Problems with friends, is it really AS?

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Az29
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15 Mar 2012, 5:53 am

Yesterday my daughter and I were playing and we got talking about school and the problems she's having are much worse then I thought. She was telling me she didn't really play with anyone yesterday because no-one would let her play. She has many many friends and if asked she can real off half her year as friends but I really don't know if they are because she doesn't seem to play with anyone anymore.

She normally plays with girl A (who we used to have over every Tuesday whilst her mum was at college) but she said girl A wouldn't play with her she would only play with girl B and they wouldn't let her join in. She then started crying saying that she was scared girl A has broken up with her and didn't want to be friends. I know that's not true because girl A was asking my husband on Tuesday if she could start coming over every week again. When I told my daughter that she groaned and said she hated her coming around that she didn't play right and they always argue and it annoys her.

After alot of talking I found out what happened was girl A was angry with her yesterday because my daughter had called her stupid...but she didn't realise that this would upset girl A because to her she was just stating the obvious(in her mind). Girl A has learning difficulties and can sometimes come out with what would seem strange (or to a child 'stupid') answers / ideas and so my daughter merely spoke a 'truth' about her.

Her other friend girl C was too busy playing with girl D, girl D won't let her join in because they fell out over something my daughter said to her. Another friend girl E is still annoyed with her because of some other arguement, girl E said to her "you need to fix your attitude because your so mean", when trying to get to the bottom of why girl E said that it turned out they'd been arguing and my daughter again had said some pretty nasty things but she doesn't seem to comprehend that what she's saying is hurtful because to her it's just stating the truth. Like telling a boy he smells and that he poos his pants.. about a boy in her class who has the same bowel problem she has just his is more severe. I've told her over and over again that she can't say these things that it hurts people but she just doesn't get it, to her it's not offensive because she's not saying it offensively she's just telling them the truth. So slowly she's driving everyone away and she also told me she sometimes doesn't know how to talk to the other kids, that she can't seem to talk to them especially when they are all in a big group.

The worst part is my husband keeps telling me I'm imaginging it that she hasn't got AS and I'm thinking too much about her behaviour. There are so many obvious signs and if she could just get a diagnosis then maybe we could get her some help with her social skills before it's too late, I don't want her to end up like me having no friends and growing up incredibly lonely.

He keeps telling me to be prepared incase they say I don't have it, when I say to him but I have all the traits, sensory, stims, etc he just says that maybe I'm thinking too much about it. He hasn't read a thing about it, I've read books, done the online tests read other's people's stories online, even on Autism forums like here it's like reading about myself and yet he thinks I'm thinking too much about it that it might not be AS. He said that I'm obsessing over AS and I said exactly and then he said no not exactly you just think you have it when you might not. That maybe I want it to be AS but it's not I'm just imaging all my problems are traits. Really he's driving me crazy thinking that way because he doesn't know a damn thing about it, if he read about it he'd see for himself that it describes me exactly. I even reeled off the women's AS traits posted on here a few months back and asked him yes or no if it described me out of all of them he said maybe to 2, no to 1 and yes to the rest.

It's the same with our daughter, when she's covering her ears because of a noise he insists it's not a sensory problem "she's always done that" is his response. Or when we chat about when she was little and the funny little things she did, the noises she would get stuck on and repeat over and over or the little reptative things she did (I have videos of these), which from an AS perspective I'd say are stims (like licking her hand when she was 4 and wiping it across her face over and over again for weeks, it got so bad her cheek was covered in sores). I say they could be stims he says they are not that I'm thinking too much about it that all kids do things like that. Even now she has this way of talking where she says "uhm" and then makes a sucking/ tutting noise with her teeth every few words. he says she's fine that it's not unusual.

I don't know where I'm going with this I think I just needed to rant because to me I can see obvious traits but he keeps telling me I'm imagining it, that there is nothing wrong with her but I keep telling him he's in denial. Am I imagining it?, is her behaviour perfectly normal?


