblings. when I ask her why she has done it she says she doesnt' know - yes I know she is 3. I have found that I am saying no to things or changing our life so that her routine is not shaken. 4. she can make eye contact with us but she can also just 'blank' us. she fixes her eyes and it is like a person is not there. 5. social interaction is mixed. she plays with her siblings, but at nursery she stays with a teacher and "just observes". 6. it took a year and half for not to cry at the school grounds when I took her brother to school (hypersensitiviy??).

a couple of parents have asked if she has autism hence why i researched it. Does any of this sound familiar or am I paranoid parent with a prem child who is completely normal but different from her siblings???? I appreciate any help/advice/comments.

zzzzz Sat 23-Mar-13 19:03:33

Is she on any medication now? If no how long since he came off.
Does she have any seizures now?

Speech delay, does she understand under/over/on/behind, can she use verbs, pronouns, ask and answer who, where, why questions?

When she "blanks" you can you get her attention, distract her?

jwpetal Sun 24-Mar-13 08:36:28

she is not on medication. it has been 2 years since her withdrawals and I have not seen any seizures since then.

She struggles with under/over/on/behind but can use verbs, pronouns. She really struggles with finding a word. this may be a weak example but she recognises when colours match but cannot say what colour they are. You can see she is tryint to think of the word but just doesn't get it. It is difficult with a twin but her sister can say the colours and match them.

When she 'blanks' it is like she is staring into space and once the attention to her is removed she comes back again. It is almost like I don't see you so I don't have to recognise/respond to you. I was listening to a radio programme and there was the author the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and he mentioned something similar.

zzzzz Sun 24-Mar-13 10:33:10

One of my ds has a language disorder (+?) and is 8 and a twin, and one of my dd has epilepsy, so your post caught my attention!

The blanking could be a absence seizures and given her history of epilepsy should be investigated even if just to rule it out. Absence seizures are strongly linked to language delay/disorder and can be masked by other behaviour.

Word finding difficulties also often make children pause/blank. It might be useful to read about auditory processing, and visual processing disorders.

My child with epilepsy is much more volatile than her siblings and much more overwhelmed by school etc.

If you have iPad the buddybear apps which are aimed at children with ASD are very good for on/in/behind etc. and will help firm up those concepts.

Nothing you have written screams ASD at me, but of course I haven't met her! I would say that if you aren't seeing one, SALT assessment and input might help you both make your lives a little easier as your description does sound like there my be things that can be put in place to help.

Beware the endless "you mustn't compare them" as frankly if you think there is an issue there probably is. I feel the twin thing just allowed people to dismiss my concerns for longer. It does however give you the perfect response to "you need to interact with him more" type messages, as even the most die hard idiot can't imagine you could starve one of language and not the other.

jwpetal Tue 26-Mar-13 16:05:03

thank you for your response. That was very helpful and I will look into the auditory and visual processing issue. We just got another appointment for speech in a couple of weeks so it will be good to discuss with them.

Very good appointment at the end. I have questioned that also. It isn't like I ignore her! She is just more quiet and doesn't talk as much.

We have been worried about school and have requested a delay in starting reception to 2014 - they were born 10 weeks early on 23 August and had a very difficult 2 years of life. They are both socially and emotionally delayed and the speech issue does not help. The council is considering our request but that is another story.

thanks again for your help.

MummytoMog Tue 26-Mar-13 17:32:39

The poor summer borns have a rough time of it - my DD is 25th August, and is still the youngest in her nursery class as they had no intake in January. She's not just the youngest by a couple of weeks either, there's four months between her and the next youngest, and although she is socially delayed along with her language delay, it doesn't help that most of the class is nearly a year older than her. We considered delaying reception, but her nursery teacher is really keen to get her there - we wouldn't get that year back iykwim, we would still have to send her to Y1 in 2015. She does sound a bit like my DD. Autism is often suggested as a diagnosis for DD (although your DD's speech sound more advanced) but our private therapist thinks otherwise. DD has also developed some amazing routine based tantrums (she is very precious about bedtime and bedtime stories) but we've been having a bit of success with the tantrums with the techniques in the book 123 Magic. DD drops out of touch with the world a bit, used to do it more, does it less since she started talking more. I think it's when she's having to really concentrate, either on sensory input, or working out what she wants to do/say.

FWIW she was forceps and starved of oxygen during delivery, but scans and tests clear in SCBU.

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