spoke to teacher about suspected autism and got laughed at

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tanyaj2018
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26 Jan 2018, 12:44 pm

Hi, I have suspected my 6 year old daughter has autism (or something) and I have noticed different behaviors for a number of years. My Mum came to me a few weeks ago and said the same thing that maybe she might have autism after seeing some of the same behaviors, so I asked my GP about it and they agreed with what I was saying and sent off for a referral. Yesterday I had a phone call saying to go ahead with the referral they need a letter from the school about her behavior there, so I made an appointment to talk to one of my daughters teachers and saw her after school today. I told her that I thought my daughter may be autistic and had written down a few of her behaviors for her to look at. As soon as I said that I thought she may be autistic she near enough laughed in my face and said 'well we don't see anything to suggest that here' and as she was looking through what I had written she was saying things such as 'well that's normal', and 'my daughter does most of these things and she's not autistic' and then said 'we don't like to label children here'. I almost cried in front of her and had to hold it in all the way home, I felt so embarrassed.
Some of the things I had written down were things like how she can get fixated and obsessed with time, and will have count downs for most things in her life. Even small insignificant things. She will ask how many days left and ask about those things every single day usually more than once and be completely obsessed about it and if for some reason said thing doesnt happen she will get extremely upset (which I was told was completely normal). That she finds it very difficult to make and keep friends, and that she copies other children and adults to try and fit in. For example when we eat out she will never order something that she wants she will always copy what the person next to her is eating and if that person changes their order without her knowing she will get extremely upset and angry and demand for her order to be changed, if it cant be then she will not eat her food. That she cannot control her emotions and that when she gets angry or upset it can last for a very long time, sometimes hours and that she will bang her head repeatedly on a wall or hit herself repeatedly. That she cannot concentrate on more than one thing at once, and often it will look like shes looking straight through people when shes concentrating on something else. She can completely just zone out. She does not understand other peoples intentions (good or bad) or body language, she cannot understand when other people have had enough of her or dont want to play. Everything is about her and what she wants, she will get very upset if people don't want to play what she wants anymore and believe that they no longer like her if they play something different and she will not want to join in with them anymore. she never wants to talk about other people and the conversations she has with people are always about her or will revert back to her. That she lies more than she tells the truth, some of the things she lies about have caused my family a great deal of stress and some things can be very serious. Plus a I wrote number of other things that I cant remember now. The teacher I spoke to said 'we see none of this, and if she had autism then she would show signs here and she doesnt'
I am constantly being told by the school that she is behind others in her class, and from christmas cards i can see how poor her writing is compared to others she also writes most letters and numbers back to front. She has to have extra help on a number of subjects such as reading and maths so I thought maybe they would have a little understanding.
I have had to go in constantly because my daughter complains she is being bullied and laughed at by others. On the way home from school she has broken down in tears a number of times.
To me her behavior is not the same as other children I know, and I personally find her behavior very odd.
I really need some advice :-(



League_Girl
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26 Jan 2018, 12:59 pm

Autism looks different in girls. Sometimes the symptoms are invisible to others or look like normal behavior and some children are very well behaved in school than they are at home. Take her to a specialist.

Also lying isn't an autism thing, autistic kids tend to be honest so I would look into it why she lies. She could have more going on.


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tanyaj2018
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26 Jan 2018, 1:10 pm

An example of her behavior last week - We went to my Mums house just before we were going to meet up for a Birthday meal for my brother. At my Mums my daughter started dancing quite clumsily and out of tune with the music, so my Mum tried to join in and show her some new dance moves. It was just a bit of fun. My daughter decided it was too difficult saying she was rubbish and then started to accuse both of us of being nasty to her and laughing at her. She then started rolling around screaming and then began to hit my Mum repeatedly. My Mum sent her to sit on the naughty step and my daughter screamed and shouted 'turn it off' repeatedly whilst covering her ears, even after the music had been turned off she continued. When it was time to leave she tried to slam the car door on me as I was getting into the car and once we arrived she would not get out of the car for at least 20 minutes delaying everyone else waiting to order inside. When my daughter came in she would not sit down until the food came and was just stood banging her head against a post and then sat on a step punching herself in the head. She refused to join in with all of the other children there for at least an hour, and when she did start talking to them it was to tell them how nasty we had been to her. She hung her head the majority of the time she was sat at the table. She only started to cheer up around half an hour before we left and when she did it was like nothing had happened. I can not see how this is normal behavior :?



tanyaj2018
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26 Jan 2018, 1:23 pm

She can be brutally honest, she will just tell people things like 'eurgh, you smell' or 'you look fat' but I think thats normal for children her age. She will often lie (or maybe twist the truth, I dont know) about what other people have done and said. She has lied about people hitting her before (including me), she told me her teacher pinched her on purpose once, I was there and her teacher showed me a spot on her arm. Shes burst into tears on the way home from school once and told me in graphic detail of how a teacher started punching her and how she was on the ground. She has lied because she says it makes other people happy, she used to tell my Mum that I was hitting her and that she wanted to go and live with her, she kept this up for a year and social services were involved. She has only recently admitted to my mum that she had put it all on because she thought my mum would be happy that she was spending more time there as she thought my mum was lonely without her. I think possibly it could be attention seeking



GrandFunk
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26 Jan 2018, 1:31 pm

Disregard that teacher and talk to a different one or an administrator until you get a proper response.

