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ASD in girls, preschool age(8 Posts)
I've read quite a lot of differing online articles about ASD in young girls. Lots of different things being mentioned, I'm a bit confused. If you have a girl with autism would you mind describing some of the traits / behaviours they displayed at age 3-4 years?
Hmm where to start....
Dd3 struggled with any changes to her routine, she was terrified of loud noises, she was extremely clingy to me, she had huge meltdowns that she couldnt calm herself from, I had to hold her to help her calm down, she played alongside other children or on her own, she couldnt bear to leave a tv programme or film until it was finished, she was echolalic, she ran round in circles in the garden and in the house, she tiptoed and flapped when she was excited.
She had a huge vocab, she ooozed confidence in situations where she was comfortable, she could argue the legs off a chair, she had no understanding that she was a child and that adults were "authority" figures, she would become very anxious very quickly about random stuff.
She was diagnosed with Asd at 9 after a 3.5 yr battle. She identifies as having aspergers.
Hope that helps
When DD was this age she was fairly indistinguishable from her NT peers.
She was very bright, chatty, big vocabulary. She was confident and outgoing. She went to nursery with no problems, had friends, was well behaved. She played with similar toys to her peers, loved teddies, play food and dressing up.
At home she was VERY stubborn, controlling, argumentive. She had regular tantrums and meltdowns, and nothing would calm her down once she'd started. We just had to wait until she'd burnt herself out. This was the only behaviour that concerned me.
She would talk AT you rather than to you. She struggled with basic social conventions e.g. she had to be prompted to say hello and goodbye, please and thank you etc. When we went to visit people, they'd open the door and she'd immediately launch into a monologue about something random with no introduction or background to what she was saying.
Loads of sensory issues - very fussy eater, hated baths, brushing her teeth, getting nails cut. Hair washing was a nightmare. Terrified of mud, insects, dogs, swimming pools and showers.
Clumsy, refused to walk distances - I carried that child around until she was 6! Very poor fine motor skills. Couldn't hold a crayon properly, couldn't draw or write her name. Couldn't use a knife and fork, spilt her drinks.
Odd interests. She went through a massive Beatles obsession about this age. Magical Mystery Tour was her favourite film
She'd had random odd behaviour. For instance she's would announce she was going to count to 600 and then do it, and God forbid if you interrupted her
She was obsessed with door numbers. My mum's house was "number 5 house" not Granny's house - she did this with everyone's house. When we walked down a street we had to check every door for the house number.
Obsessed with colours- everything was a colour, even people. I was white apparently
So we knew she was bright and quirk, but because she had no trouble making friends at this age, and was confident and outgoing in social situations we were not concerned at all and neither was anyone else.
It all changed when she started school
She has typical aspergers but her diagnosis is ASD.
Everything changed for Dd3 when she started school too captain.
Dd2 was very difficult at preschool age (she still is). I had no idea what ASD was back then, but I would always describe her as always cutting off her nose despite her face or if something was black, she would argue that it was white.
She had one very close friend, one kinda close friend. She was obsessed with this friend, and if the friend played with someone else, dd would play on her own.
She looked very awkward and clumsy. Had a strange aversion to steps, crossing the 'gap' on the tube, escalators and getting on/off buses (tricky, we live in central London). She'd make a repetitious movement with her wrists as if she was turning on/off taps.
She hate me touching her, hated me. Ate food with her hands. Every morning she would throw her cereal at breakfast time. Food was always thrown. She'd usually take herself to a small kids table she had to eat breakfast and dinner.
She would never wear a coat, even when it snowed. Would frequently strip to her vest. Stubborn didn't come close to describing her!!
She had a strong vocab, very good mathematically. Very compliant at her nursery (Montessori, their methods were certainly the right fit for someone with her profile). Other parents thought I wasn't good at settling boundaries, that's why she was the way she was. I got v fucked off with that pretty quickly. Certainly, no one mentioned ASD to me. A year ago I meet a mum from nursery who was an OT. I told her about dds diagnosis and she did pick up her sensory needs but she thought nothing else of it (rehab OT for stroke victims - so not her area of expertise).
