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sslo82

Hi - possible aspergers 7 yr old..

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sslo82   

Hi there,

 

Our daughter may have aspergers (school have said 'possibly somewhere on the spectrum' but we have felt for sometime that she could have aspergers) so for now we are waiting to have a meeting with school and go from there. I have made lists of all sorts of things that she does or things that upset her but there was one thing that I wanted to bring up here and see if it rings any bells with anyone.

My daughter finds it hard to remember what to say in social situations - she will ignore people when we walk into a friend's house and they say hello. She won't say thank you for coming to visit or thank you for having us. In fact, if people are leaving our house she doesn't even realise she should come to the door to say goodbye. I always have to go over the same things everytime we go anywhere in the hope she does the right things!!!

Yesterday, we were invited to a friend's house and before we went I had to go through the same old stuff.. no running around their whole house/hello when they say hello/speak back if they ask you something/thank you for having us/take shoes off when we arrive/be polite all the time.... etc..

Well.. we were there and the entire time she seemed odd.. to me.. probably not so much to my friend who probably thought how quiet but polite she was.. She said hello.. she took her shoes off, she walked about with the straightest posture ever, and a very strange face.. like she was trying to be 'prim and proper'.. that kind of expression if that makes sense!! She said please and thank you. When asked about a drink there was a pause and then she said, "I'll just have water please." When asked what colour cup.. there was a pause again.. "I don't mind which colour." She was incredibly polite... when we were going she stood at the door and she said, "Thank you for having me." And this was all great... except she was not herself!?! This might not make sense but it was like having a robotic child for a couple of hours.

When we got home she was a total argumentative nightmare. Later, I spoke with her and asked if she had tried to remember all the things I'd told her to do.. .and whether she had thought of anything else whilst there. It seems that the whole time she had been focussed on making sure she did all those things....... none of it seemed natural and whilst I was obviously pleased she'd behaved... I wondered whether this was something a child with Asperger's might do? It was as if she'd spent the whole time concentrating on saying the right things!

Thanks for any replies! :-)

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Mihaela   

Hello sslo, and welcome to the forum.

 

My daughter finds it hard to remember what to say in social situations - she will ignore people when we walk into a friend's house and they say hello. She won't say thank you for coming to visit or thank you for having us. In fact, if people are leaving our house she doesn't even realise she should come to the door to say goodbye.

 

I remember being like this, and I know a 7yo aspie girl who's similar. My parents were always telling me how to be polite. It didn't come naturally for many years. Yes, it does sound like your daughter could have Asperger's.

 

Girls are generally better at learning how to behave socially, but this doesn't come naturally. It's possible that your daughter was trying very hard to please you, so hard that she was putting all her concentration into it, which was making her appear to be not herself.

When you got home, she no longer needed to act and could be herself again, but the stress causing by the intense acting had taken its toll, and she had to release it by being a 'total argumentative nightmare'. By the way, I'm typing this as I'm reading your words, and I've just reached this bit:

 

It seems that the whole time she had been focussed on making sure she did all those things......

Which is exactly what I've been saying! I wouldn't worry too much about this, and from this alone it seems very likely that she has AS. The sooner she's diagnosed the better, for it helps others not only to understand her behaviour but also to treat her in the most appropriate ways. I think maybe, when this kind of thing happens next time, you shouldn't over-emphasise politeness. Let her be herself more even though she might make mistakes, and make sure that whoever she's visiting understand why she's 'different'. She needs to learn at a slow gradual pace, so as not to cause her undue stress - and I'm sure she will.

What other situations cause her stress? Does she have sensory issues?

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--- post deleted -- as far to personal and not referenced by post below -- also the post below shows that my post is irrelevant in this situation. ---

Edited by Waterboatman

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sslo82   

Many thanks for your reply. It did feel like I'd gone through all the 'right' things to do and then the poor lamb kind of struggled through the visit!! I don't think my friend noticed as she would have just seen her being very polite, just with no personality at all! But I did worry afterwards as to how I go about things like that in future. We're used to frightful trips out or to people's houses where I spend forever apologising.... a nice in-between would be good!!

