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leiselmum
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04 Jan 2013, 4:52 pm

I want to understand something. My daughter was only diagnosed at 15 last May and I didnt see unusual things in her until maybe she was 13.
She was a very happy and confident child.
I get frustrated and want to understand why she keeps wanting to know what to do. Yesterday we arrived at the pool. She said she needs to go to the toilet and said. 'what do I do'
We have been to that pool many times, so she knows where the tiolet is. She goes to the toilet at home and school unaided.
If she has had aspergers all along, why wasnt she like this when she was younger.

She has some habits and repetative behaviours.

Do you think she asks out of habit. Should I say to her, I'm going to let you figure this?



SilkySifaka
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04 Jan 2013, 5:01 pm

Could it be anxiety? It might be that in the past she just tried things but now she is a little older and aware that she is 'different' perhaps she has lost confidence, or is more worried about making a mistake and getting a situation wrong. Perhaps you could ask her what she is worried about when she asks 'What do I do?'. It might just be that she needs reassurance.



JustKeepSwimming
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04 Jan 2013, 5:24 pm

SilkySifaka wrote:
Could it be anxiety? It might be that in the past she just tried things but now she is a little older and aware that she is 'different' perhaps she has lost confidence, or is more worried about making a mistake and getting a situation wrong. Perhaps you could ask her what she is worried about when she asks 'What do I do?'. It might just be that she needs reassurance.


I agree and another thought is have you had a chat about the fact that she is still the same person and the diagnosis has happened to assist her with things she has had difficulty with. I explained to my DD that we are all different, all people, it's just some need more help than others :)


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aann
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05 Jan 2013, 12:49 pm

Wow, I hope you were able to have her checked out well. I have never heard of an autistic child having no symptoms until age 13. Maybe that's a difference for girls. The previous two posters don't seem surprised.

Makes me a bit nervous, since I have an NT (so far) 12yo girl.



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05 Jan 2013, 1:21 pm

my son asks questions that he well knows the answers for, he even knows the answers better then us at times. I think it is out of anxiety or maybe a perseveration or OCD in nature.

Kids can get Aspergers diagnosis later in life or even adulthood, but there were usually signs all along. Why all of a sudden did your DD get a diagnosis? What were the concerns or issues?

hope to hear back from you!


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05 Jan 2013, 4:45 pm

My daughter has become much more self-conscious since she entered middle school. My older (NT) girls were also more self-conscious and anxious at this age. They feel as if they are being watched and wanted to be invisible. The demands of the social realm become much higher as kids get older, especially for girls, so fitting in becomes more difficult. In elementary school, girls and boys can play games together, but in late elementary boys play sports and girls talk. For my NT boys, who were not athletic and active, and for my NT girls, who didn't always conform to the expectation of the "mean girls" it was hard enough, but for girls on the spectrum it is really tough.

You might think of this as progress: your daughter is aware of the social rules and wants to learn them. Before you do things, ask if she has any questions and walk her through what is going to happen. If she is open to it, try doing some role play. (I sometimes make the scenes funny but exaggerating the situation.)

J.



jourdan
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05 Jan 2013, 6:51 pm

She is likely anxious about having to do something on her own. When I was her age, and in similar situations, I would say the same thing to get my mother to come with me because going on my own in a social setting was out of my comfort-zone. She knows what to do she would just feel more comfortable if you were there too. Being fifteen she will want to be more independent and as a result will be unwilling to admit she wants her mother around, I know I did.
I don't think her not showing many signs as a child is unusual, I didn't.


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Shellfish
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06 Jan 2013, 12:52 am

I would say that it could have something to do with age too. When she was younger and asked for assistance, you probably never thought anything of it, but as she has aged and you've assumed that she would become more independent but hasn't (in some respects), and now your attention has been drawn to it.


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06 Jan 2013, 8:54 am

A common theme in literature about AS is that girls present differently than boys and that girls often go undiagnosed because a common female strategy is to fade into the background where nobody notices they are different. Not sure if that's what is happening in this case, but I have met girls in whom I see symptoms that are explained away by both the school and their parents - you know, the quiet, bookworm-types who sit alone at lunch. (There are other types, I'm sure.)

At any rate, can you be more specific about what deficits they found when she was diagnosed? Autism is a very big word - good clinicians break it down into specifics when they diagnose someone: eye contact, speech, social skills, physical skills, etc.

That might help explain her behavior now. I would agree that it seems like she is anxious about "doing it right" now that she has the idea she's been doing it "wrong," but its hard to say without more information.



JustKeepSwimming
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06 Jan 2013, 2:20 pm

momsparky wrote:
A common theme in literature about AS is that girls present differently than boys and that girls often go undiagnosed because a common female strategy is to fade into the background where nobody notices they are different.


