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About Sammysnake

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    NT parent with a pre-teen daughter (AS) who's turning out to be identical to her dad!
  1. Hi Lynda, thanks for replying. Fortuntely my daughter and I have until this point been able to talk about anything very freely and we've talked a lot about friendship groups, where to find your self esteem (ie not in other people), relationships, peer pressure, sex etc. As to boys - at the moment her crushes are on girls but the same advice stands - even more so I think as she tries to find out where she fits in the world. It's a difficult balance to try to help her feel that whoever she becomes and whatever she thinks and feels is OK but also that not everyone thinks that way and she needs to be careful what she says and shows to her peers for fear of giving the bullies a target. She's always gotten along best with boys to the extent that I had to send her to Girls Brigade when she was younger just to make her spend a little time with some girls and see that they're not all so bad! Now they're getting older though you get more flack for having male friends so I think for the first time she's looking to make some female friends but doesn't really have anything much in common with them as far as she's able to see. Makeup, clothes, popstars etc are all hell on earth to her! Anyway we're talking a lot and I'm giving her tips about the things we discuss but as she's now a teenager (physically and mentally if not chronologically yet), she's keeping more to herself which means I can't help. If I can find a book that covers the things I believe she's struggling with internally, I think she'll read it and use it as a self help book. It's got to be the right one though as she doesn't like talking about AS. I will definitely read it first myself and then I can discuss bits with her later if she reads it too. I think I'll order the book as the description sounds good - it's just frustrating that I can't pick it off a bookshelf and leaf through it first before paying the cash!!
  2. Hi Catwoman. Sorry to say I don't have any answers but I'm reading your thread with interest hoping someone else will have. My own daughter is still only 12 but the description of your girl sounds very much like mine. She's just started Secondary school and is finding it difficult to break into new groups of friends after being with the same supportive kids at Primary who all accepted her and looked out for her (teachers too). Secondary is a whole different world and I know it will only get more complicated as all her peers enter adolescence and beyond. When she was little I could walk by her side and explain the interactions that were going on around her and give her tips on what to do but short of stalking her or taping a hidden camera to her head I'm a bit stumped as to what to do next! I've just been browsing Amazon and there are loads of books there on AS, many of which you can 'take a peek inside'. Perhaps if one or another of us finds a good one we can tell the other about it! One that I did read some time back and thought had some good stuff in it despite being very Americanised was "Aspergirls". Good luck x
  3. Has anyone read the above book and would you recommend it? My daughter is 12 and in her first year at Secondary school. I know she's feeling a little concerned about making new friendships and breaking into groups etc and I saw her pick up a book about 'how to be more confident' in a bookshop today but she doesn't want to talk much about what's going on. I'm trying to find something to help her out. Thanks.
  4. My daughter also didn't like the potty - she used it once I think and then went straight onto the toilet. I think it made more sense for her as that's where she saw everyone else going in order to have a wee etc. I also support a child in school who wasn't clean or dry in the day until Year 3. For several years we had a routine of going into the bathroom every hour or so and 'trying' and managed to minimise the number of accidents that way. She didn't feel under pressure because it was just what we did every day. Later I started prompting her through the day asking if she needed to go but taking her every 1.5 to 2 hours if she hadn't been. Eventually she started telling me when she wanted to go - hoorah!! Don't panic as your boy will get there when he's ready. There are lots of children in Reception at my school who have accidents (we have boxes of spare clothes and plastic bags for just such eventualities) and we've had other children who've arrived in pull-ups and very quickly decided they wanted to be a 'big boy' or 'big girl' and start using the loo like their peers so they can wear pants or knickers too. Good luck, it'll work out. <'>
  5. Sammysnake

    Positive News.

