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Help! Am I trying to label her?(2 Posts)
Hi. Hoping for some help and advice as feeling confused about my 9 year DD2's behaviour.
Hard to put it in a nutshell but...
Imagination: superb. Often lives in her own little world, talking to herself. In fact rarely plays with toys, just her and her imagination. Normally she is an animal and apparently actually 'sees' the living room as the African plains. I've encouraged this as she's always been wonderfully odd, but she is 9 now and this shows no sign of abating.
Attention: distracted by everything. Zones out totally at school and imagines pens playing together/spiders leapfrogging on the ceiling etc. Told me she tried to tell her brain to stop imagining and pay attention to the teacher, but it doesnt listen. Poor sense of planning and memory (Unless it involves animal facts).
She has no problems with speech or articulation, but often I am talking to her and she just comes out with totally unrelated random things.
Clothes: would walk around naked if she could but doesnt have any sensory issues
Hygeine: have to remind her to clean her teeth/brush hair etc. but she will do when nagged. Still not dry at night (usual toddler age for daytime dryness) although we are using an alarm for this, there is no improvement so far.
Emotional things: seemingly neutral when grandad or beloved (and I mean beloved!) dog died. The happiest child I've ever known.
Hardly ever see sadness in her, and then it is jist fleeting. Advised me to "just think of polar bears" when she saw me crying last.
School work: in pretty much the bottom sets. Very poor handwriting. Has meltdowns with homework/ spellings - asks for help, and then gets frustrated, angry and distressed.
Apologies this is so long. I've been reading about autism and dyspraxia and I've previously spoken to the school about it, but she is quiet and well behaved there. Last year's teacher saw her imagination and daydream a lot, but said she had imrpoved loads, especially in maths, and just put it down to DD2 being DD2, i.e. a bit quirky.
Was wondering whether to speak to SEN teacher or GP. DD1 was extremely bright and academic and I accept that DD2 is totally different, so wonder if I'm looking for issues that aren't there.
I don't think you are - you're just trying to find ways to help her with the things she does get "frustrated, angry and distressed" about - and if a label helps you do that, then it's worth pursuing.
It sounds like she might have some issues with executive function and attention. What "label" if any you put on that is difficult to say (the whole field of neurodiversity is a fascinating mess it seems to me - so many interlinkages between all the different brain differences - the labels all end up very crude summaries of what our individual kids are actually like, and what they find easy and hard).
I think the trick will be to find the "way in" to see the right people who can help figure out what is at the root of the things she struggles with, and put strategies (or possibly even medications? From what I read that can be helpful for some of the attention stuff in some children?) in place to help her.
We got DD diagnosed through a mix of physiotherapy and SLT as she had some unusual speech patterns and was very late with her gross physical milestones, but neither of those sound like they are big issues for your DD.
You could try going to your GP with a list of things that fit the dyspraxia/apraxia profile and/or autism profile and see if they are helpful? If they are not helpful at first, maybe focus on the night time continence, as I know some areas have childhood incontinence clinics and that might be a way to access specialists who are going to be better able to recognise your DD's traits and figure out what is going on and what will help her.
Otherwise I don't know whether there is a way to get an Educational Psychologist into the school to observe your DD and see if they can make any suggestions? We're only just starting school so there will be other posters with loads more knowledge on how you would actually arrange that or what to do if the school is resisting.