This can be the case however keep in mind all kids have different personalities and no two are the same. My DD wants to be part of things but goes about it in a way that may upset other kids so she is kind a opposite to the above quote.

Just keep in mind about anxiety because that plays a big part on what is going on for them. I know my DD has lost a lot of confidence because of people misunderstanding her.


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momsparky
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06 Jan 2013, 2:27 pm

Certainly there are many ways for girls to present - I was simply noting that the fade-into-the-background types are one group who may well be diagnosed late if at all (this happens with boys, too.)



leiselmum
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06 Jan 2013, 4:06 pm

aann wrote:
Wow, I hope you were able to have her checked out well. I have never heard of an autistic child having no symptoms until age 13. Maybe that's a difference for girls. The previous two posters don't seem surprised.

Makes me a bit nervous, since I have an NT (so far) 12yo girl.


Maybe my daughters Aspergers was there all along. She repeated last words of sentences around 7 or 8 for about 12 months. I thought little of it. She would hand wring, and again I thought just her quirky nature. She would hand wring and throw arms across herself. I thought she was just a happy child.



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06 Jan 2013, 4:23 pm

leiselmum wrote:
Maybe my daughters Aspergers was there all along. She repeated last words of sentences around 7 or 8 for about 12 months. I thought little of it. She would hand wring, and again I thought just her quirky nature. She would hand wring and throw arms across herself. I thought she was just a happy child.


"Quirky" is often a kinder way of saying "autistic qualities" (the mean way is "weird") Keep in mind that it's a spectrum - your daughter may well have had autistic qualities but have not, until now, found them to be disabling in any way. There are lots of people who could easily meet the diagnostic criteria except for the "impairment" part.

Impairment is what makes autism spectrum disorders a disability - otherwise, the differences are just that, differences.

It sounds like you are beating yourself up for not seeing it sooner - but it sounds to me like your daughter just didn't need extra help until now. If you fostered her "quirky nature" and helped her be herself, that clearly worked for her for a long time. Now she just needs help of a different kind, and it will take a bit of time to figure it out. Be good to yourself - us parents beat ourselves up far too much.



leiselmum
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06 Jan 2013, 4:35 pm

Thanks for all these great responses and sorry for slow getting back with information.
My daughter was diagnosed 2012 in May. We were seeing a therapist prior to this diagnosis for social anxiety and some issues with germs.
She has songs she like to sing that are always with "mum" in the title and it drives me insane. She has been singing these 6 types for about 3 years daily. They are jingles and not full songs. I think its a coping mechanism for her, but she also sings them when she is not stressed as well. It might comfort her.
I got frustrated with her, yesterday, I gave her yogurt and nectarine for breakfast. She asked me how do I eat it, cut up with a knife or without. I sort of thought wow, this needs to change. I said, when you get older and are living independently I wont be able to live with you and tell you how to eat a nectarine. I lost it, and had regret how I handled it.
She checks almost everything by me. Will she ever know which of many ways and which one way to eat a nectarine and of all the other million choices?

I get it now, that growing from a child to a young woman has its own stresses and this is where the Aspergers has increased in signs.

Thanks for offering other perspectives, I appreciate this.



JustKeepSwimming
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06 Jan 2013, 4:51 pm

momsparky wrote:
leiselmum wrote:
Maybe my daughters Aspergers was there all along. She repeated last words of sentences around 7 or 8 for about 12 months. I thought little of it. She would hand wring, and again I thought just her quirky nature. She would hand wring and throw arms across herself. I thought she was just a happy child.


"Quirky" is often a kinder way of saying "autistic qualities" (the mean way is "weird") Keep in mind that it's a spectrum - your daughter may well have had autistic qualities but have not, until now, found them to be disabling in any way. There are lots of people who could easily meet the diagnostic criteria except for the "impairment" part.

Impairment is what makes autism spectrum disorders a disability - otherwise, the differences are just that, differences.

It sounds like you are beating yourself up for not seeing it sooner - but it sounds to me like your daughter just didn't need extra help until now. If you fostered her "quirky nature" and helped her be herself, that clearly worked for her for a long time. Now she just needs help of a different kind, and it will take a bit of time to figure it out. Be good to yourself - us parents beat ourselves up far too much.


momsparky beautifully said :D

Momsparky l hope l didn't sound offended or blunt with precious post, was just putting another point of view :D

Leiselmum be kind and gentle with yourself as you work through the process of your girl being diagnosed as it can be overwhelming :wink:


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momsparky
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06 Jan 2013, 5:07 pm

JustKeepSwimming wrote:
Momsparky l hope l didn't sound offended or blunt with precious post, was just putting another point of view :D


Nope, not at all - I was just clarifying when I responded.

Access to lots of points of view is why we all joined this forum, right?