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Is my 13 year old autistic? Or just very intelligent and introverted?

(3 Posts)
MaryamErkin Sun 16-Oct-16 16:49:13

Hello, I am new to mumsnet. I am a mother of a 13 year old girl, who is called Ceyda, a 9 year old boy who is called Taner, and a 17 year old boy who is called Emre.

Emre (17) was diagnosed with Aspergers, he is very intelligent, his interests are mainly about cars, and he is interested in Mechanics. He is slightly awkward in social situations, he doesn't like meeting new people (but when he hangs out with them a few times it's fine) he doesn't like parties and he doesn't get drunk like his friends do. he has a few close friends who he likes to hang out with, and are all good kids. He shows the normal Asperger signs.

Taner (9) has average intelligence, maybe very slightly above but I don't know, he loves to play with friends, he's very sporty (he does football, rugby and tennis and is in teams for all of them) and he is so popular. He is starting to be interested in girls haha. He loves school because he gets to see his friends , but he hates homework and studying! He seems very normal, and I have no concern about him at all.

However , my 13 year old is very different to them both. She doesn't have any friends at school, she has about 5 close friends out of school whom she knew from when she was about 6, and some family friends.

She is VERY intelligent, and a very hard worker, (I noticed this in Emre as well, but she is on a complete different scale) but only in what she's interested in .

She does not like certain school subjects such as drama, art, music and things that other children enjoy at school. She does not like English either, or French (languages in general), apart from Turkish which is our own language!

But she is doing surprisingly well at English and French and is in the top class for both due to hard work.

She absolutely ADORES maths, and science, (particularly chemistry, she loves physics and biology too) and she loves computing, coding and hardware.

She has a very mathematical and logical mind and gets annoyed when people aren't logical.

She tried to invent a mobile phone when she was 10, and spent the whole day doing that, but it failed as she was missing a component or something, and she 'felt like a failure' and was very disappointed that it didn't turn out right!

She also feels extremely unchallenged and bored at school, her marks for maths & science are always 100% or high 90's, and she gets so sad and sometimes cries if she doesn't get marks more than 97 out of 100!

The school exams are meant to be challenging, but she finds them a joke, and says 'even Taner can do these!' Which he definitely can't, but she says it out of frustration I'm sure.

She has an amazing memory as well, but not photographic. She is very quick to learn, she was tutored out of school from when she was 5 onwards as she wasn't challenged at school and wanted to learn more.

She likes this because with her tutors she is able to learn as much as she wants and is not unchallenged. At age 5, her tutor said she was at the same level as 11 year olds at maths and science, and he gave her the same exams as an 11 year old, and she got 13% higher than him! Obviously the 11 year old boy was very embarrassed as she was only 5 and a half years old!

From when she was 9 (same age as my youngest) she's studied chemistry at a very high level that way older children are meant to study, and didn't find that very hard either (which astonishes me, as the material is quite tough even for my 17 year old son, who also is good at science, so sometimes they work together and she explains to him!)

She tells me that In certain classes, such as Art and Drama etc she actually fell asleep a few times, and her teacher told her off a lot, but she didn't understand what she did wrong and told the teacher directly "it's not my fault I'm tired and being in a boring class doesn't help!' She doesn't understand that this is rude at all.

Also, she is extremely argumentative. Everything has to be done in a certain way, and routine or else she gets angry.

She also does Taekwondo, and is a black belt, and loves it so sometimes she practises in the house at 3:00 in the morning, (this has become a routine for her!) while everyone is asleep! (We have a punchbag downstairs which she kicks) , she wakes everyone up, and then her father comes downstairs and tells her off, but she again doesn't understand why her actions are inappropriate!

She sometimes has outbursts that last 5 hours NON STOP.

She hates it when being asked to do something that she finds unnecessary! (Eg: help her brother with his homework, and just help people in general! Unless it's her older brother and his chemistry exams!) I know that she finds these unecessary but I would really appriciate if she could help Because then my work becomes easier .

She is extremely mature for a 13 year old.

what I find very weird is that when she is with her 'out of school' friends she seems very normal and like a typical 13 year old! This is why I'm not sure if she has autism.

She never organises with them herself though, (or anyone for that matter) I have to organise for her as it's unhealthy for a child her age to have no social life!

Her teachers at school said she could be autistic, but they just think she's very smart & introverted.

Also they refuse to move her up a year or two as it's only her science, maths and computing skills that are this amazing, she is not an all rounder and could not cope with the work in English and French and everything else in a year above.

She also never shows eye contact while talking to people which is confusing for them As they don't know that she is talking to them.

I don't know if this is just a teenager thing, but she is nearly always in her room with the door shut, and when I come up to see is she's alright, she gets annoyed and tells me not to come in again because she wants to 'relax'. Her idea of 'relaxing' is watching air crash investigation documentaries on the Television.

She is also VERY socially awkward (hence the no school friends), she doesn't understand children her age and thinks they are stupid only because they aren't as smart as her!

she is very honest with people, if she doesn't like someone, she says it (sometimes even to them if they aggravate her!)

she was never bullied, (probably because she does Taekwondo, and could beat up the other kids her age)

She also is very determined and sometimes It is counter productive.
She sometimes is downstairs on the computer researching about chemistry until 2:00am and won't listen to anyone who tells her to stop.

She was always a very intelligent child, but my worry about her is later in life. She wants to go to a top university and study chemistry and maths but she might not get a job because of how socially awkward she is despite her intelligence!

She also wants to be homeschooled as school is so 'boring' but I don't think this is a good idea and the physiologist said this will make her more socially awkward.

So my question is, is she autistic? Or just very intelligent and introverted? I see some signs of autism I saw in my son Emre (Aspergers) but i don't know. Emre was never this smart at her age

She has a lot of the autism signs but I've heard not all autistic children are intelligent? She also never had a speech delay, however her voice is flat and monotonous.

Thank you for taking your time to read this, and I really hope someone can help with this question ! Thank you! Xx Maryam ❤️

Pythonesque Sun 30-Oct-16 21:31:08

I've a 14 yr old daughter suspected Aspergers, a lot of what you describe resonates with our experiences. Especially the intolerance of people getting things wrong, and unintended rudeness!

Your very last comment though about her voice being "flat and monotonous" intrigues me - has she ever had any hearing problems? I would definitely get her hearing checked.

Always difficult with a very bright child to get the balance right. I would suggest however that she does need to have her sleep monitored with strict rules over bedtimes / not using the computer at night / not getting up to exercise at 3 am! Falling asleep in class is not acceptable (maybe as a one-off if unwell) - certainly not if caused partly by unhelpful sleep habits.

There is time for her to master adequate social skills later, I think she will find her feet eventually, maybe once she's doing that maths degree or whatever smile Focus on one or two things that are real current problems and try to improve them but don't worry about things that aren't bothering her or causing problems with school.

MaryamErkin Thu 03-Nov-16 09:37:21

Thank you so much for your reply Pythonsque.

My daughter has just been diagnosed yesterday with mild Asperger's syndrome, and social communication disorder.

I am very thankful for your advice such as the hearing, as far as I know she does not have hearing problems as she has regular check ups.

Good luck with your daughter as well!

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