My name is Denise. I am mum to a 17 year old son who was diagnosed at 16 as being high functioning on the autistic spectrum.
It would be lovely to make some on line friends to share the highs, joys and not so highs of ASD.
Hi, my daughter is 16 and was diagnosed in August 2017. I would be interested to know how, like my daughter, your child got to 16 without us noticing it. It's easy retrospectively to see the traits but how did I miss it! Also I interested how you cope with the apparent stubbornness. How the neck do you get someone with high functioning autism to change their mind or realise that there could possibly be another point of view. I'm getting nowhere with this!
Hi Eleanor. My son's struggles with intereaction was picked up many years ago. The first referral we had was at age 5 when his Primary 1 teacher thought that he may have a hearing problem. We went through a few referrals and appointments from speech and language therapy to CAMHS. He had a full assessment for ASD at about 7 or 8 but the determination at that time was that although he showed ASD traits, they were insufficiently pronounced for a diagnosis. We didn't pursue it at the time as he was attending an amazingly supportive primary and went on to an equally supportive high school, that he getting all of the support that he would have had if he was diagnosed.
It was just when he was approaching what we felt was his last year of school that there seemed to be a reason to go back for a reassessment.
On the stubbornness issue, I have learned to pick my battles, be patient (which I admit I find difficult), and if practical, don't expect to be successful the first time or even the second but if something is important, I persist. I also give him time to go away (often out for a run) to think over what I have said and come back with a reason why he thinks he is right or to agree to my way of thinking. It is not easy though, is it!
Do you ever wonder what is ASD and what is just being a teenager ?!
Yes I do wonder what is ASD and what is being a teenager but I am still at the stage of analysing her behaviour retrospectively as we had no idea she had ASD until she developed anorexia 2 years ago. I can see so many ASD traits in her early childhood now but I think it went unnoticed because we are all a bit quirky and I come from a very 'why's family. I can see that my son also exhibits 19 year old son also exhibits ASD traits too and he is on the waiting list for the ADOS test. However, I'm not so sure about him as he is the most laid back teenager I've ever known and has no mental health issues.......... My husband on the other hand!
Bizarrely her ASD traits seem to have become more pronounced since she's been diagnosed or maybe I'm noticing them more. For instance she had just reorganised her clothes in her wardrobe in colour order and has today returned a letter to one of her mental health team with all the spelling and grammar corrected in red. The biggest and most worrying difficulty we are facing is convincing her that the weight she is now is not healthy. Until there are physical symptoms she will not believe there is anything wrong with her and we can't wait for that to happen. We are all wrong she is right in her opinion and nothing will shift that thought at the moment despite 9 weeks in a children's medical ward and 14 months in a CAMHS inpatient unit to which she was readmitted last Wednesday. We'll get through somehow but it's an awful battle at the moment.