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Mummy_of_Peanut
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15 Mar 2012, 7:01 am

Hi again AZ29

I think we've been going through similar issues with our daughters. For a long time, my daughter has been coming home from school and saying that nobody played with her and she was just wandering around on her own. For me, that's just heart breaking. It would be different if she didn't care for friends, but she does want them. Her best friend is a boy, which is great, as he's lovely. But, he likes to play with other children too, whereas she likes just one or two kids to play with at a time, no more than that. So, if he wants to join in with a larger group, she's left on her own. She then goes off and joins with a small goup for a while, then another group. Strangely, she never seems to go to the kids that she says she likes (and who I would be more than happy for her to play with). She gets the 'You can't play with us' routine. However, I know for sure that other kids are getting that too. Another mum who I speak with and whose daughter clearly doesn't have an ASD has been getting that treatment, to an extent that her mum has had to speak to the teachers.

Anyway, since last Monday, we've been in the middle of an amazing episode. She has started enjoying school and is speaking about other kids in a way she has never done before. I'm really not sure what has happened, but we've made a minor alteration and I think it has had a huge impact. We've always had problems getting her ready in the morning. Even when she was a baby, she'd scream when we changed her nappy. But, we noticed that gym days were a bit easier, but not perfect either. On those days, she wears trousers and a polo shirt. On the other days, she normally wears a pinafore, blouse, tie and tights. We decided to let her wear gym day clothes every day - the school will not object. So, she has been getting dressed without problem (I don't even have to tell her twice) even though gym days were never perfect either. Mornings are now very pleasant, for the first time in 6 years. Maybe now the pressure is off every day, she's much more relaxed.

I honestly don't know if this is the whole reason, but there have been changes in all parts of her life. I watch her in the playground in the morning and she's actually part of a group, looking very confident and 'popular' even (something I thought I'd never say). She also came home from school on Friday as 'Star of the Week', for trying so hard and getting on with her work. She's still in that mode. After 6 years of stress and worry, this seems like nothing short of a miracle. Is it because we've addressed this sensory issue or is it just that she's maturing? I don't know.

As I've said in another thread, I don't think she meets the criteria for Aspergers. Until last Monday, I'd say she was meeting the crieria for PDA. For the time being, that would definitely not be the case (unless she goes back to the way she was). I think she has a very mild ASD, because the quirks are still there (like barking like a dog when an acquaintance of mine spoke to her). I can live with the quirks and don't want to change that part of her at all. She definitely has sensory issues and I imagine she would meet the criteria for SPD. The only things that I worried about were her non compliance, concentration issues and friend issues. I think even her concentration has improved, especially given her performance at school, which until now has always been impacted on by her concentration difficulties.

It might be worth thinking more about your daughter's sensory issues and whether there's anything that can be done to minimise the effect they are having on her. I'm actually a little confused myself just now, but I do hope something similar happens for you and your daughter. xx


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smen
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15 Mar 2012, 7:54 am

His attitude is arrogant and uninformed. Make him read about before he says anything else. And as your significant. Other this is a goodxexample of setting the grounds for divorce. I have only had boyfriends but I have standards and good ones for good reason when it comes to my aspergers and anything else. Its so I don't somehow wind up in your situation, with someone who is supposed to be there for me in every way possible and is doing the opposite. You are the expert on as and on yourself. Not him. A diagnosis could change your life.



League_Girl
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15 Mar 2012, 10:46 am

I would say yes. Assuming that she is young, I know she meant no harm when she told her friend she is stupid but that was narrow minded of her. You should point out to her that having a learning disability does not make someone dumb because does it make her dumb because she has AS? It does effect the way she thinks and acts and would she like it if someone told her if she was stupid for that? If someone told me I was stupid, I wouldn't want to talk to them ever again and even an apology wouldn't work if they still thought I was stupid. It would only work if they didn't think that anymore of me and they realized they were mean and narrow minded and wrong to think that of me. Even if they had AS I still wouldn't care because the truth does show their true colors so if they were honest to tell me I was stupid, I would think they were narrow minded and bigoted and ignorant because thanks to their AS, they just showed that to me about themselves and basically told me that is what they are.

