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6 year old with possible asbergers is this the right thing to do

(21 Posts)
lukeysmummy Tue 25-Aug-09 23:10:19

dd is seeing a specialist in oct with a view that she has asbergers she is currently making me & hubby very very miserable and hubby has said today that by october he would have probably left me with the stress of it all (i dont think he meant it) anyhow she is totally obsessed with clothes and shoes so i am now think ing of limiting the amount of clothes and shoes she has by getting rid of it all then getting like 4 jeans and 2 tops for each pair of jeans so that everything sort of matches and then just getting a couple of pairs of shoes
rather than having quite a lot of everything

she is making me desperatly miserable as she is being really difficult in the holidays and has become quite aggressive with kicking and lashing out which she has never really done
also having a few peoblems a work with the woman i work with i actually feel like blubbing which realy really isnt like me

My mum is hopefully going to have her tomorrow for a day as we went out today and it was just a total disaster and we all ended up comming home

WetAugust Tue 25-Aug-09 23:29:37


You don't say how old your dd is?

I don't understand why you want to get rid of her clothes and replace with more that 'match'?

If she does have aspergers (it's ASPERGERS not ASBPEGERS) then she's not doing whatever it is that upsets you deliberately. perhaps if you started to research the condition and understood more about it you could equip yourself with some coping stratgeies.

Sorry to say it but if that's teh best that your OH can offer he sounds like a self-pitying, selfish tosser!

WetAugust Tue 25-Aug-09 23:45:07

Sorry - her is in the title.

Yes - YABU. If you took the time to learn about aspergers then you wouold realise that

a) Aspergers children often have weird and uncontrolalble 'obsessions' - clothes may be one of your DD's obsessions, but why throw away oetherwise perfectly good clothes in an attempt to thwart her onsession - if you do that she'll have a new obsession next week.

b) children with asperegrs dislike change intensely and 'new clothes' can cause them distress - so why replace her old clothes for purely aesthetic reasons?

konika30 Tue 25-Aug-09 23:51:04

My son is 5 and aspergers. Can relate to the clothes situation. For my son, it is about the clothing label size.

As you learn more about aspergers you will realise that your child IS NOT being naughty. Or trying to wind you up.

Aspergers people have difficulty with social and communication. They require very clear and concise instructions and consistency to be happy. Try to use positive language. Saying "don't kick/hit/throw/be rude" only tells the child what NOT to do. You need to replace it with positive language that tells the child WHAT to do "put feet on the ground /gentle touch / nice words".

Lashing out can also be about trying to get attention. If the social abilites are impaired then they will 'act out' until they learn new strategies.

Catch your daughter doing well. "You're really great at picking up toys / painting / reading etc". If it is aspergers, the child really will need you to support her emotionally and with self esteem.

Try schedules. Take away the uncertainty of trips out / whose visiting today/ where you are going / what you are doing. Reinforce with verbal cues. e.g "FIRST we are getting dressed THEN we are having breakfast". After the chld is dressed say "NOW we are having breakfast THEN we will read a book". Add more steps depending on the childs ability to process 2 or more steps.

If hubby is starting to make comments about not coing then LISTEN. 80% of marriages fail in the autism world and 48% of men that have fathered an ASD child are also on the spectrum to some degree. Dad who are at work all day come home and are like a fish out of water. Keep the communication lines open & make sure you have time together as a couple.

Hope it all goes well.

pickyvic Wed 26-Aug-09 00:07:00

agree with wet august. learn and research. yabu

luckylady74 Wed 26-Aug-09 00:33:26

It is very hard work parenting an as child sometimes and I sympathise - holidays are a difficult change of routine for everyone.

The clothes thing - I do sort of see where you are coming from. ds1 is obsessed with some dvds- he would watch them all day if I let him. He can work himself into a state about them and sometimes seems to be more stressy about them than happy.So I set limits - he watches 30 minutes at night and that's it, unless we are away and he needs more to comfort himself. He is happier with the clear rules.

Does your dd need limits on her clothes - you're not clear how the problems arise, but if it's chosing what to wear make her pick out outfit night before every night or if she won't come and have dinner because she's looking at clothes then set a time limit and stick to it. If she's in a state because she can't choose what to wear then yes maybe quietly getting rid of some is a good idea. If it's a punishment then no that isn't a good idea.

When do you have a good time with dd? My ds loves swimming so we do an awful lot of that because we need to feel positive about him so we can cope with the aggression.

Try and feel sympathy for her - this.
helps me with ds -it must be awful not being able to relax, calm down, feel so cross and so on

Is there an asd parents support group in your area? We have a dads one that meets in the pub- I think men can feel isolated and like there's noone else going through what they're going through.

