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Do you share "Asd traits"...?

(30 Posts)
UpDown Thu 27-Oct-16 21:27:27

Dd is newly diagnosed with autism, though more extreme we are quite similar and it's a headache. Firstly all suppport is groups based, I'd rather eat the handout frankly and secondly I at times struggle to see which behaviours are not "normal". I don't consider myself to have an asc, yet I don't relate very well either to those I've met that are offering support and describing asd


Dd is a fussy eater and limits food, I was very extreme at this as a child but grew into a healthy adult in time. I therefore feel more relaxed giving her time and space with food ( I even delayed puberty myself) but the clinic see it as a GOSH feeding referral and suggest all sorts that I know as a child would have fed my control issues

- I don't like group talking or talking about home life with strangers, therapy (and even hairdressers, I cut my hair) fill me with dread. I wouldn't relax enough in early bird etc to get out of it. I can for work as a means to an end, but I actively dislike groups

- I hate appointments, they seem full of suggestions, comments and asides I fail to pick up on at the time and info overload. I feel embarrassed after

- I like routine, if it doesn't affect function I see no reason to stop her ways. As I grew I naturally became flexible

-sensory, I don't watch tv at all and never have because I dislike the constant noise and lights. Never been an issue, I have other small habits I guess but not in public

-I don't like group socialising, but I have many good close friends

-I have certain interests I can obsess on, particularly maths, but I'm perfectly able to do other things. I was more obsessive as a child but relaxed

-eye contact is over rated, I can use it fine in my professional life but certainly relax more without it and drop it with family and friends. The consultant pushed it though at appts quite deliberately seeking it and I found myself getting angry

I could go on, but those are examples. I'm a happy woman, good family with a like minded mum/ dad/ husband and have had a professional job and happiness. Dd is intelligent, but quirky, though happy. She isn't craving social contact or to change herself. I may be expressing myself poorly and I hope I don't offend but many of her differences that are highlighted are just being her being her mothers daughter. I was possibly more unusual at her age, I could read a broadsheet newspaper at four for example. I feel it's my personality, I'd be stressed if I'd been forced to change it. I feel when I was at school I was given time and space to be me without issue, I could hide in the home corner, daydream, follow interests, be mute for days with little issue. It was seen more as endearing ways if anything, schools seems soooo prescriptive and conformist now. I would have certainly not fit the mould, but was very academic.

Total ramble, please don't jump on me, but does anyone sort of get this...?

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 27-Oct-16 21:31:52

I have many ASD traits.
I'm obsessed with routine & planning.
I have sensory issues.
I become temporarily obsessed with things.
I am not socially comfortable in large groups.
I've had to train myself to observe social conventions.
Unless I'm having sex or hugging close family/friends, I hate being touched.

UpDown Thu 27-Oct-16 21:32:35

You've said it more succiently

UpDown Thu 27-Oct-16 21:33:30

So, how do you feel about Camhs groups, early bird etc if I can ask?

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 27-Oct-16 21:34:27

The reason I've never sought assessment is that I function well at work and at home, so I don't see it as an impairment.

Whereas DS2's ASD meant that he was struggling to cope at school, so there was a motivation to have him assessed.

UpDown Thu 27-Oct-16 21:38:04

Dd is not in a setting, i will probably home ed. We were referred from the epilepsy clinic due to her behaviour over time plus salt input from two year check. I think she, and I, would struggle with how infant schools are now. I get a big shock sometimes when we join peer activities, but generally without a setting she is fine

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 27-Oct-16 21:38:53

I don't know what Early Bird is. DS2 was diagnosed aged 9, so perhaps it's something for younger children?

He was referred through community paediatrician, and was diagnosed at a tertiary centre, so has never had contact with local CAMHS. The only input he has is at school, so I rarely have to be present. I do occasionally attend a support group at school for parents of pupils with ASD, and I think I tend to talk too much and monopolise it slightly. blush

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 27-Oct-16 21:41:12

I always find the appointments with professionals unexpectedly exhausting.

UpDown Thu 27-Oct-16 21:42:26

Dd is under 5 and it's triggered all sorts! Early bird is group parent training basically, plus they come to your house (!)

I think my finest overloaded moment was "can dd stand up", "of course...?", "can you ASK dd to stand up", "....ooh". Obviously I'm normally a tad sharper but it goes out the window and hour into constant questioning

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 27-Oct-16 21:45:51

"can dd stand up", "of course...?", "can you ASK dd to stand up", "....ooh"

They should really learn to say what they actually mean. smile

The interventions you are describing sound quite intense.

