I have twin 8 year old daughter'. They are doing well but I feel one of them has autistic tendencies. They don' appear to be affecting her at school too much. But they can sometimes be an issue at home.
I don't want to get her diagnosed because I feel being labelled especially at school puts you at a disadvantage and you are treated differently but I would really like some tips and techniques to help her cope with life and her struggles.
I' pretty sure it would high functioning anyway as she is very clever and doesnt have any speech problems. I think dancing has very much helped her to control and improve her physical difficulties and I would really like to help her other issues, like meltdowns and coping when things go wrong or when she is over stimulated. She has taken to hitting herself in the head and calling herself stupid lately and I don' want this to continue.
Any help and advice would be appreciated
I don’t think any parent ever wants their child ‘labelled.’
However, most parents have found that in order to access critical understanding and effective support for their child, a diagnosis ‘label’ has proved to be utterly unavoidable.
However, I would suggest you read Tony Attwood’s ‘A Complete Guide to Asperger's’ which offers excellent insight and advice, not least just how affected and just how challenged, in sophisticated, complex, and hidden ways, a 'high functioning' child who is 'clever with no speech problems' can really be.
If you suspect that your child has autistic tendencies, then there's no harm in having it checked out. As for labelling, everyone is labelled in one way or another, so I don't think that having the tag of "autistic" is anything to worry about. The school authorities will help your daughter to learn and achieve her potential :)
Much love <3
As someone who only received the 'label' in later life, I wish I had been given it much sooner as its given me greater insight into the challenges I have and why. The label has also enabled me research coping strategies that are tailored to my needs.
I've started to read Tony Attwood's work and also recommend it.
NAS36210 said:I feel being labelled especially at school puts you at a disadvantage
As someone with one adult son already on the spectrum and the other little lad now being described as "presenting with some symptoms of autism", I would have to disagree.
If I had known that I was autistic in my youth, a lot of struggles and heartache could well have been avoided. Do not underestimate the mental health impact of remaining undiagnosed. I have had dark times, and my adult son appears to have only narrowly avoided taking his own life.
If you spend some time reading around the adult forum, you will find a great many lonely and deeply unhappy souls.
As soon as I handed in a paediatrician's letter to my youngest's school, they responded, so for him (at least) things are already "looking up".
Oversimplifying, there appear to be roughly three ways of approaching the world:
1) Wear a mask to "fit in" the wider world, at the long-term expense of your mental health, because you are effectively acting, 24/7. In the meantime, everyone you meet will be telling you "you're fine". Sometimes you will be crying inside, but you'll just be told "hey, everyone has problems, deal with it". I did this for over forty years. I can't recommend this approach.
2) Avoid the wider world by becoming a hermit / recluse. This approach would often seem to lead to long-term unemployment and a lack of social contact or support. You may then find yourself having to "play the system" in order to access welfare, but without a formal diagnosis you may simply be told you're lazy etc. and be refused.
3) Get better at some things by doing / being made to do things you are challenged by. This is a really long road, because it will take someone on the spectrum a good deal more effort to become proficient at something than a lot of NT folk. On the other hand, if you are on the spectrum you may well have the focus / single-mindedness to keep going at something when others have long given up... But some things will always be a challenge that few others can really understand. There will be better days, and some really bad days where you just want to hide.
Yes, a label might well mean you are treated differently but, looking back from where I am right now, I think I would have rather taken the label in my youth. At least that way I would have understood. Besides, what is wrong with being treated differently if you *are* different? It's being held to the same yardstick that causes all the problems. Yes, it is possible to learn to get better at some things, but what is mostly required is that the rest of the world recognise that they have to meet people like us half-way. No matter what we do, we cannot ever be completely like them.
A beautiful, eloquent response DongFeng5.
I openly confess, I sometimes feel quite frustrated when people seemingly refer to 'High Functioning' dismissively as if it means 'nearly not ND,' or 'not enough ND to be of any concern or consequence' or 'nearly normal...'
In my mind, High Functioning is still entirely and whole heartedly ND, with perhaps enough 'NT traits' or similarities, or enough 'acceptable' coping strategies in some specific areas with which to get by with, some of the time.
Although I must learn more tolerance and patience, and learn to empathise more effectively perhaps, as I do recognise that the extent to which a HF child is affected may not fully present itself until they are older.