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Should I be concerned?(8 Posts)
My daughter is 5, in year 1, and I’m starting to think something maybe going on.
She’s always been what I would describe as socially/emotionally young for her age but she doesn’t seem to be changing and I’m getting a little concerned.
She has massive tantrums over the littlest thing. Such as if someone moves her Lego or uses her pen. She used to have one friend at school but not any more, as my dd only wants to play bossy, fantasy games that no one else can get a say in, such as pirate cats. She goes to after school clubs but has no friends here either as no one can really understand her behaviour. Also, if the regular teacher isn’t at the clubs she has a melt down and panics, crying that she doesn’t want to go in.
She was an early talker but still talks in the same voice she has for years with very infantile language choices/turns of phrase. Such as instead of saying “look how many there are” she will say “look how much them is” or instead of “what’s his name?” she will say “who’s that’s name?”
She fully believes in fairies and mermaids etc. to the point she really thinks it’s possible that they will give her wings. She thinks she has powers like Matilda and genuinely believes she has moved things with her mind (such as she will move her head so from her perspective the light has changed, and she will expect everyone to have experienced the same change in light). She will hide her face under a cushion and believes no one can see her, and cover peoples eyes, believe they really think the sun to has gone.
The best way to put it is that I feel like socially and emotionally she’s more like a 3 year old.
School Education wise she’s ok. She’s middle of the class reading and writing but not so great at maths. She’s in year 1 and the youngest in the year which eases my mind in a way as if born a week later she’d only be in reception where I think she might “get away with” more of her behaviours. However she’s going into year 2 this year.
As a teacher I thought I knew kids, but I now just don’t know is this is “normal” for a 5 and a half year old any more. It’s starting to worry me.
Its kind of hard to know but I would think about having her assessed based on a few things you mentioned. At least you'll know then if she is just emotionally immature or if there is something more. What does her teacher think - have you mentioned your concerns?
My son has ASD and is 8 now - but, like your daughter, seems to think make believe things are real at times. He also used to be convinced he could move things with his mind like Mathilda and would get very annoyed if I tried to suggest this wasn't real. Its kind of strange because he is very bright in many ways and is quick to spot 'nonsense' in general.
The lack of friends would concern me too. My DS finds it hard to find other children on his wavelength that he connects with. A lot of boys are into football but DS likes detailed imaginative games with characters and long complicated stories. He also likes to play games on his terms. He will go along with someone else's suggestion for a game provided it is somethinng he fully agrees with.
Wow he sounds really like my daughter.
I’m not sure how ‘on that ball’ her teacher is, as at last parents evening they mentioned her getting along with everyone and having no fixed friend when I know for a fact she has only ever wanted to play with one best friend who has since ditched her.
My gut is telling me something like ASD might be a consideration but I feel like most symptoms online only cover the stereotypical “likes to line things up” and “avoids eye contact” etc. which she doesn’t do so it’s hard to know.
Things like lining objects up and eye contact might indicate autism but are not requirements for it.
I spent hours looking up autism online before my son was diagnosed and it was too confusing - as half the time I'd be convinced he had it and the other half I'd think he didn't have it or had something else.
Have a look at this - it explains why people with autism differ so much from each other and experience different issues.
I asked the same question on another thread and basically just got the reply that she’s not getting enough sleep and she’s spoiled, neither of which I would consider true. Thanks for your reply
Girls on the spectrum can present quite differently to the stereotypical lining things up criteria which is still crops up a lot.
I would agree based on what you've said it's worth asking for a referral to a development paediatrician.
My son is autistic and also loves elaborate imaginative game that only he really know what's happening in. He thinks we can all see inside his mind and know what we should be doing I think!
Your DD sounds delightful btw.
You really need to look up "The Triad of impairments" if you could fits in each section then go to your GP and ask for a referral. School will need to be on your side as the will assess her in school too.
Speak to school clearly about your concerns, especially the social interaction.
Good luck !
My DD is being assessed for ASD (we've been told she is likely on the spectrum) and has never obsessively lined things up (she occasionally lines things or makes patterns out of them but usually in the context of something make-believe - e.g. pretending her pens are going to bed she might line them up - but she wouldn't just constantly line the same things up). I always thought her eye contact was good though I know in her assessments the experts have said she gives less eye contact than they would expect. She is younger than your DD (nearly 4) but I am starting to see some of these traits of wanting games to be played exactly on her terms, etc. There are definitely many different presentations of autism and the stereotypes are really unhelpful (e.g. you might want to look up Purple Ella on YouTube - she has a video interview with her DD who is on the spectrum and is 5, and it's definitely not something you'd spot just from a chat). The thing that's resonated most with me is seeing it described as a "spiky" personality, finding some things really easy and fascinating (leading to special interests) and really struggling with others (which can lead to a vicious circle of withdrawing from social interaction because it is hard, which then makes it harder because they don't get to practice), whereas a more "neurotypical" person might be closer to the average on everything and can just fit in with whatever is going on around them. Being young for their age is definitely also something I've read parents of autistic children say a lot.
So far DD hasn't had any big practical problems, but we're going along with the diagnosis route anyway on the basis it will better prepare us when/if those problems come up later. We got into the system via SLT (because DD wasn't asking for things early in her speech development) - but I think otherwise school SENCO and/or GP could get things kicked off.
You might find this list of common aspergers female traits useful. It is pitched at adults really, but at least illustrates that presentation can be very different to the stereotype.
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