I have a big list of things we have noticed might be signs of aspergers. Probably too many to list on here I expect!! She does seem to have sensory issues - she has always put her hands over her ears in busy places/when hand dryers are on/when too many things are happening like conversations and tv etc. She never liked pantomimes or similar or the cinema and it seemed to be the noise mostly. She struggles with the noise on the playground and has told her teacher that the class are being too loud and she can't concentrate! She is very fussy about food and will actually spit something out on the table (lovely) because she can't wait to get a tissue. She doesn't like food touching - I actually put things in separate bowls! There are probably other things.... she has this strange kissing thing where if we kiss her on her cheek and hug her she freaks out if we don't kiss the other side and cuddle again as he other cheek feels 'wrong and cold'. She also has HUGE tantrums like people would expect in a much younger child. And lots of other things but I'll stop now before I also go on and on and on. :-)

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sslo82   

Ian,

 

Thanks for your reply too! I am with you completely on the diagnosis thing. I worry that getting a proper diagnosis will cause problems later on - she is very bright and creative and fabulous in her own crazy way.... she does not suit school life but I feel that if she can get through that then she will cope in adult life! However... I don't know where we stand by not getting a proper diagnosis, yet making the school aware of the difficulties............................ This is how I would prefer to go about things..

As for family, I personally think my dad is a bit crackers and so am I. :-) When I was reading things about aspergers I was a bit freaked that I might have been reading about myself!! However, I rolled through school and out again and was, as you say, probably better off that way. I think more help in school and socially would have helped.... but I have learnt a lot as an adult and I think you have to pick it up pretty quickly to get on ok. (But of course........ I may well just be a bit crackers.)

It is a tricky one as I want people to understand her and I want her to get on ok at school, but I don't want to 'label' her and make anything difficult further down the line.

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Mihaela   

.... a nice in-between would be good!

I feel this could only happen (and easily) when those people she's visiting understand why she behaves differently to most. That's one reason why I support an early diagnosis. Undiagnosed, parents are only too often accused by others (including 'professionals') of fantasising, over-protecting, spoiling, making excuses, etc. They don't believe us, even though we know our children better than anyone else.

I have a big list of things we have noticed might be signs of aspergers. Probably too many to list on here I expect!!

I know the feeling! These lists can get very long, and the longer they get, the more everything seems to make sense.

She does seem to have sensory issues - she has always put her hands over her ears in busy places/when hand dryers are on/when too many things are happening like conversations and tv etc. She never liked pantomimes or similar or the cinema and it seemed to be the noise mostly. She struggles with the noise on the playground and has told her teacher that the class are being too loud and she can't concentrate!

Exactly like me as a child, and I'm still the same today. I found school increasing difficult for this reason (along with bullying, arbitrary rules and holding me back intellectually. I also have light sensory issues too). I've yet to meet an aspie without sensory issues, and I feel that the 'intense-world' theory is far more likely to be correct than the 'extreme-male-brain' theory, especially with the seemingly ever-present sensory stuff, and with more and more girls being diagnosed.

She is very fussy about food and will actually spit something out on the table (lovely) because she can't wait to get a tissue.

She sounds enchanting! She'll grow out of that in time, and choose her own preferences in food. Me and my brother were like this too. I don't see this as a big problem, but it's another possible indicator of AS.

She doesn't like food touching - I actually put things in separate bowls!

I'm glad you mentioned this, for it's brought back memories of my brother as a child - more evidence that he too had AS, for this was a big obsession with him right into adulthood. He had other food issues too, a lot more than me.

she has this strange kissing thing where if we kiss her on her cheek and hug her she freaks out if we don't kiss the other side and cuddle again as he other cheek feels 'wrong and cold'.

I've seen this in children and it reminds me of myself again - an obsession with equality and fairness that goes beyond what's rational. I could give many examples of how this affects me - still. It extends to my relationships with animals, flowers and objects. With me, I see it an OC trait, but I'm sure it's due to AS. Does she have any odd little rituals with toys, dolls, teddy bears, etc.?

She also has HUGE tantrums like people would expect in a much younger child.

So does the little aspie girl I know - and so did I. My parents never understood why, but you do - which is good for her. My meltdowns never fully disappeared; they just became less frequent.

I worry that getting a proper diagnosis will cause problems later on - she is very bright and creative and fabulous in her own crazy way.... she does not suit school life but I feel that if she can get through that then she will cope in adult life!

I can only speak for myself. My biggest regret in life was not getting an early diagnosis. My life has been very difficult, and often traumatic. I've suffered discrimination and bullying ever since I was about 11 and for decades later. I've suffered repeated and chronic bouts of depression, OCD, tics and C-PTSD, and it's only since I learnt that I had AS that everything has started to get better and make sense. I waited four decades to enjoy my adult life - and all because I was misunderstood by others and misunderstood myself. I missed out in so many ways, only being 'saved' by my high intelligence and interests.