Some schools try to discourage labeling because it means more work for them.



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26 Jan 2018, 1:49 pm

I have no idea whether your daughter is autistic, that would take someone properly trained in diagnosing ASD but I do feel educated and experienced in this subject enough to confidently diagnose her teacher as an idiot.

Is the GP going ahead with putting her through for an assesment?



tanyaj2018
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26 Jan 2018, 1:58 pm

the person who my daughter was referred to (who i spoke to on the phone about getting a letter from the school about her behavior there) told me that without their letter it cannot go ahead and that she she was going to contact me next week to see if I had got one. The teacher I spoke to today seemed very disinterested in my concerns and told me she would ask my daughters other teachers what they thought but that none of the behaviors I had mentioned were ever seen there. She told me her behavior was normal, that some of the things I had mentioned all children do, and that on the list of things I had taken in her daughter does all of those things 8O The list I had taken in was 4 pages long and that was just a tiny snippet of what she is like :(



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26 Jan 2018, 5:18 pm

How frustrating :(
It sounds as though the teacher concerned is just ignorant.
I think you need to write a formal letter to the school, addressed to the head, requesting a written response.
Perhaps attach an information sheet on signs of autism (because listing your daughter's traits will get you nowhere if the teachers don't understand their significance).
Wishing you luck.



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27 Jan 2018, 6:36 pm

If the letter is absolutely necessary in order to go on with the assessment I’d suggest talking the teachers into writing anything they wish about her behavior at school. It shouldn’t matter if it doesn’t say much: you can then go to the specialist and say that you have brought the letter they asked you but that it isn’t so helpful because your daughter just happens to be one of those children who “mask” and behave quite normally at school and then “explode” and display their challenging behaviors at home. You can then go on to tell them about those behaviors.


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Sea Breeze
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28 Jan 2018, 7:00 am

I got asperger's and I would lie as a kid.



fluffysaurus
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28 Jan 2018, 7:05 am

Sea Breeze wrote:
I got asperger's and I would lie as a kid.

So did I, though not as extremely as with the OP's child. I think I did it to be more interesting. I stopped when I saw the connection between lying and situations becoming more complicated.



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28 Jan 2018, 7:16 am

Sorry, haven't read everything but I have had 3 years of school literally laughing in my face. The GP saying they have more important thing to do (children with fetal alcohol syndrome and psychosis for example). I eventually had enough and armed up and got an EdPsych to back me up. I assume it depends very much on where you live and if you are lucky to stumble across someone who 'gets it' I have not been lucky so I am going privately. Is that an option for you? If not consider just getting an EDpsych to come and do an initial assessment which might cost far less and then use that assessment to try and kickstart help through the docs / school.


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elsapelsa
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28 Jan 2018, 8:13 am

^^ ok read through the whole thread now.

I would start documenting everything.

I would see if gp is able to refer without school but the answer will probably be no. We got stuck on this point too. The next things they may try to do is send you on parenting courses which are entirely irrelevelent. Someone I know did find them useful to the extent that the leader of the course was able to see the full dilemma and help them get the referral in and it then got the assessment process going.

I found getting a Ed psych that is experienced in autism to do a preliminary assessment for you- I paid about 200 pounds- made them finally sit up and listen. This might then get things going. Pm me if you want some names in the uk.

In our case it still didn't help and I am getting my daughter diagnosed privately. In the end this is the best option for us, I have lost trust in "the system" completely and going to a large well respected centre for assessment feels more comfortable for me at this point.


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fluffysaurus
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28 Jan 2018, 9:01 am

I am just wondering whether her getting an assessment at this point rather than in a few years time will benefit her. What are you expecting to change with it? The best thing might be for you to really familiarise yourself with the autism spectrum yourself. This will at least give you an answer as to whether she is ASD. If she is, you will then have a much better understanding of why she does things and how she sees things and this will be really beneficial for your relationship. It also means for problems in school you will be able to say 'my daughter does this because she thinks this' and so on. Since she is not obviously autistic as far as the world goes (which is how they decide on who and how much help people get) I'm not sure what help she would get anyway. And what kind of help would it be? some well meaning person explaining normal behavour to her so she can spend the rest of her life exhaustively copying it.



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28 Jan 2018, 9:09 am

As far as the poor writing and maths, could you do some extra projects around her special interests, otherwise if she is ASD she might not see the point of them.