UpDown Thu 27-Oct-16 21:47:25

They sound it, the feeding one in the blurb involves videoing a family meal.

lougle Thu 27-Oct-16 21:53:59

"I get a big shock sometimes when we join peer activities, but generally without a setting she is fine."

Personally, and I'm prepared to be rebutted, I would say that's a situation where you should avoid HE. I say that as someone who HE DD2 for a time. I stopped when I realised that her comfort with HE was simply because she could avoid all the situations that were difficult for her and that if I didn't get her back into school, she may never cope in a group setting again.

I'm not saying HE isn't a valid choice, but I do think you need to fully recognise the choice you make, especially if you are unlikely to seek out social contact yourself - she could lose vital social skills learning opportunities that occur at this young age through mixing with other young children on top of her ASD.

UpDown Thu 27-Oct-16 23:04:33

Ligule. By peer group I meant large group of children of exactly the same age like a class group. In mixed age, less so. You see the development stage less.

Regarding HE

She went to nursery for a while and lost social skills with the stress of close contact and isolation combined. She was not included and began to exhibit some repetitive behaviour and stopped contact elsewhere. Now she is starting to interact more in shops etc and is not mute outdoors. She tags along on her siblings social lives a lot and dips in and out rather than hiding in fear all the time.

It's a tricky balance but right now HE is letting her learn social skills, as opposed to being seen as wanting to be alone/ shy/ being very slow and speech delayed. Yes it's on her terms, but she's moving forward. It scare me before how she was presenting. We were referred after an appt where she licked chair legs and hid under chairs, ignored all attempts to communicate and screamed if touched. Presented as severe basically. This time she spoke quite a bit about her interests and communicated.

Nursery was writing her off as unable to participate, she was either alone or attached to an adult. Every observation in her profile was alone, she didn't learn the name of an adult or child in seven months. Not one. She has made two he friends and she is so happy to have friends, though I dislike groups we see others a lot but not in an indoor group format. Either friends round, forest play etc.

Ohmuther Fri 28-Oct-16 02:06:55

Hello smile
My DD is 8 & I want to get her out of this rigid, pointless, hideous education system, it is killing her.
DD def has 'socialisation' issues but she copes with them so much better on her own terms rather than when she is stressed out beyond belief in the 'one size fits all' school system.
Good luck with whatever you decide OP. Vive la difference.

Ohmuther Fri 28-Oct-16 02:10:48

And I share ASD traits. Though I don't think I'd get a diagnosis. I'm unconventional & like to be alone. I have friends but I don't feel compelled to spend my life in a group.

UpDown Fri 28-Oct-16 02:34:55

There are older boys I've met in he who seem to thrive. I think association and socialisation are often confused, socialisation is the opportunity to experience peer relationships and group activity. A child left to be alone is still alone whether or not others are present in that room, I found that dd was in smalll ways quite excluded beyond how she'd naturally have quiet time or observe others. Things like never being welcomed to the snack table, separate areas at storytelling and a total lack of effort to introduce names etc

zzzzz Fri 28-Oct-16 08:23:58

Arf at the consultant trying to see if you can do eye contact grin, yes it is a tad tedious grin

Lots of what you describe is familiar and I think some of it is frankly because professionals often have a weak understanding of ASD and fall back on stereotypes. Eye contact is a good example of this as much of it is cultural rather than a sign of social deficit. Here (UK) a child looking you straight in the eye is considered "honest" in the east it would be considered "bold and confronting" added to that most "academics" or those putting themselves in the role of "expert" will look away when speaking as though reading notes in their head. It is part of the subtle body language that says "I am intelligent and considering my response". Your eye contact as a result is likely to be massively out of the norm if you compare yourself to someone in a caring profession like a Dr, nurse, teacher, or TA. They will find you markedly reticent and shut down. You will find them intrusive, over familiar and probably obtuse. C'est la vie......but it's NOT aberrant or deficient.

The simple answer is "yes" I do see traits in myself and my relatives but I don't see autism. (In all of them wink ). What I do see is the human responses and affectations that are quite normal given far too much attention and I find it irritating and othering. The key is to understand that it is NOT the behaviour that is different it is the use of that behaviour.