I'd go as far as to say that no aspie is truly suited to school life, and much damage has been caused to us by having to endure school (especially from 11 onwards). For years I was involved in the home education movement, and I've seen many, many 'different' children flourish once they'd been taken out of school. If at any time you feel your daughter is suffering at school, it needs to be stopped quickly. The school and her peers must accept her for who she is. So often this doesn't happen. I know a 14yo aspie girl who's currently suffering badly at school due to bullying and teacher indifference, and I worry about her future. (most of her spare time is spent thinking and writing a novel about bullying). It's important to plan ahead, and a diagnosis gives the school a legal responsibility to take into account her AS and make all necessary adjustments. School must allow her to remain "bright and creative and fabulous in her own crazy way", so that it carries on into her adult life.

However... I don't know where we stand by not getting a proper diagnosis, yet making the school aware of the difficulties............................ This is how I would prefer to go about things..

It all depends on how accommodating the school would be. It's important to look ahead a few years and you need to be prepared. Life in secondary school tends to be far worse for an aspie child. A diagnosis gives the child official recognition of a condition, not a disability. The school would then have a legal responsibility to take into account her condition and make all necessary adjustments. School must allow her to remain "bright and creative and fabulous in her own crazy way", so that it carries on into her adult life. In the end it's up you to ensure that it does.

 

When I was reading things about aspergers I was a bit freaked that I might have been reading about myself!! However, I rolled through school and out again and was, as you say, probably better off that way. I think more help in school and socially would have helped.... but I have learnt a lot as an adult and I think you have to pick it up pretty quickly to get on ok.

Maybe you do have mild AS traits, after all it's hereditary. The very fact that you feel they could have helped more suggests that your roll wasn't always smooth. :)

It is a tricky one as I want people to understand her and I want her to get on ok at school, but I don't want to 'label' her and make anything difficult further down the line.

The opposite may equally apply though. A 'label' is what you make of it - no more, no less. Both the 'labelled' and the 'labellers' need to see AS positively, rather than as some kind of stigma. It's simply a difference, and we have many special talents which can be put to good use. I wouldn't want to be any different. I'm proud of being who I am and of my achievements - and I have AS to thank for this. (This is how we all think at the video project that I'm involved in - and it's the only worthwhile way).

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verbeia   

Oh my gosh, this sounds very much like me as a kid, and to some extent today, too. (I'm not diagnosed, incidentally, I only have my suspicions.) I think it's really good that she has parents who understand that she isn't being deliberately rude, and also recognise that when she's acting the way she's expected to act in public, it's an effort for her and it doesn't come naturally.

 

I think education and other services for children are a lot more Aspergers-aware these days, and if you did want her to be assessed for a diagnosis, it might give you and her access to more services and simple changes in school/other areas of like that could really benefit her. Just simple alterations to the way classes run or the way teachers talk to her could make all the difference, and hopefully help her understand herself, the world, and her place in the world.

 

Personally, I'd rather my own difficulties had been picked up earlier, before I was conditioned into believing I was always in the wrong/inferior to others, and ended up failing to develop my own views and personality fully because I was concentrating so hard on thinking and behaving the way I thought I should. Anyone with ASD who fully conforms to social expectations can be overlooked and their needs not met.

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sslo82   

Hi, it is very hard to know what to do as I feel if people are aware then they'll be more accommodating but I do worry that then as an adult she could feel let down possibly if it got in her way at all. If that makes sense (I know what I mean in my head!).

Regarding school, it's funny you mention home schooling as we did that for 18 months as we moved and couldn't get a school place locally. She loved it and it made it easier for us! She went to lots of clubs which got her out and went fairly well as she could choose friends who were younger than her to play with and the club's were short which suited her too. She struggles now she's back in school (a place came up from September) as the girls her age seem older and quite catty.. If that's a good description! Ruby doesn't understand all that and just wants to play. She often goes with it but has no idea what's going on really. :-( The school are doing a social skills group from the end of Jan although I'm not sure how much help it'll be but at least it's something. I am yet to meet with the senco. Does anyone know how schools handle it if a diagnosis is made? What help there is etc.

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verbeia   

I don't know for certain, but parents I know say they know of several children with Aspergers in their children's primary schools, and it sounds like there's an effort by teachers to be inclusive and to encourage other children to be inclusive. But even if she isn't diagnosed, there's more personal development onus on schools now, and if a child is being sidelined or picked on, whatever the reason, they're supposed to identify and try to work their way around that.