Have a good cry and then pick yourself up and resolve to educate yourself and dh about your precious dd's condition and then you can make some changes, if only in your outlook, that will help you stick together and feel better.
Good luck

lukeysmummy Wed 26-Aug-09 07:44:23

Thanks to the replies who offer some positive help
neither myself or my husband need citsism thanks nor is he a total tosser or any other names we are finding is extremely difficult as we are both working parents and my husband has had the kids most of the time through the holidays while working shifts which have included 12 hour nights then getting up and having 3 kids whilst im at work.
ASPERGERS is all new to us and allthough we have done some research every child is very different
so thanks konika30 & luckylady

Mitchell81 Wed 26-Aug-09 08:35:48

I hope you get better support on here. smile Sorry no advice as my DD has other problems.

I think you are right in asking what you should do, fingers crossed that you get more answers in October.

labyrinthine Wed 26-Aug-09 09:13:45

Just wanted to add~why are posters saying YABU as if this is an AIBU thread ~it's not!
The OP has asked for help and has an assessment in progress.

Hope you get some professional advice soon.As others have said it is probably more to do with the feel of the clothes themselves and changes in routine than how many clothes she has~you wouldn't want to get rid of her clothes and find she won't wear any of her new ones.

It's very difficult to have a child behaving like this and seemingly out of steps with peers~very stressful.
Konikas advice was very good ~hope it helps a bit.

luckylady74 Wed 26-Aug-09 09:24:05

Aspergers presents very differently in girls sometimes to boys.
The nas have earlybird parenting courses for parents who've got a child with a recent dx of asd - try and get on one of those if you do get a dx.
In fact they hold evening meetings and stuff too about all aspects of asd - I would give your local branch a call and see what's available.
I think the nas website is brilliant - read the page on sensory integration - it explained a lot about my son's behaviour to me.
Your life sounds hard at the moment and your dd's special needs on top of that can be the last straw. I think everyone with an as child can empathise with a disastrous day out!
I was a little shocked by the harsher responses you got - I suppose people just get defensive because they feel their children are so often misunderstood, but if we don't ask how are we supposed to learn?
Please keep posting - you will receive support.

labyrinthine Wed 26-Aug-09 09:31:22

Although I suppose you could put some of her clothes away for a few days leaving only her favourite ones out if too much choice is part of the issue?

Jo5677 Wed 26-Aug-09 09:55:20

lukeysmummy,just wanted to stop by and say Hi. I could empathize reading your post,i have a son somewhere on the autistic spectrum and despite the fact i love him so much his behaviour can be challenging to cope with everyday. Not only that but it can be really draining on a relationship.
If you ever want anyone to exchange emails with then you're welcome to give me a shout,take care,Jo x

konika30 Wed 26-Aug-09 10:35:43

Hi again,

Just wanted to add, Westaugust had a very valid point about replacing old clothes with new.

Many ASD people do find new clothes ... the smell and feel ... to be quite uncomfortable. Temple Grandin is one author / female / ASD person who has written about the issue of new clothing.

Occupational Therapy is one crucial aspect to dealing with ASD. The children process information from their surroundings differently and can have hyper or under sensitivities.

You are quite right, ASD affects everybody diffently hence why it is a 'spectrum'. Mums are fairly intuitive and once you've got some guidance, you will master the 'analytical hat' an ASD mum needs!

Just a more personal note, try not to take offence to comments that I'm sure aren't trying to make your life difficult. Parents come on to boards like this to socialise and to get help. Not one of us has all the answers but alot of us are willing to share what information we have and help.

In the ASD / SN world you will meet exceptional woman doing parenting to a degree a NT parent has no insight into. :0

knat Wed 26-Aug-09 13:25:57

hi i have a dd who is 5 nearly 6 and is on the spectrum (HFA or Aspergers) andis very similar to yours - very aggressive and obsessive. It is very hard and i try and use the obsessions in a positive way to get her to do things she needs to do. I find my dd is just getting into cflothes and has been quite obsessional about them only wanting to wear certain ones. I let herdo this wherever possible (ironing and washin gpiles prevailing!!!) as its not really an issue at the minute. I certainly find that too much is an issue and if this causes your dd a problem then maybe you should limit her wardrobe options.

I sympathise with your situation but reading up on the condition and talking to others does help and enables you to try different strategies out which might/not help or in our case usually help for a certain amount of time and then we have to try something else!!!!

AGree entirely with konika and although daunting you do adapt and pick up on things and you also have many times when you're daunted again!!!! Best of luck.

TINKERBELLE33 Wed 26-Aug-09 23:06:17

Hi, hope nobody minds me lurking as I don't personally have a SN child, but I do teach SN students. I have a friend who teaches a girl who sounds similiar to your DD and has found using picture cards useful. Each week she uses the pictures to plan her daily wardrobe, which helps her to get dressed each morning with less stress. Obviously planning a week ahead may be too much for your DD, perhaps plan one day at a time.

Please keep using this board, I find it extremely useful as a teacher and it appears to be a good source of moral support too.

misscutandstick Thu 27-Aug-09 09:00:21

The worst of DS4's (4.3y AS) behaviour is caused by him feeling that hes not being listened to. DS2 &DS3 are the worst culprits in our house, at not listening to him and DS4 turns into a screaming, kicking, whirlwind banshee at that point!

