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Managing questions (anxiety?)

(2 Posts)
amymouse Tue 04-Mar-14 21:19:54

DD is 3.6yo and has some speech delay/unusual speech patterns amongst a few other things. She has been flagged up recently by our paed for possible ASD signs which we are keeping an eye on. Paed advised me to "treat as if we already had an ASD dx" to tackle some things we have issues with. One thing we have a problem with is questions; they seem to induce anxiety within her and she will either physically retreat (break eye contact/hide her face) or seem to 'shut down' where she will not engage at all, answer her name etc. Much of her speech is repeated responses anyway, so I imagine she has trouble forming answers herself?! When I'm with her I try and simplify a lot of language and present either/or choices she seems most comfortable with this. Others speech triggers include if she is asked to say "yes" or "please"; she physically can as will within repeated phrases or in play, but seems to again panic in 'real life'. She can make a non verbal reponse occassionally like nod or sign, but even this can seem to cause problems or take a lot of coaxing. The times we do get verbal responses, she will not meet your eyes whereas normally she will within interaction.

What is a realistic expectation from her? People who don't know her very well assume she is being wilfully naughty ignoring them. Maybe I've got it very wrong (although others have picked upon this) but it does seem a different response from when she is having naughty moments! Should I back off and continue modifying language and ask others, eg. nursery if they are having problems? Or is that only going to not help? We do have SALT but they are very infrequent and spend such little time with her they don't "see" everything. Argh!

Jacksterbear Wed 05-Mar-14 09:17:31

When you say questions, do you mean when you ask her to do something or make a choice about something?

If so, have you read much about the link between anxiety, need to be in control, and demand avoidance?

My DS has a dx of ASD with a PDA (pathalogical demand avoidance) profile - characterised by an anxiety-fuelled need to be in control which causes him to panic/melt down / refuse/ shut down when faced with a demand.

If you think demands are a problem then it would be worth looking at the suggested strategies for managing PDA (not that I'm suggesting PDA is necessarily the right dx but the strategies might still be helpful either way). This series of YouTube videos is a good place to start.

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