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Niggles about DD(7 Posts)
I'm a regularish poster (def regular reader) on these boards so you might know I have DS (8) ASD, very demand avoidant profile - has just got an EHCP and for now we are staying in mainstream with a lot of outside agency / therapy support. He's still on a part time schedule and has been for a year now.
That's sort of by the by (but in some ways relevant I start a post about my DD by talking about DS as I do feel so much of my attention goes on him).
Anyway DD is nearly 6.
She was such a refreshing little baby, into everything, early to walk and talk, loved imaginative play (still does), easy temperament - very different from DS.
However, in the last year things have changed a lot, and I suppose I'm looking for guidance whether it's because she's growing up with an older brother who she does adore, but is not always easy to live with.
It's very hard for her that he's not full time at school and she is.
She's way ahead academically, except writing - she loves the learning part of school and is confident within the classroom.
She hates playtimes - she's well liked but struggles to join a game (I think the asking part is hard for her).
She often wets herself because she can't find an adult to ask permission of go to the loo (school don't usually notice as it's really only pants level).
She so so anxious. Massive separation anxiety. But I can't tell if she's picking it up from DS or if it's her own iyswim.
Struggles hugely with any change at school - cries often. The thought of a wet play terrifies her as it means they watch a movie - she finds any minor peril in a movie very difficult.
School know she struggles with change / seems under-confident so they put her in a nurture group but she was hysterical as she was taken out of the classroom to attend and she couldn't cope with that (so they didn't force her to go any more).
She can't bear to be left at a party without me (all the other girls in a class seem fine with this - again I'm so used to staying with DS if a party ever arises I don't know the norm anymore!)
She can be literal, I think. But compared to DS she picks up on nuances so much better. She def doesn't struggle to understand instructions or infer meaning like he does.
I don't know what I'm asking really. I suppose I'm asking could if be ASD but look very different as she's a girl?
I don't think I would have ever thought ASD though if it wasn't for DS.
She doesn't fit the full triad, maybe, although increasingly I am questioning her social understanding as she does struggle with other girls - she prefers the company of boys as her interactions seen mainly based on making people laugh by saying Poo! It's not that unusual I know, but suddenly other girls seem to be moving past that.
Or maybe it's just all a knock on affect of DS monopolising our lives and the anxiety is how it manifests (we do try and give her her own special time whenever we can, but DS is around a lot).
Sorry this is so long.
I'm not really sure what I should do, if anything. DS is / was so explosive at school no one could ignore him. DD seems increasingly unhappy and under confident and so anxious, but it's tricky to know how I should ask school to help her (and as I say, they did try). She cries every night and morning about going to school, but it's v hard to get her to articulate why. And they say she's fine once she gets there (except for the crying about change, movie, the possibility of thunder or floods incase they all die. Surely that's normal? But then it could be absorbed from DS).
She's too young to access any siblings groups where I live (but as I say her anxiety is so much I doubt she would go? She won't join any clubs or after school groups as she's hysterical if I'm not there with her).
DH thinks I'm worrying about nothing (maybe he's right. Although he did say that about DS 6 years ago too)
Oh meant to say worrying about floods / lightning strikes and things like that isn't generally normal in a 5 year old
I think you should pursue assessment. Lots of what you describe 'fits' with the profile of an able/verbal autistic girl. It's very easy for autistic kids who cry or withdraw but are generally compliant to be passed over until things get much worse, she's lucky to have you spot things now
I think she sounds rather similar to my DD at that age - especially the separation anxiety. My DD was diagnosed with selective mutism at 4 and then ASD at 8. In her case it was difficult to tell for some years really from say 4 to 7 whether it was 'just' anxiety (selective mutism is an anxiety disorder) or ASD driving the anxiety.
Even though I had DS2 diagnosed with ASD when DD was 4, and then DS3 waiting for an ASD assessment, for a long time I didn't 'see' it in DD. Possibly because she's a girl with autism and possibly because there are so many presentations of autism - DS2 and DS3 both have ASD and obviously both have the triad of impairments, but they are quite different.
I think you have enough concerns to ask for a referral - the thing you mentioned that stood out for me was your DD getting hysterical about having to leave the classroom to go to nurture group.
Thank you both for replying.
I agree, I think I just had to finally 'voice' my thinking. I had a bit of a cry when I wrote the original post - I don't know why really; I know more than anyone that a diagnosis is the best thing to happen with autism.
It's because I also know that the world can be hard sometimes when you're autistic because it's not set up right (yet) to cater for autistic thinking.
However, I am now an expert in navigating through all the various systems, so there's that at least.
We've just had a wonderful weekend camping with friends and both DS and DD were so happy surrounded by peaceful nature - so it's not all bad. If school was as peaceful as that for them they would both be thriving.
for now and the journey ahead. You're right that it's much better having a diagnosis - and for my 3 (of 4) DC on the spectrum the earlier that diagnosis came the better. DS2 wasn't diagnosed til he was 14 and I think that has exacerbated mental health issues.
I think you are doing the right thing. Having said that, she sounds very like me as a child and I've never been diagnosed as autistic : I could be undiagnosed I suppose (DD is waiting for a possible diagnosis) but my best guess is that I was just very socially anxious and a bit immature as I don't really struggle materially with social stuff as an adult, and never had any material sensory issues.
This is not to say don't get her assessed of course!