    What a wonderful story, you made me cry (but in a good way). I work with children with various special needs and one thing I've learned from all of them is never underestimate what they can achieve and overcome. You clearly had the same attitude with supporting your boy so a huge congratulations to you and all the support you've put in an massive amounts of praise to your son for fighting back from a dark place and refusing to give up. I've never met him but am extremely proud of him!! My daughter used to get very distressed when writing too but seems to be doing better at the moment. You've made me even more hopeful than I already was about a great outcome for her, thank you. <'>
  6. I think it's an excellent idea too. From what you've said about your brother it sounds very suitable, a very practical way of helping lots of the young people he cared about. Bless you. xx
  7. Sorry this has ended up so long... I'd noticed differences right from a baby really, mostly in motor skills. When she started preschool she would get very loudly upset by things that didn't bother the other children and was forever tripping over herself and spilling drinks etc. She walked stragely too. I knew there was something different so when the preschool SENCo raised concerns I wasn't surprised. Initially she thought Dyspraxia so that was the line followed. GP referred to a physio becaused they focused in on the unusual way she walked (feet turned in) but after two visits she was discharged saying she had slight hypermobility but it would get better. I told the physio there was more going on and I was concerned about her extreme outbursts at preschool so she said to ask the GP to refer to a paediatrician. We got an appointment just before Beth started school. Preschool sent in a brilliant report highlighting every single 'idiosyncracy' and strategies they were using to support Beth but I think because Dyspraxia had been mentioned, that was all the Paed was looking for. He met her for five minutes, asked her to walk a line and close her eyes and do some little tests then told me there was some mild DCD, she would grow out of it and it was a pleasure to meet such a happy and well adjusted little girl. I was so sure the Paediatrician was the expert so I didn't explain that Beth was happy and settled in a 1:1 situation which I had prepared her in advance for and that her issues were only aparent when she was with other children or in emotional situations. My husband said I told you so when I got home and from then on no one believed me there were any issues other than me being overprotective. I read up on Dyspraxia and started implementing my own strategies to support Beth. She started school and my concerns continued but no one else shared them so I tried to tell myself I was wrong and really was just overanxious. A little while later I met an older lad with Autism and began to notice just little flashes of similarities in unusual thinking patterns that they shared. His mum has worked for years in special needs and it turned out some of my strategies for supporting Beth were the same as the ones she had been taught to do. We talked a lot and over the years I saw more and more of this lad in Beth. Each school year I would talk to the new class teacher about my concerns and they would all assure me everything was alright despite the fact my highly intelligent daughter couldn't write properly or get anything much from her head onto paper and that she was constantly overwrought and exhausted. I work in Beth's school and would hear her crying from a different part of the building! In Year 3 a child with Asperger's came into Beth's class. They are very different individuals with very different needs but the common ground was glaringly obvious. School got a lot of outside support with him because of extrememe behaviours, Beth got nothing because her distress wasn't expressed physically. Finally, towards the end of Year 4 and after a steep learning curve with this other lad, a teacher finally said I think there's something wrong too. I cried with relief. She asked me what I thought it was, by now I was heavily learning towards Asperger's and she agreed. School asked for a referrel back to the original Paediatrician and this time I was armed. Before the meeting we sent off a full social and emotional checklist and I sent my own report ahead of the meeting detailing everything that had happened over the years, all the issues I had seen in different settings and how she responded differently to them and all the strategies I had been implementing. I also had a list of prompts with me - I was going to make sure I said everything I wanted to this time! Beth was now 9. He talked to me and to Beth extensively, asked her questions about why she was looking at details around the room and being highly skilled with language she was able to explain exactly wht she was doing. He asked me what I thought it was so I said an ASD, not wanting to be too specific in front of Beth in case I was wrong. He agreed and then explained to Beth that she has Asperger's. I was surprised, I thought he would tell me privately and I would tell Beth but thankfully I had spoken to her before the meeting about why we were going. I told her it would be really helpful if there was a name for her personal mix of strengths and weaknesses as it meant there was also a collection of tried and tested support methods that other people had used. I didn't mention the names of any possible diagnoses though as I might still have been wrong. To me he said, "I'm really sorry that I missed it five years ago but thankfully Beth hasn't lost any time because you've been using all the right support strategies all along". It was a huge relief and I don't feel like I'm fighting anyone anymore. Beth is more relaxed because she understands and I now have full permission to read books on Asperger's in full view of my husband and anyone else instead of hiding it! So, 6 years from initial GP visit to get our diagnosis but I'm so glad I never let go of that nagging doubt. To anyone going through this I would say, gather as much evidence as you can, write it all down and give it to people in plenty of time for them to read it before appointments, take notes with you and make sure you get to say everything you want to and ask all your questions and take someone with you to prompt you and help you remember what was said. Good luck to all.
