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ASD questionnaire for girls (6yo)(5 Posts)
I posted on here in January about my 6yo DD in Y1. She is very high-functioning and verbal, and has been suffering with anxiety for the last couple of years (since starting school really) with OCD symptoms. We got a quick appointment with CAMHS in February with my DD, and 6 weeks later - this morning - had a meeting with just me and my DH. By this time, her OCD symptoms and anxiety have subsided as the school have been great, taking her in to the classroom everyday and mainly listening to her when she says she's scared etc but there's lots of other reasons I think she may have ASD.
For example, the way she plays is very idiosyncractic, but now I'm beginning to see that she doesn't ever actually PLAY with anything, she's always organising, setting up, lining up tiny objects, and things, which get left for days and we can't move them. She can't handle change and panics when she smells or hears something she can't tolerate. She also takes lots of things very literally, is a complete perfectionist, terrified of making mistakes and only really has one VERY intense friend at school.
Anyway, the therapist was open to it and today suggested we come back in a couple of weeks without my DD to fill out an ASD questionnaire. I wondered if anyone could enlighten me on this - I know girls with ASD present differently - for eg. she has great eye contact, very sociable (albeit with misunderstandings) - and of course, I may be barking up the wrong tree - but how do they take girls into account with a questionnaire that asks such questions, when there may be more subtle presentations at play? Does anyone have any experience of this?
You just have to insist that they assess her differently. We all know that girls can present very differently but sometimes that professionals need reminding. I would insist that they assess her in the classroom at home and in the clinical setting to get a full picture. I would also do a covering letter to be submitted with the questionaire that lists where she's having problems. I had to do this with my daughter to be taken seriously. Good Luck.
Reading with interest: my DD(6) is waiting to hear if the social communication clinic will accept a referral for an ASD assessment through CAMHS.
It hadn’t crossed my mind that my concerns might not be taken as seriously because she’s a girl - it’s true that it’s not as obvious that she’s autistic as her DB(8), but then it wasn’t so clear for him at 6 either.
Tbh, the description you’ve given sounds pretty clear cut that an assessment is called for, whatever is going on for her.
It’s really worth fighting to get a dx now, in my experience - it only gets harder as they move further up the school and deal with more and more complex social issues. Armed with a dx, you’re in a much bettter position to support her through this.
FWIW, although my DS is autistic, the support he has got means that not only is he doing fine academically, but he’s also a happy, socially confident boy who can, for example, ask a librarian to reserve a particular book for him with minimal support from me.
Argh, so self-centred! I never answered your question. I don’t think there are male/female versions of the questionnaire, but things like eye-contact aren’t definitive.
The questionnaire is probably just an initial stage - she will also likely have to do an ADOS, which is pretty detailed. It might not be quite as subtle for girls as for boys, but I think it’s good enough.
There are loads of resources for ASD girls online, from Tony Attwood and Tania Marshall, to The Curly-Haired Girl.
Thank you. I swing between thinking there is no doubt she has ASD, to thinking I’m completely bonkers for thinking it (like now, because she currently has only mild anxiety at present, etc). So fighting for a correct diagnosis feels difficult.