I think it be best you try and teach her some social skills so she would understand and learn to keep things to herself and that what she says really can tell people about her and her being that honest will make people think she is mean.



bethaniej
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16 Mar 2012, 1:46 pm

It might help to give her a list of words she's not aloud to use. We do this in our classrooms. Shut-up and stupid, dumb and idiot. We have to make a rule about saying these words because at this age (1-3rd grade) is when kids experiement with that language. It helps if there are rules about it. That's what I'd do. Give her a list of words she shouldn't use and when you hear of her using this language, give a consequence. That way even if she doesn't understand why it's unacceptable in a social situation, it is clear cut that it absolutely is.



Az29
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16 Mar 2012, 2:28 pm

Thanks for your input Mummy of peanut, I never thought whether the sensory problems were making her more irritable and less friendly. She doesn't have a problem with her uniform, she wears a polo shirt, skirt and leggings (she hates tights), if she doesn't like how something feels she will not wear it. She has a brand new party dress that her granny bought her for christmas which she desperately wanted because she loved the polka dots but as soon as she tried it on I saw her face screw up and that was it I knew it would live in her wardobe until she outgrew it. It's odd because it's silk and silk doesn't usually set her off, the only thing I could see that may have irritated her was that it was a bit snug under her arms.

I think my daughter has the same problem as yours, she likes small groups or one on one play, she was alot better today she'd been playing with the kid she thought had 'broken up' with her as well as all the others but individually or in small groups. When I asked why she didn't play with X child she said it was because that kid was playing with 3 other kids, when I asked why she didn't go and join in she just shrugged and said it was too difficult so she played with one of her boy friends.

I'm in an opposite situation in which my daughter has always been extremely popular but the older she gets the more and more she's losing friends and falling out with people almost daily. I'm supposed to be going back to see the teacher again soon to see how she's getting on with her maths, I know at the moment she's allowing her to sit somewhere quiet if she gets overwhelmed but I'm wondering how often my daughter is actually speaking up and saying it's all too much for her and she needs to get away from the noise / lights /whatever.

Smen - I've asked him to read more about it but I think the problem may well be that he's afraid, not for me but for our daughter, he's scared of her being labelled and treated differently he's had alot of negative experiences with our local mental health trust and I think he's worried about how they will treat her. He was completely supportive of me and getting a diagnosis but once I started to mention that our daughter had alot of traits he started to get uneasy about it. I think he's probably also worried just incase they say I don't have AS, he knows how upset I can get about things so I think he's worried about how it will affect me. Still it is annoying that he's saying such things when he hasn't read anything about it at all but it's hardly the grounds for divorce, just because we disagree about one thing does not mean we should split.

League-girl - I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying, I probably didn't word it properly. My daughter is 6 and can blurt things out without thinking, when her friend was crying and screaming because we wouldn't walk home across the grass one day my daughter told her to "stop being so stupid and just walk the other way" (v.long story but I ended up going across the grass with the friend and my husband took our daughter along the path), it's her way of saying something makes no sense. Unfortunately that's directed at her friend frequently because her friend often comes out with things that make absolutely no sense or seem ludicrous to her. Like last time she came over they were talking about the build a bear factory and her friend asked if they had real bears with teeth and claws there, to which my daughter replied "don't be so stupid *name* why would they have real bears, they'd kill people, honestly use your head before you speak" . I of course reprimanded her and told her that it wasn't nice to say things like that, her friend just didn't understand what the build a bear factory was because she's never been, my daughter apologised to her but then later on when she'd gone home and we were chatting she was saying how it made no sense, why on earth would her friend think they'd have real bears.

I'm probably not explaining this properly again, what I'm trying to say is my daughter calling her stupid was not because she has learning difficulties (I don't actually know what her diagnosis is, her mother just said that) but because of the things she says or does that to my daughter seem stupid and illogical, hope that makes sense?