DS4 also has problems with clothing - he cant cope with motifs that have webbing on the inside: plastic-y motifs that make the garment stiff: piping which makes extra 'seems': and socks altogether! Hes turned into a bit of a stripper at home grin

He also has problems with being touched, i really do think that it feels like we are punching him when we lay a hand on him to 'steer' him out the way. which we just dont do anymore, we have to ask him instead, takes 4 times longer but at least it avoids the screaming, flapping and whirling!

DS5 (3.2y autism, non-verbal) also has similar problems, and has to have his pyjamas altered (hes still in babygros to stop him removing his nappy) - it took a long time to realise that he couldnt cope with feet in his babygrows, many sleepless nights we all had until we figured that one out!

DS1 (ADHD) had problems with clothing for many years, would only wear certain items, hes now 17 and much much better (with clothing anyway grin)

I think my point is that many children on the spectrum have very similar problems but display in a different way, its working out whats causing the problems is the key, rather than trying to elimanate the effects.

Im guessing that if your DD isnt a naturally violent person and its only a recent problem, then there is something bothering her, that is fairly recent causing such stress that she feels the only way to deal with it is to hit out. If she has got to the point of being so stressed, she probably wont be able to tell you whats upsetting her. Ithink routine is definately the first place to start - especially as the holidays provide none, and even if its not the lack of routine that is upsetting her, then providing one should show whats upsetting her. spend time watching and being in 'tune' with your DD, then you will start to see a pattern of when undesirable behavior arrives, whats causing it, and how to avoid it.

Good luck smile

claw3 Thu 27-Aug-09 09:13:48

Morning Lukeysmum

I think most parents of special needs children feel like pulling their hair out some days, especially during the holidays. My son will spend the entire day standing on his head, jumping from furniture and spinning in circles if i dont keep him amused constantly!

What kind of problem are you experiencing with the clothes?

lukeysmummy Thu 27-Aug-09 22:52:03

Hi thanks for all the kind people that have repsonded with some really useful stuff
as for clothes she doesnt have a problem with the feel of them really she will sometimes say when something is new i can feel this or that then throw it accross the room then if you hang it in the wardrobe she may come back to it jeans are a big issue as she is really thin so has next adjustable jeans and she likes them pulled in lots
she tends to want to wear totally inappropriate clothes for that day so shorts for a rainy day etc
and would want to wear flip flops if it was raining then once her feet got wet she would toally kick off as she doesnt like her feet wet
she hates it if her socks get a wet blob if the dog has dripped water from his bowl
basically all the things that you and i think are small are totally massive
also noticed quite recently she is totally frigthened of tractors in fields and cars as she seems to think they are going to run her over she will grip me really really hard.

Interesting what misscutandstick said about steering your child my dd is exactly the same and also if someone brushes past her when were out she seems to take it like she has been punched

thanks again for all the interesting points

konika30 Thu 27-Aug-09 23:55:12

I'll jsut pick out afew points form your last message:

Throwing the clothes could be about acceptance of new things & change. When I buy clothes for my 5yr old I get the 4yr old to wear them first. He needs to see the clothes become familiar to his environment before they are 'ok' to wear. Don't fight it, just go with it.

Pulling in the jeans could be the need for some deeper pressure input. Alot of ASD kids like tight clothing. Throughout the day try giving lots of deep pressure touch. Big hugs, firm massage, hand of each of her shoulders and press down (helps centre the child making them aware of their physical space), joint compressions. Also try looking up therapressure brushing which is fantastic!

Wearing inapproariate clothing for the weather can be afew things. Is she understanding feelings and emotions properly? Do lots of re-inforcers to help thos connection grow. You could also try making a chart on the door/ wall. Cut out a zig zag shaped like lightening from cardboard (paste something like foil to make it pretty) and collect pictures and remnants of things related to wet weather. Do the same thing for hot weather etc.

You want to reinforce the message "When it is raining I do XYZ and I wear XYZ". It is like a matching game. As our kids are visual lerners they need visual reinforcers to help them.

konika30 Fri 28-Aug-09 00:07:27

Also, the sense of touch can be a strange one. From my limited knowledge I would be guessing it indicates the need for deeper touch. Try to let her know when you are going to touch her & give her strategies to handle unexpected light touch. Explain that the touch will only last a moment and give her something to DO when it happens.

Reactions to sound might be an auditory prcoessing issue. Sometimes social stories can be good to explain why noises are needed. for example,car horns are noisy but they are needed to let people know to move off the road etc".

claw3 Fri 28-Aug-09 09:01:22

It is my understanding that lots of ASD children have sensory issues, you might find the above link interesting/helpful.

Also this link, what it feels like through the eyes of someone with sensory issues.

I found them very useful. Good luck smile

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