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lotus
Pileated woodpecker
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29 Sep 2008, 12:05 am

My husband and I are going through a divorce and we will all be doing family counseling and will take my daughter to a psychologist. I do not have an official diagnosis of AS, but really feel I have it.

Now, my daughter, I am unsure and am hoping for some answers. Her symptoms are zoning out and into her own world (could be AS), not dealing with things when they don't go a certain way, meltdowns and freaking out itching everywhere and needing to take a shower, and she can be very melancholy. Is this a good list to start with for a psych? What else might it be helpful that I mention? I want to be prepared because I want to get her help.

Thanks.



lexis
Toucan
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29 Sep 2008, 6:16 am

Hi, your daughter's traits seem very similar to some of my own (although the 'itching' is in my case a response to an unpleasant touch rather then something that actually physically irritates my skin).

My psychiatrist seems to relate 'spacing out' as a trait of HFA rather than aspergers but that's only a matter of her personal opinion. Depression, mood disorders (I don't know much about the latter) are commonly comorbid with ASDs, which is why some aspergians are overlooked. The need for routine/everything to go as planned, yes that is in the diagnostic criteria.

What you have mentioned so far is a good start, I know it can hard to determine what you are so used to as either normal or abnormal for a child, particularly if relatives also have these problems or traits. A good psychiatrist/psychologist will be able to ask you questions relating to symptoms without bias or edging you into 'social desirability'. The link below has a list of traits that you could consider discussing with your daughter to see if they directly or indirectly relate to herself:

http://www.mkdowney.com/characteristics.html

It is important to realise that girls often express their traits differently from boys, and their interests and behaviour may be more subtle and socially acceptable for their gender (so think carefully). They can also be better at covering up their symptoms for social desirability; so verify with the psyche as to whether or not they are aware of that information.

Here is a BBC article on the subject of female traits of ASDs:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7616555.stm

Unfortunately females with aspergers, as with females in general have remained largely invisible. However Tony Atwood has expressed interest and so I hope that things will improve in the future.

Good luck. :)



ster
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29 Sep 2008, 8:54 am

there are several websites that have questionnaires that you can fill in & print out to take to the dr. i've found questionnaires helpful because sometimes there've been symptoms that just didn't come to my mind until i saw it on a piece of paper.



annie2
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29 Sep 2008, 9:35 am

How old is your daughter? Is she in pre-school or school? If she is, then it is likely that her teachers will have noted some differences themselves, so it may pay to ask them and list what they are.

From my experience of a psych assessment for diagnosis, if you go in suggesting that it could be AS, then the psych will ask you a lot of the associated questions anyway. Or even if you don't mention AS, they will still ask a whole range of questions that should bring issues up.

One thing I found with the assessment was that my son performed so perfectly in the hospital setting that they said "no" to an AS diagnosis. After a few months of further frustrations I asked them to come and observe him at school, and within two hours they diagnosed AS. As far as I am concerned, this happened because AS is ultimately a social disability, and so I feel quite strongly that an assessment needs to include this element, unless it is obvious anyway.



lexis
Toucan
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29 Sep 2008, 10:19 am

annie2 you make a very good point in regards to environment. As a child I was only observed in the children's part of the psychiatrist's office- which was an artificial environment designed to be soothing; from that they concluded that my mother was likely an attention-seeker.

Obviously if so many of the symptoms are in response to a certain environment or as, you said, part of a largely social disability, the method of assessment made no sense whatsoever. For example, how can they observe social difficulties when the child is left on their own, and how can they disprove sensory issues in a plain, quiet room with little stimulation apart from colouring pencils and a few teddy bears?



lotus
Pileated woodpecker
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29 Sep 2008, 10:35 am

Wow! These are a lot of great, helpful suggestions.

Thank you! I really appreciate it and I will check out the links as well. I realize AS is different in girls. :) Between that and the year it was actually recognized, there was no way I had a chance to get help as a kid.



lexis
Toucan
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29 Sep 2008, 10:42 am

Good luck, I hope everything goes (somewhat) smoothly. x)