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Could I ask your opinion on my 5 year old please?(16 Posts)
I have a 5 year old dd whose behaviour I am finding very difficult. I have 6 children and of them all she is the only one I have ever been in tears over!
I have spoken to the health visitor who is speaking to the school nurse but tbh I'm finding it hard to pin down an actual problem since she can be great one day and horrific the next!
If I list some of my worries would you be able o suggest at least any possibilities for me or of it sounds like normal child behaviour please say so!
She has difficulty making friends (she has no friends at all) although she is lovely and sociable with adults and she seems to be polite and sociable with children but for some reason she finds it impossible to turn that into even basic friendship.
She totally refuses to listen to instructions. You can literally ask/ tell her to do something like get dressed and she won't even look at your or acknowledge you have spoken . If you look her right in the eye and ask her "what have I just asked you" she can repeat it and yet she then gets distracted again before she has done it. This happens almost any time she is asked to do something.
She has struggled a lot with toilet training. She has only been dry in the day since starting year 1. She still needs nappies at night.
She is a danger around the baby because she just doesn't seems to get that she could hurt her if she for example picks her up by the head. I can't actually go downstairs after putting the baby to bed in case my older dd comes out of her room into the baby.
School have had her in a special group to help with her concentration during carpet time (she couldn't sit still)
These issues have been issues both at home and school but not as often at school. She has been in trouble mainly for the refusing to listen thing at school only occassionally for violence
She physically attacked our go a year ago when I took her for a urine infection. I mean biting kicking and punching and screaming. I have no idea what happened.
She does very well at school and is in the top groups etc.
She is actually very loving when she wants to be!
She tries hard to please - she just doesn't really seem to get there a lot of the time.
Does anyone have any suggestions where I could start trying to help her?
I have 5 so I know this is going to annoy as it's what everyone will jump to, but have you tried taking her away 1:1 for a weekend and without all the interruptions seeing how she manages?
We have tried giving her time with dh and and/or me alone but it doesn't seem to make any difference to her behaviour. The only thing which helps is constantly doing something - so constantly having an activity to do but even then it often ends in tears.
If there is no impact at all when the house is quiet and she has a good length of time to settle into the new normal of no distractions and no crowd to muddle into, then perhaps think about ADHD techniques?
(google it's probably better just read through and then think what would work for you guys).
Could she be very clever? Younger children with high IQ can be VERY high maintenance.
I was going to suggest the same!
I also like to have fun posters around the house reminding DS of things - eg one on babies door to remind her not to enter - because a lot of it is not being able to control impulses.
If she is naturally very busy, quite impulsive, and not able to listen...
...but is bright and trying really, really hard to 'behave properly' at school, she might have no willpower left by the time she gets home.
With verbal instructions, we never really got anywhere. But backward chaining worked for us to build up habitual patterns that would then run on auto-pilot.
For example, getting ds1 ready to go out, putting ds shoes on his feet, then using his hands to do up the velcro. Gradually reduced that till he would do the velcro by himself. Then put his toes into the shoes but he needed to shuffle them into place himelf & do up the velcro. Then balanced the shoes on his feet (so he felt they were there, and he'd then put them on). Same sort of thing with coat. Eventually I could just hand him the things and he'd do the next bit. And then I could bring him to the hallway... you get the gist.
Hasn't worked as well wth ds2, mind you
bribery and corruption is his thing
He was perfectly capable of doing the things, just not of doing them in response to an instruction, ikwim.
Ok I have been trying to do gentle reminders the last few days - including a sign on the bedroom door. I have focuses on one thing - leaving the baby alone!. I don't know if she doesn't get it or if she's ignoring me on purpose. So I can say "please don't pull her head" and she will literally as I'm saying it pull her head again.
I haven't had her hearing checked but she does seem able to hear.
Can I ask of those that experienced similar did your children have a diagnosis of any sort of was it just typical behaviour. I have been offered a referral to a paediatrician by my gp and I'm wondering if it would be worth it to check
It is very hard to tell on here as it depends on the external to of the behaviours.
I would 100% recommend you accept the referral.
If she struggles to process/hear instructions then it helps to switch instructions around to say what you want - ie instead of "please don't pull her head" try saying "leave her lying quietly" or for "don't spill your drink" try "keep the drink in the cup". We don't have the constant activity issues but DS has very selective hearing and it drives us mad. Being completely clear and explicit does help tho. I would also say accept the referral - preferably to a child development team where the paed is part of a multidisciplinary assessment. Good luck
I'm an NHS SLT. I assess autism as part of my job. I work one day a week in the private sector doing the same.
Your DD sounds a lot like the girls we see in the private clinic. They often go under the radar of the school or HV because they are superficially sociable, especially with adults. This is one of the most common thing we hear about girls on the spectrum.
Because they 'mask' their problems, they tend to turn up in private clinics rather than the NHS. I've concluded over the years that NHS screening tools just aren't sensitive enough to pick these girls up.
I haven't met your daughter, so I may of course be entirely wrong (and somebody will come along any minute to tell me that I most definitely am...) but I have been working as an SLT for almost 20 years and I am paid to diagnose autism. In your position, I would want to have her assessed with this in mind.
Hope that's not startled you - and that it's helpful.
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