  8. Hi all. Just picked up a wobble board from the charity shop which I thought I would start using in a fun way with my 10-year-old. She has AS and mild DCD. Her overall body movement is getting better as she grows but her posture remains poor and she doesn't really use her hips when she walks which gives her a very heavy step and she kind of 'lollops' (I couldn't think of a real word to describe it! ) which affects her stamina. I heard a wobble board might help. Has anyone here used one and can suggest any specific things we could try doing with it to help? We're going to do it together and challenge one another. We've also been given a stepping machine and Beth's going to help me start a fitness regime over the holidays (Lord help us!!)
  9. I agree, great link puffin. I've just sent it on to a friend whose little boy has just been diagnosed. She's certainly been hearing the old - 'you don't discipline him enough and if I had him for 5 minutes he'd be a different child' bit from people around her. Hopefully this will help.
  10. I used a little paperback book called: 'Can I Tell You About Asperger Syndrome?: A Guide for Friends and Family' by Jude Welton and Jane Telford It's less than £6.00 from Amazon and is short and simple, written from the point of view of a young lad around your boy's age explaining how his AS affects him and the simple steps people around him can take to help. My daughter and I read it together straight after her diagnosis and it made it really easy for us to discuss things and both lots of grandparents found it very useful. My husband didn't want to read it but after some time he came to accept the diagnosis too. Beforehand he used to pretty much accuse me of causing her issues by being too soft on her (a bit like your dad). It's common for some family members to take longer to come to terms with news like this so don't worry if attitudes don't change straight away - it doesn't mean they might not in the future. The other point is that parents often have differing opinions to their children about how grandkids should be raised, irrespective of whether they have a SEN or not. By all means give your parents the info they want or needs about AS but in the end it comes down to you to choose what advise to listen to and how to parent. Good luck, hope the trip to the UK is successful and you have some fun too . Sam
  11. I would take the referral. A friend of mine has been asking his GP to send him for an assessment for ADHD and the GP said - 'It doesn't exist in adults'. I know people used to believe that but it is a very out of date concept. He referred my friend anyway who met with a mental health team the other day who said they'd never seen such an obvious case of adult ADHD and couldn't understand how it had been missed for so many years. He started treatment immediately and is feeling much better. As has been said, GPs only ever have an overview, knowing a little bit about a lot of things. They are not experts in something like ASD so use the GPO to get the referral to the people who ARE the experts. Good luck.
  12. I was chatting to a friend this morning who feels much the same way and we were discussing how many people get nervous when someone they meet doesn't act, speak, think the way they think they should. They want to constantly change others to fit the image they think everyone should fulfill just so they feel safer or because they dont' want to learn about the fabulous variety of differences that are in the world of human beings. Not everyone in the world is like that though. There really are people out there who will accept you just for the person you are. Sometimes we're harder to find but we're well worth looking for. Please don't let the ill informed or scared or lazy or whatever people put you off of everyone. Sometimes the first negative reaction you get from a person can change with time too. I really hope you find some nicer people soon. There are lots of lovely ones on this forum who are very very supportive. <'>
  13. Ha ha ha ha. Skillfully handled I think: well done on the training too .
  14. My 10 year old daughter regularly retells very detailed dreams to me. She remembers them vividly, says she dreams in colour and smell and that she can control her dreams, directing how they go. Occasionally she has one which is a little upsetting so she simply changes the direction of the thought processes without waking up. She rarely wakes in the night but if she does in the middle of a dream, she can choose to go back into it. He dreams are fully fledged stories. With my dreams on the other hand, it's very rare for me to remember details - I have to try very hard. They are also really mixed up with bits of people, places and events from my experiences mixed up in ways that they shouldn't be and the 'story line' is always really random!! My daughter has AS, I am NT but I don;t know if that's relevant at all. I do wish I had her ability to dream though!
  15. Worth pointing out people can still listen to this online for the next 6 days - just click the original link Sesley posted. I found it fascinating, a real window into the different lives and experiences of these two guys from childhood through to adulthood, marriage and work. The comment about the daughter changing the phrase 'keep your eyes open' in order to freak out her brother with AS was a real eye opener (excuse the pun). I didn't really understand the force of visual thinking before - my daughter doesnt do that. Definitely worth a listen and posting on to other people to help raise awareness of AS, thanks Sesley.
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