Hubby and I took our four year old to paediatrician today who has referred us for an assessment as it appears she has a lot of autism traits although he couldn't say where on the spectrum she is. She is having violent outbursts (with me as recipient) chewing, licking, being loud, obsessive about water, no social interaction with children, not sleeping well, can't concentrate etc etc etc. It is a relief to finally be listened to and be referred for assessment. Alongisde this she is due to start school in sept and I have started the statement process.
I am desperately looking for help & support and he gave me this website address :-) Just to know we aren't alone is great.
Hi - welcome. There's loads of info via the home page + the posts, so have a good look around - you'll find it more than useful. This is a good resource so feel reassured about that. You have a lot to adjust to + everyone adjusts in their own time + in their own way. Don't try + rush things too much. You can't learn everything at once so bite sized chunks, relating to your particular situation is the best way forward. I think the most important thing is to understand how autism affects your daughter as an individual, because it affects everyone differently to some degree + no 2 personalities are exactly the same. Everyone understands here so ask whatever you want to. Good that you're on the ball with getting your daughter a statement of educational needs. Do you know what's causing your daughter's meltdowns? Is she verbal? Some who are non-verbal are helped by having a pictoral timetable so they know what they're doing next. I don't know if your daughter already has, or needs one, so just a suggestion for you to consider. There are also a number of safe things that can be bought if your daughter likes to chew but I can't remember what they're called. They'll be on the site somewhere or another poster will know. She may not be able to concentrate because she is anxious and/or tired, perhaps. Does she have a routine? By that I mean quite a detailed reliable routine so she can feel less anxious? Sorry for all the questions. It's just that the more we know, the more helpful we can be. Is she obsessed with water in that she loves it or hates it?
thanks for the reply Crystal. She is verbal but we do use a pictoral timetable too. To complicate matters she has also got an attachment disorder which was diagnosed some time before signs of autism arose. She is adopted and had a traumatic start in life. She has a chew toy and we do stick to a rigid routine. I think what worries us most is her temper. It's me she likes to hit and she is already strong, she can throw some heavy items around and she has started to hurt herself in frightening ways. Her meltdowns are generaly after being asked to do something she doesnt want to do i.e. teeth, getting dressed and this is worse when she is tired. She has been waking up 2/3 times per night for some months now and even when she seems to be asleep she is restless, flapping her hands around and grinding her teeth so is never really rested. She has only been at preschool for three sessions for a short time, I really don't see how she is going to cope at school with no real support. Because of her attachment issues, if she is away from me or dad the anxiety really comes out.
I shall def be looking through the other posts for advice and support and I take on board what you say about bite size chunks. Like most parents I would love to take all the stress away from her but at the moment I'm not sure how to manage it so it seems I have a lot to learn :-)
hi - have your tried a rewards system - better known as a benevolent form of bribery? This may work with getting dressed, brushing teeth etc. If she has sensory issues with toothpaste or something else related to toothbrushing or if there are sensory issues with clothing, then it probably won't. Tiredness will make things worse for everyone + if you're her main carer then you're likely to take the brunt of the outbursts. I can understand how difficult/upsetting all this must be. Have you asked for a statement of educational needs so she can have the support she'll need whilst at school. Also for yourself you can ask for a carer's assessment which may entitle you to regular breaks. Everything's a battle, esp in this economic climate, but unfortunately we have to keep pushing ahead to get what we + our children should be entitled to as a right. It sounds from your post that you've learnt a lot already, but there's always more to learn. My son's an adult now + I'm still learning because he changes a bit as he matures as well. You need to take care of your daughter but don't forget about yourself.
Hi my 3 and a half year old son is going to have his first assessment next week for autism. He has quite a few traits but I was told it would be mild if he has autism. He hits out has major meltdowns, is a slow and fuuny eater, sleeps poor, noisy and licks his hands amongst other things. It's been really stressful and I find him extremely difficult to deal with at times and I find it emotionally and physically draining! It's nice to find a place where there are people having similar experiences and some support x