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does my daughter have ASD? lightbulb suddenly come on, please help!

(10 Posts)
gingerchick Sun 09-Mar-14 01:33:18

Sorry if this is long
I have a seven year old daughter who I have always felt there was 'something' with, iyswim. When she was a baby she was silent, rarely cried, didn't babble or make any noise. When she was about a year old she started to make a constant whining noise. She was diagnosed with a severe speech disorder at three she only had seven words and didn't speak in sentences til she was nearly five. She wouldnt make any sounds if she was around strangers. She was also still in nappies until she was four and a half because despite lots of attempts to potty train she just couldn't stay dry and is still not dry at night.

I have recently been really struggling with her behaviour. She is very combative and simply does not do what she is told. She doesn't and never had empathy, she doesnt notice if I get angry or if I cry. She is terribly stubborn and I have always felt that I have 'managed' her behaviour but this is more difficult as she gets older and now her younger sister is becoming less biddable.

She gets obsessed with things, a TV character or something from an activity we have done like a train timetable. She will make you repeat something a million times and it had to be in exactly the same way

She will take all her clothes off as soon as she comes home and will only wear certain clothes, no jeans and I have to cut scratchy labels out.

She will not have any cream on her of any description and is very sensitive to textures and washes her hands obsessively. She often has to have food in separate bowls in order to eat it.

She plays on her own most of the time at school and doesn't realise when other children are nasty. She often tells me things her best friend had said which are obviously a lie but won't have it even if it is ridiculous.
She shakes her arms a lot, in excitement and in frustration
She zones out and will ignore you for long periods often until you get up and touch her although her hearing is fine
She overreacts emotionally to things completely out of the blue sometimes
She often cannot tell me why she is upset or angry
She has a real understanding of numbers and is amazing at Maths, she is very bright but will not do her homework or reading even though she adores her teacher
I have been watching videos of her when she was little and she is different and as my younger daughter grows up, she's four the differences have been magnified
I looked up ASD after reading something on here and its like a lightbulb moment and everything finally makes sense, I feel devastated. What do I do now?

adrianna1 Sun 09-Mar-14 04:39:19

Hi

How is her speech now? Its hard to say since she has a severe speech disorder.

You mentioned mainly obsessive/ sensory issues... how is her imaginary play...things like that..

Though, you can go to your doctor..type up a list of your concerns and she can get referred to be assessed.

For some reason..kids who have a delay in speech have some sensory issues.

adrianna1 Sun 09-Mar-14 04:40:41

Hi

How is her speech now? Its hard to say since she has a severe speech disorder.

You mentioned mainly obsessive/ sensory issues... how is her imaginary play...things like that..

Though, you can go to your doctor..type up a list of your concerns and she can get referred to be assessed.

For some reason..kids who have a delay in speech have some sensory issues.

zzzzz Sun 09-Mar-14 04:42:02

While lots of what you describe would concern me, I do think its best to try not to jump to any particular dx as many behaviours/symptoms are common. ( for example language impairment and ASD have a fuzzy overlap that sometimes makes it more difficult to judge the root dx till a child develops).

Who dx'd her with "severe speech disorder"? Was it her speech (pronounciation/sounds) or her language (how the words are put together) that was/is disordered? Was there any discussion at the time of ASD? What do her teachers say? Relatives? Friends?

Given your concerns I would ask (your GP) to refer her to be assessed and they should be able to give you some insight into any problems she is having. Lots of people with ASD live happy loving lives and have extraordinary careers. It helps as a parent to know what support might help.

Try not to panic. No dx will change who she has been all these years, but it might allow you to make some changes to how you tackle her difficulties and make all of your lives easier. There is no reason you can't try some of the techniques used to help children with ASD now and see if they help. Mostly they are just more rigorous parenting anyway.

gingerchick Sun 09-Mar-14 05:00:04

Hi, speech and language therapist DX speech disorder at 3, her problem was initially complete lack of speech then speech sounds,although her speech is a lot better now. She doesn't and never has played on her own always needed adult attention, wouldn't play with other children. This has all come about due to dyspraxia DX, she could fall over from a standing start always spilling, hurting herself but there has always been something and friends and family members have also noticed. We have had a traumatic past her father was violent and lots of issues around that so assumed anger and lack of empathy was maybe that. I just want her to get the help she needs and in my heart of hearts I know there is something I always have

Levi174517 Sun 09-Mar-14 07:30:11

Hi gingerchick

I asked a similar question and can only echo the advice I was given.

Write a list of your concerns. This helps in two ways you have a prompt to remind you and you have a record you can leave with the GP. If you're anything like me once you start to list examples you'll think of more and more.

You can also keep a retrospective diary of events that concern you.

Take the list and diary if you make one to the GP and ask for a referral to a developmental paediatrician.

DD may or may not have ASD, I can't say. But you are her mum and you are concerned and that's to my mind reason enough to ask for a referral. She won't get falsely diagnosed - the process is long and doesn't rely on just one opinion. You will get peace of mind and the knowledge you've done all you can for DD.

I'm at the same stage with my DD. DH is going to make an appointment for a referral his insistence because he wants to be involved. I expect there's a few of us starting the process at the same time so you know you're not alone.

Just to warn you. DS got diagnosed last year; the whole process took about 18 months and I don't think that was particularly slow. You need lots of patience. smile

Ineedmorepatience Sun 09-Mar-14 10:14:41

Hi gingerchick, I think you should take your original post to your GP and ask for a referral to a developmental paediatrician.

The thing that may cloud the issues is early childhood trauma,(it is the reason I have never sought a dx) there used to be a school of thought that it could cause Asd symptoms although I have read recently that Proffs are starting to look past that and see if there was Asd symptoms before the trauma.

You may need to be prepared for a long journey,I have just asked another poster if their childs school is on board, it is really helpful if the school support you because all the proffs will want to know how she is at school.

It is possible to get a dx without the support of school but it is harder and slower.

Good luck

gingerchick Sun 09-Mar-14 12:14:31

Thank you so much for your advice I really appreciate it, Her school is fab so that's one thing in my favour. I have written down everything that is concerning me and I think I will talk to DDS teacher and a friend who is a senco. Thank you for replying, it is such a help to know I am not alone

adrianna1 Sun 09-Mar-14 12:27:57

@Ineedmore....

I didn't know that...as my DS has been through the same thing..regarding dad..violence ( I would not go into detail)...that's part of the reason why they wanted to assess my son again for autism....

@op- It's actually a good thing that she wants the constant adult attention..with the interaction with kids..it could just be a delay or the fact she has dyspraxia....

Ineedmorepatience Sun 09-Mar-14 15:05:59

Its good that they are reassessing your Ds, to me it shows that they are looking beyond the early childhood stuff which is right, they should.

Good luck smile

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