Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
the jigsaw that is my lovely dd(15 Posts)
Apologies for long post. I'm hoping those with interest/insight will read.
DD is nearly 10, currently in year 5 at a lovely primary. I've always had a feeling she has some specific difficulties, but they have never been an issue and were just how she is. However, as she gets older in school I notice her difference from her peers more, and am starting to worry about how she'll cope with secondary school. There are lots of little things which I seem to be the only person piecing together to get a wider picture.
She was slightly prem, born at 36 weeks very quickly.
Delayed in most milestones. Crawling (13m), standing, walking (nearly 2), riding a bike etc. Still not great at gross motor skills. Still struggles with knife and fork.
Walks on toes.
Delayed dentition. Still has most baby teeth.
Language came at normal times but speech was delayed in reception which impacted slightly on phonics. All fine now.
Extremely fussy eater. Anxious about trying new things. Slight difference in her favourites and she'll not eat (e.g. different brand of sausages)
Emotionally immature. Much prefers playing with much younger children - about four years younger (age of her younger sibling)
Extremely introverted. (this is not a problem at all, but part of bigger picture)
Problems with spelling and all expressive language. Struggles to express emotions, or to write anything creatively. Can't get beyond 'the rules'
This is in contrast to reading. Very good reader, a bookworm. But I think she skims over a lot she doesn't understand.
Really struggles with change and anticipation of change. Small things like who walks her to school can make her anxious.
Can't deal with fuss. If she falls down, no one can comfort her. She will run off and be alone.
Can't express how she's feeling if upset. Will go and hide in a cupboard or wardrobe if overwhelmed by emotions she can't deal with.
Not great at understanding humour/subtle language.
Needs routine in her life. Specific routines to leave her at school in the morning, and to get her to bed at night. Very upset if these change.
Recent concerns from her teacher about ongoing spelling/expressive language problems and failure to convey what she knows in class. She would never stick her hand up (that would be her worst nightmare).
I just don't know if my lovely dd is just extremely introverted or if more is going on here. I have an appointment with SENCO and her teacher and have asked if she can have an ed psych appointment. School not great at communicating as SENCO only has sessions on one day and the email exchanges have taken weeks. She's been so happy at school but I do see her peers changing ahead of her, and am worried how she'll fare when she is amongst the youngest group in secondary.
Any advice or insight most gratefully received! Thanks for reading.
Thanks Polter for your reply. I am thinking along those lines yes. Any recommended reading?
I agree there is a lot of flags in there for asd.
I also totally agree that as she gets older the pressure and expectations will increase so it's better to get the support in place now.
I know the others have already said this but I can see red flags for Asd to.
I have a Dd who is 13 and has Asd, school was really hard for her! I agree with polters reading list but would also say there are quite a few articles online about undiagnosed girls/females with aspergers if you just wanted something short to read.
Google will help you find them Tony Attwood has written some.
Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I very much appreciate it. The more I read the more I think, 'that's dd'. Some other things that jump out at me are always wearing the same comfy clothes, not caring about her appearance and never engaging with fall outs and disagreements amongst her peers. She says she just can't understand why they all fall out and I think wanders off when they do.
I think her dad might think I'm worrying over nothing, but he is very similar to her (works in a profession with high number of people on the spectrum) and has developed his own strategies to exist in the world. Her grandmother on his side also has some similar signs.
I am very prepared to be wrong. I'd rather look a fool than risk my lovely dd having problems as she gets older and not getting the right support.
So what do I do? Can people tell me what I should be asking for? I feel like I'm not allowed to mention the words 'aspergers' or 'autism' and certainly I know I'm not qualified to make a diagnosis. But how do I make school listen and ask for more assessments? It's all so very subtle and she functions really well within the supportive environment of primary..
I feel like I'm not allowed to mention the words 'aspergers' or 'autism'
I know what you mean but you are allowed and in my experience you sometimes have to be blatant about your concerns. If you're worried about the school not acting, you could take your list of concerns to your GP and they should refer your DD. Both my DDs were diagnosed with ASD this year and one was referred through school, the other through the GP.
Thanks. I do have a lovely friend who is a school nurse for our area and will help me out if needed. Yet to get the measure of the school's opinion on the matter. I'll find out when I hear back from the SENCO.
She is such a lovely girl. Currently singing in her room waiting for me to come and read The Hobbit with her. Adults love her because she's 'no bother'. Younger kids love her because she looks after them. And we love her because she's ace! And don't worry, I'll fight her wee corner to the very best of my ability!
I need to write down what I've said in this post I think and pass to school. That's a good start.
Reporting back from school meeting. Kind of as suspected. As there are no issues at school other than discrepancy between reading and written expressive skills (they think she's lovely) they can't offer any support with diagnosis. All their educational psychology quota is used up for the year already. They were sympathetic, and took my concerns on board, but they have not noticed anything to concern them.
I think this is not surprising. She thrives in the structure and rules of primary. She has friends, and she's academically average.
I'm going to let things mull in my brain over Christmas then have a chat with GP I think.
I'm so conflicted between whether to pursue any diagnosis or not. She really is fine just now and copes well. We've helped her so much with anxieties and food related issues it's hard for others to see anything. However, my good friend who works all day every day with autistic kids doesn't think I'm being daft.
Thank you Frusso, that's reassuring and helps me feel like I'm not crazy. How did she cope with the diagnostic process. That's one thing that is worrying me. I don't want DD to feel that there is something wrong with her. It would be an anxiety trigger, and would need to be handled very carefully.
I am actually a SALT, but don't work with kids, so I kind of know what to expect on that front. DD has actually been assessed by a colleague of mine recently. The main finding there was a marked expressive/receptive discrepancy.
So glad you got answers for your DD.
I'm thinking of writing a letter to take to GP. She can then include in referral letter?
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