I've explained to her many times that her friend is a little different to other kids, that she has a condition that makes her more prone to getting angry and upset and she has trouble learning things and that sometimes she may say things that seem silly to her but to her friend it may be perfectly logical. I've told her many many times that she has to be patient with her friend, that she can't help it it's just the way she thinks. Sometimes my daughter is brilliant with her, but other times she has no patience and will just snap at her.

When we had her over every Tuesday last year, there were times when she was sitting in my daughter's bedroom crying and screeching because she couldn't have something or do something specific (like play out because it was raining) and my daughter would come in the living room sit down sigh shake her head and say "she's having one of her moments again" and would just ride it out. Then there are the other times when she'd tell her to stop being a baby and just play something else, then her friend would say something back and well it turns into a slanging match, I intervene, tell them both off, make them apologise, they start playing nicely again and we go round and round. What I'm getting at is they are as bad as each other, my daughter has her 'moments' and it would be her friend coming in to say my daughter was in a mood so can she play with me for a bit until my daughter calmed down, her friend has called her just as many names, it's just one of those things that kids do, they can be at each other's throats one minute and best friends the next. The problem I'm having with her is getting her to see that saying stupid or fat(see my post here about her grandad) means the same hurtful thing to the other person regardless of whether you meat to be hurtful or whether you meant to just 'say' it in a statemented way rather then offensive way.


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Az29
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16 Mar 2012, 2:44 pm

Bethan - See that's the difficult part, she knows full well what words mean, it's saying them in an offensive way she doesn't seem able to grasp, in her mind telling someone they are fat is not the same as calling them fat. We explain these things but it doesn't seem to register, plus she's been called stupid, idiot etc etc by her friends, peers etc it's something frequently used but usually there is no real offence taken.

Now that I've had more time to think about it I think what probably happened is her friend properly said or did something that seemed illogical, she called her stupid, her friend was probably having one of her off days where she takes everything badly (you tell her she can't have macaroni for dinner on a bad day and you have her full on heartbroken crying and whineing for 20 minutes). Because my daughter wasn't calling her it in a bad way but making the statement about whatever illogical thing she'd said or done she couldn't understand why her friend was annoyed with her and that's what I'm trying to get her to understand.

Anyway we did discuss again how regardless of how she said it or why she said it she still said it and the fact was it upset her friend and she needs to think first before saying stuff. I'm sure it will happen again and again, it always has with that particular friend and they are always best friends again, it's the fact she's falling out with more and more kids that's troubling me and it all seems connected to the fact she's having problems talking to them properly and on their level and playing with them in a more flexible way.


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16 Mar 2012, 4:43 pm

Perhaps you can teach her to use other words instead like silly or ridiculous. Like "don't be so silly" than "don't be so stupid." or how about teaching her to say "Oh nonsense." There are other words out there that can replace the word stupid. Unfortunately you can't really replace the word fat because I think people would just be as offended if they were told they are big or huge or wide or overweight. Also how about teaching her about stating the obvious, why point out something that is obvious for everyone to see like for one everyone knows that person is fat so why tell them? Even that person knows they are fat so why do they need to be told they are fat? It gets pretty annoying when people point out the obvious to you.



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16 Mar 2012, 5:26 pm

I sing this song on the board a whole lot, but it strikes me that she's got a pragmatic speech issue. You can get a diagnosis and therapy for that from most schools, and she doesn't have to be on the spectrum to qualify (although it's incredibly common on the spectrum.) It is a real, recognized, specific deficit and it's devastating for kids in school, because the other kids see the social gaffes as deliberately hurtful. Your other posts about your daughter seem in line with this as well.

Give your husband this page to look over: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/devel ... matics.htm Talk to a speech therapist: we've really seen benefits from this therapy with my son.

Truth be told, if you call it autism, aspergers, or "I just want the whole world to hold hands and sing" it really doesn't matter as long as she and you get what you need. Attacking each deficit separately is pretty much what happens anyway.



