Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Do I have to have her assessed?(8 Posts)
My children are on a Team Around the Child at the moment due to my having left an abusive marriage.
One of the hub workers has suggested my 5yo should be evaluated for autism. Her school have not raised concerns in this regard.
I know quite a lot about autism and other SEN issues as I work in that field. But it's always different when it's your own child.
I think her dad is quite possibly on the spectrum but whether he'd meet diagnostic criteria is another matter.
She shows some traits that I suppose could be seen as being ASD. But she also shows a lot of traits that contra-indicate it. My gut feeling is she wouldn't meet diagnostic criteria and it isn't a route I want to go down right now. She is doing fine in school, she is settling after the separation and I hope any difficulties she is having may dissipate with time.
However part of me feels guilty for not rushing her for assessment and I wanted to ask your opinions.
Autistic-type behaviours she does show: she has immature social skills and finds it hard to initiate interactions appropriately; she doesn't seem to get personal space and will go right up to people; she has poor impulse control which means she still tantrums sometimes; she covers her ears if her sister cries; she is always on the go/fidgety; she understands social rules but doesn't seem to be able to put the rules into practice very often.
Behaviours she shows that contra-indicate this: she is extremely, extremely empathetic and caring; she always wants to help others, often at her own expense; she has never had any delay to her speech; loud noises other than her sister crying don't bother her; she makes appropriate eye contact; change doesn't bother her at all; she has no obsessive behaviours.
Am I being blind?
i'm 'only' a parent of an autistic DD, but from what i've read in your OP, i don't see any evidence that confirms your DD is NOT autistic too.
many children (especially girls) can seem to be giving eye contact, when really they aren't (looking over your shoulder, or pretend to be looking for something in their pocket while talking to you)
empathy is as common in autistic children as it is with NT children, it's theory of mind that causes more issues for autistic people, and not all autistic children have speech delay, DD for example has far more mature vocabulary than some of her peers, yet finds verbalising those words almost impossible at times.
as for the list of traits, they could also be down to her age
if you want my very honest opinion, if someone is offering you the chance of early assessment, i would jump at the chance. HF girls are very clever, they can learn very quickly how to mask, and are extremely adept social mimics. I wouldn't want to dismiss the opportunity for support while she's young, as trying to assess and understand her at a later date might give you more than you bargained for.
I agree with the others, the worker that has suggested it may have had experience of working with girls with Asd before.
In my experience school staff do not notice and have had very little if any training in Asd!
My Dd3 has Asd, she wasnt diagnosed until 9 and school staff still dont notice that she has it!!
Whether it is ASD or not, getting an understanding of how DC's brain works and what you/school can do to help her along is a good idea.
I helped a lad I thought was ASD and he just had expressive language delay. It tuned out that he could read people with ease, just couldn't pick the words.
So just take it as it comes. If there are differences that can be picked up, then early intervention is the name of the game, whether it has a mane or not
If the empathy/ToM is influencing you then google the Sally Ann test (can't link on phone). Or find it via Uta (?) Frith and Simon baron-Cohen. DS2 appears to be exceptionally empathic (especially compared to DS1) but has no theory of mind. Functionally DC tend to give to little info (assuming that the listener already shares their own knowledge) like launching into a topic without introducing it so that the listener has to guess what they are talking about. Dead simple. You can do it at home and 5 is a good age (older DC can work out the answer).
It may be worth having a look at Atony attwood to see if that helps you to see what other boxes she might tick.
From my experience as a parent I refused to have Dd assessed when she was 8. She is now a very unhappy depressed socially withdrawn teenager on the waiting list for assessment. I have bucket loads of guilt that she has missed out on years of help.
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