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GRP1919   

Hi there,

 

Our daughter may have aspergers (school have said 'possibly somewhere on the spectrum' but we have felt for sometime that she could have aspergers) so for now we are waiting to have a meeting with school and go from there. I have made lists of all sorts of things that she does or things that upset her but there was one thing that I wanted to bring up here and see if it rings any bells with anyone.

My daughter finds it hard to remember what to say in social situations - she will ignore people when we walk into a friend's house and they say hello. She won't say thank you for coming to visit or thank you for having us. In fact, if people are leaving our house she doesn't even realise she should come to the door to say goodbye. I always have to go over the same things everytime we go anywhere in the hope she does the right things!!!

Yesterday, we were invited to a friend's house and before we went I had to go through the same old stuff.. no running around their whole house/hello when they say hello/speak back if they ask you something/thank you for having us/take shoes off when we arrive/be polite all the time.... etc..

Well.. we were there and the entire time she seemed odd.. to me.. probably not so much to my friend who probably thought how quiet but polite she was.. She said hello.. she took her shoes off, she walked about with the straightest posture ever, and a very strange face.. like she was trying to be 'prim and proper'.. that kind of expression if that makes sense!! She said please and thank you. When asked about a drink there was a pause and then she said, "I'll just have water please." When asked what colour cup.. there was a pause again.. "I don't mind which colour." She was incredibly polite... when we were going she stood at the door and she said, "Thank you for having me." And this was all great... except she was not herself!?! This might not make sense but it was like having a robotic child for a couple of hours.

When we got home she was a total argumentative nightmare. Later, I spoke with her and asked if she had tried to remember all the things I'd told her to do.. .and whether she had thought of anything else whilst there. It seems that the whole time she had been focussed on making sure she did all those things....... none of it seemed natural and whilst I was obviously pleased she'd behaved... I wondered whether this was something a child with Asperger's might do? It was as if she'd spent the whole time concentrating on saying the right things!

Thanks for any replies! :-)

Hello there,

 

My name is Gareth, I am thirty-one years old and was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) at the age of seven.

 

Your story about the behavioural patterns of your seven year old daughter sound very familiar to me. For example, there were countless occasions when my mother would tell me not to forget 'pleases' and 'thank yous' before going to our then local shop on my own. In addition, I always needed full prompting to say "thank you for having me" when it was time to leave a friend's house, having been kindly invited there. I would not very easily understand the true intentions of subtleties with respect to such prompting. Likewise, what I was always inclined to do when it came to going round a friend's house was to insistently make my way straight in and focus on my desire to observe certain parts of the house, paying very little (if any) attention to the friend(s) to whom the house belonged. I was basically in a world of my own and, unlike other children, would not insistently give the friend(s) a sign of appreciation of their part in my life. Sometimes I would be fussy about the particular cup(s) in which I wanted a particular drink (and the particular level I would like it to be filled to etc.), and sometimes I would not be. I would therefore not be surprised if there were any such anomalies in the behavioural patterns of your seven year old daughter. No more would I be surprised if your daughter was formally diagnosed with AS, was she to undergo any such clinical assessment. You see, it was a clinical psychiatrist who formally diagnosed me with AS on conclusion of a formal and comprehensive assessment of my personal traits and characteristics etc.

 

Please let me know if this story of mine is of any help or interest to you.

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I have a 7 year old son who is undergoing assessment for AS. First visit to classroom by child psychologist last week and the psychologist will be visiting our home in the next 2 weeks. My son will not respond if you ask him how was your day, instead he will tell you a story connected with Super Mario characters. His world and thinking revolved around those fantasy characters. Education wise he is a brilliant reader and spelling almost 100%. Maths and Logical is a massive struggle for him and social cues difficult. He would take things literally.

 

The School are very supportive and we are lucky in that respect. My worry is when he goes High school and moving around amongst 1000 kids is a daunting prospect.

 

I think the school should be informed and get help as early as you can.

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trekster   

This is definitely a behaviour for aspergers folk. People have difficulties realising that 'running an emulator' is hard work and that causes us to seem not ourselves. Really hard work remembering all the things other folk can do without thinking.

 

Even in my later years if there is no pressure to do something or not do something I'm able to do it.

 

Only getting gluten, dairy, benzoates out of my system permanently has allowed my short term memory to work properly.

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