Az29
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18 Mar 2012, 4:15 am

League_girl - I have explained to her about stating the obvious, but I'm not sure it makes any difference, it's like her brain has a total block when it comes to certain things and no matter how many times I explain something to her it just doesn't seem to sink in. I could tell her to use silly instead of stupid but it's such a commonplace word in all the kids vocabulary that again she probably wouldn't take it on board fully because all the other kids use it so frequently. Usually it's not taken with such great offence, they say it all the time, stop being stupid, oh your so stupid, etc it is more on par with the word silly in that it's not really used as a horribly offensive term, idiot however is something that would be used offensively.

momsparky - Maybe it is a pragmatic speech problem, some of the things listed do sound like her but again it's difficult to know for sure because it's just little incidents like the one the other day in which her language is getting her in trouble. I'm going to mention it to her teacher see what she has to say, she may have noticed things too. I offered the link to my husband but his exact words "FFS you think she has everything wrong with her, so one person on a forum says she might have a speech problem and you jump all over it. She hasn't got a problem, all kids say silly things sometimes, your looking into it too much."

I think if we had closer relationships with people with NT kids then he might just see how different alot of her behaviour is, but even the blindingly obvious things like her sensory issues he still says are normal, that she's always had them. Or how she gets so obsessive over something and then moves on to something else, he says that's normal too, he was like that as a child (and when I pull up the fact he's not NT, he just shrugs and says she's fine).

I know it will just take 1 professional to tell him she's not NT for him to stop ignoring it, it's the same with her kidney problem. She kept getting UTI's and I said we need it investigating as it can lead to kidney damage and he said I was overreacting and she was fine.....6 months later and she's undergoing allsorts of tests to find out what's wrong with her kidney as it's only 25% functioning and is half the size of the other. I'm going to try and get one of the nurses alone when we go for her next set of scans and tell them I suspect Asperger's, see what they say and then ask them if they could suggest it to my husband if they agree with my suspicions, if just one of them takes him aside and says "look I think she may have a condition called Asperger's so you might want to get her checked out" then he can't ignore it anymore.


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18 Mar 2012, 9:48 am

Az29, your daughter is little yet, right? I think you are on the right track - but your husband is seeing one truth: ALL kids have poor social communication, they develop slowly from preschool to high school. You are on point in that it's not any one given thing - it's the big picture of whether or not she can interact appropriately with her peers at the same level.

I am sorry your husband doesn't see what's going on, it's frustrating - I've been through this to a degree myself (I don't remember where my husband was on it, to be honest, but the school certainly played the "he's normal, you're overreacting" card until DS was so far behind he nearly fell apart completely.)

What this does mean if you're right (and I think you are) is that when other kids develop better social skills, she's going to be left behind and the deficit will show up: this is why many kids aren't diagnosed until 3-5th grade. What do her teachers think?

(ETA: that sounds like a dire prediction; I don't mean it that way - what I mean is that if you're right it will become obvious in a year or two. We were behind because autism hadn't occurred to us, wasn't presented to us in an understandable way by the school when they assessed him, and we lost many years chasing the wrong thing.)



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18 Mar 2012, 4:59 pm

Would punishing her for it work because she would hate getting punished she would be forced to stop using the word stupid. When I was six, that was a new word for me so I started using it, mom forbidden it so she told me it was a bad word and would punish me if I said that word. But be careful with telling her what words are bad because pretty soon she will figure out they aren't truly bad words and would assume the curse words and even the f word aren't bad either and will start using them and it be hard to get her to quit. I remember that happening to me and the f word was my favorite word because I liked the sound of it so I kept using it until my mother slapped my mouth. Maybe try telling her that word is off limits and you don't allow it in your home and she is not to use it anywhere because you will not allow that word. Mom would slap my mouth if I used words she didn't like and she had warned me about them and if I didn't stop, she slapped me after she has tried other punishments.

Also she is young so maybe when she is older she will get tired of all these labels she has on her by her peers and will start changing her ways so she be likable. Oops people say it's mean to say that so I will never say it. Oops I just got told what I did was rude so I won't ever do that again. Woops people don't like it when I do this so I will stop. I better watch what rude people do and what bad people do so I know how not to act.