My daughter aged 10 was diagnosed with ASD it’s been a very long journey, she is selective mute so only talks at home and cheer classes (her safe happy places), her learning has been affected and she’s working below her age.
Its been a mixed bag of emotion today and although I’m starting to get my head round things there’s still a lot to take in and then the fact my daughter is 10 she understands a lot more of what is going on, I’ve explained to her in the best way that I can that she is still the same person and this diagnosis doesn’t change things and any questions she has I will answer as best I can but that I’m still learning so sometimes I may need help.
would love to talk to parents in similar situations and parents who are knowledgeable and can offer any advice
Hi - one way you might explain to her is that she's exactly the same as all the other kids but, just like some kids don't see too well and other can't run very fast, she won't be able to handle stress and changes very well - and your job as a parent is to help her with stress and understanding all the changes around her - tell her it's a team effort to get her through school and you'll always be there for her.
Try to make sure her home life is not chaotic - try to build as much logic and predictability in to the home routines to counterbalance the blinding chaos of the outside world.
As a parent, you'll need to understand that her world will get more & more complicated and stressful in the next few years with school changes and puberty.
The puberty thing will be worst for her from a social point of view - the hormones will mess with her and as all her friends and peer group start to change, their social interaction will get much more complicated and difficult. This is where she'll need lots of support from you and an understanding that she can talk it all over with you.
As girls grow up, the can be horrible to each other - you need to be her rock of predictability and reason - and you might need to explain to her why her friends are changing and talking to her one day and not the next - they are all testing their social manipulation skills on each other. She will need a strong personality to be able to shrug this off as they can be nery hurtful - especially if they detect a weakness.
She will likely start to become very tired and stressed coming home from school so her interaction with you will probably be difficult until she's decompressed from the day - she'll need a bit of quiet time or you're just asking for her to blow up at you to vent the stress. Weekends will be very important down time for her.