What did stand out from your post is that on some level you are thinking "she's just like me, so there isn't really a problem because I've managed" and I agree. I would however say that that highlights some of your thinking about autism rather than if it is a "thing" or not. Because you could of course both be autistic, and live happy lives. Autistic people just like shortsighted people live happy fulfilling lives, they find it easier and get more done with the right support just as short sighted people do with glasses.

I made a decision quite early on that if autism was within our family then given that no one was struggling that hard "our" way of dealing with it was probably more as effective as what was being suggested.

I also HE for a time (and it was very helpful). The school you describe growing up in still exists today, you just have to look hard for it. ds went back into school for the end of primary and absolutely thrived as did his sister who has epilepsy and was selectively mute for some time.

Don't do the groups if they are vile, but don't do nothing. Sit down and think very hard about what you want for her and what will help.

Ohmuther Fri 28-Oct-16 08:50:47

OP I think you're right DD will socialise with children she feels safe with. In school she is isolated in a noisy class of 30. She doesn't want to socialise because her play is complex and imaginative and her peers play revolves around a set of 'norms' she doesn't appreciate- Barbies, pinkness, and 'girliness' or football for the boys which she'd rather do but is not accepted because she is a girl. Her friends out of school are children who play like her and accept her the way she is.

lougle Fri 28-Oct-16 09:04:24

I agree with all of what's been said in many ways, but I do still think that you have to try and equip a child to cope with those situations which are uncomfortable. If I allowed DD2 to self select her environment, she would be in her room, reading Percy Jackson books, watching Paw Patrol and H2O Just Add Water, perhaps venturing out to see her cousin and her two friends once in a while. But then she'd never be able to cope in a group setting and it will severely limit her options later in life (IMO).

zzzzz Fri 28-Oct-16 09:48:13

My own experience is that children rarely need to be pushed to develop but they DO need the opportunity to do so. Pushed development is quite a shallow thing, and tends to crumble under pressure. My own sons language was (and is) massively and frustratingly delayed. It has always slightly baffled me that people seem to accept this frankly weird disability (he speaks beautifully, knows many many many words but can't place them in sentences without extreme effort despite being extremely intelligent) but find other developmental delays which are really far less extreme totally unacceptable. (eg he finds it hard to ask where the toilet is, fine with everyone. He needs help tying his shoes, endless "shouldn't you practice/you can't do it for him forever" type comments confused )

As far as school goes. There ARE good schools out there. Loving sensible good schools, with staff who really want the same slow calm environment you do. They take some finding, but they are worth the search.

zzzzz Fri 28-Oct-16 09:51:31

nb my child who was HE for 3 years y2-y5 doesn't as far as I can see struggle any more than he would have had he been in school and he CAN now read, write, add, do basic maths, tell jokes, and you So for us HE was extremely beneficial.

UpDown Fri 28-Oct-16 11:02:00

Dd as he learnt to cope in shops, asking for help in a library, in mixed age play... all places before where she would hide/ cry. Maybe the school setting is not moving forward, but I think the ability to cope on real world places will massively set her up for the future. School is quite an artificial construct, in the rest of my life I haven't needed to take group heavily controlled direction whilst suppressing individualism in any other context. My ability to think differently if anything helped me.

I would note though my dd is different, now she's relaxed she loves popping to shops: libraries/ forest play and does not have an urge to be alone. She isolated as she was unable to access a group, rather than not wanting to. She watches hours of role play with small world toys on YouTube and craves to act it out.

He language has gone from assessed at 12 months at three to nearly on track at 4 since I took her out. It opened her world right up, it was all about helping her start slowly rather than the constant nursery babble confusing her.

UpDown Fri 28-Oct-16 11:05:18

Also one think with dd is she still can't express and need at all, such as thirsty, tired, toilet and cries. At school she'd probably revert to public acccidents, starving herself etc. It's huge for her development having needs met. She would cry at nursery and have constant wet trousers to both isolate her and frustrate staff, they couldn't get it and she was aware and embarrassed all the time ( they thought she wasn't and would be openly frustrated)

UpDown Fri 28-Oct-16 11:08:27

Yesterday thought she managed to express a problem in words, nearly spat the words out but then looked so proud. She said she couldn't drink out of a cup with a circle top (the other one is flat). It had seemed like she randomly cried and refused certain drinks for no reason... big step!!

zzzzz Fri 28-Oct-16 12:14:41

It sounds like an awful nursery

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