Now entering y4, dd v popular, still v difficult at home. Copies her friends, their personalities.she was diagnosed a year ago, had been under the care of a child psych since she turn just 6 for behaviour. Pead could not see ASD, said it was sibling rivalry (?!?!?!). Dd had to self harm to get anyone to listen to me seriously, she was only 6yo when she first tried to cut herself with a knife.
I have 2 girls with ASD.
DD1 has severe autism and learning difficulties. At 3/4, her only language was echolalic, and she had no functional language at all - she could recite the whole of the gruffalo, but couldn't ask for a drink, or tell me her knee was sore if she fell, for eg. She sang constantly, and was very clingy to me, as I was the only person who fully understood her. She was quite sociable, if she felt secure, and was happy to work with tutors (we had a home ABA programme) if I was in the house too. When dd1 was 4, dd2 was insisting on joining the tutor sessions, which helped dd1 feel at ease. Dd1 had huge cognitive delays (still does) but was eager to learn. She has always wanted to be able to take full part in very thing we do - she can't always manage this, but the effort she puts in is staggering.
Dd2 at 3/4 was the opposite. Thanks to her shoehorning herself into dd1's home tutoring sessions, she presented more as a precocious, hot housed toddler . She was academically advanced, but despite a huge vocabulary, was lost in social situations and found it impossible (still does) to question/challenge authority. She found school a lot harder, because she felt as though she didn't fit in, despite there being no obvious reason for her not to fit in. She is however, universally popular amongst her peers, and being so desperate to fit in means she is regarded as a wonderful pupil by teachers (she half kills herself meeting expectations, rather than speaking up and saying when she finds something difficult). She will NEVER admit she doesn't understand something (feels she ought to be able to understand it), and instead tries to work it out/solve it herself. In reception, she was the golden child - no visible issues, polite, followed all rules, was organised, picked up reading/phonics in a blink, had beautifully neat handwriting (she almost drew rather than writing - still does sadly, in year 5 now, and it really holds her up). So much so, that her significant needs get overlooked, and teachers forget she has ASD - in a way good as obviously it means she can cope, but unforgivable, because it means that all the concessions/hard work have come from a vulnerable 4/5/6/7 year old!
At 3-4 dd2 was regularly tantruming at the top of her voice for apparently trivial things and I was at a complete loss. Socks and tights in particular and clothes in general were a very big issue. Sleep was still poor, potty training was still in training so to speak, any change of activity was met with severe resistance. It was really difficult in the mornings to get going, stress level in the house was high because DD2 was making every day life, normal things, difficult. At eight a private educational psychologist excluded learning disabilities but suggested to explore dyspraxia because of hand writing issues. The occupational therapist excluded dyspraxia but suggested sensory processing disorder which fitted the bill perfectly for her aversion to clothes, and from there we made the link to high functioning autism ourselves which was eventually confirmed at aged 10.
I've had a mix. Two of mine have asd. Both girls and both diagnosed.
Six year old - from a baby no eye contact, wouldn't respond to name, jumped about on her knees despite being able to crawl and walk, lack of social interaction, extreme meltdowns and quite inflexible, lack of language, issues with clothes (loved hoods up) but hated being dressed, quite aggressive (would shove kids), was very hard work, noise sensitive use to put her hands over her ears a lot. She has come on amazingly. Language is where it should be for her age, sociable, can get quite cross but is much more flexible now, reasoning is a lot better.
Youngest is three and a half also asd. Hers has become more apparent as she's gotten older. Mostly due to complete lack of language, eye contact is mixed, lack of gestures, not hugely social, very anxious, likes to jump off furniture. If she had normal language I'm not sure I'd see a problem. She's only grumpy over things she is particular about like shoes. She was diagnosed with coeliac in Jan and was majorly affected by it.
I'm hoping her language will come on as I'm dreading her going to school next year.
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